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Mr. BUCHANAN. It permits it, but does it compel it?
Mr. BUCHANAN. That is just fire protection?
Mr. BUCHANAN. The State of Michigan does not have to pay taxes, does it?
Mr. HART. No, the State of Michigan only acts as a collecting agency for the other subdivisions. If it collects them, it returns them. Mr. BUCHANAN. State land is not subject to tax, is it?
Mr. HART. No, it is not subject to tax and so far as our problem goes we have some people up there-- I get letters right along from people interested in Forest Service and from George Hogarth, conservation commissioner, and some fellows wanting a large Federal appropriation for Forest Service. There is no question about that, but I do not believe that is a function of the Federal Government.. I think Michigan ought to take care of her own problems and I do not hesitate to tell them so either.
Major STUART. We are cooperating very closely, Mr. Hart, with Michigan and other States in forest protection.
Mr. Hart. I know you are. I think in the committee here last year we cut some forest appropriations, if I remember correctly, and I think I had a loud protest about it and when I wrote them and told them it was necessary to economize in the Federal Government, and they would have to look after their own problems, and yet they sent me back here.
Mr. BUCHANAN. Are all of these items under the McNary-McSweeney bill?
Major STUART. Yes, sir. Mr. BUCHANAN. That thing costs us a lot of money, does it not? Major STUART. I think it is a rather modest sum, Mr. Chairman. I have previously indicated to you the comparison between the agricultural research problems and expenditures and the forest research problems and expenditures.
FOREST FIRE COOPERATION
Mr. BUCHANAN. The next item is:
For cooperation with the various States or other appropriate agencies in forestfire prevention and suppression and the protection of timbered and cut-over lands in accordance with the provisions of sections 1, 2, and 3 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 continuous production of timber on lands chiefly valuable therefor," approved June 7, 1924 (U. S. C., title 16, secs. 564-570), as amended, including also the study of the effect of tax laws and the investigations of timber insurance as provided in section 3 of said act, $1,601,233, of which $23,720 shall be available for departmental personal services in the District of Columbia and not to exceed $1,500 for the purchase of supplies and equipment required for the purposes of said act in the District of Columbia.
Major STUART. The following explanation of this item is presented for the record :
WORK UNDER THIS APPROPRIATION
Investigations of forest taxation and forest insurance. The purpose of investigations in forest taxation is to establish the fundamental principles upon which forest taxation should be based and to cooperate with States in working out legislation which will conform to these principles, and at the same time be adapted to local requirements. The work involves the collection and analysis of data on such subjects as: The economic and legal background of the entire system of taxation in individual States; the financial structure and existing tax system of States, counties, and minor political subdivisions; expenditures for roads, schools, and other governmental functions; the practical operation of the taxation system in general, including its effect on different classes of property, assessment practices, etc.; existing State forest tax legislation; the actual effect of existing laws on the use of land for growing timber; methods and results of forest tax legislation in European countries where forestry is well established.
The work of the taxation staff (or inquiry) has already been tangibly presented in 17 factual progress reports on various aspects of the forest taxation problem. The inquiry is now working under the utmost pressure to complete by the end of the calendar year 1932 a comprehensive report bringing together the results of the fundamental researches of the inquiry to date and presenting the conclusions as to principles and as to the most effective application to different sets of .conditions. It is planned to continue the work of the inquiry by more localized application studies looking toward the assistance of States in desirable modifications in existing forest taxation legislation.
The economic depression has served to emphasize forest taxation as one of the complex features of the whole involved taxation situation. States and other agencies are taking up forest taxation in earnest. The importance of forest taxation as a factor in keeping forest land productive, and of remedial action are featured in the recent report of the President's Timber Conservation Board. There urgent demand the findings and the assistance of the inquiry. The work of the inquiry to date and planned will be invaluable in formulating appropriate legislative changes and other provisions to meet the varying local forest taxation situations.
The purpose of forest insurance investigation is to determine under what conditions privately financed fire insurance on growing forests and mature timber is feasible, and to work out a satisfactory basis and form for such insurance. As an offset to high fire hazard on cutover areas restocking to forest growth, reasonablypriced fire insurance would do much to encourage private forestry.
