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Ned Fritz, 7 February 1983

INTERVIEWER: J.B. Smallwood, Jr. (JBS)
DATE: February 7, 1983
LOCATION: Dallas, Texas

derived from
North Texas State University
Oral History Collection
No. 542

COPYRIGHT (c) 1981 The Board of Regents of North Texas State University in the City of Denton. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording or by any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Coordinator of the Oral History Collection for the University Archivist, North Texas State University, Denton, Texas 76203

JBS: This is an interview with Ned Fritz taken at Dallas, Texas, on February 7, 1983. One of the things, Ned, that we’d like to do is to get a little bit of personal history before we start an interview. Perhaps you could tell us a little bit about yourself – where you were born, your educational background, what you do for a living, and this kind of thing.
NF: I’m Edward C. Fritz. I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsyvania, in 1916, and I lived there for about seven years. I had a small taste of the country when I went down to my grandfather’s farm one summer.
Then I moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, at age seven, at which time I lived fairly near to a creek. I would wander down to the creek whenever an opportunity arose. Although those were school years, I had a lot of time in the summertime. So I got to loving creeks and open spaces. That was one of the major interests and enjoyments of my life. I finished high school in Tulsa.
I went to the University of Chicago in 1934. I graduated from there with an A.B. in 1938 and stayed on a year for legal studies and then finished law school at Southern Methodist University in 1940. I lived in Dallas from then forward.
JBS: Okay, what do you do for a living today?
NF: I practice law a little bit, but mostly I just work as a volunteer in the environmental movement.
JBS: Would you say that you are generally retired at this point from the profession of law?
NF: Yes.
JBS: Okay. We’re particularly interested in your environmental activities, and could you tell us how you got involved – first involved or interested – in the environmental movement in Texas? Other than your general interest in nature that came from your early childhood, how did you actually get first involved in the organized movement?
NF: I joined the National Audubon Society early on, and when I came back from the war, I noticed how things had deteriorated in Dallas in the environment already. So I went to an Audubon nature camp down in central Texas where they had one at that time. Some school teachers gave me a scholarship down there.
JBS: About how old were you then?
NF: I was in my late 30s. Down there I learned not only a lot of fundamentals of nature, which I had not picked up in various science classes in school and all, but also I found out that through organized effort some people were beginning to influence the public in the legislative bodies and administrative bodies in ways to preserve what we had left of our significant natural areas.
JBS: Can you remember the names of any of those people or organizations that were very early in this movement?
NF: Yes. The one that they talked about, of course, then was the National Audubon Society, so I formed the Dallas chapter of the National Audubon Society. I was its first president and have been a member ever since. Then down through the years, some of the other organizations began to come into play. We got up a statewide coalition around 1966 which was inspired in part by a conference that the League of Women Voters had in Austin concerning the early stages of the Texas Water Plan.
JBS: I see.
NF: So I went from that into forming this coalition of leaders across the state which then became the Texas Committee on Natural Resources.
JBS: Do you remember the year in which that happened?
NF: Yes, 1966. We changed the name to the Texas Committee on Natural Resources in 1968, and I’ve been the chairman of the ever since.
Right about that time, the Sierra Club began to get active in Texas. So I have worked mainly with and through those three groups in Texas ever since.
JBS: You said that this Texas… is it Committee or Commission on Natural Resources?
NF: Committee.
JBS: Texas Committee on Natural Resources was sort of a combination of the leaders across the state. Do you mean of the Audubon Society or various environmental groups?
NF: Various environmental leaders, preferably those who were leading particular individual groups locally so that they could give us a real input as to what our policy should be statewide.
JBS: Do you recall any of those early leaders — who they were and where they were located?
NF: The president of the Dallas County Audubon Society at that time was Edmund Mudge – E.W. Mudge, Jr. – and he became the first treasurer of TCONR and is still the treasurer to this day. Our first secretary was Allene Bachman – Mrs. Cleve Bachman – of Beaumont. Allene was a leader in environmental causes – mostly garden clubs and that sort of thing – down there, but she later was recognized as the outstanding conservationist for the South one year. She just died here at the end of last year. Some of the other people who came into leadership from time to time were Charlotte Montgomery – Mrs. Roger Montgomery – of Nacogdoches, and Maxilla Evans – that’s Mrs. J. Claude Evans – of Dallas. Her husband was the chaplain at Southern Methodist University, and they have recently moved back to their home area of North Carolina, where they are – she is especially, and he, too – are saving endangered species of plants in their own mountainside retreat. Those were some of them.
JBS: So there is sort of a network of concerned individuals developing across the state?
NF: Yes.
JBS: Now you mentioned the League of Women Voters and their concern with the Texas Water Plan. Do you recall any of the — I guess — developments or positions that were being taken — the attitude of various groups towards the Texas Water Plan? I know that… I believe it was Walter Prescott Webb that had been pretty much a supporter of that in its early stages. Would you say that the people that gathered in Austin pretty much supported the idea, or was there already some questioning of this idea?
NF: There was a major split between all-out supporters and all-out questioners. The Walter Prescott Webb reference interests me. He did not participate in this particular activity and never has to my knowledge in the development of this Water Plan. But you are asking what was it. Of course, any historian or anybody with the grain of sense would know that water planning is essential for any state, particularly Texas, where vast stretches are water short as far as major agricultural use is concerned. That’s primarily the High Plains.
JBS: Now this is the plan that proposed to pump water to the High Plains?
NF: Yes. This particular plan that was being foisted upon us in 1966, which has yet to be accepted by the Texas people, and hopefully never will be, was a highly developmental and energy-consuming scheme to take the water from, at that time, the Mississippi or anywhere they could get it — in East Texas or outside Texas, but over in the heavier rainfall areas toward the East — and pumped uphill to the High Plains where a majority of our irrigation is performed. It would have involved damning virtually every stretch of stream in order to be a conduit for or a reservoir for the water as it went from the East to West part through upstream rivers and partly up through pipelines that would be built for that purpose.
JBS: He said there was a split between those who were for it and those who were against it. Could you give me an characterization of the kinds of people who tended to supported in the kinds who tended to oppose it?
