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Atop a ridge stands an ancient beech tree on which, long ago, a primitive artist carved a floating, shaman-like human figure and a bison. Indians still inhabited this area and performed agricultural services when the first northern Europeans settled here in the early 1800’s. Thousands of winter tourists from the North and East will stop here on their way to and from the Big Thicket National Preserve and the Mexican border. In deer and squirrel seasons, hunters will flock here from far and near. Hundreds 8 NOVEMBER 6, 1981 I eventually established my home in Goose Prairie, Washington. Goose Prairie is my place in a sense that Washington, D.C., never could be. My roots are deep in the Prairie. I am a part of the rhythm of the place of the morning just before and just after sunrise, when the grass, shrubs, and trees are bejeweled; of the evenings when the grosbeaks swoop low and feed on insects, and the doe deer and the porcupine silently emerge from the woods to visit the clover. My home, Prairie House, seldom hears any roar of traffic; the air is pure, and on a clear night the stars just barely tip the peak of the Cascades William 0. Douglas Go East Young Man Remembering Justice Douglas By Maury Maverick, Jr. Not long ago I wrote to Mrs. William 0. Douglas telling her that I planned to travel by train from Chicago to Seattle and wanted to make a side trip to the judge’s country home at Goose Prairie some 125 miles southeast of Seattle. Shamelessly I reminded her that Douglas had written in his last book, The Court Years, that had been one of the only eleven members of the Texas House of Representatives who voted against a resolution to the Congress calling for his impeachment, and that in his earlier The author, an attorney and formerly a Texas legislator, writes a weekly column in the San Antonio Express. A book of his columns is in preparation. book, Go East Young Man, he had written about my father, “My main contact with the radical group in the mid-thirties was Maury Maverick of San Antonio . . . Maury had his heroes, and they were mine too: Norris and LaFollette. He tried to state his radicalism in their idiom. . . .” Within ten days a letter arrived from Mrs. Douglas. Yes, a visit to Prairie House would be in order, “and have a good time on the train. I am a railroad man’s daughter. Sincerely, Cathy Douglas.” A good-looking young woman with two law degrees and one graduate degree from Georgetown University, she is also well-liked in her home state. More than once the hope was expressed to me that “Cathy,” as everybody called her, would return to Washington and run for political office. She comes from Irish Catholic working people. Douglas had been visiting Prairie House off and on for nearly 50 years by the time he died. His friend and nextdoor neighbor, Ira Ford, nearly 90 years old, told me.”The judge had polio when he was a little boy. His mother rubbed his legs month after month and encouraged him to climb the mountains around Yakima. That’s how he got interested in nature, and why he came to this spot.” Douglas was a complicated man, not always easy to be around he could be hell on law clerks, and worse on his fellow judges, but when it came to liberty, and above all to nature, he may not have had an equal in his time. Illustrations by Nancy Collins of walkers, young and old, from Houston, Dallas, and other cities, are already coming to enjoy the diversity of these rolling woods. These numbers will boom as the energy crisis confines four million people of this area to vacations within two to five hours of home. Deep East Texas needs all this tourist business as a balance for the timber economy which dominates this region. Indian Mounds faces no economic hurdles. Texas citizen groups are seeking wilderness status for ten areas, comprising only 65,000 acres, one-half of one percent of the East Texas timber belt. The Forest Service has found that this 11 :: i. ‘ : r l , Ar, . ..10111, :d i d 1 ‘ :::::,. 411r I 11 . ._:;.1:11111111..1:1 i! I li”’ . 4I II: 4 Ill ” “” 116 al 1 i 1* “‘IC 4 ,. . ,,, I1 ‘,III’ , fo 410411 1111 r 14:, If ,A11 111111:111.1111g r i’ 1111 iiiiiii0111111111,..NA . When I started walking up the lane to his home in the distant mist, surrounded by giant trees and towering mountains, with a swift running river nearby, the Bumping River as the Indians named it, I thought about that old man, his love of the environment and what the people are about to do to it. The closer I got to his home the harder it was to keep from bawling like a new-born Texas calf. One of the last things Douglas did for Mother Nature was to write a dissent in the case of Sierra Club V. Morton. Corporations have standing to sue, and, as he pointed out, “So it should be as regards valleys, alpine meadows, rivers, lakes, estuaries, beaches, ridges, groves of trees, swampland, or even air that feels the destructive pressures of modern technology and modern life.” What he meant was, why not have court pleadings with such captions as “Five Hundred Pine Trees by their next friend, Ned Fritz, versus The Honey Money Lumber Co.” When the judge died, Cathy Douglas found a request by him that the spiritual, “We Shall Gather At The River,” be sung at his funeral. His old Presbyterian preacher father would sing it when Douglas was a boy. Well, after taking some photographs, I went and stood beside Mr. Justice William 0. Douglas’ river, and thought about our country and some other things. much acreage would have an insignificant effect on the local, much less the national, economy. On the other hand, the ever-expanding population of the eastern half of Texas needs more undeveloped open space for recreation. We can provide it now, at no cost of acquisition, because the people already own Indian Mounds and our other nine wilderness proposals. If we let these areas slip away and be clearcut, we will be forced to acquire other, less worthy, areas later at great cost. On May 23, 1979, former Congressman Bob Eckhardt of Houston, filed a bill to establish an Indian Mounds Wilderness. ri.11111 1 1 li, %,, …. I Ili , ’01 II. Mk 11′ IL. hi …. wiLi-1 -.41,1 —1101111 II -,,