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Some man or men in a Ford car and a .22 rifle were out there and got a bunch of veal.

It is reported over here in Campas that they are short a hundred head of cattle since they turned out this spring, to their knowledge. They have been taken out of there; they haven't just died.

There were one or two things that struck me to-day while listening to the testimony. I presume from what has been said about the State law that we are under obligations as to fires, having little holdings. on the reserve. I am speaking just from a layman's standpoint, but it appeared to me that there was quite an inconsistency between the attempt of the Forest Service to control fires and the so-called Biological Survey in this. Now, this is what came to my mind, from my own knowledge. This side of our camp there is a little section of a young growth of pine trees. For 10 or 12 years that I have been right through there that has accumulated a great underbrush and settlement from the trees and so on, and it seems to me that that would be quite a nest for those bugs and so on to harbor and work in. Upon the other side of us for that many years and to my knowledge the whole mountain side has been covered with fallen timber. You could not drive a cow or get a bunch of sheep over there if you tried. And it just occurred to me that if they would probably apply the policy that we had on the ranches to clean up and get the waste out of the way of another crop that a little of the money spent that way might be all right.

Now, I know the handicap of the Forest Service in doing the work that it has to do; at least, I appreciate it to quite an extent, as far as building the roads and trails, and so on. Yet I feel that as long as some of our money is going to it we have a license at least to comment on it, and I would not say a word, I do not think, or have a complaint to make if they had figured that they would get along as they are at the present time and spend it as they will, but when they are asking for more money and insisting on double their amount to be spent in the same way as I have observed it being spent, then I rise to a point of defining our interests and at least asking them if they do not figure that they are doing us an injustice by trying to increase our fees at this time.

Now, just in conclusion I wish to leave this thought: There are other things that come to my mind while out on the range that I would not speak of here. I believe in all seriousness that this gathering of men here to-day, forest men and breeders and you gentlemen from Congress, are in a position to do more for Idaho, as far as the 70 or 80 per cent of grazing lands and timberlands and so on are concerned, than any other gathering that ever met in Idaho. I believe that in this gathering as a whole are men of experience. They are men that have gone through the struggles of the last few years. And they are men whose judgment is worth something in formulating a policy or a change for the better. And with all respect to everybody-and I want to say again that I believe that we have good men in the Forest Service here-if the policy that they had to follow was something more in accord with what we think would be good business judgment, conditions would be better. I thank you gentlemen for listening to me and for the opportunity to have said that much. I will be glad to answer any questions.

The CHAIRMAN. Have you any questions, Senator Oddie?
Senator ODDIE. That will be all. Thank you, Mr. McDermott.
We will now hear further from Mr. Bacon.


The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Bacon, how long have you been in the sheep business?

Mr. BACON. Seventeen years myself.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you graze within the boundaries of the national forest?

Mr. BACON. Yes, sir; all that period.

The CHAIRMAN. And do you graze on the public domain?

Mr. BACON. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Are you now grazing on the public domain?
Mr. BACON. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. In your opinion, can Congress formulate a leasing law that would be advantageous to the livestock industry and also for the conservation of forage growing on the public domain?

Mr. BACON. I believe that is possible. However, I think that I will have to agree pretty much with the Idaho platform in regard to the management of this range. I think we will have to demonstrate, Senator, that the Government can handle grazing a little more satisfactorily on the forest reserves before I would want my grazing on the public domain controlled by the Government. I believe that until that time arrives-and I hope it will-that personally I would rather see the public domain left as it is.

The CHAIRMAN. Now, if Congress should deem it wise to enact a law providing for the control of the public domain, have you any opinion as to whether it would be more practicable to place it under the permit system, thereby granting the right to graze on the per head or per capita livestock basis, or on the area basis without regard to the number of livestock that may graze, only providing for a restriction as to overgrazing?

