December 31, 1936 – Jim Cawley to Editor (Harold Tribune)

  • December 31, 1936 – Jim Cawley to Editor – Harold Tribune

Dear Sir:

As a lifelong reader of your excellent paper, I would like to appeal to you in the interest of conservation in general in our good state, a matter which is of grave concern to all of us.

You, of course, have done some very excellent work in your editorial columns during the past few years to help spread an appreciation of the need of proper conservation of our natural resources, not only to prevent the devastating floods that have occurred, but also to provide, while it is still possible to do so, recreational areas for the people, that have only in recent years been appreciated as necessary.

A new factor has entered into the more or less constant threat to the preservation of such areas for the public good, and it is rather a paradox that the threat is a wholesale acceptance of the value of our state playgrounds as the means for enjoying and justifying the great wave of popularity of winter sports, such as skiing.

I am handing you with this letter some information regarding the latest assault by interested parties who are not, in my opinion, interested in the general public welfare, upon the bulwark upon which we depend to keep our recreational and forest areas for future generations under the Article VII, Section VII, of the State Constitution. The general public acceptance of skiing, coupled with lack of general knowledge on what happens to a mountainside if it is entirely [de]nuded of trees and the protective covering of brush with the resultant erosion of other things, and they are not aware of the fact that in the wild demand for cutting ski trails everywhere they will soon create a condition that will make such trails useless within a period of a few years. In other words, they are defeating their own purposes entirely through a lack of understanding of what may happen.

I am inclosing, as stated above, an outline of this situation with a fair appraisal of what we think can be done to have all of the ski trails that any one should want and yet preserve the priceless heritage that we have in the state-owned forest-covered slopes for the few that do remain to us. I would deeply appreciate it if you would consider the information in the enclosed memorandum and use the good offices of your newspaper to help create a proper understanding of what it is that we are faced with and how we can have both our wild forest lands and all of the ski trails that the public groups who have now accepted skiing will need and can possibly use in the future and right now.

With real appreciation of the many things you have done to help us get the things that we are enjoying in the form of state parks, and hoping you will find it possible to publish your own comments on this situation, I am,

James S. Cawley


  • Same day? – Memo from Jim Cawley to JSA

Dear John:

Hare is a copy of my letter of transmittal of the material Van der Water passed along to me. The Editor’s Secretary called me and said the Editor was away but said she would give the material to him. That is all I heard about it.


Jim Cawley