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The livestock industry of the State of Idaho brings in about $40,000,000. It utilizes a resource here which can be utilized in practically no other way, and we feel for that reason that it is very important to our State that the livestock be taken care of. I will hare the secretary hand you one of these maps.
LAKES, PARKS. IND. RES. ETC. 5A0. 000 A.
FORESTS · RES. & PRIV. OWNED 20.452.000 A.
PRIVATELY OWNED GRAZING LANDS 14.000.000 A
AGRC. LANDS 8.800,000 A MUMAN CONSUMPTION
5.5% LIVESTOCK FEED
10.5% 53.603. 000 A
THIS PORTION USED FOR
ONLY THIS THIRD
I believe that is all I have to offer at this time. The secretary of the association will give you more details with regard to this platform and explain to you some of the reasons why we have adopted it, and give you some of the most important testimony relating to it.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection the map presented by Mr. Bacon will be here inserted in the record.
STATEMENT OF MR. DONALD MCLEAN, SECRETARY IDAHO WOOL
GROWERS' ASSOCIATION, TWIN FALLS, IDAHO
The CHAIRMAX. Mr. McLean, will you give your name and address and whom you represent to the reporter?
Mr. McLEAN. Donald McLean; Twin Falls, Idaho; I am secretary of the Idaho Wool Growers' Association.
The CHAIRMAN. Proceed with your statement, Mr. McLean.
Mr. McLean. In further explanation of this map I want to call your attention to it because of the fact that in a recent interview in the Idaho Daily Statesman it gave out the impression that Idaho was similar to the States of the Middle West, like Kansas and Iowa, and could be, if we had the population, practically entirely settled. This map shows that at present we have 16 per cent of the State in cultivation and 83 per cent in national forests and public domain, publicly and privately owned.
If the Bruneau project should become a reality and also the Sunnyside and also the marginal lands around the present irrigation projects should finally come into cultivation, we would then have a vast area, probably 70 per cent of the State that can never, as far as we know under present agricultural practice, become fit for homes, or eren very desirable for public playgrounds. We have some territory which it has been conceived it would be advisable to make into parks and monuments and public playgrounds, but when all of that is in, unless new practice comes into being in the meantime, we will not have more than 30 per cent of the State that can be made fit for homes. There will be this vast area of lava beds of land not fit for dry farming and mountains and scenery that will never be used by the livestock industry, but which will never be able to be made into or fit for homes.
Permit me at this time to make the following statement [reading]: WHY, FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD, THE LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY SHOULD NOT BE PUSHED
OUT OF EXISTENCE IN IDAHO The three big industries of Idaho are mining, lumbering, and agriculture. We, as a livestock industry, can not claim to affect mining very much, but we do claim that lumbering and agriculture are so largely dependent on livestock for their existence that if the livestock industry were injured or largely elimipated from the economics of Idaho that either the losses would be so greatly increased or the profits would be so largely decreased in both the lumber
industry and in agriculture that neither of them could be profitably continued.
THE DEPENDENCE OF AGRICULTURE UPON THE LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY We must produce if we are going to have prosperity and population. There is a big lumber camp in Oklahoma that not many years ago had a population of 40,000. It had its restaurants, banks, merchants, lawyers, doctors, dentists, and all the shops and commercial activities, and the large pay rolls that go to make up a big, thriving city of that population. This was all made possible, and all these people and institutions were kept busy and were prosperous because there was a large quantity of merchantable timber being cut and made up and sold. But in the course of a few years the lumber was used up and the mill closed down. The people stayed on in the town for a while, but prosperity ceased. Gradually one by one they moved away until there were but a scant two or three hundred caretakers left in the town. That town is now entirely deserted and the people who invested there and speculated on booming real estate values have lost what they had. This is all because
Another illustration :
One hundred years ago the Mohawk Valley in New York State was a large and prosperous farming community which produced per acre a similar amount to what Idaho now produces. Land was worth two or three hundred dollars per acre, and the valley was filled with fine homes and prosperous farmers. To-day there is practically no production throughout the length and breadth of that valley, and farms can be bought for less than the price of improvements.
Farther west the same is true of the beautiful Miami Valley in Ohio, which 75 years ago was a thriving, prosperous agricultural community. And the reason? The soil was been depleted and production has stopped. I could call your attention to innumerable similar examples all the way between here and Ohio.
There are mining camps in Idaho that at one time had the big pay rolls and were thriving cities. Production of the ore has stopped, the towns have dwindled, and the citizens have moved away.
