DECEMBER 5, 1938
EN ROUTE TO NEW YORK, Sunday—There is one phase of writing a column which I never thought about when I began it, namely, that it brings you all kinds of information. For instance, not long ago I happened to speak of the small amount of reforestation one noticed going through certain parts of Tennessee. In consequence, a few days ago, the State Forester, Mr. J. O. Hazard, sent me a most interesting account of the work now being carried on in Tennessee.
It was begun in 1914 and, of course, the worst part of the land which was badly eroded in western Tennessee was planted first, and these first trees have since produced fence posts, telephone poles and similar products. In 1927, a substantial nursery was started and in 1935 he tells me that the CCC made possible a greatly increased program. Since that time, cooperation between the State Forestry Division, the TVA, the Resettlement Administration and the Soil Conservation Service has greatly increased the reforestation accomplishment. In addition to these agencies, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Park Service have done considerable planting in Cherokee National Forest and in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. All in all, approximately 84,000,000 trees have been planted in Tennessee, which means roughly 84,000 acres reclaimed.
Like all people who love their work, the State Forester does not feel that enough is being done, for he adds that 2,000,000 acres of erroding land need reforestation. But at least a good beginning has been made. I think it is interesting for us all over the country to know what the State of Tennessee has accomplished through cooperation of the State and National agencies. Remember this is just one State and something similar is being done in every state in the Union. I imagine this is so, for I remember seeing a good deal of this work in Oregon not long ago and I realize only too well how little we see of the actual accomplishments when we travel through the country.
I have done so much traveling lately and have now come to the end, I think, for this autumn, so that I feel I owe a word of thanks to all the kindly people who have taken so much trouble to make us feel at home in the various hotels. The last word in thoughtfulness was a breakfast which we had in Atlanta, Ga.., when Mr. J. J. Page, Jr., back from one of the first hunting trips of the season, sent us the most delicious quail.
I am beginning to think that Florida is one of the states where you may come across a number of "success stories," which in these days is gratifying. One of my letters urged me to meet a young man who had been badly handicapped several years ago and in spite having to come to this climate for his health, had refused to settle down and become a burden to anyone. Instead, he has started a book shop in St. Petersburg and is making good. Perhaps his effort will encourage others.