NF: Yes. The ones who supported it were “water hustlers,” in other words, people who would make a profit out of it, and their henchmen, in other words, ordinarily people who they would pay some money or who would derive a monetary or pecuniary benefit from the whole process… or political benefit. Those are broken down into many categories. The four main categories are the Army Corps of Engineers or Bureau of Reclamation, agencies who make a living out of planning and constructing water projects; secondly, the developers of land who can make a bonanza from the increase in price that comes from having a dam in a certain place — increases in the value of land or potential for development of water-based industry or recreation; the third main category were the industrial people who are in heavy construction — built the dams or channels or levies, or closely related to then…
JBS: It would have taken a lot of concrete and a lot of labor to build those.
NF: Oh, yes. So those industries are involved in it. Actually, at that time, particularly the labor unions who are in on this type of construction — the building trade labor unions in particular — were for it. Since the AFL-CIO has been either one or two large amalgamations all through these years, why, that was a major supporter. In the fourth one was the politicians who got their names on dams or who could brag about getting all these jobs for their people — show people that they’re doing something: “There it is — right there. Big and obvious to hold.” A big dam and a big lake backed up to it, or a big channel, and hopefully for them, barges going up and down or high levees with industry on the outside theoretically protected from the floods.
JBS: And how would you characterize the opponents of this Plan at that time?
NF: The spearheads were in two general categories, oftentimes both categories merging into the same individuals. They were those who saw the devastation that occurs in the environment from ripping up our streams. There’s probably more intensive significance along waterways than in the open desert acre for acre — because where the water flows you have the densest vegetation and therefore the most animal life and recreation, too, for that matter. The other type with the fiscally intelligent people who saw that the big dams and the channels syndrome is highly costly and does not solve problems in the long range that the proponents urged for it.
JBS: So you would see people who, in one instance, were environmentally concerned and people who were also economically concerned about this?
NF: Yes, and that combination has defeated every proposal to vastly expand the Texas Water Plan into something that would fund the piping of water from the East to the West. Our principle has been that people should settle where the water is. It’s more efficient, and it’s less disruptive to the natural way of things.
JBS: Would you say that the opposition to the Texas Water Plan has been more from the fiscally conservative or from the environmentally aware? Which has been more important in Texas as a factor?
NF: It’s this way. The environmentally inclined have been the spark and have really laid the groundwork for the opposition. However, they have made the appeal on the basis of fiscal conservatism, and we assume that the vast bulk of the votes that we’ve gotten that defeated outlandish plans was based upon those who thought it was a waste of the taxpayers’ money.
JBS: Has your Committee done any research to support that, or is that just from your general observation and knowledge? Do you know if there is any data that would indicate that the areas that are generally considered fiscally conservative have voted more heavily against this Plan?
NF: Yes. For the first thing, Texas is considered a conservative state, and since we’ve had a pretty good vote statewide, except in West Texas, where they could make more money out of these big plans, that’s one indication. Another indication is that — in Dallas — the vast bulk of our vote was from fiscally conservative North Dallas, where Republicans are strong, and we do know that we did appeal to Republicans. Furthermore, for example, in our first opportunity to defeat the Trinity River project by a vote of 17 counties along the Trinity, we organized a small volunteer effort over here at Snyder Plaza in Dallas. Two of our strongest volunteer leaders — the two that really carried the ball — were Republican activists who later have gone on to be very powerful in the Republican Party partly as a basis of the experience that they got there. One of them is in the biggest campaign consulting firm and running political campaigns for candidates in the City of Dallas and state of Texas. The other became a Republican Senatorial district Representative.
JBS: Who were these people?
NF: Well, the first was Enid Gray who is with Amps, Gray, Weeks, and the second is Iris Snell.
JBS: So you would definitely say that there’s been sort of a marriage of these environmentalists and the fiscal conservatives, particularly where the Trinity Barge Canal and the Texas Water Plan are concerned?
NF: Yes. Now Mr. Mudge is a Dallas independent oilman – our treasurer – and a conservative and wrote a Republican about everything else. Now Allene Bachman was a Republican leader in southeast Texas until her death. She sat at the head tables with the mighty. Then we also, though, had people of practically every other political persuasion in our effort. So it’s one of the most ecumenical movements — the environment is — that you can imagine.
JBS: I get the impression from something you said earlier that the kind of people who would be attracted to this would be the more educated group of people, that a person would have to have a certain amount of awareness of the degradation of the environment in order to be part of this movement. Would you say your experiences would support that idea?
NF: Yes, it has. We have always looked for opportunities to work with those who have not been able to go so far in their educational careers, and in the last two or three years, we have worked in coalitions with the people in South Dallas, for example, have assisted them in their immediate environmental problems, and have expanded on this concept that the less educated were not as broadly alert environmentally. They are now ahead of us in some respects, like, leading in the air and the soil in their neighborhoods. They know that subject very well, and all of the political and administrative ramifications of it and how to reduce this lead or keep it from increasing in any event. Then, two, they are the ones who would have levees built through some of their communities if the levee program goes, which the proponents of the levee program say it’s for their own good. They are pretty sharp at discerning who is after what. They in general have the idea that these promoters of the Dallas Floodway Extension, which is a part of the Trinity River project, are really out to get a government subsidy for development down there in south Dallas which wouldn’t necessarily get the blacks better homes or less expensive homes but would rather probably foist upon them the throes of more industry, which merely creates barriers to good living when it gets too concentrated.
JBS: Do you think this message is getting through particularly where it could affect their direct environment?
NF: Yes. I think more and more. So in various issues we do work with the blacks, and we generally support their enlightened leaders who are really the leaders who are looking after the people of South Dallas.
JBS: Are there any that stand out that have been interested in the environmental aspects in South Dallas?
NF: Yes. Elsie Faye Heggins stands out very much. She’s been a Dallas City Council person from that area. Before her, Juanita Craft, as a City Council person, had a good sense of environmental quality. The lesson that you travel and the less that you can afford to go to places for high cost entertainment, the more perhaps you are aware of the value of your immediate environment (chuckle) which is where you are stuffed, and you’d better make the most of it, and it better be good.
JBS: Let’s get back to water, particularly the Texas Water Plan. I talked with John Henry Faulk about that. Who would you say have been more or less the leaders throughout the state opposition to that Plan? And other than the general economic costs and the environmental degradation that this would cause, are there any other factors as to why that has been opposed?
