© a Quinn Martin production
Lots of you have been asking what you can do to help. This year's resolution is to affect change on The Angeles and take back OUR forest. I will have an online petition circulating soon. Thanks everybody.

I originally wanted to blog about my adventures in the San Gabriel Mountains. I have some good stories, like the time I took a donkey to Ralph's Supermarket. But then the Station Fire started. I realized that there is much that needs to be brought to the attention of the mountain going public. Most folks are kept in the dark about how the Angeles National Forest operates. I will raise issues that are important to me, which are hopefully important to all citizens, but if you have any suggestions for discussion here, I am willing.

Here's the big agenda: Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron. I've made a few smart remarks and cryptic comments about her. But now, with the backing of some knowledgeable and trusted friends, it is time for a concerted effort to have her removed from her post. Stay tuned for details. And if you have any information you would like to contribute, anonymously or not, email me at gregsweet4@yahoo.com

I will get to some of the stories, sooner or later. Also, I want to make it clear that I no longer work at Adams' Pack Station, that these words are my own, and that the pack station is not the source of my information - they don't want trouble.

The First Principle of Conservation is Development

Keep this in mind for future posts...

The Fight for Conservation
Chapter IV - The principles of Conservation
by Gifford Pinchot (founder of the Forest Service)

The principles which the word Conservation has come to embody are not
many, and they are exceedingly simple. I have had occasion to say a good
many times that no other great movement, has ever achieved such progress
in so short a time, or made itself felt in so many directions with such
vigor and effectiveness, as the movement for the conservation of natural

Forestry made good its position in the United States before the
conservation movement was born. As a forester I am glad to believe that
conservation began with forestry, and that the principles which govern
the Forest Service in particular and forestry in general are also the
ideas that control conservation.

The first idea of real foresight in connection with natural resources
arose in connection with the forest. From it sprang the movement which
gathered impetus until it culminated in the great Convention of
Governors at Washington in May, 1908. Then came the second official
meeting of the National Conservation movement, December, 1908, in
Washington. Afterward came the various gatherings of citizens in
convention, come together to express their judgment on what ought to be
done, and to contribute, as only such meetings can, to the formation of
effective public opinion.

The movement so begun and so prosecuted has gathered immense swing and
impetus. In 1907 few knew what Conservation meant. Now it has become a
household word. While at first Conservation was supposed to apply only
to forests, we see now that its sweep extends even beyond the natural

The principles which govern the conservation movement, like all great
and effective things, are simple and easily understood. Yet it is often
hard to make the simple, easy, and direct facts about a movement of this
kind known to the people generally.

The first great fact about conservation is that it stands for
development. There has been a fundamental misconception that
conservation means nothing but the husbanding of resources for future
generations. There could be no more serious mistake. Conservation does
mean provision for the future, but it means also and first of all the
recognition of the right of the present generation to the fullest
necessary use of all the resources with which this country is so
abundantly blessed. Conservation demands the welfare of this generation
first, and afterward the welfare of the generations to follow.

The first principle of conservation is development, the use of the
natural resources now existing on this continent for the benefit of the
people who live here now. There may be just as much waste in neglecting
the development and use of certain natural resources as there is in
their destruction. We have a limited supply of coal, and only a limited
supply. Whether it is to last for a hundred or a hundred and fifty or a
thousand years, the coal is limited in amount, unless through geological
changes which we shall not live to see, there will never be any more of
it than there is now. But coal is in a sense the vital essence of our
civilization. If it can be preserved, if the life of the mines can be
extended, if by preventing waste there can be more coal left in this
country after we of this generation have made every needed use of this
source of power, then we shall have deserved well of our descendants.

Conservation stands emphatically for the development and use of
water-power now, without delay. It stands for the immediate construction
of navigable waterways under a broad and comprehensive plan as
assistants to the railroads. More coal and more iron are required to
move a ton of freight by rail than by water, three to one. In every case
and in every direction the conservation movement has development for its
first principle, and at the very beginning of its work. The development
of our natural resources and the fullest use of them for the present
generation is the first duty of this generation. So much for

In the second place conservation stands for the prevention of waste.
There has come gradually in this country an understanding that waste is
not a good thing and that the attack on waste is an industrial
necessity. I recall very well indeed how, in the early days of forest
fires, they were considered simply and solely as acts of God, against
which any opposition was hopeless and any attempt to control them not
merely hopeless but childish. It was assumed that they came in the
natural order of things, as inevitably as the seasons or the rising and
setting of the sun. To-day we understand that forest fires are wholly
within the control of men. So we are coming in like manner to understand
that the prevention of waste in all other directions is a simple matter
of good business. The first duty of the human race is to control the
earth it lives upon.

