GSA Logo Franklin D. Roosevelt and Conservation
Volume Two
VOLUME TWO: 1937-1945

Part IV
The Third Term

1030 PRESS CONFERENCE, Executive Offices of the White House, February 4, 1941, 4:20 P. M.

[Excerpt] Q: Any change in Bonneville Power status? I understand when that agency was set up it was independent; then it was put under the Secretary of the Interior; and I heard on the Pacific Coast the other day that the War Department would take it over. Is there any truth in that?

The President: No, certainly not in that. I will tell you what may have given rise to it. It had nothing to do with the War Department—merely development of the whole idea. That started six or seven years ago. If the TVA worked out as a watershed development for the benefit of the people who lived in the watershed—mind you, this has nothing to do with any one specific thing, because it covers so many things; it is not just power or navigation or irrigation or flood control or planting trees or building check dams, but it relates to the general welfare of the people who live in that district, with all those component things that go with human life; and the general feeling back there was that if it worked we might extend the idea of the economic and social development of an entire watershed in other places. And at that time—it's awfully old stuff, but it has come to a head again, and we talked it over; and I think if you will go back in the old Press Conference Reports you will find that somewhere back there I suggested that if it worked in one place, we could try to work it out in other watersheds.1

We didn't want to undertake too large an area, and at that time we rather thought that the Arkansas Watershed was a proper and logical one to try, because the Arkansas River runs all the way from the Mississippi clear back to the middle of the State of Colorado, up through past Pueblo, where they had those bad floods, and away on back through the Royal Gorge; and from Colorado it runs down through the Arkansas area at the eastern slope of the Rockies and flows out to the dust bowl area of eastern Colorado and over into Kansas; and from Kansas over into Oklahoma, and then on down to lower Arkansas, in the south end of the State of Arkansas; so that you have all kinds of problems, not just one but eight or ten entirely separate problems in that one watershed, where they grow all kinds of produce from cotton to cattle.

Away back—I guess it was '34—we talked about the Arkansas Valley as being a proper one to take up this general idea in, and then because we went ahead on certain public works out in the Northwest they got the idea we would extend the plan to the Northwest. We talked about a Columbia River Watershed plan because it was relatively a small area. That would include the watershed that runs into Puget Sound.

Both of those projects are being discussed on the Hill at the present time—the idea of setting up some sort of authority to cover each of those places, but certainly not to put any one thing under the War Department, because that would be just power. This goes much further than power.


1Cf. ante, 587.


[WASHINGTON] Feb. 7, 1941

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT: The Bureau of the Budget soon will be obliged to review various bills to create regional development authorities. Major legislative proposals of this character are the following:

1. The Columbia River Power Administration bill has been reintroduced by Representatives Hill and Smith, but it is being revised by the Interior Department in the light of comments from other Federal agencies.1

2. The Arkansas Valley Authority bill has been introduced by Representative Ellis and Senator Miller.

3. Central Valley of California Authority bills are reported to be under preparation both by Mr. Lilienthal and by the Interior Department working separately.

The Federal Power Commission, Department of Agriculture, Treasury Department, and other interested Federal agencies, are being or will be called upon for reports to Congress on these bills.

Basic changes in government organization, and in Federal fiscal and planning policy, are involved in the proposed bills. Whatever action may be taken with respect to these three drainage areas is likely to become a pattern for similar proposals in other drainage areas.

I assume that you would like to develop a unified administration policy toward these proposals without committing yourself at this time as to the details of regional authority duties and organization. If this is correct, would you consider it in order for the Bureau of the Budget and the National Resources Planning Board to take the lead in bringing together the views of the agencies named above, in analyzing the various proposals, and in referring to you the major issues of policy? The agencies would not, of course, be advised as to the relationship of their proposals to your program until after you had reviewed a report on the issues involved.


[13:OF 402:CT]

1Although consideration of power resources as such is outside the scope of these volumes, this and certain similar letters have been included because they show Roosevelt's ideas on the regional concept of resource conservation.


WASHINGTON, February 11, 1941

MEMORANDUM FOR THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUDGET: Yes.1 I wish Budget and National Resources would reconcile these various regional authorities.

I sent the Columbia River bill to Fred Delano today.


[13:OF 402:CT]

1This is in reply to the preceding letter.


[WASHINGTON] February 20, 1941

MY DEAR MR. DIMOND: I have received your letter of February 6, informing me that a proposal to add Admiralty Island, Alaska, to the Glacier Bay National Monument may soon be presented for my consideration.1

Interest in Admiralty Island has broadened during recent years because early attention was directed primarily to the potential commercial importance of its timber, and it became necessary to identify the other resources of the island with equal clarity in order to insure their appropriate conservation together with that of the timber. With its extraordinary concentration of bear species, and its other scientific and scenic interests, Admiralty Island is considered a particularly significant area both scientifically and recreationally.

As Alaska's development gains momentum, and as sound forestry practices are more widely accepted throughout our country, it is possible that the other values of Admiralty Island may exceed its timber value. I state that not as a prediction but as a possibility. In view of such a possibility, I believe that we should approach Alaska's problems with an open mind, attempting to do only that which will be best for Alaska's development.

I appreciate having the information contained in your letter.2

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 928:CT]

1Dimond objected to this proposal for a variety of reasons: Admiralty Island was sixty miles distant from the nearest boundary of Glacier Bay National Monument, the Indians of the island would be unable to pursue their traditional occupations of hunting and fishing, prospecting and hunting would be barred, and timber would not be available for the future Alaskan pulpwood industry (OF 928).

2Drafted by the Interior Department.


WASHINGTON, February 21, 1941

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: I have read with interest Director Gabrielson's memorandum to you of February seventh.1 I wholly approve the thought that ?Wildlife should be conserved during the present period of stress, but I do not think any separate organization need be set up at this time toward this end.

I think that for the present the Fish & Wildlife Service should detail a representative to act as liaison officer with the War Department, the Navy Department and the Office for Production Management. It should be the duty of this representative to keep informed from day to day as to any plans for or operation of camps or other military or naval services, together with the operation of any plants, factories, etc., which would seem to be damaging to fish or wildlife.

In case such conditions are found by this liaison officer, the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service should report to you as Secretary of the Interior and you should take it up with the offending agency.


[13:OF 6—CC:CT]

1Gabrielson referred to the services in World War I of biologists of the Bureau of Biological Survey in controlling rodents in service camps and elsewhere (OF 6—CC). He suggested that the Fish and Wildlife Service be placed in a position "to recommend courses of action in the use of lands on which wildlife is important," and thus guard against damage to wildlife.


WASHINGTON, April 4, 1941

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Mr. Ward Shepard may have sent you a copy of this memorandum, but on the chance that he has not done so, I am sending you the enclosed.

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 149:TS]


WASHINGTON, Mar. 27, 1941

(Through Commissioner Collier)

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY: The Congressional Joint Committee on Forestry has just sent its final report to the printer.1 Unfortunately no copies are obtainable. This report, though containing some good recommendations, is as a whole a weak compromise between sharply conflicting views within the Committee. It is so far short of what ought to be expected of this Administration that I bring the matter to your attention in the hope that you may, if you think proper, inform the President.

I mention only two main points, as all the other recommendations, except a forest leasing plan, are of subordinate importance.

1. The Committee fails to make an effective proposal on the all-important subject of public regulation of private forests. It recommends that the States adopt minimum regulations, and that if they fail to do so within five years, the Secretary of Agriculture may withdraw funds for fire protection and other forestry cooperation. As that Department has spent years in trying to spur the States to cooperate with it, that threat is pretty innocuous. This proposal closely fits the strategy of the lumbermen in opposing effective Federal intervention against forest devastation, for they can hamstring effective State legislation. Moreover, "minimum" regulations mean seed-tree logging instead of selective cutting; and as I emphasized to you and to the President last spring, selective cutting is the only possible economic basis for private forestry.

2. The Committee's recommendation on public forest purchase is woefully weak. It merely recommends some increase in present appropriations, which means that forest purchase, proceeding at a snail's pace, can make little contribution to saving our remaining forest capital.

Following my exposition last spring to you, the President, Senator Bankhead, and Secretary Wallace, of the confusion and weakness of the Forest Service recommendations to the Joint Committee, the Department of Agriculture emerged from its lethargy and drafted two important bills, which embrace the most important basic principles I urged:

(1) Federal cooperation with States in drafting and enforcing forest regulatory laws, with the alternative of direct Federal regulation if the States fail to cooperate or prefer Federal regulation.

(2) Selective cutting instead of seed-tree logging as the basis of regulation.

(3) A large public forest purchase program of well-stocked instead of devastated forests, through credit instead of annual appropriations, with a sinking fund from National Forest receipts.

These bills (H. R. 3850 and H. R. 3793, copies enclosed) should, in the public interest, supplant the Committee's recommendations on regulation and acquisition.2 It is unfortunate the Committee did not consult the responsible Department heads before it submitted its report. But there is a far more important reason justifying renewed Executive leadership. The President has asked Congress to authorize the National Resources Board to formulate a post-war program of public works employment, with emphasis on natural resources. Adequate forest regulatory, leasing, and acquisition legislation, if adopted now, would give time to create a great framework for a rural works program that could absorb hundreds of thousands of men in constructive, publicly profitable work. We ought to take advantage of the gigantic creative energy that will be released by the defense effort to formulate an over-all program of natural resource reconstruction worthy of our national powers.


P.S. Since writing the above, I have obtained the enclosed excerpt of Recommendations from the Committee's report.3

[13:OF 149:TS]

1Forest Lands of the United States. Report of the Joint Committee on Forestry . . . to Study and Make Investigation of the Present and Prospective Situation with Respect to the Forest Land of the United States . . . 77th Cong., 1st sess., S. Doc. 32 (Washington, 1941); hereinafter cited as Forest Lands of the United States.

2H. R. 3793 was introduced by Hook (Mich.) on March 4, 1941, H. R. 3850 by Pierce (Ore.) on March 6, 1941. Neither was reported (Cong. Rec., 77th Cong., 1st sess., 87:2, 1784, 1945). See Ickes to Roosevelt, March 2, 1942, post, 1078.

3Not present. The joint committee report was sent by Roosevelt to Wickard with a note of April 7, 1941 (OF 149), "Please check on this report and let me have your views."


WASHINGTON, April 5, 1941

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: In April 1937 Mr. Fechner informed Interior and Agriculture that you felt too much CCC effort had gone into recreational developments—with special reference to State Parks—and that more reforestation, erosion control and reclamation work should be done.

At that time there were 2,000 camps—20-3/4% being on park areas, 46-1/2% on forestry, 23-1/2% on erosion control and farm drainage and 4% on reclamation and grazing work. As camps are allocated today 19% are on national, state, county and municipal park areas, 40% on forestry, 26% on erosion control and farm drainage and 10% on reclamation and grazing work.

The CCC program now faces reduction from 1,500 to 1,365 camps on July 1 to meet indicated Budget requirements. In addition we are transferring camps to military defense and Case-Wheeler work. This calls for shutting down between 120 and 160 of Agriculture's forestry and erosion control camps (before their work is completed in many instances) and leaves fewer camps thereafter for types of work on which in 1937 you felt greater emphasis should be placed.

Naturally, I do not wish to open this question direct with the Federal Security Agency, the Department of the Interior, or any other agency. This would only be embarrassing to me and would accomplish nothing. So, because of the situation now existing, I am merely calling the matter to your attention for such action as you think appropriate.1



[13:OF 268:TS]

1Answered post, 1041.


MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT: I am in receipt of a letter from Chairman Fulmer of the House Committee on Agriculture under date of March 28, 1941, requesting early and favorable clearance of a report by Agriculture on his bill, H. R. 969: "To authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to enter into cooperative agreements or leases with farmers and the owners of forest lands in order to provide for their management in accordance with proper forestry practices, and for other purposes."

Chairman Fulmer enclosed with his letter a copy of a letter written by you on December 12, 1938 to Mr. Monson Morris at Aiken, South Carolina . . .1

The Joint Committee on Forestry, appointed pursuant to your special message to Congress of March 14, 1938, and of which Representative Fulmer was Vice Chairman, submitted its report on March 24, 1941,2 and there is included in its recommendations a proposal for legislation to provide for leases and cooperative agreements with private forest land owners, communities, institutions and States. The Committee sets forth the following principles on which to base such a program:

(a) Entering into a lease or a cooperative agreement on a voluntary basis.

(b) Retention of title by the owner. Owners would pay the taxes, but in case of lease would receive a nominal annual rental not to exceed the average annual tax for the 5 years preceding the lease. In the ease of cooperative agreement, the owner would have the privilege of handling the rehabilitation work himself with Federal financial cooperation.

(c) The Federal Government should be reimbursed for its costs from the use of the land and sale of its products on a 50-50 basis for properties of less than 500 acres, and on a 100 percent basis above 500 acres.

(d) The administration should be done under the States in cooperation with and the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture.

(e) The President should be authorized to allocate to the Secretary of Agriculture such sums from relief, public works, or similar appropriations as may be needed, in addition to regular appropriations to effectuate the plan.

In the 76th Congress, Mr. Fulmer introduced H. R. 7271 and Senators Walsh, Byrnes, Brown and La Follette S. 2927, which were substantially the same as Mr. Fulmer's H. R. 969, now under consideration. On the basis of the earlier bills the proposals were thoroughly studied by this office, and I advised the Secretary of Agriculture under date of December 29, 1939 that "the enactment of this legislation would not be in accord with the program of the President."3

The Secretary's proposed report on H. R. 969 was received here March 27, 1941 and, upon determination that the new bill presents no new major features, I again advised the Secretary, on April 1, that its enactment would not be in accord with your program.

While at that time this office had no knowledge of your aforementioned letter to Mr. Monson Morris, and although Mr. Fulmer may hold our advice on H. R. 969 as inconsistent therewith, I am still of the opinion that you would not wish to approve this legislation.

H. R. 969 retains the mixture of woodlot management and commercial forestry to which you objected in your letter to Mr. Morris. It embraces all forest land except that in Federal ownership, including 24,000,000 acres of State, county, municipal and institutional forest and 341,000,000 acres of private land.

Of the 341,000,000 acres of private forests and woodlots, some 203,000,000 acres are commercial forest in approximately 1,000,000 ownerships. Of these 1,000,000 ownerships 1,700 are of 5,000 acres or more, aggregating 68,000,000 acres, and including 316 of 50,000 acres or more, 140 of 100,000 acres or more, and 51 of 200,000 acres or more. This leaves some 998,300 commercial ownerships aggregating 135,000,000 acres, or an average of 136 acres each.

Woodlots are found on some 3,000,000 farms and aggregate 138,000,000 acres, the average farm woodlot thus comprising 46 acres.

The bill makes all of these ownerships eligible for participation in the program, subject to the organization of effective and economical administrative units. The Federal Government would pay the property taxes and the expenses of management, and would be entitled to recover, from uses of the land and sale of products, all of its tax outlay, 50% of its operating expenses on the first 500 acres of each cooperating ownership, and 100% of such expenses on any area above 500 acres of any ownership.

There is no satisfactory basis for predicting the ultimate extent of participation in such a program. Probably most of the non-Federal public forests and the larger commercial forests, except where intermingled with national forests, would remain under present systems of management. Among the 3,000,000 farm woodlot owners and the nearly 1,000,000 small commercial forest land owners there are doubtless some who would not voluntarily entrust the management of their property to the Government, and many more whose properties could not be grouped with others in practical administrative units. To the majority of such owners, however, the program should be highly attractive, and administrative measures for extension of the plan so as to include them could be devised.

On the basis of an average annual tax rate of 20 cents per acre, and annual expense of management of 15 cents per acre (Forest Service estimates), and assuming recovery of the tax outlay and 50% of the management expense (there would be few participating ownerships above 500 acres), the net Government subsidy would be 7-1/2 cents per acre. From another angle, each acre leased would require an annual Federal appropriation of 35 cents, with a possible recovery of 27-1/2 cents. Maximum participation might reach 200,000,000 acres, requiring annual appropriation of $70,000,000, with possible recovery of $55,000,000, and minimum subsidy of $15,000,000.

The Department of Agriculture feels that the measure should be comprehensively amended before enactment, and will shortly submit through this office a draft of amendments providing, among other things:

1. Simplification of administrative set-up.

2. Full recovery of Government costs from use of lands and sales of products on participating ownerships of more than 200 acres.

3. A straight leasing plan, giving the Government all rights of possession, with cooperative agreements eliminated.

With your approval, I propose to advise Chairman Fulmer that H. R. 969 was held as not in accord with your program because of—

1. The apparent need for revision to eliminate the mixture of woodlot management and commercial forestry.

2. Your desire to avoid further important additions to the regular budget while the necessity for extraordinary national defense expenditures continues.

In the judgment of this office, the soundness of this forest-land-leasing plan is not sufficiently clear to warrant its early adoption as a major action program, even if confined strictly to farm woodlots.

The estimates of necessary Government outlay are believed to be too low; those of the amounts likely to be recovered, extremely high.

If participation in the plan is confined to ownerships where revenues from sale of products may reasonably be expected to meet Government repayment requirements within any reasonable period, the social value of the plan will be very small.

If the plan is generally applied to reach even a majority of the farm woodlots, the Government subsidy will be much larger than has been indicated.

