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growing an adequate supply forever. In this field we practice what we preach. Our constituent local patrol associations spend from $300,000 to three quarters of a million a year, all paid by lumbermen, but protecting your resources and mine. Our booklet reached that school boy and three hundred thousand more. Through every modern avenue of publicity—newspapers, circulars, posters, railroad folders, telephone directories and a dozen others—we carry the lessons of forest economics to every citizen in terms he can best understand and apply. Although you had not made that scientific man style himself a conservationist, we had secured his help in passing a model fire law. We wrote that law. Under it State, Government and lumbermen work hand in hand to protect practically every forest acre, sharing the cost, and the lumbermen in that one State contribute $150,000 a year. But, best of all, we provide a common meeting ground for all four agencies in our entire territory, each having the hearty support and confidence of the others, and we talk only of our joint business of actual, practical, constructive work. We talk not needs, but methods, and find means to apply the methods. We believe in this National Congress of Conservationists. We think it will enter a permanent future of still higher usefulness when it develops a more sectional organization, giving the real workers in every branch opportunity to get the very most out of meeting their own colleagues, and this not only in the technique of application but also in the lagging art of promoting the prosperity insurance of Conservation in terms and policies the public can understand and cannot evade.
President WHITE–It will now be necessary to drop a curtain in order to arrange a screen for the illustrated lectures that are going to follow, so everyone will retain their seats. We shall not be detained long. While the curtain is dropped, Secretary Shipp will make some announcements.
The announcements were made by the Secretary.
President W IIITE–Dr. C. E. Bessey, of the University of Nebraska. having now arrived, will read his valuable report for the Standing Committee on Education:
Dr. BEssey—Your committee recognizing that in the field of education we must for a time provide for a propaganda of suggestion and information, to be followed ultimately, when the public mind has been adequately wakened, with plans for a campaign of aggressive activity, now presents the following as a preliminary report. And while we feel confident that even at this stage something may be done more than the inauguration of a campaign of agitation, it is certain, nevertheless, that it is agitation more than anything else that we can best promote at the present time. And we must not belittle the importance of this stage of our work, for in every great movement there is first the period of agitation during which the “seers of visions and the dreamers of dreams” talk, and urge, and plead, with increasing vehemence and increasing confidence
It is our privilege now to promote such a work of agitation. Accordingly our suggestions are all made with reference to this preliminary phase of our work.
There are three principal lines along which this preliminary work may be developed—namely, in the communities, in the schools, and in our law-making bodies.
I. WORK IN THE COMMUNITY.
Here we have to change the feeling of apathy, and carelessness, and irresponsibility, to one of active, conscientious responsibility. In this task we have to deal with the men and women and children who constitute the community. We must influence all of them. We must reach them in such a way that there will grow up in the community a better feeling with regard to the world we live in, and a clearer appreciation of our relation to it in every way. They must be led to see that the world is to be used, not destroyed. Just as the child has to be taught that his toy is to be enjoyed, and played with, but not wantonly destroyed, so we must bring the men and women in the community to see that preservation, and not destruction, is the higher duty. That citizen is the better one who leaves to the next generation a better world than he found; whose use of Nature's soil, and water, and plants, and animals, leaves Nature still the rich storehouse in which others after him may find these unimpaired, and in abundance. How shall such a high sense of responsibility be developed in the community ? How may we awaken this larger and deeper altruism IIow can we bring the men and women of this generation to see that they are stewards of their Master's estate? Your committee commends three agencies as rendering effective service: (a) I’ublic Lectures. For these we may rely upon public spirited men who are primarily interested in Conservation, as well as many whose affiliations to different branches of natural science have prepared them to appreciate the purposes of this propaganda. To these we may add the great number of ministers of the gospel who nearly to a man may be depended upon to favor the movement, and to speak for it as occasion offers. Last of all we may confidently enumerate the teachers in the public schools and the higher educational institutions, and from them we may certainly secure many regularly prepared addresses and many more less formal short helpful talks. The influence of all of these presentations can scarcely be measured beforehand, but we confidently predict that in a few years we shall find that there has been a decided change in the general attitude of the community from one of ignorant indifference to a more or less intelligent interest. (b) Articles in the Public Press. We believe in the power of the public press as a molder of the opinions of the community, and feel that we must enlist the interest and coöperation of the newspapers throughout the country. To do this generally will require carefully considered, nation-wide plans; but a great deal may be done in every locality by the printing of the addresses referred to above. Where this is not possible abstracts may always be published, as well as summaries of shorter talks and discussions. Now and then a short, pointed article should be prepared and printed in the local paper. Here we feel the need of admonishing writers to be brief. No communication should attempt to be exhaustive. Better far to say a little at a time, and to come back to the subject again and again, than to say it all at once. Short, suggestive articles are generally read, while long ones usually become so dry that few read them. (c) Books and Pamphlets. For certain classes of people the appeal through the more permanent form of publication is far more effective. and therefore there is in our work a need of the book writer, and the writer of pamphlets. Here, quite naturally the writer must possess to a marked degree the ability to present the matter in such a sustained way that his book or pamphlet will be read throughout. Probably the most effective writing of this class is that which appears in our illustrated magazines where by the aid of half-tone reproductions of striking photographs the interest of the reader is held much more certainly. Such articles collected into small books or pamphlets would go far towards stimulating a proper state of mind in regard to the conservation of our natural resources. It occurs to us also to suggest that now and then our state experiment stations might quite legitimately devote a bulletin to Conservation.
