A Letter from the Interns

What a wonderful response to our March mailing! In that letter we (Terry, Susan, Matt, and Becklev) introduced ourselves and described the projects that we  have undertaken for the Schumacher Center. In reply, many of you not only became members or renewed memberships, but wrote or called the Center to express your enthusiasm for our work. You can imagine how delightful it was for us to receive this outpouring of support and how helpful your contributions have been in sustaining our efforts. From us all, thank you very much.

We are writing to detail progress and let you know of new initiatives. First, please note the enclosed flyer announcing next month’s special event at the Schumacher Educational Resource Center. Distinguished author, activist, ecologist, and Schumacher Center Board Chairman Kirkpatrick Sale will lead a weekend seminar focusing on the subject of his new book, The Green Revolution: The American Environmental Movement, 1962-1992. Participants will have the pleasure of discussing this and related topics with the knowledgeable Mr. Sale. Please join us! We look forward to meeting many of you.

Two new Yale students have joined with us in our work at the Center:

Kael Loftus is graduating from Yale this summer with a B.A. in Theology and a record of environmental activism. Kael founded the Save James Bay! Student Network and was a founding member of the Yale chapter of the Student Environmental Action Coalition. A writer for three campus publications and the winner of two prestigious undergraduate writing awards, he sought a vehicle to bring his writing skills to the service of environmental interests. Inspired by the call for bold action presented in the Schumacher paper on Land, Kael and Matt Taylor plan to research and write a book entitled, Tools for Institutionalizing a New Land Ethic. In the project prospectus, Kael writes that the book will be designed to meet two needs: to provide prospective land trustees with a conceptual and historical background in land reform mid to provide practical instruction and legal guidance in developing a regionally based, democratic institution to hold, plan, manage and allocate land in an ecologically and socially responsible manner. Kael and Matt will work closely with Bob Swann on this project, relying on his years of work in the field. The completed book will permit the Schumacher Center to take the next step in building public interest in and discussion of the lease hold method of land allocation.

Ben Strauss, a senior at Yale majoring in Biology, is an active member of the Yale Student Environment Coalition (YSEC), a co-sponsor of this year’s Annual Schumacher Lectures. The October 23rd Lectures will feature Wes Jackson, Winona LaDuke, and George Davis. Ben and Kael are supervising all New Haven details for the event and will coordinate local publicity and logistics with the help of other YSEC members. YSEC hosted an environmental writer’s conference last year with the Myrin Institute and is planning a national student environmental conference next year. The efficiency of our Library’s computer program has convinced Ben and Kael to use the same one to catalog YSEC’s resources. The two collections will soon be connected by modem, making the Schumacher Center’s collection available to student researchers at Yale.

And what of our ongoing projects? Susan Boucher continues the valuable work of cataloging and refining the Resource Center’s collection of books, periodicals, pamphlets, tapes, and papers. Susan will soon undertake an outreach program to colleges and universities around the country to invite use of the collection by phone, fax, and mail. She plans to begin at the regional level, contacting department heads and student groups at local campuses and developing an efficient system for responding to requests based on the needs of these initial users. She is also working with Susan Witt, Beckley Wooster, and a local merchants’ group in the second annual issue of Berk-Shares as a means to encourage regional patterns of purchasing.

Terry Daniels has taken the seasonal opportunity to pursue his interests in alternative landscaping and farming, so, while he is literally our contact “out in the field,” we enjoy his occasional assistance and look forward to starting our weekly seminar nights again in September where we will see him more frequently.

We are proud to announce that Matt Taylor earned a place on the U.S. Canoe and Kayak Team in May and is now in Italy for the World Championships and World Cup races. Matt returns full-time in September to continue proposal writing and to work with Kael on the study of the history and application of land reform. Matt has called in every other week since the racing tour began in May to tell us of the lively discussions he has had on the road about regional economics and the increasing need he witnesses for the programs modeled by the Center. His trip has already suggested new collaborations for the Center’s work.

After two months of travel with Matt on his racing tour in the western and midwestern states, Beckley Wooster is back in the office, rested, rejuvenated, and hard at work on the William James Sidis manuscript The Tribes and the States. The first part of the manuscript has drawn much interest and we hope to see it through to publication for the Wampanoag people. Thanks to Beckley’s work on the transcription and editing of the Twelfth Annual Schumacher Lectures, they are now printed and available for purchase. The titles are: It’s Healing Time on Earth, by David Brower; Environmental Literacy: Education as if the Earth Mattered, by David Orr; and The Right Livelihood Award, by Jakob von Uexkull. This year we have also published a member’s response to Thomas Berry’s 1991 Schumacher lecture, entitled Wagner and the Fate of the Earth: A Contemporary Reading of The Ring, by Hunter G. Hannum. The four pamphlets are wonderful as a set and we are pleased with their quality; we hope you will enjoy them.

1991 summer intern Liz Mikulecky is returning this month after two years in Hawaii, where her husband was the planner for the island of Lihue, hard hit by the 1992 hurricane. Liz’s excellent organizing skills will he put to work to develop systems for the office and the Center’s local programs. Her help will free up time for Executive Director Susan Wit! to work more fully on the Lake Baikal project. Susan plans to return to the Olkhon region  next summer with a team of land use planners and Israeli lawyers skilled in lease holding law. All those who have seen the slides and heard Susan’s account of the Buryat people who live on the west shore of Baikal, cannot help but be inspired by the spirit and potential of this unique people and ecosystem.

As you can see, this summer’s heat has not slowed our pace. But to further these projects, we do need your additional support. High on the list for the office is a new computer with a larger screen to prevent eye-strain, and with updated features for easy publishing capacity. The computer on which we catalog the Library collection was purchased in 1990, but the computer on which we do most of our composing work was purchased in 1987; it has a small screen and limited capabilities. The cost of a Macintosh LC III is approximately $1,500. In addition, intern, staff, and overhead support is continually important. Our cate and commitment enables us to stretch limited resources very far. Your generous contributions are most welcome.