Skip to main content


July 2024
1min read

Sir: … In my view, conservation means a maximum utilization of natural resources for the benefit of the greatest number—our natural and historical treasures. In this utilization, every consideration must be given to the prevention of pollution, indiscriminate commercial exploitation, and in certain instances, commercial urban encroachment.

On the other hand, I am diametrically opposed to the Sierra Club view that all of the areas that haven’t suffered from commercial exploitation, as of this date, should be put in isolated preserves and kept for the benefit of a very small minority.

An excellent case in point is their present opposition to the Mineral King development of the Walt Disney organization.

Opposition is based on the assumption that the wild natural beauty of the Mineral King bowl area is to be preserved in its natural state rather than utilized, to any degree, by the twenty million people who populate this state and/or any tourists of the remaining two hundred million people who populate this country.

Switzerland has utilized its snow in a compromise with nature that has not destroyed either its beauty or economic value. The pigheadedncss of the Sierra Club and many similar conservation groups will not concede the need for the existence of this harmony. …

In raising the banner of conservation, the subscribers to the American Heritage Society are entitled to know here and now whether our “Knight in Armor” is to be a Teddy Roosevelt or Don Quixote.

Enjoy our work? Help us keep going.

Now in its 75th year, American Heritage relies on contributions from readers like you to survive. You can support this magazine of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it by donating today.