The work consists of the collection, where not already available, and analyses of such data as: Statistics of forest fires, including information as to cause, location, seasons, weather conditions, condition of the forest cover, etc., appraisal of the damage caused by fire in the different types of forest, under different conditions; ratios of loss to values at stake, as a basis for insurance rating schedules.
The project, conducted by the Pacific Northwest Forest Experiment Station for that region is nearly completed in the Douglas fir section of Washington and Oregon, and is well under way in the pine forests east of the mountains of those States.
Close and essential cooperation has been maintained with various local agencies, especially the State foresters, fire wardens and fire protection associations—the agencies which directly handle fire protection on the private forest lands of those States. Contacts are maintained with and consulting cooperation obtained from insurance authorities.
A fire-insurance business can not soundly be based on a single region. It will be necessary to extend the project to other important forest regions such as the Northeast and the Lake States.
Cooperation with States in forest fire prevention and suppression. In the fiscal year 1933 the Federal Government is assisting 37 States and one territory to prevent and suppress forest fires within their boundaries. The administration of this activity is handled in each State by the State Forestry Department; the Federal Government provides a proportion of necessary funds and brings to the States for their consideration and aid the composite experience and knowledge gained through nation-wide contact with the forest fire problem. The experience of the individual States and of the Federal Government on the national forests is made available to all of the States. This is accomplished by a field personnel of
district forest inspectors located at Amherst, Mass.; Washington, D. C.; Asheville, N. C.; New Orleans, La.; and Louisville, Ky.; and through the Regional headquarters in the Lake States and in the West.
Plans and budgets are submitted to the Forest Service by the cooperating States which must have joint approval of the Federal Government and the States before they are put into effect. The expenditures reported by the States are the basis for the receipt by the States of their share of the Federal appropriation. A careful checking of the bookkeeping records of each cooperating State is one of the tasks of each district forest inspector.
During the calendar year 1931, 56,438 fires were handled by the State organizations, the reported area burned being 5,834,400 acres. The area protected in these projects during the calendar year 1931 was 228,000,000 acres. Approximately 193,000,000 acres which has been classified as needing protection receives none. The States are making constant efforts to expand their protected areas. Material increases in State and Federal funds provided for the work are essential if progress is to be made.
Progress in cooperative forest fire protection is roughly indicated by the following expenditures:
Calendar year Calendar year 1911
Total cooperative expenditures.
$7, 222,000 5, 689, 000 1, 533, 000
State summary of allotments, forest fire cooperation under section 2 of the Clarke
5,000.00 420,000.00 27,000.00 84,000.00 77,000.00 212, 000.00 434, 000.00 342, 000.00
73,000.00 169,000.00 662,000.00 697,000.00 563, 000.00 347, 000.00 190,000.00
14,000.00 131,000.00 128, 000.00
26,000.00 378,000.00 632, 000.00
60,000.00 165,000.00 584,000.00 364, 000.00
17, 000.00 -29
839, 022. 69
551. 45 366, 065, 39 22, 416. 35
7, 653. 82 13, 600.00 19, 509. 21 88, 902. 51 168, 832. 87 76, 733. 62 96, 990. 47 617, 695. 90 432, 747. 03
160, 787.00 160, 787.00 12, 611.00 12, 611.00
2, 024.00 2, 204.0 67, 760.00 67, 760.00 62, 000.00 62, 000.00
444.00 444.00 57, 695.00 57, 695.00 4,370.00 4, 370.00 6,894.00 6,894.00
977, 758. 51
7, 836. 66
1, 017. 45 429, 526. 39 27, 207. 27 15, 117.89 13,600.00 39, 018. 41 135, 758.48 223, 154. 87
88, 676. 62 130, 930. 47 748,816. 90 535, 710.71 52, 167.98
19, 509, 20 46,855. 97 54, 322.00 11, 943.00 33, 940.00 131, 121.00 102, 963. 68 26, 084.00
State summary of allotments, forest fire cooperation under section 2 of the Clarke
McNary law - Continued
$378,000.00 $34, 292.68 South Dakota..
4, 500.00 1, 125.00 Tennessee
245, 000.00 21, 759. 40 Texas.
434, 000.00 44, 563.71 Vermont.
57,000.00 7,781.50 Virginia..
397, 000.00 20, 123.00 Washington
632,000.00 109, 503. 00 West Virginia
312, 000.00 33.985. 94 Wisconsin.
