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It seems very likely that, so far as water is concerned, the State and the Nation will have to coöperate and work together (applause). The State may own the water in Montana because . the streams are not navigable, and I assume this is so in Wyoming and Idaho and the other mountain States. The Government at present owns much of the land. The Federal Government may not say to the State, “You cannot use the water because you cannot get in my backyard,” and the State may not say, “Water is valueless without the use of the land that is situated adjoining;” so they will have to work together, and they should work together. That is the way it ought to be, and that is the way it will be; and I believe that we here in the West, and in the East and in the South, who have had our States developed by a vast expenditure of these natural resources and vast waste, will have patience and consideration for the views of these men who are somewhat fearful lest we do not permit them to develop their own resources. I believe the Nation will permit them not only to develop the resources, but will encourage them in that development (applause).
Now, just a word about Illinois: I have told you so many bad things about our State that it is not proper to cease speaking without saying some good things. I was delighted with the statements made by Governor Norris about Montana. It is a proud record. It has set a good example to the Government. Our State has done something, too (laughter). Our State, a long time ago, before we heard of this Conservation movement, had at least six or eight commissions out doing this very work. We have an agricultural experiment station that has explored every foot of our land, I may say, in a phenomenal way; the fact is we are laying off our State in ten-acre plats, and the University of Illinois is surveying each ten acres and making a record indicating the kind of soil, later to give advice as to the development of each ten acres; and the gentleman under whose supervision that is done is a Delegate to this Congress and likely to address you. He is a specialist on soil. And we have had a geological commission that has taken stock of all of our minerals, and although we are a prairie State we are the third in the Union in our mineral output. We are not only locating and taking stock of our coal but showing how to mine it, how to send it by freight, how to store it, and how to burn it—for nine-tenths of its energy is wasted before you get it to the place where you should apply it. We have made a survey of our rivers, studying the fishery question; Illinois river is the second in its output of food products in the United States, being only exceeded by Columbia river in the remote West; it has more than doubled in the last eight years. We have a commission on floriculture and horticulture; and we have an internal improvement commission that is studying every stream in our State and giving the information to our counties and districts for the pur
pose of forming drainage districts so that the land may be drained and more of it cultivated. In every department—water, soil, minerals—our State has made a most careful investigation, so that we feel we have a complete stock of our resources; we believe, too, in their development, and we are developing them. All the departments of our State work are going along as they should, and our resources are being well conserved. I have dwelt on a disagreeable feature only because I believe that the example of Illinois should be beneficial elsewhere. We are having trouble in attending to our public utilities, as other States will. Illinois will have expended a hundred million dollars in the making of a water-course that creates water-power, and you are all familiar with the disgraceful story as to how the State has tried to cope with that water-power monopoly through its Legislature and conserve to us what we created ourselves. It is likely that we shall be compelled to see certain corporations or private individuals sowing where they didn't reap, and levying a toll upon a vast expenditure of money made by our commonwealth; and other States may profit by our experience. (Applause)
Chairman STUBBs—I am very glad indeed to have the opportunity of introducing Governor Hay, of the great State of Washington (applause).
Governor HAY—Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: I desire to take this opportunity to thank the good citizens of Saint Paul for seeing to it that the Western States were given representation at this Congress (applause). It was not, and never was, the intention of the managers of this Conservation Congress to allow those who differed with them in opinion to be heard at this meeting, as I know by long correspondence myself with the management. In reading the numerous papers published here in the East relative to the “wild and woolly western men” and their ideas on Conservation, I said to my wife, before leaving home, “It looks to me that I am going down to Saint Paul to get the most glorious spanking a white man ever got.” My wife said, “Go down and take it” (laughter). But since arriving here, I am pleased to say that I have found innumerable people who look upon this Conservation question exactly the same way as do the majority of the people of the Pacific Coast.
