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State Highway Department
This department was authorized by legislative Act of 1907. The appropriation for the work is based on a tax of 1/3 mill on the State valuation. Provision is made in the law whereby the State will aid financially, on a sliding scale, the various towns if they raise money for highway construction purposes. On the average it may be said that for every dollar appropriated by a town, the State will pay an additional dollar. The law further provides for a limitation of the amount that the towns may raise for this purpose, based on the valuation of said town. The sliding scale of appropriation by the State is as follows: to towns having a valuation of $200,000 or less, the State will pay two dollars for each dollar appropriated by said towns; to each town having a valuation of over $200,000 and less than $1,000,000, one dollar for each dollar appropriated by said town; to towns having a valuation of over $1,000,000 and less than $1,200,000, ninetytwo cents; to towns having a valuation of over $1,200,000 and not exceeding $1,400,000, eighty-five cents; to towns having a valuation of over $1,400,000 and not exceeding $1,600,000, eighty cents; to towns having a valuation of $1,600,000 and over, seventy-five cents for each dollar appropriated by the town; and to unincorporated townships, one dollar for each dollar appropriated.
State Forestry Department
This department was created by legislative Act of 1891 through the appointment of the State Land Agent as Forest Commissioner. This Commissioner is directed to institute an inquiry and to report as to the extent to which the forests of the State are being destroyed by fires and by wasteful cuttings, and the effect of such action on the watersheds of the lakes and rivers and on the water-powers of the State. His principal duties, however, are the supervision and control of measures for the prevention and extinguishment of forest fires in all plantations and unorganized townships in the State. An efficient fire-fighting organization is now in operation in the State under this department, and during recent years valuable tracts of timber have been saved that would otherwise have been destroyed.
There are other departments and organizations that are doing very valuable work in the preservation of the natural resources of the State of Maine. Many pages could be written on their results but at present a number of them will only be mentioned by name. Included in this list are the Departments of Inland Fisheries and Game, Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Industrial and Labor Statistics, State Board of Health, and Department of Harbor and Tidal Waters.
REPORT FROM MASSACHUSETTS
While we do not have an authorized Conservation Commission in Massachusetts, we nevertheless have many wide-awake and active State officials and commissions in charge of work which in the total answers the same purpose to the Commonwealth. Massachusetts is noted for her excellent roads, and she is constantly enlarging the mileage. The Fish and Game Commission is perfecting our laws and encouraging modern protection and management of both fish and game. The propagation and dissemination of each is a large part of their work. General agriculture is undoubtedly improving and various rural industries such as apple raising, cranberry growing, asparagus culture, and various specialties are receiving renewed attention. The State Agricultural College is growing in influence and value to the State. The increasing population of the State has made it necessary to set apart and protect many of the ponds and streams throughout the Commonwealth for the purpose of water supply. During the past fifteen years the Commonwealth has
expended more than $41,000,000 for the acquisition and construction of Metropolitan works in order to provide the city of Boston and surrounding municipalities with water. One of the storage reservoirs constructed for the “Metropolitan District” is the largest reservoir in the world built up to the present time for the purpose of providing domestic water supply. Large sums have been spent not only for the direct protection of the reservoirs from pollution, but also in acquiring and improving large marginal areas of woodland, and in the planting with trees of many hundreds of acres of cleared lands which have been acquired. Cities and towns outside of the Metropolitan District have made and are making like provisions for obtaining and preserving their water supplies. Under recent legislation the gradual metering of all water services in the Metropolitan District is required, and more vigorous inspection has been introduced; so that in the past year or two a material reduction in the total consumption has been effected notwithstanding the increasing number of water takers. In the building of the great Wachusett reservoir for the Metropolitan Waterworks provision has been made for the utilization of the power which may be generated by the fall of the water over the dam to the level of the aqueduct through which the water is conveyed into the Metropolitan District. Machinery for a power plant is about to be installed in the power house already erected, by which it is estimated that from 2500 to 3000 horsepower may be generated and disposed of, not only at a profit to the District, but also to the advantage of the local industries. While the State has permitted the taking, for the benefit of the