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* Corrected print.
ADDITION OF CERTAIN LANDS TO IDAHO AND PAYETTE
NATIONAL FORESTS, IDAHO.
AUGUST 8, 1919.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of
the Union and ordered to be printed.
Mr. SMITH of Idaho, from the Committee on the Public Lands,
submitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 1429.)
The Committee on the Public Lands, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 1429) entitled "A bill adding certain lands to the Idaho National Forest and the Payette National Forest, in the State of Idaho," having had the same under consideration, report the bill back with the recommendation that it do pass.
The area proposed to be included in forest reserves in the pending bill contains approximately 1,137,500 acres. Of this amount 319,653.14 acres have been surveyed. Appropriations of record within the area aggregate 20,554.28 acres and are scattered and of the following classes: Surveyed school section, 16,520 acres; mineral entries, 561.38 acres; final homestead entries, 1,989.41 acres; unperfected 'homestead entries, 1,483.49 acres, and there is a pending desert application covering 67 acres. The land is very rugged in character; is chiefly valuable for forest purposes and for the protection of the sources of streams.
Furthermore, as a part of the public domain, the area does not have the adequate supervision to furnish protection against forest fires. For a number of years fires have originated in this region that have proven a menace and a great loss to the forests not only included within the area of the proposed reserves, but to the timbers of the forest reserves adjacent. One of the most serious fires of recent years and that is now raging had its origin in the area proposed to be placed in forest reserve in the pending bill. Under forest management, the region would be administered in systematic manner, fire stations being place at suitable points, and unquestionably greater protection would be afforded against fire than it has been possible to afford heretofore. The rights of entrymen to homestead, mineral lands, or other entries are fully protected and it is believed that under the administration of the law, lands chiefly valuable for agricultural purposes that heretofore may not have been acquired will be acquired by the homesteader and that mining operations will not be impaired.
The Idaho State Legislature in its fourteenth and fifteenth sessions held in 1917 and 1919. passed resolutions urging upon Congress the inclusion of the Thunder Mountain region in forest reserves in line with the pending; biti.
For the convenience of the House, there are added hereto the reports of the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture, addressed to the chairman of the Committee.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
Washington, June 23, 1919. Hon. N. J. SINNOTT, Chairman Committee on the Public Lands,
House of Representatives. MY DEAR MR. SINNOTT: I am in receipt of your request for report on H. R. 1429, which proposes to add the public lands within a therein-described area in central Idaho to the Idaho and Payette National Forests.
The area described in the bill is chiefly unsurveyed, and contains approximately 1,137,500 acres. This area is entirely surrounded by national forests, and the middle fork of the Salmon River forms its eastern boundary. The records of the General Land Office show that about 27 per cent, or 319,653.14 acres, therein have been surveyed. Such surveys are for the most part recent, and the field notes thereof report the lands a generally mountainous and timbered, with heavy undergrowth and abundant grasses throughout, affording excellent grazing, and that the area is well watered, with some agricultural lands along the streams and on the adjacent benches. The lands are now unwithdrawn. The entire area was, however, temporarily withdrawn for forestry purposes by this department on November 14, 1902, upon recommendation of the Geological Survey, and the greater portion was released from such withdrawal November 17, 1904, and the remainder September 30, 1907, such action having been recommended by the Department of Agriculture. The 1904 recommendation of that department stated, however, that while then-existing conditions did not justify reservation at that time, the area was natural forest-reserye land, and should at some later date be reserved for such purpose, and that there was very little probability of the title to any considerable amount of the land passing out of the Government.
The appropriations of record within this area aggregate 20,554.28 acres, and are scattered and of the following classes: Surveyed school sections, 16,520 acres; mineral entries, 561.38 acres; final homestead entries, 1,989.41 acres; imperfected homestead entries, 1,483.49 acres; and there is a pending desert application covering 67 acres. No applications for entry under the enlarged or grazing homestead laws are of record for any lands within the area involved, and none of the lands therein have been designated under either of such acts.
I am not advised as to the necessity for the proposed legislation, and am not sufficiently informed concerning the advisability of reserving the lands for forest purposes to make a specific recommendation. I would suggest a reference of the bill to the Secretary of Agriculture in view of its purpose, who has probably some data regarding the area, as it adjoins national forests under his administration. Cordially, yours,
ALEXANDER T. VOGELSANG,
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
Washington, June 5, 1919. Hon. N. J. SINNOTT, Chairman Committee on the Public Lands,
House of Representatives. MY DEAR MR. SINNOTT: Receipt is acknowledged of a copy of the bill (H. R. 1429) adding certain lands to the Idaho National Forest and the Payette National Forest, in the State of Idaho, with the request that your committee be furnáshed a report