All that is needed to solve the problem of conserving our natural resources is common sense and the application of the square deal (applause). It is because of a departure from these two essential elements in the consideration of Conservation, that an unsound, unjust, and impracticable policy has been advanced in this country. Common sense has given place to humbug and fairness to intolerance. Instead of calm, dispassionate, logical discussion of the subject, we hear and read on every hand exaggerated statements, misrepresentation, false accusation, dire prophecy, and passionate appeals to prejudice, avarice, and lawlessness. This has given rise to a wholly perverted notion of true Conservation, and has brought about a condition hurtful to the West, and one that, if persisted in, is bound to prove injurious to the Nation. The only sane and sensible kind of Conservation is that which permits the fullest and freest development of our natural resources under provisions that will perpetuate those resources that can be renewed, and that will obtain the greatest economic good from those that cannot be replaced. But to many of us of the Pacific Coast and Rocky Mountain States, Conservation, as practiced, means to tie up and not to utilize. It signifies to us the letting of our waters run unfettered to the sea for fear some one might develop their power and turn their energy to the benefit of mankind in this generation. To us it means the locking up of our vast forests that they may go to decay or become the prey of the fire king. It means that, to please some bureaucrat, the people of our section are held up to allow the timber trust to secure a profit of a few extra millions each year. It means that our vast coal areas must go undeveloped, and that we be compelled to spend our money with foreign mine owners for fuel, importing the coal at no small expense for the item of transportation alone. It means that the State of Washington is robbed of the use of 500,000 acres of land that the Federal Government granted to it for educational purposes at the time it was admitted to the Union. Conservation as practiced in the past developed into a vast profit-making scheme for certain southern land grant railroads, which under it were given scrip in place of worthless desert land included in forest reservations, treeless since time began and bound to remain treeless to the end of time. And we have seen this scrip brought north and placed upon our timber lands that will cruise from 5,000,000 to 50,000,000 feet per section, and are worth from $20 to $100 per acre. This brand of Conservation means to us that 2714% of the total area of the State of Washington paid a paltry $16,000 into the public coffers in 1909. It means we are called upon to expend large sums each year for policing these Federal reserves, which contribute practically nothing to the cost of State government, while at each session our State Legislature is compelled to appropriate large sums to build roads through Federal reserves. Last year we appropriated $205,000 for this purpose. To us, Conservation means that settlers within forest reserves who have taken up homesteads in good faith are harassed, browbeaten, and often forced to abandon their claims and lose the fruits of the labor of years. As an illustration of this, permit me to read a letter I received recently from a fellow citizen of mine who, by the way, is a prominent logger, and while a very wealthy man and a large timber owner, is one of that kind of men who came up from the bottom; he started in at day's wages in the State of Washington a little over thirty years ago. This is what he says:
Speaking for myself and from a selfish standpoint, the present Conservation by our National Government suits me fine, but in the interests of the poor settlers who make our country, a change should be made. Four-fifths of these settlers come out here from Eastern States and endeavor to take up homesteads, but they are so harassed and driven from their homesteads through technicalities and forest rangers under orders that are absolutely foreign to the best interests of our country and the settler, that instead of making good citizens the Conservation laws have made anarchists, and if the thing is kept up, everything that will burn I expect to see burned within the next ten years. You cannot drive a man from his home, with a wife, and from one to six children, penniless and hungry and the children in rags, while the land that would support them lies idle and wild just to gratify the theory of some man who may be honest but who is ignorant of the conditions of the frontier. I will name a case of a man I met in Aberdeen, who told me that he tramped forty miles three times to make proof on his claim. He had lived with his family on his homestead for seven years and endeavored to make proof, coming out with witnesses and spending money he needed for his family, only to be told the last time he came out that his hearing was indefinitely postponed. This man came out a good, loyal, American citizen; went back a fire-eater. I know another case on the head of Nooksack river where a man endeavored to take up a homestead on meadow land, and after he made application it was set aside for forest rangers' quarters No. 1. He then tried to take a second homestead and it was set aside for Forest Ranger No. 2; he then endeavored to take a third, and that was set aside for Forest Ranger No. 3. The land is fertile beyond description, but there is nothing living on it, and it is supporting no one.
