Franklin D. Roosevelt

Excerpts from the Press Conference

December 20, 1935

THE PRESIDENT: We are calling a North American Wildlife Conference February 3-7, to be held in Washington, the purpose being to bring together all interested organizations, agencies, and individuals in behalf of restoration and conservation of land, water, forest, and wildlife resources. The conference will be under the direction of a citizens' committee which I shall appoint under the chairmanship of Mr. F. A. Silcox, Chief Forester. The Governors of the various States, or persons designated by them, will be invited; and in addition every State will be asked to send twice as many delegates as it has Senators and Representatives; so there will be a total of 530 times 2 —about 1,060. The delegates from the States will be selected at meetings of the various conservation organizations within each State, leaving it to each State to determine the details of the method.

At the general meetings each day—separate meetings of scientists and technicians in each field involved—they will discuss restoration of the rapidly vanishing wildlife of the continent, which involves also soil erosion, restoration of impounded water, and pollution control; also a better utilization of the public domain, worthless lands, national parks, forests, et cetera. They will adopt a program and make definite recommendations as to methods of closer cooperation between interested groups, individuals and Government agencies. The final objective is restoration and conservation of national land, forests, and wildlife resources.

Q. Is that the result of Ding's agitation?

THE PRESIDENT: Partly the result of the tremendous impetus that he gave to the whole subject.

Q. Mr. President, do you plan to ask the representatives of any foreign countries in on that?

THE PRESIDENT: I don't know; I can't answer that definitely. Probably they will seek to have some there from Canada and Mexico.

Q. I was wondering, because they call it the North American Conference.


Q. Is it to be assumed that you will address this opening meeting?

THE PRESIDENT: I don't think so. We shall probably have a small group come in here.

Q. Will Mr. Hopkins be in on that? There have been some complaints from Field and Stream and other interested magazines that there was a lack of cooperation between Ding's bureau and Hopkins' organization; that Hopkins' mosquito-control section goes into places where it isn't necessary and wipes out a lot of wild-fowl food. I wondered if it would be an attempt to get those fellows together.

THE PRESIDENT: I suppose so.

Q. Is the Weather Bureau involved in this also?

THE PRESIDENT: Only very, very indirectly.

Q. Will they be likely to recommend legislation?

THE PRESIDENT: I doubt it. They already have that.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Excerpts from the Press Conference Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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