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W.H.Tippetts – Lake George, June 14, 1890: Part 2

February 3rd, 2010
 LUMBER COMPANIES IN THE NORTH WOODS.
One of the New York city papers is devoting considerable space to “the way the lumbermen are destroying the trees in the Adirondacks.” It is not the lumbermen who are doing the damage. It is the pot hunter and careless sportsmen.
The lumbermen cut only the larger pines and soft woods, leaving all of the hard wood trees and the smaller growth of pines. The pot hunters go through the woods, build fires, and leave without taking proper precautions to guard against the spread of the flames.
One can travel for days and miles in the Adirondacks without coming to a clearing. Here is an illustration of the way the north woods are being “written up.” Recently I had an occasion to interview William McEchron, of the Morgan Lumber company, Glens Falls,
and a gentleman of unimpeachable honor and truthfulness.The question came up about the so called attacks of the lumbermen on the trees on state lands in the northern wilderness. Mr. McEchron said: “I visited one of the northern counties recently and while at one of the lumber camps, learned that two young men had recently traveled through the district, representing themselves as special correspondents of a New York paper. They questioned one of the men in our employ about state lands. The conversation ran something like this:
“ ‘This is all state land around here, isn’t it?’”  asked the newspapermen.
“The woodsman looked at them. Thought they were two verdant youngsters from the city and replied with a grunt, which the pair put down in their note books as ‘yes.’
“Several questions of the same sort followed, the answers to which were about the same.
“Three days afterwards a two-column article came out in the New York paper they represented, setting forth how the lumbermen were robbing the state lands of timber and leveling every decent sized stick above ground. They made no distinction, but said the lumbermen were cutting all trees above six inches in diameter.
“The truth of the matter is, that the axe men engaged in cutting were at work on our own land and there was not a rod of state land in sight. And again, the lumbermen were cutting only pine timber.”
The idea of turning the north woods wholly into a park is looked upon with little favor by people living in this region.They urge, in case the whole wilderness is turned into a park, it will prove the ruin of hundreds of worthy men depending on the lumber and mining industries for bread. The cry is raised, preserve the Adirondacks for the people. Who are the people? Is it the workingman, the mechanic, the clerk, the day laborer? Or gentlemen sportsmen, wealthy enough to take themselves and their families to the mountains and seashore and remain away from home months every summer? The average mechanic or clerk cannot afford to take his family into the Adirondacks during the summer. It is the wealthy who enjoy the mountains, and not the “people.” It is openly said the men most anxious for the welfare of the people are those who have managed to get hold of several thousands of acres of mountainous country fit for nothing on earth except deer and wild animals, which they desire to sell to the state at a profit of two or three dollars per acre. There are always two sides to every story. The public have been treated to the side setting forth “how the lumbermen were destryoing the trees.” Suppose they turn the shield and look on the reverse where, if this writer is not very much mistaken, they will find silver instead of black.
 W. H. T.
Assembly Point, Lake George, June 14, 1890.

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