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mental in starting a project of conservation whereby the State of Rhode Island has already made a tiny beginning of a public reservation system. Thus, we expect to preserve some of the places of public necessity that would otherwise be obliterated by the unrestricted spreading of the worn. I mention this merely as an example of the situation that all cities have to face. “The acquirement of and preservation of the places of natural beauty, public usefulness, and historic interest for the full enjoyment and use of all the people forever.” That is the motto of the Public Parks Association that brought this particular enterprise into being. But we don’t try to keep people off the grass nowadays. The rapidly-growing park movement is, first of all, a movement for the conservation of American manhood and womanhood through the countless generations of the future. Without such resources an enormous portion of the race, deprived of opportunities for exercise, for recreation and the quiet enjoyment of God's great gifts of beauty that have existed for the full and untrammelled benefit of the former generations, must soon become a nation of hooligans and derelicts rather than of healthy-minded, healthy-bodied patriots. We must have these to keep up the physical standard. Think how the conditions of life are changing in America! In 1800 only three per cent of the people dwelt in cites or large towns. In 1900 more than thirty-three per cent lived amid urban conditions. In my own State ninety-five per cent of the people live in cities. I take it that the modern city has two great functions: It must be a comfortable and happy dwelling-place, and it must be an efficient workshop. The problems of city planning are largely those of conservation. Its proper making is an eminently practical and scientific undertaking, and we in America have got to learn how to do it better than we have been
doing it in the past. About every site upon which cities are built contains areas that are well-suited for some of its purposes and not at all appropriate for others. Some parts are best adapted for the dwellings of its people, and some are more naturally suited to manufacturing and commercial activities. In addition to these there are others, which, owing to irregularity of contour and to rivers or bluffs, cannot be used for the building of traffic highways or residential districts without great economic waste. These are the logical playgrounds. They are destined to be either the most beautiful features by which the public happiness is served, or districts of perpetual nuisance and expense. Disease and crime and misery grow from a huddling of hovels under the river bank where there should have been a public promenade. Vast expenditures for sanitation and for municipal engineering works arise from the pollution of little rivers that run through cities or from the necessity of sewers and city water in holes and on precipitous hillsides where dwellings ought never to have been permitted to exist. So, even in the planning of a park system, like a certain one of which I have a rather intimate knowledge, the considerations are first of all severely practical and economic rather than aesthetic, and its purpose must be not so much to create new luxuries as to preserve old necessities. It is to develop the places most valueless commercially so that they shall be of highest value to the cause of humanity. I fear that you will think that I am wandering around like the little river once described by Governor Duncan, of Illinios, which gave inspiration to the writer of the song, “I don't know where I am going, but I am on my way.” Yet all these things merge into one another in very evident ways. The natural assets upon which cities are built and maintained and the great resources upon which the Nation lives are all to be administered and developed for the common weal, and so the American Civic Association is interested in them all. It has concerned itself with the campaign for the preservation of the Appalachian forests, because it believes it to be a great national affair instead of merely a local one. The conservation movement is one of the most striking evidences of a real civilization. A new era was opened to the people of the American continent when they began to hold congresses to consider the way in which they should preserve their waters, reclaim their swamps and arid lands, and keep the fertile soil from becoming impoverished or slipping off into the sea. President Roosevelt never said a more striking thing than when he gave the definition of civilization, which is something like this: “The prime difference between a civilized and an uncivilized people is that civilized man looks beyond his own immediate needs and even beyond those of his lifetime and provides for generations yet unborn.” (Applause.)
CONSERVATION OF WILD BIRDS.
WILLIAM L. FINLEY, REPRESENTING THE NATIONAL AssoCIATION OF AUDUBON Societies; THE OREGON ConSERVATION Association.
It is well known that our feathered songsters hold an important place in the home life of our Nation because of their beauty of dress and song. But we are living in a commercial age. Many of our people measure things in dollars and cents. To satisfy this class we are compelled to talk birds from an economic standpoint. I want to measure the value of wild birds in dollars and cents and show you the reasons why these creatures should be saved from the standpoints of the farmer, the fruit grower, and the lumberman. Bird songs may be thrown in for extra weight.
Saving our wild birds and animals may seem a small factor with the other important questions before us, but it is not small. Our wild birds are a necessary part of our life. They are as much a part of the natural resources of the State as are the fish in the rivers, the forests that cover the mountains, and the streams that flow down into the valleys.
In the vegetable and animal world all living things are bound together in many ways. In the struggle for existence every species is closely related to many other species, each acting as a force in itself to hold the equilibrium which is called the balance of nature. This natural law of our world may well be compared with that which keeps our solar system in operation. Each species is a powerful force within itself to live and multiply, and it in turn is held within bounds by the forces and actions of every other species. There is an intense natural competition to keep this balance even. As an example, the natural checks upon insect life are the wild birds that live in our fields and forests. If we were to kill off the birds of a certain locality, we should immediately overthrow the balance of nature and there would be a corresponding increase of insects. For years our wild birds have been rapidly decreasing. As a result, millions of dollars are taken from the pockets of the farming class every year to fight insect pests, and this amount is increasing. The inroads of the Hessian fly upon the wheat crop in 1904 were estimated at $50,000,000. The cotton worm is a great menace in the South, where it destroys from $25,000,000 to $50,000,000 annually of the cotton crop. The cutworm is a pest that is prevalent throughout the country; although the loss is widely distributed and not felt so heavily, it is enormous. The coddling moth injures fruit crops to the amount of $20,000,000 annually. With the continuous destruction of bird life in our country, the loss from insect and rodent pests last year was estimated at the enormous sum of $800,000,000. At the last session of the Oregon Legislature, a member from Southern Oregon introduced a bill giving people the right to shoot birds that came into their orchards. This man told me he didn't need the birds; he sprayed to kill insect pests in his orchard. He didn’t seem to know that we must have the birds about our shade and ornamental trees, which are not sprayed, and that we must have them to protect our forests. Without the wild birds our forests would be swept as by a blast of fire. Our trees would look like an army of telegraph poles. The importance of bird life in conserving our forests may not be well known. Last year insects caused an estimated loss of over a hundred million dollars to the trees of the country. Do you know that four hundred different species of insects are continually working on the oak tree alone? The birds of the forests are constantly