Page images

Mr. CARR. We have discussed this matter quite at length in our country, and the idea has been that a series of advisory boards through the various districts which would act in conjunction with the rangers and the sunpervisor of that particular forest might be established under the law.

Senator JONES of New Mexico. Well, that exists now, does it not? Mr. CARR. Well, with greater powers than exist at the present time, Senator.

Senator JONES of New Mexico. Well, as I suggested a moment ago, it seems to me that ultimate authority must rest somewhere. Mr. CARR. I think in the Forest Service.

Senator JONES of New Mexico. It rests there now, does it not? Mr. CARR. Yes; but you must go higher than we have the local problems go at the present time, have a more practical working out of the local problem, the immediate situation. For instance, there is a protest at the present time in our country against the plan to take the lamb ranges entirely off the forest reserve. They feel that if the stockmen, the sheepmen, rather, and the Forest Service, were closer in accord, that that would not come about, because they feel in that country they need the lambing grounds on the forest reserve, and under the present plan in 1930 those will be definitely closed.

Senator JONES of New Mexico. There you have a concrete proposition.

Mr. CARR. Yes, sir.

Senator JONES of New Mexico. At the present time the advisory board advises that there may be lambing on the forest reserve, as I understand it?

Mr. CARR. Yes.

Senator JONES of New Mexico. The forester himself, or the man in charge of the forest thinks otherwise?

Mr. CARR. Yes.

Senator JONES of New Mexico. Well now, then, whose judgment should ultimately control?

Mr. CARR. Some one outside, as I say, of the immediate local prejudice. The forester perhaps is not in a position to pass on that question. He is the man with whom they are quarreling now at the present time in our section.

Senator JONES of New Mexico. Well, now they have a right of appeal to the supervisor, have they not?

Mr. CARR. Yes. And they of course, are planning those appeals in that country. The supervisor is inclined to feel that this is the proper method, to close those lambing grounds in 1930, and they feel that if some more sympathetic interests in the problems of the grower could be brought to bear on those questions, that that would not result.

Senator JONES of New Mexico. Well, in the last analysis does not that amount to this, that you are willing for the other fellow to decide the question if he will decide it your way?

Mr. CARR. No; it is not. We still, while admitting and feeling that the Forest Service should have a voice because of the necessities of the forest

Senator JONES of New Mexico. Well now, what do you mean by "having a voice"?

Mr. CARR. I should think the determination utterly of the timber interests. And should then have a voice in the determination of these other questions with the sheep growers. But we are afraidwe are not in favor of taking the matter, under the present situation, clear out of the hands of the Forest Service in our particular country. Senator JONES of New Mexico. Well now, that question of whether they should lamb on the forest reserves or not-are you willing to still leave it where it is?

Mr. CARR. No; we are not.

Senator JONES of New Mexico. Well, what would you do with it, then?

Mr. CARR. That is our problem. That is what we are trying to work out, Senator. We feel that ultimately if the forest is to be maintained, and if our watersheds are to be protected, our interests being agricultural, as I say, the Forest Service must have control of the trees for the maintenance of our water supplies. And the result is that they must have a voice in the manner of running the cattle and the sheep on the hills.

Senator CAMERON. Does their control tend to drive the stockman out of business?

Mr. CARR. If that continues, then we would go that other distance and ask that they have no voice in it. We are not prepared at this time to assume that radical position to say that the forests should not have control. But if they are going to go utterly at variance with the future of our country there, why, then we would assume that position, being driven into the corner.

Senator CAMERON. It might be too late.

Mr. CARR. That is true.

Senator CAMERON. You might be out of business before you got action.

Mr. CARR. That is why we are protesting now.

Senator JONES of New Mexico. Well, if the final decision is to rest with the Forest Service, could you suggest anything that might be done to ameliorate your condition?

Mr. CARR. This plan has been suggested, Senator. An appellate tribunal composed of an umpire from the State agencies, one selected by the stock growers and the forest representative.

Senator CAMERON. Suppose they would not agree. You have only got two?

Mr. CARR. Three. The State, I say, and the stock growers. And the Forest Service representative; that plan has been suggested. Senator JONES of New Mexico. Well, that is a very definite suggestion.

Mr. CARR. Yes.

Senator JONES of New Mexico. You think then there should be a board of appeals consisting of a representative of the Forest Service and of the stockmen, and the umpire, who should be appointed by the governor of the State?

Mr. CARR. Yes; the umpire coming from the State land board in our State, perhaps.

