« AnteriorContinuar »
begun under the Weeks law, there were eleven States with which the cooperative fire protection work was initiated, comprising something like 60,000,000 acres which received some form of systematic protection. Today the Forest Service is working with 39 States in the protection of about 225,000,000 acres.
There is still a big gap of unprotected land, amounting to about 195,000,000 acres of forest land that is classified as in need of protection and receiving none. The necessity for participation by the public in protecting private land is very well recognized as essential for success, for several reasons: First, efficient and economical protection can be secured only when large areas are grouped together, so that the same organization and machinery may be applied over large forests. Furthermore, the public is the agency that makes the laws and raises the money for such activities. If only from the standpoint of expediency, it is the States and the Federal Government are the agencies that must be relied upon to put the job over. Second, about 50 percent of all forest fires come from sources over which the private owner has no control, and therefore equity demands that public assistance be given. Third, many of the benefits derived from protection come to the public and not to the private owner as such, and therefore the public is obligated to carry a part of the load of protecting private land.
The fact that there is a lot of emergency work going on at the present time, contributing to the protection work, provided by such agencies as the C.C.C., while relieving the State agencies of some of their expenditures, actually operates in many cases to increase the load that is placed upon these organizations. Furthermore, with the promise of valuable gains by the public in the practice of forestry on private lands through the operation of the code, it becomes strikingly more important for the public agencies, both State and private, ito fully carry out their part of the program.
It is recognized that the public should carry approximately 50 percent of the load of fire protection. This is a time when we feel that it is particularly important for the public to remain steadfast in meeting its obligations. Private owners are being called upon to do things in the public interest that they have not been called upon to do before with their forest properties. Both the public agencies and the private agencies recognize a certain part of the job as essentially falling upon the public. It is mighty important if the public is to gain the things that it needs to gain, in the way of improved forest practice of private owners, for the public to keep up as well as it can its end of the Ioad.
Mr. THURSTON. Do you allocate funds to meet the amounts made available by the States?
Mr. HASTINGS. In this way: The cost of adequate protection in each State is estimated, and we allocate a certain minimum percentage, of this estimated cost (8 percent at present) as a part of the State's allotment. In addition to these items of allotment the States receive the balance of funds appropriated distributed in proportion to the expenditures which the States themselves spend upon the work of State and private money.
Mr. Thurston. No matter how much you have, if there is anything left over, you divide it among the States?
Mr. HASTINGS. Yes, sir.
Mr. HASTINGS. It is in my judgment. We are trying to recognize both need and performance. We recognize need by the first item of allotment as explained. This need is based upon the estimated cost of the protection. If $400,000 would do the whole job, we say, "We will allow 8 percent of that as a minimum for you to get started. We also recognize the amount that they themselves spend in distributing the rest of the money. That brings us up, however to a total Federal sharing of not over 25 percent of the estimated cost of the whole job.
Mr. THURSTON. You do not have any money to turn back into the Treasury?
Mr. HASTINGS. No, sir.
Mr. HASTINGS. Yes, sir. That is what we intend to do. The need is greatly in excess of the funds that we have ever had available for the work.
Mr. Hart. Referring to this 8 percent of what is needed, do they match that 8 percent?
Mr. HASTINGS. Yes, sir; we provide no funds except on a fiftyfifty basis. Also the total of State funds is much greater than the total of Federal allotments. In this fiscal year, for instance, the Federal funds represent 22.6 percent of the total funds set up to run these projects.
Mr. SANDLIN. The table on page 290 gives a correct picture of the amounts paid by the States and the amounts contributed by the Federal Government.
Mr. HASTINGS. Yes, sir; it does.
Mr. HEADLEY. The table shows the States and allotments for the fiscal year 1933, and the Federal allotments for 1934. It is anticipated that the 1935 allotments will be approximately the same as those for 1934.
Mr. HASTINGS. We do not make the allotments for 1935 until we know just how much has been expended by the States during the previous calendar year and until we know the amount of the Federal appropriation. That column gives the best approach that we can get to what would be the probable allotment for 1935.
