|Robert Sterling Yard|
Robert Sterling Yard in Yosemite National Park in 1920.
|Birth|| As February 1 as 1861 |
Haverstraw , New York USA
|Death|| As maypole 17 as 1945 (84 years old) |
Washington, DC USA
|Cause of death||Pneumonia|
|Spouse||Mary Belle Moffat|
|Educated in||Princeton University|
|Occupation||Writer , activist|
|Language of literary production||English|
Robert Sterling Yard ( 1 of February of 1861 - 17 of maypole of 1945 ) was a writer , journalist and activist of wildlife , born in Haverstraw , New York , United States . He graduated from Princeton University and spent the first twenty years of his career in the publishing business. [ 1 ] In 1915 he was recruited by his friend Stephen Matherto help you publicize the need for an independent national parks agency in the United States. [ 2 ] His numerous publications were part of a movement that garnered legislative support to create the National Park Service (NPS) in 1916. [ 3 ] He headed the National Parks Education Committee for a time from its inception, but the tension within the agency it led him to focus on nongovernmental initiatives. [ 4 ] In 1919 he helped establish the National Parks Association (NPA) in which he served as executive secretary. [ 5 ]
He worked to promote national parks in the United States and also to educate Americans about their use. [ 6 ] He created high standards for park selection based on aesthetic ideals, [ 7 ] opposed the commercialism and industrialization of what he called "America's masterpieces." [ 8 ] These rules subsequently caused discord among his colleagues. After helping establish a relationship between the NPA and the United States Forest Service, he became involved in protecting natural areas. [ 9 ]In 1935 he was one of the eight founding members of the Wilderness Society and its first president, [ 10 ] a position he held from 1937 until his death eight years later. [ 11 ] Yard is considered an important figure in the modern wildlife movement.
Early years and career
Robert Sterling Yard was born in 1861 in Haverstraw , New York . His parents were Robert Boyd and Sarah (Purdue) Yard. He graduated from Princeton University in 1883 . [ 12 ] He was a prominent member of the Princeton Alumni Association and also founded the Montclair Princeton Alumni Association. He married Mary Belle Moffat in 1895 and they had a daughter named Margaret. [ 12 ]
During the last two decades of the 19th century, he worked as a journalist for the New York Sun and the New York Herald . [ 1 ] From 1900 to 1915 he was in the publishing business, working as editor of The Century Magazine and editor of the Sunday edition of the New York Herald . [ 13 ] After serving as editor of Charles Scribner's Sons Book Buyer , he helped launch the publishing firm Moffat, Yard and Company, for which he served as vice president and editor-in-chief. [ 12 ]
National Park Service
In 1915 he moved to Washington DC , at the request of his old friend, Stephen Mather . Yard and Mather had met when they were both working for the New York Sun and became friends; even Yard had been best man at Mather's wedding in 1893. [ 14 ] Mather, who wanted someone to help him publicize the need to create an independent agency to oversee the national parks movement, personally paid Yard's salary. . [ 2 ] The United Statesthey had authorized three dozen parks and monuments during the previous forty years (1872-1915), but there was no agency that provided a unified direction. [ 15 ] Together, Mather and Yard launched an ad campaign about national parks for the Department of the Interior , writing numerous articles praising the scenic qualities of the parks and their potential for educational, recreational or inspirational benefits. [ 16 ] The unprecedented press coverage convinced influential Americans of the importance of the national parks and they put pressure on the United States Congressto create an independent parks agency. [ 16 ]
Although Yard was not a nature lover, like most of those who advocated for the National Park Service, he nevertheless felt a connection to the cause and sooner or later became personally involved in its success. At the National Parks Conference in March 1915 he declared: "I, the walker of the dusty streets of the city, boldly claim the common kinship with you of the plains, mountains and glaciers." [ 1 ] His subjects involved gathering facts and figures related to popular US tourist destinations such as Switzerland , France , Germany, Italy, and Canada.; he also collected photographs and compiled lists of those who could join the cause of conservation. One of his most recognized and passionate articles of the time, entitled "Making a Business of Scenery," appeared in The Nation's Business in June 1916:
We want our national parks developed. We want roads and paths like in Switzerland. We want hotels of all prices, from the lowest to the highest. We want comfortable and abundant public campgrounds to meet the demands. We want cabins and chalets at convenient intervals, arranged according to the scenic possibilities of all our parks. We want the best and cheapest accommodations for pedestrians and motorists. We want sufficient and adequate transportation at reasonable rates. We want adequate facilities and supplies for camping at the lowest prices. We want good fishing. We want our wild animal life preserved and developed. We want special facilities for the study of nature.Yard, Robert. Making a Business of Scenery, 1916.
