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which, by a suitable system of canals and ditches, the water is to be distributed over the arid and sub-arid lands of the Government to be sold to settlers at a price sufficient to pay for the improvements. Primarily the projects are and must be for the improvement of public lands. Incidentally, where private land is also within the reach of the water supply, the furnishing at cost of operation of this water to private owners by the Government is held by the federal Court of Appeals not to be a usurpation of power; but certainly this ought not to be done except from surplus water not needed for Government land. About thirty projects have been set on foot, distributed through the public-land States, in accordance with the Statute, by which allotments from the reclamation fund are required to be, as nearly as practicable, in proportion to the proceeds from the sale of the public lands in the respective States. The total sum already accumulated in the reclamation fund is $60,273,258.22, and of that all but $6,491,955.34 has been expended. It became very clear to Congress at its last session, from the statements made by experts, that these thirty projects could not be promptly completed with the balance remaining on hand, or with the funds likely to accrue in the near future. It was found, moreover, that there are many settlers who have been led into taking up lands with the hope and understanding of having water furnished in a short time, who are left in a most distressing situation. I recommended to Congress that authority be given to the Secretary of the Interior to issue bonds in anticipation of the assured earnings by the projects, so that the projects, worthy and feasible, might be promptly completed and the settlers might be relieved from their present inconvenience and hardship (applause). In authorizing the issue of these bonds, Congress limited the application of their proceeds to those projects which a board of army engineers, to be appointed by the President, should examine and determine to be feasible and worthy of completion. The board has been appointed, and soon will make its report. Suggestions have been made that the United States ought to aid in the drainage of swamp lands belonging to the States or private owners, because, if drained, they would be exceedingly valuable for agriculture and contribute to the general welfare by extending the area of cultivation. I deprecate the agitation in favor of such legislation. It is inviting the general Government into contribution from its treasury toward enterprises that should be conducted either by private capital or at the instance of the State (applause). In these days there is a disposition to look too much to the Federal Government for everything (applause). I am liberal in the construction of the Constitution with reference to Federal power (applause); but I am firmly convinced that the only safe course for us to pursue is to hold fast to the limitations of the Constitution, and to regard as sacred the powers of the States (great applause and cheers). We have made wonderful progress, and at the same time have preserved with judicious exactness the restrictions of the Constitution. There is an easy way in which the Constitution can be violated by Congress without judicial inhibition, to-wit, by appropriations from the National treasury for unconstitutional purposes. It will be a sorry day for this country if the time ever comes when our fundamental compact shall be habitually disregarded in this manner. (Applause)
By mineral lands, I mean those lands bearing metals, or what are called metalliferous minerals.
The rules of ownership and disposition of these lands were first fixed by custom in the West, and then were embodied in the law, and they have worked, on the whole, so fairly and well that I do not think it is wise now to attempt to change or better them. The apex theory of tracing title to a lode has led to much litigation and dispute, and ought not to have become the law, but it is so fixed and understood now that the benefit to be gained by a change is altogether outweighed by the inconvenience that would attend the introduction of a new system. So too, the proposition for the Government to lease such mineral lands and deposits and to impose royalties might have been, in the beginning, a good thing, but now that most of the mineral land has been otherwise disposed of—I do not refer here to coal land or gas land or oil land or phosphate land—it would hardly be worth while to assume the embarrassments of a radical change.
Nothing can be more important in the matter of Conservation than the treatment of our forest lands. It was probably the ruthless destruction of forests in the older States that first called attention to the necessity for a halt in the waste of our resources. This was recognized by Congress by an act authorizing the Executive to reserve from entry and set aside public timber lands as National forests. Speaking generally, there has been reserved of the existing forests about 70 percent of all the timber lands of the Government. Within these forests (including 26,000,000 acres in two forests in Alaska) are 192,000,000 acres, of which 166,000,000 acres are in the United States proper and include within their boundaries something like 22,000,000 acres that belong to the States or to private individuals. We have, then, excluding Alaskan forests, a total of about 144,000,000 acres of forests belonging to the Government, which are being treated in accord with the principles of scientific forestry. The law now prohibits the reservation of any more forest lands in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Colorado and Wyoming, except by act of Congress. I am informed by the Department of Agriculture that the Government owns other tracts of timber lands in these States which should be included in the forest reserves. I expect to recommend to Congress that the limitation herein imposed shall be repealed (applause). In the present forest reserves there are lands which are not properly forest land, and which ought to be subject to homestead entry. This has caused some local irritation. We are carefully eliminating such lands from forest reserves or, where their elimination is not practicable, listing them for entry under the forest homestead act. Congress ought to trust the Executive to use the power of reservation only with respect to land covered by timber or which will be useful in the plan of reforestation (applause). I am in favor of each branch of the Government trusting the good faith of the other (applause). During the present Administration, 6,250,000 acres of land, largely non-timbered, have been excluded from forest reserves, and 3,500,000 acres of land, principally valuable for forest purposes, have been included in forest reserves, making a reduction in forest reserves of non-timbered land amounting to 2,750,000 acres. But had we had the opportunity to include reserves in the forbidden States, the balance would have been otherwise. The Bureau of Forestry since its creation has initiated reforestation on 5,600 acres. A great deal of the forest land is available for grazing. During the past year the grazing lessees numbered 25,400, and they pastured upon the forest reserves 1,400,000 cattle, 84,540 horses, and 7,580,400 sheep, for which the Government received $986,715—a decrease from the preceding year of $45,000, due to the fact that no money was collected or received for grazing on the non-timbered land eliminated from the forest reserve. Another source of profit in the forestry is the receipts for timber sold. This year they amounted to $1,043,000, an increase of $307,000 over the receipts of last year. This increase is due to improvement in transportation to market, and to the greater facility with which the timber can be reached. The Government timber in this country amounts to only one-fourth of all the timber, the rest being in private ownership. Only three percent of that which is in private ownership is looked after properly and treated according to modern 1 tiles of forestry (applause). The usual destructive waste and neglect continue in the remainder of the forests owned by private persons and corporations. It is estimated that fire alone destroys $50,000,000 worth of timber a year. The management of forests not on public land is beyond the jurisdiction of the Federal Government. If anything can be done by law it must be done by the State legislatures. I believe that it is within their constitutional power to require the enforcement of regulations, in the general public interest. as to fire and other causes of waste in the management of forests owned by private individuals and corporations. (Applause) Exactly how far these regulations can go and remain consistent with the rights of private ownership, it is not necessary to discuss : but I call attention to the fact that a very important part of Conservation must always fall upon the State legislatures, and that they would better be up and doing if they would save the waste and denudation and destruction through private greed or accidental fires that have made barren many square miles of the older States. (Great applause)
I have shown sufficiently the conditions as to Federal forestry to indicate that no further legislation is needed at the moment except an increase in the fire protection to National forests and an act vesting the Executive with full power to make forest reservations in every State where Government land is timber-covered, or where the land is needed for forestry purposes.