municipalities, of the necessary sources of water supply by the exercise of the power of eminent domain, it has adopted the policy of compelling the husbanding of the waters by the prevention of unnecessary and wasteful consumption, and of utilizing the power generated by water works for the benefit alike of the works of the mechanical industries of the Commonwealth. For conserving forest, park, and shade trees, Massachusetts has undertaken the great task of suppressing the ravages of the gypsy and browntail moths. This work has now extended over a period of years, and eminent entomologists concede that nothing equal to this undertaking has ever before been attempted. As many as 2700 men at one time have been employed by the State in this work. Massachusetts has spent millions of dollars in the work, and it is not only a protection to our own people but equally prevents the dissemination of these pests to other States. Parasites have been collected and introduced from foreign countries, and everything possible undertaken to assist in the work. Our improved high-power spraying machines with new and improved devices for destroying these insects will undoubtedly prove of great value in future spraying undertakings throughout the Nation. The forestry work meets with continued whole-hearted support at the hands of our people. The work of reforestation is becoming more popular each year, and great good is bound to result there from. Our forest fire laws are proving to be workable and hence practical. The poorer towns are receiving State aid in the purchase of fire-fighting equipment, and the wealthier towns are equipping themselves. The past year, as heretofore, the Legislature has been inclined to assist the State Forester in his various endeavors.
REPORT FROM MIISSOURI
The Forest Commission of the State of Missouri was appointed a year ago for the purpose of making recommendations to the Governor concerning a future forestry policy for the State.
The Commission, after a thorough study of the conditions prevailing in the State, prepared a report to the Governor, the principal feature of which was the recommendation that a State Forest Board be established with a State Forester In submitting its report to the Governor, the Commission suggested a bill, modeled after what appeared to be the best laws already in force in other States. The Commission called particular attention to the necessity for establishing fire guards and doing educational work among the people of the State. The report and the bill were sent to the Legislature by the Governor with a strong recommendation that the bill be passed. Owing to the enormous amount of other business on hand and the lateness in the year, the Legislature did not have time to fully consider the bill, and it will come up again at the next session.
The Commission has investigated the forest resources of the State in a general way, and feels that there is a large field for the work of perpetuating forests, especially in some parts of the State where the land is more or less unfit for agricultural purposes. The Commission has furthermore planned the organization of a State Conservation Association, this to be organized sometime this fall along lines similar to those of Associations already existing in many States.
While the Conservation work of this State is as yet in its infancy, the general interest awakened is very large, and the Commission anticipates large practical results during the coming year.
REPORT FROM MONTANA
Probably none of the Governors of States who attended the Conference of Governors called by President Roosevelt in May, 1908, returned to their constituents more thoroughly imbued with the principles of Conservation, or more fully determined to put those principles into practice in this State, than Governor Norris, of Montana. Almost immediately, acting on the suggestion of Governor Folk at the Conference, he appointed a Forestry Commission, consisting of Judge Lew A. Callaway, of Virginia City, Ex-Governor Robert B. Smith, of Kalispell, and Ex-Senator Paris Gibson, of Great Falls. It soon became apparent to Governor Norris, in view of the most unsatisfactory condition of the land laws of the State, that there was work along the lines of Conservation of a broader scope than was comprehended in the plans laid down for the Forestry Commission, and he appointed what was known as the State Lands Commission, which was expected to draft a bill covering all State lands, except timber lands, to present to the Legislature. This Commission consisted of Honorable David Hilger, of Lewistown, Ex-Governor B. F. White, of Dillon, and Honorable Charles S. Hartman, of Bozeman. Subsequently, Mr E. M. Brandagee. of Helena, was appointed to fill the vacancy on the Forestry Commission caused by the death of Ex-Governor Smith, and Mr Rudolf von Tobel, of Lewistown, was appointed on the Land Commission to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mr Hartman. After several meetings had been held by each of these Commissions, it was found impracticable to separate the work of the two without duplicating much of it and causing some conflict: so the two were consolidated, and thereafter worked together in the preparation of a bill covering the entire land holdings of the State to present to the Legislature. Such a bill was prepared, submitted, and passed by the Legislature, and approved by the Governor, March 19, 1909, and is now the law of the State. This Act places all State lands