September 11, 1931 – JSA to Miss Eveline W. Brainard (Weekly News)

  • September 11, 1931 – JSA to Miss Eveline W. Brainard (Editor Weekly News; New York League of Women Voters) –

My dear Miss Brainerd:

I have been asked to call your attention to certain inaccuracies appearing in your September 4th issue, under the heading of ‘The Six Amendments’, namely, #5 under the so-called ‘Reforestation program’ (shown in the Reforestation pamphlet as #3).

A reading of the enclosed amendment shows that the appropriations increase yearly for eleven years, the last six years in amounts of two million annually, totaling nineteen million, and not as stated in your News, ‘…$1,000,000 the first year and smaller amounts annually over a period of over eleven years…’. This is rather important in the minds of those who are retrenching in these serious times of unemployment and high taxes.

May I also call your attention the statement that ‘…the property would be kept as wild forest…’ The forest in question will be a crop of trees to be harvested by cutting like any other crop. One of the principal purposes of the twenty million dollar expenditure, (one million already appropriated), as outlined in the official publication of the Reforestation Commission, is for timber production. Clean cutting, that it, all the trees at one time in areas planted at the same time, is regarded as the only economical way of handling forests resulting from reforestation.

In fairness to your ‘News’, I should add that the wording of the concurrent resolution does not reveal the heart of the amendment. All of the things mentioned in the introduction can be done without amending Section 7, and even Section 7 is not amended in the introduction, although the purpose of the amendment is to amend Section 7 to permit ’cutting, selling or removing the trees, timber, forest products and other materials on any lands hereafter acquired with the monies herein authorized…’ Part of all of this working should have appeared in the introduction.

Feeling confident that you want to give your League members the correct impression of so important a change in our fundamental law, I remain,

Very truly yours,


Copy of Weekly News (League of Women Voters)

Amendment #5:

Authorizing acquisition by the State of land outside the Adirondack and Catskill Parks for reforestation; the protection and management of forests thereon and the establishment and maintenance of tree nurseries; and appropriations for these purposes of $1,000,000 the first year and smaller amounts annually over a period of eleven years. (Art. VII, Section 16). The object of this amendment is to make use of thousands of acres now worthless as farmland. The property would be kept as wild forest, it would protect the water supply and add to our parks, while the sale of timber under proper forestry methods is expected to make a profit to the State. This is not the amendment permitting recreational facilities and roads in the forest preserve, about which there has been much debate. That will be before the voters in 1932.