Conference was a milestone in conservation, but it was almost
silent about preservation. T.R. himself had some pertinent remarks
about saving beautiful places, but among the other conferees
there was only one, J. Horace McFarland, who dwelt on the subject.
He and Muir had a mutual friend, Robert Underwood Johnson,at
the old Century Magazine, and it was probably Johnson
who wrote in an editorial two years later:
official leaders of the conservation movement . . . have never
shown a cordial, much less aggressive, interest in safeguarding
our great scenery.
fact is," he went on, "there is no more popular and
effective trumpet call for the conservation movement than the
appeal to the love of beautiful natural scenery. In this matter
the idealists are more practical than the materialists."
briefly of the economic value of great natural scenery and then
related beauty to status: "The first thing that a man does
after he obtains competence is to invest his money in some sort
of beauty . . . He settles in some town, suburb, or other region
mainly because it is beautiful, and he is all the happier if
his home can command an attractive natural view."
is needed," he concluded, "is the inculcation, by every
agency, of beauty as a principal, that life may be made
happier and more elevating for all the generations who shall
follow us, and who will love their country more devotedly the
more lovable it is made."
This was part
of the lament that there had been so much ado at the Governors'
Conference about the practical utilization of commercial resources,
and so little about the beauty.
could well be much louder now, for since the Governors' Conference
we have used up, scattered, or otherwise lost to the future more
natural resources than all previous history.