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 Wildlife Management The Interlocking Directorate At the time of its founding in 1888, and for many years thereafter, the Boone and Crockett Club stood alone as the only national organization devoted to protecting America’s big game. By the second decade of the twentieth century there were many such organizations. Some of the more important were the New York Zoological Society, the American Bison Society, the National Audubon Society, the American Game Protective Association, theAmericanOrnithologists’Union,theCampFireClub, and the American Society of Mammalogists. Like the New York Zoological Society and the American Bison Society, many of them were spin-offs of the Boone and Crockett Club. Robert Sterling Yard of the National Park Service wrote that during this time numerous “popular organizations to conserve forests, wild life,scenery,andnaturalresourcesofmanykinds,sprang into existence in every corner of the country,” but they all “followed the leadership of the Boone and Crockett Club, the pathfinder and pioneer.”1 However, unlike the Boone and Crockett Club, most of the new organizations had full-time, salaried staffs. This transition from amateurs to professionals was an intrinsic feature of the progressive period, and a recurring motif in Madison Grant’s life. (In the conservation movement, however , the new professionals were Grant’s intellectual heirs, not his enemies. Such would not be the case, as we shall see, in the field of anthropology.) As time went on, these professional wildlife organizations collaborated, fought, federated, dissolved, reorganized , merged, divided, and subdivided into an enormously complex welter of specialized groups. Some were guided by a philosophy of utilitarian conservationism, On this generation rests the responsibility of saying what forms of life shall be preserved in what localities, and on what terms. Madison Grant others by aesthetic preservationism; some concentrated on big game, others on birds; some emphasized public education, others legislative solutions; and so forth. The growth in the number of organizations, and their success in securing their agendas, should not mislead us as to the popularity of the conservation movement in the first few decades of the century. In general, the “movement” was not a universal uprising on the part of the people but rather a narrowgauged effort that succeeded precisely because its core consisted of a small but well-connected elite. Madison Grant could—and did—attend a meeting of the New York Zoological Society in the morning, a banquet of the American Bison Society in the afternoon, a dinner of the Boone and Crockett Club in the evening, and a fund-raiser for the American Museum of Natural History in the after hours—and he would see the same faces at all four functions. Indeed, a quick perusal of the letterheads of these different groups confirms that many of the conservation movement’s leaders—almost all of whom lived in the East, and most of whom had known each other for years—served on the board of more than one organization, and lent each other assistance when the situation called for it. Madison Grant knew that if the Boone and Crockett Club faced a legislative crisis in Congress, he could rely on the fact that supporting resolutions, lobbying assistance, editorial support, expert testimony, and even financial aid would soon be forthcoming from the New York Zoological Society, the Camp Fire Club, the American Ornithologists’ Union, and others. (Often, when the Zoological Society passed a resolution endorsing some conservation measure, Grant’s secretary would simply cross out “New York Zoological Society ” on the carbon copy and type in “Boone and Crockett Club,” on the assumption that whatever position the one group supported, the other would support as well.) And so we can say that the eastern leaders of these organizations comprised , in essence, an “interlocking directorate” that controlled the wildlife conservation movement. WecangetasenseofthisnetworkfromappendixB,whichlistssomeofGrant’s colleaguesintheearlymovementandafewoftheorganizationstowhichtheybelonged . As the years wore on, and the conservation movement dealt with problems of increasing magnitude, it was often Madison Grant who mediated between the various factions of the interlocking directorate. Grant, stated conservationist H. E. Anthony, “was the nestor of American conservationists, the wise counselor to whom one turned first when a conservation crisis impended.”2 William T. Hornaday, the director of the Bronx Zoo, was irked that Madison Grant, who was by now a full-fledged preservationist, had no qualms about working side by side with members of the interlocking directorate who did not share the preservationist ethos. Hornaday could never grasp the political truth that if preservationists were to succeed in North America, they would have to...


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