In practical effect the plan means adding to the national forest system the acres leased. Such additions might ultimately total 200,000,000 acres.

Private initiative and responsibility for management of the woodlot portions of our farms would disappear.

The prospects for profitable employment in woods work are overemphasized in view of present and probable future market limitations.

The plan is but one feature of a very comprehensive forestry program recommended by the Joint Committee on Forestry, the adoption of which will require heavy additional Federal appropriations. This plan is of relatively low priority in the general program. Fully effective fire control should be the first objective.

Present major agricultural action programs already bring numerous units of the Department in frequent, direct contact with farmers. Excessive organization is a frequent complaint. The Soil Conservation Service and Extension Service have both legislative authority and funds for service to farmers in woodlot management. AAA pays benefits for proper woodlot management practices. The Farm Security Administration serves its clients with all-round farm management planning. It is suggested that the Forest Service should not get into farm management.

I would recommend that if any leasing plan is to be made operative, it should first have a five-year test period on an experimental scale.


[13:OF 149:TS]

1The Director of the Budget here quoted this letter in full. It is printed ante, 837.

2Forest Lands of the United States (Washington, 1941).

3None of these bills was reported from committee.


[WASHINGTON] April 11, 1941

MEMORANDUM FOR THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUDGET: Here is "the law and the profits" in regard to privately owned timber:

1. Everybody should draw a line between the man and the corporation which owns land and uses it primarily for farming, and the man or corporation which owns land and uses it primarily for growing or raising or cutting trees. It is essential to accentuate the word "use." In effect, and as a matter of Government assistance, this can be attained by acreage limitation. For example, not one-tenth of one per cent of the farmers of the nation own more than one hundred acres of forest land—and most of them own, I suppose, an average of twenty or twenty-five acres.

2. The reason that what is known as woodlot forestry has never worked is that the farmer does not know how to dispose of his timber. Nobody has ever told him how. That is the duty of the federal and state governments—even to some method of agreeing to take his timber at the current market price. This would involve taking the lumber in the log because the woodlot forestry farmer, who has a small acreage, cannot afford and has no facilities for cutting his logs into boards or square lumber, nor does he know how to dispose of his smaller stuff.

3. Another wholly different class is the commercial, private lumber company or the company which buys stumpage on fairly large tracts and lumbers this stumpage.

4. Those individuals or companies are not farmers. They are lumbermen. They should not get any Government subsidy because they are primarily in the lumber business. They should receive all kinds of advice on fire-prevention, re-seeding, re-planting, etc., and they might be given a drawback or benefit up to a small amount if they can conform to our reforestation methods as laid down by the Government.

In regard to H. R. 969, there is no such thing as a mixture of woodlot management and commercial forestry.

If you want further instruction on growing trees and selling them, come and talk with me!


[13:OF 149:CT]


[WASHINGTON] April 16, 1941

MY DEAR MR. SECRETARY: I doubt the proper availability of present appropriations for a study of the migratory course of seals from and to the Pribilof Islands, and their food habits while en route, referred to in your letter of March 7, 1941.1

In view of the need of the State Department for such data, this study seems advisable. Probably an early supplemental appropriation would provide funds sufficiently soon to effectively carry on the work for the first year. I am of the opinion, however, that a boat of the tuna clipper type could be purchased at a cost of not more than $200,000.

Sincerely yours,


[Notation: AS] HDS2

[13:OF 6—CC:CT]

1To protect the fur-seal resources of the United States, Ickes recommended an allotment of $394,055 for the study in question, this sum to be made available from current appropriations (OF 6—CC). Ickes estimated the cost of a suitable vessel at $300,000. Roosevelt asked Budget Director Smith to prepare a reply (March 10, 1941, OF 6—CC), and added: "This seems advisable in view of the need of the State Department for the information. You might ask Navy and Maritime Commission whether a tuna boat cannot be bought for a good deal less than $300,000."

2Budget Director Harold D. Smith, in whose agency this letter was drafted.


[WASHINGTON, May 2, 1941]

MY DEAR MR. SECRETARY: I have your letter of April 5th calling my attention to the apportionment of camps for the various types of work carried on by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Reduction in the number of camps as provided in the 1942 budget, the assignment of camps for work on military reservations and the further development of training of enrollees as provided in Section 38 of the 1941 Emergency Relief Appropriations Act will necessarily reduce the amount of work that may be devoted to conservation projects.

As reductions are made in the number of camps available for conservation work, I agree that selection should be made in favor of the most effective type of projects, with respect to both training of enrollees and value of conservation work done. I am sure that the Federal Security Administrator and the Director of the Civilian Conservation Corps will give full consideration to these factors in any apportionment of camps between the cooperating agencies.

Sincerely yours,


[Notation: A] 5/2/41
[Notation: AS] HDS1

[13:OF 268:CT]

1Budget Director Harold D. Smith, in whose agency this letter was drafted. Smith, in his letter to Roosevelt enclosing the draft, April 30, 1942 (OF 268), said that the Agriculture Department "should realize that during this emergency period they cannot expect to continue conservation and other programs on the scale which has been in effect during the past few years."


WASHINGTON, May 5, 1941

MY DEAR MR. SECRETARY: Recalling the discussion at the recent cabinet meeting, I believe it wise to record for reference the decision made with respect to the interests of the Corps of Engineers and of the Bureau of Reclamation in proposed developments on the Kings River and on the Kern River in California.

The Kings River and the Kern River projects are dominantly irrigation projects and as such they should be built at the appropriate time by the Department of the Interior through its Bureau of Reclamation rather than by the War Department through the Corps of Engineers. My letter to the Secretary of the Interior of May 29, 1940, which is published in Part 2 of House Document 631, 76th Congress, 3d Session, clearly stated my decision on the policy which should be applied to the Kings River project.1 This decision is applicable to the Kern River project as well. I do not consider it wise to authorize these projects, or any project dominantly for irrigation, for construction by the Corps of Engineers.

I am writing to Chairman Whittington of the Flood Control Committee of the House of Representatives to inform him on this matter.2 By thus clearing doubts which may have persisted with respect to the scope of the fields of operation of the two outstanding construction agencies of the Government it is my hope that unnecessary duplication of work will be avoided and that potential sources of friction will be eliminated.

Copies of this letter are being sent to the Secretary of the Interior, to the Director of the Bureau of the Budget, and to the Chairman of the National Resources Planning Board for their information.1

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 402:CT]

1Ante, 1002.

2Printed below.

3(Drafted by the Interior Department.) Stimson replied May 15, 1941 (OF 402), that all War Department activities in the field of civil works were "initiated and conducted in strict accordance with specific Congressional directives." He said that he had submitted reports to Congress on the Kings and Kern River projects in compliance with section 6 of the 1936 Flood Control Act and would take no further action in the matter.


WASHINGTON, May 5, 1941

MY DEAR MR. WHITTINGTON: On May 29, 1940, I wrote to the Secretary of the Interior with respect to the Kings River project in California. That letter is included in Part 2, House Document No. 631, 76th Congress, 3d Session.1 Since your committee is again considering the Kings River development and also is considering a similar development on the Kern River in California, I want to call to your attention a part of that letter as follows:

It appears from an examination of the reports [by the Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation]2 that they are in agreement, except as to questions of policy as follows:

1. Should the development of power be initiated as a part of the irrigation improvement, or should provision be made for future development under license by the Federal Power Commission?

2. Should the project be constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation or the Corps of Engineers?

3. Should the irrigation beneficiaries repay their share of the cost in a lump sum or by 40 annual payments?

4. Should the Federal Government or local interests operate the completed project? If operated by the Federal Government, by what agency?

With respect to these matters, it seems to me that the project is dominantly an irrigation undertaking and is suited to operation and maintenance under the reclamation law. It follows, therefore, that it should be constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation, and that the portion of the project cost to be charged to irrigation should be financed on the basis of the prevailing Federal policy of 40 annual payments by irrigation beneficiaries. The project should be maintained and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation, but operation for flood control should be in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of War.

That was written with respect to the Kings River project in 1940. Good administration continues to demand that projects which are dominantly for irrigation should be constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation, Department of the Interior, and not by the Corps of Engineers, War Department. The Kings River project is authorized for construction by the Bureau of Reclamation at this time. The proposed project on the Kern River, which also has been under consideration by your committee, is dominantly an irrigation project. If found wholly feasible from economic and engineering points of view by the studies that are now in progress, the Kern River project may be authorized for construction by the Bureau of Reclamation. Neither of these projects, therefore, should be authorized for construction by the Corps of Engineers. To do so would only lead to needless confusion.

A good rule for the Congress to apply in considering these water projects, in my opinion, would be that the dominant interest should determine which agency should build and which should operate the project. Projects in which flood control or navigation clearly dominates are those in which the interest of the Corps of Engineers is superior and projects in which irrigation and related conservation uses dominate fall into the legitimate field of the Bureau of Reclamation.1

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 402:CT]

1Kings River Project in California; Letter from the Secretary of the Interior Transmitting Pursuant to Law, a Report of the Bureau of Reclamation, Department of the Interior, Dated January 23, 1940, on an Investigation of the Kings River Project in California (Washington, 1940).

2Brackets in original.

3Drafted by the Interior Department.


WASHINGTON, May 6, 1941

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: I wholly approve the plans of Dr. Gabrielson for the Okefenokee Swamp.1 It is, in my judgment, especially important that in this rehabilitation of the Swamp no species of fauna or flora that is not indigenous to the swamp be allowed there. You will remember that I had a bit of a controversy over this seven or eight years ago.

In regard to the timing of this, I think the expenditure should wait until the international situation clears up. In the meantime, every effort should be made to prevent fires, but new work should be delayed.


[13:OF 6—CC:CT]

1Gabrielson, director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, had recommended measures to ensure fire protection, reforestation, restoration of wildlife plant food and cover, stabilization of the water level of the swamp, and maintenance of the major part of the swamp as a wildlife sanctuary (Gabrielson to Ickes, April 29, 1941, enclosed in Ickes to Roosevelt, May 3, 1941, OF I—F).


WASHINGTON, May 12, 1941

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: This is in answer to your request of April 71 for my opinion of the report of the Joint Congressional Committee on forestry.2

I am in general agreement as to some of the defects of the report as outlined in the memorandum transmitted by Secretary Ickes.3 And it seems to me, for the reasons given as well as for those which follow, that the situation is one which can be satisfactorily salvaged only through your personal leadership.

I believe that an appraisal of the report and recommendations can best be made by indicating the extent to which they measure up to desirable objectives.

The ultimate objective of any really satisfactory Federal forest program should be the establishment and maintenance of a nation-wide forest economy in the broadest and most inclusive sense.

That the Committee recognizes this is indicated by the following quotation from its letter of transmittal to Congress: "The time is ripe for the establishment of a real forest economy in this country which, as an important segment of the broad agricultural economy, will put to constructive use one-third of our total land area.

Many of our most critical rural problem areas—most of our worst rural slums—are in depleted forest regions, and the process of creating others is still going on. The establishment of a sound, enduring forest economy can help to solve existing social problems and prevent others.

The Committee recognizes the condition, the cause, and also, somewhat weakly, the solution.

From the ownership standpoint, the major problem in American forestry today centers in privately owned lands. Private ownership has in the main failed to recognize and to redeem its social responsibilities and its natural resource responsibilities.

The Committee clearly recognizes the problem of private ownership. but does not as clearly recognize the failure of private ownership.

Only two forms of attack on the private forest land problem afford positive assurance that the public interest in these forests will be safeguarded.

The first of these forms is public regulation of forest practices. This is the most difficult job that has ever been faced in American forestry, and will require for successful consummation the full backing and, I believe, the full strength and authority of the Federal government.

While the Committee, for the first time in the history of Congress, recognizes—and unanimously—the necessity to apply the principle of public regulation to forests, the plan proposed has serious structural weaknesses which in my judgment will jeopardize its success, and which are as likely to set the forestry movement back as to insure its progress.

For example: The plan turns the job of regulation over to the States, with Federal financial cooperation and approval of standards. The chief Federal penalty for failure of the States to act is the mandatory withdrawal of funds for regulation and for fire protection. Thus, in effect, the State must agree to put public regulation into effect in order to receive Federal funds for fire protection. In some States strong industrial interests control the State machinery, and these are ordinarily hostile to regulation of forest practices. Control by industrialists is most likely to be exercised adversely in heavily forested States where the need for regulation is greatest, and in such States the result in the end might well be neither fire protection nor regulation.

Congressman Pierce's bill H. R. 3850 follows closely in its provisions the plan for public regulation recommended to the Committee by the Department.4 The general principle which it follows is to afford the States a chance to try regulation with Federal financial and other cooperation, but to have the Federal Government take over the job if the States fail. My judgment is that this bill represents the minimum of Federal participation which will insure successful regulation. Congressman Pierce has also introduced another probably more desirable but less easily attainable bill, H. R. 3849, which provides for straight Federal regulation.

If public regulation is to succeed, it is essential also that various forms of public stimulation and aid and cooperation such as protection, extension education, credits, aid to small owner cooperatives, public leasing for development, research, etc., he coupled with it.

The Committee has recognized the need for public cooperation in a fairly comprehensive way, although there is considerable room for improvement as to details.

The second form of attack is public ownership. This, as stated in our recommendations to the Committee, requires large-scale public acquisition, and the high-grade administration of the forest lands acquired as well as those already in public ownership. For financial, among other reasons, a large share of this job will have to be assumed by the Federal Government.

The Committee's recommendations on Federal acquisition are weak, more or less conflicting, and altogether inadequate.

In short, the Committee's report is weakest on the two most important forms of attack on the major forest problem of private ownership and the social maladjustments that have resulted from forest-land abuse; and most satisfactory on other important but less essential forms of action.

In these and in a number of other respects, which I will not attempt to cover here, the report and recommendations of the Committee fall short of the recommendations the Department made to the Committee a year ago, and also fall short of what is necessary to attain the "forest economy" objective set by the Committee itself.

This analysis hits only the high spots. Since the report of the Committee became available we have been studying it intensively to form an opinion as to the extent to which the Administration can and should go beyond it to safeguard the public interest.

In the immediate future I hope to give you more specific recommendations, and will also give you a more complete analysis if you desire it. My recommendations will use the recommendations of the Committee as a starting point and will represent my own judgment of the position which the Administration should take. Unless we are satisfied to temporize, I believe that we must go considerably beyond the Committee recommendations. I am convinced that the Administration has an opportunity here—and the obligation also—for outstanding leadership. One aspect of the situation gives me real concern. I want to see a really comprehensive forest program on the statute books; we can not afford to pass up this opportunity.

I sincerely hope, therefore, that it will be possible for you to endorse the legislation necessary to carry out the plan that I shall propose to you, so that the stage will be set for meeting post-war requirements and even war requirements as they arise. In the latter field I may want to recommend some emergency legislation. The drafting of the legislation is now nearly complete.

The fact that the Committee has submitted its report obviously raises questions of strategy in advocating something more comprehensive. Something can be gained by liberal interpretations of Committee recommendations. Furthermore, despite various weaknesses in its recommendations, the Committee has not recommended against anything. I think that some of the more liberal members of the Committee will welcome the opportunity to go farther than the compromises necessarily reached in submitting a unanimous report. A complicating factor is an informal request from Senator Bankhead, the Chairman of the Joint Committee, for help in drafting a bill that will hew closely to the line in carrying out the recommendations of the Committee. In complying with the request, which we must do promptly, the difficulty will be to avoid the impression that the draft has Departmental and Administration support, and thus to advance a partly satisfactory measure when we really want something more far-reaching.5

You of course appreciate better than anyone else that full Administration endorsement and backing offers the only hope of obtaining Congressional action on any broad program, and particularly a program that contains controversial provisions such as public regulation. Such endorsement should, I believe, be with the understanding that the program, if enacted into law, will be financed if and as funds become available.

Respectfully yours,


[13:OF 149:TS]

1OF 149.

2Forest Lands of the United States (Washington, 1941).

3Ante, 1036.

4This bill, and the one mentioned below, both entitled, "To Provide for the Conservation and Proper Use of Private Forest Lands . . .," were introduced by Rep. Walter M. Pierce (Ore.) on March 6, 1941, and were both referred to the Committee on Agriculture. Neither was reported from committee (Cong. Rec., 77th Cong., 1st sess., 87:2, 1945).

5Bankhead introduced S. 2043, "A bill to effectuate the recommendation of the Joint Congressional Committee on Forestry ...," on Nov. 13, 1941. It was not reported from committee (Cong. Rec., 77th Cong., 1st sess., 87:8, 8812).


[WASHINGTON] May 14, 1941

MEMORANDUM FOR SECRETARY WICKARD: Thanks for yours of May 12th in regard to the forestry report. I agree with you and Ickes that the recommendations are on the whole pitifully weak.

Furthermore, I cannot go along with any proposal which calls for any form of financial matching with any State Government. The poorer States which need the most done in them will give the least matching support.

Just thirty years ago I undertook in the State of New York to encourage owners of farm wood lots to improve their wood lots under State direction, and to receive in return a form of tax rebate during the growing period of new timber. It was all very attractive and was hailed as the greatest step ever taken in this country. In the course of the next ten years I think that seven or possibly eight farmers in the State took advantage of it.1

The Forestry people in the Federal Government—Agriculture and Interior—and in the State Governments, have never been willing to differentiate between wooded land used primarily for lumber and lumber profits as the major crop, and wooded land which is a purely secondary consideration to the owner, who uses the rest of his land for strictly agricultural purposes.

