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forests. Out of those items there is actually expended, approximately, $2,000,000 for the maintenance of the fire protective organi
In addition to that, the item of $250,000 has been appropriated, which is only drawn upon in emergencies for which the regular force is not adequate-in other words, at times when we have to employ additional temporary labor for brief periods and furnish them with subsistence.
The CHA'RMAN. How much of the $2,000,000 is yet unexpended ?
Col. GREELEY. Of the $2,000,000 appropriation, the normal provision for the remaining months of the fiscal year is not expended, except that we have to draw upon that in meeting this actual deficiency of $191,000 to date; but the rest of the $2,000,000 is what we count upon to maintain our permanent organization, a portion of which is not any longer available, plus the small protective organization which must be provided normally about the 1st of May.
The CHAIRMAN. You have not told me how much of that money is unexpended, except to say that the normal proportion required for monthly expenditure still remains available. That does not give us any idea of the conditions.
Col. GREELEY. I can not give it to you in exact figures, but, for example, two-fifths of the amount is not expended.
The CHAIRMAN. How much of the year is passed now?
Col. GREELEY: I was figuring from January 1. Figuring from September 1
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). Two-fifths is not expended as of January 1?
Col. GREELEY. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. We ought to have it definitely. I should like to know why you have considered it necessary to draw against that $2,000,000 appropriation set out for a specific purpose, to the extent of using three-fifths of it in less than one-half of a year?
Col. GREELEY. Mr. Chairman, we must provide the organization required to meet a practical situation. The practical situation is that the most serious fire season occurs during the months of July, August, and September, and during those three months we must have the fire-protective force at its maximum.
The CHAIRMAN. Can you give us the unexpended balance exactly for the record ?
Col. GREELEY. Yes, sir. Xote. — The unexpended balance available for fire protection as of January 1, 1922 which amount is obtained by deducting from the total of $2,000,000 the actual expenditures up to September 30, 1921, plus liabilities up to December 31, 1921), amounts to a total of $822,955.
Col. GREELEY. The situation is just exactly like this: If the police force of Washington is given a certain budget to run 12 months
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). They. have to run 12 months.
Col. GREELEY. They have to allot the budget by months in accordance with the requirements and the protection of the city.
The CHAIRMAN. They have to allot the budget on the basis of the appropriation ?
Col. GREELEY, Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And not on what they imagine the requirements are. That is where you make a mistake in reaching the conclusion that the appropriation has no part to play in the determination of the question involved. Your theory is wrong. You proceed on the theory that it does not make any difference what the appropriation is, that has nothing to do with the case, that you are a law unto yourself, and superior to the law passed by Congress. You make your apportionment based on your imaginations of what the needs are and not on what the facts are. That is the difference.
Col. GREELEY. Well, Mr. Chairman, I do not feel that what I have said is open to that construction.
The CHAIRMAN. You have just stated it. Col. GREELEY. Congress appropriates a certain amount of money, with which we are required to protect and administer the national forests for a fiscal year.
The CHAIRMAN. That is true.
Col. GREELEY. We allot that money for various grades of service during the entire year and also for the supplementary guards during the months of the year when the fire danger is acute. We take the $2,000,000 and with that provide for a certain organization of supervisors, rangers, and guards which are permanent and which serve the entire 12 months. Then, from the remainder of that fund we provide for a certain supplementary force during the months of July, August, and September, which is our worst fire season, and we have another supplementary force, smaller in size, also provided for out of the $2,000,000 fund, which force is employed during the months of May and June, which is our secondary fire season.
The CHAIRMAN. But you do not pay any attention to the appropriation.
Mr. ANDERSON. Your force does not consist entirely of yearround men ?
Col. GREELEY. No, sir.
Mr. ANDERSON. A very large proportion or a very considerable proportion of your force is employed for short periods, 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, or 6 months, perhaps?
Col. GREELEY. Yes, sir.
Mr. ANDERSON. You have to provide for the employment of persons to take care of your overload during certain periods of the year, and those people are employed upon a short time basis?
Col. GREELEY. Yes, sir.
Mr. ANDERSON. Consequently, if you did divide your appropriation into 12 equal parts, you would have a considerable appropriation for which you had no use in some months and during periods of the year when you had heavy-fire expenditures to make you would have an overload with nothing to pay it?
Col. GREELEY. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. That explanation explains, but his explanation did not explain. I could not help conclude from what he was saying that he took the $2,000,000 or whatever he might have and allotted it for a premanent force and then allotted for his emergency force above the $2,000,000.
Col. GREELEY. I made it very clear that the $2,000,000 carrying the force is provided in advance of the season, a part of it permanent and a part of it temporary, the temporary men serving from half a month up to six months.
The CHAIRMAN. You did not make that clear to me.
Mr. ANDERSON. There is another distinction which you must bear in mind. This emergency appropriation can not be spent until the fire has started. This emergency appropriation is used entirely in cases where the fire has already started and the forces are not sufficient to take care of it.
The CHAIRMAN. But this appropriation, most of it has already been expended, this anticipated appropriation; $191,000 out of the $341,000 of the general appropriation, has already been expended.
Mr. KELLEY. I wonder why you separate your regular appropriation of $2,000,000 for your regular establishmnet from what you seek as an emergency appropriation, which is practically an annual appropriation ?
Mr. ANDERSON. They have been getting the same appropriation for that purpose for a number of years.
Mr. KELLEY. If you have $2,000,000 for the regular establishment and then a supplemental appropriation of $250,000, why not call it $2,250,000 to start with ?
