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Notable New     Yorkers
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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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Oh. What did you use, conservation?


Conservation, yes. Environment came later. News about conservation of natural resources. And that's really what I was just interested in. I was interested in conserving and protecting trees and flowers and scenery. I was very anti-billboard, for example, and wrote lots of editorials on that subject when that became a big issue in Congress in connection with the federal highway system. And I did my part in trying to get billboards limited or preferably abolished.

So it involved scenery as well as the really more significant, fundamental matters as wildlife protection and forest protection and open country protection and so forth. Flowing free water protection. And I became quite a strong opponent of some of the big dams that were coming up.

And now we're getting more to the point of your question. This was all editorial, but I thought that the Times should do more about it because I didn't feel that in our news columns we gave nearly enough attention to this kind of subject. And I finally, after a couple of bad starts, I finally persuaded Lester Markel, the Sunday editor, for whom in my first couple of years at the Times I had worked in the “Review of the Week” section.

I think, however, -- and of course I knew Lester Markel quite well, I had even known him before I came to work for the Times -- but I think it may have been after I had left his employ in the “Review of the Week” section and had become a member of the editorial board. I'm not really sure. Yes, it would have had to be. It would have had to be in 1951, I think, that I went

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