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guardian in the shape of a Federal bureau should be appointed to handle them for us. This is a gratuitous insult to the intelligence and integrity of the people of the West. Almost the worst kind of government that can be placed upon a people is a bureaucracy. Let me call your attenton to the fact that practically all of the land, mineral, coal, timber, and power-site steals perpetrated upon the people were made when these titles were vested in the Federal Government. Now, let us deal a little with common-sense Conservation: The people of the State of Washington started a practical system of Conservation long before Conservation became a national issue. The Governor of Montana has said that Montana was the first State in the Union to practice Conservation. Evidently the Governor of Montana is not up on the laws of the State of Washington or he wouldn't have made that statement (laughter). One of the great natural assets of our State is our fisheries. Because of over-fishing it became evident to our people some years ago that, unless proper steps were taken, our fishing industry would be ruined. Laws were passed regulating the taking of fish, and numerous hatcheries were established throughout the State. We are now putting more salmon fry into salt water than is the Federal Government, and today the State of Washington stands first in the Union in the value of the products of its fisheries, all because our people a few years ago started a practical system of Conservation. The expense of enforcing our laws regulating fisheries and the cost of maintaining and operating hatcheries is assessed against that industry. We cannot bring ourselves to consent to turn over the management of this industry to the Federal Government. In fact, so opposed are the fisher-folk of Puget Sound to Federal control of the fishing industry, which is threatened because of the proposed treaty with Great Britain, that they are fighting the ratification of the treaty by the United States Senate. Let us now take up the question of the national forest reserves as administered in the western States. I doubt that there is a thinking man who does not love the trees, the deep woods and vast forests of our land; but a tree, like everything else that grows, has its youth, its maturity, its old age and death. A tree not used at maturity decays, falls, and becomes a fire-trap and is a serious menace to standing timber. I believe that when a tree reaches its maturity it should be used and not allowed to go to decay (applause). Failure to make use of our natural resources which are going to waste is the antithesis of Conservation. I believe that all non-forested lands adapted for agricultural purposes should be opened to settlement and homesteaders allowed to file upon them. Within the national forest reserves are vast areas with not a stick of timber on them, and on which timber can never be made to grow profitably. These tracts should be thrown open to settlement. It is people we want in the West, not game preserves (applause); it is happy, prosperous communities, not idle wastes. I would not advise the acceptance of homestead filings upon timbered areas until after the timber is removed and it is found the land is suitable for agriculture. If it is valuable only for timber raising, then the land should be turned over to the State for reforestation. It is the duty of the State to all the States to start a system of reforestation. At the last session of our Legislature, an appropriation was made to start a survey and have maps made showing the areas of our State better adapted for timbergrowing than for any other purpose. This work is now well under way. A commission composed of twelve of our leading citizens, interested in forestry, have been appointed to draft a forestry bill to be submitted to the coming Legislature, when, without doubt, the State will start in upon a plan of reforestation; something which every State of the Union should take up. It is the duty of the States to attend to the growing of forests within their borders, and not the duty of the Federal Government. I am not in favor of abolishing the Federal forestry department. This department should stand in the same relation to the State forests as the Department of Agriculture stands to the farming interests of the Nation (applause). We would hardly expect Secretary Wilson to go around the country, preparing the ground, planting and harvesting our crops, and collecting the revenue therefrom, and we do not expect the Federal Government to go inside of the State and start a system of reforestation where it is absolutely the duty of the State itself to undertake that work (applause). The greatest infringement upon the rights of the State to handle their own internal affairs is the attempt on the part of the Federal Government to gain control by indirection of our water-power for the purpose of supervising and deriving the revenue from any possible development of the powers. This, by the way, is a policy particularly waged by the National Conservation Association, an organization which is making of this Conservation question a cult, which has practically set up a dogma, and whose members are now quarreling over their claims to orthodoxy. So far about all it has done has been to play into the hands of the power monopoly, which the first apostles of Conservation claim to fear so greatly. Of all the lame arguments I have heard, the one that the people of the country have not the brains or authority to regulate the charges of any public service corporation, is the worst. We have two means of reaching them: by regulating the rates, and by taxation. No State in the Union was probably ever more troubled than was the State of Washington a few years ago with a railway lobby. In the year 1905 the Legislature of the State of Washington passed a railway commission law, and placed the regulation and control of railroads under this commission. Three years this commission studied the conditions in the State. It was one of the first States in the Union to make a physical valuation to determine the cost of these plants. In 1909 the railway commission of Washington placed an order into effect that saved to the farmers of the State, in the hauling of wheat and other grains alone, S750,000. At the same time they placed an order reducing the general distance tariffs of the railroads, which cost the railroads of the State S75,000, and the railroads have never appealed from its decision and those rates are in effect today. In 1909 the railway commission traveled over every mile of road in our State, visited every station, held hearings, and as a result of that trip they made 250 orders ordering new stations, enlargement of waiting-rooms and train facilities; all those things that the people complained about they remedied, and of the 250 orders put into effect —which cost the railroads hundreds of thousands of dollars—they never have appealed from but 16, and 234 have gone into effect; so the argument that the States cannot control affairs within their own borders, it seems to me, is very fallacious (applause). If we are not competent to handle affairs within our own borders, if we are not competent to regulate corporations, then let us surrender our Constitution and go back to territorial days and let the Federal Government administer our affairs for us. (Applause)
Now, with reference to the water-power bill: The bill before Congress introduced by Senator Smoot, of Utah, and a similar bill introduced by Senator Jones, of Washington, are perfectly satisfactory to the people of the Coast, so far as I know. Governor Norris has explained to you that the beds and banks of all streams, up to the limit of medium high tide and medium high water, belong to the States; they do not belong to the Federal Government. That property is just as much ours as is the jack-knife in our pockets. Senator Smoot's bill provides that all the interest the Federal Government has in this is that it owns the sites. We own the water, we own the power. There is no question about that. The Supreme Court has passed upon it time and time again. The Government owns the sites. The Smoot bill provides that the sites in the Federal reserves shall be turned over to the State government, but that in no instance shall the State pass the fee-simple title to the land, and no lease shall be longer than fifty years. This is perfectly satisfactory, and the people of the State of Washington have no objections to that form of relinquishment to the State.