NF: There are people who had no particular organized environmental background, nor political background, who have seen the merits in demerits of the issue and have been helpers were leaders. One of those was Jim White — Dr. James White — then the theology professor at Southern Methodist University, you had virtually no background in such matters, but who was well-educated, alert, and who had read something in the paper about the issue and had come to me and asked me what he could do about it because he saw the moral values involved. And he took over the leadership of the fight — first fight, the 1973 fight — on the Trinity River, and he won it. In the course of one month, he rose from a highly theoretical aesthetic idealist to a crack politician, with his feet on the table and handling two phone calls at once up and down the rural as well as urban portions of the seventeen-County district from here to the Gulf of Mexico.
JBS: You would consider him, then, a very key person in the defeat of the Trinity Barge Canal.
NF: Definitely. He was the chairman of what we organized — the Citizens Organization for a Sound Trinity — to do that. He got started right here in this room the way so many other big leaders that have taken over various jobs have done.
Now then we had a very successful defeat of the Dallas Floodway Extension in 1978. That is a part of the Trinity project, but the promoters are always bringing these things back every time they get a chance. So then they tried to slip it through the Dallas bond program, rather to shove it through — that’s a better term. And at that time, why, we had the former Trinity River opponents plus a lot of new blood.
Now, of course, John Henry Faulk did come up and help us in the 1973 fight. He was an inspiration. He would be the speaker and the drawing card at some of our events.
Another person who was instrumental then was Randy Parten, that’s J.R. Parten, Jr.’s son – the III. Both of them from Madisonville. They were important figures in the battle on down the river.
Another one was George Russell of Huntsville, who was a young businessman who is very alert environmentally and is now on the board of the Texas Committee on Natural Resources.
JBS: How would you say that the supporters of the Trinity Canal Project responded to your campaign of opposition?
NF: Very well. With great enthusiasm and a lot of volunteer work.
JBS: No, perhaps you misunderstood me. How did the supporters of the project respond to this opposition that developed to that project?
NF: They responded with an air of degradation… no, that’s not it… of downgrading our efforts until we won. I like to refer you to a Texas Monthly article from not long after the election in March of 1973 — within a year after the election. Dave McNealy wrote an article in Texas Monthly which includes their response. Their response perhaps can be best characterized by a big ad at that they ran during the fight of March of 1973, when they said, “Who is for the Trinity project?” Then they listed a long list of practically everybody of note — all the leaders of Dallas County, politically and economically. Then they said, “Well, who is against it?” Then they had three or four names over all of the right hand side as the ones against it (chuckle), one of which was the new Congressmen, Alan Steelman. This is another story. He definitely needs to be ranked among the great opponents of the Trinity River project. He was the only one that had any kind of a title or anything. It was Congressman Alan Steelman, Professor Jim White — he wanted to be sure to tell you that he was a professor, you know — and Ned Fritz. That was about it there. We had another helper that should not be skipped over, and that was Don Smith, who was an assistant professor of economics at Southern Methodist University. Don did the basic economic research and a lot of the interpretation and articulation that enabled us to handle this on the economic front as well as the environmental.
JBS: Some of the people who supported the Texas Water Plan and the Trinity Brea Barge Canal have referred to the opponents as essentially obstructionist, as people who are opposed to progress, as people who really made their fortune off the environment and now what to prevent others from doing so. How would you respond to that accusation?
NF: We are in one sense the main conservators of quality for our fellow human beings — the most positive of all — and the greatest appreciators of nature and our natural resources as they have been endowed to us. In generally we are people who are highly idealistic. It is unfortunate that as to dams, channels, and levees — to water projects — there is a vested interest that is for utilizing our remaining free-flowing streams of all cost provided it’s at their profit (chuckle). So we do appear to them as obstructionist often, but we have an approach which is highly constructive and which they choose to ignore.
JBS: In what events is it constructive?
NF: It’s the approach of nonstructural floodplain management. Our approach is that we should plan and zone our land in such a way that people will not construct buildings and homes in the floodplain and will concentrate on areas that are not flood prone. In that respect, we will not only prevent damage, but we will also save the billions and billions of dollars we are squandering in flood control projects, including dams, levees, and channels. Also, we will prevent the over-development in the floodplains which increases the amount of damage that is caused. When you build a dam, levee, or channel, you can tell everybody, “Look, we’ve got flood control.” A lot of people move in there not realizing that when a flood of greater size hits that particular floodplain than they designed the structures for, well, then it will take everything with it, you see.
JBS: Well, some of what you said could be construed by some people as advocating limitations on growth, when you say people shouldn’t live where the water is, that floodplains should be zoned so that people can’t live there and subsequently be destroyed by the floods. Do you think that’s a fair conclusion?
NF: We are not limiting growth by opposing these water projects. What we are we are doing is limiting premature growth. The water will be necessary for future generations, and by that time it may be that we’ll have another way to get water out of the sea or otherwise great enough quantities and in cost-effective manners.
JBS: But you are suggesting restraints at this time.
NF: Well, what we’re suggesting is that we don’t build a dam to increase growth. We build what’s necessary to take care of the normally anticipated growth. There’s not a factor put in there that if we build this dam, it will attract more people, more industries, and therefore will use up this water faster than we otherwise would’ve had to use it. Then in the long range, what are these growing populations going to do? There’s one thing about dams, for example, with regard to water supply. That is that they have a life expectancy. They will be silted up after “X” years, and there is no planning… I will assure you that the water hustlers have no confirmed solution to what will happen to the then vastly expanded populations of humankind when these dams are all silted up.
JBS: You don’t see, then, much concern for the future. They assume the future will take care of itself?
NF: The long-range future. The immediate future they have well in mind because they will make a lot more money — there’s no doubt about it. If you have a lot of growth, it’s a lot easier to make money. You don’t have to plan so precisely for the best services to humankind or the best products for humankind. If humankind is increasing as rapidly as it has been, why, then the people are going to need quite a bit more of everything that there is then they have in the past. So a good, safe business method is to promote growth.
JBS: He mentioned planning, and you also talked about such things as nonstructural flood control. Doesn’t the idea of planning imply a certain amount of control over individual decisions? Doesn’t it limit the right of individual to utilize his own property, and doesn’t this run very strongly counter to what one might call the “Texas ethic?” Do you think there is much hope for it in this state?
NF: Yes, there is a limit, but it’s a self-imposed limit. Actually, the promotion of growth through public subsidies is more contrary to the “Texas ethic,” which is individualism, which is private enterprise, getting the job done based upon competition.
JBS: But the idea that you tell a person that he can’t build in a floodplain when he owns the property in that floodplain – isn’t this a restriction on that individualism?
