Visual display of the Aldo Leopold papers : 9/25/10-2 : Organizations, Committees

   I AM A CREATURE of this earth, and so 
a part of these prairies, these mountains, rivers 
and clouds. Unless I feel this dependence, I 
may know all the calculus and all the Talmud, 
but I have not learned the first lesson of living 
on this earth. 
                      STUART CHASE, 
                                 I Believe. 
   IF WE DO NOT ALLOW a democratic 
government to do the things which need to be 
done and hand down to our children a de- 
teriorated nation, their legacy will be not a 
legacy of poverty amidst plenty, but a legacy 
of poverty amidst poverty. 
                           May 22, 1939. 
and the flood years and the dust years and the 
drought years are us. We can't start again. 
The bitterness we sold to the junk man-he 
got it all right, but we have it still. And when 
the owner men told us to go, that's us; and 
when the tractor hit the house, that's us until 
we're dead. 
                    JOHN STEINBECK, 
                    The Grapes of Wrath. 
   DAMAGE TO THE LAND is important 
only because it damages the lives of people and 
threatens the general welfare. Saving soil and 
forests and water is not an end in itself; it is 
only a means to the end of better living and 
greater security for men and women. 
                HENRY A. WALLACE, 
            To the Land Grant College 
            Association, Novembri 17, 1939. 
   THE PLAIN TRUTH is that Americans, 
as a people, have never learned to love the land 
and to regard it as an enduring resource. 
                 HUGH H. BENNETT, 
              Soil Conservation, Chapter I. 
TRADICTIONS in the American character is 
our utter failure to see the connection between 
the word conservative and the word conserva- 
                      PAUL B. SEARS, 
         Science and the New Landscape, 
            Harper's Magazine, July, 1939. 
   THE GOVERNMENT is spending billions 
for defense against the possibility of alien ene- 
mies, but protection from the evergrowing ene- 
mies within our borders, the destroyers of soil, 
has been inadequate. In one case we act vigor- 
ously because propaganda stirs our imagination, 
while in the other we neglect real menaces, be- 
cause few   laymen  visualize or understand 
                     J. K. NEWMAN, 
             A New National Enterprise, 
                         November, 1939. 
    I CAN SEE NO REASON for a conserva- 
tion program if people have lost their knack 
with earth. I can see no reason for saving the 
streams to make the power to run the factories 
if the resultant industry reduces the status and 
destroys the heart of the individual. Such is 
not conservation, but the most frightful sort 
of dissipation. 
                        E. B. WHITE, 
         Harper's Magazine, February, 1940. 
    IF WE MEAN TO GAIN and to retain 
healthful living in pleasant communities for 
ourselves, our children and our fellow citizens, 
then we must reckon with the new hot dog 
stand suddenly erected and noisily operating in 
our midst, with the old swimming hole being 
polluted by the new factories being built up- 
stream, with the dust storms making our lives 
physically impossible. Whether we live in big 
cities or in small towns or in the country, we 
are affected by the forces of disintegration. 
                      ALBERT MAYER, 
           Survey-Graphic, February, 1940. 
    FOR A LONG TIME the essential unity of 
conservation escaped general knowledge. When 
a farmer in upland Maryland abuses his land he 
may be helping to smother oyster bars of the 
Bay with slime. Many fine oyster beds have 
been destroyed and the process continues ... 
Land, water and minerals, trees, fish and ani- 
mals, are all part of the property of Maryland, 
and it is astonishing how often the protection of 
one depends upon the protection of some, or all, 
of the others. 
               GERALD W. JOHNSON, 
                 Baltimore Evening Sun, 
                        January 11, 1940. 
is laid on soil repeatedly burnt over. Life, 
along with the soil and cover, becomes each 
year thinner, less robust, less rewarding, more 
    There is nothing   mysterious or other- 
worldly about the process. It is simply that 
you blast and disturb a natural continuity of 
growth and renewal; a marvellously delicate 
interplay of living forces which, undisturbed, 
keep a piece of land intact and rich; the people 
it supports, secure. 
     From  Forest Outings, a forthcoming 
       publication by Thirty Members of 
       The U. S. Forest Service. 
less compelled to travel in specific channels by 
hard material fact than is the case of any other 
place on earth ... 
    What we need first of all is a set of ideas 
that will command our allegiance over partisan, 
class and regional considerations, a campaign 
of peaceful conquest within our own borders. 
In a genuine and coordinated campaign of con- 
servation, one that touches on every phase of 
life from the enrichment of soil to the enrich- 
ment of human opportunities and talents, I feel 
that we have such a cause. 
    A start has been made, a good start. Our 
agricultural, our civilization, can be made per- 
manent. We begin to understand how. We 
have a country worth defending. What other 
peoples fight for, we have. There is no better 
country anywhere. Let us defend it ... 
    The war for survival which needs most 
concern us now is not in Europe and not in 
Asia, but on the ground at our feet. 
                HENRY A. WALLACE, 
           Survey-Graphic, February, 1940. 
    OUR TASK is immense. We have to turn 
shacks into houses; we have to turn barren 
arteries of traffic into parkways; we have to 
return wastelands, cutover lands, eroded lands 
into grass covered fields or forest covered 
slopes. We have to take valleys as large as that 
of the Inland Empire in Washington, by means 
of great dams, irrigation works and power 
plants, as great as the Grand Coulee, we have 
to alter the possibilities for human occupation. 
We have to take our socially eroded lands- 
our run-down factory districts, our blighted 
urban areas, our over-expanded metropolises- 
and turn them into productive comrmunitres. 
    Our main handicap will be lack of imagi- 
nation. This is one of those times in human 
history when only the dreamers will turn out to 
be practical men. 
                    LEWIS MUMFORD, 
           Survey-Graphic, February, 1940. 
    THE AMERICAN cannot live effectively 
or decently without a vision: when the vision 
fails his whole system collapses. His new vision, 
his new future, his new Project will of neces- 
sity be different from the old, both internally 
and externally.  But unless the American is 
extinct, a Project there will be ... 
    If the dream is reborn, it must have some 
of the characteristics of maturity: it must relate 
the present to the future in a realistic way: it 
must demand a certain amount of planning and 
sacrifice. . . . So long as he is an American, 
the American will be an idealist. But there is 
no reason under the sun why he should always 
remain a wildman. 
           THE EDITORS ov FORTUNE, 
                           February, 1940. 
               A Proposed Non-Profit Association for 
                 Conservation of Soil, Rain, and Man 
                          WASHINGTON, D. C. 