I am inclined to think that there must be a wholly new approach to the general problem—an approach wholly Federal in its scope, just as much as Farm Security and Soil Conservation are already on a Federal status.

My suggestion is that the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior each appoint one representative from the outside—not a professional forester—to go into this whole subject and make a report to both of you within two or three months. These two gentlemen can eliminate from their conference any reference to departmental or interdepartmental control in Washington, D. C. That is a different subject.


Copy to Secretary Ickes

[13:OF 149:CT]

1See ante, 17 n. Forty-three parcels of land totaling 1279 acres were brought under the act referred to (and supplementary legislation enacted in 1916) between 1912 and 1919. The original law placed a maximum valuation on forested lands providing the owners adopted certain conservation practices; local assessors, however, defeated the purpose of the act by increasing valuations on the non-forested part of an owner's holdings (New York State Conservation Commission, Annual Report, 1919, Albany, 1920, pp. 164-166). Further legislation along this line was enacted in 1926; see the Reports of the Conservation Commission for this year et seq.


WASHINGTON, May 29, 1941

MY DEAR HOMER: Since our last conversation about the Columbia River power bill, I have considered the matter at greater length. I think that it is imperative that Congress establish at this session a permanent administration for the federally owned developments on the Columbia River. I am willing to send up a bill for this purpose as an administration measure but I believe that it would be preferable if you and Senator McNary would introduce and assume the task of securing the enactment of this legislation. I know that you have thought a lot about this matter and that we agree on most of the essential points that are necessary to give the Northwest a federal authority that will vigorously prosecute the region's interests and at the same time discharge the responsibilities that the Federal Government has assumed on the Columbia River.

I believe that the following points are particularly important:

1. The Authority should be headed by a single administrator responsible to the Secretary of the Interior. As you know, the Secretary has set up in the Interior Department a new Division of Power which reports directly to him and is independent of any other bureaus or offices of the Department.1

2. The Authority should be responsible for the orderly marketing of available power and should encourage the development of suitable industries based on the resources of the Northwest.

3. The Authority should be responsible for the management and amortization of the Government's investment in the power facilities in a businesslike manner.

4. The Authority should be in a position to aid the public agencies of the region in effecting acquisitions of private utility properties quickly and economically.

5. The Authority should follow the present Bonneville policy of seeking the widest possible distribution of its power at the lowest possible rates, and to this end it should require that the resale of its power be at such rates and under such conditions as will assure these benefits to the people of the region.

I am writing Senator McNary to ask him to join you in this effort.2

Sincerely yours,


[Notation: A] Copy of this letter sent to Mr. F. J. Bailey, Bureau of the Budget. 6/17/41 hm

[13:OF 4296:CT]

1Ickes not only wanted the administrators of the proposed regional authorities to be responsible to him but wanted to appoint them. His efforts to secure acceptance of this idea are described in his Diary, III, 440-442, 448, 501-502, 524.

2May 29, 1941 (OF 4296).

3This letter was drafted by the Interior Department.


Washington, May 29, 1941

MY DEAR GEORGE: I have today written Senators Bone and McNary asking that they get together and assume the task of putting through in this Session a bill for the permanent administration of the federally constructed developments on the Columbia River. I am enclosing copies of these letters for your information.1

You and I have been together on so many power problems that I very much want to get your help on this matter. I do not ask you to assume the responsibility for the passage of such legislation, but I do want you to manifest your interest in this effort and to give whatever time and attention you feel that you can spare. At least, if you feel that for any reason you cannot actively participate in the fight to consolidate and promote this great development, I hope that we will be able to proceed with the assurance that we have your sympathy and good wishes.

I hope that you will agree in general with the points that I have outlined in my letters to Bone and McNary as being essential to any legislation that is passed for these projects. I know that you may differ to some extent with me about the desirability of the form of organization that I have suggested, but I think that if I can give you the picture as I see it you may find yourself in agreement with me.

In the first place, I want you to know that I share with you a desire to see eventually in this country a series of regional conservation developments that will be responsible for the husbandry of the water and other natural resources of their respective areas. These authorities should avail themselves of a great deal of local advice and participation, but they should also discharge the Federal Government's responsibility for the conservation and use of the resources of our Nation. In my opinion these authorities should pool their experience in a major Federal department that will be responsible for conservation, and that department should iron out inter-regional problems and should give them over-all guidance with respect to policy. This type of coordination is particularly important, as you know, in respect of developments in the western states where the reclamation program is, and for many years has been, of great political and social importance.

That is the long-term picture. The present job is to establish regional agencies in those sections where we have major Federal developments, and to put these agencies on a sound basis. I believe that the TVA is already well established and I would not propose to change its status in any way. In the Northwest, however, there is a tremendous public power movement that has been seeking to put local administrative units into the power business through the purchase of the private facilities in the area. This effort has been hamstrung by tremendous opposition. In my opinion these local people will need the strength and prestige of the Federal Government to effectuate their desires. The people with whom they are dealing are not local people. The process of negotiation is tedious and expensive; as is also the process of condemnation. The substitution of one negotiating agent for entire systems will result in substantial savings. It is my hope that it will be possible to set up a strong public power area in the Northwest so that local people will be distributing the power that is sold to them by the Federal authority. When this partnership has been firmly established it will be impossible for any less progressive administration seriously to impair the work that we have done.

You know the tremendous job that we have before us. If I must personally supervise the many authorities that you and I feel should be created, I am sure that I would need to ask that their creation be postponed. But to postpone would probably be to lose any chance of accomplishing what we can now accomplish if we are diligent and work together. However, from both the immediate and from the long-run point of view, I believe that these agencies should be tied together in a Federal department. This department should also have jurisdiction over activities in the field of reclamation and the development of mineral resources.

The Secretary of the Interior has established a Division of Power that is giving over-all guidance to the Bonneville Power Administration and to the power end of the Reclamation Bureau projects. This Division reports only to the Secretary and is independent of any other bureau or officer of the Department. With this Division, the Department of the Interior becomes the logical bridge between these regional agencies and the Executive.

I hope that you can see your way to be again at my side in this effort.2

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 4296:CT]

1The letter to Bone is printed above; the one to McNary (May 29, 1941, OF 4296), is similar.

2Drafted by the Interior Department.


WASHINGTON, D. C., June 7, 1941

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I am in receipt of your letter of May 29 and have read it, together with the enclosures, being copies of letters you have written to Senators McNary and Bone, with a great deal of interest.1

Part of the first requisite you set forth in both of these letters is as follows: "The Authority should be headed by a single administrator responsible to the Secretary of the Interior."

With this statement I cannot agree. It is contrary to the fundamental theory upon which legislation of this character should be based. It is contrary to what I have always believed was your own philosophy. In my many conversations and conferences with you on the power question during the time you have been President, and in the correspondence I had with you while you were Governor of New York and before you became President, never once, as I remember it now, did you ever advance that kind of a philosophy.

In my judgment, if any Governmental authority is set up for the control of the great power properties on the Columbia River, eventually failure will come if the authority set up becomes a part of any Department of Government. If the authority becomes a Bureau of any Department, it will in time become a football of politics. It will degenerate into a political machine and will ultimately prove to be a stupendous failure.

Please understand I am not making any criticism of Mr. Ickes, the present Secretary of the Interior. I am not thinking of men—I am thinking of an authority which, if properly set up by law, will be an efficiently managed and great industrial development long after you and the Secretary have passed from the political stage. You know—you must know—that members of a Cabinet—the heads of the Departments in every administration, under any political party, are selected for their various offices mainly on political grounds. This has been the custom for many years and I presume it will always be the custom. A Secretary of the Interior is not selected because of his views on public power. He has thousands of other duties to perform. They are Nation-wide and they cover a multitudinous number of other things. It is impossible for a Secretary of the Interior to give any concrete consideration to the proper control and management of great developments like the Grand Coulee and Bonneville projects.

An administrator, selected and responsible to a Secretary of the Interior, will be, in fact, a "hired man." Primarily his conduct of the duties of his office must be satisfactory to a Secretary of the Interior. The Secretary may remove him at any time. After a study on the ground, he will not be free to act and to follow his judgment because he knows that his boss in Washington can, at any time, change any important conclusion he may reach and, if he desires, remove him from office entirely. The administrator will, therefore, be doing his work with a sword hanging over his head by a thread. It would be natural for him to always bear in mind that the first thing he should do would be to please his boss and, by so doing, make his job secure.

During your administration, you have seen the workings of the Tennessee Valley Authority. It has been a great success. History will show that it is one of the dominating accomplishments of your administration. It is now demonstrating its value to the people of the whole Nation. One of the great things responsible for its success is the independent nature of the machinery set up by the Tennessee Valley Authority Act. It is operated by a Board of three. I concede that the number on the Board is not fundamental. Men will differ as to how large the Board should be. Some want seven, some would have five, some believe three would be better, and some men, just as honest and as intelligent, think it should be managed by one man.

Under the law, no member of the Board can be appointed unless he believes in the theory of the law itself. It is then made impossible for politics to enter into the appointment of inferior officials or into their promotion, demotion, or removal.

I was told a year or so ago by the General Manager of the Tennessee Valley Authority that he would not have retained his office for thirty days if it had not been for the protection of that part of the law. When the law was first passed, thousands of people of high standing all over the United States, in politics and public life, were seeking to get jobs for their friends. Senators and Members of the House of Representatives were recommending appointments by the thousands and, yet, the Board adhered to the law and every applicant for a position had to pass through the regular channels. An investigation was made of each applicant and no consideration was given to politics. This General Manager told me if it had not been for this provision of the Tennessee Valley Authority Act, no human being could have stood up under the political pressure, from powerful sources, to give positions to aspiring friends.

This Authority is taking up all the time of three able men in giving effect to the law and, as far as I know, no difficulty of a political nature has ever arisen except from those in high standing who have recommended various appointments. These people sometimes became very angry because their recommendations were not accepted as the final qualifications of an applicant. At the present time, this trouble has, to a very great extent, disappeared because politicians and others have learned that the intent of the law is being enforced and adhered to.

I do not understand, Mr. President, why you have changed your attitude, because I really believe it is a change. I do not understand why, when we have tried a method which has been such a success, you should now turn aside and try a new experiment which will, in my judgment, eventually throw the whole thing into the abyss of partisan politics and make the Act which you have already set up a virtual political pie-counter. If we enact a law such as you have suggested, the private power companies of the Nation will be united, through their various and secret methods of manipulation, in attempting to control the appointment of every Secretary of the Interior in the future—no matter what party may be in power. As you know, they will not give their real reasons for being interested in this office and it will not become known until after the appointment is made that what they have in view is to deal a death blow to the public ownership of power and the preservation of the natural resources of our country.

No man knows better than you do, from your experience during the past eight years, of the methods and means by which this unseen power creeps into the very avenues of government and undertakes to rob the people of their rightful heritage in the development of our natural resources.

If the control of the authority to be set up on the Columbia River is to be vested in a Board, regardless of the number on the Board, they will be picked because of their ability and their knowledge of power and navigation. They will be entirely nonpartisan—they will be selected with reference to their fitness for the particular position they are to fill and they should be independent of any Cabinet official. They will be on the ground and competent to deal with the various questions of administration and development which arise. It should not be necessary that they receive instructions from a Cabinet official, or even from a President, every time they intend to take a step toward improvement and development.

I am greatly disturbed and distressed at the announcement of your attitude on this question. It comes as a shock—like a thunderbolt from a clear sky. I am not so presumptuous as to think that I have the power to change your attitude no matter what I may do. I am practically helpless. You, of course, understand that I have no ambitions of any kind. I realize that I am nearly at the end of my public service, and that I can probably do nothing, but it is one of the sorrowful thoughts of my life to think that, as I am about to pass out of the arena, I should realize that one of my most cherished hopes has been thwarted by the most outstanding advocate of the preservation of our natural resources it has ever been my pleasure to know.2

Very truly yours,


[13:OF 4296:TS]

1The Bone and Norris letters are printed above; the letter to McNary, May 29, 1941 (OF 4296), is similar to the one to Bone.

2This was sent to Ickes by Roosevelt "For preparation of reply for my signature" (June 14, 1941, OF 4296). Ickes replied June 19, 1941 (OF 4296), that he did not think a reply was advisable as it seemed fruitless to prolong the discussion: "I am sorry that Senator Norris apparently feels that the TVA setup is the last word in sound administrative practice. The only conclusion that one can reach from a logical development of his position is that the present departmental system in the Executive branch of the Government should be replaced entirely by a multitude of independent agencies." No reply was made.


WASHINGTON, June 19, 1941

TO THE NAVAJO PEOPLE: Many months ago the Navajo Tribal Council addressed a resolution to me which pledged the support and loyalty of the Navajo people to our country.

I now take occasion in these days of world crisis to address you. I am concerned about the need for protecting your lands from erosion. I am concerned that some of your leaders do not understand that to protect your lands you must reduce the number of your sheep, and goats, and horses, sufficiently to permit the grass to grow thickly and stop erosion.

If our nation is to remain strong, our land and forests and waters must be protected and cared for. Especially must we protect our soil, for without soil no nation can endure.

One of the most important objectives of this nation is the protection of its soil and other natural resources. Your Government, through the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Soil Conservation Service, the Office of Indian Affairs and other agencies, has conducted an extensive program for the protection of these resources. This program is under way on the Navajo lands, as well as on lands throughout the nation.

I know that protection of your land will not be easy for all the Navajo people. Many of you must sell some of your animals, or move them to ranges away from the reservation. I know also that the Government must help by building projects which will bring water to your land so that you can grow food for your increasing population. The Government is building these projects. The great Fruitland and Hogback irrigation projects are examples. The Many Farms project which was authorized this year is another. And the Government is making surveys on the Little Colorado and San Juan rivers to find other opportunities to bring water to your lands.

The Government is planning for your future, but you must accept your share of the work, and make your share of the sacrifices. You must work with your Government. You must abide by the laws and regulations. You must follow the leadership of the Tribal Council which is the elected voice of the Navajo people.

By doing these things, you will remain strong and will defend the way of democracy.1


Through Mr. J. C. Morgan, Chairman, Navajo Tribal Council

[13:OF 296:CT]

1Drafted by the Interior Department. In his letter to Roosevelt enclosing the draft, June 18, 1941 (OF 296), Ickes said that the Navajo Tribe had voted to enforce the conservation regulations promulgated by the Interior Department for the Navajo Reservation but that a minority group within the tribe was urging opposition. He urged that the letter be sent to reassure the Navajos.


WASHINGTON, June 26, 1941

MEMORANDUM FOR HON. CLAUDE R. WICKARD: Will you please bring this to me next week some time and let me talk with you about the whole matter?

What would you think of your having a preliminary talk with Ickes about the whole subject? You and he have never locked horns on the problem. Then all three of us could go over it together.


[13:OF I:T]


WASHINGTON, June 18, 1941

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I have studied with interest your memorandum of May 14 in which you suggest that Secretary Ickes and I each appoint a representative outside the professional forestry field to prepare in the next two or three months a report on the forestry problem.

Finding the right man is not easy. If the job you have primarily in mind is a recommendation on regulation of privately-owned forest lands, and if the men had the time, I would suggest either Judge Rosenman or John Boettiger. Both men qualify as laymen, both have displayed a keen interest in forest policy, and I respect their judgment.

If it is your particular thought that the men to be designated should help us to strengthen our programs for wooded land owned by people whose interest in lumber and lumber profits is of secondary importance, rather than to review the whole forestry program, I suggest Al Stedman, Washington Correspondent of the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Dispatch. Al is personally a New Dealer, and personally well informed and deeply interested in farm forestry. He has good judgment, too.

There is a third alternative in the type of job the two appointees could do that I have been turning over in my mind. Would it not be a good plan to charge the two men with the task of studying our proposals to the committee, the suggestions of the Department of the Interior, and the recommendations of the Joint Committee, formulating them into an over-all report to aid you in preparing a message of recommendations to the Congress? I like this idea better the more I think of it.

Your thoughts and mine are identical in regard to proposals that call for State matching of funds. I don't like the matching principle. For the most part, the Federal Government doesn't get value received for money used in that way. Especially is this true where local, short-time self-interest is not identical with the Federal interest. In something like fire protection it works fairly well. In our recommendations to the committee, we saw to it that the matching principle entered into our proposals in only a minor way. It was limited to the pretty generally successful fire protection program on private and State forest lands, expansion of the program of distributing forest planting stock at about cost; expansion of the present system of farm forest education; and broadening of the Fulmer Act to include Federal aid in, purchasing community as well as State forests. The remaining 90 percent is a straight Federal program; no part of it that goes to the root of Federal concern is based on the principle of matching funds, although in five of the twelve other parts the States are invited to contribute what they can afford.

It seems to me our problem is one of political judgment. How can we get the most favorable legislation when prevailing sentiment on the Hill is against public regulation? The Department favors straight Federal regulation. Our effort with the committee was to get it to come out as strongly for regulation as it could be persuaded to come; and for strategical reasons we suggested a program under which the States would be given a chance to do the job with Federal aid, with the Department of Agriculture authorized to take over if any State failed to tackle it. Even this was too much for the committee. What course shall we now pursue? Shall we ask the Congress for straight Federal regulation; or shall we, from considerations of States' relations and the sentiment on the Hill, stick with the present plan of asking for Federal regulation only on condition that the States fail to do the job? We have bills of both types prepared. One complicating factor is that Senator Bankhead has asked us to help him prepare a bill that hews to the line laid down by the Committee.