We are in a position more and more completely to say how far the waste
and destruction of natural resources are to be allowed to go on and
where they are to stop. It is curious that the effort to stop waste,
like the effort to stop forest fires, has often been considered as a
matter controlled wholly by economic law. I think there could be no
greater mistake. Forest fires were allowed to burn long after the people
had means to stop them. The idea that men were helpless in the face of
them held long after the time had passed when the means of control were
fully within our reach. It was the old story that "as a man thinketh, so
is he"; we came to see that we could stop forest fires, and we found
that the means had long been at hand. When at length we came to see that
the control of logging in certain directions was profitable, we found it
had long been possible. In all these matters of waste of natural
resources, the education of the people to understand that they can stop
the leakage comes before the actual stopping and after the means of
stopping it have long been ready at our hands.

In addition to the principles of development and preservation of our
resources there is a third principle. It is this: The natural resources
must be developed and preserved for the benefit of the many, and not
merely for the profit of a few. We are coming to understand in this
country that public action for public benefit has a very much wider
field to cover and a much larger part to play than was the case when
there were resources enough for every one, and before certain
constitutional provisions had given so tremendously strong a position to
vested rights and property in general.

A few years ago President Hadley, of Yale, wrote an article which has
not attracted the attention it should. The point of it was that by
reason of the XIVth amendment to the Constitution, property rights in
the United States occupy a stronger position than in any other country
in the civilized world. It becomes then a matter of multiplied
importance, since property rights once granted are so strongly
entrenched, to see that they shall be so granted that the people shall
get their fair share of the benefit which comes from the development of
the resources which belong to us all. The time to do that is now. By so
doing we shall avoid the difficulties and conflicts which will surely
arise if we allow vested rights to accrue outside the possibility of
governmental and popular control.

The conservation idea covers a wider range than the field of natural
resources alone. Conservation means the greatest good to the greatest
number for the longest time. One of its great contributions is just
this, that it has added to the worn and well-known phrase, "the greatest
good to the greatest number," the additional words "for the longest
time," thus recognizing that this nation of ours must be made to endure
as the best possible home for all its people.

Conservation advocates the use of foresight, prudence, thrift, and
intelligence in dealing with public matters, for the same reasons and in
the same way that we each use foresight, prudence, thrift, and
intelligence in dealing with our own private affairs. It proclaims the
right and duty of the people to act for the benefit of the people.
Conservation demands the application of common-sense to the common
problems for the common good.

The principles of conservation thus described--development,
preservation, the common good--have a general application which is
growing rapidly wider. The development of resources and the prevention
of waste and loss, the protection of the public interests, by foresight,
prudence, and the ordinary business and home-making virtues, all these
apply to other things as well as to the natural resources. There is, in
fact, no interest of the people to which the principles of conservation
do not apply.

The conservation point of view is valuable in the education of our
people as well as in forestry; it applies to the body politic as well as
to the earth and its minerals. A municipal franchise is as properly
within its sphere as a franchise for water-power. The same point of view
governs in both. It applies as much to the subject of good roads as to
waterways, and the training of our people in citizenship is as germane
to it as the productiveness of the earth. The application of
common-sense to any problem for the Nation's good will lead directly to
national efficiency wherever applied. In other words, and that is the
burden of the message, we are coming to see the logical and inevitable
outcome that these principles, which arose in forestry and have their
bloom in the conservation of natural resources, will have their fruit in
the increase and promotion of national efficiency along other lines of
national life.

The outgrowth of conservation, the inevitable result, is national
efficiency. In the great commercial struggle between nations which is
eventually to determine the welfare of all, national efficiency will be
the deciding factor. So from every point of view conservation is a good
thing for the American people.

The National Forest Service, one of the chief agencies of the
conservation movement, is trying to be useful to the people of this
nation. The Service recognizes, and recognizes it more and more strongly
all the time, that whatever it has done or is doing has just one object,
and that object is the welfare of the plain American citizen. Unless the
Forest Service has served the people, and is able to contribute to their
welfare it has failed in its work and should be abolished. But just so
far as by coöperation, by intelligence, by attention to the work laid
upon it, it contributes to the welfare of our citizens, it is a good
thing and should be allowed to go on with its work.

The Natural Forests are in the West. Headquarters of the Service have
been established throughout the Western country, because its work cannot
be done effectively and properly without the closest contact and the
most hearty coöperation with the Western people. It is the duty of the
Forest Service to see to it that the timber, water-powers, mines, and
every other resource of the forests is used for the benefit of the
people who live in the neighborhood or who may have a share in the
welfare of each locality. It is equally its duty to coöperate with all
our people in every section of our land to conserve a fundamental
resource, without which this Nation cannot prosper.

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