November 26, 1936 – JSA to Robert Marshall


  • November 26, 1936 – JSA to Robert Marshall –

My dear Marshall:

Thanks for your letter of the 23rd. I infer from Mr. Foote’s letter of the 20th, that he will show you my letter of Nov. 24 to him. It would help us to decide the time and place of our proposed discussion of ski trails to know as soon as possible your plan of attendance of the meeting of December 5th and if you can stay over for such a meeting on the 6th in Albany. The Schenectady group including myself have ample accommodations for Saturday night for Mr. Foote, Mr. Yard and anyone else you may wish to bring. I hope our impression is wrong about the meeting December 5th, but the belief here is that there will be many talks on more trails with the usual inference, at least, that the Constitution, Art. 7, Section 7, is either too restrictive or that the more liberal interpretation should now prevail and this line of talk although mingled with laudation for preservation of wild lands will end up with newspaper articles derogatory to those who are trying to keep the State Forest Preserve in its natural state. It is further believed that it will be difficult to get our views of the problem presented for full consideration. The leadership of our group should not come from Schenectady as it did last year particularly myself as I an made the subject rather than the problem facing us, but without a leader the most we can do is to observe, and protect the things we do not like, if given an opportunity, then have meeting on Sunday of a few people deeply interested to review the situation and make plans accordingly.

It is hardly necessary for me to add that unless we are more interested in preserving the Adirondacks than we are in preserving our organizations and personal relations we can hardly expect to cope with the present situation successfully. I this connection I’m enclosing photographs taken this fall showing the standard width road with rock base into Marcy Dam. A so-called fire truck tail to be used only in the event of a forest fire, and while there has been no fire in this section. You will note the deep ruts shown in the picture confirming the claim that it in reality is a service road. Mr. Howard and Mr. Houghton after an extensive argument with me agreed as members of the Governor’s fire truck trail at the time we examined this project that the road would not be run all the way to the dam and thus interfere with the environment of the campsite to which so many people stop in their way in and out of the peaks. Also majority and minority reports of the Governor’s truck trails committee recommended against this road going all the way in. Now that the road is built it cannot, of course, be stopped by injunction, nor will the people be given the opportunity to decide whether or not they wish a road into this important area which should be kept wild. I am relating this as one of the many instances showing that our intelligent minority, which you refer to in the Adirondack Mountain Club is inadequate and we must face this fact, and make our plans accordingly.

Pardon me for writing such a long letter but it may save time when we have our discussion.

Sincerely yours,