Page images

usually run their cattle on and would require of them pay. The 640-acre act in our section of the State, where I could give it personal supervision and attention, was taken advantage of mostly by clerks, barbers, and people around town who knew the conditions and went out and made the locations with the expectation of selling out to the cattleman who had already used that range from the time he took up his range.

We feel, as Mr. Gedney feels, that the 640-acre act should be repealed and an investigation made of all entries at this time.

On recent land legislation we can go further than the sheepmen have so far in this way. The 320-acre dry farm act was a big detriment to the range-livestock industry, and in only a very, very few cases did it result in true reclamation of land or home building. In 1918 I attended a meeting in Salt Lake of cattle and sheep men from all over the West, and at that time they started to agitate the question of Government supervision on the unoccupied public lands for grazing purposes. They organized under the name of the United Stockmen's Association for Federal Control of Public Grazing Lands. I was made the secretary and in that work traveled over the 11 or 12 public-land States considerably, and in Montana the dry farm act was at its height. They had reduced Montana from one of the first cattle-producing States of the West to about the least in numbers by the reduction of the grazing areas through those dryfarm entries. And you can go through the State of Montana now and find where there was once good grazing mile after mile of thistles grown up and the farms abandoned.

On the question of the grazing on the unoccupied public lands, I believe that the cattlemen will be greatly benefited if there is a reorganization of the Forest Service and the administration of grazing placed in that department after the reorganization has been effected. Perhaps they will be more protected than the sheepmen. The cattle range at large without herders, whereas the sheep are always tended by men. There is one thing that is sure that will be brought about by the administration of grazing on the unoccupied lands, and that is that it removes the possibility for strife between the two branches of the industry, and that at times has been very costly to both.

I believe that that is about all that I think of at this time.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any questions?

Senator ODDIE. Mr. Dillingham, what is your opinion as to the rules and regulations of the Forest Service in regard to the setting of positive dates for turning cattle out on the range?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. Very impracticable. No two seasons are the


Senator ODDIE. Do you think that a hard and fast rule is not a wise one?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. No; they have to depart from it themselves sometimes.

Senator ODDIE. Do you think that a 15 days' leeway is sufficient to make up for harm that might be done?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. In some seasons the 15-day spread might cover the period, but a 30-day spread would be better.

Senator ODDIE. Do you know of cases where harm has been done to the stock growers by being compelled to keep their stock off the range until a certain date?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. Yes, sir. This spring on the Lost River watershed above Mackay the stock were not permitted to go on at the season of the year that they had been accustomed to, and the men were compelled therefore to even take some of them clear down on the Lost River desert out on the Snake River plains 75 miles away or just keep them in their pastures. That was expensive and not good for the livestock in such extended movements.

Senator ODDIE. Did that result in increasing the cost of producing the livestock?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. It certainly did; yes, sir.

Senator ODDIE. Did it result in any case that you know of in decreasing the hay crops and in injuring the pasture by keeping the

cattle on?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. Yes, sir; that is wild meadow country there, and the longer they keep the stock in their fields the worse it is for the season's crop of hay.

Senator ODDIE. Ďid it result in the cattlemen being compelled to herd their cattle more than they should have?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. Yes; they had to keep them confined so they could not turn out on the range.

Senator ODDIE. Does this extra herding result in delaying the shedding off of the cattle in the spring?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. I think so. I will explain that the cattlemen themselves petitioned for the boundary lines of the forest reserve to be extended, and that was accomplished. The boundary was extended over what had been their spring and fall range, and when the boundary was extended and taken into the forest reserve, they were not permitted to use the grass that was adjacent to their ranches that they had always used before until a certain period.

Senator ODDIE. Do you believe that in these cases that I have been mentioning it has had the effect of hindering the putting on of beef on the cattle in the summer?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. Yes, sir.

Senator ODDIE. Has it resulted in a decrease in the weight of the cattle?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. Well, the range has been extraordinarily good, and I think they have made up whatever decrease they had. If it had not been a good season the cattle would not have been in as good shape as usual.

Senator ODDIE. Well, what effect did it have on the cattle?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. Well, very bad results. They are accustomed to going out. They are hard to hold, and they have to be handled


Senator ODDIE. Did it hold back the normal condition of the cattle?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. Yes, sir.

Senator ODDIE. Did that result in a loss to the stockmen?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. It naturally would if his expense is increased

in handling.

Senator ODDIE. Did it result in the loss of the early spring feed in the foothill regions of the range?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. Yes, sir.

Senator ODDIE. Was that an economic loss to the stockmen? Mr. DILLINGHAM. It was to the stockmen and to the community. Senator ODDIE. Was any possible gain to the range any greater than the loss to the stockmen?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. Well, that would be hard to say. The cattle had been run on this same range every spring and fall at an earlier date, and the range was standing up well.

Senator ODDIE. Do you think that the determination by the Forest Service officials is influenced by the amount of precipitation each year?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. Yes, sir.

Senator ODDIE. Well, do you think the amount of precipitation has more to do with the condition of the range than the amount of grazing on it?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. Well, they both have a very material effect, of course. But years where we have moisture like we have this year we have much better range and it will stand up under a little harder grazing.

Senator ODDIE. What do you think would be the policy of the stockmen who have been using the forest reserve in regard to the range if it were left to them entirely?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. I think that they would organize themselves into advisory boards and agree upon the policies, and be very practical in their operations and harmonious.

