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Mr. ANTHONY. Are you using airplane patrols in this work?
Col. GREELEY. We have during the past two years, through the cooperation of the Air Service of the United States Army; had airplane patrols in two States—California and Oregon. They have been of considerable assistance, but they do not replace the ordinary protective organizations on the ground. We have found that in order to protect the forest lands, particularly in the inaccessible mountainous regions in the West, you must have an organization of permanent lookouts where the area can be kept under observation by watchmen during the entire period of daylight, connected up with telephone lines, and an organization of guards and patrolmen who can be reached and mobilized without much loss of time when a fire occurs. The airplane is an adjunct to forest protection, but it is by no means a complete forest protection.
Mr. ANTHONY. Where you use airplanes, do you use money appropriated for your own bureau for operating the planes ?
Col. GREELEY. Congress appropriated a special item of $50,000 to enable us to cooperate with the Army in this airplane patrol. The machines and aviators were furnished by the Army, and our money was used for the installation of special landing grounds, telephone connections, and expenditures of that character. The Army is not going to be able to continue that cooperation, and we have recommended that that item be eliminated from next year's budget.
Mr. ANTHONY. Did you not find out that it wore out the machines. pretty fast?
Col. GREELEY. I do not know how it would compare with the life of machines in other forms of use, but it is, of course, comparatively hazardous work for the aviators to cruise over these very rugged mountainous regions where landing grounds are few and far between, because if anything goes wrong with the machine he very seldom finds a chance to land.
Mr. ANTHONY. The use of airplanes was found not to be practicable for this purpose ?
Col. GREELEY. That is true as a substitute for other forms of protection. My own opinion is that the airplane is too delicate and expensive a machine to handle to be practicable from the cost standpoint for forest protection. It was only possible in our case because the Army had the machines and men and thought that it was a good thing to give the men training in that kind of work.
VALUE OF TIMBER IN NATIONAL FORESTS.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you ever made an estimate of the value of the timber in the 136,000,000 acres of land in the national forests? Col. GREELEY. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Will you be kind enough to state it for the record ?
Col. GREELEY. The best estimate that we have made places the value of the timber at $575,000,000. That means the merchantable timber alone.
The CHAIRMAN. How does the income from the Forest Service compare with the outgo? Are the losses greater or less than in years one by?
Col. GREELEY. The gap between expenditures and receipts is being gradually closed, but it is not yet completely closed.
The CHAIRMAN. How nearly completely closed is it?
Col. GREELEY. Last year our total expenditures for the national forests, excluding other extraneous items like research work, was approximately $5,500,000 and the income was $4,795,000.
The CHAIRMAN.' That is a considerable improvement.
CAUSES OF FIRES. Mr. Sisson. In making your studies of the causes of fires, what has been the result of your investigations, or what has been found to be the principal cause of fires ?
Col. GREELEY. About 60 per cent of our fires are man-caused, and of those the chief offenders are the campers, fishermen, hunters, and the tourists, who start about 40 per cent of all the fires we have to fight. Next in order comes the fires started from burning slashings by settlers and lumber companies, and, third, fires started by railroads. The other 40 per cent—which is a surprising figure, but it is the average over several years—is started by lightning. That is one of the things that makes our protection work so difficult, because those lightning fires occur in the highest and most inaccessible parts of the national forests. The campers' fires and tourists' fires, we feel, we are beginning to reduce through very aggressive campaigns in educating those classes of people. The use of the national forests by people, particularly by recreation seekers, is increasing enormously. We have ten people now where we had only one 5 or 10 years ago. The number of fires started from these human agencies are now on the decrease, and we are trying very hard to keep them on the decrease.
Mr. Sisson. In spite of the fact that the use of the forests has been increased ? · Col. GREELEY. Yes, sir; greatly increased. · Mr. Sisson. I am curious to know whether or not this is like the appropriation we make to stop epidemics of disease. Whenever an appropriation is made against certain classes of diseases or epidemics our doctors will always find some of the epidemics during the year. It does not matter much what we provide in epidemic appropriations, it is a very rare occurrence that any of it is left. I was wondering whether under this system you have, the $250,000 will be spent, and whether the fact that you have that appropriation will not cause fires to get out through carelessness.