Mr. SANDLIN. This statement beginning on page 287 of the justification, covering the work done under this appropriation, gives a pretty good picture of it.
Mr. Hastings. I think it does. It is a very brief statement. Of course, the work is divided up into 39 State projects, and the projects differ a great deal from one another.
Mr. Silcox. I would like to make this supplemental statement: The States set up their_organizations depending to quite a considerable extent on the Federal allotments. In the adjustment of this appropriation, there was about $600,000 cut off. That was cut off from this appropriation. The general procedure is for the State to set up a more or less permanent nucleus of a force, and to add temporary men during the summer season, when they have to have men for the direct fire-protective work. There was a proposal, which was approved by the Public Works Administration, and approved by the President and the Secretary of Agriculture, that $600,000 be provided to supplement the work during the spring fire season. That proposal went to the Bureau of the Budget, with the result that nothing further was heard about it. Because of the cut in this par
ticular item, some of the States will be handicapped in building up their organizations for fire protection. It is spread over 39 States, and they have but a nucleus organization for fire protection for 225,000,000 acres of forest lands, and with this amount, it is quite impossible to provide any continuity about it.
COOPERATIVE DISTRIBUTION OF FOREST PLANTING STOCK Mr. Sandlin. The nest item is for the cooperative distribution of forest planting stock, as follows:
For cooperation with the various States in the procurement, production, and distribution of forest-tree seeds and plants in establishing windbreaks, shelter belts, and farm wood lots upon denuded or nonforested lands within such cooperating States, under the provisions of section 4 of the act entitled “An act to provide for the protection of forest lands, for the reforestation of denuded areas, for the extension of national forests, and for other purposes, in order to promote the continuous production of timber on lands chiefly suitable therefor”, approved June 7, 1924 (U.S.C., title 16, sec. 567), and acts supplementary thereto, $56,296, of which amount not to exceed $1,611 may be expended for departmental personal services in the District of Columbia.
Mr. Silcox. The following statement is presented in justification of this item: Appropriation: 1932
$95, 000 1933.
79, 960 1934.
56, 047 56, 296
Estimated obligations, 1934.
There is a reduction of $18,434 in the 1935 estimate of $56,296 as compared with the apporpriation of $74,730 for 1934.
The reduction consists of:
-- $111 Curtailments in 1934 working funds..
-18, 572 5 percent salary restoration :
WORK DONE UNDER THIS APPROPRIATION
The work under this appropriation consists of cooperation with 40 States, including Puerto Rico and Hawaii, in the production and distribution of forest planting stock for establishing windbreaks, shelter belts, and farm wood lots upon denuded or nonforested lands, as authorized by section 4 of the Clarke-McNary Act of June 7, 1924.
This work is administered directly by the State agencies; the Forest Service inspects, advises, and correlates. It is very desirable that the work continue without curtailment in order that the progress being made in stimulating the projects of cooperating States may be sustained and not retarded. These funds are largely used for maintaining existing nurseries on established production programs, and curtailment will affect the supply of planting stock not only for the immediate future but for several years, since it takes from 1 to 4 years to produce this stock for field planting.
In spite of the depression, the States distributed a total of 23% million trees for use on farm lands in the calendar year 1932. This represents a decrease of about 2 million trees from the 1931 distribution,
The planting of these trees represents direct action aimed at the proper utilization of certain farm lands which are sub-marginal for
agricultural use. During the fiscal year 1933 the States spent $196,000 on these cooperative projects, while the Federal contributions to the same projects totaled $77,000. For the fiscal year 1934 it has been necessary to reduce the regular allotment to each State which can qualify for $2,000 to $1,500.
AUTHORIZATION COVERING PURCHASE OF PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES (FOREST
Mr. Silcox. The following statement is submitted in regard to the purchase of passenger-carrying vehicles:
An increase of $3,920 is recommended in the passenger-carrying vehicle purchase authorization for 1935 in order that in addition to replacement of old cars, by exchange, as shown in detail in the Budget schedule, the Forest Service may make further progress in the program of supplying a Government-owned automobile for use of each forest administrative unit where conditions make this the most effective and economical means of transportation. Under the reductions that have been made in funds for operating purposes it has been necessary to consolidate administrative units in all parts of the country, thus making automobile transportation an urgent necessity in these cases. No passenger-carrying vehicles were purchased in 1934. As shown by the Budget schedule, authorization is provided for 27 additional Cars, at an average net cost of $505.