NF: It’s a restriction upon totally unprincipled and uncontrolled individualism, yes. But at the same time, it is a protection to the environmental quality of everyone, and the most ardent individuals are generally concerned about their environmental quality. In fact, our environment like the sea, is one in which we swim as fishes. Our individualism is dependent upon our surroundings, and almost all educated people — even slightly educated people — in the United States know that now. It doesn’t matter about their political philosophy as far as party is concerned. The Republicans have about the same percentage of intelligent people as the Democrats, most of whom in my definition are environmentalists, and recent polls have established that.
JBS: In my interview with Senator Agnich, he indicated that he thought that the area of the High Plains would eventually have to return to a more pastoral-type of economic activity because of the rapid use of the Ogallala aquifer and the unlikelihood of the success of the Texas Water Plan. Perhaps you don’t know a lot about that area, but would you care to comment on what you think the future of the High Plains might be in this state?
NF: You’re referring to Rep. Fred Agnich?
JBS: Yes, of Dallas.
NF: He is a Republican who is very sound environmentally. The High Plains farmers are going to have to use less water per acre than they have been. The ways towards that generally fall under the name of conservation, which is our other positive solution in addition to nonstructural floodplain management that I wanted to mention. This means that they will either be dry farming or using drip methods or other methods of irrigation that require less pumping — less energy — and conceivably because of that, less equipment.
Now as far as the dry farming is concerned, that ideally would return us to smaller farms. One of the problems of this high-intensity water use for irrigation is that it takes a lot of capital. Capital generally can be amassed by larger organizations and individuals who put it all together there. But it means bigger farms, and it crowds out the small farm culture which started most of Texas on its way.
JBS: One of the things that’s been noted is that Texas probably is going to run out of oil in the near future as the basis for its economy. Of course the agri-business up in the High Plains is a very important part of the Texas economic picture. This would indicate, then, that the economic future of Texas may not be too good if they have to cut back on that intensive agricultural production in this state. Do you see dire consequences as a result of this?
NF: If we’re to maintain this many people, then I do think that we’re going to need to develop other types and industry to replace what we lose in the oil industry.
JBS: But they can’t be as water-intensive industries.
NF: That’s right. So they can be, like, solar energy, which has a great potential in Texas; they can be, like, smaller and less energy-intensive farming, which tends to actually support a lot more local farmers although it can’t raise perhaps as much wheat for foreign shipment; they can be a lot of human-service type of recreational efforts because Texas still has some significant natural areas where people like to go. And if we are careful and save them and practice our forestry and our farming in such a way that we don’t ruin them, then we have a great potential for recreation, especially because of our climate down here where we have more months of recreation per year, outdoors.
JBS: Would you also say that this state needs to be guarding certain of its other potential natural resources such as its fisheries off the coast and other resources that might be damaged by poor environmental protection?
NF: Yes, and that’s one of the big things about the water supply field. The damming of all of our streams has an impairing effect upon our fisheries because 90 percent of our commercial fin fish and shellfish has a phase of at least part of their lives in the estuaries, and the estuaries are places where the freshwater and the salt water mix. So when we cut off the flow of freshwater, especially in periods of drought, which is generally, like, in the summertime in Texas, we disrupt the development of our fishing — both commercial and recreational. So, yes, we do need to pay a lot more attention to this major source of food for our people and for export. In that connection, we’re damaging estuaries some other ways as well as the water. We’re damaging the land down there in the estuaries by developing one thing or another, especially industry, around the margins, and we’re reducing the amount of grasses that grow on the water’s edges in which an important element of our seafood thrives.
JBS: I’d like to ask you just a few more specific questions, if I may.
NF: Yes.
JBS: There are a couple of questions I’d like to ask you. First of all, would you say the Texas Committee on Natural Resources was the first environmental group of a local nature or a state-wide nature, rather than being a national organization like Audubon or Sierra, to develop? Was this the first time that Texans came together, I guess, to try to do something about the environment in an organized fashion?
NF: Yes.
JBS: Since that time, have there been other groups to develop that have had significant impact on the environmental movement in Texas?
NF: We helped to form a group which I hoped would have significant impact. That was the Texas Environmental Coalition. However various things developed with regard to TEC that led me to lower my expectations of them. It’s very difficult.
JBS: What was the idea behind forming this?
NF: It was to get a common policy to the extent possible among a broad group of organizations which had total or partial environmental interests. That included the Texas Committee on Natural Resources, Sierra Club, and Audubon Society groups. Audubon then was not as far along as it is now toward getting its own chapters to function together in the state. Then there were groups like the Texas Medical Association, which had interest particularly in clean air and clean water.
JBS: He said that you had been led to have lower expectations for several reasons.
NF: Yes. The thing is that to have a coalition like that with genuine representatives from organizations requires a lot of time and travel, and therefore, also, of money if it’s to be done fairly so that everybody had equal participation, whether they’re rich or not.
JBS: So it was primarily a matter of coordination and economics that led to this not achieving what you had hoped?
NF: Yes, I’d say that would be the primary problem. As auxiliary to that problem, you have with people who do not meet more than once every three months, for example, and even less than that during many years, a tendency on the part sum to go on representing the whole coalition on their own (chuckle).
JBS: I see.
NF: And this developed to the point where actually on one or two occasions some especially forward types of person — which is fully needed in the environmental movement, but also we need them to be controlled if they’re representing a whole bunch of different types of people, you know — came out and took positions that were just not thought out and authorized by groups but which were contrary to determine the policy. Such individuals might want to make a deal for their own benefit, or think they’re doing the environment some good by getting in cozy with various developmental or other groups that want to have something approved and go through. They feel they look good as an environmentalist who is willing to cooperate with industry, and they can almost always get a nice pat on the back from industry, or the fanny, as a result of yielding or helping industry in certain respects that all the environmentalists really haven’t thought out to come out in that type of a solution at all.
JBS: So you’re saying that there were some — as is true with almost any human organization — some personality problems and some coordination problems involved here.
NF: Yes, if you count that as personality, but it really wasn’t so much personality as basic organizational problems of people who have little funding or little money to spend on relating in that way. Actually, the Sierra Club gets away with a democratic structure like that, meaning that they have lots of meetings together and all that. They do it because they are more single of purpose — the people that join that group. They do not try to get the doctors and, in the case of TEC, even some industrial representatives altogether on a common policy structure for everybody, you see.