His most successful advertising initiative of that time was the National Parks Portfolio (1916), in which - through photographs scattered throughout the text, praising the scenic splendor of the largest national parks - he connected the parks with a sense of national identity to make visiting them an imperative of American citizenship. [ 18 ] Yard and Mather distributed this publication to a carefully selected list of prominent citizens, including every member of Congress. [ 3 ]
The publicity attack spearheaded by Yard and Mather resulted in the creation of the National Park Service . The 25 of August of 1916 , President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill that allowed the agency to "conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife parks, ensure the enjoyment of the same in such a way May they be preserved intact for the pleasure of future generations. ' [ 3 ] Mather served as its first principal and appointed Horace Albright as assistant principal, placing Yard on the National Parks Education Committee that consisted of just himself and a secretary. [ 19 ]This division of the NPS was designed to create informational advertising in order to attract visitors to the parks and develop programs to enhance the educational value of the experience. [ 4 ]
When Mather suffered a nervous breakdown in January 1917 and had to take a long leave of absence, he believed he was next in line to fill the position of acting director of the NPS. However, disagreements within the organization kept him out of position. Yard, who was described as "intense, attentive and opinionated," [ 20 ] was disappointed when the position was given to Albright, who was only 27 years old at the time. [ 3 ] After more than a year working in the education division, she began seeking support outside of the NPS. [ 4 ]
National Parks Association
Yard believed that while the National Park Service was effective as a government agency, it was not capable of promoting the wishes of the common American. In June 1918 he wrote: "The national parks movement should be cultivated only by an organization of people outside the government, which is not hampered by politics and routine." [ 21 ] On 29 of maypole of 1919 , the National Parks Association (NPA), was officially created to fulfill this role. Yard became an important figure in this new society and was elected its executive secretary. [ 5 ]His duties as the sole full-time employee of the NPA were practically the same as he had had in the NPS, that of promoting national parks and educating citizens about their use. [ 6 ] In its early years the NPA was Yard's livelihood and passion: it recruited key founding partners, raised the money, and wrote several press releases. [ 22 ] He also served as editor of the National Parks Bulletin(National Parks Bulletin) of the NPA from 1919 to 1936. In the first issue I summarized the objectives of the organization in order to develop a broad educational program, not only to attract students, artists and writers to the parks, but also to create a "complete and rational" system accepted by Congress and the Park Service. [ 23 ]
Another of Yard's convictions was that parks eligible to be national parks had to be scenic. In his 1919 work The Book of the National Parks , he noted that the main characteristic of almost all national parks was that their landscape had been shaped by geological or biological processes. He wrote, "[we] will not really enjoy owning the greatest landscapes in the world until we realize that that landscape is the written page of the Creation Story and until we learn to read that page." [ 7 ]Their standards also insisted on "complete preservation," that is, the reversal of mercantilism and industrialization. Often referred to as the parks as "America's masterpieces," he sought to protect them from economic activities such as logging and mineral extraction. He frequently advocated for the preservation of "wild" conditions in American national parks. [ 8 ]
Congress passed the Hydraulic Power Act in 1920 , which granted licenses to develop hydroelectric projects on federal lands, including national parks. Yard and the NPA teamed up again with Mather and the National Park Service to oppose the intrusion into the Park Service's control. In 1921 , Congress passed the Jones-Esch Act, an amendment to the Hydropower Act, to exclude national parks from hydroelectric development. [ 24 ]
Conflict and the Forest Service
Although they agreed on most issues related to the protection of national parks, friction between the NPA and the NPS was apparently unavoidable. Mather and Yard disagreed on many issues as well, while Mather was not interested in wildlife protection and accepted the Biological Survey's efforts to exterminate predators within the parks, Yard vehemently criticized the program from 1924 . [ 25 ]On the other hand, Yard was extremely critical of Mather's way of running the parks. Mather advocated for luxurious accommodations, city amenities, and other attractions to promote park visits. These projects clashed with Yard's ideals and he considered such development of the national parks to be wrong. When he visited Yosemite National Park in 1926 , he declared that the valley had been "lost" after encountering crowds of people, cars, jazz music, and even a bear show. [ 26 ]
In 1924 , the United States Forest Service (USFS) began a program to set aside "primeval areas" of national forests that protected wildlife by opening them for use. [ 9 ]Yard, who preferred to cede lands that did not meet its standards to the Forest Service better than to the NPS, began working closely with the USFS. However, the NPA and Yard were criticized by activists who feared the association would be overshadowed by the different goals of the Forest Service. Such criticism discouraged Yard, who from time to time felt isolated and belittled by his colleagues. In 1926 he wrote: "I wonder if I am justified in forcing people to do this work who seem to care so little about it." [ 9 ]
