Page images

with which you probably are acquainted. I have to have some livestock on my mining claims. I must have stock there to carry in my provisions and to get in and out of the country. All right, along comes a band of sheep across my claims with the result that I must move my stock; I have nothing there for my stock; I must move my stock some miles away from where I am operating. However, we have endeavored to do this through the Forest Service; hold a certain. area in the vicinity of the mining claim to be used by the prospectors who are working properties in that section. That was the only solution of the problem. But they do not keep it up. We will have it one year and the next year we do not. That is the only difficulty we have had with the livestock men of which I have any knowledge. Mr. BOWDEN. Have you made the recommendation that one department instead of two pass on it?

Mr. MACBETH. Yes; absolutely.

Mr. BOWDEN. Which department?


Mr. MACBETH. I would say the Department of the Interior, of You generally have in the Department of the Interior men who have some knowledge of mining. In some cases we have mining engineers who are in the service of the Department of the Interior.

Senator ODDIE. Mr. Macbeth, I might say in that connection that the Bureau of Mines has been recently transferred from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Commerce.

Mr. MACBETH. I do not mean the Bureau of Mines. I mean the Department of the Interior through its field examiners. They are generally mining men. And we have always found them to have some knowledge of their business.

The CHAIRMAN. And you are of the opinion that the supervision of mining within the forest reserve more properly belongs in the Department of the Interior than it does in the Department of Agriculture?

Mr. MACBETH. Oh, yes; absolutely yes. Unquestionably. I can not see it in any other way.

I am much obliged to you for this opportunity.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Macbeth. We will call Mr. Phillips.

Senator GOODING. I wish to say to the members of the committee that Mr. Phillips, together with two of his neighbors, is here at my request. Mr. Phillips is a homesteader inside of the forest reserve on the Sawtooth National Forest. They were there when the forest reserve was created, and I want Mr. Phillips to tell his story of the difficulties he is having with the forest reserve in keeping a few head of cattle on the reserve and around his home, and how he is forced to keep them in corrals and feed them in some years up until the 1st of June before he is permitted to turn them out.

I want to say to the committee that the man who is unfortunate enough to have a homestead in the forest reserve is entitled to some privileges, more privileges than the large body of stockholders who go in there on the open season and all go in common. He is tied down there. He can not get away from there, and to make him hold his cattle in the corral until the 1st of June some years only means to drive him out of the reserve. And if that policy is continued it means that the homesteaders inside of the forest reserve sooner or later must

have to give up their homes, and some of them have already given up their homes.

I want Mr. Phillips to tell his story, and then there are one or two others who have had the same experience as he has had for a number of years who I would like to have the committee hear tell their stories.


The CHAIRMAN. Will you give your name and address to the reporter?

Mr. PHILLIPS. J. S. Phillips, Fairfield, Idaho. I have been living in the forest reserve; I was there before it was created, and had cattle there.

The CHAIRMAN. What reserve, Mr. Phillips?

Mr. PHILLIPS. Why, it is the Sawtooth National Forest.
The CHAIRMAN. How long have you been a resident there?

Mr. PHILLIPS. Well, I have been a resident there off and on for
the last 35 years. But I was not living in the reserve all the time.
I have been in the reserve with stock for about 28 or 29 years.
The CHAIRMAN. You have a homestead?

Mr. PHILLIPS. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Have you patented your homestead?

Mr. PHILLIPS. Yes, sir; patented it before it went into the reserve. That is, I didn't patent it, but another man did, and I bought


The CHAIRMAN. It is patented land?


The CHAIRMAN. Proceed with your statement, Mr. Phillips.

Mr. PHILLIPS. Well, we have no show there to turn stock out in the spring of the year. The snowfall is deep, and we have a long time to feed, from five to six months, and we can not feed that long and make anything out of our cattle. And the ranger there, he seems to be against us some way or another; I don't know why it is, but he won't let us turn out.

Two or three years ago this spring I was called on the jury at Fairfield, Camas County, and I applied to Mr. Benedict to know if I could turn the cattle loose, and he said it was all right with him if it was with the ranger near-by there, and I called him up and he said no; they couldn't go.

