tv [untitled] CSPAN June 29, 2009 6:00am-6:30am EDT
>> today, a political roundtable. dadullah debt preventing weapons of mass destruction. later, a discussion of the role defense plays into drawing congressional districts again. >> today on c-span to come and look at u.s.-india relations in the obama administration with remarks by the indian ambassador to the united states. that begins at 9:00 on c-span to.
--how is c-span funded? >> donations. >> government? >> it is funded through taxes. >> federal funding? >> the public? >> how was it funded? 30 years ago america's cable companies created c-span as a public service. no government mandate, no government money. this week, the second part of our look at an upcoming book by douglas brinkley. it's about dual roosevelt and the early days of the conservation movement. in last week's installment, mr. brinkley spoke about the genesis of this interest in the subject. >> what interests me is writing a book like this, roosevelt really is the father of the u.s.
fish and wildlife. roosevelt realized the federal government had an obligation to take species of birds and animals, to save plants and trees, and to -- the president has an obligation to make sure that we put aside for generations unborn, natural wonders like roosevelt did, like the grand canyon or mount olympus or the petrified forest. they turned this training center for conservation into a museum almost four theodore roosevelt. >> the training center is the national conservation training center, one of many places douglas brinkley went to research his book. >> we talk about the eagle's nest and our discussion with doug brinkley about his book on conservation. it's over your shoulder. >> that was five years ago we had a bald eagles that started trying to build a nest. first season they did not do a
good job, but the second season they came back and tried again. they succeeded in building their nest. they had two eaglets back here. one of them died and the other one went out. >> what does this have to do with the business you are in? >> until recently the american bald eagle was endangered. it is because of work by the fish and wildlife service and many other conservation groups that it was taken off the endangered species list a year ago. so it is a good model for us to aspire to where crowder is almost gone off the face of the earth have come back. >> why do you do this job here as a historian? >> i am an environmental historian. the dream for me was to work at history job where you could make a difference. i help teach a lot of biologists that go to work in the field, display is seen by
15,000 students a year ago grow up and carry on conservation. i feel my history is making a difference. >> of the eagle's nest is seen by people all over the world because vacancy on the web. does that do anything for you in the kind of work you're doing? does it bring anyone to your telephone and want to know what's going on in history? >> the fish and wildlife service history website is pretty good. we get a lot of phone calls there. we put up or histories, pictures of artifacts, and books. a lot of people ask for images from books and films they might be doing for dissertations. we get a lot of traffic on the web. >> give us a background on how this institution got here, where it is in the country cantu supports it and to pay for it? >> 80 miles northwest of washington, d.c. in shepard's town, west virginia. until the place was built, u.s. fish and provide service to this
training mostly at your typical airport hilton or airport to holiday inn. when we started to design his place we looked to build it as a place that the people in the fish and wildlife service could call home. a place that would represent the importance that the service puts into investing in to its employees. we have really talented, dedicated folks that work for fish and wildlife service, but it is critical that they continued to build their skills so they can do a better job to do with the the really complex conservation challenges that we face today and that we will face in the future. >> how much does this cost and to pay for it? >> displays cost about $150 million for everything we see here. >> who cobbers is responsible? >> senator robert byrd to make sure -- made sure we had the
funding to build it. the first bush administration and the clinton administration requested funding for the project in support of it. >> how many buildings? >> 17, on five the hundred 40 acres. >> how long did it take? >> three years. >> what can a book like douglas brinkley poe's writing about conservation and about the roosevelt to do for your work? >> a lot. it can help our employees, for them to recognize their own heritage. it helped the american public realize that this like melecio or any other historic artifacts, parks and refuges are precious heritage items. it helped us explain to the public what we do. a lot of us give stocks at parks or schools. it's useful if we can turn them over to a substantive history book like that of douglas brinkley if they want to know more about the history. >> your background, and graduated from harvard?
