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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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to Lester and persuaded him to run a -- to let me write a column on conservation, with that title, “Conservation.” He kind of reluctantly -- or maybe was even amused at the idea -- agreed for me to run such a column once a month in the “Travel” section of the Times. He was Sunday editor, and the “Travel” section came under his purview.

So not in the Magazine and not in the “Review of the Week” or not in any place that was widely read, but in the “Travel” section -- and I'm always grateful that he agreed at all -- to let me run this. And so I ran a column once a month, almost all of which I wrote myself, but occasionally, if I was going on vacation or whatever, I would get -- in a few cases I got a prominent conservationist to write the column instead. I'm sure for example, at least once I got Senator Dick Neuberger from Oregon, who was an ex-New York Times “regional” correspondent reporter but had become a senator from Oregon and a wonderful, wonderful fighter for all good causes involving conservation and environment. He unfortunately died at a very early age. Dick certainly contributed at least one column, perhaps when I was away on vacation.

But by and large, I wrote that column every month until I became editor of the editorial page in 1961, and then I felt that I really couldn't do -- even though it was only once a month, it did take quite a lot of my time, and I felt that I couldn't give the time to that, and furthermore I didn't think it was appropriate for me as editor of the editorial page to be writing a column under my own name in the Times.

So that's the introduction to your question. The specific question about the Echo Park Dam -- by the way, I was writing editorials from time to time against crazy water schemes -- dams



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