On the head waters of Skagit river there are tracts of land that will support from three to four hundred homesteads. This is purely meadow land with brush and worthless scrub timber, like all our western Washington meadows. Any five acres of this land will sustain a family in comfort. This land is held in the forest reserve, absolutely worthless so far as sustaining people is concerned, or paying taxes to the State. If our State is to give up one-third of its taxable property and carry on its government with two-thirds, she has very little interest, if any, in that portion of the State reserved by Conservation, and naturally will not aid in the preservation of the same as she would were the revenue from these resources to become the revenue of the State. Up on Quinault river, ten years ago, there was a flourishing settlement with every prospect for opening up the country. Since this Conservation law has been in force, many of these settlers have left their homesteads, others have been driven off and gone to British Columbia. The United States Government does not build a road into the settlement, and the people are too poor to build out. Take it up in the Northern Peninsula (the greater portion covered by forest reserve), the land would sustain hundreds of thousands of comfortable and independent homes; but today it is a howling wilderness, and the meadow land is as wild as it was a hundred years ago. The people are too poor to build roads in and across the forest reserve, and the Government does not.
I sincerely hope and trust that the people of the East who are not acquainted with the conditions in the State of Washington will permit this State to control and conduct her own Conservation, both water, timber, coal and oil, if necessary, to the best interests of the State and Nation. We have a State that has upwards of ten million horse-power in our waterfalls going to waste every minute. \\ith proper State laws this could be utilized, and so protected that monopoly could not control it. We have millions of tons of cheap anthracite and bituminous coal on our coast. Still, the people of Alaska are buying, British Columbia coal and shipping it up to themselves two thousand miles, while the coal is sticking out of the mountain-sides of Alaska and cannot be touched. We are shipping hundreds of thousands of tons of Maryland coal to our navy on the Pacific Coast, in foreign ships, while we, of the State of Washington, are prohibited from shipping our cheap lumber to our own people on the Atlantic Coast, and are compelled, if we ship at all, to ship it by rail to New York and the thickly settled portions of the East at a freight rate that is prohibitive. The only people receiving the benefit of our lower grades of lumber and cheap prices are the Chinese and Japanese. If we were permitted to ship our lumber in foreign vessels from Washington to New York or other ports on the Atlantic Coast, we could give them lumber that they all need and that we would be glad to sell at a very reasonable figure. It is the fool laws that are oppressing the people, both of the East and the West, and many of them have been made in the interest of monopoly and many through ignorancé.
The West is not here to fight Conservation, for, properly directed, it is one of the greatest movements inaugurated in this country since the abolishment of slavery. Our former President instituted many reform movements that, properly directed, mean happiness and prosperity for our people; and of all the movements started by him, in my opinion none means more to the financial welfare of ourselves and our children than Conservation, as vouched for by President Roosevelt (applause). The complaint we have is not against the principle of Conservation, but against the prostitution of that great movement to the impractical ends of certain men out of sympathy with our institutions. They would disregard the rights of the people of the Western States to regulate affairs within their borders; they would retard development of the younger States; they would compel the citizens of the Western States to contribute annually large sums of money to the timber, coal and power companies operating in those sections. While these bureaucrats claim to be working in the interest of the people, they could not better serve the Special Interests if they were employed by them. In the past they laid unusual burdens upon the Western States, and have ruthlessly crushed and brushed aside the honest homesteader who did not have funds to fight or carry his case to the highest court. They are attempting to bottle up and make useless the natural resources of our Western States, and have our local affairs administered through an irresponsible bureau located 3,000 miles away. All the people of the West ask is a chance with the older communities and an honest shuffle—a square deal above the table— and a show to develop our resources and build up prosperous communities made up of innumerable happy homes. I believe the people of the West are as good citizens, and are just as true and loyal to the interests of the Nation as are the citizens of any other locality. As States we do not like to be looked upon as provinces or colonial possessions to be exploited for the benefit of the other sections of this Nation. I have faith enough in the fairness of the citizens of the other sections of this Nation to believe that they do not covet or desire to rob us of what rightfully belongs to us. We believe the profit arising from the development or exploitation of the natural resources of each State should be applied to the benefit of and to the cost of government of that State.
Let me get this fact set in your minds: 95% o of the national reserves are located within the eleven Pacific Coast and Rocky Mountain States, and 271.1% of the total area of the State I have the honor to represent is taken up by forest reserves, an area in which could be placed the States of Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, and the District of Columbia, with room enough to spare to accommodate another Rhode Island. The extreme Conservationist argues that the people of the Western States are not competent or qualified to manage the natural resources within their borders and that a