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$216,000,000 annually (1900–1909, inclusive) is one of the greatest drains upon our natural resources and one which can be corrected, if the Nation, State, city, and citizen will cooperate along the lines indicated above. The destruction of our utilized resources by fire is increasing at such a rapid rate that the subject of its reduction should be very prominent in the minds of the people. Losses recorded for the past thirty-five years, not including forests, mine or marine fires, total the enormous sum of $4,906,619,240. Unrecorded losses, if obtainable, would materially increase these figures. These annual fire losses run from $64,000,000 in 1876 to $518,000,000 in 1906. In 1907, a normal year, our recorded losses were $215,084,709, and our estimated fire defense cost $241,401,191, or a total amount equaling about 50 percent of the value of the new buildings erected that year in the entire country. In 1908, also a normal year, our ashheap cost $217,885,850, and the relations of defense-cost and fire loss to new buildings remained about the same. Our contributions to fire that year were over $1,250,000 each day of the year, a sum equal to the operating expenses of our Government, including those of our army and navy, for the same year; and in 1909 we gave to fire over $25,000,000, more than was spent in that year for the same governmental functions. No one organization can effect the needed reform. Since 1880 the population has increased 73 percent, while the fire loss for the same period increased 134 percent. The National Fire Protection Association and the National Credit Men's Association are spreading the doctrine of reform in the recklessness with which our utilized resources are destroyed by fire. Each organization should be encouraged. Membership is open to all in the former, and in the latter to the business men and merchants of our cities. The work, however, is carried on without State or municipal cooperation and therein lies the chief reason of delayed success. If the office of State Fire Marshal were created by every commonwealth, and that official and his deputies were given power to enforce good fire-prevention laws, to investigate and if necessary prosecute cases of arson or criminal carelessness in the starting or spreading of fires, to ascertain the cause of every fire, and by the distribution of literature to educate the citizen to the need of care and forethought in the protection of his property, a distinct conserving of the utilized resources in that State would follow. If our municipalities will enact and enforce improved and safe methods of building construction and cause the removal or reconstruction of existing structures which constitute, because of their construction, a menace to adjoining properties, our cities will be freer from the imminent conflagration which now threatens them. Eliminate defective chimney flues, unprotected external and internal openings, excessive areas, weak walls, and combustible roofs; prohibit the storage of rubbish, and demand the safe use and handling of dangerous inflammable liquids and oils; regulate the use of explosives; and the destruction of our values, created from the natural resources but enriched many-fold by human toil, industry, and skill, will be materially diminished. * If the citizens of a community, as members of their local civic bodies and boards of trade, will create in such organizations a Committee on Fire Prevention, whose duty it shall be to study the subject and awaken among their associates a realization of individual and communal responsibility, and if our boards of education will emulate the action of the State of Ohio in prescribing primary education of the school children as to the chemistry of fire, the causes of fires in our homes and how to guard against them, and how to extinguish incipient fires or hold them in check while awaiting the response of the fire department, a preparation will be made in that community which will check the constantly increasing fire waste. And so while this Congress discusses and formulates policies for the Conservation of our natural resources, it should, at least, as representing the official, professional, commercial, and, industrial life of the Nation, distinctly and emphatically advocate such regulation as will preserve those resources which are the embodiment of the thrift and industry of our people—the utilized resources— from unnecessary and wasteful destruction by fire. Respectfully submitted, [Signed] A. W. DAMoN, Springfield, Chairman GEO. W. BABB, New York C. G. SMITH, New York W. N. KREMER, New York R. M. BissELL, Hartford R. DALE BENson, Philadelphia R. E.MoRY WARFIELD, New York Committee
. In response to the invitation of this Congress, the National Board of Trade, which participated in the Conference of Governors at the White House in 1908, is permitted to take part in its deliberations. The National Board of Trade, as its name implies, is National in character, and is composed of a large number of Boards of Trade, Chambers of Commerce, and other organized bodies representing many of the large commercial and industrial centers of the entire United States. It was organized 42 years ago for the purpose indicated in the following declaration: “The National Board of Trade was formed for the purpose of promoting the efficiency and extending the usefulness of the various Commercial and manufacturing organizations of the United States of America, securing unity and harmony of action with reference to business usages and laws, and especially the proper consideration of and concentration of opinion