Senator ODDIE. Do you think it would result in improving or injuring the range?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. I think it would result in improving it for this reason. There would be an incentive to a stockman to improve the range he uses if he knew that the next year and the year following or even his sons in 20 years from now were going to benefit by the improvement that he made. If he could make two blades of where only one grew before, and he knew that the second blade was going to be his, he would make the effort to produce it. As it is now he can make the effort and if he produces it he is not sure that he will get it or who will get it.

Senator ODDIE. In other words, do you mean that it is to the interest of the stockman using the range to have his range in as good condition as possible for all time?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. Yes, sir.

Senator ODDIE. That is all.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Dillingham, is there any conflict between the different interests engaged in utilization of the resources of the national forest?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. None that I know of.

The CHAIRMAN. Is there any conflict between the cattleman and the preservation of the wild life of the national forest?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. None whatever.

The CHAIRMAN. Is there any conflict between the recreations and the cattlemen in the use of the forest?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. Well, there is some little objection on the part of the cattlemen to hunting, for instance, out in some of the basins where sage hens and grouse are. If a large number of hunters were turned on at a certain date, why the bombardment is on, and the stock

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

commences to move and it takes a lot more riding. There is some objection, but it is not great. And in some cases the cattlemen have had the State make game reserves so that the wild life can be perpetuated and the stock not disturbed.

The CHAIRMAN. Those are in the nature of public shooting grounds?


The CHAIRMAN. But in the instance that you referred to it is not a case of cattlemen interfering with those enjoying the recreational advantages of the forest, but the recreational interfering with the handling of the cattle?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. Yes, sir; interfering with the handling of the cattle.

The CHAIRMAN. Is there any conflict between the mining interests and the cattle industry?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. None whatever. Their relations have always been very pleasant. On a number of occasions the officials of the Idaho Mining Association attend our cattle meetings, and representatives of our association attend their annual meetings, and we get along fine in all respects.

The CHAIRMAN. Is there any interference on the part of the cattlemen with the harvesting of the timber on the forests?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. None that I know of.

The CHAIRMAN. There is no conflict?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. No, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. I believe that is all.

Senator ODDIE. One more question. Is there any conflict between the livestock users and the Forest Service officials, or anyone else, in regard to the protection and control of forest fires?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. No; the cattlemen, the stockmen generally, are

very cooperative, I think, with the forest people in extinguishing or preventing fires.

Senator ODDIE. They are all in harmony on that?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Their interests are parallel?


The CHAIRMAN. And the cattlemen do help in fire fighting when occasion offers?

Mr. DILLINGHAM. Yes, sir. Very often I have seen them called up at night and get up a string of pack horses and take men from town and tools and go out and fight the fires.

The CHAIRMAN. That will be all, Mr. Dillingham; thank you. Mr.


The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Macbeth, will you state your name, your
address, and your position to the reporter?

Mr. MACBETH. Ravenel Macbeth. Boise, Idaho. Secretary, Idaho
Mining Association.

Mr. Chairman, I am here on behalf of the members of the Idaho
Mining Association and the mining men of the State in general to

explain to you our attitude toward any bill that may be introduced as the result of the investigations of your committee.

The CHAIRMAN. How long have you been interested in the mining industry in the State of Idaho?

Mr. MACBETH. About 25 or 30 years.

The CHAIRMAN. Will you make your statement, Mr. Macbeth?

Mr. MACBETH. Yes. In all bills that have heretofore been introduced in Congress which dealt with the public domain or with the forest reserve the Government has reserved the mineral rights, and we trust that in any bill that may be introduced dealing with the public domain or the forest reserve mineral rights will be reserved by the Government.

We further request this, Mr. Chairman, that claim owners of mining claims on lands on the public domain which are leased to the livestock interests shall be given the right of free ingress and free egress to such claims.

We further desire, sir, that there shall be no abridgement of the right to prospect for minerals on any lands that may be leased under the provisions of any bill that may be introduced in Congress.

We further desire, sir, that in the case of any claims, any mineral claims, located subsequent to the leasing of lands or on the public domain the owners of these claims shall have the right of free access, or free ingress, rather, and free egress to such claims. We consider that is nothing but just.

Now, it may appear singular to you that the mining industry is interested in a bill of this type, but the fact remains that in all the western public-land States great numbers of mining claims are located on sections of the public domain that will unquestionably be leased for grazing purposes, and we would like to have our rights on the public domain preserved by the provisions of any such bill.

That is about all that I have to say on that subject, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Macbeth, it has been proposed by other proponents of the mining industry that Congress should provide for the registration or filing of mining claims with the local land office rather than the filing of them at the county courthouse or the county seat. Have you any opinion on that subject?

Mr. MACBETH. A very decided opinion on that subject, Mr. Chairman, because we have gone into that matter thoroughly in Washington with the Commissioner of the General Land Office. Now, we will take it in this case. I have a thorough knowledge of the situation in Idaho. In Idaho in 1923 there were some 10,912 claims on which proof of labor was filed. There were something over 4,000 new mining claims located the year 1923. In 1924 I have found that a number of these claims were abandoned, and a number of new claims located with different names, do you see, sir? We will say a claim is located this year as the Golgonda No. 1. a group, we will say, up to No. 6. That group of claims is abandoned in the succeeding year. The next year the group of claims will be located as the Empire 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, with possibly different boundaries. Why, you would so clutter up any record of that nature that you would never recognize any of the claims. We decided after a conference with the General Land Office that it would be impractical to register these claims with the land offices in the other several States and

« PreviousContinue »