1937 
    TOO LONG we have reckoned our re- 
sources in terms of illusion. Money, even gold, 
is but a metrical device . . . not the substance 
of wealth. Our capital is the accumulation of 
material and energy with which we can work. 
Soil, water, minerals, vegetables and animal 
life-these are the basis of our existence and 
the measure of our future. 
                       PAUL B. SEARS, 
                       This is Our World. 
 
    WE ARE REACHING the interesting mo- 
ment in our history when we shall have to 
choose between the spirit which tolerates Duck- 
towns, tolerates Banks of Tennessee, tolerates 
the mine villages where men sell their wives- 
and the spirit which wars on these things to 
the end, wars on them at any cost in incon- 
venience to the more lucky members of society. 
                     HERBERT AGAR, 
                     Pursuit of Happiness. 
 
   THE AFFAIRS OF THE SOIL may not 
have the strange magnificence of the outer uni- 
verse or the curiosity of the inner recesses of 
the atom; but they touch our daily lives most 
intimately. So I commend them to your notice 
and ask your indulgence for the homeliness of 
my story ... 
   I propose in this letter (Chapter XVI, en- 
titled Corruptio Optima Pessima) to tell you 
something of the tragic happenings to the soil 
 
 
of the United States. They are not without 
parallel in other parts of the world, but nowhere 
else has the drama of soil destruction been 
played so swiftly and on so great a stage. 
        GILBERT WOODING ROBINSON, 
      Professor of Agricultural Chemistry, 
         University College of North Wales, 
         Bangor, in Mother Earth or Letters 
         on Soil, a book published in London. 
 
    LACK   OF   OPPORTUNITY       is a sin- 
breeder, whether in the poverty of the city 
slums, or poverty of the eroded hillsides ... 
The inner discovery of a New World will not 
be the task of navigators. 
                   MAURY MAVERICK, 
                 In A Maverick American. 
 
 
                    1938 
 
   WE KNOW of scarcely any record of de- 
structive exploitation in all the span of human 
existence until we enter the period of modern 
history, when transatlantic expansion of Euro- 
pean commerce, people, and governments, takes 
place.  Then begins what may well be the 
tragic, rather than the great age of man. We 
have glorified this period in terms of a romantic 
view of colonization and of the frontier. There 
is a dark obverse to the picture, which we have 
regarded scarcely at all. 
                     CARL 0. SAUER, 
           Geographer, Journal of Farm 
                    Economics, November. 
 
 
    WHEN A PIECE OF LAND BEGINS TO 
 GO DEAD, unproductive, as ours has, its ills 
 are not separate or simple but infinitely linked. 
 Soil, air, water and protoplasm are all of a 
 part. .  . Wounded farm land cannot be par- 
 titioned off and considered by various specialists 
 with special cures as a problem exclusively agri- 
 cultural. 
                        RUSSELL LORD, 
                        To Hold This Soil. 
 
    POOR LAND makes poor people-poor 
 people make poor land. 
                       PARE LORENTZ, 
           In the sound-track of The River. 
    ARDENTLY AS I HAVE SCANNED the 
 writings of Europe's half-pint Napoleons I find 
 but one undoubted truth uttered between the 
 two of them. Each has said in effect, "It takes 
 a rich land to support a democracy." . . . Every 
 time you see a dust cloud, or a muddy stream, 
 a field scarred by erosion or a channel choked 
 with silt you are witnessing the passing of 
 American  democracy. . . . The crop called 
 Man can wither like any other. 
                    STERLING NORTH, 
             In The Chicago Daily News, 
                         October 19, 1938. 
 
    GIVEN ONE OF THE richest and most 
 beautiful lands on Earth to tend, we have taken 
 shamefully poor care of it. . . . How can a 
 people work themselves into such a squirm of 
 patriotism when some misguided schoolchild 
 refuses to salute the flag, this land's symbol, yet 
counrnajjce and join in a continvia defacement_ 
and destruction of the body of the land itself? 
                      RUSSELL LORD, 
                         Behold Our Land. 
 
    WHAT WE NEED NOW even more than 
 books is some graphically conceived micro- 
 photographic film  showing soil movements, 
 under stress of water and wind, with the time 
 elements indicated, so that millions of people 
 who never read books and know nothing of 
 farming can see deceptive sheet erosion actually 
 taking place ... 
                    JOHN C. PHILLIPS, 
            Bulletin of the Massachusetts 
          Audubon Society, December, 1938. 
 
                    1939 
    BESIDES BUILDING       WARSHIPS      and 
 airplanes, we must, through united and demo- 
 cratic and vigorous action, build up the nation's 
 natural resources and keep them continuously 
 and fully productive. 
                   FERDINAND SILCOX, 
             Chief of the Forest Service, 
                            July 11, 1939. 
 
    WHY DO WE NOT TEACH CONSER- 
 VATION in our schools? Is the waste and 
 pillage and threatened physical destruction of 
 our country less important than the names of 
 State capitals? 
                    HAROLD L. ICKES, 
              Secretary of the Interior, 
           in an address, February 27, 1939. 
 
 
WE NEED NEW PATTERNS OF CULTURE TO SAVE THE LAND