DEC’s magazine, the Conservationist, turns 75 this year. The first issue of the magazine was published in August of 1946 and had some familiar themes, including an article about a new law called the Forest Practice Standards Act, articles promoting the many recreational opportunities found at Cranberry Lake in St. Lawrence County, and the challenges faced by the Conservation Department (DEC’s predecessor) in constructing fire towers in the Adirondack and Catskill backcountry.
That first issue of the Conservationist generated more than 9,000 reader letters, swamping the mailroom with subscription requests, suggestions, and questions. In addition to the bread-and-butter natural resource articles of its early days (e.g., hunting, fishing, forestry), the magazine grew to include more articles about environmental quality (e.g., air, water, and land pollution control) as the nation’s environmental consciousness grew after the first Earth Day in 1970. That was also the day the Conservation Department became the Department of Environmental Conservation.
Throughout our 75-year history, the Conservationist has sought to entertain and educate, and to motivate people to make a positive difference in our world. To reference a concept that has been used to describe the cumulative impacts of water pollution runoff: while each of us may not think our individual actions make a difference, taken together, our voices and actions are magnified, and our collective efforts can bring about important environmental change for our local communities, which often benefits our state and nation, and our future.
To start receiving the Conservationist at home and in your email box, subscribe today by visiting DEC’s website or calling 1-800-678-6399.