In the late 1920s he began to see wildlife as a solution for creating parks for commercial purposes. [ 27 ] Consequently, he continued to clash with others over legislation on proposed parks. These included Shenandoah National Park in Virginia , which he thought was too recreational and did not have the caliber of a national park. He also hesitated in naming the Everglades National Park in Florida . When the Tropic Everglades National Park association was founded in 1928 to promote the idea of a national park in South Florida, Yard was initially skeptical that it was necessary. [28 ] Although he recognized the need for preservation, he was not ready to accept the national park proposal until the area reached its high scenic standards. He slowly got used to the idea and in 1931 he supported the proposal on the condition that the area remain in its original form, with limited tourist development. [ 29 ] The Everglades National Park was authorized by Congress in 1934 . [ 30 ]
Yard's conservation goals began to expand beyond the Park Service in the 1930s. [ 31 ] Withdrawing from the group that controlled the national parks, he began a fight for the preservation of what he called "primitive" land. For this reason he had spoken with John C. Merriam about forming a group called Save the Primitive League. [ 32 ] Although the group did not materialize, it was soon invited to become a founding member of the Wilderness Society . Despite being 74 years old, he was known for his tireless work ethic and joviality; for decades he had joked with his colleagues that he was only 47 years old. 
The society was officially formed in January 1935 , as a spearhead to promote the preservation of wildlife in the United States. Other founding members included notable conservationists Bob Marshall , Benton MacKaye , Bernard Frank, and Aldo Leopold . [ 10 ] In September, the Yard published the first issue of the society's magazine, The Living Wilderness. Of the creation of the society, he wrote: “The Wilderness Society was born out of an emergency in conservation that admits no delay. The craze to build every possible highway, everywhere, while billions can still be borrowed from an unfortunate future. The fashion is to do the hair and manicure of a wild America, as elegant as a modern girl. Our mission is clear. [ 34 ]
While Marshall initially proposed that Leopold serve as the society's first president, Yard finally got the job - as well as permanent secretary - in 1937 . [ 11 ] He controlled the company from his home in Washington, DC and single-handedly produced The Living Wilderness during his early years, although there was only an annual publication until 1945. [ 35 ]
Death and legacy
Described as a cautious and non-confrontational leader, [ 36 ] Yard directed the activities of the society by insisting on the standards of the national parks. Near the end of his life and suffering from pneumonia , he controlled the affairs of The Wilderness Society from his bed, he died on May 17 , 1945 , at the age of 84. [ 35 ] [ 37 ]
The National Park Service and what is now called the National Parks Conservation Association continue to be successful organizations. The United States National Park System comprises 390 areas covering more than 340,000 km² in 49 states, Washington DC , American Samoa , Guam , Puerto Rico , Saipan , and the Virgin Islands . [ 15 ] His work to conserve wildlife in the United States has also persisted. [ 38 ] After his death, three members of The Wilderness Society carried out their duties; Benton MacKayehe officially replaced him as president, but Executive Secretary Howard Zahniser and Director Olaus Murie controlled the company for the next two decades. Zahniser also took over editing the society's magazine, making The Living Wilderness a quarterly publication. [ 35 ]
The December 1945 issue of the magazine was dedicated to the life and work of the Yard. In one of the articles, his colleague and co-founder Ernest Oberholtzer wrote: “Shaping The Wilderness Society was for Yard to carry out the vision of a lifetime. He undertook it with a freshness that denied his age and revealed, as no one else could, the vitality of his inspiration. Few men in America have ever had such an understanding of the spiritual quality of the American scene, and fewer still have the voice to do so. " [ 39 ]
Yard's effect on The Wilderness Society proved to be long-lasting; was responsible for initiating cooperation with other conservation groups, including the National Parks Association. He also established a lasting alliance with the Sierra Club, founded in 1892 by noted conservationist John Muir . This alliance proved crucial during the proposal and eventual approval of the Wild Areas Law . [ 35 ] The law, which was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 3 , 1964, was the first major victory for The Wilderness Society. Drafted by Zahniser, this law allowed Congress to set aside selected areas in national forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges, and other federal lands, as units to be held permanently undisturbed by the people. [ 40 ] Since its inception, The Wilderness Society has contributed a total of 421,000 kilometers to the National Wilderness Preservation System . [ 40 ]
List of works
- The Publisher (1913)
- The top of the continent; the story of a cheerful journey through our national parks (1917)
- The Book of the National Parks (1919)
- Mountaineering in the Rocky Mountain National Park (1919)
- The National Parks Portfolio (1921)
- Glimpses of Our National Parks (1927)
- Our Federal Lands: A Romance of American Development (1928)
Notes and references
- "National Park Service: The First 75 Years Biography of Robert Sterling Yard" (in English) . National Park Service. Archived from the original on October 12, 2009 . Retrieved December 6, 2009 .
