United States. Congress. House. Appropriations.

Agricultural appropriation bill: 1923, hearing ... 67th Congress, 2d session online

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mountain ana was gradually growing in vigor and spreading ; and
within half an hour it was charging up that hill like a hurricane.
It could not be stopped until it got to flie crest of the hill.

So I think the money expended in Air Service is as well spent as
money can possibly be, any money that is appropriated.

Mr. Anderson. The continuance of that service is much more
dependent on what the committee have to do with the War De-
partment appropriation.

Mr. Hawley. I understand so, but I ask your courtesy to say
these words to you on this subject, because the protection of our
timber is a matter of great concern; that is, not only on the forest
reserve, but that on other lands.


Mr. Anderson. Col. Greeley, your next item is on page 109, esti-
mating timber and other resources.

Col. Greeley. This item is used exclusively for the survey of the
physical resources of the national forests, with a view to increasing
their use. Much work of the same character is done currently by the
administrative officers on the national forests, and it is part of their
duty to examine areas of timber where applications for purchase are
received, without slighting the dailv administrative and protective
work. As far as they can they make the estimates and surveys of
resources which are required before making new sales, or issuing new
permits, but the requirements of daily administrative work, and
particularly of the protective work durmg the summer montl^, are
such that it is not possible for the force regularly employed on the
national forests to keep pace with the demands for timoer and other
resources which are bemg made upon us.

For example, in addition to the increased sales business, to which
I have referred in a previous statement before the committee, there
are many pending inquiries for large areas of forest timber, which
represent probable sales in the course of the next three or four years,
if the Government is prepared to put this timber on the market.

But before we can put lots of timber upon the market we must
have accurate information of the quality and the quantity of the
stumpage, of the conditions surroimding its exploitation, and par-
ticularly of its quality. For example, within the past two weeks a
gentleman came to Washington representing interests in Oregon,
with a very insistent demand that 800,000,000 feet of timber in cen-
tral Oregon be immediately offered for sale, and they volunteered to
pay a price of $1.50 per thousand for that stumpage. This block of
timber covers approximately 120 sections in one of the national
forests. At the amount offered by these parties the upset value of
that timber amounts to $1,200,000, but tnat stumpage may easily
he worth two or three times as much as has been offered for it, and
it is obvious that before the Forest Service can advertise that stump-

yand put it up for sale we must have a reasonably exact inventory
just what this area contains, its accessibility, its commercial
quality, and consequently of its value.

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Appraisals of this character are necessary both to secure the data
which prospective operators need and also to secure a fair price for
the timber, as a return to the Public Treasury. That example in
Oregon illustrates some 14 or 15 pending cases, where large quantities
of timber are desired, and where the necessity has been created for
the Government to make surveys of the character indicated in this
item, if it is to take on the increased business and extend the use of
the national forests.

Mr. Anderson. Is this timber all appraised before it is sold ?

Col. Greeley. Yes, sir; we have found, as a matter of practical
experience, that it is not advisable to offer any timber for sale until
we have obtained a reasonably accurate estimate of it. We not only
need the estimate of the quantity, but the appraisal of the quality,
and consequently of the commercial value.

. The law governing timber sales requires that the Forest Service
appraise the market value of this stiunpage and then advertise the
timber at that appraised rate for such competitive bids as may bo
offered. We have been conducting these cruises and appraisals for
the past 8 or 10 years.

The national forests contain approximately 80,000,000 acres of
merchantable timber, and to date approximatelv 20,000,000 acres,
or 25 per cent of the total, have been covered by examinations of
this character. With the appropriation as herein provided, of which
approximately $62,500 are expended on timber examination, we are
extending our surveys at the rate of approximately 400,000 acres per

Mr. Anderson. Let me ask you what the value of a survey is, made
long ago in advance of a sale.

Col. Greeley. If a survey is accurately made, Mr. Chairman, it is
sufficient for any sale that will come up within the ensuing 20 years.
The survev is just an accurate map of the topography of the area
showing the drainage courses and mountain ranges and the topo-
graphical factors which affect methods of lodging; secondarily, it
gives us the estimated quantity of timber, which in the case of these
mature virgin forests does not change very much from year to year
imtil the area is cut over. It gives us the timber- type conditions,
which determine how the stumpage should be cut, what methods of
cutting should be required in a contract, and it also gives us the infor-
mation necessary as to the quality of the stimipage, which has a very
important bearing upon its value. For example, you take any tini-
ber belt like the Douglas fir region of western Oregon. The difference
in the quality of the timber on different tracts as between stumpa|re
that represents clean, mature growth that has not yet reached^ the

Eoint where serious defects have come in and stuftipage which has
ecome defective and in which there is a large per cent of cull, thert*
may be a difference of $1 to $2 a thousand feet in value because of
the differences in quality wholly aside from the other factors affecting

