One of the subjects closest to Mr. Roosevelt's heart was conservation; and of the many subjects subsumed under that general heading, perhaps forests would come first. He had had as his first committee assignment in the New York legislature in 1910 that on Forests, Fish, and Game. He took his duties seriously as befitted a landed gentleman from Dutchess County and a younger relative of Theodore Roosevelt. And from then on all this range of subject matter was one to which he was sensitized. On Hyde Park land, purchased for the purpose because his mother would not allow it on the old estate, he started a forestry project of his own. This part of his land had the closest supervision from its owner; and it was to his growing trees that he took favored visitors with the greatest pride.
I have told in another place that these made common ground on which our acquaintanceship could ripen. A good deal later, during his Presidency, I should be chosen to be his representative at a conservation dinner in Albany. This was perhaps a kind of reward for likemindedness.1
There were, however, many other landmarks in my joint experience with him. The Forest Service would come under my immediate direction in the Department of Agriculture and we should have a good deal of happy business about it. Long before that I should have been of use to him in the matter of the Civilian Conservation Corps.
It has always amused me that so many of those close to the President should have been so awkward in their approach to the Corps. Their memoirs are almost as clumsy as their original apprehension.____________________