September 9, 1929 – JSA to Henry Goddard Leach

  • September 9, JSA to Henry Goddard Leach –

Dear Mr. Leach:

We left Schenectady at 1 P.P., and reach the top of Boreas Mountain in time to see a very pretty sunset, and after a comfortable night in the balsam we enjoyed a brief sunrise.

We explored parts of the upper slopes and found a very light covering of soil. There appeared to be a paying quantity of timber lower down on the slopes draining into the Boreas Ponds, but if lumbered the debris would constitute a very dangerous fire hazard to that section. A fire on the precipitous slopes would unquestionably set back the process of soil accumulation necessary for healthy tree growth several hundred years. While the slopes of the Boreas are not so critical as the peaks of Colvin, there are however several sections with sliding characteristics. One slide can be seen from the Observation Station in line with the top of Redfield. Stumps show that the most accessible parts of this Mountain on all sides have been lumbered at one time or other.

Clouds and limited time deprived me of the opportunity to get the pictures I should have, and I am afraid I will not have time to make a second trip before we visit Albany. It was necessary for me to meet a three o’clock engagement at Lake George – incidentally we left Clear Lake at 12 o’clock, had lunch in Warrensburg, followed by a swim at my camp, and had five minutes to spare.

Protecting the soil accumulation on virtually all of the higher mountains east of Indian Pass is of great importance in my opinion, and any photographs that have been, or might be taken to illustrate this feature should be helpful in any Conservation work effecting that area. Detailed pictures of the effect of lumbering on Colvin, both close-up and some general pictures taken from the south west spurs of Nipple Top would be very useful. If you happen to know any enthusiastic photographer in your group who could step over there and get some of these pictures on a bright day, you can assure him that he will be making a useful contribution to conservation in New York State.

Sorry I did not have time to break through to the upper lake, but hope to see you shortly. Be sure to wire me as soon as you hear from Franklin.

Cordially yours,