- Fox, p. 203
- Sutter, p. 104
- Sutter, p. 105
- Pitcaithley, Dwight T. "National Parks and Education: The First Twenty Years" (in English) . National Park Service. Archived from the original on November 9, 2009 . Retrieved December 9, 2009 .
- Sutter, pp.105–106
- Sutter, pp. 113
- Sutter, pp. 114
- Fox, p. 205
- Fox, p. 210
- Anderson, p. 310
- «R.U. Johnson Resigns as Century's Editor; Robert Sterling Yard Succeeds Him in Charge of the Magazine». The New York Times (en inglés). 31 de mayo de 1913. Consultado el 6 de diciembre de 2009.
- Sutter, p. 101
- Miles, p. 13
- "History" (in English) . National Park Service . Retrieved December 6, 2009 .
- Sutter, p. 102
- Sellars, p. 28
- Sutter, p. 103
- Miles, p. 16
- Miles, p. 15
- Miles, p. 21
- Miles, p. 40
- Sutter, p. 112
- Sutter, p. 115
- Fox, p. 204
- Sutter, p. 126
- Sutter, p. 130
- Sutter, p. 131
- Sutter, p. 133
- Sutter, p. 135
- Sutter, p. 129
- Anderson, p. 275
- Broome, Harvey (diciembre de 1945). «The Last Decade, 1935–1945». The Living Wilderness (Washington: Wilderness Society) 10 (14 and 15): 13.
- Fox, p. 211
- Sutter, p. 250
- Dowie, p. 30
- «Robert S. Yard, Ex-editor here. Ex-Sunday Chief of The Herald Dies. Conservation Leader Served National Parks». The New York Times (en inglés). 19 de mayo de 1945. Consultado el 9 de diciembre de 2009. «Robert Sterling Yard, former editor of the century Magazine and of the Sunday edition of The New York Herald, died here yesterday after a long illness. His age was 84. He was widely known as a conservationist.»
- Sutter, p. 140
- «Robert Sterling Yard: 1861–1945». The Living Wilderness (Washington: Wilderness Society) 10 (14 and 15): 3. diciembre de 1945.
- "The Wilderness Society How Was Founded" (in English) . The Wilderness Society. Archived from the original on April 22, 2009 . Retrieved December 9, 2009 .
- Anderson, Larry. 2002. Benton MacKaye: Conservationist, Planner, and Creator of the Appalachian Trail. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-7791-1.
- Dowie, Mark. 1995. Losing Ground : American Environmentalism At the Close of the Twentieth Century. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-585-35776-8.
- Fox, Stephen. 1986. The American Conservation Movement: John Muir and His Legacy. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0-299-10634-9.
- Miles, John C. 1995. Guardians of the Parks: A History of the National Parks and Conservation Association. Washington, DC: Taylor & Francis. ISBN 1-56032-446-5.
- Sellars, Richard West. 1997. Preserving Nature in the National Parks : A History. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 9780585350684.
- Sutter, Paul. 2002. Driven Wild: How the Fight against Automobiles Launched the Modern Wilderness Movement. Seattle: University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-295-98219-5.
- National Parks Conservation Association (in English)
- The Wilderness Society's, official website (in English)