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by Senator O'Mahoney (Democrat, Wyoming) to an omnibus river and harbor bill which was rejected by another Senate Commerce subcommittee.
Millikin said he expected the same group of 22 Senator which backed the O'Mahoney amendment would support the new amendment.
Gov. John Moses, of North Dakota, and Gov. Sam C. Ford, of Montana, in a joint statement declared themselves in favor of the amendment,
Asked by Senator Robertson (Republican, Wyoming) whether they would favor deletion of all Missouri River provisions from the two bills if the amendment were not accepted, Governor Ford answered "Yes" while Governor Moses said, “Yes, with reluctance."
Overton said it was his opinion that if the amendment were adopted it would delay all Missouri River plans since objections by a Governor of any affected State would force further investigations, to which Governor Moses asserted :
"In my judgment, that is the best argument for acceptance of the amendment as it would make possible an over-all plan being worked out."
Paul B. Dessieux, Linn, Mo., president of the Osage River Flood Control Association, said this was the fourth year in succession in which devastating floods caused great damage and added :
"To us who are drowning, we are not so much concerned who rescues us, whether it be the Army engineers or the reclamation engineers. We urge, however, the plans of the two be reconciled and consolidated.”
Governors Ford and Moses pleaded for congressional assurance of sufficient Missouri River water to meet present needs and to irrigate an additional 4,760,000 aeres. They also asked that States be given a "consultative voice" in shaping future water developments.
Recalling that they previously appeared before two committees in the House on Missouri River water development and before another Senate subcommittee last month for the same purpose, the Governors presented a joint statement calling the disposal of the water of the Missouri River and its tributaries "a life and death matter."
“We must," they said, "recognize the problem in its entirety and legislate for the conservation, control, and use of that water not with flood control alone in mind, not only for the interest of navigation below Sioux City, but for the higher and more important use of domestic consumption, irrigation, and reclamation, mining and industrial purposes, as well as control for flood protection.”
The Governors voiced support for the Army engineers' proposal to construct a series of reservoirs in the Missouri Basin but objected to authorization for such dams "without a proper integration of the purposes to which the water so stored will be put in the years to come.”
They contended that passage of the flood control bill and the rivers and harbors bill in their present forms would mean that “in effect," we shall have a Missouri Valley authority, with all the power in the hands of the Army engineers.
"We cannot expend millions of dollars necessary for the deyelopment of irrigation works and rely entirely upon the generosity of the Army engineers to provide sufficient water to reclaim the lands under such projects,” the Governers declared.
They urged that the committee withhold approval of the bill until plans of the Army engineers and Reclamation Bureau have been "integrated and coordinated into one general over-all plan" for the development of the river, and that the bill be amended "to adequately protect the upstream States in the beneficial use" of the Missouri and its tributaries.
Senator ROBERTSON. Mr. Chairman, I would like the committee to hear first Mr. Wathen of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Mr. Wathen is engineer in the irrigation department. He will make a short statement.
Senator OVERTON. Well, I promised to let these representatives of the Indian tribes appear. I think they want to return.
Senator ROBERTSON. Mr. Wathen will be followed by Mr. Yellowtai). He has to leave in 2 hours and his statement will be short.
Senator OVERTON. Mr. Yellowtail has to leave?
it may hola ent, very briefrman, I would
. L. Wathen. erecord for briefness in the Indian Office." make a
STATEMENT OF A. L. WATHEN, CHIEF ENGINEER, BUREAU OF
INDIAN AFFAIRS, WASHINGTON, D. C. Mr. WATHEN. Mr. Chairman, I would like permission to make a brief statement, very brief, on behalf of the Indian Office. In fact, it may hold the record for briefness in your hearings. My name is A. L. Wathen, chief engineer, Indian Office. The Indian Office's interest in H. R. 4485 is on account of the large number of Indians residing within the Missouri River Basin. There are a total of 24 Indian reservations within the Missouri River Basin, containing a total of 14,549,000 acres. The Indian population of the area totals. 54,156 and all of that Indian population will be affected either directly or indirectly by whatever plan is adopted for development of the basin.
