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are now exhibiting a keen recognition of their responsibilities and of scrutinizing with the utmost care the water supply of each proposed project, the practicability of the engineering features of that project, and the financial standing and responsibility of its backers. A recent interesting example of this changed attitude occurred in one of the Western States, which in the past has administered this law carelessly, but I am glad to record is now exhibiting due care in meeting its responsibilities. In this case, literature issued by the promoters came to the attention of the Department of the Interior. In this literature statements were made to prospective buyers as to the available water supply and as to the acreage to which it would be applied that were known from the departmental records to be highly misleading. The attention of the Governor of the State was called to this condition of affairs by an emphatic letter from the Secretary of the Interior. The State in turn called upon the promoting company for an explanation. The representatives of the company hastened to Washington for a hearing. As a result of that hearing, the acreage segregated in the project was promptly reduced, the company was forced to agree to cease its sale of water rights to private lands until the rights of the Government lands to which it was inviting settlers were satisfied, and thus the situation so full of menace to prospective settlers was promptly corrected. Other examples of this type of action which represents closer, more careful administration of old laws might be multiplied. Each of them marks a step in the application of the principles for which the Conservation Congress stands. If the first use of water by man is in the direct sustenance of life and its second is for the production of food supplies through irrigation, perhaps its third most important use is the development of power for all of those manifold purposes tending toward the amelioration of life and the increase of its comforts, for which power may be used. Cities are lighted; street cars are moved; ores are smelted; manufacturing plants are supplied with their motive power; homes are heated; and water is pumped for irrigation by the use of hydroelectric power. No question has been the subject of more bitter controversy than that of the control of this tremendous resource. It has been energetically sought on the one hand by those who seek opportunities for profit and desire that no control be exercised over those opportunities by the power of the State. On the other hand, public opinion, working largely through its State and Federal representatives, has demanded that this resource whose magnitude can be but rudely estimated, and whose future value but guessed at, be so controlled that communities depending upon it shall not be unduly taxed for the purpose of piling up private profits. Here again, both public Opinion and Federal officers have repeatedly urged the enactment of new laws which will make possible the exercise of reasonable control in the public interests and at the same time properly safeguard capital which must be invested in order that the resources now wasted may develop and become useful. 13ills have been introduced and debated in Congress; conferences have been held with representatives of the public and of capital, but the plans thus far considered have brought no fruition in amended legislation, although some excellent bills are under consideration and it is believed will soon become law. Here again, the task of the administrative officer is to so interpret and apply the laws now upon our statute books, pending the enactment of others more satisfactory, that development may continue and the rights of the public of this generation and the next be at the same time duly safeguarded. Here also there has been progress in the interpretation of law. The responsibility for the administration of the laws for the development of water powers in the national forests lies in the Forest Service where it is admirably exercised in the public interest. The law which provides for the development of powers on the public domain, whether within or without the reserves, is a permissory law, one that authorizes the department having jurisdiction to permit the development of these water powers under general regulations to be fixed by the Secretary. After a thorough study of the situation, the Forest Service on December 28, 1910, issued certain regulations providing for the development of powers under this permissory law, the permit being by the terms of the law itself subject to cancellation at any time and the regulations under it providing for moderate charges upon the developing company. With these regulations in force in the national forests, and no similar procedure provided for on the public lands outside the forests which are under the jurisdiction of the Interior Department, applicants for the privilege of developing water powers which lay in part within and in part without the forest reserves found themselves under two jurisdictions without any provision for uniform procedure. The problem as to the precise amount of control that could be exercised on the Interior Department lands under the act of 1901 has not been solved until recently ; but as a result of this final solution, there were approved by Secretary Fisher on the 24th of August, 1912, regulations controlling the issue of permits for power development outside of the national forests that are in substantial accord with those heretofore in force within the forests. These regulations provide for the exercise of the authority of the Secretary in a definite, uniform, and systematic manner that much more fully safeguards the rights of the public than the policy heretofore pursued in relation to public water powers. The situation, therefore, seems to be as well safeguarded as it can be under the present statutes, at least so far as hydroelectric powers on other than navigable streams are concerned, and this end has been accomplished not by new legislation, which we all recognize as badly needed, but by a proper interpretation and acceptance of responsibility under old legislation.
An incidental phase of the effort to administer a law which provides for no definite tenure of lands having power values has been the constantly repeated attempt of interests desiring to acquire valuable water powers to secure them under the irrigation laws, those laws having great advantage from the commercial viewpoint of providing for a grant instead of a revocable permit. Application after application has been filed with the Department of the Interior in which it is stated solemnly that the rights of way are desired for purposes of irrigation, when it is perfectly obvious to the engineering advisers of the Secretary that the power value is the dominant value and that if the waters are used for irrigation at all, it will be merely in order to effect a technical compliance with the law under which they are acquired. Refusal to approve rights of way of this type have been followed by appeals and by emphatic protests on the part of the applicants. These protests take various forms. Among them are attempts to influence public opinion through 'arious congresses similar to this Congress, and other attempts to secure the enactment of special legislation which will grant to the applicant that which he is unable to secure through the administrative officers. In a particularly interesting case of this type recently acted upon by the Department of the Interior, the acting Secretary expressed the present policy of the department in these emphatic terms, which I am sure will appeal to every member of this Congress. He said: I consider it the innot rative duty of every supervisory officer of the Government upon whom any duty devolves to conserve the paramount interests of the people, to protect these natural power sites from exploitation under any law which successfully invoked would turn them over to private interests charged with a perpetual easement against the United States.