JBS: You speak of the Sierra Club. I have interviewed Stuart Henry. Have you had an opportunity to work with him as a lobbyist for the Sierra Club?
NF: Yes, I have.
JBS: And would you common on whether you feel that he’s a good representative of the environmental movement?
NF: I think he’s a good representative of the environmental movement, yes. He has some problems of his own with regard to coordination. For example, in the latest election, in the 1982 election, which defeated further funding… that was about the third one which defeated additional funding for the Texas Water Plan. Well, Stuart tends to aggrandize, I believe, his role in what was accomplished there as to the extent sometimes of overlooking what others have done, you see. But he’s a dedicated, hard-working environmentalist.
JBS: There were a few comments made at the water conference I went to at Texas A&M a few months ago about him by the various water directors in Texas that were not too complimentary. I didn’t get the impression that some of the people who head the water agencies in the state always appreciated his work with the Sierra Club. They tended to see him as an obstructionist.
NF: Well now I’m going to take his side on that because that isn’t the kind of thing I was referring to. Any of us who is effective should draw the barbs of our opposition, you see. I would be very leery of anyone who got too much praise from industry while theoretically opposing them, you see. They tried to weaken our efforts all the time. Not that we should oppose industry at all times, but it’s sort of hard to get them to cooperate in a meaningful fashion. No, that isn’t the kind of thing I meant about Stuart at all.
JBS: You were talking more in terms of the success of the environmental movement.
NF: Well, just his efforts. Stewart tends to highly personalize his efforts to the point of forgetting some of the things that others have done to enable his job to get done.
JBS: It takes more than one, right?
NF: Yes, and that is each really important. The environmental movement cannot succeed on the basis of one the leader in Texas nor one big organization in Texas. It depends so much upon not only all of the organizations that are environmentally inclined, but also a vast reservoir of public support for the environment which will never be organized.
JBS: So you’re saying that ultimately to be successful the environmental movement has to remain primarily a grass-roots movement emerging out of the local people.
NF: Absolutely! There’s a whole lot of depth in that, too, that we haven’t gone into here yet, and that depth includes this factor. He would think we might be able finally to set up governmental agencies to represent all the people and preserve the quality of the environment for them. But my experience with the history of governmental agencies is that they are ultimately induced by the people that they regulate to soften or dull their view of their role.
JBS: Picking up on that, how effective do you think the existing environmental agencies are in Texas? Do you think we have a very good system in our state at this time?
NF: No, we have a very poor system in general. But we do have some people who are conscientious at doing the best that they can. I say “system,” and part of that means that in Texas the philosophy in favor of business in making a profit is such that it suppresses our enforcement of some of the laws that we have and our administration of those laws. Also, in addition to the philosophy, we have expert practices by business to influence any agency that regulates business, and over a period of time that takes its toll on the regulators. There is a whole gamut of means of influencing the regulators. It comes partly from personal relationships that the lobbyists have time to establish with these regulators, especially the leaders of the organization. Everybody they have to deal with, they’re very nice to — the lobbyists are very skilled — including taking them to launch where possible, going hunting together where possible, that is, letting them go to a good hunting lease free of charge — for a small benefit or the like. It goes on to honoring them in professions. For example, the forest regulators, the heads of the U.S. Forest Service in Texas and the Texas Forest Service, are given speaking engagements. Industry even reaches into the professors that train the young, and it gives grants to the right person and attempts to see that the studies are along those lines that industry wants and do not bring out the bad things that are taking place, like, wholesale indiscriminate clearcutting of our national forests. Then on occasion there is undoubtedly… I have occasionally exposed and proven instances of conflicts of interest and bribery. Short of that, there’s also having the heads of these various agencies make speeches at the industry associations’ conferences and conventions — free dinners and free hotel rooms and other things that are acceptable in the mores for that type of an engagement.
JBS: So you’re saying that you don’t think the environmental movement can rely solely on government action to maintain even the laws that have been passed, that there have to be active nonpublic groups. I guess there have to be active private individuals and groups.
NF: That is right. Now I was referring so far to the bureaucracy — the administrative officials. When you say government, I would like to discuss the politically elected officials.
JBS: I would be very interested in knowing your opinion on who you think has been helpful to the environmental movement and who see as some of those who’ve been primarily unresponsive to it.
NF: Yes. In the state of Texas, we have yet you have a good environmental governor or any other high official, although in this last election we have elected several who will probably be an advanced jump ahead of anything we’ve ever had in that respect.
JBS: Could you say who you think these people are?
NF: Yes. From commitments that have been given to us, why, we have high hopes out of Jim Hightower, the Agriculture Commissioner, whose office involves several aspects of the environment that you wouldn’t have been able to tell by what his predecessors have done about it (chuckle). Then we have good assurances from Jim Mattox, but as Attorney General he has few opportunities to do much about the environment itself. Now the best environmental official that we’ve had so far has been Bob Armstrong, the immediate past Land Commissioner, who had a good environmental conscience but who never seemed to me to attempt to endanger his position or to want to alienate people by expressing strong environmental views. He did for a while express many good views as to the philosophy of land management and controls over land management.
JBS: Do you think he was able to achieve anything positive while he was Land Commissioner, or was it mostly simply rhetoric?
NF: Both. It was mostly educational on his part, but he did set up some concerns with regard to oil leasing, for example, in the Gulf and some restrictions on the drilling practices — locations — and then he… likewise on the land … the drilling practices were supposedly … I’m not familiar with it, but he told me that they were better monitored and observed to see that the land was not damaged as much as it had been in the past from that. As to grazing, he said that he reduced over-grazing, but he hasn’t able to show me any evidence of that as yet by the number of animal unit figures for research of things like that. It may be — that’s a possibility — because he had the right attitude about it, and on his own land, he practices careful grazing restrictions.
But he also eased up considerably. He started out with a very good approach to the coastal zone management, and then as industry weighted the meetings and expressed its power in various ways, well, then he attempted to reconcile all the policies with industry and came up with little more than a measure of valuing potential losses from new development so that industry — big industry — was about the only one that could afford this highly complicated evaluation system, and it would still be able to get all the permits it wanted because there was never a tooth put in there that the permit would be outright denied because of incremental damage that would be done. For example, there was no line drawn as to where was the last straw in what business could do. It was mostly a system of educating industry and the government agencies as to how far along damage had gone (chuckle), but still contained no power to say I’m a “We’re not gonna let you do anymore. It’s getting too close to where it’s gonna be too impairing to future generations.”