It is the responsibility of the Indian Office to protect and develop the Indians' resources in land and water. Our aim is that as many of those people as possible will be able to obtain economic independence at a reasonable standard of living through their own efforts. In order to accomplish this objective we feel it will be absolutely necessary to develop as much additional irrigated land as possible in order to raise forage to supplement the grazing range.
A careful study of H. R. 4485 together with House Document 475. leads us to the conclusion that the passage of H. R. 4485 without important amendments would be adverse to the interests of the Indians and non-Indians alike in that basin. The construction of the Garrison Reservoir, for instance, which was discussed in some detail this morning, with a capacity of 17 to 23 million acre-feet as proposed, would flood most of the Indian lands within the Fort Berthold Reservation.
Senator OVERTON. What acreage is that?
Mr. WATHEN. In the Fort Berthold Reservation there is a total of 577,000 acres.
Senator OVERTON. And the total 577,000 acres will be inundated ? Mr. WATHEN. No; the total would not be inundated, but most of the arable lands down along the river bottom would be flooded.
Senator OVERTON. What would be the acreage belonging to the Indian Reservation in that particular area that will be flooded ?
Mr. WATHEN. I don't have the exact figures, Mr. Chairman, but it would be in the neighborhood of 10 or 15 thousand acres.
Senator OVERTON. Is there any of it irrigated ? Mr. WATHEN. Very little is irrigated at this time, but it is potentially irrigable and our plan is to irrigate the entire area in order to raise supplemental feed for cattle.
Senator ÖVERTON. All right. Mr. WATHEN. It is the considered opinion of us in the Indian Office that the bill as now written, together with the rivers and harbors bill, H. R. 3961, would practically result in freezing irrigation developments within the basin at their present level. This, we feel, would be most unfortunate, not only for the Inians but for the country as a whole. We recognize the need for adequate flood control, but feel that any plans for controlling floods should be coordinated with plansfor irrigation and other uses in the basin, in order to secure the utmost economic value out of the expenditure. The Bureau of Reclamation: has recently completed a compilation of a comprehensive report covering development of the Missouri River Basin. We feel that report provides not only for flood control but also for navigation, irrigation, power, domestic and municipal water supply, stream polution abatement, recreation uses, wildlife conservation, and maintains the ground water levels in inland lakes.
Senator OVERTON. What is your suggestion, that we drop consideration of the projects recommended by the Army engineers and take up the projects recommended by the Bureau of Reclamation ?
Mr. WATHEN. Not at all.
Senator OVERTON. Let me ask you a question : Do you suggest that we disapprove the projects recommended by the Board of Army Engineers? Mr. WATHEN. Not at all. Senator OVERTON. Well, then, do you suggest that we approve them? Mr. WATHEN. Our recommendation is that before any specific projects are approved that careful consideration be given to the development of the basin as a whole.
Senator OVERTON. In what way?
Mr. WATHEN. To coordinate the Army engineers' plan with the Bureau of Reclamation.
Senator OVERTON. That we adjourn these hearings and let the matter drop; is that your suggestion?, I want to get at just what you are proposing.
Mr. WATHEN. No; our suggestion is that if H. R. 4485 could be amended so as to make possible the development of the basin in line with the principles laid down by the Bureau of Reclamation report
Senator OVERTON. That would mean taking up the Bureau of Reclamation report and going through with the project. You just now said you didn't care for us to do that. Specifically, what do you suggest that we do?
Mr. WATHEN. Our suggestion is specifically that some integration between the Army engineers' report and the Bureau of Reclamation report be had before any projects are authorized.
Senator OVERTON. That is very general. How is that integration process to be handled?
Mr. WATHEN. Well, the Bureau of Reclamation report, we believe, is a very comprehensive report.
Senator OVERTON. Well, you just now said you didn't care for us to consider the Bureau of Reclamation report.
Mr. WATHEN. We would like to see the Bureau of Reclamation report considered at the same time and along with the Army report and integrated with the Army report.