In addition to the above, an increase of $835 is recommended in the authorization for passenger-carrying vehicles for use in the construction and maintenance of national forest roads. This increase contemplated purchase of 2 additional cars at an average cost of $418, for the use of engineer inspectors.
Careful operating cost records and work surveys have shown conclusively that the field of effective accomplishment of a ranger or other forest officer is materially extended by the availability at all times of motor transporattion.
Mr. Sandlin. How is the appropriation for cooperative distribution of forest planting stock handled?
Mr. HASTINGS. It is handled in a similar manner to the other cooperative appropriation. We are cooperating with 40 States in the production and distribution of forest planting stock for windbreaks and farm wood lots over the country. The Federal Government puts up this year an allotment of $1,500 for the State which can qualify for this amount. The State has, in general, a nursery where it raises trees for this purpose, and distributes them to `private owners for the development of their farm lands. In the Plains States that is largely a matter of establishing windbreaks or shelter belts. In other parts of the country it is devoted to forest plantings on farms like the typical woodlot in the Northeast, and the various kinds of forest plantings in the South.
Mr. SANDLIN. Are the farm owners interested in this project? Do they plant the trees and cooperate with you?
Mr. Hastings. Yes, sir. Of course, the substantial thing they get, is a chance to buy trees at a small cost. Most of the States charge the actual cost of production for those trees. They would pay from $2 to $10 per thousand for the trees, and put them in with the important advice which they get from the forest agency in the State, in the plantations on their farms.
PERMANENT INDEFINITE APPROPRIATIONS AND SPECIAL FUNDS
REFUNDS TO DEPOSITORS
Mr. SANDLIN. We now come to the permanent indefinite appropriations and special funds.
Mr. Silcox. The following statement is presented in explanation of the activities under the permanent appropriations:
REFUNDS TO DEPOSITORS, EXCESS OF DEPOSITS, NATIONAL FOREST FUND Appropriation: 1932.
$75, 000 1933.
75, 000 1934. Estimated obligations, 1934.
60,000 Budget estimate, 1935.
WORK DONE UNDER THIS APPROPRIATION
All money received by or on account of the Forest Service for timber or from any other source of forest-reservation revenue, is covered into the Treasury of the United States as a miscellaneous receipt; and there is appropriated so much as may be necessary to make refunds to depositors of money deposited by them in excess of amounts found actually due from them to the United States, and so much as may be necessary to refund to the rightful claimants such sums as may be found to have been erroneously collected for the use of lands, or for timber or other resources sold from lands located within, but not a part of, the national forests, or for alleged illegal acts done upon such lands, which acts are subsequently found to have been proper and legal.
National Forest Reservation Commission Appropriation: 1932.
576 1934 Estimated obligations, 1934.
3, 600 Budget estimate, 1935.Decrease, Budget 1935, compared with estimated obligations, 1934....
1, 000 The reduction of $1,000 in the 1935 estimate of $2,600 below the appropriation of $3,600 for 1934 consists of: Curtailments in 1935 working funds: For travel..
$975 For printing
$1,000 WORK DONE UNDER THIS APPROPRIATION A sum sufficient to pay the necessary expenses of the Commission and its members, not to exceed an annual expenditure of $25,000, is provided under this item to be paid out on the audit and order of the president of the Commission, which audit and order is conclusive and binding upon all departments as to the correctness of the accounts of the commission.
Payments to States and Territories - National Forests Fund Appropriation: 1932.
$1, 600,000 1933.
568, 257 1934 (approximated).
940,000 Estimated obligations, 1934.
650, 861 Budget estimate, 1935.
Increase, Budget 1935, compared with estimated obligations, 1934.