Page images
PDF
EPUB

Mr. PETERSON. I disagree; I believe we would get better results through the State with the public domain than we would through the forest. That is the way it appears to me. I have been in the stock business 27 years and I believe we could get better results, from my personal observations.

Mr. Rich. Do you think that it would be as inexpensive as if the Government had control of it?

Mr. PETERSON. I believe it would be just as cheap if the State handled it. My experience now with the Idaho Citizens Association handling the State land here has been satisfactory and I believe they get better results than through the Forest Service.

Mr. Rich. That is a very fine compliment to the Idaho Citizens Association.

Mr. TUCKER. It seems to me this is a pretty big question to get very far with right off the bat. I do not agree with Mr. Peterson. I think that it would be all right for the State to handle it if we were to stay in the State the year around, but it seems to me that if you went out of one State to another that each State would have its own government and way of handling it and I am afraid it might work a hardship on us. I believe if the Government handled it it would give us a better chance to get down in Utah than if the public domain was put under the State. I think we would all have to stay in Idaho then. I think we probably would all be feeding sheep here and that would be working a hardship on the men that do stay here, because it would take just that much more feed from here.

Mr. Rich. Anyone else have an opinion on this question? Mr. Houtz, what do you think?

Mr. Houtz. I don't know. I haven't given it very much consideration. I came as a student to be instructed. I feel that as Mr. Steadman and Mr. Tucker have said, that it would really work a hardship on the men who went to the desert in Utah and Nevada. Of course, I don't happen to be one that belongs to that class, but I do think it would work a hardship on thent. I certainly believe we ought to get together and talk it over. That is the secret of success.

Mr. Rich. Anyone else have an opinion on this phase of the matter as to State or Government control?

Mr. ENDERS. Mr. Chairman, we are all citizens of the United States whether we are in the State of Utah or any other State, and if this were put under the State lease we would have a lot less expense and they would not be increasing the rates all the time the way it has been on the forest. The forest is making money on us and are trying to get more all the time. In the East they think we have free grazing and that it costs them so much more to raise their stuff in the East and they only want to see that we pay a few more cents on each sheep each year. We all have the same right whether from Utah or Idaho and all the States would have the same rules and regulations.

Mr. McLEAN. I want to make another point along what Mr. Enders says. There was a gentleman up at Mackey who had taken some cattle back East and he happened to get on the same train as a Senator, who was a feeder. The Senator asked him how much he paid for grazing his cattle and he said 66 cents a season, and the Senator said, “My God, man, why aren't you rich?" The man from Mackey asked him how much it cost him and he said $2 a head a month, and this man from Mackey pointed out to him the fact " that when he put 200 cattle on the range he only got 170 or 175 back, but that when the middle westerner put them in his pasture he got 199 back. The Mackey man had to have a man ride one day per head, which costs $4 or $5 a head for man's labor, board, horse furnished, etc., while the middle westerner only had to ride a half a day to round up his cattle and load at the railroad. So that actual figures per head, as we can show you in a number of cost-production statements we have made up, is a good deal more; it is pretty nearly 50 per cent more for raising stuff on the range than it is for raising it on ranches.

Mr. Rich. The Chair would entertain a motion that a committee be elected or appointed to prepare a set of resolutions stating the opinion of this meeting on this matter. It would save some time and get it a little more definitely as to the method you would like to have it handled under.

Mr. Houtz. I make the motion, Mr. Chairman, that a committee be appointed to prepare a set of resolutions.

Mr. STEADMAN. I second that motion.
Mr. Rich. All in favor say “aye."
(Ayes carried unanimously.)

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Mr. Rich. I will appoint Mr. Houtz, Mr. Caine, and Mr. Weaver on that committee, and we will furnish you herewith paper and a copy of previous resolutions that have been passed.

There is another question that we might discuss to some advantage, and that is if the remaining public domain is turned over to the forest department do we want the public domain and the forest reserve to be administered by the same Government department?

Mr. McLEAN. The opinion seems to be general that they want the Forest Service reorganized, but some people are so badly against that department that they don't want it put under them even then. I think there would be a big waste to have it handled under two departments, with two sets of fees and two sets of regulations, and that there would be so much confusion that it would drive the livestock men out of business.

