The Regional Review

Volume V - Nos. 4 & 5

October-November, 1940

The Regional Review

Vol. V Oct.-Nov., 1940 Nos. 4 & 5


Mr. Daniels, the versatile explorer who discovered both the South and New England, expresses admirably in the adjacent column what many writers and orators have at tempted to say with more and longer words.

Man has but three things to defend: his life, his principles, and the land. But it is the last of these which, in a certain basic sense, is the most important, because it sustains the other two. It defines them, shapes them, nurtures them, and must be ever inseparable from them.

Thus strikingly is reemphasized the intangible but vastly significant values which are implicit in our national parks, monuments, historic sites, and patriotic shrines. Thus are the Statue of Liberty, Gettysburg, the Grand Canyon, and all the other superlative natural and historical parcels of our soil reaffirmed in their roles as American patriots. They stand as surely in the lines of defense as do the people of America. They share with their human fellow citizens the mutual obligations of national solidarity for national protection. Just as we defend them, so do they defend us; they uphold our arm, strengthen our purpose, and rally our morale.

As Director Drury has pointed out, some portions of our national areas also may serve active military purposes when that use is not inconsistent with the prime objectives of inclusive conservation. If there be inconsistency, however, then it would be folly to permit the act of defense to impair those very values which we seek to defend.


In a small voice which I wish were much louder I would like to say that while we move, and properly, to be ready to defend this land, we are already forgetting the land we defend. I mean the land-- - the actual earth out of which our food grows and our forests, which is at least as much America as the people on it. I know we do not mean merely to defend a geographical area, but I lack the faith that freedom for many of us could flourish in a desert. It does not flourish now in those parts of America where the land is too worn for men to farm it in security. War would mean a new wasting --- an imperative, maybe patriotic wasting, a wasting nevertheless. . . It is time people began to realize that conservation is a part of preparedness. . . With famine rising again --- with the possibility that food may win another war -- it is a cockeyed country which does not consider, even in war terms, land use in the future in the light of land use in the past. . .

Once war is here we cannot stop to count the consequences of cutting down the pine trees --- to weep for the washing of our hills into the rivers. But we can recognize in any intelligent program of preparedness that our strength is still in our earth. Time may not suffice for the development of any plan for the wisest use of our land even for our defense of our land. But already we are building battleships which will not be ready for years. So we admit the possibility of some future for ourselves as well as for America. No program for its protection --- no program for power -- will be effective which neglects the land itself. Jonathan Daniels, Editor of the Raleigh (North Carolina) News and Observer, and author of recent books on the South and New England.

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Date: 04-Jul-2002