>> in 1989 with a ph.d. in history science. >> how long have you been here? >> 10 years. this is my 10th anniversary. the best place i've ever worked. i was a professor at harvard and in australia. here i am doing history in the field. >> steve, your background? >> i have a master's in public administration from the bharti school at harvard -- the bani school-- barney school. i was in public government and then came into the vision of life service in presidential management in 1990. started in d.c. and when this project came along i was able to jump in at the start of it. i was on a planning team, did a lot of the operational planning as well. i was privileged to be able to watch the place rise from an old from in west virginia to one of the greatest conservation training locations on the
planet. >> there are a lot of archives in this country. this one is devoted to fish and wildlife. how important are they to a historians research? >> this is ground zero for anyone wanting to deal with issues of wildlife protection, because if in these file cabinets year, and the samples they have in the taxidermy, in
the mavs, this is how wild america got saved. you can go and look at the old documents from the biological survey, which later became the fish and wildlife. if you can track all over the country, all kinds of species. if you wanted to learn about the gray wolves or amenities, this would be a place to come and start finding how the protection movement got underfoot. >> one of the people you write a lot about in your books is john burroughs. behind you is an old picture of him and the roosevelt. >> john was a great american. he was a transcendentalist. he was taken under the wing of walt whitman during the civil war when walt whitman was a nurse with soldiers. he became looking for greatness. he was a poet and writer. he was the most popular person writing on major after the civil war. millions of copies of his books were sold.
he's a direct descendant of the emerson-borthoreau school. he was referred to as uncle. he felt adopted by john burroughs. roosevelt felt radopted by john. he lived in the catskills and rightabout his backyard, a bluebird building a nest corp, a cloud drifting. in california there was john muir. but john burroughs said you can
learn a lot about nature in a blade of grass. i've worked with the john burroughs foundation in new york to make sure his alms get preserved. the library of america, john burroughs is one of the top 20 writers we have ever had. i want to preserve his poems. the finest naturalist writer in the united states. teddy roosevelt loved him. as president he had john burroughs come to yellowstone. they went hiking and camping together. he brought john burroughs on a trip out west. when roosevelt would spent time outside charlottesville, the only guess he would have with his family there was john burroughs at his country home. they would go birdwatching. they wrote about what they were seeing. there's no higher complement to the roosevelt other than john burroughs thought roosevelt's writings were more about preservation and hunting.
>> you said john burroughs loved walt whitman. then you said there's no evidence that they had always sexual relationship. >> walt whitman was gay. during the civil war walt whitman adopted john burroughs. you cannot tell, when he was a young man he had an extraordinary good looks. they basically had love notes to each other. the became the great student of whitman. whitman could pick anyone. it was john burroughs. their relationship was one of a platonic nature. but he became almost a son to walt whitman. >> we're ines archive facility at the national center conservation center for training. how much time did you spend in this room? >> i would come down here. i did not spend much time in his room. this is a place where they keep the artifacts.
the historian mark madison would come to show me items here. that would inform my riding. for example, there's a bag behind me that says biological survey poison. there was a time when the biological surveys job was to do pest control and a predator control so farmers will not lose livestock to will spirit on the other side of the mission would be the farmers shooting birds. the fish and wildlife service said you have to keep the birds. they are controlling the miskitos and other insects. much of the time writing about was the biological survey, putting out information for farmers on why the wildlife is important to keep on your form, but you don't want to get rid of birds, you want to attract birds. issues of soil erosion, also.