under the control of the State Board of Land Commissioners, consisting of the Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, and Superintendent of Public Instruction. It provides for the appointment of a Register of the State Land Office, a State Land Agent, a State Forester, and other minor officials. The duties of the Register are to attend to the sale of lands, and he is the chief of the office. The State Land Agent's duties are, generally, to examine all lands in the field; and the State Forester has general charge of the timber lands of the State. The Act further provides that no timber land shall ever be sold, except only such as, after being cleared, would be more valuable as agricultural land, than it would be for the growing of timber; and that only the merchantable timber in the forests of the State shall be sold from time to time. It also provides for the reforestation of the lands as occasion may require. The State Forester is made the general Fire Warden of the State, and the Deputy Forester, all peace officers, and the Game Wardens, are made Deputy Fire Wardens, charged with the duty of protecting the forests of the State, all being liable to forfeiture of office for neglect. The Act provides for prohibiting the sale of lands known to be coal lands, and provides that mines may be opened in the coal lands of the State and worked on the royalty basis, the minimum royalty being fixed at ten cents per ton; it provides that every patent issued for State lands shall reserve to the State the coal, oil, gas, and other minerals contained therein, with the right to enter upon the land and extract the same: thus reserving to the State all coal and other minerals in State lands, whether the same are known at the present time to exist or not. It also provides for the location of water-rights by the State for irrigation of State lands and provides for the location of mining claims on State lands in practically the same manner as it provided for the location of such claims under the Federal Statutes. This, in brief, is an outline of the work accomplished by the Commission. Owing to the facts that the timber lands of the State are not in one compact body and that large tracts of timber land lying adjacent to the State forests are owned by private parties and corporations, the experiences of the past summer in fighting forest fires, has demonstrated that all owners are not equally interested in preventing the destruction of the timber upon their lands; at any rate that they are not equally willing to pay the expense of preserving it. It was found that while some few corporations, owning large tracts of timber land, furnished their quota of men and money to protect their interests, by far the larger number either declined or neglected to furnish either, throwing upon the State the burden of protecting the timber of private owners in order to protect State property; and it is the intention of the Commission to recommend and urge upon the Legislature the passage of an Act requiring private owners of timber land to protect their forests, and in case of their failure or neglect to do so, authorizing the State to do so and to charge the expense thereof to the land. Inasmuch as the State has a large quantity of timber land within the National forests which is unsurveyed, and which if surveyed would be school sections but which the Secretary of the Interior has decided belongs to the National Government until surveyed, the State derives no benefit whatever from the land and will not derive any until the same has been officially surveyed. The Commission proposes to recommend the passage of an Act ceding to the Federal Government all of the lands within the National Forests which would be school section, upon Congress granting to the State a like area of equally good timber land, in one or more compact bodies so located that the State can obtain some benefit there from. This method of handling the matter, I understand, was favorably considered by Mr Pinchot while in office, and also by President Taft. The Commission also has in mind the preparation of a bill looking to the conservation of the waters of the State. While Montana has many valuable waterpowers, most of which are still undeveloped, the principal use of water in the State is, and always must be, for the irrigation of the land; nevertheless, much of the water of the State is available for power purposes which could not be made available for irrigation. Under a long line of decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, beginning with the case of Martin vs. Waddeil (16 Peters, 367) decided by Chief Justice Taney in 1842, down to the case of Kansas vs. Colorado (206, U. S.), the beds of all navigable streams below high-water mark, together with the waters flowing over them, belong absolutely to the State, subject only to the right of Congress to regulate commerce, and are subject to State control. On the other hand, the land bordering upon such streams all belonged to the general Government originally, and in many places available for power sites the lands bordering on the streams still belong to the General Government. In order to develop these power sites the work must be undertaken by both State and Nation, or by their joint consent; and it is hoped that some legislation may be secured in the State and in Congress regulating this joint control. Much has been said and written in regard to the compensation due the Government, either State or