Mr. STEADMAN. I believe I would be in favor of having it governed by the Forest Service, the same as the other is to-day-run by the Government. Mr. McLEAN. Under the same department? Mr. STEADMAN. Yes ; under the same department. It looks moreMr. McLEAN. You don't care whether it is under the Forest Service or not? Mr. STEADMAN. No; just as long as the two are under one head. Mr. TRANSTRUM. Is there any chance that the Government will turn over the forest to the State? Mr. MCLEAN. I doubt it. Mr. TRANSTRUM. It seems to me, Mr. Chairman, that if the Government is still going to regulate the forest that we can't very well afford to have two departments, to turn over the public domain to the State and have the Government administer the forest. It seems to me like it would be wise to have it under one head, and without very much consideration I would think it would be a good thing for the Government to administer all the public domain. I am satisfied; but probably I am a little different from some of you sheepmen. For 40 years I have been trying to accumulate a little land so that I could have a little grazing land in the spring and fall, so everything I could scrape together I have applied on grazing land. I have been buying land from the State of Utah, so at the present time I have about 3 or 4 acres of range land for every sheep I have. In fact, I feel it is such a burden that I can hardly carry it. I am getting along in years and probably when I get it paid for I will be ready to go. At the present time I have all the land I need to lamb my sheep and to graze them on. I have gotten along very well with the forest department. To me, not having had unpleasant experiences, it seems to me like this regulation by the forest or by the Government is all right. I remember the time when Utah sheepmen would start in somewhere in the Cache Valley and they would come through the national forest and go through to Soda Springs and ship their lambs and drive back on the other side. They would simply strip that forest of all vegetation, and our sheep would not get any. Now, we have permanent grazing rights, and it seems to me like a great improvement. From my point of view, I believe I would rather have it administered by the Government than by the State. We still have a little Government land in our county, some of which has been homesteaded; but there is very little. Just as an offhand opinion, I would think that I would rather have the public domain put under Government control than under State control.

Mr. McLEAN. The Forest Service feel that if they have a court of appeals they can't administer their regulations; that anything they would try to do for the conservation of the range would be criticized before that court and their hands would be tied. But one man at Dubois said if you were a bootlegger you could appeal, but if you infringe the Forest Service regulations they are the judge and the jury and the prosecutor.

Mr. TRANSTRUM. I think that would be a good thing. When the Forest
Service speaks that is the end of it and we have no appeal. I think that just
on the spur of the moment I would say that would be a good thing. Of course
this is new to me; I haven't heard it discussed before.
Mr. McLEAN. It is new all over the State.
Mr. TRANSTRUM. Mr. Chairman, I think this is a very important move, and
I think we ought to proceed cautiously, and by holding a good many meetings
everywhere, of course, it will open up the matter. I don't think we should
take any hasty action for the future, but know what we want and go after it.

Mr. MCLEAN. We want to get together before we go down to the hearing
before the Senate committee, and if possible we want to get united action of

the whole State beforehand. So that you from Bear Lake will not want one thing and Soda Springs another, but get together on it. What we want to do is to crystallize the opinions so that we can bring the wishes of the State behind us when we go before the Senate committee at Salt Lake,

I might add right along there you said how the Utah sheepmen of Cache Valley stripped the forest before the Forest Service regulated it. We have had a good deal the same thing; outfits have come in and do not own a bit of land, and they are very hard competitors. They are run by foremen who carry a check book and seem to have unlimited financial backing and furnish their camps elaborately, and they are crowding out many smaller users. Such outfits as that would also be regulated, and everyone would have a chance.

Mr. ENDERS. Haven't people got a right to trail anywhere on the public domain, whether they are from Utah or Nevada, if they pay taxes?

Mr. Rich. Any citizens? He doesn't even have to be a citizen.

Mr. McLEAN. Do you think that people that live here and own property have a prior right to those who do not live here or own property?

Mr. ENDERS. Yes; that is the way the forest gets it. In the wintertime the rangers do not do a darn thing, but the stockmen have to pay them. The stockman isn't on the range in the winter, but we pay them the year around.

Mr. McLEAN. What I meant is, Do you feel that the same thing should apply to both places? For instance, you own a ranch in Soda Springs and you have certain rights on the forest. Do you think it is better that anybody should be allowed to go on the Forest Service, or do you think the other system is better?

Mr. ENDERS. I do believe there has to be a system or regulations, just the same as they got it now.

Mr. MCLEAN. Outfits that do not own anything, should they be allowed to come in?

