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secured in the case, which is to be heard shortly. The Kankakee is one of the most noted of the streams referred to in the Ordinance of 1787 as “navigable waters," which are reserved forever as “public highways,” and there should be no riparian rights in it.
There is certainly good reason to expect a reversal of the Indiana decision, if not by our Supreme Court, by the Supreme Court of the United States, for two special reasons: (1) The question of the navigability of a stream is not primarily a judicial question, but one of public policy to be determined by the legislative department, and both Congress and our State Legislature have consistent records for the navigability of these streams. (2) In this case the navigability is a matter of solemn compact between the State and the United States; and as the constitutions of both prohibit any law impairing the obligation of a contract, it is hardly to be assumed that the courts would undertake to annul a contract of this character.
Unquestionably White River, like most of the other streams of Indiana, is not as practically navigable today as it was eighty years ago, and for two very simple reasons. First, at that time the only timber that got into the river was trees on the bank that were thrown in by the banks caving, and these were usually held to the banks by their roots. But after settlement began every freshet carried quantities of logs, rails and boards down the river, to form drifts; and these in turn caused the formation of sand and gravel bars. Second, when the land was cleared and cultivated, the ground washed much more readily than it did before, and much greater quantities of sand and gravel were carried into the river to form bars. These bars constitute the chief obstruction to practical navigation now.
But by a change in recent conditions of life, these bars furnish the means for making the river practically navigable. Within the last two decades there has grown up a special demand for this sand and gravel; and especially has this demand been increased by the call for good roads; for washed gravel is one of the best materials available for road-making, and by these streams, nature has distributed it very widely over the State. This demand has developed the industry of removing sand and gravel from the river beds by means of suction pumps, and since 1897, when it began, this industry has reached proportions that are not generally known to the public. At Indianapolis there have been six steam pumps working for several years. They are mounted on scow boats, fifty to sixty-five feet in length, and twenty to twenty-five feet in width, and by centrifugal suction power, draw up a mixture of sand, gravel and water through eight-inch pipes. The pipe entrance is screened to prevent the entrance of stones over four or five inches in diameter, in order to avoid clogging the pipe.
These six pumps take out 180,000 cubic yards of sand and gravel in
a year, at a cost of 20 to 25 cents a cubic yard. The material is separated by passing over screens into two grades of sand and two of gravel, and is sold at a good profit for street improvement, roofing, asphalt mixture, concrete, mortar and locomotive sand. Formerly Lake Michigan sand was shipped here in considerable quantities, but now the demand is fully met by this local industry. The pumps take out the material for a depth of about fifteen feet, and in the course of their work they have made about three miles of Indianapolis river front practically navigable for any kind of river craft. The boats can easily be run to any point on the river and used for removing bars at any place. At present the proprietors of the boats are paying the adjacent landowners for the privilege of taking out material that rightfully belongs to the State, and of which the publie ought to have the benefit.
The practical situation is this: Indiana has an almost inexhaustible supply of the best and cheapest road material known, which rightfully belongs to the State. By using this material it will make actually navigable hundreds of miles of waterways that are now of no use in commerce. It is quite common for the unthinking to joke about the absurdity of making small streams navigable, but there is nothing absurd about it. Over half a century ago Indiana constructed 453 miles of canal, at an average cost of $15,000 a mile, which has since been practically abandoned, not as is generally supposed, because of the competition of rail roads, but because it was high line canal, and was built up, in part, instead of being dug out, and without proper precaution for making it water-tight. The State was not alone in its experience. There are in the United States over 1,950 miles of abandoned high-line canal, that cost over $14,000,000. But there are also plenty of low-line canals in practiral and profitable operation.
The mistake that was made in Indiana was in not utilizing the natural water-courses. At an expense of less than $15,000 per mile, White River can easily be made navigable for steamboats from Indianapolis to its mouth, where there is actual steamboat navigation now. The fall in the river is only 269 feet in the 285 miles, or less than a foot to the mile. The tested flow of White River at this point is over 1,000 cubic feet per second. With not to exceed half a dozen dams, and the principal bars pumped out and put into roads, the thing is accomplished. Not only is there nothing impracticable about it, but it is as certain to be done, in the not distant future, as it is that the sun will rise tomorrow morning. The advantages of water communication with the great coal and building stone region of the State, as well as direct connection with the Wabash, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, is too obvious for discussion. With our Supreme Court decisions put on a rational and just basis, there is nothing to prevent a speedy accomplishment of the work.
P'LPORT FROM THE NATIONAL FERTILIZER ASSOCIATION.
l'resented by Mr. John 1). TOLL, Secretary of the Educational Bureau of the National Fertilizer Association, and MR. CHARLES S. RAUH, of Indianapolis,
Official Delegates to the Fourth National ('onservation Congress. In the last analysis man must have food. The law of supply and demand becomes operative the minute that a nation is born. Scarcity of food produces abnormal prices. As scarcity increases, the prices become almost prohibitive. The attention of every citizen of this country has been called to the rapid increase in the cost of food products during the last decade. This increase has been due to several causes, among which we may note the following: (1) Increase of population has exceeded the increase in production of foodstuffs; (2) scarcity of new lands to be developed to meet the needs of a growing population; (3) decrease in productivity of some of the formerly productive soils of this country.
