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and was forced to take feeder prices on them last fall. Now this year on a permit that calls for 280 head of cattle I have only put on the forest reserve 150, due to the condition of the grass and things, while last year I was compelled to carry over. I feel that we ought to have a leeway more or less. That is, if we do not use all of our permit one year, not to give it to somebody else, because next year we may need it. ' Conditions will vary. Some years you may have a few more cattle that you want to run than the permit calls for, and other years you would want to run a less number on account of conditions, and it seems to me that there should be a leeway without injuring our permit. Some years conditions may be better than others and you may have more cattle, and then again you may have less some years through abortions or other conditions. If conditions are such that you can run a few more cattle than the permit calls for, you have to provide yourself a place to take care of your surplus amount of cattle.
Mr. BOWDEN. Would you then prefer that the contract with the Forest Service be a contract providing for an area instead of a contract providing for a certain number?
Mr. NESBITT. Well, I believe I would prefer an area, and that area would have to vary in size and number of acres according to the forage that was on it. Now, you take on our allotments where there is timber, it takes a number of acres to have much forage.
Mr. Bowden. Do you believe that there is a necessity for the creation of some commission or the provision that a court could pass upon disputes between Forest Service officers and permittees? Mr. NESBITT. Yes, sir.
Mr. Bowden. Do you know of any instances wherein reductions have been made as inflictions of penalties?
Mr. NESBITT. Well, not personally—I do not.
Mr. BOWDEN. As president of the association, have any come to your attention?
Mr. NESBITT. No, sir.
Mr. NESBITT. Well, under the present system of the penalty you are in most instances subject to the judgment of a man who is not qualified in that particular line.
Mr. Bowden. It is an uneconomic penalty, is it not, in that it disturbs the industry?
Mr. NESBITT. Yes, sir.
Mr. BOWDEN. In that you are cutting off a part of a man's production ?
Mr. NESBITT. Yes, sir.
Mr. prefer a of a penalty which was a reduction penalty which was a fine instead
Mr. NESBITT. Yes, sir. I have not believed altogether in reductions as they have been put on. Now, we were users of range when the forest reserves were created, and established the 500-head prior right on the forest, and I have been cut down to the present right, which, without State land and other holdings, is 240 head; and part of that I have had to buy back. I have been cut to take care of men
that were not in the business at the time the forest reserves were created.
Mr. BOWDEN. Can you generalize somewhat more and state the extent of reductions for redistribution purposes on the forest reserves as practiced in the State of Idaho?
Mr. NESBITT. No; I do not know that I can. On the allotment that we have been on, we have never had that kind of a reduction. Mr. Bowden. Well, yours was that kind of a reduction, was it not?
Mr. NESBITT. It was to take care of new men, new cattle. The same number of cattle. But I thought you meant for overgrazing.
Mr. Bowden. No; for redistribution; for distributing the preference to others. Mr. NESBITT. It has been done on all large holders. Vr. Bowdex. To a considerable extent? Mr. NESBITT. Yes, sir.
Mr. BOWDEN. Has it resulted in a considerable instability in this State?
Mr. NESBITT. Yes, sir.
Mr. NESBITT. Yes, sir; in more ways than one. It does this. It has added an additional cost to us through the handling of the new cattle put on. They force your overriding, an expense that we have been required to go to, and a deteriorating in the creek bottoms in that part of the range, as well as cutting down on our plant where we had the plant to carry that number of cattle and had to turn to something else.
Mr. BowDEN. Considering the commensurate ranch property rule, what is the effect of this reduction for redistribution!
Mr. NESBITT. Well, I don't think that that has had any material effect.
Mr. BOWDEN. Well, now, the Forest Service requires you to have certain ranch holdings, does it not?
Mr. NESBITT. Yes, sir.
Mr. BOWDEN. For a certain number of cattle to graze on the forest reserve? Mr. NESBITT. Yes.
Mr. Bowdex. Now, you reduce the number of cattle that graze on the forest reserve, and how about your ranch property?