Senator GOODING. How many cattle have you, Mr. Phillips?

Mr. PHILLIPS. Well, I haven't but a few now. I had quite a few then at that time. I quit. I couldn't make anything.

The CHAIRMAN. How many did you have at that time?

Mr. PHILLIPS. I had close on to 100 head.

Senator GOODING. How many neighbors have you got there, Mr. Phillips?

Mr. PHILLIPS. Well, two or three. Three right in the reserve. And then there are four or five that live within half a mile.

Senator GOODING. You say you have only got a few cattle now. What is the reason why you have only got a few cattle now?

Mr. PHILLIPS. I had to quit, that is all. I couldn't afford to feed there so long. And I have been buying pasture for the last three years. They wouldn't let me go on when the range was fit

to go on, when the grass was fit. I caught a deer one winter and wintered it, and the ranger come down in the spring to get this deer to turn it out. I said, "Are you going to turn the deer out?" He said, "Yes." I said, "Well, can I turn my cattle out at the same time that you turn the deer out?" He said, "No." I said, "Take the deer." He said, "What do you want for wintering the deer?" I said, "I don't want anything for the deer. I caught it when it had been crippled, it had been shot, and I wintered it."

He reported me for trespassing once; that I had trespassed on the reserve. I am just a mile and a half in the reserve. A few years ago that land was all open up there. We had to take our cattle up there and hold them. So a few got loose from me one night, and they went back upon the reserve, and I went and brought them away as early as I could the next morning, and he reported me up for trespassing when I was herding my cattle.

Senator GOODING. Now, Mr. Phillips, would you be living on your homestead to-day if you were permitted to turn your livestock out at a reasonable time on the reserve?


Senator GOODING. Well, is there not in the low foothills where you are, and all through the State of Idaho there as far as that is concerned, a lot of grass that comes up that could take care of a few head of cattle?

Mr. PHILLIPS. Yes; right around where I live.

Senator GOODING. Do you figure that the few head of cattle that you would turn out would injure the range at all if they had been turned out the 1st of May rather than the 1st of June?


Senator GOODING. Are there not some south hillsides in all this country where the grass starts early, and at the 1st of June it is rank, and the cattle will not eat it at all, but the cattle would eat it if they were turned out early?

Mr. PHILLIPS. Yes; on the south hillside the grazing is good. The CHAIRMAN. How much earlier could you ordinarily turn out than the time they permit you to go on the forest reserve?

Mr. PHILLIPS. Well, sir, we have turned out there the 20th of March.

The CHAIRMAN. And they will not permit you to go on the forest reserve until what date?

Mr. PHILLIPS. Well, up to the 1st of June. But this year they told us we could go on the 1st of May; but then the season was gone and I had to buy a pasture, and didn't put anything on on that


Senator GOODING. Well, you were only permitted to do that after I took it up for you and made a fight to get you on? I say you never were permitted before that?


Senator GOODING. And only when a protest was made in your interest?


Senator ODDIE. Is it not necessary that the stock have that early feed on the foothills in order that they may be in good condition to put on flesh in the summer?

Mr. PHILLIPS. Sure. I don't want to turn stock out when they pull off. I want to feed so they will be all right when they turn out. But I don't want my cattle to be kept in when the range is fit to be turned out on. It is a hard enough matter to make a living when you feed from five to six months.

Senator GOODING. You have been forced off of your homestead and forced out of the cattle business?


Senator GOODING. Through the arbitrary rules of holding you in there to the 1st of June?

Mr. PHILLIPS. Yes; it looks that way. I have been buying pasture. Senator ODDIE. And being forced to buy pasture has increased the cost to you until it was no longer a profitable business for you? Mr. PHILLIPS. Yes; that is right.

Senator ODDIE. Has that added to the cost of raising the stock? Mr. PHILLIPS. Sure it did; yes, sir. I paid $23 for hay this spring when my cattle would have been all right on the range. You feed cattle $23 hay and you won't make much out of them. There was a short hay crop last year.

