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Army and the Bureau of Reclamation, which I understand are designed to modify and coordinate plans of both agencies for full and comprehensive development of the resources of the Columbia River Basin.
It is apparent the study made by the Army engineers furnishes an extensive review of the area drained by the Columbia River and its tributaries covering some 250,000 square miles of natural resources, the potential of which is greater than any similar area in the United States.
The plan blueprints, in a general way, the power-dam potential of the main stem of the Columbia River together with the principal tributaries, all of which appear feasible. It likewise sets up a number of proposed irrigation projects, only one of which is in my State. In this connection I want to point out the rapid population growth in the Northwest, particularly in the State of Washington, and stress the necessity of planning greater use by irrigation of arid lands even to the extent of pumping to higher level developments which is now recognized as feasible and economical. These are fundamentals which I trust will be recognized in support of States' interests in this great resource.
Much could be said concerning proposals of flood control, consumptive uses of water, conservation of soil and surface resources, preservation of game and wildlife, protection of forests, etc., which is not necessary as the 308 plan does not disturb the present satisfactory practice followed by the several Federal agencies in cooperation with the State departments.
I am of the belief hydro power generated in the Columbia River system is a Pacific Northwest resource and that proper safeguards should be provided to the end interests of the people living in the area should be forever protected in its distribution and use. It is obvious these great projects will have a useful and profitable life far beyond the 50 years scheduled for amortization and that when the Federal expenditure has been retired they will represent paid up but richly earning assets. I would deem it proper that the several States' inherent rights be recognized to the extent they be permitted to negotiate for outright ownership of all federally built projects after recovery is made by the United States Treasury of Federal expenditures. A formula for Columbia Basin States participation in eventual, unencumbered profits from sales of electric energy produced within the Columbia Basin area should be set up at this time.
I am in agreement with the plan for the use of power revenues for repayment to the Federal Government of that portion of irrigation costs in excess of the water users' ability to pay. I would not want to see power rates increased for the development of land uses at the expense of industrial expansion. This is an economic problem that must be balanced with the progress of the region.
In view of the serious water shortage prevailing in my State and other Northwest States in the Columbia Basin, and further in view of the early necessity of prevention of floods such as occurred in this area in 1948, I urge adequate appropriations be made to expedite early construction of all authorized dams and such others as may be authorized by this Congress.
In a general way I am in accord with the main control modified plan as submitted to me in your letter of April 21, 1949, and approve it within the scope of the suggestion herein made. I would not want to preclude the Bureau of Reclamation reports and do not believe I am doing so, inasmuch as an official announcement of agreement by the two agencies, merging their reports has been received by me. Sincerely,
ARTHUR B. LANGLIE, Governor.
STATE OF OREGON,
Salem, April 28, 1949. Maj. Gen. LEWIS A. PICK,
Chief of Engineers, Department of the Army, Washington, D. C. DEAR GENERAL PICK: This office has gone over the 308 review report on the Columbia River and tributaries in some detail.
It is noted that Oregon's share in the improvement would include nearly 700,000 acres that will be protected from floods; that nearly 700,000 acres could receive irrigation benefits; that drainage could be given 400,000 acres; that the State will share in the increase of hydroelectric power output; that navigation, stream-pollution abatement, domestic water supply, and recreation will receive added benefits.
This office is in receipt of some protests to the proposed plan but only from small particular localities.
It is recommended that wherever reservoir sites are to acquire valuable agricultural lands that further studies be made to see if upstream sites cannot be selected in lieu thereof.
I wish to commend the Corps of Engineers on a very excellent report, and to heartily endorse the project. Very truly yours,
DOUGLAS MCKAY, Governor.
STATE OF Idaho,
Boise, April 26, 1949. Maj. Gen. LEWIS A. PICK, Chief of Engineers,
Department of the Army, Washington, D. ('. DEAR GENERAL PICK: There is before me, for my consideration and comments, the review report on Columbia River and tributaries by the Corps of Engineers, Department of the Army, commonly referred to as the “308 report.” This is in accordance with existing law.
