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Now, I want to say this in regard to the forest reserve. We object to this taking from one and giving to the other. That is what has torn down this livestock business in this western country. I think it is plain to be seen. But I think that the principle has been so grounded in a great many Forest Service officials that it can not be eradicated. Even though you pass a law that will provide for the recognition of the range rights as they should be, these men are not going to put that into operation, because they have got this principle of socialism so inground and inborn into them that they can not get it away from them. I think it would be necessary to reorganize that department in order to carry out what is right and what should be done.
Now, we have been criticized in saying that we want all the rest of this public domain. Now, let us look back.
The United States Government first gave the railroads a large part of this public domain in order to build up the railroads, to build up a utility, build up a business. Then they gave a part of the public domain to the miner. Did not charge him for it. Did not charge the railroads. Then they gave the next part of the public domain to the States to build up the schools. Then they gave another part of the public domain to the farmers, the home builders. They gave another part of the public domain, which is the water, to the farmers to build up the industry of farming. Now there is nothing left of the public domain except what nobody wants in private ownership: Nobody wants to hold it. We know the price of it. It is simply to take up in 640-acre homesteads. But nobody wants it. We don't want it, and nobody wants it.
Now, why should not the Government give the balance of this public domain, or at least the use of the balance of the public domain, to the greatest industry that there is in the West, and that there ever can be in the West? They have given it all away that is valuable. Why not let the stockmen have that which is not valuable and which can not be used in any other way?
I want to say a few words about the Rachford report. And if the Senator will pardon me, I want to tell a little story. There was a fellow down in Los Angeles went to the freight agent and asked him what the freight rate was on sugar beets to San Francisco, and the freight agent didn't know, but said he would find out, and he wrote to the general agent at San Francisco, and the general agent at San Francisco wrote back and said, " Find out the price of sugar beets at Los Angeles and the price of sugar beets at San Francisco, and the difference will be the freight rate.”
Now, that is the basis of the Rachford report. The idea of the Rachford report is really to find out the value of the lamb when he goes on the forest reserve and the value when he comes off of the forest reserve, and the difference will be the feed consumed.
Now, I want to say this: The idea of the Rachford report and the Rachford investigation was not for the purpose of decreasing fees. It was a new scheme, a new idea which they wanted to put into effect for raising fees. They saw another great governmental agency that had been turned into a money-making machine, and they saw the result of large, fine million-dollar buildings and handsomely paid officers, and so on, and the Forest Service took the lead and they conceived this idea of the commercial value of the grass to make the stockmen pay for that value of that grass.
Now, at Ogden in February two years ago Colonel Greeley told us that in making this report they would calculate and figure the value of a piece of land when it was taken in connection with surrounding land. The committee knows that a man scrips perhaps or buys a piece of range land out here not for the value of that land but for the value of that land and the surrounding land. Now, Colonel Greeley said that would be taken into consideration. Rachford admits that it was not taken into consideration. Therefore the Rachford report is absolutely unsound as to figures. But it is absolutely unsound as to principle, because the Government of the United States has never charged anybody for using the natural resources. They have never tried to commercialize them or sell them before.
Senator ODDIE. Mr. Gedney, do you think it is right that a profit should be made by an increase in grazing fees, and that that profit should be placed in the Federal Treasury?
Mr. GEDNEY. Absolutely no. I think, Senator, that that is Russian red. That is a Russian principle which has no place in the American form of government. It is wrong. · Senator ODDIE. Åre not these public-land States put to certain expenses in policing and in otherwise governing these forest reserves?
Mr. GEDNEY. Certainly.
Senator ODDIE. Should not the States be entitled to any profits over and above the cost of administration and improvement of the forest reserve?
Mr. GEDNEY. I think they should, Senator; but I think this: I think that in figuring the actual cost of administration that a liberal policy should be used; that is, you can not hold it down to dollars and cents of cost of administration, because I think there must be room there for improvement. So I would think cost of administration and improvement.
Senator ODDIE. Yes; that is what I included in my question-administration and improvement.
Mr. GEDNEY. Yes.
