Appointment of a new Secretary, of the Interior is big news for conservationists any time, and so it was last week when the President named Frederick Andrew Seaton, 46-year-old Nebraska publisher, to succeed the controversial Douglas McKay, with whom they had often been at violent loggerheads (OUTDOOR WEEK, March 19, April 2).
Ex-Senator Seaton, although long known as a liberal Republican and highly respected White House adviser, is not publicly equated with any Administration policy, popular or otherwise. But outdoorsmen were encouraged to learn that he is an active hunter and fisherman, and Mr. Secretary dropped a couple of quotes to prove it:
On dry-fly angling: "I'm the best in the world; every fisherman worth his salt regards himself as the best."
On hunting deer in the Black Hills country with his 30-06 rifle: "The finest deer rifle...."
On the general question of conservation Seaton gave SI a preliminary hint of his future policies. After noting the nation's burgeoning population he added: "It is obvious...that we must not only think seriously but act seriously in the propagation and preservation of our fish and wildlife...."
Seaton's cautious words will be hopefully received by conservationists, who will also be anxious to see how he implements them.
AT ALL COSTS
Fiercely paternal, the intrepid cock grouse just would not give up. If he wasn't camped on the runway defying planes to land at Hibbing, Minnesota's Municipal Airport, which has had its moments with a skunk (OUTDOOR WEEK, April 2), Herman was bouncing up to peck at their offending wings. If he wasn't screeching his annoyance at disembarked passengers he was bolting between the wheels of taxiing planes invariably to be trapped in the prop wash and blasted into a humiliating ball of flying feathers. But he was always on his feet to chase such presumptuous mechanical birds down the runway, and he had the admiration of all who knew him. They realized that he wasn't entirely crotchety, that his reckless forays stemmed also from an heroic determination to safeguard at all costs his mate and her clutch of grouse eggs tucked in the grass by the runway. Still, they sadly agreed, it was only a matter of time, and two weeks ago the time came. His judgment off, his courage at full tide, Herman charged into a whirling propeller. Except for a few wisps of down, all that remained was his reputation.
GIRL MEETS BOY
About 1868 some girl gypsy moths and boy gypsy moths escaped the clutches of an amateur Massachusetts entomologist who had imported them from Europe and founded a moth dynasty in this land of opportunity which has survived millions of dollars in eradicative effort. Like the spruce bud-worm in the West, the eastern gypsy moth ravages those trees vital to watershed maintenance. But when the Department of Agriculture announced that it would soon begin DDT spraying by air in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey the news was received with consternation by anglers who feared that trout and insect life in their much-revered streams would also be seriously affected.