If we go directly after straight Federal regulation, what will be the effect on the Congress? If we ignore the Joint Committee's report I fear the reaction may be decidedly adverse. Somehow we must induce the Congress to modify and strengthen the report of its own committee, so that we can count on help from within the Committee itself. Several members, Pierce for example, are eager to take stronger action than their signatures on the report would indicate.

In this connection you may find it worthwhile to go over the attached summary of our recommendations to the Joint Committee, which we have drawn up in an omnibus bill.1 In the event you are particularly interested in the farm forestry angle, you will find provisions for aiding cooperatives of small operators; technical assistance in woodland management along the lines of approach followed by the Soil Conservation Service; a public leasing and development provision; a credit program geared to the needs of small owners; and a practical educational program to help such people with their woods management and marketing problems.

In your reply I would be very pleased if, in addition to indicating your choice from among the names I have suggested, you would clarify for me whether you want these two men (1) to survey the entire forestry field, (2) to restrict their study to the problems of the owner whose timber is a secondary interest, or (3) to proceed along the lines of the third alternative I have suggested.

Respectfully yours,


[13:OF I:TS]

1A typescript, "Digest of Department of Agriculture's Recommendations for a Forest Legislative Program."


WASHINGTON, July 5, 1941

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I have given careful consideration to your memorandum of May 14, directed to Secretary Wickard, a copy of which was sent to me, in which you suggest that the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior each appoint one representative from the outside to study the forest situation in the United States with a view to submitting a report thereon.

Under date of March 14, 1938, you sent a message to the Congress recommending an immediate investigation of the forest situation in the United States. This message led to the approval by Congress on June 13, 1938, of Concurrent Resolution No. 31 which established a Joint Congressional Committee on Forestry. The Committee conducted hearings throughout the United States and accumulated a voluminous record covering the forest situation. The report of the Committee was submitted to the Congress on March 24, and as I have heretofore indicated, it does not offer a complete solution of the forest problem.1 It appears, therefore, that a further investigation of the situation with a view to providing more definite and complete recommendations is desirable. In my judgment such a study could be pursued most effectively in cooperation with the former members of the Joint Congressional Committee on Forestry, many of whom are no doubt in a position to furnish valuable information which is not necessarily a part of the official report.

In the event that you still feel that the Secretary of Agriculture and I should proceed in accordance with the suggestion contained in your memorandum of May 14, I shall be pleased to confer with Secretary Wickard and work out the details essential to the formulation of a more conclusive supplemental report on the forest situation of the Nation.

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 149:TS]

1Forest Lands of the United States (Washington, 1941).


[WASHINGTON] July 8, 1941

DEAR HAROLD: I have yours of July fifth in regard to a further study of the forest situation, and I should be delighted if you and Wickard will work out the details for the formulation of a more conclusive supplemental report.

Of course, as you know, and as I have told Claude, all my earlier studies have been confirmed by later thinking in regard to the ultimate responsibility.

The true division between the Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior is that Agriculture deals primarily with private citizens and their lands and the products thereof; whereas Interior ought to deal primarily with nationally owned land and the products thereof.

Taking up the case of Forestry for example. The ridiculous interlocking and over-lapping of jurisdiction between the public lands, the national parks, the national monuments and the national forests can only be ended eventually by putting all national lands under the Department of the Interior.

That means, however, that the Department of Agriculture should still retain two of its existing forestry functions: First, the different scientific bureaus relating to tree diseases of all kinds, tree breeding and experimentation, and the development of lumber uses. Second, the relationship between the Government and all owners of private lands on which trees are grown and on which trees should be protected.

These private lands range from the large private lumber holdings and, most important of all, the hundreds of thousands of individual private owners who have woodlots. It is primarily the latter who need immediate help, but who have had no help to speak of in the past from the Forestry Service.

It is my thought, for example, that the average owner of a small piece of timberland, which is not his primary business, ought to look to Agriculture for ways and means of marketing his timber. Today, as a matter of practice, he does not get any help at all.

That would put the relationship of the Department of Agriculture, in regard to trees, on exactly the same basis as the relationship of the Department of Agriculture to wheat or cotton or soil conservation or any other problem that directly affects the individual landowner.

That also would put into the Department of the Interior all national forests, the greater part of which can be used commercially by the Government for many years to come. When lumber becomes available from these national forests it is entirely probable that the cutting and marketing of lumber from these national forests could be absorbed, not by private industry, but by Government itself—federal, state and local.

It seems to me that this line of demarcation would greatly simplify the whole problem of forestry.

I am sending a copy of this to Claude with the hope that it will give you and him a basis of discussion.1

Always sincerely,


[13:OF 149:CT]

1Ickes replied July 16, 1941 (OF 149), that he would "confer promptly with Secretary Wickard and work out with him a practical plan for a further consideration of the forest situation of the Nation and the reorganization of Federal forest administration."


WASHINGTON, D. C., July 31, 1941

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT: Proposed legislation relating to the control of water pollution again is the subject of reports to Congress from the interested departments. The bill in question is S. 1121, introduced by Senator Gillette.1

This bill conforms to the recommendations in your message of February 15, 1939, insofar as it provides for the establishment of a division within the Public Health Service definitely charged with promoting research, plans, education, and other State and local measures for pollution abatement. An annual appropriation of $250,000 is authorized. The bill partially meets the objections which you raised in disapproving the first water pollution bill in 1938, by requiring that plans for new pollution-abatement works must be cleared with the Federal Works Agency and your office before going to Congress. It departs from your earlier recommendations by (1) establishing district water boards, (2) requiring that standards of water purity be fixed in each district, and (3) permitting Federal injunction proceedings against violators. It also omits earlier provisions for loans and grants for construction of remedial works, and relies instead upon the availability of Reconstruction Finance Corporation loans. You may remember that the regulatory features of this type of legislation have been the chief points of controversy in past.

Federal Security Agency is proposing to endorse the bill. Agriculture approves the bill in general. War takes a non-committal attitude, but calls attention to the facts that the Corps of Engineers now exercises certain regulatory powers over pollution of navigable waters, and that the current Ohio River Pollution Survey is intended to lead to the proposal of remedial legislation.

The staff of the National Resources Planning Board considers the provisions with respect to district water boards unduly cumbersome, and also agrees with this office in thinking that the need for Federal assumption of regulatory authority over water pollution is not urgent at this time. Discussion with the Board's staff indicates, however, that the proposed planning work, while not essential to the continuation of the studies already in progress, might be useful in connection with the development of the program of post-emergency public works contemplated by the Board.

If you favor the enactment of some type of pollution-abatement legislation at this session, I shall be glad to work out with the Federal Security Agency a revision of S. 1121, which would eliminate the regulatory features and provide for planning work on a modest scale. However, a more satisfactory solution might be to defer any legislation of this type at this time; and if you agree with this latter position, I will advise the interested departments that enactment of legislation of this character would not be in accord with your program during the present emergency.


[Notation: AS] H. D. S. Defer FDR

[13:OF 114—A:TS]

1s. 1121, "A Bill to create a Division of Water Pollution Control in the United States Public Health Service, and for other purposes," was introduced March 17, 1941, and referred to the Committee on Commerce. No further action was taken. The bill is adequately described in the letter here printed.


WASHINGTON, August 11, 1941

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I had prepared but had not sent you a brief memorandum on urgently needed forestry legislation when I found that Secretary Ickes and I could jointly suggest to you the committee which I mentioned in a separate letter to you today. If you appoint this committee, perhaps it could take as its first task the formulation of an emergency legislative program. Certainly there is no time to lose if we are going to check the accelerated destructive cutting that is now under way. So I am sending my memorandum to you, thinking that you may care to give it to a committee if you appoint one now, or that you may pass on its merits if you do not go ahead with the committee idea.

Respectfully yours,


[13:OF 149:TS]


WASHINGTON, August 11, 1941

MEMORANDUM ON URGENTLY NEEDED FORESTRY LEGISLATION: I have become convinced that much will be lost unless we get an Administration measure on forestry—particularly on public regulation of present destructive cutting—introduced into Congress and enacted in the immediate future.

The principal reasons for this are:

1. Many weeks ago Senator Bankhead asked us informally to prepare a bill to carry out precisely what his Joint Committee recommended. The bill has long been ready and we cannot put him off much longer. Obviously if he, as Chairman of the Joint Committee, introduces his own bill—something far short of what is needed—and pushes it as he plans, the fat will be in the fire.

Much the same considerations hold for Vice Chairman Fulmer, who is reported to be preparing a bill to carry out his own interpretation of the Committee recommendations.

2. Defense demands have led to greatly increased cutting all over the United States, and promise in the near future to rise measurably near to the peak of 35 years ago. Most of it is destructive. Most of our worst rural slums are already in depleted forest regions and make up nearly one-fourth of our total land area. In spite of everything else we can do, I believe that they will remain rural slums until the forest is restored. Even during the war period we ought as a minimum to stop further destruction.

An emergency legislative program along the right lines should be shaped up within the next several weeks.

It should recognize as the outstanding forest problem the lands now in private ownership. It should recognize also, to quote your own words, that "States, communities, and private capital can do much * * * but have, on the whole, accomplished little * * * it seems obviously necessary to fall back on the last defensive line—Federal leadership and Federal action."

It should place major emphasis on measures which will give positive assurance of (a) reasonably good treatment of all forest lands now privately owned, and (b) help in the solution of the social problems, now almost nation-wide, which have grown out of the destruction of our forests. The only two measures that carry such assurance are public regulation and greatly increased public ownership.

It should make nation-wide public regulation of forest practices on privately-owned lands a wholly Federal activity.

It should in general make all new measures a straight Federal responsibility, avoiding any hard and fast State matching requirements which would handicap the poorer States, but allow contributions where the circumstances seem to justify them.

It should adhere to the matching principle in a few long-established activities such as protection against fire, where they have worked out fairly well, and where an attempt to change now would stir up opposition which might defeat more important measures.

It should include special provisions to help owners of farm woodlots and other small holdings.

I am very much afraid that we will see the adoption of unsatisfactory legislation if we do not act promptly.


[13:OF 149:TS]


WASHINGTON, August 12, 1941

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: In accordance with your recent suggestion to us, we join in recommending that you ask Judge Rosenman, John Boettiger, Jim Rowe, Al Stedman, and Tom Wallace to serve as a special committee, advisory to you, on national forest policy and national forest legislation.

We hope that this committee will begin its work promptly and complete its task within a reasonably short time. It seems to us that the committee should study the broad social, economic, and physical problems involved and then recommend to you:

A comprehensive forest policy for the United States.

Action, educational, research, and service programs for the fields of (a) Federal forestry, (b) industrial forestry, (c) farm forestry.

An improved Federal legislative program for all types of forest activity.

The committee, in order to have a specific purpose for its work, might take as its principal objective the preparation of a brief but comprehensive statement which you could use in submitting recommendations to the present session of Congress. A logical starting point, but only a starting point, would be the report which the Joint Congressional Committee on Forestry submitted to the Senate and House. This would lead very well to your indicating in a covering message to the Congress what modifications you desire in the Joint Congressional Committee's recommendations.

This suggestion in no way implies that the special committee should not consider critically matters that do not come within the scope of a legislative program, but it occurs to us that the Joint Congressional Committee might be offended if your advisory group considered Federal forest policies and needed legislation wholly independent of the Joint Congressional Committee's conclusions. In line with your letter of May 14 and in accord with our own view of its feasible function, the committee would not go into jurisdictional or governmental-reorganization questions.

You will recall that you suggested to us a two-man committee of non-governmental, non-technical men. We are recommending five because we believe they have among them what no two men would likely possess, namely, the essential understanding of public administration, broad Federal policy, forest policy, Federal-State-local-private relationships, possible alternative methods of Federal action, the political possibilities, fiscal problems, and the specific needs in farm forestry, industrial forestry, and Federally-managed forestry.

To give the committee any help it might wish to have, each of us will if you wish designate a liaison representative who would be available to the committee at all times. The Assistant to the Secretary of the Interior in charge of Land Utilization and the Land Use Coordinator of the Department of Agriculture are both Departmental staff officers and are not directly engaged in supervising forest activities. The former, Lee Muck, is a technically-trained forester and the latter, Milton S. Eisenhower, is not but this seems to us to be immaterial. In addition, the two of us will gladly spend as much time with the committee as seems desirable.

If this arrangement appeals to you, we hope that you personally will ask Judge Rosenman, John Boettiger, Jim Rowe, A. D. Stedman (St. Paul Pioneer Press), and Tom Wallace (Editor of the Louisville Times) to undertake the task at once.

Respectfully yours,


[13:OF 149:TS]


WASHINGTON, September 3, 1941

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: I hear that the Forest Service is about to give to a lumber company the right to cut timber on the Morse Creek watershed of the Mt. Olympic National Park.1

Please hold this up until cleared by me, and let me see on the map just where the proposed cutting is to be.

F. D. R.

[13:OF I—C:CT]

1Ickes had so reported in a letter to Roosevelt of Aug. 27, 1941 (OF I—C). Acting Secretary of Agriculture Grover B. Hill replied Sept. 6, 1941, that no sale of national forest timber was contemplated (OF I—C).


WASHINGTON, D. C., Sept. 20, 1941

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT . . . PROPOSED COLUMBIA POWER AUTHORITY: In accordance with your directions of February 11, 1941, this office, in cooperation with the National Resources Planning Board, has studied the pending legislative proposals to establish additional regional authorities. The proposals have been analyzed in relation to regional needs, and the informal views of the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture, and the Federal Power Commission have been obtained. In view of the prospect for early hearings on this subject by the House Rivers and Harbors Committee, and of Secretary Ickes' desire to speed action on the proposed Pacific Northwest legislation, I am presenting the matter to you at this time in order to obtain your views on the basic features of the legislation.

Two major types of legislative proposals. Two major types of proposals are before the Congress. One type of bill—notably, the Arkansas Valley Authority bill and Congressman Rankin's regional authority bill—would establish independent authorities, patterned after the Tennessee Valley Authority, with power to plan and conduct experiments with respect to all phases of resources development, and to construct and operate all types of water and soil conservation works. The other type of bill—represented by the bills introduced by Senator Bone and Congressman Hill—would establish regional agencies with the primary function of planning, constructing or acquiring, and operating electric power facilities.

Functions of proposed regional agencies. The two types of legislative proposals are alike in providing for publicly-operated power development on a regional scale. The suggested agencies for the Pacific Northwest would be empowered to prepare regional plans for power generation and transmission, and to investigate methods of promoting the wider use of electricity. They would be authorized to acquire private power systems, to construct transmission lines, and, with the approval of the Congress, to construct new generating facilities. They also would be able to acquire private distribution facilities for resale to public agencies. Power rates would be as low as possible, and contracts for sale of wholesale power would provide for control of resale rates.

The proposed agencies similar to the Tennessee Valley Authority, would have all of these functions, and, in addition, would be charged with the planning of broad programs of water control, land use, recreation, and industrial development, and with sponsoring whatever research is necessary for those purposes. They would be authorized to construct any desirable water-control project or land-improvement measure, to operate such works, and to regulate private construction of water-control works.

Public power marketing is the primary function of the agencies proposed for the Pacific Northwest. Integrated regional development is the central concern of the Arkansas Valley Authority proposal.

Administration of proposed regional agencies. The power-marketing proposals contemplate a quasi-corporate agency exercising relatively wide discretion in the issuance of bonds, acquisition and management of properties, and the promotion of power use. The bill favored by Secretary Ickes would provide for an administrator responsible to the Secretary of the Interior, and operating with the aid of an advisory board representative of the region. Although subject to civil service law, the regional agency would be free from the legal supervision of the Attorney General, and from auditing by the Comptroller General. Senator Bone's recent bill would hold to the same functions and financial organization, but would adopt the Tennessee Valley Authority form of administration.

Both the Bone bill and the Arkansas Valley Authority bill provide for a three-man board reporting directly to the President. Both would exempt the agency from civil service, from supervision by the Attorney General, and from auditing by the Comptroller General. All of the proposals make provision for repayment of the full Federal investment in power facilities, and, at the same time, allow considerable flexibility in the day-by-day operations of the agency in the field.

Power marketing urgently needed. The rapidly mounting number of Federal dams having sizeable power facilities and the prospect for even greater enlargement of such facilities under the Federal Power Commission's emergency power program, make it desirable to begin the organization of Federal power-marketing agencies in several regions as soon as practicable; but it is not believed that there is the same clear need at this time for developing in these areas the Tennessee Valley Authority type of agency.

Reasons for deferring complete Tennessee Valley Authority type of authority. While the United States still is far from having, even for the Tennessee Valley, the comprehensive plans and operating programs that ultimately will be necessary for full and effective resources development, our planning work has made fair progress on a national scale. In order to replace with thorough regional plans the single-purpose plans of individual agencies, such as the Bureau of Reclamation, Corps of Engineers, and Department of Agriculture, it will be necessary to strengthen the present planning work. This will involve funds for planning and correlation, as well as detailed guidance by the National Resources Planning Board. Both would be provided under the draft of legislation for the "shelf" of public-works projects which you recommended to Senator Wagner on June 6, 1941.1 It is not believed, furthermore, that the conduct of desirable research and construction activities in these areas is necessarily contingent upon the establishment there of additional regional authorities such as the Tennessee Valley Authority.