Other causes have undoubtedly contributed to this situation, but the one pertinent to the present discussion is that of decreasing soil fertility as it is related to the production of crops. The production of crops depends (1) upon the fertility of the soil; (2) climatic conditions ; (3) quality of seed used; and (4) the culture and care given to the crop. Three of these governing factors are under the control of the farmer. Therefore, inasmuch as they are under his control, so also is the supply of food under his control to an equal degree.
According to the latest available statistics, out of 1,755,132,800 acres in the United States, there are 383,891,682 acres of improved land. A considerable amount of this land is being used for the production of crops of various kinds. These crops in 1911 totaled the enormous production of $5,504,000,000.
The plant food consisting of nitrogen, phosphoric acid and potash which these crops take from the soil is not all returned to the land, and, as a result, we have a vearly drain upon the fertility account of our soils.
The loss of all three essential elements of plant food is being partly met by the wise Conservation and use of barn manure.
The loss of nitrogen in this depletion is also being partly met by the growing of legumes which have the power of taking nitrogen from the air and fixing it in the soil where it is available as plant food.
If any one of these elements is lacking, crop production suffers a decrease in quantity and a deterioration in quality, to wit: If phosphoric acid is the lacking element in soil, the production of ear corn may be large in quanaity but the ears are soft and immature, consequently are inferior for stock food or for human food. In the same way a scarcity of phosphoric acid decreases the yield of wheat and causes an inferiority in its quality.
The lack of nitrogen and potash has equally disastrous effects on the production of the crop. It is, therefore, not only a supply of plant food that is necessary, but the balancing of it in order that our soil may produce a maximum crop of best quality. The fertilizer industry is an industry engaged entirely in the supply of these plant food elements. is, therefore, a direct contributor to the maintenance of the human race, in that it deals in the elements of plant food.
Not only since its inseption in 1840 has this industry contributed to the supply of plant food, which in the end means human food, but it has noted the wasteful methods of agriculture being practiced, unconsciously frequent, in many parts of this country, and it has put forth continuous efforts along the lines of educating the American farmer to grow larger yields of better crops, to maintain and increase the fertility of the soil, and increase the average yield per acre.
The fertilizer industry has, through its national association, within the past two years established several movements, the great purpose of which is to assist in the dissemination of knowledge of modern methods of agriculture.
Another line of effort wherein the fertilizer industry has been a direct contributor to the conservation of vital resources is in its great manufacturing plants. To produce the phosphoric acid which is supplied in fertilizers, the industry obtains the barren phosphatic rock from Tennessee, Carolinas, Florida, etc., grinds this material and treats it chemically so as to make the phosphoric acid available. By this means, it supplies to the great crop producing States of this country the element of plant food, which, to a large extent, determines the maturity and quality of crop production.
The industry also takes the waste material of the packing houses, such as bone, offal, blood, etc., dries and grinds it and produces an ingredient of fertilizers which was formerly thrown away. This packing house material supplies nitrogen and phosphoric acid.
Furthermore, the garbage of the cities and towns of this country is collected and reduced to the form of fertilizer ingredient, where it formerly was burned or otherwise destroyed.
Not only is all this done, but the former waste products of the cotton and tobacco industry are similarly reduced to a form of plant food to be mixed with other materials and returned to the soil.
Still further, besides gathering up the waste and otherwise barren products of the country, the industry has developed processes whereby the gases from gas and coke manufacture are collected and reduced to sulphate of ammonia in which form it constitutes one of the nitrogenous ingredients in fertilizers. This ammonia sulphate is used as an ingredient in fertilizers supplying nitrogen.
Of late years the industry has gone even further than this, in that a process has been discovered whereby the nitrogen of the air is harnessed, and the product reduced to such forms that it supplies available nitrogen for plant food.
In assembling and preparing these essential elements of plant food, the industry, as we have pointed out, not only prepares material to return to the soil to supply the elements which have been taken out of it, but it actually provides in deficient soils elements in which they may be deficient, and by so doing makes more productive lands which, on account of their balanced plant food, could not produce paying results before being treated.
The State of Georgia in 1911 spent over twenty million dollars for fertilizers, with the result that they raised more and better cotton than was ever raised in this State before. The State of Maine in the same year used 150,000 tons of fertilizers on their potato fields, with the result that their good potato growers produced from two to four hundred bushels of potatoes per acre. The total State productions exceed 25,000,000 bushels.
The fertilizer industry, we believe, occupies a most prominent part in the problem of producing sustenance for future generations and in conserving the vital resources of the world, inasmuch as it is making a close study of and doing a wonderful work in devising means whereby practically all of the former waste materials of this country may be reduced to available plant food and returned to the soil from which they were taken.
Summarizing, the fertilizer industry, as we have pointed out, is an important factor in the maintenance of the human race, of this and other continents, in that (1) it supplies plant food to balance up the plant food in the soil and to make up the deficiencies which have occurred as a result of continuous cropping; (2) assists in educating the farmers to conserve the fertility of their soils by employing scientific methods of farming ; (3) it makes use of waste products of other industries which have formerly been destroyed, and returns them to the soil in the form for of food for future crops.
The fertilizer industry, therefore, must be recognized as one of the greatest agencies of conservation of vital resources.
DR. I JUCGEE:
AN APPRECIATION OF HIS SERVICES
MR. W. C. MENDENHALL, Washington, D. C. Dr. W J McGee had mastered and advocated the fundamental principles of Conservation long before the majority of those now most active in the movement had come to appreciate the real meaning of the word. He was one of the founders of this movement, was at all times one of