JBS: So you think that his attitude was right but that perhaps political reality made it difficult for him to go as far as he needed to go?
NF: Well, you see, political reality is an interesting question. There is a great, big field in there that people can differ upon. There’s one view — the standard view, I guess — by politicians of political reality or at least a politician who is making the judgment for himself as to what he’s going to do according to how safe it is to play it. He can say, “Well, oh, look, there are people who are likely to get upset at that. If I just hold back now — way back here — well, then I’m not gonna alienate them too much and lose my next election because the big industry has all the money.” So if that’s reality, why, then a politician can play it too far short. He can give into too fast. Now I’m not expecting many politicians to carry anything so far that they lose their next election, you see, but…
JBS: You think they may be able to go farther than they often do?
NF: Yes. Some politicians might be willing to take a little more personal risk on it, thinking, “there’s still some room here, and I can still win the election by 51 percent to 49 percent or 55 to 45 percent.” Most politicians would like to have it without any opposition, and short of that they like to have it where they can win handily at 65 percent to discourage any opposition in the next time — that sort of the approach, you see. So there’s no hard line as to what is reality.
JBS: You’ve used the word ‘alienated’ a couple of times here, and one of the issues that has been raised in several of the studies I’ve done is the matter of speaking out so strongly that you alienate the following that you need to succeed environmentally. Some people who have written on the subject see this in a way, if you come on too strong, a lot of the people tend to shy away from the movement; and so there is a need to try to always appear reasonable in order to get as many people as possible. How do you feel about that subject?
NF: I feel that we need all kinds of environmentalists. You haven’t heard me criticizing any environmentalists as it were, and much less would I criticize them because they were too strong or too weak as such because we need every single type that there is. The environment is up against entrenched profit-making interest as well as long-standing cultural myths, and so to save the environment requires great cunning, skill, breadth of appeal, and, therefore, diversity. So I’m in favor of everybody joining the environmental movement or participating in it as much or little as they see fit and as they get the enjoyment out of it or as they can afford to do it, you know. From that respect, why, we need the hard-liners. We need real cutting edges.
JBS: People who make no compromise, who don’t back off on issues.
NF: That’s right. We need them, and then we need to type who are very milquetoasty and merely express themselves softly about it. But we need people who will do something, take action from one extreme to the other.
Where I draw the line of demarcation beyond which I don’t need anybody is violating the law. It seems to me that environmentalists, at least so far, and are not up to the point where the civil rights people were. Probably justifiably, they felt they couldn’t get the results in time to avoid catastrophe, in time to save democracy, without occasionally going to someplace where they were unconstitutionally prohibited from going, you know.
JBS: Would you then disapprove of the sit-in, say, at the nuclear power plants?
NF: Well, I don’t disapprove of them because I take a very unjudgmental attitude toward anybody who’s doing something environmentally, you see (chuckle), but I do not participate with them. I do not welcome into an organization that I’m participating in a concerted effort to disobey the law because I still feel — and that’s another subject we could go into because of our successful lawsuits — that you can accomplish a quality environment legally in the United States at least, if not most everywhere.
JBS: Getting back to what you consider the state of the environmental movement in Texas today, how would you more or less characterize where Texas is environmentally, that is, in terms of trying to achieve the kind of society that environmentalists might desire.
NF: Texas is where every bit of the rest of the world is in this respect. Wherever population is increasing, we are placing additional stresses on our natural resources that mean an impairment of the environment.
JBS: Do you think we have the agencies, though, and the interest, I guess is what I’m saying, to deal with that effectively at this point?
NF: No. My second point is that Texas is behind many states in environmental quality protection. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is an agency which has failed thus far to preserve significant natural areas except on a very minor scale, and it has resisted the efforts, and discredited the efforts, of environmentalists to get it to preserve significant natural areas. I could go into great detail on that.
JBS: Is this because they do not have the authority, or is this because the political conditions in the state militate against their wanting to do those things even though they have the authority?
NF: Neither one. I think that it’s because the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, and specifically the gubernatorial appointees, have limited backgrounds in the field of the environment.
JBS: Do you think of this Commission is representative of general Texas attitudes?
NF: No! No! The general Texas attitude is with great respect for the environment. I think it’s representative of those who make a profit out of exploiting natural resources. That’s a small minority of the people as a whole. When it comes to people throwing beer cans in streams — that type of the thing — it becomes the majority probably. But when it comes to the proposition, for example, of whether to require an oil company to times or to pool in order to reduce the number of oil wells and to do its drilling outside of a park instead of inside, the present Commission has been weak. It has tended to let the oil companies have permits if they want them and merely not to dump oil all over the park. Now the reason that I say it’s not representative — it’s not dictated by the culture — is that there was one group of Commissioners who, with two men on there who showed some leadership ability, exercised the protection of resources over which they had jurisdiction…
JBS: Who were these men?
NF: …. and far more wisely. Well, one of them was Max Thomas, who lives about three blocks from here, who is an independent oilman. The other one is Bob Burleson, who is a lawyer and rancher down in the Temple, Texas, area. They were both on together, and while they were on there, why, we had far wiser administration of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
JBS: So you think that it is possible to have effective environmental laws and enforcement in the state even today?
NF: Oh, yes, yes. It’s a matter of whether the people in the power of appointment — generally the governor — and in the higher offices utilize good judgment in selecting people to organizations like the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission on the basis of who just wants to get on there to look good to hunters or to look good to all people or to look good to the general public and sit up there and look good.
JBS: Or who gave a substantial campaign contribution.
NF: I’m glad you added that (chuckle).
JBS: Well, what do you see as the most important issue or issues of the environment that face our state today and in the future? Would you speculate on that a moment?
NF: Yes. Well, in the short-term crises include mass transit — the necessity for it — for many reasons, not the least of which is energy conservation. Then from that I’d expand it to cover energy conservation in general, considering what is the decline in our oil and gas reserves. Then there’s the necessity for a sound water plan based primarily on conservation of water and with a careful husbanding of what resources we have and need now. And then there’s sound land management so that we will preserve significant natural areas for maintaining gene pools for all the needs of humankind in the future and so that we will preserve topsoil, whether for agriculture or whatever useful purposes, from excessive strip mining which threatens one million acres of prime farmland in Texas.