Mr. ENDERS. If this should be turned over to the forest and run by the forest, we should have a court of appeals by all means. The stockman has to do as the forest men tells him; and if they don't, they have to get off. If you have one or two more sheep than he tells you, you have to take them off. They sit at Washington and make their laws and tell the foresters to see that they are obeyed, and they do, and they do not care.

Mr. MCLEAN. You prefer that the headquarters be moved West?

Mr. ENDERS. Why sure; they do not know anything down there, and they just set there and study out things and I do believe in having a court of appeals, because as I say the stockmen do not get their rights at all, they wouldn't listen to them, but if they had a court of appeals, what they do not want, that is just what we ought to have.

Mr. Rich. Down at the meeting at Shoshone they resolved that a board of appeals be created by Congress, members of which shall be appointed by the Secretary of the Interior and all reports shall be sent to him for confirmation, That seems to be a very fair method.

Mr. ENDERS. I think that would suit most of the stockmen.

Mr. A. J. REESE. It seems to me that the Forest Service would have to be reconstructed. In the Forest Service they are not stockmen at all. In order to be a forester you have to understand roads, timber, etc. It is very satisfactory as it is and I wouldn't want it changed if the public domain wasn't going to be put under some control, but as far as the departments are con: cerned either the Department of Agri«ulture or Department of Interior would be all right, but I am for the Forest Service.

Mr. MCLEAN. You wouldn't mind of they were reorganized ?
Mr. REESE. No; I would not.

Mr. MCLEAN. The foresters are technically trained forest men with very few experienced livestock men. The higher-ups are seldom livestock men and since they are administering two resources of equal importance they should be equally well trained in livestock management.

Mr. REESE. That is what I am driving at. We have no recourse at all. If they tell us something, we have to do it.

Mr. MCLEAN. Idaho has 35 per cent under the forest and with the public domain go'ng under she will have about 35 per cent more, which will make 70 per cent under Government control, which leaves mighty little of the State for us to handle.

Mr. REESE. It looks like they control the whole State.

Mr. ENDERS. All the stockmen have to do just what the forestry people tell us to do; therefore, we want a court of appeals so we have something to say.

Mr. McLEAN. That is just a bulletin that discusses the question somewhat.

1

management.

A good deal of the stuff was brought up to-day and we sent you one a few weeks ago, but perhaps it will be more interesting to you now that we have had this meeting. Mr. Rich. The secretary will read these resolutions off to you. The following resolutions were read by the secretary, Mr. McLean: “11) That it is the consensus of opinion of this meeting that we want the public domain put under some form of Government control.

“12) That the forest and public domain be administered by the same bureau or department of the Government. But we favor a lease system operated by associations on the public domain rather than the present plan of forest

“(3) That the grazing rights on both the forest and the public domain be legalized

"(4) That a board of appeals be created by Congress, members of which
shall be appointed by the State associations using the public domain. This
board is to be made up of one man actively engaged in the livestock business
from each of the 11 western grazing and public lands States who shall be paid
a per diem and expenses.
"15) That it is our recommendation that for efficiency, economy, and the
elemination of friction the administrative offices of this bureau having con-
trol of the forest and public domain be established in the Western States."

Mr. Rich. Would anyone care to move the adoption of those resolutions?
It might be well for a member of the committee to do that.
Mr. Houtz. I more these resolutions be adopted.
Mr. REESE, I second that.
Mr. Rich. Any discussion on the question?
Mr. TRANSTRUM. I didn't hear the motion.
Mr. Rich. It was the motion that the five be adopted.
Mr. TRANSTRUM. I wish you would read them again.
(Resolutions again read by secretary.)
Mr. Rich. Any discussion on this question? All in favor of that motion
say " Aye."

(Carried unanimously.)
Mr. Rich. If there is no further business before the meeting, then the meet-

ing will stand adjourned.

Present: Fifty.

PROCEEDINGS OF THE HEARING ON PUBLIC LANDS HELD at Idaho Falls BY THE Idaho Wool Growers Association, Thursday AFTERNOON, JUNE 11, 1925 Meeting called to order at 2.10 by Mr. McNamara, chairman.