While I am inclined to believe that sooner or later we must be prepared to reorganize certain Federal agencies on a national scale in order to obtain unified operation of the many projected reservoirs and other water-control works, I do not think that we are yet ready to take that step, nor that it is an immediately important one.

Regional agencies vs. national departments. The issue underlying all of this discussion of regional authorities is whether the authority for a given region should carry out all of the work involved in the conservation of the national resources of that region, or should concentrate upon a particular phase or phases of the whole conservation program for the region, leaving to the other agencies of government functionally concerned therewith, the conduct of the work to be performed under the other phases of the conservation program. Whatever the merits of a complete subdivision of the United States into regions of the Tennessee Valley Authority type, it is not believed that the time has yet arrived for such a fundamental reorganization of the structure of the Executive Branch.

Accordingly, it is recommended that regional planning and research be stimulated through the agencies already available for this purpose, including, in particular, the National Resources Planning Board, and that, for the present, any new authority should be established for the purpose of concentrating on the power-marketing job.

Pacific Northwest legislation. In the light of what has been said above, and of your letters of May 29, 1941, to Senators Bone, McNary, and Norris,2 the Pacific Northwest legislation has been discussed with representatives of the Secretary of the Interior. Our discussions have revealed agreement on general objectives, and have centered on obtaining an effective administrative organization. As a result of these discussions there has been prepared by this office a draft of bill which, while not meeting the Interior Department views in every respect, does represent, it is believed, a reasonable compromise of conflicting views and would establish a workable and useful agency.

In addition to its grant of full authority for carrying on power-marketing activities, the draft of bill provides for:

(a) An administrator who, while appointed by and responsible to the Secretary of the Interior on major issues of policy and program, would enjoy much wider latitude in supervising the day-by-day operations of the Authority than does the average bureau chief;

(b) A board of five (including the administrator, and with three members from the region) that would review, and submit recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior on, (1) the development plan for the region; (2) the acquisition of private utility systems; (3) the construction of new generating facilities; and (4) the schedules of power rates;

(c) Administration under the provisions of the civil service laws, a commercial type of auditing by the Comptroller General upon a liberalized basis, and legal representation by the Attorney General;

(d) A well-defined method of correlating the Authority's plans and programs with those of other regional or national agencies through the National Resources Planning Board and the Budget; and

(e) Charging the power consumers only for their proper share of project costs, and not for any part of the costs properly chargeable to irrigation or other project purposes.

If you agree with the major provisions of the draft of bill, as listed above, I will take up this draft with the Secretary of the Interior and the National Resources Planning Board, with the object of working out the minor details of the bill, and of then advising the Secretary of the Interior and the other interested Federal agencies that enactment of the legislation in that adjusted form would be in accord with your program.

Legislation affecting other regions. In this formative stage of Federal power marketing, no single type of administration should be adopted rigidly; there should be latitude for experimental departure from the Pacific Northwest model. From time to time, as additional authority proposals are presented, they will be submitted to you for review before advising the interested agencies as to their relationship to your program.3


[13:OF 4296:TS]

1No communication of this date has been found.

2The letters to Bone and Norris are printed ante, 1047, 1048; the letter to McNary (OF 4296) is the same as the one to Bone.

3Answered post, 1062.

1061 ROOSEVELT TO LEVERETT BRADLEY, Lakeville, Connecticut

WASHINGTON, September 23, 1941

DEAR LEVERETT: This will acknowledge the receipt of your note of August 30 suggesting the use of Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park, as a base for memorials to people of national stature and as a rendezvous for conferences of international character.1

Many plaques and other types of memorials have been proposed for placement in the national park areas during the past decade. The merits of the suggestions which have been made to have such memorials erected are appreciated and understood. They are foreign, however, to the purposes for which the national parks are established, namely, to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.

The use of Acadia National Park as a rendezvous for conferences of international character would entail precautionary measures which would restrict the use of the area by the public and would be inconsistent with its status as a national park.

The shipboard meeting to which you refer took place hundreds of miles from Mount Desert Island.

I have read with interest the statement of your views on Mount Desert Island, which was printed in November, 1940.2

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 6—P:CT]

1Bradley also suggested that the Atlantic Charter meeting held off Argentia had added significance to the proposed memorial (OF 6—P).

2Not identified. This reply was drafted by the Interior Department.


[WASHINGTON] September 26, 1941

MEMORANDUM FOR THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUDGET: Regarding your memorandum of September twentieth relating to regional authorities, I am inclined to think:

1. That as between the two major types of legislative proposals there should be regional authorities covering the entire nation, in accordance with the outline which I drew up four or five years ago.1 I think that each authority should not only plan, contract, acquire and operate electric power facilities, but should also plan and conduct experiments with respect to all phases of resources development. This is essentially what the TVA does under the TVA Act.

2. I think that the head of each agency should be a member of two separate central committees in Washington—one of these committees to function as to planning under the National Resources Board, and the other (with possibly the same membership) should act as an operating advisory committee to the Department of the Interior.

3. In regard to administration of the proposed regional agencies, I am inclined to favor the one man administrator for each authority, though I would be willing to accept a three man board if the Congress should so determine.

4. In actual operation it is, of course, contrary to common sense that each authority should report directly to the President. We have successfully cut down the number of outside agencies reporting to the President, with the result that the Presidency can still be handled by one man if he works ten or twelve hours a day!

It is my thought that a method can be worked out by which each authority will report to the President through the Secretary of the Interior on all operating matters, the Secretary of the Interior to decide ordinary questions with, of course, the right of the authority to appeal to the President in exceptional cases. This leaves the authority as a self-governing organization in practically all of its work.

At the same time the authority in its planning for future development should report to the National Resources Board, get their approval of plans, if possible, and have them come to the President through the Director of the Budget.

Finally, the plans should also be submitted to the Federal Power Commission for the recommendation of the latter only.

I have not time to go into the other matters on the proposed legislation but I think that from the above, you and the Secretary of the Interior, the National Resources Board and the Federal Power Commission can work something out.


[13:OF 4296:CT]

1Ante, 636.

1063 ROOSEVELT TO NELSON C. BROWN, New York State College of Forestry, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York

[WASHINGTON] October 7, 1941

DEAR NELSON: Thank you for yours of October first.1 I think you are right about trying some balsam, spruce and some Canadian white spruce, so will you go ahead and see if you can get some good transplants for next Spring planting? I would suggest putting the twenty per cent balsam into a different location. As you remember, there is a ditch which runs through the east end of the three lots along the Post Road. East of this long ditch there are about four acres of open land. It is good soil, as proved by the existing plantation at the east end of the north lot.

The forty per cent of Canadian white spruce and the forty per cent of Norway spruce can go into the east end of the Linaka lot and the lot east of that.

I am delighted that you are having the signs prepared. The trees look well and I think that we have about 95% survival of what was put out last Spring—an excellent record.

I do hope you are all well again and that I shall see you soon.

Always sincerely,


[13:PPF 38:CT]

1Reporting on two visits to Roosevelt's tree plantations in Hyde Park.


WASHINGTON, D. C., October 23, 1941

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: May I respectfully call to your attention HR 2685 to permit mining within the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, which passed the House on October 15, following the passage of an identical bill (S 260) in the Senate on May 23, 1941?

Our Association would like to request you to veto the Bill. We opposed its passage by Congress and we believe that if it becomes the law of the land it will not only involve unnecessary damage to the National Monument but that it will be an exceedingly bad precedent. This seems to be a clear case of public policy as against doubtful private gain. We take pleasure in presenting the reasons for the stand we have taken:

(1) The Monument was created by your Executive Order on April 13, 1937, as authorized by the National Antiquities Act of 1906. It contains 330,687 acres—a little more than a third of the size of the Joshua Tree National Monument and about a sixth of Death Valley National Monument in California. The lines were drawn very carefully to exclude known commercial mineral areas. Your Executive Order was designed to set up adequate protection to the area. Existing grazing rights were to continue only during the lives of the present holders of permits and after that the area was to be free from grazing of domestic animals. It was fully expected that in time the National Park Service would be in a position to give the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument that complete protection from non-conforming uses which the area deserves. Under the act passed by Congress the area would be forever open to prospecting and mining. Congress having once delegated to the President the authority to create National Monuments, it seems illogical that it should pass measures to break down the protection so authorized.

(2) The protection of the ground surface and the plant and animal life in desert areas is a much more difficult and delicate process than the protection of forested lands. In the vast desert areas of the Southwest only a few places have been selected to receive the special care which the National Park Service is prepared to give in order to conserve the entire biotic life of the area. Thanks to your Executive Order, the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is one of these precious possessions of the people.

(3) It is the opinion of eminent geologists who have examined the region that although the area has been subject to prospecting for nearly two centuries no profitable mines have been discovered and operated within the present Monument. It seems doubtful whether in all this time any mining effort in the whole Monument has ever paid operating costs for more than a brief time, if at all. To permit further digging, and the presence of roving prospectors who would gather the scarce wood for fire, graze their domestic animals and shoot wild life, seems to involve useless sacrifice for the very doubtful chance that profitable minerals might be found.

(4) We believe that it would be an unfortunate precedent which would tempt other small pressure groups to try to secure concessions in other National Parks and National Monuments. In the discussions on the floor of the House it was argued that this would not create a precedent and yet to support this action five so-called previous precedents were cited. Of these only one involved permission for mining in an area already set up as a National Monument. One of the five was the Olympic National Park which was created by Congress in an Act which permitted, in a specified part of the Park the continuance of the location, entry and patent of mines for a period of five years.1 More than three of the five years has already elapsed. After June 29, 1943, no more mining will be allowed in the Park under the present law. That would leave only four areas in the National Parks and Monuments in which mining would be permitted. In 1931 Congress passed a law which prohibited prospecting, development or utilization of mineral resources in National Parks and Monuments in which such operations had been permitted, including Grand Canyon and Mount Rainier, and greatly limited mining operations in Mount McKinley National Park in Alaska.2 In the interests of conservation it has been the declared policy of the National Park Service to try to retire these precedents rather than to increase them.

We hope, Mr. President, that you will exercise your veto for this measure, in the interest of sound conservation of National Parks and Monuments from adverse uses and particularly to protect the National Monuments created by Executive Order from being opened up to commercial uses through Acts of Congress.3

Respectfully submitted,


[Notation: A] Bill Signed 10/27/41

[13:OF 928:TS]

1Act approved June 29, 1938 (52 Stat. 1241).

2Act approved Jan. 26, 1931 (46 Stat. 1043).

3There was little debate in the House on H. R. 2675, and none in the Senate on S. 260. Representative Murdock (Ariz.), who introduced the House bill, replied to charges by conservationists that the bill would create an undesirable precedent by saying that the precedent had already been established in the opening to mining of Glacier Bay National Monument by the act of June 22, 1936 (49 Stat. 1817). The Senate bill, introduced by Hayden (Ariz.), was the one enacted. Roosevelt approved it without comment on Oct. 27, 1941 (Cong. Rec., 77th Cong., 1st sess., 87:1, 53, 303; 87:4, 4622-4623; 55 Stat. 745). The letter here printed is the only protest against the bill found in the Roosevelt papers.


NEW YORK, N. Y., October 31, 1941

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I find in my files the enclosed correspondence with respect to a proposed subcommittee on National Forest Policy.

You will recall at the time I mentioned it to you, and after a short talk, you said to forget about it. I am sending this to you, however, as they belong in the White House files.1

Yours very sincerely,


[13:OF 149:TS]

1This correspondence, all of it having to do with the establishment of a national forest policy, was sent by Roosevelt to Rosenman with a memorandum of Sept. 1, 1941 (OF 149), asking him to speak to him about it. The correspondence consisted of a note from Ickes to Roosevelt, Aug. 4, 1941, enclosing a memorandum, Lee Muck to Ickes, July 29, 1941 (OF 149); Wickard to Roosevelt, Aug. 11, 1941, and Ickes and Wickard to Roosevelt, Aug. 12, 1941, ante, 1056, 1058.


HYDE PARK, N. Y., November 3, 1941

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: I understand that there are now some 1,600 local community forests established in some thirty states. Also that the idea is spreading to the South, which is all to the good.

I hope the Forest Service will push these. They are not large but are very important from the educational angle and it is a matter which might not receive the attention it deserves.1


[13:PPF 38:CT]

1Nelson Brown had written to Roosevelt Oct. 30, 1941 (PPF 38), on the growing interest in community forests. He did not believe that the Forest Service was giving as much attention to community forests as it should and he suggested that a note to Wickard "might push them along." Wickard replied post, 1068.


WASHINGTON, D. C., Nov. 6, 1941

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT: On March 28, 1940, in response to his request that tree planting in the Plains States be given distinctive recognition as a Federal project in the Budget, you advised the Secretary of Agriculture that arrangements would be made to continue this work during the fiscal year 1941 on approximately the same basis as it had been previously conducted, . . . .1

On a question of interpretation in connection with the foregoing, I further advised the Secretary on May 28, 1940, as follows:

. . . It will undoubtedly be necessary for many years that the Department furnish leadership, technical advice and material assistance to insure continued progress. The course outlined by the President, as I understand it, does not contemplate termination of such aids; but rather that they should be extended to the farmers of the Prairie States, in reasonable measure, under the authority of and through the programs launched by the acts providing for soil conservation as a material policy, establishing the Soil Conservation Service, and promoting cooperative farm forestry.

The work was continued through the fiscal year 1941 through WPA funds and facilities and the Department made no move toward merging it with the other work of the Soil Conservation Service in the Plains area.

In its estimates for 1942 the Department sought an increase item of $250,000 to provide a regular appropriation base for this work, again seeking to give it a distinctive status as the "Prairie States Forestry Project." This increase item was considered with you and denied, and the Department was again urged to take steps toward incorporation of the work in the general Soil Conservation Service program. However, at the instance of Senator Norris an item of $300,000 was included in the 1942 Agriculture Appropriation Act specifically to provide the Forest Service with funds for maintenance in the Plains States of its planning, executive and supervisory organization to continue this tree-planting activity with WPA labor. The work is going forward during the current fiscal year under the above provisions. Since inception of the work in 1935, over 17,000 miles of shelterbelts 5 to 10 rows wide on over 27,000 farms have been planted. Over 95% of these plantings are being maintained by the farmers. The plantings of 1935, 1936, 1937 and 1938 are already providing valuable protection to soil and crops and otherwise contributing to the welfare of the farmers and farm communities.

In the estimates for the fiscal year 1943 the Department sought to have provided again in the Cooperative Farm Forestry appropriation the item of $300,000 provided in 1942 by the Norris amendment. I have advised the Secretary that in the light of the policy outlined in your letter of May 6, 1940, we would feel compelled to eliminate this item from the 1943 Budget.

On the other hand, the Department recently sought through a supplemental estimate also under the Cooperative Farm Forestry appropriation an item of $300,000 to enable the Department to intensify service to farm woodlot owners, particularly in the South where increased demands for timber and pulpwood are resulting in heavy and haphazard cutting of such woodlots. This office felt and still feels that this estimate was exceptionally meritorious, and upon our recommendation you submitted it to Congress where unfortunately it was rejected.

With the foregoing in mind, I told the Secretary that we would recommend continuing in the 1943 Budget the $300,000 provided under this head through the Norris 1942 amendment if the Department would move to carry out the policy stated in your letter of May 6, 1940, transferring the tree planting in the Plains States from the Forest Service to the Soil Conservation Service, and thereby initiating a gradual transition in the management of the work, which ultimately would change it from a special project to one of normal soil conservation, cooperation with the Soil Conservation Districts, and service to farmers outside such districts, and thus permit a gradual shifting of the forces and facilities provided by this $300,000 to the very real need for intensified service to farmers in other regions in the management of their woodlots.

The act creating the Soil Conservation Service specifically contemplated tree planting as a feature of the Soil Conservation program. The desired planting is done on farms. In the Soil Conservation Service the Department has an action agency, the program of which is designed to reach every individual farm, to plan, aid in initiating, and cooperate in maintaining the best possible soil conservation practice on these farms, including tree planting and culture wherever trees are suited to the need and possible to grow. That Service is well organized, active in the Plains States, and achieving highly creditable results. In the Bureau of Plant Industry, the Department has a research bureau quite well prepared to advise the action agency as to useable tree species, where and how to grow them.

The Forest Service takes legitimate pride in its accomplishments in tree planting in the Plains States and it is quite understandably reluctant to leave the field to another organization. Nevertheless, its presence in the Plains area inevitably leads to duplication and overlapping of function, which are already noticeable and must become more intensive and expensive as the Soil Conservation Service program develops. The Soil Conservation Service already has a major part in the farm woodlot work of the Department and it is the most logical unit to absorb all such activity, particularly in the Plains area.

The Department has never taken strong exception to this view but has attached great importance to the timing of such a change and has been hesitant on this account.

