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.
December 25, 1967
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.
The work of Robert H. Boyle and associates should not go into limbo with the distribution of the December 11 issue of SI. This work should be available to all kinds of people, groups, committees, lawmakers, leaders, voters and nonvoters, young folks and old, those militantly and those passively interested in what the article says and stands for. Perhaps it is asking too much to have SPORTS ILLUSTRATED supply reprints in unlimited number, but I would at least hope they could be supplied at cost.
JAMES E. RAY
•Reprints are available.—ED.
Your article (A Step to an Olympic Boycott, Dec. 4) on Harry Edwards and his self-styled martyrs included some interesting statements from Edwards. He says, "We're not trying to lose the Olympics for the Americans. What happens to them is immaterial." Isn't he an American, too? He claims Negroes have been "utilized as performing animals for a little extra dog food." No one forces Negroes to enter athletics. No one utilizes Wilt Chamberlain. His "little extra dog food" checks out at around $250,000. Edwards' plan to keep Negroes from athletics leads any thinking person to believe he has interests other than the athletes' well-being in mind.
I am currently on active duty in Vietnam, and I have just finished reading the article concerning Negro athletes and their plans to boycott the Games. I think that they should boycott, because the injustice that they face is too much for them to take and still consider themselves Americans. I think this is one of the best ways to show the American people the way they feel about their treatment. Without them the U.S. will certainly lose, and this goes to show that we are a vital part of the society. It's a very disheartening feeling to think that you must earn your freedom in a free country.
I think it's time for the white society to stop trying to pick one individual to speak for the Negro race. They usually pick a modern-day Uncle Tom and tell the world that this is the Negro. This person is usually one Negro who has gotten ahead and thinks that he is home free because he is not losing in blood directly. The Negro of today feels that he owes his race something, and he works toward that goal. What really makes the problem stand out is that the same practices go on over here, also. The Negro gets the worst and most dangerous jobs here.
We have been under attack for the last three days, and I had a break so I dropped this letter to let you know how I felt.
NAME AND SERIAL NO. WITHHELD