The high-handed manner in which a Federal bureau attempted to hold up the development of the western States was the result of a false conception of the principles upon which the Government is founded, and a dangerous assumption that honor and efficiency existed nowhere but in one self-appointed guide, philosopher, and so-called friend of the people. I believe it is the intention of those now in authority to administer the natural resources of the West according to law and with some respect for the welfare of the State in which the resources are located. But outside of governmental and administrative circles, an element composed of fadists, dreamers, and enthusiasts is striving to bend popular sentiment to certain impractical and unfair policies of applying Conservation, and it is against this element that the West has taken arms. We want Conservation that benefits all the people, not a Conservation that plays into the hands of a few. Conservation that does not make use of resources rapidly going to waste is Conservation gone daffy. I have noticed that there are some States down here shouting loud for Federal control of our natural resources. I want to say that those Governors who are here shouting the loudest for Federal control are from the States that have the least amount of natural resources. It is the desire of these people that the revenue received from these natural resources shall be surrendered to the Federal treasury. That is what the western States certainly object to. Some people and papers here are charging that “the interests,” whatever you may call them, are favoring State control of the natural resources. I want to say to you that “the interests” are always against local control in any case, and always prefer that monopoly of all kinds shall be placed in the Federal Government and as far away from the people as it is possible to get it. The address made here by President Taft this morning is in line with the western idea of Conservation as I understand it, and I believe those of us from the West who look at this question as I do endorse the same safe statement that has been made by our great President (applause). Let western men, using up-to-date western methods and familiar with western conditions, deal with and manage western matters. I thank you. (Applause)
Chairman STUBBs—Professor Condra will make an announcement before I introduce the next speaker.
Professor CoNDRA—Mr Chairman, and Ladies and Gentlemen : You know that we have State Conservation Commissions and associations representing various States. We have recently perfected an organization of these with a view to cooperation among States and with the Federal departments. The Federal representatives forming our national committees have thought it better not to issue any suggestions to the State delegations, preferring to leave this duty to the committee of the interstate organization, of which I have the honor to be Chairman, as the more democratic method. We propose that the chairman of each State Conservation Commission or Association call his State delegation together at some stated time and place (in the absence of the chairman the secretary or some other commissioner may act) to organize the delegation and select representatives to serve on the resolutions committee and any other committees, to the end that we may have fair discussion and full representation of all
Chairman STUBBs—I now take pleasure in introducing Governor Brooks, of Wyoming. (Applause)
Governor BROOKs—Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: It has been my good fortune to visit nearly every State in this great Union, and to spend considerable time in nearly all the larger cities, though, strange to say, this is the first time I have ever visited this particular spot; and yesterday, while enjoying a beautiful ride through the Twin Cities and around the great parks and other resorts, I felt that my education had been sadly neglected (applause). This is certainly one of the garden spots of the Union, and I think the people here showed the proper spirit when their Governor in his address this morning stated that a State convention on Conservation had been held, at which the attendance numbered some 7,000 people, to consider the proper conservation of the soil and to bring about increased production of the farms. I know that the State of Minnesota is on the right track—that is the important thing, after all. (Applause) A few days ago the western Governors held a meeting at Salt Lake City, and spent two days discussing this question of Conservation. After full and complete discussion they adopted, unanimously, a brief set of resolutions, which I think express their views in this important matter. Colorado, Utah, California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming were represented; and since the resolutions, which have been published in all the western papers, have met with unqualified public endorsement, and as it will only take me about a minute, I am going to read them, as embodying the views of the western Governors—and, I might add, of 95 percent of the citizens of the great western States: Resolved, that the Governors of the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Coast States affirm as a platform of principles to be urged upon the National Conservation Congress to be held at Saint Paul, September 5-9, 1910– First, that in legislatively solving the problem of Conservation the National
Congress adhere to the doctrine of Abraham Lincoln that the public lands are an impermanent national possession, held in trust for the maturing States.
Right on that point. I wish to refer to the splendid paper read here at the opening of this afternoon's session by that brilliant, honest, and patriotic statesman, Senator Nelson (applause), outlining the public land laws. I call your attention to the fact that at the beginning of this great Nation of ours the Federal Government acquired, by cession from the States, by treaties with the Indians, and by purchase and conquest, all this vast public-land territory, the early idea being that this public domain was to be sold for the payment of the Revolutionary War debt and for the running expenses of the Government; though that early idea was quickly transformed and changed, owing to the insistent demand of the settlers, and the pre-emption laws (with which you are all familiar) followed as the second step. They were a sort of settlement and revenue measure combined; but still the insistent demand of the settlers would not stop. and oradually we