II. WORK IN THE SCHOOLS.
While the community as a whole is receiving such suggestions as are possible through the agencies mentioned—lectures, addresses, newspaper articles, books and pamphlets—there is a vastly more effective means at our disposal in the public schools, dealing as they do with no less than twenty millions of children. We suggest that teachers everywhere be urged to include in all the studies that pertain to nature something in regard to the preservation of natural objects. This need not be much in amount, and it should be brought in with care and wisdom. We are reminded that once a very good cause was much discredited in the schools by the rash unwisdom of its advocates who insisted upon such an overdose of advice and admonishment that acute nausea resulted. So we would suggest that in the following studies care should be taken on the one hand to suggest conservation while on the other hand still greater care should be taken not to overdo the matter. (a) Nature Study. Along with an appreciation of Nature there should be inculcated the feeling that others after us should have the opportunity of enjoying the same beauties that we have. (b) Geography. As now generally presented this deals more with the earth and what it contains, than with its political divisions. Thus the soil, the forest cover, the streams, the water supply, all fall within this rejuvenated science, and here most readily can be inculcated the principles of conservation, as applied to the soil, the forests, the streams, and the underground waters. (c) Botany. When the pupil’s attention is more specifically drawn to the plant covering of the earth, in the study of botany, it is not at all difficult to impress upon him the desirability of preserving the vegetation of the present day for the generations that are to come after us. No lover of plants can contemplate with pleasure the thought that for the botanists of the twenty-first century certain curious orchids, some rare trees, and possibly some Golden Rods, may be as completely extinct as are the Palaeozoic Calamites and Lepidodendrids. The latter perished from the face of the earth, and we know of them now only by the fragments that have been preserved in the fossils which we dig up from the old rocks. Extinction has been the fate of many a plant, and extinction of plants now living is by no means improbable. The botanical teacher should preach the doctrine of preservation, the preservation of the plants of the present for the people who come after us. (d) Zoology. So, too, the teacher of zoölogy should improve his opportunity to help create a feeling favorable to the conservation of the present animal life. Especially do we need a propaganda of conservation in relation to the birds of the country. And here we remark that there are methods of presenting this part of zoölogy which emphasize rather the living bird in the tree than the dead bird in the cabinet. And these methods are happily displacing those that suggested if not required the death of every bird studied. We are well aware of the fact that it is not so much the killing of birds for study that threatens the extinction of some species, as the wanton killing for the sake of killing, and as in the case of birds of fine plumage, the killing for the money value of the dead birds. Yet we realize that the place to begin is to educate the children of the schools not to kill birds for any purpose. When they have regard for the life of a bird they may be trusted not to kill one needlessly.
(e) Geology. In this the pupil comes to see the foundations of the earth, fortunately little of which man may injure or deface. And yet how thankful we are that on the hills of New England there have been preserved in their original ruggedness the great masses of granite that have withstood the elements for millions of years. And who is not gratified that the great wall of the Palisades on the Hudson River has been saved for all time? These cliffs were valuable for crushing into gravel for road-making, and for the quarrying of building stone, but certain men of finer sensibilities felt that the Palisades had a far higher value for their grandeur and beauty. And so the Palisades were saved.
We need more of this fine sense of the value of rocks, and lakes, and waterfalls, and cliffs, and mountains, and of the need of their preservation.
(f) Conservation Clubs. Aside from much that may be done in school classes to foster a spirit of conservation something further may be accomplished by taking advantage of the club-forming instinct of children. Conservation clubs. Conservation leagues, Conservation guilds, pacts, societies, or what-not, may be suggested by the wise teacher, who can discreetly keep himself in the background while the youngsters do the work. If a nauseating namby-pambyism can be avoided such clubs may be joined by even the most vigorous of boys, the very class in whom it is desirable to develop the spirit of conservation.
III. WORK THROUGH LEGISLATION.
What has been already outlined is probably enough for the present, but the American people are not satisfied unless something is done in the way of enacting our ideas into laws. In the present condition of society we act as though we thought it quite impossible to do anything on a large scale without having the sanction of a direct law in regard to it. We are only very slowly learning that some of the best of human activities have been developed independently of legislation, and no doubt the time will come when we shall not be so anxious to have our plans formulated into laws found in our statute books. But for the present we may suggest the following legislation as helpful. We purposely avoid suggesting the passage of laws dealing with details. They must come later, when the conservation sense of the public has been adequately aroused. Here we may consider state and national laws.
(a) State Laws. These may well include those intended to preserve rare birds, and in some places certain rare plants which are in danger of extermination. To these may also be added provisions for the preservation of important natural features, as forests, waterfalls or massive rocks that lend interest or beauty to the general landscape.