Monday, March 31, 2014

A Republican Who Believed in Morality

Gifford Pinchot. The Fight for Conservation. (no publisher information)

This book supported the conservation programs of President Theodore Roosevelt.

The author warned of the over-mining of irreplaceable minerals and the land being destroyed. Pennsylvania then had 3,000 square miles of forests totally stripped of trees.

Pinchot warned of overgrazing and its contributions towards soil erosion. He saw the principles of conservation being protecting forests, preventing waste, developing water power, and properly developing and preserving resources.

Pinchot called up a comprehensive plan for waterways development. Localities act in their own interests. Policies need to be created for everyone’s best interests.

The National Forests were transferred from the Interior Department to the Forest Service in 1905. The Forest Service had given priority to the public over corporations in forest and water use.

Pinchot considered conservation as a moral issue. He saw it is as important to conserve  for benefiting future generations.

Pinchot called for removing special interests from politics. He called for laws prohibiting corporations from giving money or consideration to politicians. As he noted, ‘There can be no legislative cure-all for great political evils, but legislation can make easier the effective expression and execution of the popular will.”


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