- January 25, 1942 –
Resolution from Federated Garden Clubs of New York State
to the National Council on Conservation
Whereas the prosperity and security of our nation with its highest standard of living, free enterprise, and democratic form of government depends absolutely on the availability of abundant Natural Resources, and
Whereas the depletion of these resources through unrestricted exploitation, economic pressures and unwise use it well advanced, and unless promptly and properly conserved and restored, cannot possibly meet the economic needs of our rapidly expanding population,
Now therefore, be it resolved that we support conservation needs by
- Stimulating and supporting legislation and other measures required to advance Conservation and by opposing those that would retard the progress of Conservation.
- Seeking the support of educational institutions and agencies and educators for a more realistic and extensive program of teacher training in Conservation as a more realistic measure for furthering an adequate National Conservation program.
- Insisting that Conservation be considered in its relation to all of the Natural Resources, but singling out one or a combination for special legislation or educational actions as occasion may demand.
The following is an attempt to elaborate or translate the above general principles into a more concrete policy applicable to New York.
The Federated Garden clubs of New York Incorporated are primarily interested in the aesthetic and inspirational values of flowers, shrubs, and forests both cultivated and natural. It is our policy to protect and increase these valuable assets in all appropriate places. We favor a preservation uncut forest along our highways and lakes for inspirational and recreational purposes. It is our policy to protect wildlife and wildlife habitats. We recognize the vital importance of maintaining perpetual uncut forests and other soil holding vegetative cover on the upper watershed of our streams particularly in the mountainous section of our state, the Adirondacks and Catskills. We appreciate the wild beauty and forest recreation values in our State Forest Preserve, and it is our policy to continue our efforts to retain in our state Constitution the provision which keeps these public lands in their natural state.
We favor reforestation and afforestation on idle and abandoned farm lands. We favor downstream production forests outside of the forest preserve on gentle slopes where sustained yield methods can be economically carried out under improved silvicultural practices including the disposal of slash to minimize fire hazard when such forests are harvested.
Essential to the accomplishments of these objectives is a sound land purchasing policy and procedure supplemented by good administration, particularly in the Forest Preserve Counties. The State should acquire lands which might otherwise be used by private owners to the detriment of public interest such as:
- Those thinly covered upper-watershed mountain slopes where tree cutting operations accelerate soil erosion and where slash from such cutting results in a serious fire hazard.
- Lands needed by the public for free access to State lands.
- Additional lands needed for forest recreation.
- Virgin forests which can never be replaced with its original features, and which are important for scientific, educational and recreational values for present and future generations.
- Lands and forests not otherwise preserved which mark important historical events.
If lack of funds delays such purchases, agreements affecting the use of such lands should be made with the owners to protect public interest until purchases are made possible by appropriations. The State should not buy land in the High Peak region where the destruction of soil and forest have already occurred and where normal tree growth cannot be supported by new soil accumulation within a century, neither should the State purchase woodlots essential to local residents and not essential to protect public interest.
We are against unsightly structures along our highways including billboards.
We are against the pollution of our streams and lakes, and we advocate more effective methods of sewage disposal which will return the much needed organic matter to the soil. This organic matter is not wasted in the contamination of our streams and lakes.
We feel this conservation policy and procedure is vital to the well being of all our citizens.
[ …the story behind this document is unclear, but it probably had some connection to Hilda Loines, one of Apperson’s allies and friends, who was a leader in the Federated Garden Clubs of New York]