upon questions affecting the financial, commercial, and industrial interests of the country at large, and to provide a concerted action regarding National legislative measures and Governmental department affairs.” It will be seen from this declaration that the object of the National Board of Trade is to attempt to harmonize public opinion on National questions. About 15 years ago it became impressed with the wanton wastefulness and public neglect of our National forests, and resolutions were adopted inviting public attention to and legislation for the preservation and conservation of the timber resources of the United States. In a very short time it became evident there were other important questions involved in the regulating of forests, primarily the grave necessity of creating forest reserves and protecting them from depredation by Government control and administration; and the establishment of a Bureau of Forestry was advocated. The National Board of Trade was also a pioneer in advocating the reclamation of arid lands and the drainage of swamp and overflow lands and practical reforestation, and adopted resolutions urging legislation to this end. The activity of the National Board of Trade in promoting the measures it has advocated consists of the printing and the distribution of many thousands of copies of reports of committees and resolutions, as well as large numbers of its annual report in permanent book form, which of itself constitutes a valuable commercial library of reference; these publications have been sent to Members of Congress and the officials of the National Government, to State officials and members of State Legislatures, and to mayors and other officials of many cities having more than ordinary interest in public-welfare questions. The dissemination of this information has required a great deal of time and the expenditure of no small sum of money, and the National Board of Trade and its constituent members, together with all others interested in its work, appreciate the patriotism and generosity of its President, who has done so much to carry on its work. The commercial interests of the entire country are thoroughly alive to the merits of, and are earnestly championing, the cause of Conservation of all our natural resources. Economic use that does not destroy, but protects and fosters reproduction where reproduction is possible, prolongs and perpetuates the industries dependent on natural products for their maintenance; and these compose the larger part of all our manufactures. The National Board of Trade in its 42 years of existence has been the exponent of the principles upon which alone permanent trade and commerce can be maintained and extended—high standards of commercial honor and integrity, and doing unto others as we would that others should do unto us. There are in this Congress, on the invitation of its officers, Delegates from National organizations which have contributed greatly to various phases of Conservation problems, which are now crystallizing into a National policy. So far as we are informed, it appears from the report of the Committee on Credentials and other committees that have been announced that no representation has been given these Delegates to enable them to participate in the active work of the Congress. We, as Delegates from the National Board of Trade, representing the commercial interests of the entire country, recommend that in case invitations are extended to National organizations to be represented at future congresses that suitable provision be made for their representatives to participate in the practical work. The National Board of Trade rejoices with this Congress in the advanced thought that the campaign of education has created in the minds of the American people, and it also feels great satisfaction in that it has for many years earnestly advocated and been instrumental in the adoption of the wise, beneficent, and economic measures that are in the interest of not only the present generation but of generations yet unborn. Respectfully submitted on behalf of the National Board of Trade, |Signed] .A. T. ANDERSON, Cleveland WILLIAM S. HARVEY, Philadelphia (Chairman Committee on Forestry, Irrigation, and Conservation)
I deeply appreciate the privilege, and am not insensible of the honor, of briefly addressing this great Congress of representative men in every field of human endeavor, who are met to plan for the Conservation of our natural resources.
First, I wish to emphasize the fact that the patriotic men who are planning Conservation today are mostly not the men who will execute. The men who are to conserve our lands and waters and minerals, and perpetuate our forests, are now running around in knickerbockers, or being rocked in the cradles of the Nation. They and their children and their children's children, down along the line of centuries, will carry out the vital precepts and principles of this great Conservation movement—this timely warning cry against careless National extravagance, this imperative codicil to the Declaration of Independence.
There are some resources we cannot restore, but may conserve or substitute. As one door closes another opens. Coal, iron, copper, and other products of the mine, when once consumed cannot be reproduced; but for all time the tree may be perpetuated—the friendly, faithful, useful tree that conserves the rain-drop with its treasures of light, heat, power, and life-giving properties for vegetation, and fills the world with inspiring beauty. The restoration and preservation of our forests, then, and an adequate policy of accomplishment, become of the weightiest importance.