Col. GREELEY. Do you mean from the fact that we employ people ?
Mr. Sisson. Here is an appropriation that never will be used except in case of fires, and it means employment. Does that have anything to do with fires, as far as you know?
Col. GREELEY. I do not think so, if I understand you correctly Mr. Sisson. I mean to say that there are $250,000 to be provided for use in case of fires, and my question was whether the fires will not occur as long as the appropriations last ?
Col. GREELEY, You mean that people may start fires in order to secure the work?
Mr. Sisson. Yes.
Col. GREELEY. That has happened a few times. We have had some trouble from that source during this past fall on account of the unemployment situation in the timber regions. ANN Mr. Sisson. I was wondering to what extent. Col. GREELEY. It has not been very serious.) MATA Mr. Sisson. You have 3,500 men on your pay roll regularly? Col. GREELEY. Yes, sir; for varying periods of time. 07.12
Mr. Sisson. They are called regular employees, and some of them are employed the year around ?
Col. GREELEY. Yes, sir.
Mr. Sisson. Some of them are employed for six months and some for a greater length of time.
Col. GREELEY. Yes, sir.
Mr. Sisson. Are there any years in which you do not need them at all?
Col. GREELEY. No, sir; we have to keep our skeleton force of rangers and supervisors the entire year. They must have about 1,500 men, and those men are kept busy the entire year. Those men are kept busy the entire year with the administration of timber sales, with construction work in the construction of improvements, and that sort of thing.
Mr. Sisson. You say you have 1,500 for the entire year. How many do you have for the next longest period ?
Col. GREELEY. There are 2,000 additional guards during the summer, and certainly 75 per cent of them are employed for periods of four months or less, and possibly 25 per cent for six months.
Mr. Sisson. Then your next number would be 500, and then for the shortest period of time you would have the remaining 1,500 ?
Col. GREELEY. That is approximately right.
Mr. Sisson. Their terms of service end on certain dates and begin on certain dates?
Col. GREELEY. With the greatest number, the terms of service begin when the fire conditions begin; that is, when the summer dry period begins. If the fires should begin two weeks late next summer, then the men would not go on until the condition of the country demanded it. Then we need those patrolmen on the job.
Mr. SISSON. What I am trying to arrive at is this, that when they do begin, whether it is a week, 10 days, or two or three weeks later, they are kept on for a certain number of months; that is, for the life of the appropriation ?
Col. GREELEY. No, sir; our main period of employment would be determined, so far as the appropriation permitted, by the character of the fires. If we had early and general fall rains, or September rains, as sometimes happen, we could let a lot of those men off.
The CHAIRMAN. If the weather is dry you keep them, or you keep them during the dry period ?
Col. GREELEY. Yes, sir.
I would like to add a word about the portion of this deficiency that we have requested to provide for the work next spring.
The CHAIRMAN. The $25,000 or the $125,000 ?
Col. GREELEY. The $25,000 and the $125,000. The $25,000 represents as nearly as we can strike an average the expenditures that must be expected between the 1st of October, when this estimate was made up, to the 1st of January. The $125,000 represents the
average of our expenditures for the past several years during the months of May and June. Now, there have been years of late spring rains and that sort of thing when the expenditures have been below $125,000.
The CHAIRMAN. How much below?
Col. GREELEY. There have been other years when the expenditure was considerably greater. In the fiscal year 1921, during May and June, the expenditure was $72,000. In 1919 the May and June expenditures were $153,000, and in other recent years we have had variable expenditures between those two limits. One hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars represent the average, and, consequently, represents what we believe should be provided in order to meet the probable situation on a safe basis. Whenever the character of the season has made it unnecessary to expend the full amount, there has been a reversion of the unexpended balance to the Treasury. In 1920, for example, $88,000 reverted to the Treasury, and the year before $20,000 reverted to the Treasury.
Mr. Sisson. What item are you now talking about?
