Seeking the Greatest Good
The Conservation Legacy of Gifford Pinchot
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Pittsburgh Press
Title Page, Copyright
Sitting at a well-used desk in one of the offices located on the third floor of Grey Towers National Historical Site and overhearing visitors as they strolled around the flower-filled grounds, commented on the lovingly restored bluestone mansion, or pointed out landmarks set within the site’s commanding views east across the Delaware River valley, ...
On a warm Friday morning in late June 2012, a party of volunteers— mostly board members of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation and staffers from Grey Towers National Historic Site—put blade to ground on the Jorritsma family’s century-old dairy farm in Sussex County, New Jersey. Within minutes, they had dug a series of deep, round holes ...
A Living Memorial
1. This Old House
They came on a pilgrimage. In September 1961 the Gifford Pinchot Chapter of the Society of American Foresters held its annual meeting in Milford, Pennsylvania. It was the hometown of the group’s namesake, who had established the national society to which they belonged, had been the founding chief of the U.S. Forest Service, ...
2. September 24, 1963
JFK dropped out of the sky. Ferried from the Stewart Air Force Base in Newburgh, New York, on Marine One, the presidential helicopter, he put down at a makeshift landing pad at Grey Towers. The president’s stay was brief; one reporter timed his visit from touchdown to take off at exactly seventy minutes. ...
3. Home Grounds
Gazing out over the boisterous crowd of family, friends, and luminaries, Gifford Bryce Pinchot was reminded of similar gatherings that had occurred whenever one of his parents hit the campaign trail, which was often: “This seems to me to be a continuation of the wonderful days when my father and mother lived here, ...
4. The Inseparable World
Samuel H. Ordway Jr. was in a philosophical mood. As president of the Conservation Foundation, and thus a partner with the U.S. Forest Service in what he and his collaborators considered a “unique cooperative educational venture,” Ordway used his speech at the 1963 dedication ceremonies of the Pinchot Institute ...
5. Under Fire
Orville L. Freeman, the secretary of agriculture, flew on Air Force One with President John F. Kennedy, heading north from Andrews Air Force Base to Stewart Air Force Base in New York, from which they would then take a chopper to Milford. Despite the significance of the forthcoming celebration at Grey Towers, the secretary wasn’t nervous ...
6. Greening the Presidency
President Kennedy came to Milford to make a bit of mischief. That was Benjamin Bradlee’s later memory of the presidential trip to Grey Towers. Then a Newsweek correspondent covering the White House, as well as a presidential confidant—the Kennedys and Bradlees had lived next door to one another in Georgetown ...
7. Conservation Education
The four-fold blessings bestowed on Grey Towers by the Pinchot family, the Conservation Foundation, the Forest Service, and the Executive Office of the President were complicated by the fact that each institution sought to shape the celebratory moment and contribute to a projected future in which the nation benefitted from the Pinchot Institute’s success. ...
8. Branching Out
A funny thing happened when Jack Ward Thomas and Ronald A. Dixon decided to eat lunch in a graveyard. The two scientists were working in the U.S. Forest Service’s research unit at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and, in hopes of stretching their legs one noon hour, they strolled over to West Cemetery in the town’s center: ...
9. Turning a White Elephant Gold
You can almost hear the fatigue in his voice. As Gifford Bryce Pinchot read through the 1982 master plan for Grey Towers, an environmental and cultural assessment that the National Environmental Policy Act (1970) required in advance of any sustained alteration to the national landmark, he was unimpressed and saddened. ...
10. Neutral Force
When the Grey Towers staff sat down to map out the relationship of the national historic landmark to the Pinchot Institute, they captured it with a Venn diagram. Named for John Venn, who in 1880 had refined the concept of an overlapping set of circles to represent the connections between two or more seemingly distinct sets of ideas, ...
11. Common Cause
It comes down to the land, its health and viability, its capacity to regenerate and sustain its ecological relations and their integrity. If salubrious and energetic, then the communities—biotic and human—depending on them will flourish. If not, then the consequences could be destabilizing. ...
12. Looking Forward
The past, we are told, is prologue. But that does not mean its prescriptions are always translatable by the present or in the future. When Gifford Pinchot helped galvanize the nation to conserve and sustainably manage its forests or be confronted with a “timber famine,” the world population was well under two billion. ...
Page Count: 208
Illustrations: 28 b&w illustrations
Publication Year: 2013
OCLC Number: 867740619
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