Underlying all of these needs is the need to wisely limit population growth because no matter how many other ways we guard our environment and our resources, the stress of ever burgeoning populations is going to make it impossible to maintain as fine and as quality an environment as we have now, much less as fine as we had before the present population abused a lot of it. Just simply on account of the stress of consumption by ever-increasing numbers of human beings, you can reduce the standard of living, and that’s what our ever-increasing population is going to impel us to do. And we’d still have an ever-worsening environment with a lower standard of living just because there are so many more numbers of people that they consume a total that’s more than it was before.
JBS: So the best possible condition would be effective conservation and, even with that, but perhaps a lowering of the standard of living as the population increases? Or can we have an increasing population and maintain our standard of living if we use what resources we have wisely?
NF: Possibly so. Possibly so. It’s a necessity when we use them more wisely that we have. But there are experts that look at it on either side of that question. I just have my mind open. I just know this, that it’s an absolutely essential that we do use our resources wisely, that we do limit our population; and whether it comes out better or worse, we will see.
JBS: That’s the absolute minimum.
NF: Yes. We have to do those things because we want to have as good a standard of living and as good a quality environment as we can for ourselves and for posterity. I think that a good quality of environment is conducive to all that’s best in the nature of man. Humankind had a very good quality environment in the early days and produced marvelous results not only technologically, beginning with making fire and so forth and controlling it on up to the present, but also culturally humankind has produced some beautiful products of art and culture. In my opinion, a quality environment is conducive to that kind of production. Now how long we’ll be able to maintain a quality environment at the present rate of population growth is a question that I cannot answer, but I just know that the longer the better.
But in the long run, I know that our environment is degrading. It’s worsening. Nobody can look at all the facts about air pollution and water pollution and so forth without realizing that and despairing of ever actually improving it with the number of people that are coming into this world, and the total lack of control in most places except whatever there may be instinctive in human beings not to wipe themselves off the face of the earth by over-population as some animal species tend to do, the “boom-and-crash” approach that governs not only other animals but also human beings.
So with that degrading taking place, well, what the environmental mission really amounts to whether known or unknown, the missions of virtually all environmental activists, is too slow the rate of degradation. We could have a dream, and we could express that dream of making the world ever better environmentally, but very few environmentalists and, I doubt if very many non-environmentalists, would place a great deal of belief in the expression of that philosophy (chuckle). We’re here to reduce the decline of the environment so that the future generations can’t have a better situation environmentally than if we had not fought to try to save as much as it as we could for them.
JBS: So you’re a little bit fatalistic in the sense that it’s more a matter of slowing the degradation than it is of reversing it?
NF: That’s right. There are certainly many trends that we could reverse, but overall, why, the most of the condo is slow the curb downward (chuckle).
JBS: Well, I have one or two specific questions I want to ask. You mentioned the Corps of Engineers and its attitude of being sort of a vested interest in the growth ethic. Some people have claimed — and it has been written in a couple of places — that the Corps has in recent years begun to shift its philosophy to one that’s more environmentally aware. Is that part of your experience, or do you still see them as primarily an agency concerned with growth?
NF: Well, the way you expressed that was interesting, and safe. The Army Corps has been forced by the National Environmental Policy Act to be more aware of environmental problems, but I have yet to see an example of the Army Corps reversing a decision to build a dam, levee, or channel because of its awareness. Its awareness is on paper in an environmental impact statement, and then after expressing all the terrible things that will happen, which some district engineers have been able to do, they will still turn right around and find in favor of this terribly impairing project.
JBS: So you don’t see them as having in practicality changed much of their approach?
NF: No. I have seen some of the young people in the Corps… every now and then I developed a great hope from what the young people can do for us because those who came through the environmental decade of 1970 to 1980 were overwhelmingly sound environmentally (some of them were hired by the Army Corps of Engineers), but whenever they stand up and express themselves in a sound way, they get transferred or discouraged in some other way.
JBS: During the controversy over the Trinity Barge Canal, the Trinity River Authority was accused of being very closely aligned with the Trinity Improvement Association, although one was a private organization and one was a public organization. Do you think that the Trinity River Authority has changed its approach toward the management of the Trinity River City since the controversy over the Barge Canal in the 1960s and 1970s? Do you see it as still primarily taking the developmental approach that seems to characterize its position?
NF: Still developmental. It’s been a little softer spoken because of the ability of the public in general to see through its past arguments and to recognize that there must be something in it for somebody (chuckle) to spend all the taxpayers’ money on giant boondoggles such as they’re proposing. But they have an awful lot to overcome. They have a very difficult public relations problem — those gentlemen of the Trinity Improvement Association and the Trinity River Authority. They do work closely together.
JBS: Do you think that’s still true?
NF: Oh, yes. They work closely together although they’re more clever at not just having obvious conflicts of interest on the board, although there’s one or two we think amount to conflict of interest but not so obvious and glaring as they were in the past with landownership under the proposed dams and that sort of thing, you know. But they are still pressing for the Trinity River project to the extent that it makes any sense and that they don’t get hooted down. They did so just here recently in the Global 2000 efforts put on by the City of Dallas planning people. The Trinity River Authority people were right there pressing for the Dallas Floodway Extension.
JBS: You say to the point that it’s feasible. Do you think that the idea of the Barge Canal is dead?
NF: Even the Trinity Improvement Association people say that it’s dead. But not if they were able to get the Dallas Floodway Extension — the channel that they want — which they say is a bypass flood control channel… in other words, when the water gets high enough, well, then the overflow would go through this channel. The channel is designed right along the route that the Barge Canal would be and was previously designed to be, and so the Floodway Extension would actually give them part of the construction and would forego part of the cost of the Barge Canal. Now they’re smart in saying, “We don’t want a Barge Canal. The Barge Canal is dead.” They don’t say, “We don’t want it.” They say, “The Barge Canal is dead. This has nothing to do with that. This just happens to be a channel in the same place because it’s a low spot along the river and would carry flood waters, you see.” Yet, it would actually help their cause for the Barge Canal if they could get this channel built.
JBS: But even if the Barge Canal is dead, you would expect that they are still concerned with damming the river and canalizing it for flood control purposes? Is that part of the project still very much alive?
