March through May, 1925
The Radio Nature finally reached its target membership figure of 10,000 on March 11, though Burgess (and his wife when she filled in) would still aggressively solicit new members. (There were no broadcasting ratings services at this point--the only way to count audiences was by correspondence). By the end of May, the count would be 16,000 (Burgess thinks it should be "16 million.")
Some perennial Radio Nature League concerns also began during this period:
- On March 11, one could hear Burgess deliver his first plea against the picking and marketing of the trailing arbutus.
- On March 25, Mrs. Burgess made clear one of the main purposes of the league--to prevent the extinction of American wildlife. The fate of the passenger pigeon would be used repeatedly as an example of what can happen, and also as an argument against people who deny the culpability of hunting in such extinctions. On May 27, Burgess would connect the sorry state of the heath hen to the story of the passenger pigeon.
- On April 15, he announces a new membership category: gold stars for people who create bird sanctuaries.
- On April 29, Burgess asks Boy and Girl Scouts to help remove the nests of tent caterpillars that are harming roadside beauty (this would become a full-fledged crusade the following year).
- On May 13, he makes his first remarks against the indiscriminate killing of snakes. The categorization of entire species, even families, of wildlife as "vermin" would be a constant complaint of his.
Burgess would call on League members for other actions as well, including donations to support a warden in Nova Scotia to protect nesting birds, and the clearing of gooseberry bushes by Boy Scout members to protect white pine.
Next: Radio Nature League (1925 June-August)