Now, the next question is public domain. Now, I want to say to the committee that they ought to be mighty careful with this publicdomain question. The national forests are the summer ranges and are practically the same year in and year out and season in and season out. But on the fall and spring and winter ranges conditions are different in different years. For instance, on the winter range there may be a range this winter which has just the right amount of snow and has good feed there to carry a large amount of livestock. Next winter there may be no snow and no water in that locality, or there may be so much snow there that nothing could live there if they could get there; but probably so much snow that they could not get there. They may get on that winter range and may be doing first rate, and then a heavy snowfall come and they would have to move. They have got to get somewhere else where they could live.
Now, picture the situation where a man, say, has 10,000 sheep being herded upon a given winter range that has been leased to him, and the snow comes so deep that he can not stay there, his stock can not live there. He can not go any other place, because all the other range has been leased to somebody else. Or there is no water there and no snow there, no feed there, nothing can live there, and he can not go any place else. Now, it means ruination or resort to force; that is all. The man is not going to let his sheep all die on that particular allotment there.
Now, when you come to put this public domain under supervision it is a whole lot harder question than the forest reserve ever was. And that was a complex question. It was hard to work out. But this is a whole lot harder on account of the varying conditions. Then on this public domain there now there are overlappig and interwoven range rights which are going to make it hard. One man goes over this country this spring with his sheep. Another man follows him
Another man drives his cattle over that same country, and perhaps the same man summers there with a bunch of cattle or a herd of sheep. Then they come back over that same ground in the fall. And they must do that in order to get from one range to another. So it is a mighty intricate problem. It is such a hard problem, in fact, that the Government should not attempt to put that under supervision until this forest-reserve problem has been straightened out and the range rights on these national forests are recognized. Get that thing straightened out. Get a personnel of practical men in this Forest Service from top to bottom. That includes rangers. Then pick those men and very carefully put in the public domain after it has been classified and we know what we are doing. Otherwise there is going to be more ruination, more harm done than has been done in the past.
Now, I want to say this, that I thing that the forest reserve and the Forest Service have been a benefit. It has done a lot more good than it has done harm. But it has done a lot of inexcusable harm.
Now, another point. The Forest Service officials will show you that there are as many livestock grazing upon the national forests now as there were before they were created. That is true. But before the national forests were established that country carried those cattle and sheep for six months. Now they are being carried from three months to four months. Now, the taking of these cattle and sheep off of this area which is now in the forest reserve has added the burden on to the public domain. And you see the result. When they used to run on the national forests for six months, now they run there for four months. They used to run on the public domain for six months and now they have got to run for eight months out of the year on the public domain. And that is working a hardship on this public domain.
Now, something has been said about local option. I myself personally am not in favor of local option, for this reason: Many of the livestock men do not live in the community in which they graze. Take this situation. A man perhaps lives where his summer range is. He can not live in three or four places. Now, when local option comes along, it will be the men that reside or live in a place or in a given locality that will tell what is going to be done with that. And that is going to bring up perplexing questions. It is going to be hard to solve.
That is all I have to say. Senator ODDIE (presiding). That is all, Mr. Gedney; thank you. Mr. Dillingham, will you come forward ?
STATEMENT OF MR. L. E. DILLINGHAM, MACKAY, IDAHO,
SECRETARY OF THE IDAHO STATE CATTLE AND HORSE GROWERS' ASSOCIATION
Senator OddiE. Mr. Dillingham, will you give your name and address to the committee and your occupation and position, please?
Mr. DILLINGHAM. L. E. Dillingham, Mackay, Idaho. Secretary of the Iowa State Cattle and Horse Growers' Association.
Senator ODDIE. Will you state your experience in the livestock business?
Mr. DILLINGHAM. When the forest reserves were created in Idaho I was conducting a weekly newspaper at Mackay. The Lemhi National Forest offices were set up in a portion of that building. In fact, we were almost in the same room. At that time there was no State cattlegrowers' association. But my association with the district or the supervisor and with the livestock men that I came in daily contact with was such that I could see a need for an organization, inasmuch as the department had been set up to control grazing. For that reason I was urged by stockmen to assist them in perfecting an organization.
