About the time that Horace Sutton was settling down to describe the life of leisure that is available in the 50th state (page 92), Associate Editor Coles Phinizy was sampling somewhat more rugged conditions in the 49th.
In most of the world, though not quite yet in Alaska, Phinizy points out, the human race already has appropriated the land for its own purposes. This appropriation presents a problem that requires an entirely new concept in conservation. In A New and Human Science (SI, March 28, April 4) Phinizy's editorial colleague, Henry Romney, called this concept social conservation—a program by which man perhaps may save himself from himself.
The problem in Alaska, which still has but a single human being for every three square miles, essentially involves conservation in its traditional sense. Alaska is the last true wilderness in the U.S., one of the last great wildernesses on earth. Its destiny is traditional, too—ever-increasing population, industry and commerce. The challenge to conservationists, Phinizy says, lies in the fact that it is the last opportunity "for man to prosper in free association with companion species."
Phinizy's report on these and other problems in this new and sovereign state will appear in an early issue. It adds another important chapter to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's developing and continuing story of conservation.
Earlier chapters in this series have contributed much to the growing conservation conversation. In a recent address Laurence S. Rockefeller, chairman of the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission, made this reference to A New and Human Science:
"I think you will be interested as I was in a recent experience of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. It ran a two-part series on the need for planning conservation of outdoor recreation places. The stories were pegged to a basic human need: a healthy relationship between men and nature.
"There was far more positive reaction from opinion and community leaders to this series than to any this enterprising publication had ever done before. And the demand for reprints was the greatest in this magazine's history."
This is gratifyingly true, and I'm glad to say that we are as pleased to continue to answer the demand as we are pleased to continue publishing the kind of articles which inspire it.