Senator GOODING. Is there anything else that you care to say, Mr. Phillips?

Mr. PHILLIPS. That is all I can think of.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.

Mr. DILLINGHAM. Mr. Chairman, you asked me as to the cost of production and one thing and another. Mr. Nesbitt, president of the State association, is here. He is a practical grower and can give you from experience that information, if you like.

The CHAIRMAN. We will call Mr. Nesbitt when we get through with these witnesses. Mr. Phipps.

Senator GOODING. Mr. Phipps is also a homesteader inside of the reserve and was there for years before there was any reserve. Tell your story, Mr. Phipps.


The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Phipps, give your name and address to the reporter first.

Mr. PHIPPS. W. W. Phipps, Fairfield, Idaho.

The CHAIRMAN. Will you make your statement, Mr. Phipps? Mr. PHIPPS. Well, I don't know that I could add very much more than Mr. Phillips has told you. We are neighbors there and living in a snowy belt of country where the snow is very deep, and in the spring of the year through the tramping our ground gets very soft, and we have been required by the Forest Service rangers to hold our stock in on our little place there. We have got small places, just a small valley to hold them in on our place in the corral until the 1st of June, sometimes until the 15th. So, if we are required. to go on that way we have either got to get rid of our stock or move out. This spring we were allowed to turn on the 1st of May. I was paying extra for hay. As a general thing they hold us off and have been until the fellows from Snake River that use the reserve have passed out of the low hills between us and the forest reserve line, and then we can go on the same as they do.

Senator GOODING. Mr. Phipps, you wrote me about having to haul hay about 12 or 14 miles. You ran out of hay, I understand? Mr. PHIPPS. We run out very near every winter, and we have to haul it to keep any cattle to amount to anything. Last spring we had to haul hay 11 miles from my place to the depot.

The CHAIRMAN. If you are permitted to go on the forest reserve at an earlier date, would that be detrimental to the grazing of the forest reserve?

Mr. PHIPPS. I don't think so. What few cattle live on the inside of the forest reserve there could not interfere with the range. There is less than a hundred head of cattle on the inside of the reserve owned by us neighbors.

Senator GOODING. Less than 100 head?

Mr. PHIPPS. Yes; less than 100 head.

Senator GOODING. Well, unless you are permitted to turn out you have got to give up your homestead?

Mr. PHIPPS. We have got to give up or move out, or do something. We can't hold our stock with the places we have got there until the 1st of June or even the 15th of June.

Senator GOODING. And hardly the 1st of May?

Mr. PHIPPs. No.

Senator GOODING. I am familiar with that country, Mr. Chairman, and there are south foothill sides there on which the grasses grow very early, even in April, plenty of feed to turn out in April a few head of cattle, and surely by the 1st of May without injury to any of that country at all. To my mind, the biggest function of this Government is home building, and that line of policy means the destruction of home building, because I know that you can not stay there under those circumstances. I do not care how prosperous cattle industry is if you are forced to feed to the 1st of June every year and take them off again the 1st of October; why, the quicker you can find some other occupation the better off you will be.


I want to say that I have been making quite an effort to get these people some relief, and I have not been able to do it. Although they were able to turn out the 1st of May this year, I believe. It was about the 1st of May that they let you turn out this year, Mr. Phipps?

Mr. PHIPPS. Right at the 1st of May. It might have been the 28th of April.

Senator GOODING. I think the policy, as far as the Sawtooth National Forest is concerned, toward the small homesteaders has been nothing less than tyranny. It can not be branded anything else. And I have said so to the Forest Service officials on more than one occasion, and I have not been able to get any help for you owners. unless I did get some help for you this spring.

Senator ODDIE. Senator Gooding, may I ask you a question? As a practical livestock grower and as an American citizen, do you think that depriving these men of the use of the range they have enjoyed for many years is taking away from them the value of their dependent property?

Senator GOODING. Oh, it is destroying it. It is not only taking it away; it destroys it absolutely, and destroys every principle of American citizenship.

« PreviousContinue »