One other type of administrative action in connection with the conservation of water resources has recently been inaugurated which may well be brought to the attention of this Congress. This is a new exercise by the President of the power of withdrawal conferred upon him by the so-called withdrawal act, approved June 25, 1910, and amended August 24, 1912. By this action those lands in arid. States upon which small water supplies essential to the control of the adjoining range are situated are withheld from entry. Those of you who are acquainted with the range industry of Wyoming, Utah. Arizona, and New Mexico realize that the use and control of the ranges are exercised not so much through the ownership of the range lands themselves as through the ownership of small tracts which include the springs and other watering places that alone make the ranges accessible and of value. Literal war has been waged between rival stock interests in parts of the West over the control of springs. Large interests have frequently forced their rivals to abandon the range in a particular area by acquiring through the application of scrip or by a real or pretended exercise of hounestead
rights the lands on which the springs that alone give value to the range are located. Laws have from time to time been considered which will provide properly for the disposition of those remaining parts of the public domain that are chiefly valuable for grazing purposes. It is recognized that the homestead and desert land laws are inappropriate for the acquisition of range lands in that they do not provide for a sufficient acreage to make the stock industry possible. If the time shall come when such a law is placed upon the statute books, and at that time all of the water supplies adjacent to the ranges shall have been acquired by private interests, the Government will be unable to dispose of its range lands even under a favorable law except to those who already control the water supplies which are the key to the situation. Recognizing this important condition and desiring likewise to provide for fair play between rival stock men on the remaining public lands, the President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of the Interior, has inaugurated the policy of withholding from entry lands upon which these desert watering places exist, and in pursuance of this policy the first desert water hole withdrawal was made in March, 1912. It will be realized from this brief review that the process of translating the Conservation doctrines into action is well under way. Before and since the First Conservation Congress met, Federal bureaus have advocated practical measures for the proper use of our natural resources, water among them. With the enlightenment of public opinion dating from the organization of the National Commission and the meeting of the Governors the work has been greatly facilitated. It is advancing now not only through the medium of the unorganized effort of individuals, associations, and isolated bureaus and divisions in the public service, but by the organized efforts of an enthusiastic body of supporters. Laws embodying its principles have passed, proposed laws inimical to those principles have been defeated, old laws have been re-examined and reinterpreted to accord more fully with Conservation doctrines in the public interests. Party platforms are no longer complete without a Conservation plank and indeed it may almost be said that a new party has been founded upon the Conservation idea. On the whole the country and this Congress have ample ground for optimism in considering the great advance that has been made.
The Committee on Wild Life Protection wishes to call the attention of the Congress to the enormous losses that are being inflicted upon the farming and fruit-growing interests of the United States through the destruction of insect-eating birds. While the main facts of the situation are known to many persons, the mass of the people of the United States are sound asleep on this subject. The 5,000,000 men and boys who are slaughtering our birds are levying tribute on every American pocketbook. An immense number of birds of great economic value are being slaughtered annually, and many of our most useful and valuable bird species are on the toboggan slide toward extermination. The destruction of our insect-eating birds means a great increase in the armies of destructive insects, a great decrease in our agricultural products, and a great loss to consumers and to farmers. The value of the birds destroyed as “game'' and for “food” is declared to be not equal to one-thousandth of the value they would save to the national wealth, if permitted to live. The committee will distribute a campaign circular containing a table of figures showing the annual losses to the people of the United States by insect pests. Those figures were taken from an official report published in the “Yearbook of the Department of Agriculture.” The farmers who grow cereal crops lose about $200,000,000 per annum. The fruit-growers lose $27,000,000 per annum. Hay loses $53,000,000; cotton, $60,000,000; and truck crops, $53,000,000. The committee's circular gives the cost of certain insects per species to the people of the United States. For example, the codling moth and curculio apple pests cost the American people $8,250,000 a year for spraying operations, and $12,000,000 per year in annual shrinkage in the apple crop. The chinch bug wheat pest sometimes costs $20,000,000 per year, and the cotton boll weevil the same amount. The tree insect pests damage trees and timber to a total of $100,000,000 a year. Your committee contends that the American people do not realize that scores of species of the birds that sportsmen and pot-hunters are regularly allowed to shoot for sport are of immense value to agriculture. How many men are there out of every thousand who know that at least thirty species of shore birds feed upon noxious insects, and are immensely valuable to our agricultural industries? The gunners who shoot legally are destroying 154 species of birds that legally are classed as game birds, even in the North. Very few Americans out of every thousand know the immense value of our song birds, swallows, woodpeckers, blackbirds, quail, doves and nighthawks in destroying countless millions of noxious insects.
THE LOGICAL CONCLUSION.
In view of the decrease already accomplished in the general volume of the bird life of America, in view of the enormous losses annually inflicted upon the people of this country by the ravages of insects, and in view of the destruction of wild life that now is furiously proceeding throughout all America, the McLean bill, now before Congress, to provide Federal protection for all migratory birds, becomes the most important wild life measure that ever came before the Congress of the United States in any