Mr. BACON. Personally I think the area basis, if it is properly managed and the grazing lands, you understand, are appraised on their value. In other words, I don't think that we can say that all these lands would be worth so much an acre. But if that could be properly done, and I imagine it could if it could be handled at all, it would be much more satisfactory, in my judgment, to the livestock men to have an area of ground that he could put as many stock on or as few stock on as he saw fit; that we would get better management that way. In other words, if he built up his range and improved it, he would then under that rule derive the benefit of it.

The CHAIRMAN. As I understand you, the rental to be based on the grazing ability of the area on a per head basis?

Mr. BACON. Yes; something of that kind, but to make it on a per acre, and then allow the man to put as many stock on there as the range will reasonably carry, and then if he will improve that range, that he will receive the benefit of that improvement, because that selfish element is human and it is going to be the same with the stockman as everyone else. If you let him improve it, and after improving it let somebody else derive the benefit from it, he is not going to


do much improving on it. That has always been the trouble on our forest reserve.

The CHAIRMAN. And if Congress sees fit to pass an act do you believe that there should be a provision in the law making it optional with grazing districts as to whether the public domain shall be leased or not?

Mr. BACON. I imagine that that will be necessary in order to take care of the interests and conditions of the different sections of the West. I know that even in our own State certain sections have very little public domain left, and other sections have quite a little strip. And I imagine it would have to be left to local communities in order to not work a hardship on a certain number of our stockmen and farmers.

The CHAIRMAN. Does the agitation for an increase in grazing fees unstabilize the livestock industry?

Mr. BACON. Yes, sir; it has.

Senator GOODING. What will happen to even the sheep industry if the increase in the forest reserves fees are put through, such as they are asking at this time? At the same time suppose that Congress should pass a provision providing for some kind of a lease of the public domain for which there must be some charge if it is separated from the forest reserve; what is going to happen to even the sheep industry if a two or three hundred per cent increase is made in grazing charges at the present time?

Mr. BACON. I don't think, Senator, that the average sheepman in the State of Idaho has any desire to remain in the business if he thinks that his cost of production is going to be increased. That is our great difficulty to-day, and it is always the last straw that breaks the camel's back, and I am very well satisfied that the majority of our sheep owners in the State if they felt they were going to have to bear an increased burden along with everything else, that they would much prefer to go out of business. I know that is my condition. I don't care to do it. There isn't enough in it.

Senator GOODING. Isn't there a very serious danger now, with the high price of sheep, that Idaho may lose a lot of its herds? Are they not moving out of the State at the present time at an alarming rate?

Mr. BACON. They are moving out at the present time at an alarming rate. I don't know what is going to happen to us in the State of Idaho, as far as livestock is concerned. It is going to be a serious condition for us to market our crop. We have got a lot of hay. I raise most of my own hay. I could buy it much cheaper than I can raise it.

The CHAIRMAN. The instability of the livestock industry is disrupting other and dependent business?

Mr. BACON. Absolutely.

Senator GOODING. In other words, I think it has been stated, but there is no question about it, that our soil here in the valley of the Snake only grows about one crop of grain or most any other crop; then it is either put into alfalfa or clover. It has to be built up. In order to retain that fertility at least one-third of our lands must be in alfalfa hay.

Mr. BACON. That is correct.

Senator GOODING. Now, there has got to be a market for that hay. It can not be produced unless there is a market. And up to the present time the livestock industry furnishes the only market for hay in Idaho outside of a very small percentage shipped out. Mr. BACON. That is true.

Senator GOODING. And if you destroy that opportunity of keeping up the fertility of the soil you destroy the very foundation of civilization itself. That is coming to most every State in the Union. It will come to Idaho unless we have something to maintain the fertility of it, and we can do it with either clover or alfalfa. We can not afford to buy fertilizers, as they are doing in the East or in the South. So the livestock industry is imperative to the prosperity and the development of Idaho, the livestock industry is vital to it, and anything that tends to increase the cost of production means the decrease of the herds; isn't that true?

Mr. BACON. Undoubtedly.

Senator ODDIE. Without the livestock industry would the forage on the national forest be a complete loss?