113,386,500.00 1,532, 942. 50
$36, 466.09 $70, 758.77 $31, 044.00 $31,044.00
2, 850. 58 3,975. 58 847.00 847,00 23, 597.85 45, 357, 25 19, 000.00 19,600.00 57, 598. 32 102, 162. 03 39, 238.00 39, 238.00 11, 596.87 19, 378. 37 5, 908. 00 5,908.00 80, 232. 96 100, 355. 96 34, 186.00 34,186.00 393, 000. 06
502, 503.06 89, 269.00 89. 269.00 83, 096.61 117, 082. 55 29, 810.00
26, 810.00 332, 441.39 384, 260. 44 65, 485.00 65, 485.00 5, 688, 943. 227, 221,885. 72 1,458,125.00 1,458,125.00
76.390.00 63, 720.00 58.863.00 7,855.00 7,855.00
Mr. BUCHANAN. Here is an item I am more in sympathy with, forest-fire cooperation. The appropriation for 1932 was $1,775,000 and the appropriation for 1933 $1,611,580, the Budget estimate for 1934 being $1,601,233, or a decrease of $10,347 on account of the legislative furlough.
Will you get me up a statement under this and I would like to know about the cooperation under this and to what extent it goes.
Mr. SANDLIN. There is a list there showing that.
Major STUART. The table that accompanies the explanatory note, the table headed, “State summary of allotments, forest-fire cooperation under section 2 of the Clarke-McNary law,” indicates that during the calendar year 1931 there was expended from all sources under this project $7,221,885.72. Of that amount, the State and private agencies expended $5,688,943.22 and the Federal Government expended $1,532,942.50.
As an indication of the effectiveness of the work under this item, there are 228,000,000 acres protected and there are unprotected some 193,000,000 acres. With acreages almost the same, that is, protected and unprotected, we find that there are only one-third of the number of fires on protected areas. On the protected areas there is but onetenth of the area burned, and one-fourth of the damage, which shows very conclusively that to the extent to which we are able to broaden this cooperation and have it applicable to additional forest lands we are getting results.
Mr. BUCHANAN. On this table, on page 118, there is no column here showing the respective State contributions, is there.
Major STUART. Not on that table, but I have given it in the aggregate, and I can give it to you by States, Mr. Chairman. The aggregate figure was $5,688,943.22.
Mr. BUCHANAN. You gave that a moment ago. I was just wondering what the different States contributed here. It would be well for you to rewrite and substitute for this table on page 118, which is going in the hearings, and put a column in there, even if you have to leave out one of these others, showing the State contributions.
Major STUART. I will be very glad to do that. Would you mind, Mr. Chairman, if I just submitted a supplemental table indicating what that is. This complete table serves a very useful purpose.
Mr. BUCHANAN. That will be all right.
Major STUART. Then, I will submit for the record a statement showing the expenditures by the States and private owners for the calendar year 1931 under this item.
Mr. BUCHANAN. I presume you can depend upon practically the same character of contributions for the next fiscal year.
Major Stuart. Yes, sir. We find practically no falling off as a whole in the efforts on the part of the States in their forest protection work.
COOPERATIVE DISTRIBUTION OF FOREST PLANTING STOCK
Mr. BUCHANAN. The next item is:
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, $74,730, of which amount not to exceed $1,800 may be expended for departmental personal services in the District of Columbia.
Major STUART. The following is presented for the record under this estimate:
WORK UNDER THIS APPROPRIATION
In spite of the depression which has very much retarded forest planting activities, the States distributed a total of 25,510,000 trees to farmers under these cooperative projects during the calendar year 1931, a decrease of only 300,000 trees from the number distributed in 1930. The projects resulted in the planting of about 25,500 acres of windbreaks and farm woodlots. These trees are furnished to farmers at a reasonable cost. Their planting represents direct action aimed at the profitable utilization of farm lands which are submarginal for agricultural use. In these projects, just as in the fire cooperation projects, the work is administered directly by the State agencies; the Forest Service inspects, advises, and correlates.
During the calendar year 1931, the Federal Government expended $93,334 in this project and the States $232,278, a total for both agencies of $325,612. In addition to the distribution of trees to farmers, some of the States involved are carrying on a much wider distribution to others than farmers for the reforestation of forest land. During 1931 the total distribution of trees by States, including those for planting on State land, was 103,000,000.