Senator JONES of New Mexico. How would it do to name the State land commissioner?

Mr. CARR. That would be highly satisfactory, I think. Especially in our State. The administration of our State lands in Colorado

has been rather happy in its results. I am not entirely committed to that idea myself, but that has been argued and presented a number of times, and I am frank to say that it is the best suggestion we have heard up until the present time. I am still holding to the belief that some one higher in authority in the Forest Service might be just as good as an umpire, but there are others who have longer experience than I have in the matter who think that this appellate board of three members might work it out properly.

Senator JONES of New Mexico. Are the rangers and supervisors of the individual forests selected because of their knowledge of timber conditions or grazing conditions?

Mr. CARR. I would say, of course, that their knowledge is of timber conditions rather than grazing conditions. Although we have been fortunate in some instances in our particular locality in having men selected or rangers who had an experience in the cattle and the sheep game which stood them in hand. But they are not selected according to those lines generally.

Senator JONES of New Mexico. They are selected because of their knowledge of the timber situation primarily, is that so?

Mr. CARR. Yes, sir. And to some extent, as Mr. Morley expressed it yesterday, because they are able to pass an examination. And that does not determine the qualifications of a doctor or a lawyer or any one else, really-any profession.

Senator JONES of New Mexico. That is all.

Senator CAMERON. All right. Thank you, Mr. Carr. Mr. J. C. Smith.


Senator CAMERON (presiding). Will you give your full name and your address to the reporter, Mr. Smith?

Mr. SMITH. James C. Smith, city hall, Albuquerque, N. Mex. Senator CAMERON. Mr. Smith, you have a statement you wish to present to the committee?

Mr. SMITH. I should say this, Mr. Chairman, that I did not know until about 9 o'clock last night that a statement would be expected. and therefore I had limited time to prepare a statement. So that my statement will be more or less a running statement.

I represent the middle Rio Grande conservancy district from a standpoint of agriculture. And by way of introduction I should say that what I shall recommend to this committee is entirely out of line with the recommendations previously made, but I hope that they may be coordinated so that the livestock industry, with which we have a great sympathy as agriculturists, shall get what they want and what they need, and at the same time the agricultural interests of the State will get what they ought to have.

We have large valleys in the State, and especially do I speak for the middle Rio Grande conservancy district and its valley from the State line of Colorado to San Marcial, N. Mex. A district has been formed, and the constitutionality of the law has been filed in the State supreme court. We hope to get a decision on that within a reasonable length of time. And it is our plan as agriculturists in this

section of the country to go ahead and put over the reclamation of this valley. If we are able to get cooperation from the Federal Government, which we hope to get, we will appreciate it very, very much. But if the policies of the Federal Government and their resources should be such that we can not get their cooperation and assistance, we hope to be able to go ahead anyway and develop this valley.

The policy of the Government, as we understand it, is the greatest good to the greatest number of people. And I think it will not. be denied that the reclamation of a vast empire like this will increase the population and increase the land values. Land that is now worth $5 to $17 an acre with an expenditure, I believe, estimated by our engineers, of about $67 per acre, would increase the value to an average of about $150 an acre. And on the basis of that, on 150,000 acres, we would have a valuation up to about $75,000,000 of taxable property. That will, of course, reduce our tax rate and equalize taxes throughout the other parts of the State, and in that way would be a relief to the other citizens of the State.

I have an article prepared by Colonel Robinson, of the United States Indian Irrigation Service. I do not wish to take the time of this committee to read that, but there are perhaps one or two paragraphs that the committee would like to hear orally, as well as the other citizens, and then I would like the privilege of filing the copy with the committee.

Senator CAMERON. All right, go ahead.

Mr. SMITH (reading):

At least three reservoirs are proposed. One in the river at the Colorado line, one on the Chama below El Vado, and one at White River Canyon.

Diversion dams for the high line canals should be constructed. Three above White Rock Canyon for lands there and which would incidentally develop power, and in the Middle Valley there would be diversion in connection with the White Rock storage dam and diversion at San Felipe, Isleta, and near the mouth of the Rio Puerco.

From these diversions, canals to convey the water over the lands must be built. At both the storage reservoirs and at points on the canals power plants would be constructed.

It is believed that by checking the flow of the heavy floods in the storage reservoirs and by strengthening and confining the channel of the river it can be made to scour its bed until it will carry all of the water in a reasonable channel and be deep enough to act as a drainage channel to the adjacent lands instead of pouring water into the subsoil as now. This, with such drainage ditches as may be necessary, will drain the lands, keeping the water table at least 10 feet below the surface and stop the great evaporation.