helping the ecosystem stay alive. issues of deforestation. i don't think people in america -- and i did not when i started this -- realize how serious trees are. if you lose trees, you'll have nothing. there will be soil erosion. there would be run off, problems with every part of growing produce, if you're not keeping force. roosevelt, as president, would plant trees like in nebraska, to help with wind. if a farmer is going to do corn, and windstorm would kill the corn. now we have shorter hybrid corn due to the green revolution, but back then you had to have trees around the corner. you had to keep a forest around it just to blunt the wind. u.s. fish and wildlife was not just about bag limits and monitoring wildlife refuges for
protecting animals. it had a mission of protecting farmers and people living in the wild. to coexist with nature in a way that was economical, utilitarian, and aesthetic. >> go back to the first time you thought about coming to this facility. how did it happen? >> i wanted to begin my book with the birth of the 51 federal bird reservations roosevelt created. the first one is called pelican island, florida. i went there. it's near vero beach. i went out on a boat. i went to an island which is a bird refuges. you cannot walk on it because you could step on a bird's nest. on the island there are many wiped off the coast, but on pelican island, pelican's would come. they would breed, and nest there. they would be in a cluster, but the military institute, women's
fashion during the gilded age wanted to others for women's hats. they wanted and eager to whether or inherent 7. so people would come and gone them down. -- wanted and egret feather. we were losing species. florida was the last untamed place. in the swamps of the everglades and those places there were a lot of ex confederates on land, people that cannot stand the federal government with civil war memories. their view was if it's a bird, i'll suited, there's money to be had. roosevelt in 1903 and march on pelican island florida. these are serviced in 1902 of pelican island, d. there were incredible pelicans and other species.
this kind of information, these documents are talking about the bird life. the first mapping we have of this part of wild florida. ornithologists that were friends of roosevelt, a man named frank chapman in particular i write about quite a lot, they eventually got to teddy roosevelt and said we're going to lose the birth of florida if you don't do anything. roosevelt looked into it a little and then phamisith said "is there anything to stop me? i so declare a federal bird preservation." -- roosevelt said that. this was the first time land was set aside to be run and controlled for species. there were signs "no trespassing." displays was off-limits. to these types of documents are year. in florida you can talk to
people, but to come here to see documents like this. if you go down to sebastian, fla. there is a statue of this man in florida. is always right there. paul craig will grow and germany. he loved storks. it was bad luck to kill a start in northern europe. * christian andersen had a folk tale about the store, that babies were brought by storks. as a teenager he arrived in florida right across from pelican island where roosevelt's day. he saw people slaughtering the birds. paul started independently taking a shotgun and pointing it at people who would dare to approach to slaughter the birds. he became the pelican water. he was considered a bid of eight cook. he was a legendary person. he became the first game warden
and florida to stop the sev feather wars. the federal government wardens, two were murdered down there. i write about the murder of a man named bradley in my book, but there were two -- is the first guy roosevelt is putting their. it was a feather mufti of the women's fashion. paul stayed on the job anyway. i went to his ancestors' home in florida. they showed me his first bad, theater roosevelt's that she gave him -- roosevelt's badge he gave them as a game warden.
he lived on to the 1920's. warren harding comes down in a yacht by pelican island. roosevelt said no one was allowed on pelican island. harding was going on a golfing trip as president. he approached pelaton island. but this man came at him and pointed a gun at the president of the united states and said i am the warden of roosevelt. he turned harding and those guys back. conservation in the beginning of the 20th century was a battle. there were two sides, like there are now on land issues. it was nasty and florida. not only did he create pelican island in 1903, teddy roosevelt, but created a string of bird refugees all the way down florida. if you grab a map and see all of them, it was roosevelt saving them.