The most important project during the past year — and the same
will be true of next year — has been the survey of pulp-wood areas in
the forests of Alaska. Over $20,000 were expended upon that for
the last fiscal year, and the project for the coming season will require
$18,000. The paper business is just in its beginning in Alaska, but
we have an opportunity there to develop a very satisfactory industry

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for the utilization of the timber in th% national forests, and also
for the supplying of the paper markets of the country with aii
important commodity. We have about six pending applications of
varying degrees of certainty and responsibility — some oi them doubt-
less do not represent bona fide offers and some do — ^for areas of pulp
timber in Alaska; and this survey is being made to definitely locate
the most feasible tracts, and secure the data concerning them, which
the prospective paper manufacturing companies require on their
part, ana which the Government requires in drafting the contracts
of sale and determining the price.

The other projects which are conducted under this item of timber
surveys cover the more important areas of commercial timber in the
national forests on the Pacific coast, where there is a large growing
business in national forests sales from operators who Avish to install
new sawmills and open up new regions.

We have also several pending applications in southern Wyoming
and northern Colorado for the sale oi considerable areas of tie timber
from the Rocky Mountain pine, which furnishes the standard ties
for the transcontinental railroads, which are using this local source
of tie timber to a more and more material degree.

We have also an application for the development of the Superior
National Forest in Mnnesota for the extraction of pulp wood.
That forest in north Minnesota has been regarded more or less as a
regrowth proposition. It was very badly burned by fire in earlier
years, before the national forests were established, and the greater
part of its most valuable timber has disappeared ; but the develop-
ment of the pulp industry in the northern lake States has brought
these so-called inferior species, aspen, jack pine, etc., into demand,
and we now have a responsible application from manufacturing con-
cerns for the development of that forest for the cutting oi pulp
wood, and there is prospect there of establishing a satisfactory
industry; and that is one of the projects which figures in our cur-
rent work.

Aside from the survey of timber resources Which consume $62,500
out of this fund, we are conducting surveys of the national forest
ranges, to an aggregate of $37,500 annually, on the areas where the
grazing use is most mtensive.

We have probably 125,000,000 acres of land in the national forests
which produce greater or smaller quantities of forage. Up to thB
present time we have been able to cover approximately 18,000,000
acres with grazing surveys to determine the carrying capacity of the
forage areas and the practical conditions governing the use of those
ranges. This work now is progressing xmder the funds available at
the rate of between two and three million acres annually, the current
work being confined to the national forests where the grazine use is
most intense. These grazing surveys give us a forage map, snowing
topographv, the character and density of the forage, the numbers of
different classes of stock which parts of the area will carry, the loca-
tion of watering places, the practical routes for driveways, and all
other factors which affect the administration of the area as a range
unit. The grazing survey thus becomes the basis for range admims-
tration by me local supervisor. It gives him a real inventory of his
resources to work upon, and we have f oimd that these range surveys
have enabled us to work out a better distribution of the stock on

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many forests, and whatevei allows us to make better distribution
increases the number of live stock a forest will cany. From that
standpoint the grazing surveys have much more than paid for them-
selves from the increased returns that have resulted from the com-
prehensive distribution plan of live stock which the grazing survey
makes possible.

The work will be continued during the next year on forests in
Montana, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington, where the
conditions require an intensive grazing plan of this character.


In presenting the item this year an additional sum of $12,000 has
been mcluded, in order to take care of the situation which exists in
the examination of water-power sites. When the Federal water-
power law was enacted in 1920 an appropriation was made in that
act for the work of the Federal Water Tower Commission, but when
the act emerged from Congress the use of that appropriation was so
limited that the power commission was compelled to depend on the
services of the Department of Agriculture, the Department of the
Interior, and the Department of War, to make the field examinations
of sites for which applications have been made to the power commis-
sion imder the terms of the Federal water-power law.

In other words, the funds of the commission can not be used for
the personal services of engineers engaged upon field examinations.
The Budget for 1923 continues this same limitation upon the Federal
Power Commission, so that as far as we are able to ascertain from the
character of estimates submitted to Congress, the power commission
will be dependent upon the Department of Agriculture next year for
making all examinations of water-power sites within the national
forests for which applications are submitted to the commission.
This arrangement is extremely unsatisfactory and, in my judgment,
illogical; but recognizing it as a necessity, we have met it this past
year as best we could.. That has required us to pay $13,150 in cash
for the salaries of certain employees of the Federal Power Commission
here in Washington. It has also required us to furnish officers of the
Forest Service, engineers employed upon road construction and other
engineering work, to make the examinations in the field of water-
power sites, at the request of the commission, when applications have
Deen submitted for the sites.