Mr. BACON. There is no use that we can put it to that anyone knows, Senator, other than that.

Senator ODDIE. The only use that anyone knows of. And therefore would it be a serious economic loss to the whole country?

Mr. BACON. It would mean a serious economic loss to the whole country, and especially would that be true in our State, for the reason that we have about 83 per cent of grazing land that is not good for anything else that we know of, practically, with the exception of the mineral in the ground and in cases where there is timber on it. But the timber conservation as we have found out goes hand in hand with the raising of livestock; we have found that we can not protect the forest from fire without feeding off these forests and the grasses that grow up in the timber.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you know of any conflict, Mr. Bacon, between the different interests that are utilizing the different resources of the national forests?

Mr. BACON. I do not, personally. I can not recall any.

Senator GOODING. The greatest competitors that the American livestock growers, both of sheep and cattle have, are Australia and South America. Do you know anything about the value of the Government grazing lands in those countries?

Mr. BACON. Senator, I have not the exact figures.

Senator GOODING. I might make this statement, that in Australia the forage is furnished to the sheep there the year around at 8 cents a head and cattle about 20 cents a head. In South America about 20 cents for sheep and a little more for cattle where they use the Government lands there. That is forage for the entire year. What do you pay for grazing three months or four months on the forest reserve?

Mr. BACON. It is about 3 cents a head a month.

Senator GOODING. Three cents a head a month?
Mr. BACON. Yes.

Senator GOODING. You stay on three months or four months?

Mr. BACON. In some cases three months and in some cases four. However, on most of my ranges we haven't sufficient forage for the

whole time. I have to buy pasture and supplement my range. Of course, I pay the same fee.

The CHAIRMAN. You pay at the rate of about four and a half times the rate that is paid in Australia?

Mr. BACON. Approximately so.

Senator GOODING. For the three months they use it or the four months.

The CHAIRMAN. Now, Mr. Bacon, if the livestock industry is to continue, all the costs of production and all added costs plus a profit must be passed on to the consumer ultimately?

Mr. BACON. Certainly. It has got to go there if we stay in business and sell our product.

The CHAIRMAN. Are there any further questions?

Mr. BOWDEN. To what extent have there been reductions in the State of Idaho relative to forest-reserve permits for redistribution purposes?

Mr. BACON. I can not give you the exact figures on that. I can state this, however, that on one particular national forest that I am on, where there has been quite a little redistributing, that on that forest I have suffered, I imagine, about 25 per cent cut at different times.

Mr. BOWDEN. Over what period of time?

Mr. BACON. That is over a period of approximately 16 years. Mr. BOWDEN. Cuts are being made quite heavily for redistribution purposes?

Mr. BACON. They have been; yes, sir. I would like to state this, also, that on this particular national forest where I have made a personal observations and kept close track of it we have found this to be a fact, that less than 5 per cent of what we term our class A permittees have ever made any success of it, and in the community that I live in where we have a good deal of farming and quite a lot of livestock the bankers in that community to a large extent have finally agreed that as far as the range business is concerned it is a business by itself, and that these small uneconomic units that they get on the forest reserve do not pay these farmers, and they have refused to finance them. They think that they make more money on the farms, and the bankers show us that they make more money in dollars and cents on the farms with the herds in the fields than on the range. In fact they are making a greater percentage of profit than the larger herds are making. There are a lot of things that they must take into consideration, such as predatory animals, etc.

It was said here to-day by one witness that there ought to be a limit placed on the number of sheep or cattle placed on the forest reserve. I think economics are going to take care of that. In the last 10 years I don't think the average permittee on some of our biggest territories, our biggest prairies, where we have our largest permittee, run more than that gentleman mentioned. The question in my mind is, gentlemen, whether we are going to keep these livestock on these national forests. My investment in farm land is larger than in sheep, and I know that if this stock is not kept in this State my farm land is going to depreciate 50 or 75 per cent; and I am more concerned than if I stay on that forest, if there is somebody

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