The CHAIRMAN. He is talking about this item, and what he anticipates will be necessary for use between April and July.
Col. GREELEY. It is a part of the $341,000. I want to make it perfectly clear to the committee that of that $341,000, the actual deficiency to date is $191,000, and the rest is necessary to carry us through the remainder of this fiscal year, using the law of averages Although forest fires sometimes depart from the law of averages.
Mr. KELLEY. If you subtract $125,000 from $341,000 it leaves $216,000.
The CHAIRMAN. There are two items—$25,000 from October 1 to January 1, and $125,000 from January 1 to July 1. That would be $150,000, and there are $191,000.
Col. GREELEY. Yes, sir.
PREVENTION OF LOSS OF TIMBER FROM INSECT INFESTATION ON
PUBLIC LANDS IN OREGON AND CALIFORNIA.
The CHAIRMAN. For the prevention of loss of timber from insect infestation on public lands in Oregon and California, you are asking $150,000. First tell us whether, in your judgment, you have any authority of law to justify this appropriation.
Col. GREELEY. The solicitor of the department advises us that we have, and I can give you several citations on that if you wish.
The CHAIRMAN. You have an opinion from him on that?
Mr. Sisson. Has there been any appropriation for this purpose before?
The CHAIRMAN. It is a new item here.
The CHAIRMAN. I think this is the first time such an appropriation has been asked.
Col. GREELEY. There is no question as to the appropriation being authorized so far as national forest lands are concerned, because we could to-day do this work from the appropriation made for the protection of national forests, if the money were available. Work of this character has been done a good many times in the past--that is, the eradication of timber-destroying insects-from appropriations for the
Forest Service. The solicitor advises us that equal authority exists as to the other public lands involved.
The CHAIRMAN. I think myself that is so. Section 5126 provides: The Secretary of the Interior shall make provisions for the protection against destruction by fire and depredations upon the public forests and forest reservations which may have been set aside or which may be hereafter set aside under said act of March 3, 1891, and which may be continued; and he may make such rules and regulations and estallish such service as will insure the objects of such reservations, namely, to regulate their occupancy and use and to preserve the forests therein from destruction.
I think that covers the authority.
Col. GREELEY. This map, perhaps, will make the situation clear to the members of the committee. "There are 1,250,000 acres largely in southern Oregon and running over into northern California, which are very heavily timbered with western yellow pine, through which this infestation by the destroying beetles has been scattered. As yet it is not a serious infestation. The occurrence of the beetles is widely distributed. In some cases we meet with only two or three trees that are infested on a single section, or a square mile, and in other cases we find as much as 30 per cent of the timber infested in considerable spots.
The CHAIRMAN. What do these colors indicate? Col. GREELEY. This [indicating) is one uniform belt of forest. The yellow lands are on the Klamath Indian Reservation; the brown lands are in private ownership; the green lands are national forest areas, and the red lands are chiefly unreserved public lands. The black part represents lands that are part of the former grant of the California-Oregon Railroad, which was canceled by public action, those lands now being under the administration of the Secretary of the Interior.
The CHAIRMAN. The Government lands are not as extensive as the privately owned lands.
Col. GREELEY. Taking everything that we class as Government lands, the division is approximately half and half. The situation is one in which all of the land owners must cooperate if any of us are to be successful in combatting these insects. The insects are so widely distributed and the topography of the country is such that there are no natural barriers to stop them, so that if any particular owner should clean up his land it would within a year or so be infested from swarms of beetles from surrounding areas. If we should clean up a section of national forest, it might be immediately reinfested from the public lands over here [indicating] or from private lands over here (indicating). In other words, we are all caught in the same boat, and if we are going to meet the situation, we must pull together. The State of Oregon has met the situation from the standpoint of the State by enacting a law which makes it compulsory upon the private owners of timber lands in that State to clean up their holdings of destructive insects. They put it upon a basis that makes it obligatory upon the private owner to clean up his own property.
The private owners in Oregon and California have prepared to go ahead with this work if they can secure joint action by the Government on lands which the Government owns. The Government will