Mr. NESBITT. Well, we have got to turn to raising grain instead of raising hay.
Mr. BOWDEN. You have got a surplus, have you not?
Mr. NESBITT. But the regulation if it had been enforced would reduce. Now, we were forced to reductions that never applied to us for the reason that old meadows wearing out and reseeding we had to buy some hay. But they never have enforced that to my knowledge. It could have been done, but it has not been done to my knowledge. But it is more necessary for a man to own his ranch property with cattle than it is with the sheep, and the majority of them do own property.
The CHAIRMAN. Is the value of your ranch property affected by your right to graze?
Mr. NESBITT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And also the value of your cattle?
STATEMENT OF MR. J. F. O'KEEFE, POCATELLO, IDAHO
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. O'Keefe, will you give your name and address?
Mr. O'KEEFE. J. F. O'Keefe, Pocatello, Idaho, post-office box 575. I thank you gentlemen for the privilege of appearing before you.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. O'Keefe, you are engaged in mining?
The CHAIRMAN. And you have a statement that you wish to make to this committee?
Mr. O'KEEFE. I would like to make a little statement.
Mr. O'KEEFE. All right. Why, it is a matter with the Interior Department. I located some claims down here on Government land in 1906 and 1907. I was nine years in peaceable possession of it. I then undertook to interest capital to develop it. I was a poor prospector. And in so doing I wrote some twenty-odd letters, circuIar letters, to different companies in the United States and Canada. Among them I got about six favorable replies. And I accepted the one closest to me.
This property is mining and has got a great valuable deposit for the manufacture of Portland cement. Those are the men I addressed, the Portland cement plant. And in doing so I took this closest man to me. They went to work, got interested in the property, sent experts to explore it for their line of business, and worked along with me for about two years. And then they made an attempt to take it from me without buying it; and they got a neighbor of mine, a neighbor woman-now, to go back a little farther, I had 12 claims, and this woman jumped on to one 40 acres. My claims were lode claims. She jumped on to one 40 acres that included my 1, 2, 3, and 4 parts, I think. She did that at the instigation of this company, as I understand it.
Now, I was in peaceable possession, as I say, for nine years, and I wanted to know about that. This woman jumped it. I complained to the Government. I complained to the Interior Department first through the field division. And one of your party that is here today was one of the men that I wrote to, Mr. Hair. He was chief of the field division of the General Land Office at Salt Lake at that time. I sent him a registered letter asking him for information about this property, and the letter was returned to me after 30 days. Never opened. Why the land office didn't send it to him I don't know. He was removed in the meantime to California.
Now, this has been before the General Land Office since 1915. I brought this up to show you that I have got this valise and as much more full of the records connected with this case in the land office. Last spring I wrote back for certified copies of this case in the land office at Washington. They told me it would cost from $150 to $250 to get it. I didn't have the money.
Now, this woman has got a 40 receipt on this 40 acres for the last two or three years, but she hasn't got a patent.
There is so much to it, gentlemen, that I hardly know where to begin. I am just starting where it is now. I want to open this valise up and show you a little about what it looks like. If I could go through the papers, I could explain it better to you.
The CHAIRMAX. It is getting late, Mr. O'Keefe.
Mr. O'KEEFE. I am not going to take your time with it. I am not going to read them to you. I am just going to show you them. And this is only half of the papers that I have got in this case. This is what we have been through.
Now, I got a letter from Mr. Spry here in December, 1923. He wanted to know what the matter was. I told him. He says, “We will send an expert on there." He wrote me back that “we will send an expert from Portland." Maybe some of you know him. He is H. R. Burt. He was with me three weeks. He hasn't made the report yet. It is pretty nearly two years ago, and when he came to me he didn't know that I had this book. [Thompson's Annotated
I will stand on this. If they will give me a chance. I will stand on these laws. I want a hearing. I can't get a fair hearing through the Land Office. And that is the reason why I bring it before the Public Lands Committee of the Senate of the United States.
