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ranch as I will show a little later when I discuss those charts on cost of production.

At a number of rate hearings which we have attended this past year in which we appealed from the fourth section relief in the long and short haul clause on the Interstate Commerce act, the various chambers of commerce of San Francisco, Portland, and Chicago have argued like this—you people of Idaho don't have to live in that God-forsaken country. If you want the advantages of water transportation there is nothing to hinder you doing as we have done, you can move to Chicago or the Pacific coast where all these emoluments will accrue. But if you insist on getting the advantage of the water competition in transportation that we enjoy.

As far as I know the ocean is also a public resource and we of Idaho have as much a vested right in the surf of those districts as have the private citizens of Swampscott or Astoria. If I am right with equal impunity we can come back at these Iowans who say we are a favored few, who say that the range belongs equally to them, and tell them that it is a public resource all right, but that if they want to use it they better come out here, and live here and pioneer and develop the country as we have done. If they insist in living in that God-forsaken country, they should bear the penalty and not attempt to commercialize our range, and put us in the same disadvantageous position that they are in.

So after they decided to charge as much for grazing on the national forest as was charged for contingent private leases, in order to arrive at a correct commercial basis for charging, the Forest Service made a survey of what the private lands were renting for in the vicinity of the forests and established fees which they thought would put the rents of the forest on the same basis. But the value of private leases in Idaho is largely dependent on the surrounding free range.

In comparing the rental value of privately owned grazing lands, the Forest Service did not take into account the unappropriated, unreserved public domain of many millions acres, which is used solely for grazing, and without any fee. The persence of large tracts of public domain throughout the State has a potential influence on the grazing value of these private lands. It might easily account for one-half of the alleged value of leased private lands.

The leasing of railroad checker-baord land also in effect carries with it the use of the intervening sections belonging to the Government so that by leasing a certain acreage of such land stockmen often secure a double amount of grazing.

The Forest Service from the outset assumed the propriety of commercial exploitation by the Government of a part of a grazing resource without any regard to the related properties dependent thereon. Their system under takes to burden the users of forest grazing with a scale of prices utterly beyond the ability of the bona fide settlers engaged in the livestock business to pay.

Stockmen want security in the present and future use of the grazing and to be thereby enabled to make the land more productive and to place their business on a definite and secure basis.


The principal abuse of the public domain to-day is the tendency to injure the forage stand by overgrazing, and it is entirely probable that the usefulness of these lands to the Nation, under the present lack of system, will greatly be lessened as time goes on. This would be unfortunate from the standpoint of national interest and also in consideration of the livestock industry of the States concerned.

Another reason why the stockman is particularly anxious that grazing on the public domain be regulated and the forage improved is found in the fact that when the forage is eaten close and tramped out, it becomes very poor and the stock eat poisoned weeds which otherwise they would not touch. The loss from this cause is large each year on denuded ranges.

The users want some form of definite tenure or security that will justify and permit the conservance of proper grazing methods, and the investment in fences, water development, and better animals, without which fully efficient livestock production is impossible.


In view of the interest now being manifest in the East, it would be very probable that legislation, providing that public lands should be turned back to the States, could be passed by Congress.

Senator Stanfield believes the Senate might pass such legislation if the committee recommends it after study, but he questions the possibility of putting the bill through the House, as House sentiment is strongly in favor of holding the public domain and exploiting it for all the people under Government control.


The Salt Lake Desert News, March 30, says:

"There is a growing feeling in Congress favoring the turning all Government lands over to the States in which they are located for supervision of grazing with but a nominal charge to stockmen. Congress favors grazing regulations, some Members thinking it would place the stockmen on a sounder basis and permit them to control public domain entirely within the regulations."


The States are already burdened with the expense of administrating of these



The expense of maintenance of isolated school districts, the expense of maintenance of roads, all falls upon our local governments. The State might as well have the land. Any revenue derived should go to the State and not to the Federal Government.


If this whole question of grazing fees and grazing rights now under discussion were centered at Boise instead of Washington, it would be where you could put your finger and thumb right over it. As it is, your voice over the radio to Washington takes on considerable static, and your listeners in Congress and the Cabinet departments hear not much more than the usual squeal and squawk. In fact, one reason for this proposed congressional committee to investigate publie land problems comes from weariness of hearing jumbled and irritating broadcasting from our stations.


Idaho is the feed yard of the West. It is the only chief locality of the West which markets fat lambs directly from the range. The sheep business of Idaho has developed, and is going to continue to develop, into an intensified feeding proposition. Sheep-feed costs in Idaho are on the whole several times those of any of the other Western States. On the whole, our wages are better; our treatment of our hired help is better and more costly. The peculiar procedure of our industry in Idaho as compared to other States contributes to a different management of our sheep on our ranges.


