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justify him in grazing. In other words, in some national forests the beginner is given about three head of cattle, and in others a few more. And the man with the vast herds has been trimmed down a little at times, but I don't believe he has been trimmed down commensurate with the demands of the citizenship of the State.

This battle for the range has been going on ever since I can remember. And I was born in Idaho. The first recollections that I have were of the great battle between the cattle and the sheep men. If the argument advanced to-day were carried to its logical conclusion, we would have no sheep in Idaho to-day. The great fertile valleys of this State would be unpopulated, because in the early days they were only inhabited by cattle. The sheep men got their footing, and rightly, too, and we have had the battle going on.

And now we wish to encourage the building of homes. I have no fight with my good friends, the large sheep owners or cattle owners. They are all my friends. And I have no argument against them. It is a principle I want to bring out.

Now, I would be glad to answer any questions I can.

Senator ODDIE. What is your idea as to the suggestion of raising the grazing fee?

Mr. NASH. Well, my idea is this, that possibly the grazing fee is just as high as the business will permit.

Senator ODDIE. And what is your idea as to placing any profit from an increase in grazing fees in the Federal Treasury? Mr. NASH. I don't think it should be permitted.

Senator ODDIE. Do you think it should go to the State?

Mr. NASH. I do.

Senator ODDIE. Do you think the principle of putting any profit from these fees into the Federal Treasury is wrong?

Mr. NASH. I do. Idaho has one-third of its area in forest reserve. It is a sparsely settled State. And we are burdened now in taxation and means of getting a livelihood and building up the State, and I think the revenues derived from the lands or timber of this State should go to the State or its people.

Senator ODDIE. Do you think an increased grazing fee would result in damage to the livestock industry?

Mr. NASH. I do.

Senator ODDIE. And will that be an economic loss to the State and the Nation?

Mr. NASH. Unless it was distributed in the State.

Senator GOODING. Now, Mr. Nash, do you know anything about the conditions of the forest reserves at all in Idaho?

iar with them, taking the State as a whole?

Mr. NASH. In a general way I am.

Are you famil

Senator GOODING. Do you not know it is a fact that some of these forest reserves are not carrying within 50 per cent as much livestock as they did a few years ago?

Mr. NASH. No; I am not familiar with that phase of it.

Senator GOODING. Well, I think the records show that. And do you not feel that these forest reserves ought to be handled more together, as a whole, instead of as separate units all over the State? Mr. NASH. Yes.

Senator GOODING. Some of the forest reserves, to my knowledgeand I am familiar with them, as I have lived here in Idaho since

boyhood, 44 years ago-have been overcrowded at times. I do not think that is the condition at the present time, however. But others are not carrying at the present time more than 50 per cent as much as they ought to. The point I am making is that if there was a proper distribution of the use of it among the users that we could increase the number of stock that go in on the forest reserve; that there would be plenty of opportunity for the small users without cutting down any of the big users, as far as that is concerned. Now, is that not what we ought to work for, the fullest and the most intelligent use of the whole forest reserve, and work it together as a whole?

Mr. NASH. Yes; I believe that that should be done. However, I think that the conservation of the grass and range is also necessary and it should not be overcrowded.

Senator GOODING. There is no doubt about that; but last year was the test, Mr. Nash, if you remember.

Mr. NASH. And while we have so many people desiring to get on the range I do not believe that the policy is correct in allowing the great grazers, the large owners, to still keep their numbers.

Senator GOODING. The point I am making is that last year, as far as your livestock was concerned, your sheep and your cattle went out of here in better condition than they have ever gone before, unless it be that this year they will be better. Now, I think that the weights in the stockyards both in Omaha and Chicago will bear that out. Now, you have had a reduction of the use of this reserve of 100,000 head of sheep in the last few years. That, I think, has been forced by the Forest Service. On some of the other forest reserves, however, the sheepmen have gone out of business, until there is practically nothing on them at all, or very little on them. The point I am making is that if there were a readjustment of users in some way, and there could be without working any hardship, and a betterbalanced condition brought about, there would be plenty of opportunity for everybody who wants to go into the sheep or cattle business here in Idaho. There is range for all of them. And I am quite sure, with the sheepmen that have gone out of business this year it is not going to be necessary to make any cut on any big users, because I think there are 100,000 head of sheep that have gone out of the State If that is used for the new beginners, which it ought to be in my judgment, there is plenty of chance to take care of them for years to


Mr. NASH. Well, I am not prepared to say.