This report proposes a program for the development of the natural resources, and particularly the water resources, of the Columbia River and its tributaries within the United States. There is an immediate and urgent need for the development of these resources at a rate that will meet the requirements of our rapidly increasing population.
The Corps of Engineers is to be commended for the splendid and comprehensive coverage embodied within the report. The main control plan proposed in the report will provide much needed flood protection to those areas where the situation is now critical ; it will provide hydroelectric power where the power shortage is now acute, particularly in the western part of the region; it will provide navigation benefits which are important, and it recommends for authorization those reclamation projects previously recommended by the Bureau of Reclamation.
The report recommends for authorization 13 reclamation projects previously recommended by the Bureau of Reclamation, which constitute 712 percent of the total reclamation potential of the region. It also recommends for authorization power projects which would develop 20 percent of the power potential of the region.
We do not believe that the report makes adequate provision for irrigation and reclamation, in view of the great potential, as well as the needs, of the region.
Irrigation and reclamation are of the utmost importance. In fact, the economy of all of the upper Columbia Basin States is based primarily upon agriculture and stock raising. The irrigated economy of these States depends largely upon the consumptive use of water to make arid lands suitable for agriculture. But, while irrigation and agriculture are absolutely essential to the economy of the upper-basin States, we also feel that we cannot have a balanced economy within the entire region without adequate agricultural production. Low-cost food and fiber produced within the region will stimulate industry and be a direct benefit to the entire citizenry. Therefore, in order that agricultural production may keep pace with our growing population, we must develop our reclamation projects concurrently and along with our other water resource development. Reclamation by diking and drainage referred to in the report is also considered important and should be included in any reclamation development program for the region.
We therefore urge that, in addition to the 13 reclamation projects recommended for authorization within the report, immediate studies, surveys, and investigations be initiated of all the projects now considered irrigable within the region, and that these projects be reported upon at an early date and be recommended for authorization as they are proven feasible, in order that full development of all the irrigation and reclamation projects of the region may be constructed concurrently and pro rata with the projects of the review report's main control plan and commensurate with the requirements of the region.
With especial reference to Idaho's needs, we feel that construction of the Scriver Creek and Garden Valley units of the Mountain Home project listed in the Hell's Canyon and Columbia Basin reports of the United States Bureau of Reclamation, should precede construction of the proposed Hell's Canyon project because the irrigation and power features of the Mountain Home project are
integrated in a manner required for the orderly development of reclamation in Idaho.
The Palisades project, already authorized, should be pushed to completion at an early date, not only for the early power production but for badly needed supplemental water for 600,000 acres of land in the Snake River Valley.
The suggested plan of "aid to irrigation” from power revenues is commendable. In fact, it is highly important that the authorizing legislation contain language that is definite, positive, and clear-cut, to the effect that power rates shall be sufficient to pay not only depreciation, upkeep, payments in lieu of taxes, and repayment of all proper costs to the Federal Treasury, but, in addition thereto, to pay all irrigation and reclamation costs on reclamation projects, as they are authorized for construction, which are beyond the ability of the water users to repay, excepting those costs which may properly be allocated to other nonreimbursable features. The authorizing legislation should contain language suffi. ciently broad to enable a reconsideration of the policy and establishment of the new rates from time to time as new irrigation and reclamation projects are considered and authorized.
It is considered fundamental and of the utmost importance that all of the waters of the entire Columbia River watershed, including the main Columbia River and all of its tributaries, which may ultimately be used for irrigation and reclamation, should be forever protected and reserved for that purpose. The so-called O'Mahoney-Millikin amendments to the 1914 Flood Control Act and the 1945 River and Harbor Act protect the right to consumptive use against navigation, but the same protection should be extended to include protection against power development and all other possible uses. Every potential acre within the Columbia River Basin which can be irrigated should be included and made a part of the Columbia River Basin plan.