Now, we can look for the same thing to happen in Idaho, in our agricultural communities, and amongst our lumber and livestock interests which now have all the natural advantages that God ever gave a country, if we are not careful.
At the bottom of all our future possible development in this State, prosperity and increased population is the one great and all-important subject, “the virgin fertility of the soil."
If we use reckless, careless, or shortsighted farming: if we dig into our principal by wasting our virgin fertility which we now have in such abundance, we can expect the same thing to happen here as has happened to these other places. How can we prevent it?
Alfalfa : By continuing a big per cent of alfalfa hay in our crop rotation.
Alfalfa hay, which grows so luxuriantly and naturally here, must be continued religiously as a part of our crop rotation, no matter how intensive agri. culture may become. It constitutes now pretty nearly 40 per cent of our crops and must continue to constitute that per cent if we are to continue to prosper.
Farmers will raise it and grow it as long as they can do it profitably, and they can do it profitably as long as they can feed it to livestock, and that on the ground.
COMPARISON OF HAY AND WHEAT When we are figuring up our profits and comparing prices for the crop raised on an acre of alfalfa with one raised upon an acre of wheat land, we do not usually consider whether we are digging into some of our principal (the fertility of the soil) or are leaving it in the bank to compound interest for us.
Every bushel of wheat costs 45 cents in the fertilizer it takes out. 21 bushels of wheat contains : 30 pounds nitrogen, at 30 cents a pound.-
$9.00 12 pounds phosphates, at 642 cents a pound. 7 pounds potash, at 17 cents a pound..
The total is.
10.97 which, divided by 25 bushels, equals 15 cents a bushel.
If we had to fertilize as those one-time rich valleys of New York and Ohio are having to do now in order to raise a crop of wheat, we would have to buy for every acre of wheat that we produce $10.97 worth of fertilizer in order to get the same crop that we raise now without fertilizer. In other words, when we sell 25 bushels of wheat off an acre of our ground we have also sold $10.97 worth of virgin fertility with it, and if we sell those 25 bushels for $1.25 a bushel, or $31.25, we must deduct from that amount about $11.
Now, is the same thing true of alfalfa hay as is true of wheat?
It would not be more than one-third as true of alfalfa hay even if we baled and sold all our hay on the Kansas City market. And if we feed it to stock on the ground on our own ranches we are not only keeping all the virgin fertility in but are making that virgin fertility more available by adding much
humus to the soil. By this method we are increasing rather than decreasing our principal; in reality adding compound interest to it.
Swift & Co. at Ogden scrapes up all the manure from their feeding yards, sack it, and sell it to California farmers at $10 per ton f. o. b. Ogden. It costs those farmers delivered nearly 1 cent per pound.
When we sell our hay to sheep and feed it on the ground we should add this 1 cent per pound fertility to our profits and consider that we are not only preserving our principal but compounding interest in addition. We should not just take the net cash per bushel of wheat and use that figure as the relative value of the two crops.
We are particularly fortunate in being situated in the midst of many great mountain ranges and forest reserves; sheep can run in our valleys in the winter and use the hay; they run on our waste lands, desert, and mountain scenery in the summer, improving them and increasing their value as they go. It is the same mountain ranges which furnish us with an abundance of water to irrigate our lands. The wool which is shipped out has no fertilizer elements in it. The 16,000,000 pounds we produce a year in Idaho take none of the virgin soil elements that wheat does out of Idaho when it goes.
But wool will bring back about $8,000,000 of outside money this year into the State. And as far as the lambs are concerned, they are grown almost entirely on ranges. They will bring in another $15,000,000 of outside money this year. They are a product of our deserts and mountains. In other words, they are the by-product of and pay dividends on our waste lands, and a handsome dividend, too.
A glance at the attached map will show the relative portions of Idaho which are waste, public domain, forest, and agricultural lands, and will explain why livestock should not be pushed off the range by any bureau at Washington.
It is raising alfalfa in rotation and feeding it to the livestock on our farms that will keep our production and increase our population.
Impoverished soils never produced a progressive and prosperous people. If we will maintain our great fertility and use our natural resources of which we have such an abundance, applying just good common business sense to our operations, we can have as far-seeing and as progressive a people as any district in America.
So my point in all this is that the foundation crop of agriculture in Idaho on which is dependent the raising of practically all other crops in the State is alfalfa hay; that alfalfa will not be raised to any extent if there is no local market for it-shipping is too expensive; and, that livestock is almost the sole market for it. Therefore livestock in Idaho is the basic industry as far as Idaho agriculture is concerned.