NONAMARA. The purpose of these meetings that we are holding over the State is for the discussion of the public

land problem. As you all are probobiek fairly well aware there is a disposition at the present time in Congress to bring the remaining public lands under some kind of Federal control and there is going to be a disposition made of this problem by the future Congress. There is a subcommittee from the Senate out now holding public meetings and they are going over the 11 Western States getting the opinions and ideas trom the different stockmen as to what disposition they think should be made of the remaining public domain and the wool growers of the State of Idaho are holding a series of meetings with the stockmen to find out what Idaho and they are going to cover the State very thoroughly and at this meeting what and they have started out to hold a series of nine meetings over the State We want to do is to present to you some of the things that have taken place at some other meetings and to get your view point. In order for you to know what has taken place at these other meetings and what seems to be the opinion, I am going to call on Mr. Donald McLean, secretary of the Idaho Wool Growers Asciation to present the different phases of the public domain and what has

[ocr errors]

(Discussion by Mr. Donald McLean.) find out how you feel about this matter. We want an expression from you

Mr. McNAMARA, Now, gentlemen, this is your meeting and we are here to and we want a thorough discussion and in order to bring this about I am going to call on a few of you gentlemen and we want to hear from you. Mr. Orme

taken place at these meetings.

and Mr. Barclay are members of the advisory board of woolgrowers and they have given me the name of H. C. Austin, of Idaho Falls.

Mr. Austin. I don't know why I should be suggested. I have had very little experience in the grazing of livestock on the public domain and I know very little. I happen to be a stockholder in a company that is managed by a manager, but there seems to be a thought that public domain should be placed under some sort of supervision and likely will be and I think that that resolution that was passed in Shoshone probably covers the ground about as well as anythn we could suggest here. I am very much of the opnion that there should be some board of appeal. The people who are interested in this matter and feel that they have grievances, there should be some place where they can appeal from the ruling of the parties who are controlling this situation. However, I am reminded of a statement of Pinchot which he made when he was chief in the forest reserve down in Boise about 25 years ago or possibly 23 years ago, at the time they were opening a convention of the livestock men and there was a great deal of dissatisfaction. I remember Governor Gooding had a good deal to say about it and the governor then suggested something after the nature of this board which they provided for in this Shoshone resolution and I remember that Pinchot made it very plain that he had no objection to a board, a local board, being appointed but he wanted it thoroughly understood that he was the controlling inbuence and I am of the opinion that is just about what would happen unless it was provided by Congress where they were given their legal standing. I think or I am inclined to think that inasmuch as (I don't say whether it would be to the advantage of the stockmen as compared with the present condition or not) but inasmuch as it is quite likely to be controlled in some manner, I think possibly these men who voted on this resolution had given that a good deal of thought and it seems to cover the ground about as well as any I have heard suggested. If it was under Government control it should be under control of that board. I am inclined to think that Federal control would be better than State, and I am inclined to agree with those people that it would become a political situation if it were under State control. Our political affairs change hands quite frequently out here in the West, and we do not want our interests placed in the hands, or placed in a condition where our interest may be changed as easily and as quickly as the political situation changes. I can't say any more than that.

Mr. McNAMARA. Of course, there is one thing in regard to the control of the public domain that we just as well recognize right now, that something is going to be done in regard to this outside public domain (what is left). They are going to do something with it and now the question is for us to try and see if we can't have a little influence with that committee so that they will give us some of the things we think we ought to have. Of course, I believe nearly everyone of us would rather leave it like it is now if we could, but such is not going to be the case. We would like to hear from Mr. Swenson, from St. Anthony.

Mr. SWENSON. I suppose that is me; I don't know any other Swenson from up my way. I am certainly surprised to be on the list. Well, I am quite puzzled about this proposition myself. I suppose we are going to have something, as this agitation has been going on for several years. I am originally from Utah, from Sanpete County, and I am personally acquainted with Senator W. D. Cannon and he has harped a little along this string for a good many years. I think he is responsible to a great extent for getting this thing going. He is a very close personal friend of ex-Governor Spry, of Utah, and the great Utah desert they have down there is the thing I think that has started this. They want control of that desert and have it set aside so they can hold it for their own personal benefit and the benefit of the Utah sheep, but may that be as it is we will have something, I suppose. But I am very fearful. I don't know how it is best to have it. I wish we could have it left as it is, but we can't. But I think to have a board as has been recommended at Shoshone would be all right as we have got to have something that would look after our interests.

I am reminded of when our hard times came on. I was forced to take a loan with the War Finance Corporation. I had a loan with the First National Bank of St. Anthony and I think it was this way, that I was one of those they could force to take a loan with the War Finance, because they could tell me you can get a loan there and we want the money and you pay us and I was not in position to pay them. I took a loan with the War Finance Corporation for three years; it went on a year and then they decided they

« PreviousContinue »