Nation, from the owners of developed power sites such as we have in Montana; but the Montana Commission is more interested in the power to regulate rates than in the power to exact compensation for the use of the waters, for the reason that all compensation paid to the Government must eventually come from the consumer, and in any event would be comparatively small, while the regulation of rates to the consumer is the only power necessary to complete control and the prevention of monopoly— although it is believed that some compensation should be exacted. Such legislation would eventually conserve the undeveloped water-powers of the State, but other questions arise as to those sites which have already been developed. There are four dams across the Missouri river in Montana, either completed or in process of construction, each of which utilizes, or is intended to utilize, the entire flow of the river. All of these powers were developed under special Acts of Congress passed after Montana became a State; but in no case was the consent of the State obtained, or even sought. The Commission has not yet decided whether it will attempt to bring these developed powers under State control or not, and of course has not devised any method of doing so (in case it should be deemed advisable to attempt it), although individual members of the Commission—including the writer—have expressed themselves as
decidedly of the opinion that the owners of these developed powers, not having obtained any consent from the State for the construction of their dams or for the use of the water, may be brought under State control. The Montana Commission looks upon this water conservation as its main work for the immediate future. On the whole, the Commission feels that it has already accomplished considerable in the way of practical Conservation, but that there is much more to be done, some of which it hopes to be able to accomplish at the coming session of the Legislature during the first of the coming year.
REPORT FROM NEW MEXICO
I come from a Territory that for sixty years has been knocking at the doors of Congress, seeking admission to the sisterhood of States. The treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo provided that our Territory should be admitted to Statehood “at the proper time” (which was to be judged by the Congress of the United States), and to the enjoyment of all the rights of citizens of the United States according to the principles of the Constitution. The implied requisites for admission are population, taxable wealth, and the desire of Statehood. All of these we have in abundance, including a population that exceeds by far that of any of the States at the time of their admission, with the single exception of Oklahoma, and something that is by no means generally known is the fact that our Territory has fewer foreign-born citizens per thousand than any State in the Union. However, the present Congress has enacted legislation under which we may be admitted, and our Constitutional Convention is now in session, framing a fundamental law that I am sure will meet with the approval of Congress and the President. But for the fact that the best brains of our Commonwealth are engaged in the work of framing this Constitution, a much larger representation would have been present here.
New Mexico is proud of what she has done in the cause of Conservation. The Act of the Thirty-eighth Legislative Assembly creating our Conservation Commission is broad in its scope and is a model for those States which have not enacted any such legislation.
I hope to attend the Third National Conservation Congress, not from a Territory whose people are wards of the Government and not considered capable of the management of their own affairs, but as the representative of the Great State of New Mexico, the forty-seventh star in our flag.
REPORT FROM NEW YORK
New York may well be called the Empire State because of its great population, its railways, canals, navigable rivers, agricultural development, and diversified industries. It also has within its boundaries vast forests that give it an important place among the States of the Union in regard to woodland products, fish, and game. No statement regarding the Conservation question in New York would be complete without first referring to a few of its assets and their stupendous value. Those to which I refer will readily indicate the importance of New York as a field for the protection, development, and use of natural resources. The State has an area of 50,203 square miles, or 32,129,920 acres. Of this great territory 27 percent is occupied by forests, a proportion nearly the same as that of the forest area of Germany. There is standing in New York about 41,500,000,000 board feet of timber; the output of our forests last year was 1,004000,000 board feet. There are 2,308 saw-mills. The value of our forest product in 1907 at the mill was $24,000,000. In the manufacture of wood pulp New York leads all other States. Last year 245,000,000 board feet of domestic logs were used for pulp, and that was only about 20 percent of the total amount used. New York also leads in the number of paper-mills. It has approximately 170 establishments for the manufacture of paper. The paper and wood-pulp industry is represented by a capital investment of about $57,000,000. New York's vast wilderness contains much large game. Over 6,000 deer and 100 bear are killed each hunting season. The annual commercial value of fur