In a memorandum to me, under date of October 31, Secretary Wickard has now agreed to our proposal with respect to the 1943 Budget and the transfer from Forest Service to Soil Conservation Service of the farm woodlot work. He wishes you to have in mind, however, "that the Forest Service made the shelterbelt a success when no one else was willing to become associated with it," and also Senator Norris' long and deep interest in the work. As indicated in the foregoing, there is no thought whatever of taking from the Forest Service the credit justly due that Service for initiating this work under very difficult conditions and carrying it forward aggressively, efficiently, and successfully. The adoption of the Soil Conservation Act and the rapid development of the Soil Conservation Service under the authority of that act have, however, vastly changed the situation prevalent when tree planting in the Plains States was initiated as a Federal activity and the soundness of the position taken by you in your letter to the Secretary on May 6, 1940 is being increasingly demonstrated.

It is not unlikely that Senator Norris will call you concerning this program and possibly protest any change. I am confident that you may safely assure the Senator that the action thus taken will in no way interfere with the progress of tree planting in the Plains area, that the Soil Conservation Service is fully qualified to move steadily ahead in this work, that the interests of economical and efficient over-all management of the Department of Agriculture's programs will be well served by the change, and that as another important result, funds now available to the Department will be increasingly released for greater and urgently needed service to farmers in the management, harvesting and sale of material from woodlots already existing.


[Notation: AS] HDS OK FDR

[13:OF 79:TS]

1March 28 was the date of Wallace's letter; May 6, of Roosevelt's reply. Smith went on to quote paragraph four of the reply, ante, 999.


WASHINGTON, November 12, 1941

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I have your memorandum of November 3, about community forests in which you indicate a special interest in this development in the South. A tabulation showing the number and total acreage of community forests by States is enclosed. My understanding is that the development in the Southern States is very recent.

As you know, Professor Nelson Brown of Syracuse University was employed by the Forest Service during the year 1937, made a rather extensive examination of the community forest situation, and finished his work with the preparation of a publication entitled Community Forests.1 After Professor Brown's return to Syracuse, the Forest Service placed another man on this work, who after two years had to be transferred to the Southwest because of his health.

Since that time two or three men have given part time to the community forest campaign. They have tried to stimulate interest in community forests through written information, suggestions for State legislation, film strips, radio programs, and by keeping interested agencies and individuals currently posted on progress.

I am inclined to believe that the interest shown in the community forest movement is such that it warrants the assignment of a full-time man to the project, and arrangements will be made by the Forest Service to do this.



[13:PPF 38:TS]

1This pamphlet, issued by the Department of Agriculture (Washington, 1939), contains a preface signed by Roosevelt.


JASPER, ALA., Nov. 19, 1941, 6:40 p. m.

[Telegram] THE PRESIDENT: I beg to call to your attention the great importance of securing the passage of the Senate bill now pending in the House authorizing the continuance of the Federal administration of the soil conservation program. That program was approved in the platform of both major political parties last year. Unless the bill is passed by January first, the existing organization must be abandoned and all appropriations distributed to the several states for administration. The Senate bill has been pending in the House for several months. I suggest you take this subject up with your House leaders with the view of getting definite action before the end of this year. See Public Number 170, 75th Congress, Chapter 395, first Session.1


[13:OF 2891:T]

1By the act of June 28, 1937 (50 Stat. 329), the time for the transfer to the states of the administration of the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act was advanced to Jan. 1, 1942. By 1941 only a minority of the states had enacted the necessary enabling legislation. The Administration considered it imperative to keep the program under Federal management and on Jan. 27, 1941, Senator Bankhead introduced the bill (S. 588) referred to in his telegram. This would have given the Secretary of Agriculture "permanent authority" to administer the act. The bill, amended by the House to continue Federal administration through 1946 rather than for an indefinite time, was passed as the act approved Dec. 26, 1941 (Cong. Rec., 77th Cong., 1st sess., 87:1, 310; 87:4, 4111-4114; 87:9, 9578-9597; 55 Stat. 860).


WASHINGTON, November 27, 1941

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: It would seem that, with respect to public lands, including National Parks and Monuments, Wildlife Refuges, etc., the jurisdiction of this Department is rapidly being restricted to a futile ex post facto protest so far as the Army is concerned. The War Department picks out lands for invasion without reference to the use to which they are devoted, without considering whether there are equally suitable sites for bomb ranges, recreational buildings, etc., and without consulting with this Department. Then when we protest we find that "plans are too far advanced to change." Some time ago, in our effort to work out matters harmoniously with the Army, we appointed a liaison man representing the Fish & Wildlife Division, but this liaison man does his "liaisoning" in solitary state.

With great respect, but also with emphasis, I protest against the assumption by the War Department, or rather the Generals thereof, of the right to invade Parks, National Monuments or Wildlife Refuges at their will. Of course, I would willingly surrender our most precious land area if turning it over to the Army were necessary in order to defeat Hitler and if there were no substitute area.

We have tried to accommodate ourselves to the desires of the Army. We have cheerfully yielded possession and agreed to the use of lands where there was a showing of necessity, but there are instances in which areas taken for bomb ranges, etc. do not serve the purpose of the Army any better than adjacent lands where historical values would not be destroyed and where wildlife would not be endangered.

Recently, I protested the invasion by the Army of the Colonial National Historical Park in Virginia. You referred my letter to the Secretary of War and he replied to you under date of October 29.1 A copy of his letter to you I am annexing for your convenience. In it, Secretary Stimson said, among other things: "Apparently the Secretary of the Interior wrote this letter without having full information at his disposal."

The enclosed memorandum from Director Drury of the National Park Service shows that if Secretary Stimson had full information at his disposal, some of it, at least, was misinformation.2 According to Director Drury, the Army, without consulting this Department, proceeded to take over, for its own purposes, land within the jurisdiction of this Department. Upon objection by us, the War Department, without consultation with this Department, obtained a lease of property for a recreation building adjoining land which has been designated as a National Historical Site. The lot upon which the recreation building is being built is not owned by the Government, "but it is located within the boundary of the area established by the Congress as Colonial National Historical Park."

Apparently the Army is proceeding to develop a bombing range in a location that will seriously defeat the purpose of a Wildlife Refuge and perhaps result in the extermination of the rare trumpeter swan which you and I have been at such pains to preserve. As to this, I shall send you a memorandum later.

In the meantime, I beg of you that this Department be at least consulted before the Army takes unto itself any more lands within the jurisdiction of this Department, especially if they are lands within National Parks, National Monuments or Wildlife Refuges. It is utterly discouraging to have a body of men who don't care about the sort of thing that this Department is charged with fostering and protecting, march in and take possession just as Hitler marched in and took possession of the small democracies of Europe.

I have tried to meet this issue in an orderly manner. I have observed all of the proprieties. I am appealing to you who alone can make the Army aware that it is not operating this Department under martial law.

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 6—P:TS]

1Ickes' letter to Roosevelt, Oct. 18, 1941, and Stimson's letter are present (OF 6—P).

2The enclosure, Newton B. Drury to Ickes, Nov. 19, 1941, is present. Drury succeeded Cammerer as National Park Service director on Aug. 20, 1940.


WASHINGTON, November 28, 1941

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF WAR: Considering the size of the United States, I think that Irving Brant is correct.1 Please tell Major General Adams or whoever is in charge of this business that Henry Lake, Utah, must immediately be struck from the Army planning list for any purposes. The verdict is for the Trumpeter Swan and against the Army. The Army must find a different nesting place!


[Notation: AS] Necessary orders have been issued. JWM2

[13:OF 378:T]

1Brant, in a letter to Roosevelt of Nov. 25, 1941 (OF 378), had protested the selection, by Major General E. S. Adams, of an artillery range site at Henry Lake, Utah. Brant said that this was likely to result in the extermination of the trumpeter swan because Henry Lake was "the solitary unprotected point on the short flyway of the swans between Yellowstone National Park and the Red Rocks Lake Wildlife Refuge which was established for their benefit."

2Presumably John W. Martyn, administrative assistant to the Secretary of War.


[WASHINGTON] December 1, 1941

DEAR HARRY: I want to avoid all possible crossing of wires with the Interior Department in regard to the Army use of public lands.1 I wish you would have a talk with Secretary Ickes in regard to this, in order to get some sort of clearance with the Interior Department before Army plans are finally made for the occupation or use of public lands.2

Always sincerely,


[13:OF 6—P:CT]

1See ante, 1070.

2Stimson replied Dec. 2, 1941 (OF 378), that he had halted Army plans to use Henry Lake, but that it had been planned to use the area for the training of mountain troops only in event of a further increase of such units.


[WASHINGTON] December 3, 1941

MY DEAR MR. REID: I am pleased to have your letter of November twelfth expressing your interest and that of the Izaak Walton League in various matters pertaining to the abatement of water pollution by industrial wastes and domestic sewage.1

I am sure you are aware of my continued interest in the protection of our streams and lakes from the harmful effects of undue amounts of polluting materials. I appreciate the need for the application of corrective measures and to this end Federal assistance is being given to the construction of sewage treatment plants where added contributions of polluting material are resulting from the defense program.

The entire problem is one, however, in which cooperation of Federal and State authorities is most essential for a permanent solution of this problem. I am sure that you will find the Federal Government willing to cooperate with State and local agencies where there is a disposition on the part of the local people to provide proper sewage treatment facilities.

The national defense program has required the careful distribution of various chemicals and materials, some of which are used for sanitation purposes including the treatment of public water supplies and sewage and industrial wastes. I am advised that essential materials for such purposes are being made equally available to the defense program and to civil authorities charged with operating sanitation facilities. It is hoped, therefore, that there need be no concern regarding a shortage of these essential chemicals for sanitation purposes.

The interest of the Izaak Walton League in these matters, and as expressed in your communication, is sincerely appreciated.2

Very sincerely yours,



[13:OF 114—A:CT]

1Reid wrote (OF 114—A) in approval of Roosevelt's letter to Federal Security Administrator McNutt of Oct. 17, 1941, in which McNutt was directed to investigate the reported breakdown of the water and sewage systems in Philadelphia. (The letter to McNutt has not been found in the Roosevelt papers; it was published in the New York Times, Oct. 18, 1941, p. 10.)

2Drafted by the Federal Security Agency.


[WASHINGTON] December 26, 1941

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I feel that I can no longer delay bringing to your attention the fact that we urgently need war legislation on some phases of forestry.

One need is for Federal regulation to stop the destructive cutting of privately owned forests. Thus increased war demands for timber could be met without impairing the productivity of the forests. Another is authority to extend and intensify fire protection, without which regulation cannot be effective. Authority to keep abreast of supply, demand, price and related factors should be broadened so that we can anticipate and provide against bottlenecks. To avoid direct appropriations for the purpose, authority is needed for RFC loans which can be used for the time being to acquire certain forest lands in order to prevent the repetition of such things as the spruce debacle of World War I in the Pacific Northwest. Provision is urgent for a marketing service for farmers, who through ignorance or lack of sales facilities are permitting clear cutting nearly everywhere at ridiculously inadequate prices.

The war has intensified these needs, which as you know have long been with us.

The best way to get the legislation we need is to capitalize on the opportunity provided by Senator Bankhead's introduction of a bill to carry out the recommendations of the Joint Congressional Committee on Forestry. The Senator apparently intends to press for enactment. Some of the provisions of his bill are satisfactory; others are not. It should be amended to meet war needs, to strengthen the weak parts, to provide for direct Federal action wherever feasible and to eliminate mandatory matching of funds by the States. Altogether, this should give us well-rounded legislation for both war and post-war requirements.

I urge that you authorize me to work this out with Congress along the lines indicated.1

Respectfully yours,


[13:OF 149:CT]

1Bankhead introduced two forestry bills on Nov. 13, 1941: S. 2043, "A bill to effectuate the recommendation of the Joint Congressional Committee on Forestry . . ." and S. 2044, "A bill to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to enter into lease agreements with farmers in order to provide for the management of their forest lands and the marketing of their forest products in accordance with proper forestry and marketing practices." Neither was reported from committee (Cong. Rec., 77th Cong., 1st sess., 87:8, 8812).


WASHINGTON, December 29, 1941

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: Yes, go ahead and try to work this out with Senator Bankhead.1 It is essential, however, to cut out the portions of the bill which would create subsidies to tree owners. If we start that we shall never get away from it.


[13:OF 149:CT]

1See above.


WASHINGTON, January 17, 1942

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: In these times few people have the vision to think of the future even if a small effort will result in mighty gains for later generations. You have that vision, and since you are the only one who can do anything to save the wonderful Porcupine Mountain area, I hope that you will read this letter of Irving Brant's.

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 149:T:COPY]


WASHINGTON, D. C., January 14, 1942

DEAR MR. SECRETARY: The campaign to save Porcupine Mountain in northern Michigan is at a critical stage. This forest—the last area of virgin northern hardwoods in the country and long desired as a national park—is being lumbered at the rate of 100,000 feet a day. The lumbering railroad, just built, runs directly into the most beautiful area which will therefore be almost the first cut. In this region as a whole the nature of the soil, loose sand, means that this kind of lumbering will produce a desert.

Congressman Hook's bill authorizes an RFC loan to acquire 165,000 acres, most of which would be selectively logged by the Forest Service to repay the loan. The Forest Service has promised that a scenic portion would be preserved from cutting by departmental order. The Hook bill is getting nowhere. Its author is shuttled between Jesse Jones and the Budget Director, the latter being hostile.

I should like to see the Hook bill passed to stop the cutting, but in the longer view it is unsound because it combines two desirable but incompatible objectives. An RFC loan on the commercial area would be a sound investment to stop the destructive lumbering. But if selective logging is relied on to finance both what is logged and what is not logged, it will result in logging all but a trifling part of the scenic area whose inviolate protection is the chief aim of the whole movement.

General Motors owns about 37,000 acres out of the 165,000 covered by the Hook bill, including most of the scenic area. It owns nearly all of Porcupine Mountain itself, and alternate sections along the beautiful Presque Isle River and other streams to the west, immediately threatened with lumbering. General Motors is doing no lumbering, but plans it in the future.

I think that General Motors should be asked by the President to give this land to the government for a national park, as a good will token return for what it is getting out of the government in defense contracts. It is valuable land. When a stand of hardwoods is so fine that it is worth being made into a national park it has high commercial value. But it is an invisible drop in the bucket of General Motors' war supply profits.

If this gift were made, it would then be sound financial policy to make an RFC loan for sustained yield lumbering in the surrounding area, and this part of Michigan would be saved from the ruin now facing it. The small purchases needed to solidify the park could be made out of this loan, without jeopardizing its repayment.

Unless action comes soon, the lumber company will destroy the scenic values of the district by cutting its alternate sections. Then General Motors will cut, and the country will be a blighted wasteland of rolling sand.1

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 149:T:COPY]

1Brant's and Ickes' letters were sent by Roosevelt to Budget Director Smith with a note, Jan. 20, 1942, reading: "For preparation of reply. I think that Ickes and Irving Brant are right. We ought to save this virgin timber." See below.


WASHINGTON, March 2, 1942

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Attached are your memorandum of February 13, 1942, with Director Harold D. Smith's memorandum of February 4, 1942, and the preceding correspondence concerning the desirability of preserving an adequate portion of the virgin forest and other scenic and recreational features of the Porcupine Mountains area in northern Michigan.1

Director Smith proposes an RFC loan of $27,800,000 for a period of 60 years, to purchase 1,300,000 acres of forest in northern Michigan and Wisconsin for forestry purposes. This proposal is essentially similar to the Hook-Brown bills (H. R. 3793 and S. 1131) in the present Congress.2 Of the total of 1,300,000 acres proposed to be purchased, 250,000 acres are covered with virgin forest, of which 30,000 acres would be set apart by the Secretary of Agriculture to be preserved in their natural condition for park purposes. Director Smith states that it is "very questionable that either economic or social justification can be found" for setting aside any larger portion of these lands for park purposes.3

Many economists and conservationists will disagree with Director Smith's view of the case.

Some indication of the comparative revenue-producing value of national parks and national forests may be found in the fact that in administration, protection, and maintenance for a recently computed five-year period, the Park Service was 42 percent self-supporting whereas the Forest Service, on a comparable basis, was only 27 percent self-supporting. A greater contrast may be seen in the fact that the average annual revenues of the Teton National Forests from 1934 to 1938 inclusive were only $13,860 whereas the average annual revenues from Yellowstone National Park for the same years were $314,272. Teton National Forest and Yellowstone National Park are contiguous reservations and are roughly of comparable size.

From the conservation angle, there is no national park readily accessible to the large populations of the Middle Western industrial centers. An adequate national park in the Porcupine Mountains region would serve an enormous number of people, but the park would have to be large enough to give them ample outdoor space. Thirty thousand acres in scattered tracts would be hopelessly inadequate. Moreover, national forest management is not a substitute for a national park. People do not enjoy logged off lands as much as they do an unspoiled primeval forest.

I am in sympathy with Director Smith's proposal that the purchase of critical forested areas be financed by an RFC loan at this time, and all of the areas mentioned in his letter are of interest to this Department also,4 but I believe that the proposition will be much sounder if the outstanding recreational lands are managed for park purposes by the National Park Service of this Department and the timber-producing lands are managed for timber production purposes by the Forest Service, as I have consistently advocated.

