May 2, 1930 – JSA to Margaret Weld

  • May 2, 1930 – JSA to Mrs. Margaret W. Weld (Greenwich, CT) –

My dear Mrs. Weld:

If you join the new Trail Club with your eyes wide open, as indicated in your letter of the 29th, such pleasant associations should not interfere with your deep interest in preserving the woods. Unfortunately it does require great moral courage to differ with our friends, when important issues affecting the Adirondacks arise, and no one knows this better than the crowd who are not making the most dangerous attack on the constitution since 1915. Several of my associates agree to this, and also concur in the thought that simplifying the problem by accumulating and furnishing facts to the various organizations through the particular individuals who are acting effectively, is probably the only hope we have of defeating the three very vicious resolutions passed by the recent Legislature and which will have to pass the next Legislature.

I have suggested that we present these facts in a number of chapters. Any other method would probably be overwhelming and not convincing.

I am enclosing photographs showing the girdling of hardwood trees to kill them, and an extract from an article defending this process, and I would suggest that you place this in your folder on conservation. We want a similar chapter on soil erosion resulting from lumbering operations. Pictures taken on Slide Mountain and the peaks draining into Elk Lake would be very helpful for this chapter. I propose another chapter on the illegal occupancy of State Land, or squatter situation.

Dr. Stanton of this city has undertaken the trouble and expense of looking up the food for wildlife in the Adirondacks from hardwood trees and other sources, although it may be economically necessary from the lumbering standpoint. We hope to chow that the conflict that has been going on for many years in the Adirondacks between the commercial and non-commercial interests, and the wisdom and economy of separating the two. In other words, the Adirondacks are in purpose the same as our front yard. The forest preserve or lumbering operations are utilitarian and therefore in purpose the same a sour back yard, and we propose that they be separated. At present both back and front yard are badly mixed up.

It seems important to hide our ammunition in reserve until we are fully prepared, therefore the enclosed information is primarily for your personal interest at this time. Assuring you of my great appreciation for your friendly interest in my efforts as expressed in your letter of the 29th, I remain…

Very truly yours.