« PreviousContinue »
efficient fire-fighting organization was built up after the enactment of the Clark-McNary law; for instance, the establishment of lookout towers, fire patrols, fire guards, trucks and fire-fighting equipment; a very efficient organization which had to do principally with the prevention of fires.
Smoke-chasers, as they are called in the West, were sent out when smoke was discovered anywhere. That was built up to the point where in 39 States they had a very efficient organization. Instead of the Federal Government appropriating or using up the 50 percent of the total appropriation, it never did appropriate more than about 25 percent of the total fund that was used for that purpose. In other words, the State and the private individuals uinterested would put up about 3 to 1 as against the Federal Government.
At the beginning of last year, 1933, there was about $400,000 left over in the Federal fund for the purpose of carrying on this work. If you will recall, under the appropriation bill of last year all unexpended balances were covered back into the Treasury. So that last year they were unable to use the unexpended balance of $400,000.
They did get some benefit from the C.C.C camps out there, but the way they managed to get along last year was to use the unexpended balance which had been put up by the State and private agencies until they used it all up. This year this appropriation of $1,198,619 is absolutely insufficient.
Senator COPELAND. What are we discussing now? I was not present when the hearing started.
Senator RUSSELL. We are discussing the subject of forest-fire cooperation, which appears in line 23 on page 43.
Senator PoPE. I was just calling attention, Senator Copeland, to the fact that they managed to get along last year under the reduced appropriation and the fact that this $400,000 left out of the Federal fund that had been appropriated for that was covered back into the Treasury, but by using their private funds and State funds they were able to carry on the work with reduced efficiency, the work that had been built up there over a period of 10 years.
They have used up those funds, and this amount will have the effect, unless it is increased, of seriously crippling the whole organization; in fact, it is thought that eventually the organization will have to be disbanded because they simply cannot carry on the work.
Senator COPELAND. What sum are you asking for?
Senator BANKHEAD. Was there any controversy about this in the House?
Senator PopE. Yes. In the Congressional Record an amendment was made by Congressman White from my State and was presented and voted upon but voted down.
The answer that is usually made is that by reason of the C.C.C. camps there they could somehow carry on this work. Here is the difficulty: The Č.C.C. camps are engaged principally in road building. They are not in a position to prevent fires. But this organization has been built up for the purpose of manning these towers and using fire-fighting equipment.
Senator DickINSON. Do you mean to tell me that they are using the fire-patrol personnel?
after the enact Senator Pope. No; but with the funds they were able to get along blishment of ke-1 last year, but the funds were used up last year, and they will not fighting equipa hare those funds to draw upon. After July 1 of this year, I am inprincipally wta formed, that unless we can get some increase of this appropriation
I they will have to at least reduce their force.
Senator DICKINSON. Have you examined the hearings with referthe up to
ence to the testimony of the Chief Forester as to whether or not they ization. Insta expect to abandon any watch towers? up the 50 per Senator Pope. I have not examined that testimony. I have talked te more than į to the Chief Forester, and the effect of his testimony is that they purpose . In would be seriously crippled.
terested woul it.
tor Copelani principally with fire prevention, keeping their patrols and their
t will hare was 25 in 1934 and for 1935 it is stated as 25. I can see the possibility
Here is the question but what the efficiency of our fire-fighting organization is in road bill going to be seriously crippled. these towe talking about, but the committee is embarrassed by the fact that
Senator Russell. The appropriation is the same amount as that
of the Budget estimate, is it not, Senator? I mean the amount about 8400,01 carried in the bill is the same figure. It has not been reduced below g on this work the Government estimate? ear all unexpet
Senator Pope. I think not. that last year
Senator Russell. Do you know whether or nor any effort has been made to obtain a supplemental estimate?
Senator Pope. Yes; it appears that two or three Congressmen went ze the unexpert to Mr. Douglass and presented the matter to him, but without effect.
private age" He thought that somehow they could get along, and he was very much tion of $1,196 | impressed with the fact that the C.C.C. camps are out there and they
can be used for this purpose. I think the difficulty is that most ow? I was people do not appreciate the form of the organization out there. This
money is for fire prevention. It is true that the C.C.C. boys can help set of foresis , when a fire starts
, and the roads they are building out there are of great value in fighting fire after it gets started; but this has to do Senator Dickinson. Let me suggest that in the House bill the
The personnel for the field service I find was 28 in 1933; that it to what is known as "grants to States”, cooperatively with States, and the States have largely the responsibility of dividing it up. There is a reduction of the grants to the States as between 1933 and 1934 of over $400,000. Now, I take it, Senator, that that is the item in which you are particularly interested.
Senator Pope. That is the item exactly. I have telegrams from and corporations that are interested, a very large number, and they point out to me the seriousness of this situation. There is not any
Senator COPELAND. I am in fullest sympathy with what you are there is already included in the bill the amount that the Budget states is required. There would have to be a supplemental estimate,
ed back into a
the work. 27
out this in
of the CCI
t this orgalt
ier are usi:
would there not?