During the past year, in addition to furnishing a direct contribu-
tion to the salaries of the employees of the commission in Washington,
we have furnished engineenng services in the field to the extent of
approximately $24,500 in making these examinations.

Up to January 30, 1922, the Federal Power Commission had
referred 132 appUcations to the Forest Service for investigation, these
applications being practically all within the national forests; in fact,
tne most active or most numerous applications for power licenses
that have been made to the conMuission are for national forest sites
in Alaska in connection with prospective paper plants, and for
national forest sites in California lor all sorts ot industrial and munici-
pal purposes.

Out of these 132 appUcations, 59 have been examined and reported
to the commission to date, leaving 73 cases still to be examined;
and additional applications ar** ' — 'n all the tme.

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The Forest Service, in other words, is carrying a very heavy load in
attempting to do this work for the Federal Power Commission in a
manner satisfactory to the commission, and at the same time with-
out serious disruption in our regular work. The effect of the enact-
ment of the Federal water power law has been to greatly stimulate
the applications for the development of water-power sites, and the
amount of this work now on hand has literally swamped our present
resources to handle it.

Wholly aside from the fact that as the Budget now stands the
Forest Service will have to continue to contribute some $13 000 to
the expenses of the commission in Washington we will also have to
get some additional engineers for next year in order to clean up the
existing volume of work that the commission has referred to us and
take care of additional applications at a satisfactory rate. .

Secretary Wallace has been very anxious as a member of the com-
mission that this work be done expeditiously and that the applicants
for power sites under the new law be not imduly delayed in securing
action because of delays in examining the sites for which they have
applied; and we, of course, have desired to expedite the work of the
commission to the utmost, but the burden which that entails has
bm)me very serious. And for that reason we have included the sum
of 112 000 m this item for relief to that extent in meeting the situa-
tion which the nature of the Federal water-power law imposed upon

It has seemed that since the examination of water-power sites is
part of the general work of getting the resources of the national
forests into use the increase snould more properly come imder this
item than under any other, and that is the reason for its inclusion

Mr. A^^DERSON. Do you know, Col. Greeley, to what extent other
departments of the Grovemment are contributing to the work of the
Feileral Water Power Commission ?

Col. Greeley. Only to this extent that substantial contributions
have been made both by the War Department and the Interior De-
partment. Several Army engineers have been assigned to work for
the commission by the Secretary of War and the interior Depart-
ment has furnished some assistance — ^how much I can not tell you.

Mr. Anderson. The net result of the provision in the act, or at least
the situation as it stands, is that nobody will be able to tell how much
it is costing to run the Federal Water rower Commission.

Col. Greeley. No, sir. It is split between three departments.
It would be a much more clean-cut proposition to give the Water
Power Commission an appropriation and let them use it and avoid the
situation which is imsatisfactory to them and to us.

Mr. Buchanan. Is there any provision in the act creating the Water
Power Commission for them to call on the different departments for
this information ?

Col. Greeley. Yes, sir.

Mr. Buchanan. Is there any provision authorizing the depart-
ments to pay part of the salaries ?

Col. Greeley. It has been so interpreted by the solicitor of the
Department of Agriculture.

Mr. Buchanan. It looks to me like that is the most imsatisfactory
condition of the whole business.

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Col. Greeley. Yes, sir.

Mr. Buchanan. Taking a part of your appropriation to p^ the
personnel of an independent department of the Government in Wash-
mgton. ,

Col. Greeley. The theory on which that OTovision was drafted
was this: Prior to the creation of the Federal Water Power Commis-
sion the development of water power was handled separately in the
Department of Agriculture for water-power sites in national forests,
in the Interior Department for sites on unreserved public lands^ and
the War Department in connection with navigable streams. The
people who framed this law said that presumably each of these depart-
ments are now organized and officered to carry the water-power work
within the field of that department; therefore, in creating the Fed-
eral Power Commission to centralize the whole thing and to coordi-
nate the policy as to water-power development, we can still draw
upon the services of these three departments to do the work of the

Mr. Buchanan. What theory was it on, to draw from the funds
of the three departments to pay the salaries of the personnel of this
commission ? They can utilize the information by reason of the fact
that you have had these water-power sites under control; that is all
right, but to draw part of your appropriation to pay part of the sal-
aries of the personnel in Washington is not right. We can not tell
how much the commission will cost us.

Col. Greeley. No.

Mr. Anderson. I do not understand that either, because the origi-
nal act contained $150,000, and there was another one for $100,000,
and still another for $150,000, which, as I have it in my mind, were
available until expended.

Col. Greeley. There is a limitation there, Mr. Chairman, which

Erecluded the use of that fund for personnel services. It can only
e used to pay expenses under certain conditions, aside from the per-
sonal services of the executive secretary of the commission, which
are specifically provided for.

Mr. Buchanan. Do these departments contribute ?

Col. Greeley. Yes, sir.