I suggest, therefore, that you request the Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior to consider the Hook-Brown bills, and similar proposals, and agree upon measures that both Departments can support, for submission through the Bureau of the Budget for your consideration.5

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 79:TS]

1Roosevelt's memorandum to Ickes of Feb. 13, 1942 (OF 149), covering the correspondence mentioned, reads: "What do you think? Please return papers for my files." Smith's memorandum of Feb. 4, 1942 (OF 149), is a detailed analysis of the financial problem involved in the purchase by the Agriculture Department of the Porcupine Mountain forest by means of a Reconstruction Finance Corporation loan. The "preceding correspondence" is Ickes' letter and enclosure, above.

2The Hook-Brown bill would have authorized the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to lend to the Agriculture Department $30,000,000 for the purchase of 1,500,000 acres of hemlock-hardwood forests in northern Michigan and Wisconsin, such lands to be administered as national forests or as state forests under cooperative arrangements. The bill authorized the establishment of sustained-yield units comprising national forest and private lands, or national forest lands exclusively, within which national forest timber could be sold without competitive bidding. The House bill was introduced on March 4, and the Senate bill on March 17, 1941, but neither was reported from committee (Cong. Rec., 77th Cong., 1st sess., 87:2, 1784, 2278).

3In this connection Smith said: "It is . . . very questionable that either economic or social justification can be found for locking against reasonable use any larger portion of these lands. On the whole they are hardly of National Park quality. In many places it has been repeatedly demonstrated that carefully managed timber utilization is not wholly incompatible with preservation of aesthetic values."

4Smith referred to other "critical areas" in the national pattern of forest-land ownership: the Cascade Mountain area, the California redwood forests, and the Quetico-Superior forest in Minnesota.

5An attached memorandum, Roosevelt to Smith, March 5, 1942, reads: "Will you talk this over with the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior and let me have a report?"


[WASHINGTON] March 16, 1942

DEAR ELBERT: You are dead right about the danger of forest fires on the Pacific Coast.1 It is obvious that many of them will be deliberately set on fire if the Japs attack there—and even if they do not attack there. I don't think people realize that both the CCC and the NYA are doing essential war work and that if they are abolished some machinery will have to be started to take their places—and probably at a net increased cost.

I have just sent Kenneth a letter, of which I enclose a copy.2

Always sincerely,


[13:OF 268:CT]

1Thomas, writing March 13, 1942 (OF 268), said that the McKellar bill (S. 2295), to abolish the Civilian Conservation Corps and the National Youth Administration, was before his committee, but that he was opposed to the bill, believing that the western forests needed more rather than less protection.

2See below.


[WASHINGTON] March 16, 1942

DEAR KENNETH: I hope you will come down and talk with me before anything more is done about S. 2295, which in effect provides for terminating the CCC and the NYA.

At the present time both of these organizations are engaged mostly on essential war work.

Just for example, we cannot afford to let the national forests go without fire protection. I am much worried about deliberate attempts to set our West Coast forests (and others too) on fire this Spring and Summer.

Similarly in NYA the bulk of their work is training workers for munitions plants. This work has to be done by somebody. If we set up wholly new machinery it will cost the Government more.

I hope you will run down and give me your ideas.1

Always sincerely,


[13:OF 268:CT]

1This bill, introduced by McKellar Feb. 23, 1942, was not reported (Cong. Rec., 77th Cong., 2d sess., 88:2, 1509). McKellar replied March 17, 1942 (OF 268), that he would be glad to discuss the matter at any time; he saw the President on March 21 (PPF I—O).


WASHINGTON, March 17, 1942

MEMORANDUM FOR THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUDGET: I approve your recommendations of March 14th in regard to C. C. C.1 The consolidation of it with N. Y. A. should be by executive order and not by the legislative route.

In regard to C. C. C., I would keep a skeleton organization going here in Washington with two or three definite orders.

(a) Take boys under twenty, giving preference to those who need physical rehabilitaiton in order to fit them for service in the army.

(b) Confine the C. C. C. work to forest fire prevention and looking after the bare maintenance of a number of national monuments or historic sites where they are now used.

In regard to N. Y. A., you might talk over the situation with Aubrey Williams—confine their work almost exclusively to the defense training program.


[13:OF 268:CT]

1Smith recommended against legislation to consolidate the Civilian Conservation Corps and the National Youth Administration because, he said, ". . . this legislation looks more and more like a youth program for the post-war period, and I feel definitely that it will be murdered if presented to Congress at this time" (OF 268).


WASHINGTON, D. C., May 16, 1942

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT: . . . On December 26, 1941 Secretary Wickard wrote you expressing the view that new forestry legislation is urgently needed. On December 29 you advised him to go ahead and try to work it out on the basis of Senator Bankhead's bill, S. 2043, which is designed to carry into effect the recommendations made last Spring by the Joint Congressional Committee on Forestry. You further advised that creation of subsidies to tree owners should be avoided, that action programs should be wholly Federal with "matching" requirements eliminated, and that special consideration should be given to farm woodlot owners.

Agriculture now wishes to report to the Senate upon the Bankhead bill by presenting a redraft covering the whole field of needs in forestry as envisioned by the present leadership of the Forest Service. During the past few months this proposed legislation has been thoroughly and jointly studied by representatives of Secretary Wickard and the Forest Service with members of my staff whose experience in and intimate familiarity with the forestry movement of this country extends back over 30 years. Upon this basis the principal legislative proposals of the Department and my recommendations with regard to each are presented as follows:

1. Federal Regulation of Forest Practices on Private Lands. The Secretary of Agriculture would be authorized to classify all privately-owned land in each State as either forest or nonforest land and through a system of National and local advisory boards, with the Forest Service as the action agency, determine the area of forest land on which operating practices would be regulated, formulate rules of practice, place these rules in effect, and enforce compliance. All "small woodlots the forest products of which are wholly or almost wholly (1) used by the owner for domestic nonindustrial purposes," (2) not marketed in commerce would be exempted from regulation. This would exempt many but not necessarily all farm woodlots.

The views of foresters and other qualified persons, whose interest in the better management of our forest resources is undoubtedly sincere, as to the necessity for and desirability of public regulation of forest practices, are widely divergent.

Few would deny the principle that the State should, if necessary, utilize its police power to keep forest land productive. Forest practices on private lands which would go beyond this minimum that legislation can reasonably be expected to bring about will be adopted when and only when private owners are convinced that such practices will pay. Many, perhaps most owners, have not been as open to conviction on the point of profit possibilities as they might have been, and foresters generally have been less active in determining the profit possibilities of refined forest practices than in urging their adoption.

The State foresters generally are opposed to Federal regulation. The American Forestry Association favors regulation, where found necessary, by the States rather than the Federal Government. This Association also has strongly urged that the highly controversial issue of forest regulation should be set aside until the war is won. The professional Society of American Foresters endorses public regulation to the extent necessary in any local situation but appears to lean toward State rather than Federal control. Forest industrial interests would, of course, fight vigorously this regulatory proposal.

This office believes that the need for public regulation and particularly Federal regulation of private forest practices has not been convincingly demonstrated. In general the protection of our forest resources and the application of sound practices in the management of these resources are making steady consistent progress each year. Despite the tremendous drain on our forests, arising from the current war, the danger of a timber shortage in the United States is steadily passing. I believe that with reasonable intensification of protection and cooperative action along the lines of research, education, technical advice and assistance, our public and private efforts will insure a growth of timber much more than sufficient to supply all consumption requirements. The economic problem of forestry in the United States is more likely to be one of markets than one of production. The introduction of legislation providing for Federal regulation in this field will certainly arouse a major controversy and would be particularly untimely now when unity of effort is so essential. The cost of a regulatory system such as is now proposed cannot be exactly determined but first year cost would probably not be less than $3,000,000 and this figure would undoubtedly increase year by year.

I recommend that the proposal for Federal regulation of forest practices on private lands be held as not at this time in accord with your program. OK1

2. Intensified Cooperative Forest Fire Protection. Under the Clarke-McNary Act of 1924 annual appropriations of not to exceed $2,500,000 are authorized for the cooperative Federal-State-private system of forest fire protection on State and private lands. The Department proposes an increase in the annual authorization to $9,000,000 and would eliminate the present requirement that State and private expenditure equal the Federal contribution.

This cooperative protection program which had its inception even before the enactment of the Clarke-McNary law has made steady and most gratifying progress for over 30 years. There remains the need for intensifying and expanding the program to the point of complete coverage. While I readily agree that a "matching" requirement may and frequently does seriously interfere with effective action in desirable programs, the present system of cooperative effort is in this instance thoroughly and successfully established, and a waiver of the matching requirement for the future might result merely in the assumption by the Federal Government of a greater proportionate share in the total program, rather than in the desirable more complete coverage.

I recommend your approval of the proposed increase in appropriation authorization and retention of the "matching" provision. OK

3. Cooperative Farm Forestry. Annual appropriations up to $2,500,000 would be authorized for intensified technical advice and assistance to farmers in connection with their woodlots. No matching of Federal expenditures would be required.

Your approval is recommended. Approve "a very inexpensive program based on the County Agent system."

4. Insect and Disease Control. The Secretary would be authorized directly or in cooperation with States and private owners to make surveys and undertake action programs designed to control or suppress forest insect pests and tree diseases, with appropriations in such amounts as Congress might from time to time determine to be necessary. No matching of expenditures would be required. The aim would be to discover and treat diseases and infestations in their incipient stages, thus reducing the necessity for large appropriations for eradication or suppression such as we are now forced to make in the white pine blister rust, Dutch elm disease, and similar programs. The annual cost aside from that of eradication or suppressing diseases or insects which might still get out of hand would approximate perhaps $500,000.

Your approval is recommended. No appro during war

5. Forest Management and Utilization Extension. The Secretary would be authorized to expand and intensify the furnishing of technical advice and assistance to nonfarm forest land. Without any clear-cut basic legislative authorization the Forest Service now engages in this work with the commercial forest owners to a very minor degree. This office believes that if such work were reasonably intensified and effectively carried on very excellent results would follow. In fact it is believed that through such a program regulation would become less and less necessary.

Appropriations for this purpose would be authorized in such amounts as Congress might from time to time determine to be necessary.

Your approval is recommended. OK

6. Sustained Yield Management Units. The Secretary would be authorized to organize units consisting of intermingled or adjacent National forest and private timber lands for sustained yield management, or to designate such units consisting wholly of National forest lands. Within such units he would be authorized to sell National forest stumpage without competitive bidding. There are many cases where only through such a plan will it be possible to bring about sustained yield management and insure the permanent economic and social welfare of communities dependent upon the forest resources. No new special appropriations would be necessary, the legislation providing that the work done under this head be chargeable to the regular Department appropriations. Additional costs would probably not exceed $50,000 per annum.

Your approval is recommended. OK

7. Forest Credit. Long and short term credit would be provided through Farm Credit Administration facilities with specialist personnel. Loans to cooperatives would be authorized for terms up to 20 years for general operating purposes.

It is believed that the proposed strengthening of the Federal forest credit facilities would be very beneficial particularly with respect to the farm woodlot owners and other small owners of commercial forest properties.

Your approval is recommended. OK

8. Forest Cooperatives. The legislation would definitely promote the establishment of cooperatives which would result in greatly improved management and utilization of small forest holdings.

Your approval is recommended. OK Forest Land-Leases—not in accord see previous files.

9. Forest Insurance. The Federal Crop Insurance Act2 would be amended to provide for insuring growing forests against loss of damage by fire, disease, or other natural causes in accordance with sound insurance practices, the premiums of such insurance to be computed and payable in cash. Federal crop insurance met with severe criticism in Congress this Spring and the future of the wheat and cotton insurance programs now in operation is most uncertain. I believe these programs might be further jeopardized if an attempt were made at this time to expand the field of coverage. Furthermore it is not believed that there is as yet any sound actuarial basis for forest insurance.

I recommend that the forest insurance proposal be held not in accord with your program. OK

10. Forest Survey. The Secretary would be authorized to complete and keep current the nation-wide survey of forest resources launched by the McSweeney-McNary Act of 1928 with annual appropriations in such amounts as found necessary.

Your approval is recommended. OK

11. Community Forests. The new legislation would broaden the authority provided in the Fulmer Act of 1935 to aid States and other local governmental units in acquiring and managing forest lands, with authority for appropriations aggregating $10,000,000, not to exceed $2,500,000 in any one year.

Theoretically the Federal expenditures in this program would be reimbursed through revenues derived by the States or local governmental units from the forest lands so acquired. On two occasions you have submitted estimates to Congress to make operative the very similar plan authorized by the original Fulmer act. These estimates were rejected by Congress. This office regards the proposed plan as not at all likely to be self-liquidating and generally unsound.

I recommend disapproval of this proposal. OK

12. National Forest Planting. At present the annual expenditures for nursery and planting operations under the regular National Forest appropriations are limited to $400,000. The new legislation would remove this limitation.

I recommend your approval. OK

13. Financial Contribution in Lieu of Taxes to Local Governments. "Conservation lands" would be defined as (1) National forests, and (2) lands held under Title III of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act. The legislation would authorize the payment to the States of 25 percent of the gross receipts from timber sales on such lands, but not exceeding 3/4 percent per annum of the value of the timber on such lands, plus 25 percent of all other receipts from such lands and an additional sum if necessary to make the annual return to the State equal to 3/4 of 1 percent of the cost of the lands.

Various plans are now in effect for payment to the States in lieu of taxes on lands acquired by the Federal Government. While the plan now proposed for the National forest and Bankhead-Jones lands is not specifically objectionable, if new legislation of this sort is to be enacted it should be sufficiently comprehensive to cover all forms of nonurban Federal land acquisition and harmonize the different formulas now in effect.

I recommend your approval if amended as above suggested. OK

14. National Forest Acquisition. Federal acquisition of critical areas of privately-owned forest lands bearing commercial stands of timber would be authorized until 1960 through use of Reconstruction Finance Corporation loans limited, at any one time, to $250,000,000. This program is designed to be self-liquidating over a long term of years, the revenues from the lands so purchased to be used for repaying the RFC loans with interest at 3 percent. In the event that such revenues were insufficient to repay any loan within 60 years from the date there of the Treasury would make up the deficit from funds not otherwise obligated.

This authorization would make widely applicable the plan proposed in the Hook bill, H. R. 3793, to provide for acquisition of the Porcupine Mountain area and adjacent lands in the Michigan peninsula.

Your approval is recommended. OK


[13:OF 79:TS]

1This and the succeeding italicized notations were made by Budget Director Smith in the course of a review of the memorandum with Roosevelt at the White House on May 13, according to an attached note, Coy to Roosevelt, May 16, 1942.

2Title V of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 (52 Stat. 72).


WASHINGTON, May 19, 1942

MEMORANDUM . . . In regard to forestry legislation, I think that at this time, and until the war is over, the following policy should be followed without any further action on the part of the Federal Government:

1. There should be no Federal legislation providing for Federal regulation of forestry practices on private lands.

2. In regard to the problem of the farmer's wood lot within slightly larger areas, while regulation should not be started we ought to start a very inexpensive program based on the county agent system, with the objective of instruction and advice to the farmer on his tree crops in the same way as we now give it to the farmer on his annual agricultural crop production.

The need for this has come to me very forcibly during the past year. I know of very many cases where timber cruisers have gone to farmers and have offered them a price far below market value for special types of trees. The farmer has been glad to get the cash and has not known how to find out what the real value of his trees is. For instance, in Georgia I know of a number of farmers who have sold their trees on the stump for 50% of the stumpage value. The same thing has been true in Dutchess County where many people have sold excellent timber for $8.00 a thousand, when they could have got $16.00 a thousand. Furthermore, the farm wood lot stumpage sales have in most cases contained no provision for the removal of tops or for the preservation of the other trees. Slash operations have been the rule rather than the exception.

I should like to have the Department of Agriculture study this subject with the objective of providing three things for the average farm wood lot owner:

(a) The real value of the timber

(b) The safeguarding of the removal of the timber

(c) What types of trees he should encourage and what types he should get rid of.

Finally, I am inclined to think that through the county agent system it might be possible to get even a part time agent who knows enough about the subject to start a policy, which I hope will later become general, and which ultimately can be handled by forester experts.

I approve your recommendation in regard to fire protection.

Your paragraph No. 3 is covered at the beginning of this letter.

I do not believe that in time of war we can afford to increase appropriations for insect and disease control.

I approve your paragraphs Nos. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14.


[13:OF 149:TS]


WASHINGTON, June 1, 1942

MEMORANDUM . . . Can you get together and present a united front in regard to the acquisition of the Porcupine Mountain area? I understand a large part of it is owned by General Motors. How about an effort to get them to deed all their acreage on the basis of their getting lumber out of it by the selective cutting process, spaced over a number of years in the post-war period? That would insure the right kind of cutting—and General Motors ought to be very liberal with the Government.

I am told that we ought to have 150,000 acres and that a large portion of this has already been lumbered and should be treated as a reforestation project. Also, I am inclined to think that 50,000 acres in the heart of it should be kept as a National Monument or National Park— in its original condition without cutting.

What do you think?1


[13:OF 149:CT]

1Ickes replied (June 10, 1942) that National Park Service Director Drury would visit the area and that a conference would then be held with the Agriculture Department. Wickard replied (June 26, 1942) that this procedure was satisfactory, and writing again on July 22, said that the two departments had agreed on amendments to the pending bills H. R. 3793 and S. 1131 (OF 149).