NF: Yes. Well, you see, they haven’t even de-authorized the Barge Canal. They have never has to do have that de-authorized. They have not even deactivated it to my knowledge. They’re still working on it upstream to north of Liberty — upstream beyond Liberty. They’re asking for that in this year’s appropriations — the money for that. They have put off the giant Tennessee Colony dam until lignite is mined out of it. There’s one we can’t take credit for putting off for 30 years. They put it off because some giant companies own all that huge amount of lignite, and there’s a lot of money in it, and so money prevailed against money in that instance (chuckle). And they really didn’t need this Tennessee Colony dam, anyway. It just might have been another bonus. They can turn their attention to some other dams and build them and make some money out of them — not the Trinity River Authority but some other Authority — and, of course, the same construction companies would make money out of it.
Now then the Dallas Floodway Extension is still quite alive, and if that were built, why, they could ultimately connect a Barge Canal right on up there between it as things are going. So, goodness knows, there’s bound to be some of them still dreaming of the Barge Canal.
JBS: How about the Texas Water Plan? Do you think it’s alive and that we will hear more about this?
NF: The Texas Water Plan is having terrible difficulties because it’s so patently an unfeasible project. The cost of the energy alone would far exceed any benefits that could possibly be obtained from pumping that water all the way uphill to the High Plains. The various types of conservation solutions are obviously so essential that I think the Texas Water Plan, which centered on shipments of water to the High Plains, is dying. Also, they lost their last really great advocate, Governor Clements, who attempted to get other states to go along with some system like that but was unable to. The Ogallala Commission, the multi-state commission, as you probably know, did not recommend these vast interstate shipments, so it’s in dire straits. But we have to have a sensible water plan. Walter Prescott Webb was right. Any sensible person is right to say we need a water plan, but I think it should be based with conservation as the keystone.
JBS: You don’t see it involving the mass shipment of water from one watershed to the other, but more the effective utilization of water within each watershed?
NF: And for regional planning, not just within the watersheds. Regional planning is now an essential to the water problem, and system operations are using different dams that are in existence together to obtain the maximum benefits for the region involved in the way of water use and for flood control purposes and also for the adequate inflow into the Gulf — downstream flows to maintain the fisheries and the streams below the dams. Now regional planning means that instead of every city or water district having its own dam right now, well, then if one city like Dallas has a surplus for the time being, until 2030 or 2050, it will be expected to sell that water to surrounding communities until that surplus has diminished. In anticipation of that, down in the next century, why, then it might be necessary to build another dam, and that other dam, then, might take care of the growing needs of Dallas as well as this local community where that particular river would be dammed.
In our Sulfur River case, we established, in the case that has a cause of Texas Committee on Natural Resources vs. Marsh, who is the present Secretary of the Army, that regional planning would be needs, and that the premature building of a dam has very many environmental disadvantages in addition to the disadvantage that I mentioned — that the dam’s life begins to dwindle before it’s really needed.
JBS: That concludes my questions. Do you have anything you would like to add to this interview about the development of conservation and environmental groups in Texas?
NF: No, I’m sort of tired right now. We’ve been going straight for a couple of the hours. We have only touched or penetrated the surface of one subject, and that is water supply. We’ve mentioned a couple of other things, but that gives sort of an insight. It’s an impression. This is an impressionistic interview using one subject for the start, and similar types of problems occur, and types of approaches occur, in many fields. One of the main ones that I’ve been working on a lot — and our organization has been — is forestry. I mentioned that in the national forests indiscriminate clearcutting is the order of the day, and that’s through the entire United States. I just finished a book on that subject about another lawsuit…
JBS: What’s the title of that book?
NF: Sterile Forest. Now the same thing is happening in the private forests. Clearcutting and planting to one or two highly profitable commercial species is taking place on a wholesale basis everywhere with a result that were losing our natural mix of trees and a lot of the species that occurred under the trees, the shrubbery and the ground cover. Then on the world basis, well, a similar tragedy is occurring in the tropical forests which maybe even more significant from an air quality viewpoint than in our own American forests.
The solution to that, there again, is selective harvesting where all the species are permitted to survive and where we do not replace a number of species — a diversity of species — with one on any particular locale or at least not in many locales. There can be some places where that is necessary on a smaller scale, but what humankind is doing now is, wherever big forestry with the equipment is able to operate, we’ll say, where they can get away with it, why, they are using that equipment to clear the forest in one, two, or three stages — generally in one — and to replace it with one or two species. That is disastrous to our gene pools as well as to our recreation.
There again, the bureaucracy has been taken over — has been induced to go the way of industry — so that you see this parallel. From historians’ viewpoint, you can go down through almost every field of the environment in see this tremendous problem. Then to obtain a solution is even greater, and I’ve done a lot of thinking about how to solve it. Of course, one of the obvious ways to solve it is to try to set up a system where the profit motive does not govern the use of our natural resources. My thought is that I would hate to see a bureaucracy with no profit motive governing it (chuckle) because I’ve seen how bad that is.
So it comes down to citizen participation — citizen input. It depends upon the citizens to do this, and only in a democracy can the citizens fully exploit their talents and can government fully benefit from that utilization of the talents of the individual human beings working together. It must be an organization like environmental or social or whatever to work together to see that the best results in the long range are protected and achieved ultimately. So the main thing that is developing now and must develop for this elevation of humankind is citizen participation, and we must resist all efforts like that of the present Administration to reduce the potentiality for it, to narrow the administrative procedures so that they freeze out citizen participation.
In fact, we have to go in the other direction strongly. We have to obtain funding, such as Senator Kennedy has recommended, for citizen participation. The first example I saw of funding for citizen participation was under President Richard Nixon, when the Environmental Protection Agency funded people who came out into our communities and educated us about the implications of proposed regulations and administrative enforcement of proposed laws, and we, the citizens, with this type of education and with a few tips as to what was going to take place at various meetings and public hearings, stood up against the entrenched profit-making interests of the industries involved, and we got good laws and good regulations.
Now the Reagan Administration and the industries involved are sharp enough and clever enough to be cutting down on that citizen participation and the funds for it and the personnel that will assist it and the laws that will protect it and give us access to documents and that sort of thing that. And the result is that… citizen participation is not so well-informed, and it’s actually discouraged to some extent. If it weren’t for the environmental movement and other movements that fight this, and for the media, which has been a very important part of the whole environmental decade and the whole cause… if it weren’t for all of us working together, why, our environment would be going down the drain, and our democracy actually would be losing a lot of the basic inflow from the grassroots that are essential for survival.
JBS: Thank you very much, Ned. I appreciate you taking your time. This has been a somewhat more extensive interview then we anticipated. It’s very, very worthwhile, and I do thank you very much.
End of reel
End of interview with Ned Fritz