Zoning system recommended: There should be on these ranges a loose system of control for a period of years, a zoning system of large areas which will go no farther except to limit the sheep the ranges will safely carry, with no permit system such as prevails on the forest reserve, until time and experience have pointed out a method of segregation insuring justice to all.


As to how allotments on the public domain would be made, a different system would certainly have to be followed than that now used on the forest. In the case of making allotments of public lands, as mentioned before, some of this land might be good range one year, but the next year there would be no water, and thus it could not be used.


I am not afraid of my own State government. I have leased grazing land from the State. I knew when I leased it just what it was going to cost, and my rights as compared to the rights of any other individual were inviolable on that piece of ground.

Stockmen have received a squarer deal from the State on the lands they have leased than they have from the Forest Service. I bet they can name 10 injustices at the hands of the Forest Service to 1 at the hands of the State.


Any bill which turns control of the balance of the public domain over to the Department of Agriculture, to the Department of the Interior, or to any other Federal agency will contain the stated provision that the homesteader laws as now in the books will stand as they are, for the chief and sound reason that it has always been the policy of the Federal Government to ultimately get these lands under State control. And homesteading is one way of doing it.


On the other hand, such legislation should not be considered unless all other natural resources, such as the national forests, national parks and monuments, mineral lands, and water-power sites, should likewise revert to the States. It would clearly be unfair to take over all of the valuable property of a State and then turn back to the State the valueless tag ends, almost entirely depleted and denuded.

There is, of course, no possibility of getting all of the valuable resources turned back to the States, and so this method need hardly be considered.


If the State took the public lands under control, it would all come to politics. I have always found that the stockmen are in a minority; there is always some one standing in the way. If the stockmen want anything, they must get it before the other fellow knows anything about it or they won't get anything. If you go after it in the first two weeks of the legislature, you get it, but after that the swappers get busy and always at the expense of the livestock men.


For the purpose of getting before this meeting and getting in the minds of you men, a realization of the problems which confront us as stock raisers and users of the public range, I have prepared this discussion of the situation, giving you the facts and the opinions of men who are thinking of these problems, as I have gathered them from personal conversations, from the newspapers, and from other available reading matter.

It has not been my intention or purpose to fully argue for or against any proposed scheme, but rather to point out the facts and give you the arguments for and against the different proposed ideas or ways of handling the public


My idea is to make you men think of these things; to revolve them in your minds to discuss them with the idea of working out the best possible solution for all concerned.

As you know the purpose of this meeting is to discuss the question: "What shall be done with the public range?" This includes the forest reserves. Some, and I think the majority, will say, "Leave it as it is," and to my mind this would be best, but I think the time is here when the Government is going to do something with this public domain.

President Coolidge seems to think something should be done. The Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the forest officials have expressed themselves; the United States Senate has directed its Committee on Public Lands and Surveys to investigate all matters relating to national

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forests and the public domain and their administration, including grazing lands.

This committee, through its subcommittee consisting of Senator Robert N. Stanfield, of Oregon (chairman), and Senators Cameron (Arizona), Spencer (Missouri), Oddie (Nevada), Dale (Vermont), Pittman (Nevada), Jones (New Mexico), Kendrick (Wyoming), and Dill (Washington), has begun its work and is preparing to and intends to hold meetings throughout the 11 western public lands States this summer and fall, and is ordered to make its final report to the Senate at the beginning of the next Congress, together with recommendations for such legislation as it deems necessary.

This committee is going to say that some legislation is necessary. What it says can be greatly influenced by the stockmen. In fact I believe if we will act, take this matter in hand and get the true facts before this committee that will enable them to see the situation as it is, we can come pretty near writing the bill.

That a bill providing for some sort of disposition or control of the public domain will be introduced is certain; that some bill will be passed and made into law in the near future is almost as certain.

The fact is the time has come; it is here now. A law will be passed. What
shall that law be and who shall write it? Shall those who live in the West
who are using the range write it, or shall we sit by while others write it for us?
Already a bill has been written by some one. It has been read to you. It
is satisfactory to the Department of Agriculture, the Department of the In-
terior, and the forest officials. Who wrote it I do not know, but I do know
that it was not a stockman. I will have more to say about this bill later.
The handling of the public domain will affect many people and much busi-
ness many are interested. Let us see who they are:

First. And I say most important are the stock raisers or stock producers.
Second. Other producers who trade with the stock producer.

Third. Those who finance the raisers. This means the bankers, the loan
and trust companies, and private individuals loaning money to raisers.

Fourth. Those who handle livestock and the by-products and obtain a revenue thereby. They are the railroads, commission firms, livestock brokers, stock feeders, packing houses, butchers, wool buyers, woolen mills, tanners, leather manufacturers, and a thousand others.

