- March 24, 1930 – JSA to Peter Kiernan –
My dear Mr. Kiernan:
The interest shown in your letter of the 20th is encouraging.
Our meeting with Senator Hewitt’s Committee last Thursday was brief, harmonious and to the point. We have agreed to cooperate with them in an effort to amend the bill to meet the purposes of reforestation without endangering the recreation areas. I made it clear that if they would omit the amendment to the Constitution we would be entirely satisfied. They made it equally clear that they were not agreeable to such a compromise.
It seems well to maintain our contacts with them for the time being and try to develop the big idea of a forest preserve outside of our playground. This seems an opportune time to promote this thought, since the funds provided for in the bill are for the purpose o f new lands. As you probably know, the national government recognizes the necessity of keeping their parks entirely separate from their forest reserves.
The reforestation Committee’s report shows idle lands outside of the state playground, technically called the Forest Preserve, suitable for this purpose. In other words, I would call the State’s playground a park and establish the forest preserve in the lowlands where the soil is not so likely to wash away, and where fires can more easily by controlled. The labor and transportation conditions would also be more favorable.
Mr. Howard, representing the Conservation Commission, is coming to Schenectady this coming Wednesday to go over the entire situation with us, and there is a bare possibility that we might be able to convince him that the broader and bigger policy of maintaining the forestry work separate from the park, is after all the right policy not only in behalf of the recreationists and the people of the State, but in behalf of the various industries needing forest products.
I did not intend to write you such a long letter, but trust that you will be interested and give me any suggestions that may occur to you in this connection.