OTHER LAND WITH DRAWALS
When President Roosevelt became fully advised of the necessity for the change in our disposition of public lands, especially those containing coal, oil, gas, phosphates, or water-power sites, he began the exercise of the power of withdrawal by Executive order of lands subject by law to homestead and the other methods of entering for agricultural lands. The precedent he set in this mattter was followed by the present Administration. Doubt had been expressed in some quarters as to the power in the Executive to make such withdrawals. The confusion and injustice likely to arise if the courts were to deny the power led me to appeal to Congress to give the President the express power (applause). Congress has complied. The law, as passed, does not expressly validate or confirm previous withdrawals, and therefore, as soon as the new law was passed, I, myself, confirmed all the withdrawals which had theretofore been made by both Administrations by making them over again (great applause). The power of withdrawal is a most useful one, and I do not think it is likely to be abused.
The next subject, and one of the most important for our consideration, is the disposition of the coal lands in the United States and in Alaska. First, as to those in the United States.
At the beginning of this Administration there were classified coal lands amounting to 5,476,000 acres, and there were withdrawn from entry for purposes of classification 17,867,000 acres. Since that time there has been withdrawn by my order from entry for classification 77,648,000 acres, making a total withdrawal of 95,515,000 acres (applause). Meantime, of the acres thus withdrawn, 11,371,000 have been classified and found not to contain coal, and have been restored to agricultural entry, and 4,356,000 acres have been classified as coal lands; while 79,788,000 acres remain withdrawn from entry and await classification. In addition, 336,000 acres have been classified as coal lands without prior withdrawal, thus increasing the classified coal lands to 10,168,000 acres. Under the laws providing for the disposition of coal lands in the United States, the minimum price at which lands are permitted to be sold is $10 an acre; but the Secretary of the Interior has the power to fix a maximum price and to sell at that price. By the first regulations governing appraisal, approved April 8, 1907, the minimum was $10, as provided by law, and the maximum was $100, and the highest price actually placed upon any land sold was $75. Under the new regulations, adopted April 10, 1909, the maximum price was increased to $300 except in regions where there are large mines, where no maximum limit is fixed and the price is determined by the estimated tons of coal to the acre. The highest price fixed for any land under this regulation has been $608 per acre. The applaised value of the lands classified as coal lands and valued under the new and old regulations is shown to be as follows: 4,303,000 acres valued under the old regulation at $77,000,000—an average of $18 an acre— and 5,864,000 acres classified and valued under the new regulation at $394,000,000, or a total of 10,168,000 acres valued at $471,000,000. For the year ending March 31, 1909, 227 coal entries were made, embracing an area of 35,000 acres, which sold for $663,000; for the year ending March 31, 1910, there were 176 entries, embracing an area of 23,000 acres, which sold for $608,000, and down to August, 1910, there were but 17 entries, with an area of 1,720 acres which sold for $33,900; making a disposition of coal lands in the last two years of about 60,000 acres for $1,305,000. The present Congress, as already said, has separated the surface of coal lands either classified or withdrawn to be classified from the coal beneath, so as to permit at all times homestead entries upon the surface of lands useful for agriculture, and to reserve the ownership in the coal to the Government. The question which remains to be considered is whether the existing law for the sale of the coal in the ground should continue in force or be repealed and a new method of disposition adopted. Under the present law the absolute title in the coal beneath the surface passes to the grantee of the Government. The price fixed is upon an estimated amount of the tons of coal per acre beneath the surface, and the prices are fixed so that the earnings will only be a reasonable profit upon the amount paid and the investment necessary. But, of course, this is more or less guesswork, and the Government parts with the ownership of the coal in the ground absolutely. Authorities in the Geological Survey estimate that in the United States today there is a supply of about three thousand billion tons of coal, and that of this one-third, or about one thousand billion, are in the public domain. Of course, the other two thousand billion are within private