News & Blog

Advice from 101-Year-Old Frank Wadsworth on the Closing of IRF

Posted on December 13, 2016

[Here’s a note we got via e-mail from Frank Wadsworth, retired from the US Forest Service in Puerto Rico. Check out Frank’s blog at <>, or write to him on-line ].

Here’s Frank’s note, which is the best Holiday note we’ve received —

Dear Bruce,
You sent me a bundle of good mail.  First: The second Scout law is loyalty. Ed could not have found a more loyal wife than Judith.  She not only shared his ideas but kept them up with the times for decades.  It is good that she plans to linger.
In looking toward the future I may seem like an uninformed outsider. I have a distant hope that the islands, no matter how small they are, should ultimately carry more of the conservation load. There is plenty to carry on each island. Support from within has the sound of genuine. To this end I refer to personal experience. My interest in saving and preserving was proportional to how well I had come to know the values in nature. I think I learned as much studying the trees as from  the people.
 The “staff” of IRF, to be cut loose, includes some who are of and will stay in the islands. Could these somehow consentrate their knowledge on selected teachers to incorporate LOOKING and SEEING nature as part of their programs. No island is too small.  In Puerto Rico a new law requires 10 hours of “nature contact” by all students each semester. Get students to select a favorite bird or tree. If all don’t comply, don’t worry. In Curitiba it was the four university girls who after a 11 PM presentation came up and asked good questions. That was enough for me. 
It may still be a way off but I believe that Caribbean island nature will ultimately be safest in Caribbean hands, so let’s start sorting them out to produce a wide wave of youth opinion beneath the past world of IRF.   

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