AUGUST 18, 1955
LOS ANGELES—As we were driving to Denver I noticed in the forest area owned by the government thousands of Engelmann's spruce that were dead and uncut. They were attacked by the Japanese beetle a few years ago and now they are a serious fire hazard. People in the area say, that the government asked for bids on the removal of the dead timber and a company was formed in Colorado and made a bid. This company intended to build a pulp and paper mill but when they asked the RFC for a loan they found that that organization wasn't anxious to make any loans. When they finally were able to arrange their financing they learned that another company had been formed which had made a higher bid. But this second company had to forfeit the down payment and so the dead trees remained standing. The government did nothing further.
Now it is said that another company has been formed and is hoping to make a much lower bid because it wants to put in a pulp mill. This company is rumored to represent the same interests who previously forfeited their bid. They are said to represent foreign interests from whom this country buys much wood for pulp at present. It looks as though the taxpayers were going to lose some money in this whole business and perhaps someone should find out about the matter. The dead trees continue to be an eyesore and a constant danger for a forest fire would sweep over a vast area.
The explanation given by some people of the reason for the destruction of the Engelmann's Spruce is that the sheep ranchers wanting to get rid of destructive coyotes poisoned them, and then certain birds who might have eaten the Japanese beetles ate the poisoned carcasses and died in large numbers. Thus the balance of nature was upset long enough to give the beetles their period of destruction. This all sounds a bit fantastic but the dead timber is a sad reality.
I have just finished Anne Morrow Lindbergh's "Gift From the Sea." It is charmingly written as are all her books. She chose a very difficult subject to deal with, it seems to me, for women are so varied that though the problem she poses may come to many of us it will always seem different to each one and each will want a different solution.
I also read on the flight into Los Angeles a Signet Key Book "The United Nations And How It Works." David Cushman Coyle is the author and he has given us a concise, clear and useful handbook. In addition he has make it very interesting to read. Part 12 on the "Philosophy of the United Nations" seemed to me to be particularly valuable.