This complete program, however, is too big to undertake at once if we are to get quick results. So a part of the complete project has been selected, which will be known, perhaps, as the main unit, which will affect that part of the valley between Cochiti and San Marcial. This will give the greatest relief and return for the work done and money expended. This should include two of the storage reservoirs to equalize the floods, the three diversions from the river, the construction of the canal system, the control of the river within this area, and such other drainage works as will be necessary.

This will reclaim about 232,000 acres of land, at an estimated cost of $8,000,000. The next unit would be the construction of a high-line canal from the White Rock Canyon, at an elevation of about 5,300 feet, to cover a part of the mesa lands about Albuquerque, to reclaim these lands, and for the development of about 40,000 horsepower at the dam. This would cost an additional three and a quarter million dollars,

For this we can now figure a few returns. The probable present value of the lands that is, the 300,000 acres under the main unit-at an average, perhaps, of $150 an acre for lands under cultivation and which has not been drowned out, down to from $3 to $17 an acre for the raw lands, is about $2,425,000.

After they are reclaimed these lands should be worth on an average $150 an acre, or $45,000,000.

The valley will have a sure protection from destructive floods, the money for the annual flood protection will not have to be expended. The increased value of property when the menace of floods is eliminated and the annual savings should run into millions of dollars for the valley.

The electric power that can be developed is worth $50 a year per horsepower, and this, if figured on a basis of 10 per cent, each horsepower should be worth $500, or $20,000,000, and the power when sold would bring in an annual return of $2,000,000.

These increases in value are potential wealth, and will bring indirectly money to the valley; but based upon the experience in Socorro and Eddy Counties, where we now get a return for agricultural products of about $2,000,000, the returns after reclamation should be fifteen millions or more. This is real income, as is the two millions for power sold.

Now, see how this will work out:

Spend some money. This will give river protection.
Conserve the water we have.

Drain the land.

Develop more water.

Put additional lands under canal.

Create many thousands of horsepower.

The result will be

An increase in the value of all lands now under canal.

An increase in value of much land now unproductive.

Valuable power which can be disposed of readily.

An increase in the population of the valley with a greater buying power. To bring in six to eight times the income from agricultural products. And make Albuquerque the center of a great agricultural section.

The estimated amount to spend will be about eleven and a half million. The estimated increase in potential value is conservatively $75,000,000.

We can count on a cash return after a few years, of an increase in agricultural values of $13,000,000, from the sale of power; $20,000,000 from the increase in general business from the increased population of the valley, the greater capacity of the people to buy-to be conservative-$5,000,000.

In other words, spend $11,500.000, payable over a long period of years, have an increase in values of $75,000,000 and an annual income of $20,000,000. Call it dollars or call it millions of dollars. It looks like good business. Increase the cost and cut the increased valuation and returns or make a gross return of one-fourth the above figures. Would not an increase of $5 income a year be good interest on an investment of eleven and a half which is payable over a period of say, 20 years with a potential increase in value of all your property of eighteen or twenty?

The machinery to do this is at hand. New Mexico has a conservancy law which will allow the formation of districts with power to issue bonds and borrow money, and then arrange to repay this money after long periods of time and the lands benefitted will be able to make these payments in small amounts annually over a period of years.

In doing this work it is probable that Federal aid can be secured. According to interviews with Secretary of the Interior Work, as published in the local papers, he is fully in sympathy with the movement for the reclamation of the middle Rio Grande Valley, but stated that the Government could do nothing nor take any steps until the local organization was formed and perfected so the Government could have one legal body with whom to do business. Enough information has been secured to know that this plan as outlined is feasible. By the act of June 21, 1898, Congress granted to New Mexico 600,000 acres of land. the revenue from which was to be used for the improvement of the underflow of the Rio Grande and for the construction of permanent reservoirs. Some of this money has been expended in securing the data upon which these plans are based. Other funds are available for continuing the work. But the first step is the formation of the reclamation district, and this now seems an assured fact.

With the advantages pointed out and the Salt River Valley under the Roosevelt Reservoir and the lower valley under the Elephant Butte Reservoir and the Pecos Valley under the Carlsbad project as examples of what has happened following reclamation the advantages that will follow in the middle Rio Grande Valley should not be doubted.

« PreviousContinue »