we would not have the species living in florida. we would've lost while florida forever if it roosevelt did not act when he did. he spent time in florida as a rough rider on a camp on his way to go to fight in cuba. he is getting ready to battle. he was taking notes on birds in the tampa bay area. places like santa bell island, he saved on the gulf coast of florida. he saved key west, the tortugas, a great bird places. >> how did you find this place? >> when i would start going to the spots, they all said, did you go here, to the headquarters? >> i'm asking you these questions for others. how then did you get in the door? >> i called mark mathisen, an historian for the u.s. fish and wildlife. part of his job is to interface with dollars. they helped me through particularly looking at
material, with slides like the spirit of was talking about -- these are the old lantern slides. a whole box. maybe we can get an image put up. that is paul in a canoe. they have the battle of oregon and washington state. they have slides. in florida of the early conservationists. we may not know these people. but in u.s. fish and wildlife culture paul cragle is a hero. he has a whole monument in florida. a singer spoke about being near the man's house to save manatees. >> so you called paul madison -- mark madison? >> that's right. i had books already, but they
could find this kind of material for me. also, check with them even today before we were talking and they have the up-to-date numbers on species on writing about. for example, this is an louisiana black bear behind us, or louisiana bear. it's a subspecies of black bear. it's almost extinct. there are only 200 and some left in the river region of louisiana, mississippi near arkansas. this particular bear, only to under 50 approximately left in the united states. that are alive. we are about to lose the louisiana black bear. but here at u.s. fish and wildlife they're creating reserves for them in louisiana. the people of louisiana law used to hunt them, their local communities i was speaking in monroe, louisiana, they want to save the black bear.
people are proud of their beer history. william faulkner famously wrote the short story about a man who was a bear hunter named collier. legendary beer people down there in the delta. i do the math agriculture, over hunting, harvesting, killing bears because they're considered predators. we almost destroyed them. here's where they are debilitating them. roosevelt spent time and wrote about that river region in great detail. in louisiana. but i need to ask them what's going on there today, what were the black bear populations like back then that the biological survey had and what they're like now. this is the place i had to come to check. >> how long do you spend your? what do you do while you're here? >> look at documents, look at books.
one of the most helpful things is not in this room, but out there they have a library. a minute ago they gave me two things i did not know about for perhaps future writings. they collect everything here. i noticed a minute ago behind in his cabinet, i never saw this little book by colby on the history of fish and wildlife. they have all these pamphlets and documents and photos. it's a great archive. the problem with why i am kind of walking into a treasure trove, feeling that way is a lot of people running on major focus on national parks only like the grand canyon, yellowstone, grand -- the great smoky mountains. ken burns was talking about the national parks. people don't know enough about u.s. fish and wildlife. that is what roosevelt care about more than the parks was how to say species and their
habitats. if you don't have enough wetlands, you cannot have the species. they monitor everything here. for example, fish and wildlife declared the florida panther and endangered species. many of them are getting hit by cars. that's making it harder for them to survive. our government has created a national wildlife refuge 8, which creates a habitat for the panther to live. we're not saying there will be a million of them, but we should not lose the florida panther. we should not lose the jaguars along the mexico and arizona and we should not lose the polar bears in alaska. this is where they are fighting for species survival. this is where the endangered species act is real. these are the people at fish and wildlife that are out there on the ground. so my book is not just about theater roosevelt. it's about how he got to where this story is.
we have a great system. the look at the maps we have. the problem is we are not maintenance and properly due to not enough funding for the wildlife refuge system. commercialization always encouraging. if you want to build a development, people don't like it. it's always that balance. >> how do we look to other countries? are there other countries doing what we're doing? >> oliver tamaron the world in one way or another. roosevelt, in my opinion, was the progenitor of the global wildlife protection movement. i promise you, he -- if he were alive today, a cover time magazine had lately, he would be fighting. his great-grandson right now is fighting to save the great species of the planets theatre roosevelt iv.
-- theodore roosevelt iv. teddy roosevelt believed in hunting, but he did not believe in global hunting so you make a species extinct. he cared about butterflies and wild flowers. he wanted to make sure we had a place for that in modern society. whatever people are learning in zimbabwe about wildlife protection or in australia, it is born out of roosevelt's presidency, the sensible and wildlife protection. >> how often in your research for this book did you go away from either a conversation or place and say, boy, they have not been doing their job? >> on the ground, you mean? >> did you ever get irritated by the attitude that somebody had in research or one of these federal agencies that keep all the stuff in libraries the what kind of mark do you give them?