Senator OVERTON. Well, now, you are sufficiently acquainted with the law with reference to flood control to know what has to be done, aren't you, in that connection? We would have to direct another survey and investigation by the Army engineers and a report thereon. That is what we would have to do. We couldn't authorize this project simply on the Bureau of Reclamation report, because the law says we cannot do it.
Mr. WATHEN. Our thought is that if H. R. 4485 could be amended in line with the amendments submitted by Senator Millikin before this committee on June 9, that it would permit such integration, that it would make the bill flexible enough to result actually in a real study of the entire basin problem and its integration.
Senator OVERTON. All right.
Mr. WATHEN. We are in effect agreed that some amendment should be made to H. R. 4485, and we agree that the three amendments offered by Senator Millikin will provide the necessary flexibility. I have here and will be glad to submit for the record, if you care to have it, a tabulation showing the Indian reservations, their population, and area broken down by States.
Senator OVERTON. Very well.
Senator (VERTON. Is that all, Mr. Wathen?
Senator ROBERTSON. I would like to ask a question. You have heard sufficient of these hearings to realize that the actual difference in engineering between the Army engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation engineers is such as to bring the two plans fairly close together. The difference of opinion is probably one that if they were to join it could be very easily ironed out. As I understand it from your statement you would favor such a joint consideration of the whole project by the Army engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation engineers?
Mr. WATHEN. That is correct, sir. My personal opinion is that in all probability what differences now exist might easily be ironed out within 60 or 90 days if a real effort were made to get together.
Senator CORDON. I would like to make one inquiry, Mr. Chairman. Senator OVERTON. Very well.
Senator CORDON. You stated that there were ten or fifteen thousand acres of potentially irrigable land in the Fort Berthold Reservation
which would be inundated by the Garrison Dam. Would that result if what was described here as a low Garrison Dam were built?
Mr. WATHEN. Yes. Most of it would be inundated anyhow.
Senator CORDON. The only way you could save that ten or fifteen thousand acres would be by building no Garrison Dam?
Mr. WATHEN. That is the only way you could save it. Ten or fifteen thousand acres. However, if a well coordinated plan were worked out for the upper basin that would include resettlement of those Indians elsewhere or secure additional irrigable land for their use, it would be entirely satisfactory to the Indian Office
Senator CORDON, That brings up the next question. Within the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation are there any other potentially irrigable lands that could be used if these were flooded out? Mr. WATHEN. Not without crimping. Senator CORDON. Could the other acres be used by pumping ? Mr. WATHEN. Some acreage could be irrigated by pumping. The exact lift we haven't determined,
Senator CORDON. Would the lift be greater or less by virtue of the fact you had the Garrison water pool in there?
Mr. WATHEN. The lift would probably be less on account of the Garrison Reservoir.
Senator CORDON. Can you estimate about the acreage that would be susceptible of irrigation under that plan?
Mr. WATHEN. No; I am sorry, we don't have those figures here. Our office now is in Chicago and most of our data is there. I would be glad to offer it for the record if you would care to have it.
Senator CORDON. It would seem to me an important item in connection with that Garrison question. I think it should be in the record if we could get it.
Mr. WATHEN. We can send it on from Chicago within the next 2 or 3 days.
Senator (YERTON. Very well. You may do so.
Senator ROBERTSON. I would like to call Robert Yellowtail, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Yellowtail is the agent and superintendent of the Crow Indian Tribe.
STATEMENT OF ROBERT YELLOWTAIL, AGENT AND SUPERINTEND
ENT, CROW INDIAN TRIBE, CROW AGENCY, MONT.
Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, the Crow Indians are interested in the question being discussed here today. Only on last Tuesday the Crow Indians met in tribal session and asked if we would not come up here and listen and see what is being said, and if we thought it was appropriate and necessary that we submit our views, so that the chairman and this committee here will have the benefit of our views and carry them to Congress for us. That is the only reason we are here.
I am not going to discuss the merits of the bills that have been introduced. I haven't had the time to read H. R. 4485, any of it except the amendments that have been offered, the O'Mahoney amend