March 11, 1929 – JSA to Alexander MacDonald

  • March 11, 1929 – JSA to Alexander MacDonald (Commissioner)

Dear Commissioner:

I am informed that several teams and a gang of men have been at work removing the dead and down timber and brush from the islands at Lake George, and that most of this material is being burned. Ordinarily I check such reports before writing to your department, but this comes to me through such reliable sources I am taking the opportunity of suggesting the desirability of leaving this material where it will make soil and protect the islands, and in a few places where it is not needed, the wood could be piled for the use of campers, as firewood is very scarce in the islands.

Having personally studied first-hand the erosion of the islands over a period of several years, it is quite natural that I might have a viewpoint somewhat different form the casual observer, and it is for this reason that I am offering my opinion that virtually all the dead and down timber and brush are badly needed for holding and making soil.

A good example of the processes or destruction is to be seen at many campsites where the soil and leaves are loosened by walking over them when dry, and wind blows the loose material into the Lake. Also sudden rains wash the dirt away. In front of the State Camp on Glen Island this same process prevailed, the soil being renewed several times by hauling it in, and finally grass was planted to hold it.

The islands should of course be used, as their value is not only aesthetic but utilitarian. I do strongly recommend, however, that more be done to prevent the destruction by high water, by rip-rapping the shores and better regulation of the height of water, also that the selection and use of camp sites be made with reference to the damage to the islands.

It is my hope that you will receive these suggestions in the same spirit of cooperation that they are being made.

Very truly yours,