- October 1, 1930 – JSA to Editor, Union Star (Schenectady) –
I read with interest Alexander MacDonald’s article appearing in the U. S. Daily, and reprinted in your last night’s issue, on ‘Reforesting Abandoned Farms’.
Millions of tired people in New York State think o f the Adirondacks and Catskill Mountains as a park and a place to rest. Some individuals, however, not quite so tired, claim it as a forest preserve. These conflicting views have jeopardized the full success of both important interests for many years, and while the state only owns 1/6 of the twelve million acres in these areas, they are now asked to vote for an amendment of their constitution to permit an expenditure of Twenty million dollars for a tree-farming industry inside of the counties now effected by the Constitution. The national government have recognized the importance of favoring both of these conflicting interests by keeping them separated and they administer their parks as a non-commercial undertaking through the Department of the Interior, and their forest preserves as a commercial tree-farming industry through its Department of Agriculture.
Some close students of our timber shortage problems strongly recommend that the people of New York State decline to further jeopardize their playground and the timber timber industry by amending the Constitution. They recommend that the twenty million dollars be spent by the New York State Department of Agriculture for establishing the tree-farming industry on idle lands recently reported suitable by the Reforestation Commission, outside of the counties effected by the Constitution, thus bringing to an end the temporizing that has marked the handling of this very vital social and economic problem. It seems only fair to expect the vast area outside of the playground to be fully and properly utilized for tree-farming before calling on the people to give up their playground or lands that might be needed for such playground in the future.
It also seems fair to keep in mind that trees can be planted anywhere inside or outside of the state playground without amending the Constitution, and trees planted now will not be of size to cut for many years to come, and therefore, the proposed amendment to the Constitution is bot unnecessary and unreasonable.