The proposed barge navigation will make the products of our mines, our forests, and our farms in the interior of the region available to the populated areas and industries of the lower part of the region. This navigation development will benefit the entire basin, enabling the upper areas to dispose of their raw products and the lower areas to produce therefrom the finished products for consumption and use. We commend the report, as well as the efforts and activities of the ('orps of Engineers in furthering this most worthwhile development.
A small projects program, designed to provide small reservoirs and other irrigation and reclamation rehabilitation works, has long been one of the major objectives throughout the region and the entire west. Irrigation aid from power revenues should be extended to include these small projects, and provision should be made that such assistance be also given to the States where such work is prosecuted by the States.
Water which can be used beneficially within the watershed of its origin should never be transferred or diverted for use outside of that watershed. This is important and fundamental and should be adopted as a Federal policy. The same principle should be adopted with respect to power developed within a watershed.
Seasonal power should be made available for irrigation and reclamation pumping projects wherever feasible. The same power rates, the same rules governing procedure, and the same service and assistance should be made available to such projects regardless of whether the development is undertaken by one of the Columbia Basin States or by a Federal agency.
States, counties, and local taxing units should be fully reimbursed for any loss in taxes of replace or destroyed public utilities or future loss of any realty taxes caused by the flooding, of lands by reservoirs. Similarly, serious consideration of the sufficiency of severance damage allowances should be given.
It is considered most important, in order to avoid unnecessary expense, that duplicating transmission lines should be avoided. Neither should long transmission lines be extended into an area or State unless it can be clearly shown that there is now, or will be in the near future, a need for the power in that area, or in that State, beyond the ability or willingness of the local systems, public or private, to supply and/or transmit.
All of the Columbia Basin States contribute water to the Columbia River and its tributaries, which in turn is used in hydroelectric development and for other purposes throughout the region. Each of the several States has its own peculiar problems and opportunities in resource development, many of which require financial assistance. Such financial assistance should be extended from power revenues to water resource development projects, as they are proven feasible and recommended for authorization, in the various States, within the Columbia River Basin.
The waters of the Columbia River and its tributaries belong to the several States. The right of the States to exercise jurisdiction and control over these waters should be forever recognized and maintained. Any Federal agency contemplating development and use of the waters of any Columbia Basin State should be required to comply with the laws of that State relating to the appropriation and use of water.
There has been previously submitted to me a report by the Secretary of the Interior, embodying the plans of the Bureau of Reclamation for the development of certain reclamation projects, as well as other proposed development within the region. It is of the utmost importance that the plan of the Bureau of Reclamation and the plan herein referred to, by the Army engineers, be fully coordinated and submitted to the Congress within the immediate future, and the progress thus far made in this task of coordination is highly commended.
The existing construction agencies of the Federal Government, including both the Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation, have made an outstanding record in the accomplishment and construction of worth-while projects over a long period of years and throughout the entire Nation. These agencies, and the other existing agencies of the Federal and State governments, should be entrusted with the responsibility of carrying forward the program for the development of the resources of the Columbia River Basin.
In summary, therefore, permit the reiteration of these points as being paramount:
1. Orderly development of reclamation through integration of power and irrigation features under a single project.
2. Preservation of the language and intent of the O'Mahoney-Millikin amendto assure protection to upstream States in the beneficial consumptive use of their ments to the Flood Control Act of 1944 and the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1945 waters.
3. Allocation of power revenues to assist in repayment of costs otherwise beyond the ability of water users to pay.
4. Avoidance of unnecessary expenditures for construction of transmission and distribution facilities for power where this amounts to duplication.
5. Development of barge navigation is a material aid to development of the resources of the interior.
6. The adoption of a small irrigation-projects program will round out the plan of coordination.
7. Reimbursement of taxing units is both just and necessary.
8. Cooperation with the States and respect for their rights and established usages is requisite.
9. The present coordination of plans and general agreement between the Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation is most commendable, in keeping with their traditions and the best evidence of their ability to proceed with the orderly development of the basin.