In this connection I beg to suggest the American farmer boy. It is proposed to organize the farmer boys and young men of this country into a great National body, to be known as the Tree Planters of America. The plan involves instruction and actual practice in tree-planting and tree-culture, with suitable prizes for excellence and results. It aims to permanently check the wastefulness of go-as-youplease forestry now evident from every car-window in this country. In brief, without entering into details, the suggestion seeks to organize all farmer boys from twelve to twenty years of age as Tree Planters, in every commonwealth, county, and township of the United States; with the cooperation of the Forest Service at Washington, Governors of States, and the proper official heads of town and county governments.
The plan in general unifies the individual, the State, and the Nation, info one vast organized body for the practical reforestation of the country. The system once made operative will become an inseparable part of the life of the farmer of the future. It is kindred to the splendid educational and philanthropic work of Mr Bernard N. Baker, the ideal and actual President of this Congress; and I hope it may merit your approval as one practical means to the end we all are aiming at.
The time for talking has gone by. The time for action has come. Therefore let us begin at the foundation and organize the coming men who are to do the actual work of reforestation. The mind of the American boy is plastic. The impressions he receives remain to the end. Teach him, then, to practice those things that make for permanent universal betterment: for with his brain and brawn he determines the destiny of this great American Republic.
[Signed] AUST IN A. BURN HAM
When the Missouri Valley River. Improvement Association was organized in August, 1906, practically no one in the valley thought the Missouri navigable in its then unimproved state, and only a few people believed it worth while to solicit
Government aid in trying to make it navigable. The general impression seemed to be that the Missouri had outlived its usefulness. Compare this feeling with the sentiment that exists today! The people of Kansas City and the entire Missouri Valley have become awakened to the great possibilities of this river as a means of cheap transportation. Through the efforts of our Association and the people of the valley, the Congress of the United States in 1907 made an appropriation of $400,000 for the improvement of the Missouri; in 1909 Congress made another appropriation of $555,000, and in June, 1910, still another of $1,465,000 for improving the river from its mouth to Fort Benton.
So great is the interest in the Missouri river project that the people of Kansas City recently raised a fund of over $1,000,000 for the purpose of navigating the Missouri with modern and up-to-date boats especially adapted to this river. Experiments are now being made with different kinds of boats to determine which are the most practical. With the opening of navigation in the spring of 1911, we hope to have a modern boat line in operation between Kansas City and Saint Louis. In addition to raising $1,000,000 for navigating the Missouri, Kansas City at her bond election in the spring of this year, voted $75,000 bonds for the improvement of her harbor.
The sentiment in favor of improving and navigating the Missouri was brought about to a great extent by some of the business men of Kansas City who in 1906 organized a boat-line company to maintain regular steamboat service between Kansas City and Saint Louis to demonstrate that the river was navigable even in its then unimproved state. This company, not waiting to build boats suited to the river, bought two old boats, and in 1907 and 1908 operated them with great success, carrying freight between Kansas City and Saint Louis at two-thirds of the railroad rates. When the people of Kansas City saw what could be done with the antiquated type of boat, they became interested in navigating the river with firstclass steel-hull boats, built especially for the Missouri—which resulted in the organization of the Million Dollar Boat Line.
A movement is now under way to organize a company for the purpose of building a large dam across one of Missouri's streams within 120 miles of Kansas City. It is proposed to put up a plant that will generate 30,000 horsepower; this to be transmitted to Kansas City and sold to the consumers at the low price of one cent per kilowat-hour. The largest consumers of electric power in Kansas City are now paying 2% cents and the smaller consumers from 8 to 10 cents per kilowathour. The proposition has the appearance of being feasible, and if it can be carried through it means a great deal to the future growth of the Missouri Valley, as it will furnish cheap power to prospective manufactories.