I am

Senator GOODING. That is the point I want to bring out. familiar with the State of Idaho. Possibly few men know as much about it as I do, because I have been in the livestock business all of my life, and I know every part of it. And I know that there are some parts of the State that are not half grazed and never have been, and that there never has been an intelligent distribution of the sheep and the livestock on the forest reserve in this State. What you do need, of course, is business principles injected into the administration of the forest reserves, and you have not had it. I think they have been trying to do the best they know how. And I am sure we made a good start here one time. We had advisory boards, and we had annual meetings, and we worked out our problems, and all at once all of that ceased. I do not know of any meetings where super

visors and livestock men get together like they used to do. And we worked out most of the problems, and we were getting along fine. That was during Mr. Potter's administration. Since the coming of Mr. Greeley those things have practically all been abandoned. At least I do not hear of them any more. I have asked the question as to why they do not have them. But they do not. We used to get together and thresh out our problems and get along in very good shape, and there was some effort at cooperation between the Forest Service and the livestock growers. It has disappeared for some reason or another, and I am inclined to think that the livestock men are not at all to blame for it.

Mr. BOWDEN. Would you fix a number for sheep and for cattle below which a user could not be reduced on the forest reserve? Mr. NASH. Yes.

Mr. BOWDEN. What would you suggest as a number?

Mr. NASH. It would be dependent upon the forest reserve and the conditions. Some forest reserves will bear a greater number than others. If it could be distributed as a whole, as Senator Gooding has suggested, then you could make a fixed number, but I do not believe that that could be carried all through the State very practically.

Mr. BOWDEN. I am asking about the individual user.


Mr. NASH. Well, I will illustrate my point by an example. some national forests the maximum permittee only gets 30 head of cattle, and in others they two or three hundred because of the localitv, the wide difference in the relation of the range.

Mr. BOWDEN. Well, on any range how low would you put the number?

Mr. NASH. Well, I would think that probably 5,000 head would be a maximum on the best ranges if it is required by legitimate lessees. Mr. BOWDEN. Then, would you be in favor of stabilizing the right to graze up to 5,000 head?

Mr. NASH. Yes; that is a figure that I have just taken at random. Somewhere around about that.

Mr. BOWDEN. You think there ought to be some stabilization?
Mr. NASH. I do.

Mr. BOWDEN. And you believe there ought to be stabilization for a period of years, so that a man could figure his investment and shape his business accordingly?

Mr. NASH. Yes.

Mr. BOWDEN. The livestock business is a business that requires a period of years to determine whether or not you are going to make a profit, does it not?

Mr. NASH. It does.

Mr. BOWDEN. Profit comes on the increase, and it takes years in order to work out a business venture?

Mr. NASH. Yes.

Mr. BOWDEN. And you believe there is a necessity for range stabilization for a period of time?

Mr. NASH. I do.

Senator GOODING. Mr. Nash, you have been familiar with the livestock industry for a great many years. What is your judgment in regard to either the cattle or the sheep business being a profitable

business in Idaho during the course, we will say, of a number of years, taking the last 10 or 15 years?

Mr. NASH. Weil, during the past several years the cattle business has been unprofitable. The sheep business was so for three or four years, but during the past three years it has been profitable when properly handled.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Nash, is it your experience in dealing with livestock men and in leasing them range areas that they are inclined to overgraze when they have a lengthy tenure of lease?

Mr. NASH. No, sir; it is the opposite.

The CHAIRMAN. Their inclination is to conserve and improve? Mr. NASH. Yes; because they know they are to get the use of it. I might state that in leasing State lands my predecessors refused to allow them to fence grazing. I have taken the opposite view. My observation in traveling over the State and looking at the grazing areas is that wherever I would see a fence I would see better grazing than out. And we encouraged the fencing of the leased lands.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you think that it would be practical to lease the unreserved public domain in grazing units to livestock men? Mr. NASH. The great trouble there, in my opinion, is the danger of a monopoly again.