10. Construction of Scriver Creek and Garden Valley units of the Mountain Home project ahead of Hell's Canyon project and early completion of the already authorized Palisades project, for the reasons already outlined.
It is sincerely urged that the foregoing be given full consideration in the drafting and preparation of authorizing legislation. Respectfully submitted.
C. A, ROBINS, Governor.
STATE OF MONTANA,
Helena, May 17, 1949.
Department of the Army, Washington, D. C. DEAR GENERAL PICK: There are before me the reports of the division engineer, North Pacific division; report of the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors; and the report of the Chief of Engineers, on the proposed comprehensive development plan of the Columbia River Basin, commonly known as the Revised 308 report. This comment on the report and plans is made in accordance with the existing laws providing for such comments from each State included within the basin.
First, let me compliment the Corps of Engineers for the splendid work done in their field investigations and the comprehensive manner of assembling these
data in the reports. Investigations of this type set out a plan of basin development which, when carried out to completion, will give the best coordinated use of all of the water supply for the benefit of the people within the basin. Also, the full development of the plan is a national benefit in war as well as in peacetime.
in the past, Montana has been rather reluctant in placing its stamp of approval on many projects proposed from time to time within the basin until all of the Federal agencies could agree on unified plans and policies. I am pleased to note from the report of the Chief of Engineers, addressed to the Secretary of the Army, that this objection has been removed, and the plans are now fully coordinated between the Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, Department of Agriculture, Federal Power Commission, and all other Federal departments. This accomplishment is very necessary in order to make the entire plan a success.
The basic resources of Montana are agriculture and livestock, and therefore our primary interest lies in the full development of all of the irrigation possibilities. We feel that there are many more irrigation projects within the Columbia Basin in Montana than those outlined for authorization at the present time, and we urge that these potential developments be pushed forward in the program as rapidly as demand for them becomes apparent.
Montana contributes a very liberal proportion of water flowing down the Columbia River-more than can ever be used in this State for irrigation development. I firmly believe some recognition should be given this fact and retribution made in the form of a portion of the net revenues from power. This fund should then be used to develop the land and water resources within the State, A prestige for this claim has already been set forth in the Colorado River compact.
In Montana, we have a State construction agency known as the Montana State Water Conservation Board, delegated with full powers to develop land and water resources. At least a part of the power revenues which might be credited to Montana should be made available to this board in carrying out the objectives for which it was created. Furthermore, these objectives fit in perfectly with the coordinated plan of fully developing the Columbia River Basin.
The suggested plan of "Aid to irrigation” to defray the cost of reclamation projects over and above the ability of the land to repay is very commendable. This plan should be applicable to all projects in the basin regardless of whether they are built by a Federal or a State agency.
It is considered fundamental and very important that all of the water within the State which may ultimately be used for irrigation should be forever protected and reserved for that purpose. I wish to assert Montana's right to the consumptive use of water as set forth in the amendments to the 1944 Flood Control Act and the 1945 River and Harbor Act against navigation, and ask the same protection be extended against power and/or other possible uses.
As to the question of power rates, I believe that Montana should not be discriminated against in either the availability of power or in rates. Whenever a pumping project is constructed by our State agency, we ask that such agency be given the benefit of the same rates, rules, and regulations that would be extended to any Federal agency if built by that agency regardless of whether or not there is any Federal money invested in the State project. Such a discrimination exists at the present time.
States, counties, and local taxing units should be fully reimbursed for any loss in taxes on replaced or destroyed public utilities, or State loss of any realty taxes caused by the flooding of lands by reservoirs.
I sincerely urge that the foregoing will be given full consideration at the time of drafting plans to authorize the needed legislation. Respectfully submitted.
John W. BONNER,
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, May 18, 1949. CHIEF OF ARMY ENGINEERS,
Washington, D. C. We wish to take this opportunity of urging the Congress of the United States and particularly the House Committee on Public Works and Public Land to pass legislation which will provide for the orderly water development of the Columbia