       A non-profit association for the conservation 
                  of soil, rain and Man 
I. Evidence of the Need 
    * * * A good land; a land of brooks of water, of fountains 
and depths that spring out of the valleys and hills; a land of 
wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates; 
a land of olive oil and honey. . . . Here thou shalt eat bread 
without scarceness; thou shalt not lack anything ... 
                                 Deuteronomy, 8, 7-9. 
   The waters wear the stones; thou washest away the things 
that grow out of the dust of the earth; and thou destroyest 
the hope of man. . . . If my land cry against me, or that 
the furrows thereof likewise complain . . . let thistles grow 
instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley. The words 
ment is felt in the open country. But soon, as yields and 
trade fall off, it is also felt in the towns. 
    Any land is all of one body. If one part is skinned, bared 
 to the beat of the weather, wounded, not only the winds 
 spread the trouble, dramatically, but the surface veins and 
 arteries of the nation, its streams and rivers, bear ill. Soiled 
 water depletes soil, exhausts underground and surface water 
 supplies, raises flood levels, dispossesses shore and upland birds 
 and animals from their accustomed haunts, chokes game-fish, 
 diminishes shoreline seafood, clogs harbors, and stops with 
 grit and boulders the purr of dynamos. 
    Eroded soil is soil in some part dead, devitalized. Soil 
debility, soon repeated in nutritive deficiencies, spreads 
undernourishment. Evidence on this point is far from com- 
plete; but the trend of accumulating findings is unmistak- 
able. If the soil does not have it in it, plants that grow there 
do not; nor do the animals that eat those plants; nor the 
people throughout a country who eat those plants and ani- 
mals. Soil debility soon removes stiffening lime from the 
national backbone, lowers the beat and vigor of the national 
bloodstream, and leads to a devitalized society. 
   We, too, are all of one body. We all live on, or from, the 
of job are ended.                                              No matter
which political party gains ascendancy as the 
                                      The Book of Job.     years go by; whether
the swing be from middle Left to far 
                                                           Right, or to the
farther Left; whether we remain at peace or 
    IT IS AN OLD S'IOx)1-    -ite,-repeatei in the-fi  -gmco-war-m--his fýct
wi remain: sol"gas we keep on 
Man. We have talked a lot about it in this country lately. scrubbing off,
blowing off, killing off our topsoil, business 
We have barely begun to do something about it in a large,  and social conditions
in this country will remain fundament- 
sensible and connected way.                                ally unsound.

   The need to do more is urgent. The record is plain. Over 
vast areas we stand confronted with defaced landscapes, de- III. A  Statement
of Purpose 
pleted water supplies, grave dislocations in the hydrologic 
cycle, and an all but catastrophic degradation of soil and 
Man.                                                           WE THEREFORE
NOW INTEND to organize and to 
   We have hurt our land. We have made much of it ugly 
in the plain implication that land laid to waste will not sup- 
port that measure of individual freedom and those constantly 
higher standards of living which we as Americans have been 
led to expect. 
   Down our streams every year go enormous quantities of 
plant food elements-nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash that 
might have produced bread, meat, milk, and garments. This 
huge loss represents only part of the annual erosion bill. 
Erosion not only removes plant nutrients; it carries away at 
one disastrous stroke the available plant food, the material 
from which plant food is made, the micro-organisms that 
aid in the manufacture of available plant nutrients, the min- 
eral matter that holds these organic and inorganic materials- 
the whole body of the soil. 
   Soil misuse makes people poor. Soil displacement is fol- 
lowed by human displacement. The first shock of displace- 
bring quickly into action a non-profit association or society 
to support, increase and, to a greater degree, unify, all efforts 
for the conservation of soil, rain and all the living products, 
especially Man. 
   We intend first to work with friends of conservation, both 
lay and professional, here in this country, and later with like- 
minded men and women in other lands. 
    With the conservation idea advancing to a wider outlook 
and more practical techniques of research and husbandry; 
with conservation becoming, in effect, a working philosophy 
to reconcile the ways of Man and Nature-the time is right 
for such a society to form and act. 
   The brief anthology which serves as the jacket for this 
'-ircular indicates the trend; and in some part, the need. 
   The need is imminent. Much of the civilized world is 
at war again, sick at heart and weary. Even this far removed 
from the main centers of pressure on soil and humans, we feel,