January 30, 1929 – Richmond Moot to FDR (cc to JSA, Ethel Dreier, etc.)

  • January 30, 1929 – Richmond D. Moot to FDR (governor – Albany) c.c. to JSA, Mrs. Dreier, Ted Dreier, Dr. Langmuir –

Dear Governor:

Confirming our conversation today, the map of the Adirondack Park is sufficient indictment of the methods which have been followed in the past in acquiring lands with public funds, and a continuance of the practice of acquiring land in the forest preserve without regard to whether it is needed for recreational purposes or to protect slopes which if deforested may create a real menace to the State’s investment, might well become the most embarrassing problem of your administration.

The outline of the Adirondack park was not established by the legislature on any survey or consideration of the need of any particular portion of the land enclosed, for recreation or forest protection. Neither has there been any survey or plan for the development of a feasible park area with proper access to centers of population and with regard to the particular suitability of the land for park purposes.

It is not the job of the Conservation Commission to make a map in one solid color. Much of the land within the forest preserve counties should never be acquired by the State, but should continue to be owned and used by private interests for lumbering, reforestation and water power development, properties which are particularly suitable for these purposes and are neither suitable nor accessible to the public as park lands. On the other hand, there are lands such as those surrounding lakes, totally enclosed by State owned areas, which should be acquired without delay for the public use.

The amount of money to be spent during your administration for the acquisition of land, whether suitable or unsuitable for these purposes, and the lack of any intelligent plan or program under which funds can be wisely expended in the public interest, makes this a matter of deep concern to everyone familiar with the situation and having the public interest at heart. It is for this reason that the appointment of a commissioner who can develop and carry out an intelligent program, who will be willing to accept the cooperation and the great store of practical information of men like Mr. Apperson, and who has sufficient interest in the matter to obtain first-hand knowledge concerning tracts required as well as those tendered for sale by their owners, appears to transcend any local political problem of the section of the State from which the appointment is made. Men of proper caliber are few. We all know that you have conservation very much at heart and we want you to feel that you have our heartiest cooperation and support in anything you can do to improve conditions.

Very truly yours,

  1. D. Moot (JSApperson, Mrs. Dreier, T. Dreier, Dr. Langmuir)