In its now not-so-brief history, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has made innumerable significant and needed contributions to American sport. With the article, How to Stop the Pillage of America (Dec. 11), SI makes a contribution of incalculable value to all America. Concerned people everywhere will appreciate SI's stand.
It is gratifying to see you call for a "National Council of Ecological Advisers" as an "essential first step." This council would provide a broad, effective approach toward conservation of all our natural resources. I introduced a bill [H.R. 13211] to create just such a council in September of this year.
If the public is made aware of the problem, the need for action will be immediately evident. You have performed a signal public service in publishing your fine article. I would only add that people who are concerned should demonstrate it by writing to their Congressmen, expressing their dissatisfaction, and calling for action. I believe this is more effective than most people realize.
JOHN V. TUNNEY
Member of Congress
In Missouri the gross onslaught is not against one river at a time, but whole river basins. The only firm opposition to this pillage has come from a few private citizens, small canoe and outdoor clubs. These groups have little free time or money to oppose the large government agencies, big real estate and construction companies and large private enterprises, which all have full-time paid professionals who can persistently influence the legislature, the news media and the public for their own profit.
The canoe clubs' plea is not self-seeking, nor is it for profit. We love these rivers, and we are grateful to you for your help.
Conservation Chairman, Western Division
American Canoe Association
Good going! Your bold and needed article exceeds most professional environmental literature in terms of being critical and providing direction. Awareness, appreciation and good taste, like reading and writing, have to be taught in our elementary schools. Environmental education is necessary.
Because of my professional interest I have exposure to a vast amount of programs, articles and speeches on this subject and in my opinion the article How to Stop the Pillage of America is the finest summation I have ever seen. I know that I am but one of the thousands who deeply appreciated it.
New York City
In our long and difficult struggle against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers here in Arkansas we have at one time or another met with all the problems discussed in this fine statement of purpose. We believe that this article will serve as a guide for years to come in the struggle to salvage some of what is left of America's natural resources.
NEIL COMPTON, M.D.
President, The Ozark Society
It seems to me that the most vital issue in conservation is the coordination of all conservation efforts. One group of interested citizens wants to save a swamp, another fights air pollution, a third tries to save an endangered species, but there is no coordination or real planning for the future.
We need a Department of Natural Resources, and a reorganization of the Department of the Interior to that end seems logical. We need strong federal action on many fronts, but we also need local concern. Too often we turn to science to save us from ourselves, but the one science most vital to us today, it seems to me, is ecology, one of the newest, for its concern is with the interrelation of all living things with one another. It is time that man found his place in the nature of things.