- January 22, 1931 – R. D. Moot to Dr. F. DuB. Smith (Columbia County Veterinary Hospital, East Chatham, NY) –
You have evidently been misinformed concerning the amount of privately owned land within the Adirondack park boundary. If you will obtain the figures from the Conservation Commission on the total area, the area owned by the State and the area privately owned within the park boundary, I think you will find that I am correct.
You apparently have also been misinformed as to Article VII, Section 7, of the Constitution which you say covers the land within the blue line. There are two lines: a black line and a blue line. The black line is the boundary of the forest preserve under the Constitution. The blue line is a park boundary fixed by statute and not recognized in the Constitution and includes only about half the forest preserve are under Article VII, Section 7. Neither does the Hewitt amendment extend the boundary of the park line. As stated in my letter to the TIMES, the Hewitt amendment merely removes the prohibition in Article Seven, Section 7, against the State cutting and selling timber on lands hereafter acquired in the half of the forest preserve area lying between the blue line and the black line. Fundamentally, the question is whether the Conservation Commission shall be limited to the acquisition of land for conservation purposes, as the Constitution now requires, or whether it shall be allowed to acquire land, to cut timber and go into the lumber business anywhere it sees fit on the four million acres lying between the blue line and the black line.
You are evidently not in sympathy with the State acquiring additional land within the present park boundary, though the private ownership of much of that land excludes the public from many privately owned lakes, streams and wooded areas which I believe should be State property. Park funds were voted by the people for the acquisition of such areas and it would seem to be a mistake to enlarge the park boundary and permit the use of these park funds elsewhere while these lands, for the acquisition of which money was appropriated, have not yet been acquired.
Very truly yours,
- D. Moot