The CHAIRMAN. Why can you not get it in the Land Office ?
Mr. O'KEEFE. Well, it is two years now since that man was here, and he has not reported yet to me. And he working on this property all the time. Now, he said, " There are the mining laws." He didn't have a copy. He said he would go to the Land Office and borrow it. I said, “ I think I have got a copy of it.” He said, “Maybe you have, but," he said, “there aren't many of them.” And I went and got it and showed it to him. He offered me $10 for it, and then he offered me $15 before he went away.
Now, Mr. Burt acted to me like he wanted to intimidate me. That this woman had a perfect right to go on to this property. Now, I was there nine years, and consequently for three years the time she located, and she didn't live two city blocks from that property for seven or eight years before.
Now, if you want to ask any questions? I don't want to go through these records with you.
The CHAIRMAN. We will ask the Commissioner of the General Land Office for a reference and report on this, Mr. O'Keefe.
Mr. O'KEEFE. All right, I thank you. And I will not take your time. I am much obliged to you.
The CHAIRMAX. Mr. Nash.
STATEMENT OF MR. I. H. NASH, STATE LAND COMMISSIONER OF
THE STATE OF IDAHO, BOISE, IDAHO
The CHAIRMAX. Mr. Nash, will you give your name, address, and position to the reporter? Mr. Nash. I. H. Nash, State land commissioner, Boise, Idaho. Senator ODDIE. Have you a statement to make, Mr. Nash?
Mr. Nash. I have a brief statement that I wish to make.
Mr. Nash. I might say that the State of Idaho has about 3,000,000 acres of land in its ownership, grants given to the various institutions of the Stat”. Of these lands we are leasing approximately a million and a half acres. We lease through competitive biddings largely. This system is not very satisfactory, and I am very positively opposed to it.
During the past sis years we have modified that through legislation so that the department has a discretion in giving preferences. No one comes first, but we have three discretions. One to the owner of the farm land adjacent to the range desired. Another to an old user of the range. And still another to associations organized living adjacent to the territory. This is done primarily to curb the monopoly of the range by the large owners.
Prior to the enactment of these laws it was almost impossible for the small grower to succeed in competitive bidding in the acquiring of these lands. The large owner, of course, had more means and could come right into the small owner's door yard and bid it away from him, which was detrimental to the interests of the State.
The chief objection I have to the witnesses who have been on to-day is this: I do not feel it would be to the best interest of the State to legalize grazing based upon the present use. This is exactly in opposition to two or three of the witnesses who have testified.
Senator ODDIE. Do you refer there to grazing on the national forests or on the public domain?
Mr. Nash. On the national forests. My views and the views of those holding with me are so contrary to those expressed before me that I feel that the forestry officials are between the devil and the deep sea and perhaps are trying to strike a happy medium. We have on the forest reserve now a condition in which 312 per
cent of the permittees of the forest reserve in Idaho control approximately 29 per cent of the cattle grazing. I wish to emphasize this fact. And approximately 1044 per cent of the permittees grazing sheep control 4312 per cent of the sheep. This distribution is unjust and unfair.
Idaho has vast areas of agricultural land said to be better adapted for dairying and stock growing than any other State in the Union. This industry is being encouraged and has made great strides and vast developments during the past two or three years. Some reserve or place for the young and growing stock of the dairymen should be provided and a more equitable distribution of the range should be worked out.
The forestry reserve or range should not be commercialized by the Government. I am strictly opposed to that. Nor should it be monopolized by the large stockholders. But its utilization should be for the best interest of the State.
If the use of the range is to be legalized, it should not be based upon its present use, but a maximum limit of stock which a person or company should be permitted to graze should be fixed. And a larger number should be allowed to new permittees should they be allowed to go on the range.
I believe that the greatest trouble has been during the past 20 years in which this equalization process has been attempted to be carried out, that the new beginner has not been given sufficient to