July 10, 1931 – JSA to Paul Schaefer

  • July 10, 1931 – JSA to Paul Schaefer

My dear Mr. Schaefer:

Your interesting letter of the 3rd shows the kind of interest in Adirondack problems needed by more of our citizens. We certainly must have a talk and I think preferably at my house, 1079 Teviot Road, where I have maps and photographs probably somewhat different from those you have seen, and I will try to get you by ‘phone sometime next week. I am glad to learn that you are in the contracting business, since no doubt you will have the point of view of wanting to get the job done whatever the job may happen to be. There are a surprising number of people who end their activities after once making up their mind which side of the argument they should be on.

It seems that a driving, intelligent minority is necessary for securing the best results of majority action, and your letter gives me the impression that you have already helped the cause of conservation by your personal discussions and distribution of data [pertaining to the immediate attack on the fundamental law. The subject has been made very complicated and is very susceptible of simplification is made interesting enough.

Those who wish to defend the Constitution are, of course, having the usual difficulty in getting any publicity, possibly more this time than ever before. I might add that the articles in the last High Spots you refer to as causing some apprehension, are only a few of the indications which have shown the trend of our Adirondack Mountain Club.

You will find in the Creed the words “improvement and Development” appearing for the first time about three years ago, I believe, at which time I asked for an explanation but was unsuccessful after some correspondence with several officers of the Club. I do not mention this as a complaint, but merely as an item of effort that might interest you. I think you will recognize that these words are not compatible with the maintenance of “wild forest land,” appearing in the Constitution, or “natural beauty or wilderness conditions,” terms used by many of our writers. The word “wilderness: has given to the city people in particular a very wrong impression of the Adirondacks, and I rather discourage its use for that reason.

This is deviating from your proposal of organizing a Schenectady Chapter, which I will be glad to talk over with you next week.

Cordially yours,