The CHAIRMAN. Well, with due regard to that?

Mr. NASH. If it could be worked out, I think it would be all right. The CHAIRMAN. On some equitable basis?

Mr. NASH. Yes. I see the need very vividly of some control, because the grass is all being tramped out and it is overgrazed.

The CHAIRMAN. Is there any manner of control that you can suggest other than that of leasing of the range?

Mr. NASH. No; I could not.

The CHAIRMAN. That is the policy that you follow in representing the State of Idaho?

Mr. NASH. Yes; we are compelled to do that through the constitutional provisions. We have to lease it or let it go.

The CHAIRMAN. And do you think that is a wise provision?

Mr. NASH. Yes. Yet I think you were right when you referred to the fact that a good many abuses come out of that. We can not avoid them.

The CHAIRMAN. They are incurable?

Mr. NASH. Well, we have cured some of them by giving the land department discretion in giving preferences.

The CHAIRMAN. In having the right to choose your own tenants? Mr. NASH. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. And you are inclined to choose those whom you believe to be the better tenants?

Mr. NASH. Yes; and also to see that justice is meted out. The purpose of that was to try and protect the smaller grazer and homesteader.

The CHAIRMAN. Are there many segregated small areas of public domain in the State of Idaho?

Mr. NASH. Isolated areas?

The CHAIRMAN. Isolated.

Mr. NASH. Yes; there are quite a number.

The CHAIRMAN. Could you suggest how those lands could be appropriated and brought on to the tax rolls; brought into private ownership?

Mr. NASH. No; it is a pretty hard problem. And right on that question I wish to emphasize what has been said on the 640-acre homestead. I think it has been so abused that it would be better to repeal it.

The CHAIRMAN. You think that it would be advisable for Congress to make some provision whereby these isolated tracts that are in excess of these so-called isolated 160-acre tracts might be sold at a price?

Mr. NASH. Yes; like the provision covering smaller tracts.

Mr. NASH. Yes; I believe so.

The CHAIRMAN. That provision runs up to as much as 160 acres? Mr. NASH. Yes; I think it does. I think that is a good law.

The CHAIRMAN. And you think if it was made to apply to the larger isolated tracts that are not susceptible or adaptable to homestead that it would be a wise provision?

Mr. NASH. Well, I would want it limited. I would not want too large an area to be taken that way.

Mr. BOWDEN. What limit would you suggest?

Mr. NASH. Oh, possibly 320.

The CHAIRMAN. There is a condition that exists in the State of Washington, and I think in the northern part of your State, where practically all the public domain has been appropriated. The State of Washington has something like 3 per cent of its area that remains public domain, and this in the main runs in tracts of about 640 to 1,000 acres in the township. And in cases of that kind do you think that it would be wise for Congress to enact a provision that would induce the purchasing of all of those tracts, regardless of size? Mr. NASH. Under such conditions, I do.

The CHAIRMAN. You can understand that it is very difficult for the Government to administer over such a vast area so many scattered fragments of public domain?

Mr. NASH. Most of that class of land is of very little value, anyhow, or it would have been taken.

The CHAIRMAN. Yes; that is true. Are there any further questions?

Mr. BOWDEN. You lease your State lands here on an acre basis? Mr. NASH. Yes.

Mr. BOWDEN. You determine the carrying capacity of those lands? Mr. NASH. Well, strictly our law provides that these lands must be appraised at a cash value, and we are not to lease it for less than 5 per cent of its appraised value, but we have not appraised all the lands. We make a sort of a blanket appraisal, and we are leasing the lands now for an average of 7 cents an acre, the grazing lands. However, it is not all that. Some is a little less and some is more. Mr. BOWDEN. Do you instruct your lessees as to how many cattle or sheep they shall run on these lands and when and how they shall run them?

Mr. NASH. No; we encourage the organization of grazing districts. We have now some 25 or 30 grazing districts in the State, which comprise not only State lands but privately owned lands and

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