Fifth. All other people in the United States, for it is a fact that these people in every walk of life have to do with the horse, the cow, and the sheep. Not only are all the people interested as individuals but collectively. The United States Government, the State governments, the cities, towns, and counties are interested.


This is a big question and must be viewed from a broad viewpoint. narrow selfish solution will be accepted. If whatever is done with the public domain results in a benefit to the livestock growers, it will directly and indirectly benefit all people, and this principle must control our actions and ideas and the actions of the Government. In fact the idea of permanent benefit to the livestock industry must be paramount rather than the desire or wishes of a department of Government or the advantage of any set of men.

Four ideas or plans have been advanced: First, the United States deed the lands to the respective States; second, sell the lands to individuals; third, lease the lands; fourth, put the balance of the domain under supervision.

I propose to discuss these four ideas in an unbiased, fair manner, and
try and show you as briefly as possible the arguments for and against each.
First. If these lands, meaning what is now the unreserved public domain, are
deeded to the respective States, it would be with the idea that the States would
make some disposition of them under some kind of lease or supervision similar
to the forest reserves. If sold or leased by the States, it would be practically
the same as if sold or leased by the United States. These questions will be
discussed under those heads.

If put under lease or supervision by the States, where will the State get
competent men to handle the lands? Under what branch or department of the
State government?
And there being 11 Western or public land States will
there be 11 different kinds of control? And how often will the policy change in
each State? Every election or every other election? Will preference be given
to residents of the State to the exclusion of others and thus destroy the outfits
running in two States?

When one thinks of a State doing this so many things pop into his mind
that are troublesome he begins to discard it. Without going into detail we all

know that we have too much politics in all the States to attempt such a thing. The idea of State supervision, seriously proposed, would at once lessen the value of the industry, to say nothing of constant changes of policy and the political debts that would be paid by it.

Deeding the land to the States does not seem to meet with much favor. Second. Shall the Government sell the land, and if so, who to and at what price? Let me digress at this point to say to you that we are facing a peculiar condition in that it is not the livestock industry or the people of the West that want anything done with the public ranges. It is not the Congress of the United States or the President of the United States, but it is the governmental agencies, the departments of Government who pretend they see ruined ranges and a ruined livestock business if something is not done. At least this is what they tell us. It may be that the real motive is a larger department or an expanding of that governmental agency, or it may be money for the Government. I am inclined to think it is partly both; mostly money. The Rachford report shows that.

I do think that these men have so long preached the gospel to us of what good Samaritans they are that they now believe it and believe that we believe it. Getting back to the question of the Government selling the lands I here point out to you that this is dangerous. We haven't the money to buy them, and if we did we could not afterwards pay the State taxes on them. What these lands are worth I do not know, but I do know that they are not worth what it would cost to fence them in 640-acre tracts. They have been offered gratis at that price.

I will now take up the third idea, that of leasing as there are several points for and against the purchase of the range which apply with equal force to leases.

Here is the present situation: The stockmen are now using these public lands as a fall, winter, spring, and summer range or pasture. They have used them for a long while without objection. They have bought and traded livestock ranches and range lands with the idea in view of using these public lands. They have paid more than these ranch lands, these range lands and the livestock were worth. In other words, the value of these public lands has been figured in. It has all been paid for in these deals. All the time the Government knew this and said nothing. These departments knew it equally well.

Any policy which the Government now adopts which does not recognize and accept this fact, will be wrong. Therefore, if the Government decides to sell or lease these lands it must in all fairness, sell it to these men and at a price based on this theory. Many are afraid this will not be done. That the Government will start out to do it and when it learns what a complex question it is, that is as to who is entitled to particular lands, that it will give up and put the lands up at public auction. There is grave danger of this. Especially if it is money they want as is indicated so plainly by the Rachford scheme. Just think of your individual case. Who are you willing to have say what particular lands you are entitled to have?

There are many complex questions. First, as to what men or concerns have any right at all: that is, who shall use the range in the future. Shall it be citizens of the United States, or all who are now using it. Shall it be the man who is using it now without regard to the length of time or how he came into the use of it? Shall there be property qualifications such as commensurate and dependent land holdings and shall all lands, both ranch and range, be credited? Shall the question of unmolested use be considered? What a man bought in or trespassed in should be a factor.

Before the creation of the forests, and yet again on the outside range, range rights have been recognized, possibly not fully by the courts, but by the custom of the country, by the common practice.

A man sold his ranch, his cattle, and his iron. The buyer got the ranch, he counted the cattle and all cattle bearing that iron, wherever he found them, were his and in addition he got the range and in figuring the price of the outfit the value of the range was included. The custom of the range did not permit the original owner to afterwards put cattle on that range and it was seldom attempted.

The same was true in selling a sheep outfit. The sheep were counted, the owned lands priced and transferred, but always the range value was included. In many cases the entire outfit is lumped off.

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