Mr. Buchanan. Do you know whether or not they have included
an additional amount in their estimate for that service ?

Col. Greeley. I can not answer you that.

Mr. Wason. I think it is done by detail, is it not ?

Col. Greeley. The War Department does it by detail.

Mr. Wason. Do not your otner departments do it by detail ?

Col. Greeley. You can call it **by detail.'* Thw take the people,
and those people work for them exclusively. We only pay their
salaries; that is all we have to do with it.

Mr. Wason. It is the same as the Alien Property Custodian having
a certain number of men detailed to the Civil Service Conmiission,
and it runs all through the departments. They detail, but stay on
certain pay rolls* and I presume, Colonel, you have a detail from
the Civil Service Commission as well as the Ahen Property Custodian ?

Col. Greeley. We furnish them with help from time to time.

Mr. Wason. To turn a man or woman over to them for one day
is a detail; and 300 days, that is three hundred times that.

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CoL Greeley. The carrying of the commission's personnel, Mr.
Wason, is a permanent proposition. The power commission built
up a permanent organization, and they have the business which
requires it. They have a staff of experts, auditors, and accountants,
etc., and they have to have these field representatives in every part
of the country^ to act on the applications, make the examinations,
and submit their recommendations and reports for the commission
in Washington for its action. It is permanent, not temporary. It
will not disappear in a few months, and as the work is now organized
we simply have to set off this amount toward the expenses of that
oiganization, besides taking care of the applications tnat they refer
to us for examination. We are perfectly glad to do it, but it occa-
sions a good deal of work and catches us m a pretty tight pinch.

Mr. ^DERSON. Does your department have anything to say as
to whatpower permits shall be issued in national forests T

Col. Greeley. Any permit involving the use of national forest
land is referred to the Forest Service, and we have the opportimity
to oflfer objections if we have any to offer, or Indicate the stipulations
which the permittee should accept as to the elimination of fire hazards
from any cuttijiff operation that he may carry on, and the payment.
he shall make for any timber destroyed, or other phases of the
proposition which affect the national forests; and, of course, our
Secretary is a member of the Federal Power Commission. We have
had no difficulty on that score. Any stipulations we have asked to
be incorporated in permits have been so incorporated.

Mr. Watson. I suppose the purpose is to cover the national forest
reservation wherever available with large dams and holding places of

Col. Greeley. When such applications are submitted, of course
they are considered on their merits, and the injury which the power
development would entail to any other resource is considered and an
adjustment reached. The application may be rejected altogether
if it is felt that the water-power development would destroy more
than it would create in the way of economical values.

Mr. Buchanan. Have any water-power privileges been granted ?

Col. Greeley. Yes, sir; the commission is approving applications
all the tine.

Mr. Wason. In the national forests?

Col. Greeley. Yes, sir; in the national forests.

Mr. Buchanan. Have any operations been conmienced ?

Col. Greeley. There is some work in progress, Mr. Buchanan, on
a number of licenses. Of course, you will appreciate that prior to
the creation of the commission the Secretary of Agriculture issued
licenses for a considerable nimiber of projects in the national forests,
under the former legislation, and cojostruction work is still going
forward on a number of them. Construction work has been taken
up under some of the new licenses in California and in Alaska, and in
3ne or two other places.

Mr. Anderson. It has to be isken up under the law ?

Col. Greeley. Within a specified period.

Mr. Anderson. After the application is granted ?

Col. Greeley. Yes, sir.

Mr. Lee. What is the time, do you recall ?

Col. Greeley. I think the limit is two years.

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Mr. Lee. That is my recollection.

Col. Greeley. During which actual construction must begin.

Mr. Wason. Have any applications" been denied by your bureau ?

Col. Greeley. I do not recall any applications that have been
denied. In several cases, however, we nave requested the com-
mission to insert certain stipulations, which an applicant might
regard as having the effect of denying an application.

Mr. Anderson. That is to say, the applicant would not accept the
permit under the stipulations imposed ?

Col. Greeley. No, sir. That might be the result, but as a matter
of fact, there have been no cases of that sort, — ^no cases in which the
applicant refused the permit or license on account of the stipulations
which we recommended to the commission for inclusion in the permit.

Mr. Anderson. Let us drive on.


Col. Greeley. The next item is on page 110, for miscellaneous
forest investigations, etc., which is expended for two purposes.
The first use of this fund, which aggregates $15,998, is for the com-
pilation and printing of maps and the maintainence of statistical
records covering all phases of the work of the Forest Service. The
other portion of the lund, $15,282, goes into the work of our branch
of public relations, in the preparation and editing of material for pub-
lication, furnishing information to the press, and the preparation of

Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. AppropriationsAgricultural appropriation bill: 1923, hearing ... 67th Congress, 2d session → online text (page 30 of 114)