We have been organized about 10 or 12 years, I believe-over 12 years—and from time to time we have had on our membership rolls the largest part of the cattlemen of the State of Idaho. More recently we have not had the support of the cattlemen that we had in the first place, for the sole reason that the livestock men find themselves unable to finance themselves or finance an organization at this time that is working in their behalf. A good many of them have gone broke and have gone out of business.
At this time there are about 250,000 head of range cattle in this State, a large part of which are run upon the national forests and on the public domain. Just what number we represent as an organization I do not know, but we have held meetings over the State in cooperation with the Idaho Woolgrowers' Association, and we think that we have a very true picture of the sentiment, the feeling, the requirements of the livestock men in order for them to stay in business.
In conducting our meetings the same practice was had as was described to you by Mr. McLean. We especially invited bankers and members of commercial clubs, farmers, and stockmen to these meetings, and at the meetings each were asked to make their own statement. And I think that you have the complete record with Mr. McLean's presentation, with the exception of one meeting held at Bruneau, Idaho, attended by about 40 or 50 stockmen, and the banker of the town and a few of the business men, and one at Malad, Idaho, that was attended by about 50 stockmen and business men.
Senator GOODING. Mr. Dillingham, does Mr. McLean's statement which he made this morning represent the sentiments of the cowmen of the State and the horsemen of the State?
Mr. DILLINGHAM. Yes; our meetings have been rather joint meetings. We are in entire accord and in entire sympathy with each other on all of these grazing matters, both on the public domain and on the national forest. Now, that will about cover whom I represent.
Since coming to Boise I have been very much impressed with the great importance of the visit of this committee to the West. I wish to assure the committee that the cattlemen in the State are very grateful for the opportunity to have their case laid before you out here at this time. Now, we consider it one of the most important things that has ever come to the industry, and hope that it affords us a real opportunity to perpetuate the cattle industry in these Western States.
We also deplore the sort of publicity that has come out here in advance of this hearing. It appeals to me as having the fine hand of administrative heads in the Bureau of Forestry. And in some cases it does not truly represent to those stockmen out over the State who are getting the papers each morning the true conditions here. It would tend to mislead them, to agitate them, and to cause a lack of confidence perhaps in the testimony that goes to this meeting. Now, of course, this is all advance publicity which surely will be corrected after these hearings are adjourned and the testimony has been put in the record.
Mr. BOWDEN. To what particular publicity do you refer, Mr. Dillingham?
Mr. DILLINGHAM. I read an article in the morning paper of last Saturday which indicated that the stockmen here were favoring a competitive lease proposition on the public lands, which would scare any stockman half to death back at home. He would think that we were all crazy to come down here and agitate for anything of that kind.
Mr. BOWDEN. Where did that article appear?
Mr. DILLINGHAM. I think it is in the Boise Statesman of Saturday morning. I believe I have it here. I find that this is the Sunday Statesman, but there is a reference to it in that paper. I will file it with you, and get the other article later.
Senator GOODING. Mr. Dillingham, you are not a stockman yourself—that is, an owner—are you?
Mr. DILLINGHAM. No, sir; I have never run any stock myself.
Senator GOODING. From your association with the stock and cattlemen of the State, have you found them asking for anything that is not fair and just to all the industry?
Mr. DILLINGHAM. No, sir; I have found them asking for changes in conditions which must be brought about in order for them to continue in business.
Senator GOODING. Is it not a fact that all they are asking for is a full and intelligent use of the public domain?
Mr. DILLINGHAM. That is what they are trying to work to; yes, sir.
Senator GOODING. And that is only to their interest. Anything that would tend to destroy it, anything that would tend to monopolize it, is something of course they can not put over, and they are not trying to put over?
Mr. DILLINGHAM. No, sir. The business men in the State I find are very much concerned over the welfare of the livestock men. It naturally follows that if the stockmen can not become and keep prosperous that the business houses and the banks and everybody suffer along with them in this country.