Senator RUSSELL. That is the usual procedure.
Senator McCARRAN. There would have to be what, Senator Copeland?
Senator COPELAND. There is a certain unwritten rule that when we get above the Budget figure we have to get a supplemental estimate from them. I have never understood that we are guided by that. We are always embarrassed by that on the floor, however.
Senator Pope. May I suggest this to you, Senator: In the telegrams that I have received-and I hold one in my hand from Mr. C. C. Sanderson—they are asking for the amount that they have had heretofore so as to keep up these organizations.
Senator COPELAND. The letter that I have here asks for $2,500,000
Senator Pope. That represents the requests of all those organizations that have to do with this work out there. I feel just as you do. that this work, like all others, should take its cut, but the amount that I am suggesting, $1,700,000, which would raise it just half a million dollars, is, it seems to me, as little as we could ask with which to carry on the work with reasonable efficiency.
We will appreciate out there any increase that you can give us because it will just mean that they can carry on with efficiency, but $1,700,000 will really enable us to carry on the work by using economy and care in the organization.
Senator DICKINSON. Senator Pope, on page 949 of the hearing in the House there is a list of contributions from the Public Works Administration, from which it would seem that the forest people have been treated most handsomely all along the line.
Senator Pope. That has to do, I think, with the matter of blisterrust control. About $2,050,000 is appropriated for blister-rust control. I have not the time to go into that, but we are not here for any increase so far as that is concerned.
Senator DICKINSON. Let me suggest that here are the types (). items covered: Blister-rust control, $209,470 and fire prevention $231,714. Then it goes on with items for sanitation and fire prevention, planting on the natural forests, soil-erosion investigations
, and so forth.
Senator RUSSELL. The Forest Service got practically $16,000,000
Senator Pope. But we have no assurance, of course, of more Public Works funds.
Senator COPELAND. Let us see if we can perfect the record. It i your idea, Senator, that the forests are in danger from fire and seriou damage or destruction unless the appropriation for forest-fire purpose is increased ?
Senator PoPE. Yes, sir.
Senator COPELAND. Before I came in here you enlarged upon did you?
Senator Pope. I had not, but may I say this with reference to tha very point: For the last 3 or 4 years the hazard has been increased In the first place, we have had serious droughts out there in two o three of those years; and, in the second place, the matter of incer diarism is one of great importance. The fires that are started it seem are incendiary fires for the purpose of creating work for these men wh are out of employment.
I was mayor of my city, Boise, for 4 years. The men charged wit fighting these fires had their headquarters there. Just as soon as the
I feel just as !
raise it just
k by using eco-things which all industry has to do, but they did get along and carried
fire preve? Senator COPELAND. What does your State do in assisting in the
would stop one fire another would spring up in the teeth of the wind. be what. No other explanation could be given than that of incendiarism.
That hazard has increased in the last 3 or 4 years. They have en rule that wé done all they could to present it. For instance, a Federal judge there ipplemental e, sentenced some people very heavily because of the fact they were are guided bfound guilty of incendiarism.
Also, people who have nothing to do will go up in the forest and senator: In to camp for months at a time and hunt and fish and their camp fires are my hend into the cause of serious damage. t that ther he Senator COPELAND. Some reckless cigarette smokers I suppose, too?
Senator Pope. Yes. For the last 3 or 4 years the fire hazard has asks for $2.3 increased tremendously. To cut down the appropriation seems to f all those or- me to be unwise.
Senator COPELAND. Senator, what could you do with $100,000 to ut, but the prevent what you are talking about?
Senator Pope. We could carry on the fire-fighting organization, ould ask withai I think, with reasonable efficiency. Last year with the amount of
money they had on hand plus the amount that was appropriated, + rou can say they carried on the work. They had to reduce their force here and with efficiens, there and they had to consolidate work and increase hours to do those
on the work. I feel that with this additional amount we can carry on
Senator Pope. It is on private lands and State lands adjacent to and
Senator COPELAND. If we were to give you a half million dollars
Senator Pope. Yes; they have been matching it on such a basis as
Senator Pope. That I do not know, Senator. There was a hearing
tion and fire
aal?r $16,06 se, of more!
n fire and see
irged upon it
eference to: been increase there in
Senator RUSSELL. Have you anything further, Senator Pope?
Senator COPELAND. Let us have inserted in our record what States
Senator Pope. It affects all States that have forests.
Senator COPELAND. If New Hampshire is involved we ought to do
Senator Keyes. New Hampshire is involved.
Senator RUSSELL. We can get that information from the head of
Mr. JUMP. I think the whole thing is in there, Senator.
Senator COPELAND. Let us have it included in the record at this
(The information referred to is as follows:)
190,000 47,500 80,585
131,000 32, 750 44, 852
128,000 32,000 159, 365
26, 000 6,500
1 This gives general indications for 1935.
The decreases for 1935 will be less than this aggregate by $14,259.