Mr. ANDERSON. That was the policy of Congress rather than the policy of the Forest Service. The theory originally was that they should have a force in the Forest Service which would take care of the ordinary requirements in fire fighting as well as other things, and that this particular fund should only be used in an actual case of emergency. The appropriation originally carried an emergency appropriation, but as $250,000 or $400,000 was used every year and a deficiency besides, there appeared to be no reason for carrying the deficiency appropriation. That simply had the effect, in many instances, of preventing the employment of people as early as they would have been employed otherwise, and consequently permitted a fire to proceed farther than if the department felt at liberty to employ the people immediately. Is that correct, Colonel ?
Col. GREELEY. That is correct.
The way the fund of $250,000 has been expended during the past year is just this: I make personally, after consultation with each managing officer in the field, an allotment to the various national forests, totalling $2,000,000 approximately. I rely upon them to handle their organization, the rangers and guards, so as to meet the situation with the $2,000,000, if they possibly can as a measure of economy. When conditions become critical and it is obvious that the regular force, which means but one man to 52,000 acres, can not handle the situation, then we begin to draw upon the $250,000 for emergency patrol, additional patrol, who are put in at the points most needed.
Mr. Sisson. That is, where there is a fire ? Col. GREELEY. That may be before the fire actually starts, but when we know, from experience and seasonal conditions, that we are in for some bad fires and that additional help must be employed to extinguish the fires which are started, the $250,000 is drawn upon for that additional help.
During the past year, as I have indicated, the $250,000 was expended before the month of August had expired and added help had to be obtained to meet the situation, so that there was no course open to us but to draw upon the $2,000,000 that had been set up to carry the organization during the entire year.
The total expenditure this year for emergency fires and in firefighting, if the deficiency is granted, will be $591,000, as compared with an average expenditure during the past 12 years for the same purpose of $716,000. In other words, we can make a better showing this year than has been true in the average of the past 12 years because of the fact, in part, I believe the force is getting more efficient, and in part we had a rather more favorable season than the average.
The CHAIRMAN. You are making that average based on an emergency appropriation that covered $2,000,000 ?
Col. GREELEY. Yes, sir; that is, of the 12-year average.
The CHAIRMAN. What was the emergency that caused the $2,000,000 appropriation ?
Col. GREELEY. It was a year of very extreme drought throughout the entire Northwest; in fact, three years of extreme drought, which was followed by periods of high winds and a great many electrical storms, and a great many fires assumed large proportions.
The CHAIRMAN. You have spent, now, according to your statement, $341,000 of the emergency fund?
Col. GREELEY. Yes, sir.
DAMAGE FROM FIRES.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you be kind enough to tell us the extent of the fires and how much damage was done?
Col. GREELEY. The fires this fiscal year to date that have been fought and extinguished number 4,736. The total area burned by them has been 274,000 acres, approximately, and the total damage caused can not be given in exact terms, but it is probably around $400,000. The acreage burned represents two-tenths of 1 per cent of the area under protection. As I indicated a few minutes ago,
the total cost of the protection, including this deficiency appropriation, will amount to a little over 16 mills per acre.
The CHAIRMAN. Can the timber in the burned area be utilized ?
Col. GREELEY. Out of the area burned this year approximately one-third contains merchantable timber, the rest being second growth land and other land that had no merchantable timber. Of that onethird, I presume, half of it can be salvaged. It is impossible to determine that exactly as yet, but all of it will be salvaged if it is within reasonable access to any manufacturing point.
The CHAIRMAN. Does the Government sell the timber off of the forest area which it owns ?
Col. GREELEY. Yes, sir; it does.
VALUE OF TIMBER SOLD ANNUALLY.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the annual value of the timber sold?
Col. GREELEY. The timber sales now—as a matter of fact, as a business statement it would be better to put it on the basis of the
cut—the annual returns paid under timber sale contracts are approximately $2,500,000.
The CHAIRMAN. That is net?
Col. GREELEY. No; the gross return, but it is the actual cash return that goes into the Treasury directly.
The CHAIRMAN. Those who buy the timber cut it themselves?
The CHAIRMAN. What do they pay per thousand feet, on the average ?
Col. GREELEY. The average price is about $2.50 a thousand feet on the stump.
The CHAIRMAN. I think I asked you how your cost of protection compared with the cost of protection by private people concerned with privately owned property?
Col. GREELEY. It is difficult to give you an average statement on that, because our lands are located in 14 different States, with a wide range of conditions. The States or Oregon and Washington both have State laws which require the owners of private lands to protect their holdings and put a legal limit of five cents an acre on the maximum cost which any private owner may be compelled to incur. The actual expenditure by the private owners in those two States is around 3 cents per acre on the average. In the State of Idaho there is an extended area of private timber land protected by different owners, where the average cost of protection ranges from 6 to 8 cents per acre, that being a relatively inflammable region.
On the other hand, when you go into the Southwest, the cost should be and is very much less than that. Several years ago we made up a tabluation of the cost of protection in all of the States which were cooperating with the Forest Service under another item that is not involved here, and we found that the average cost as estimated by the State authorities and local agencies, or the average cost over some 26 States, was 2 cents per acre annually. It ranges all the way from about one-half a cent up to as much as 10 or 12 cents per acre.
The CHAIRMAN. How does private protection compare with the protection that the Government gives to its property?
Col. GREELEY. That varies greatly. In certain localities it is superior to ours, because it is so much more expensive, and is carried out at a much higher cost. I know of areas in the Lake States for example, which are being protected by commercial concerns paying as much as 17 cents per acre yearly for the protection of their lands. We can not protect our lands as effectively as private owners who go into it on that basis. On the other hand, our protection work is better than the average done by private owners, because the greater part of the private forest protection is still pretty sketchy and inadequate, and a few men are expected to protect large areas of land.
The actual expenditure is low and the results are correspondingly low. On an average, the protective work of the Federal Government is considerably better than that of private owners, except in some individual cases.