The lumber industry is also dependent on livestock. There are 20.000,000 acres of timberland in the State that support a stand of 98.000.000.000 feet of timber.
The timber valuation for the State is something around $256.000.000. The timber industry though pays a large proportion of the taxes in the State, but not so much as the stock industry and not so much as the farming industry. The number of people employed in the timber industry is about 10,000. The number of people employed in the range-stock industry is probably 7.000.
The annual product from the lumber industry is about seven or eight million feet cut each year, worth $40,000,000. The total livestock production runs around $40,000,000.
For every 1.000 feet of timber that is cut at least $15 goes directly in Fages, another $5 to $8 goes into supplies, or for every thousand feet of timber cut $20 goes to help build up the community, or, to put that another way. whenever a thousand feet of timber is burned the community loses $20. On an average, say, of 8.000 feet per acre, whenever an acre of timberland burns, the community has lost $160.
Now, it is not only the loss of that particular sum on that thousand feet to the community which interests us. We have the question of a stable, thriving industry.
New England was the early lumber center. New York led in 1850. Pennsylvania led in 1860. The Lake States led in 1890. The South led in 1910, and "he Northwest leads now in lumber production.
GRAZING A SAFEGUARD AGAINST FIRES
In this great problem of protection of the national forests, few people realize the important part played by sheep and sheepmen.
In 1911 the most terrible forest fires ever known to America were raging in northern Idaho, western Montana, and eastern Washington. They were in practically all instances started by fire in the small brush, weeds, and grass which had accumulated under the trees for several years and had dried, forming a very inflammable tinder. In these great fires over 200 forest rangers and volunteer fire fighters were burned to death when they were surrounded by the flames.
The situation was so serious that the then Secretary of Agriculture, “ Tama Jim" Wilson, wired the then Governor of Idaho to hasten to Washington for a conference. They decided at the time that the one best way to protect great forests is to graze sheep in them in order to keep down the small brush and grass which would otherwise cure and dry.
FOREST FIRES LARGELY STARTED IN DRY GRASS
The timber interests have since that time been very active in encouraging the grazing of sheep in northern Idaho, and the Forest Service has offered to both Washington and Oregon residents permits for sheep in these northern Idaho forests, so that this small brush and grass can be grazed and kept down.
Wherever timber interests can not get sheep to graze a whole forest, they, together with the Forest Service, have attempted to have strips grazed through the forest in order to prevent the spread of fires if they should start. The decrease in the number of fires in southern Idaho forests is also very noticeable since systematic grazing has been carried on.
Twenty years ago whole gullies would be ablaze, started by fires in the dry grass. These fires would run under the trees and would burn for days. Now the grasses and brush do not have a chance to get very thick and they are grazed before they become cured and dried enough to form a menace to the timber.
BLACK FORESTS OF GERMANY
When Gifford Pinchot started the forest policy it was copied after Germany's policies in her Black Forests. In these forests no campers whatever are allowed, but the peasants are permitted and encouraged to go in and pick up all fallen dead and dried branches. As a result the floors of the Black Forests of Germany always look as though they had been swept. These conditions do not exist anywhere in America and sheep grazing through them is the greatest protection that forests can have.
Numerous officials of the Forest Service have stated that sheep and sheepmen are the greatest protection against fires the forests and watersheds have.
So the prosperity and the safety of the lumber industry, if not its very existence in Idaho, is also dependent on the livestock industry.
HOW CAN WE ENCOURAGE LIVESTOCK, THE BASIC INDUSTRY IN IDAHO?
It does not seem likely that we can increase our gross receipts very much, and the only way we can add to our profits is by cutting down the present expense of operation and fighting every increase in costs.
This is our chief reason for making the fight on the raise in the Forest Service fees. These fees have been raised practically 100 per cent five dif. ferent times since the Forest Service was started in 1905.
This brings me to a discussion of a serious menace to the livestock industry from another source, and that is the pushing livestock off of the ranges to make way for playgrounds for the public.
As the Chief Forester says in his annual report, the tourist is the greatest menace to the timber there is. The fires he starts annually destroy more than all other methods combined.
But the same report proudly points to the 10,000,000 tourists that have been entertained upon the forests and asks for a $40,000,000 appropriation to build roads, so that he can better entertain them. He claims that the tourist traffic is becoming the major function of the Forest Service. This bureau is straying