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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE BUREAU OF BIOLOGICAL SURVEY WASHINGTON, D.C. ADDRESS REPLY TO CHIEF. BUREAU OF BIOLOGICAL SURVEY AND REFER TO November 26, 193?, Professor Aldo Leopold, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin. Dear Professor Leopold: I am glad to have your letter of November 17, comnenting fur- ther on Mr. Long and the character of the work that he is carrying on* I think you can rest assured that participation by the American Wildlife Institute is not exerting any undue influence on the research program of the Biological Survey in the matter of "short-tern, quick-turnover" projects to the neglect of fundamental scientific work. We are continuing the basic research program that the Biological Survey has stressed throughout its history but are, of course, endeavoring to speed it up and modernize it to meet present day conditions. In view of the past lack of effective work in applying re- sults of research to stopping the downward trend of our wildlife re- sources and with a view to effecting a complete about-face in the public attitude toward wildlife restoration and management, we are endeavoring to carry the research work and thinking through to the point where the results will be employed to improve practices. This is merely in line with the present day tendencies to make results of research useful rather than ornamental. I shall send you, as soon as we can get it mimeographed, a copy of our research program for the current fiscal year that I hope will be reassuring to you as showing something of the scope and direction of our research activities. I am fully in sympathy with the thought behind Long's study. I would like to get to know Long personally and to go over his equipment and program with him on the ground and with others inter- ested in the work that he is doing. I am well aware that the situa- tion appears to be quite critical so far as the University is con- cerned in enabling him to carry on. From what I have been told, it would appear that he has some real faculty for work of this kind. The chief objection to his work appears to be that it has not been very carefully directed or supervised, that he is so largely a free lance worker and lacks a lot of the basic training that is needed to enable a man to properly appraise and present the results of his studies.
A. L. - 2 - November 26, 1937. We have been negotiating with Director Osborne of New York with a view to possibly getting work of this kind started in that State. Just at present they seem to be somewhat stalled up there and are endeavoring to reallign their program with a view to taking advantage of the offer of cooperation that we have made them. So matters are hanging fire just a bit at the present time so far as this work is concerned and that more or less ties up the necessary funds. Anyway, I think we will have to cut through the "Gordian knot" pretty soon and figure out some way by which a real test can be made of Long's effectiveness and ability to turn out worth while results along lines that I have previously suggested to you. Do you think it worth while for a few of us who are genuinely interested in this matter to get together at Ann Arbor to look the ground over, size matters up, and figure out a working program to take care of the situation? I think I shall arrange to make a trip out here ror this purpose at an early date. Sincerely yours, W. B. Bell, Chief, Division of Wildlife Research.