[Signed] JEROME Twich ELL
UPPER MISSISSIPPI RIVER IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION
How to conserve the natural resources of every land has become an absorbing theme throughout the civilized world, and I think no one is more alert in reference thereto than the inhabitants of the former Northwest Territory and of the Louisiana Purchase. They are of the salt of the earth; yet notwithstanding their power they have permitted constant encroachments by predatory greed and covetousness, mostly by the corporate monopoly rampant world-wide in this Twentieth Century. It is thus fitting that this magnificent assembly of progressive public-spirited Delégates from nearly every avocation and locality should here gather at the head of navigation of the great flowing stream that drains the most fertile valley on this mundane sphere. Viewing these fertile lands, it would be most natural to expect that the rights of this people declared by the law of Congress enacted in 1787 should
be deemed wise, especially this provision : Article IV. . The navigable, waters leading into the Mississippi and Saint Lawrence, and the carrying places between the same, shall be common highways and forever free as well to the inhabitants of the said Territory as to the citizens of the United States and those of any other States that may be admitted into the Confederacy, without any tax impost or duty therefor. " The Association that I represent has labored during the past decade to so awaken public sentiment in this valley that a six-foot channes will be provided - A 1-- . - - - -
in arousing the people from lethargy to a forceful activity for cheaper transportation by inland waterway improvement, which has been assured to this upper river within the succeeding dozen years by Congressional action at the last session. The problem to be grappled with now is how best to regain for the public the landings for boats, which we find have been obtained and are largely held by private interests antagonistic to thorough use of the stream. Generally for a mere pittance the landing rights, to the thread of the stream, passed to private ownership needlessly and without any consideration to the original grantor, the Government. Each city and village along the river is now up and doing, as is this city of Saint Paul in providing a municipal wharf at enormous expense; they are now fully apprised of the importance of these holdings, which we ardently hope will be regained for free public use, so that improved machinery for loading and unloading cargoes of modern boats and barges by a single power lift may become effective, as may be seen along the Rhine. When this is done, boats will again ply this great river and its tributaries, carrying the abundant products of every kind that this valley annually produces at a much cheaper rate than by rail. We, who people this Central Northwest, were pioneers in opposing rapacious transportation rates; it was the Granger movement hereabouts, nearly forty years since, that aroused the law-making powers to the necessity of conferring on State and Federal commissions the power to regulate rates; and further results are yet to be hoped for in the regulation of charges for freight, passenger, express, sleeping-car, and mail service, together with telegraph and telephone charges. This valley between the Alleghany and Rocky Mountains was ordained by nature to supply foodstuffs for a goodly portion of the globe's people; and with the opening of the Panama Canal, along with the development of our inland waterway transportation, the problem of traffic rates must be solved. While the general Government has been using the people's money to improve rivers and build canals, no sooner does the Government undertake to develop power incidental to some praiseworthy project than it finds that the water-power was absorbed by private interests, which were at all times alert to obtain grants in perpetuity (now worth millions) without any regulation to redound to the people's good—as shown by the reports of our waterway conventions. The best sites are already taken away from the people: shall we bend every energy to save what remains? This should be all changed in future grants of power-rights in flowing water; a census of the Nation's water-power resources should be taken, and all grants hereafter should be determined, with the respective values of the same, for use at equitable rates. When once the law-makers realize that the people are truly in earnest about Conservation, a halt will be called upon reckless legislation in the interest of exploiters; then sincere citizens may be induced to stand as legislative candidates, without fear of being pilloried by a subsidized press and venal poll-workers at every turn in a canvass. Our waterway improvement conventions in this valley have spoken plainly, and the rivers and harbors are faring better than ever before—in fact, our efforts along these lines have done wonders to bring to the people, by acts of Congress, what is justly their own. Will the Conservationists array themselves against all law-makers who have proven recreant by their attitude toward cleancut legislation in aid of Conservation throughout the United States? Smooth words, without conscientious acts in the interests of our lofty aims, should meet with a lasting rebuke “Fight it out on this line if it takes several summers.”
should be our slogan. [Signed] M. J. McENIRY Chairman Conservation Committee
The Washington State Federation of Labor will not be represented by any of the Washington State Delegates at the Second National Conservation Congress. We are, however, deeply interested in the question of conservation of natural resources for the people, and as President of this organization, with a membership of over 20,000, I believe I am expressing the sentiment of the workingmen of this State when I say that I am in entire accord with the declaration of views and recommendations of the Governors of States and Territories of the United States,
as adopted at the Conference of Governors, called by President Roosevelt, in Mav. 1008.