WASHINGTON, June 8, 1942

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: I have signed H. R. 2685 authorizing the disposal of recreational demonstration projects—by turning them over to States under certain conditions.1

I think the authority granted is good but I hope that you will be guided by certain circumstances which are important from the long range point of view. I suggest a few of these:

(a) I do not think we should give up those recreational areas which lie along any possible through parkway. I have in mind the Catoctin recreational area which would undoubtedly be traversed by any expansion of the Skyline Drive through Maryland and Pennsylvania to connect with Bear Mountain Park and the Berkshires.

(b) I do not think we should give up any recreational area which at a later period could be greatly extended into a national monument or a national park.

(c) Very strict supervision by the Interior Department over state or local management should be established in order to assure adequate upkeep and improvement.

(d) We should encourage States to adopt laws similar to the New York laws under which a very large number of State parks have been created for scenic and recreational purposes.

(e) I think we should encourage the payment of a small fee for the use of these areas so as to get back as much as possible of the cost of upkeep. The New York State parks, large and small, are very nearly all on a paying basis.



1Approved June 6, 1942 (56 Stat. 326), H. R. 2685 authorized the Secretary of the Interior, with the approval of the President, to convey or lease without charge certain of the Federal recreational demonstration projects to the states or their political subdivisions, and provided also that certain of the projects might be added to existing national parks and monuments. An earlier bill to accomplish these purposes had been vetoed (see ante, 940).


[WASHINGTON] June 17, 1942

MEMORANDUM FOR THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUDGET: I wish you would make it clear, on my behalf, to the Appropriations Committee in the Senate that the elimination of the CCC will call for a wholly separate appropriation to take its place in two of the CCC activities.

The first is the need for forest fire protection, especially on the Pacific Coast and back as far as the Rockies, where we must guard against Japanese incendiary bombs and incendiary fires during the dry season. This is an essential for our national future.

The second is the building of roads and other facilities for camps. These have to be built by someone and I shall have to ask for a special appropriation to let the work out by contract instead of having it done by the CCC.

Make it clear that the abolishing of the CCC saves the nation no money.1


[13:OF 268:CT]

1The Civilian Conservation Corps had at this time 158 camps working on military reservations, 42 more camps were about to be assigned to similar work, and 150 camps were to be assigned to forest protection. CCC Director McEntee estimated that to do this indispensable work with other labor would cost $125,000,000. Since the CCC budget called for $80,000,000, abolishing the agency would cost the Government $45,000,000 (McEntee to McIntyre, June 16, 1942, OF 268).


MY DEAR SENATOR SHIPSTEAD: I thank you for bringing to my attention the letter addressed to you by Mr. Al Belair, Secretary, Allied Sportsmen, Inc., of Minnesota, under date of July 12, 1942. Mr. Belair's letter is returned, as requested.1

The Quetico-Superior Committee, created by me in 1934, has recommended the establishment of an international reserve in the Quetico-Superior Area. It has also recommended that the administration of this Area, both within the United States and Canada, be left in the agencies which now exercise it, but that the two Nations join in a treaty which would permanently assure harmonious administration. Through the Secretary of State, I have informally indicated to the Dominion Government my approval of the Committee's recommendations. It appears from that Government's response that the negotiation of a treaty should be deferred until the conclusion of peace. In the meantime the Quetico-Superior Committee has received assurances from officials of the Ontario Government that lumbering within the proposed reserve will be carried on, in so far as possible, so that the recreational opportunities and the natural beauty of the area will not be destroyed. You may assure Mr. Belair that on the Minnesota side of the border the Indian Service of the Department of the Interior and the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture are actively cooperating with the Quetico-Superior Committee and are pursuing the same objectives.

Although Mr. Belair does not refer to the attitude of the State of Minnesota, I assume that his desire to have Federal protection for this area immediately assured by treaty arises from a change in policy of the Minnesota Department of Conservation. Until recently the program for Federal acquisition of this border area apparently had the approval of that Department. The State Conservation Commission in 1935 invited Federal acquisition of certain areas outside of the Superior National Forest. This action followed express approval of the program by Governor Floyd Olson. More recently, however, the State Department of Conservation, presumably with Governor Stassen's approval, has indicated a hostility to the extension of Federal control. I believe that the whole of the Quetico-Superior Area should be under Federal administration, for the project is of national interest.2

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 1119:CT]

1A copy is with Shipstead's covering letter of July 15, 1942 (OF 1119). Belair, on behalf of Allied Sportsmen, Inc., of Minnesota, urged the immediate conclusion of a treaty with Canada to assure the future preservation of the Quetico-Superior region as a wilderness area.

2(Drafted by the Interior Department.) The existence of the Quetico-Superior Committee was extended for another four-year term by Executive Order 9213, issued Aug. 4, 1942. Ickes reviewed the committee's progress in a letter to Roosevelt of June 23, 1942 (OF 1119). In 1948, under the Thye-Blatnik Act of June 22, 1948 (62 Stat. 568), Congress authorized expenditures up to $500,000 for the condemnation and purchase of lands in the area threatened with exploitation by hotel and resort owners. On Dec. 17, 1949, President Truman issued Executive Order 10092 barring air traffic over the "Roadless Areas" reserved for canoe travel. The legality of the executive order was challenged in the courts but was upheld: see Russell P. Andrews, Wilderness Sanctuary (ICP Case Series: Number 13, revised, Swarthmore, Pa., 1954).


WASHINGTON, September 29, 1942

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: The enclosed memorandum, which has been summarized by Under Secretary Fortas, will answer at least in part some of the questions that you asked about lumber at a recent Cabinet meeting.

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 446:TS]


WASHINGTON, September 24, 1942

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY: I have made a "brief" abstract of Mr. Muck's memorandum1 for you:

The timber supply and mill capacity are adequate to meet the present unprecedented demand for lumber. However, the skilled labor, and in some areas the unskilled labor, available to convert standing timber into logs and lumber is inadequate.

The national lumber requirements for the year 1942 have been estimated by the war agencies at about 29 billion feet B. M. This is about 10 percent above last year's lumber consumption.

Lumber production is currently running about 8 percent below last year, and during the second quarter of 1942 consumption exceeded production by approximately 13 percent. Accordingly, lumber stocks at the mill are being rapidly depleted. Action will be needed to hold mill and woods labor, to lift the embargo on Canadian logs, and to secure sufficient logging machinery and parts, particularly tires, to maintain maximum operating efficiency.

The danger of over cutting is not yet serious except with respect to certain species of which there is a limited volume available in the United States. This is particularly true of spruce in the Pacific Northwest.

Canada, our major source of softwood lumber imports, has directed the allocation of 75 percent of the production of coastal lumber mills in the province of British Columbia to fill Canadian, United Kingdom and British Columbia requirements. The United States, which formerly took 50 percent of this production, has accordingly been limited to half that amount.

This Department has set a production goal of approximately one billion feet B. M. of timber from the Oregon and California Revested lands and from Indian lands for the year 1942. During the fiscal year 1942, a total volume of 456,131,000 feet B. M. having a value of more than a million dollars was cut from the O. and C. forests. The volume of timber cut and marketed during the year 1941 was 383 million feet B. M., reflecting a production increase for the year 1942 of approximately 75 million feet B. M.

One hundred and ninety-five new timber sale contracts were completed covering the O. and C. lands during the fiscal year 1942, involving 482,271,000 feet B. M., for which the purchasers agreed to pay a total of $1,356,820.

The sale of timber from Indian forests was also increased during the fiscal year 1942 and the income received was substantially increased by reason of the advance in stumpage prices which occurred. It is expected that the volume depleted during this period will approximate 600 million feet B. M. and that the value received will be in the neighborhood of $2,000,000.

This increase in lumber production on Department lands has been conducted in full accordance with the Department's conservation policies and the legal requirements with respect to the application of the principles of sustained yield forest management.

As a result of action by this Department, plans have crystallized for the development of the large supply of spruce in Alaska and the opening up of State lands on the Olympic peninsula. It has been predicted that approximately 60 million feet B. M. of Alaska spruce could be made available during the year 1942. However, it appears that a volume of not over 10 million feet can be delivered from Alaska during the current year.

Based on figures now available, it has been estimated that the requirements of the United Kingdom for Sitka spruce for the period July 1, 1942, to December 31, 1942, will be approximately 12,367,000 feet B. M., and that production during this same period for the United Kingdom in the United States will be approximately 5,352,000 feet B. M. Estimates of requirements for the United States for the period July 1, 1942, to December 31, 1942, have now been placed by the War Production Board at 9,500,000 feet B. M., and potential production for that period for the United States has been estimated at 8,000,000 feet B. M.

In view of the impending serious shortage in the supply of spruce, there is every reason to believe that opinion demanding the cutting of the spruce timber in the Olympic National Park will become more and more manifest. There is no denying the fact that this timber is accessible and that it could be placed on the market in a comparatively short period of time. The question as to whether it should be developed in the interest of the war is one of national policy which in my judgment should receive your careful consideration.

The forest protection program of the Department was greatly strengthened early in the year 1941 by reason of its connection with the Facility Security Program of the Office of Civilian Defense, and the close cooperative relationships established with the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture and State and private protection agencies. Protection programs were effected upon the enactment of the Sixth Supplemental National Defense Appropriation Act for 1942-43 which appropriated $812,000 for the protection of forest, brush, and grass lands under the jurisdiction of this Department and $800,000 for the protection of mineral resources and facilities, including petroleum. An additional appropriation of $95,900 for the protection of forests was contained in the Interior Appropriation Act 1943, thus making a grand total of $907,900 in addition to the regular funds appropriated to the land-management agencies of the Department for protection purposes. For the first time in the history of the Department a comparatively adequate plan of protection for the resources under its jurisdiction is in effect.


[13:OF 446:TS]

1Lee Muck was an assistant to Secretary Ickes. His memorandum to the latter, Sept. 18, 1942, is present.


WASHINGTON, October 12, 1942

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: At a recent Cabinet meeting you raised questions (1) about the relationship between the drain on our forests from cutting and other causes and forest growth, and (2) whether the amount of destructive cutting had increased.

Your reference to an adverse 4 to 1 drain-growth ratio of some years ago and a present 2 to 1 ratio applies to the larger timber—that of saw-timber size.

Actually the estimates, both of which were made by the Department, are not comparable. One among several reasons for this is the fact that the first represents the best approximation which could be made some 20 years ago from very meager data. The second is based mainly on our Nation-wide forest survey, which has now covered approximately half of our forest area.

Forest growth has not increased by any such amount as the two estimates indicate. Growth has increased from a gradual expansion in fire protection and from better practices by some forest owners. But this has largely been offset by a continuation of bad cutting practices.

Recently, with the tremendous lumber demands which have characterized World War II, destructive cutting has increased. I am appalled at the reports which are reaching me of its extent and severity. Ninety-five percent of our cutting is on private land. Probably not over 20 percent of present private land cutting is with any conscious intent to maintain forest productivity. More than at any time in the past the land is being skinned of everything big enough to make a 2 x 4 or a piece of car blocking. This is particularly true in our second growth eastern forests and on the smaller holdings.

Incidentally, the ratio of drain to growth is much higher than average in the larger high-quality saw-timber material. This is where we are now having special difficulty in meeting our requirements—for example, in spruce and birch for airplanes, Port Orford cedar for separators in storage batteries, oak for ship timbers, and Douglas fir for plywood and ship decking. In fact, we are having great difficulty in maintaining the production of lumber in general. One of the main reasons is the depletion of forest resources in many areas due to destructive cutting practices in the past.

I am convinced that we can meet war requirements for forest products without destroying the young growth upon which continuing productivity depends. Destructive cutting is not necessary to maintain output.

Destructive cutting now is going to hurt us in the post-war period in meeting civilian demands, in supplying jobs, in progress toward curing sore spots in our social and economic system caused by bad forest practices.

I believe that the whole problem of meeting war requirements and at the same time maintaining the productivity of our forests unimpaired can be met much more wisely. In the near future I want to suggest ways and means for doing this.



[13:OF 149:TS]


WASHINGTON, D. C., Oct. 28, 1942

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT: Reference is made to your memorandum of March 5, 1942, addressed to me,1 transmitting a letter from the Secretary of the Interior dated March 2, 1942, with respect to the acquisition and preservation of the Porcupine Mountains and to the request contained in your memorandum that I talk this matter over with the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior and give you a report thereon.

This office has been endeavoring for many months to get an agreement between Agriculture and Interior on this proposal and we have just received a report on the subject from the Secretary of the Interior in which he concurs in the views and recommendations of the Secretary of Agriculture as to the principal objectives and features of the legislation.

There are, however, still two points of disagreement between Agriculture and Interior, namely, first, the Department of Agriculture recommends that the bills pending on the subject be amended by substituting the Commodity Credit Corporation for the Reconstruction Finance Corporation as a source of funds with which to acquire the property, on the premise that it would be more appropriate to finance this project as an agricultural project from funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation. The Interior Department does not agree with this conclusion and points out that financing through the Reconstruction Finance Corporation would be more appropriate. This office concurs in the position taken by the Interior Department on this phase of the proposal. Second, the Department of Agriculture recommends that the legislation be amended so as to provide that determinations with respect to the area and limitations of the Porcupine Mountains National Monument, proposed to be established by the bill, be determined jointly by the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior, subject to the approval of the President. Interior Department is of the opinion that such a determination should be left to that Department.

While this office is not opposing the establishment of such a Monument, it proposes to advise each Department that there would be no objection to the submission of their proposed reports to the respective Congressional committees and leave to the Congress the determination as to the conditions and limitations that should be imposed with respect to the establishment of the Monument.

As you are aware, considerable pressure is being brought about in Congressional sources for the clearance of the reports of Agriculture and Interior on this proposed legislation and unless you inform me to the contrary, I will advise the Department of Agriculture that its recommendation with respect to the amendment hereinabove referred to regarding the source of funds to be used for the acquisition of property, would not be in accord with your program, and advise each of the Departments that with this exception, there would be no objection to the submission of their respective reports to the Committee, notwithstanding the fact that there was a lack of agreement between them as to the conditions and limitations that should be observed in the establishment of the Monument.


[Notation: AS] OK FDR

[13:OF 149:TS]

1OF 79.


WASHINGTON, October 29, 1942

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: At a recent Cabinet Meeting you asked me to prepare for your consideration a program to increase lumber production and to decrease destructive cutting practices. I forwarded my proposal under date of October 23.

At the time of your request I told you that we had been discussing such a program with WPB for several months, but had been unable to obtain definite encouragement until very recently when Don Nelson1 told me that WPB was going to change its attitude.

I am now convinced that WPB does not intend to approve an effective program of this nature, because I have received another letter which makes reservations, and calls for further negotiations.

I am enclosing a chronological record of our unsuccessful efforts to work out a program with WPB. . . .

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 446:TS]

1Donald M. Nelson, Chairman of the War Production Board.

1093 [Enclosure]

The Proposed Forest Products Program of the Dept. of Agriculture Progress


June 5 Secretary discussed the proposal with the President and then with Donald Nelson.

June 15 The Secretary wrote to Donald Nelson suggesting that an agency in the Forest Service collaborate with WPB to stimulate production of lumber and other forest products, using Commodity Credit Corporation funds.

June 26 As a result a conference was held by representatives of WPB and Forest Service. Nathan1 asked for specific plan and illustrative examples of its operation.

July 7 The above requested "General Plan—Illustrative Examples," and a proposed Memo of Understanding, D of A and WPB, reviewed in conference by the WPB representatives Alexander2 and others and Forest Service people.

July 15 Six copies of revised General Plan, Illustrative Examples, and proposed Memo of Understanding, WPB and Department of Agriculture, sent WPB at its request for "WPB staff consideration" prior formal consideration by Mr. Nelson and Secretary Wickard.

August 7 Further conference with WPB representatives on above material.

August 11 Further conference with WPB representatives on above material.

August 26 Secretary formally transmitted above material to Nelson for final action.

August 27 Acknowledgement received from Nelson with suggestion that additional conference be held.

Sept. 9 WPB officials Alexander and Upson3 held the "conference" with Forest Service representatives.

Sept. 10 All the above material revised slightly in accordance with conference agreements of September 9, sent WPB for final action.

Sept. 23 Secretary Wickard wrote Mr. Nelson again asking if any way in which he might help expedite action on proposed Forest Products Program.

Oct. 8 At Cabinet meeting, Nelson speaking to the Secretary, deplored delay in acting on the proposal.

Oct. 22 Reply from WPB (Nelson). Agreed "it would be desirable to have CCC in a position to finance"—small sawmills, etc. However, the proposal "should be modified" (concerning points on which full agreement reached with WPB representatives previously, i. e., non-"interference" with Central Procurement and non-"interference" with WPB). Nelson's Assistants—Alexander and Upson—directed to be "available to your staff to consummate such an arrangement."4

[13:OF 446:T]

1Robert R. Nathan, chairman of the Planning Committee of the War Production Board.

2Ben Alexander, an assistant to Nelson, was president of Masonite Corporation.

3Arthur T. Upson, chief of the Lumber and Lumber Products Branch of the WPB Bureau of Industry.

4An attached memorandum, Roosevelt to Rosenman, Nov. 2, 1942, reads: "Can you get at the bottom of this and try to work it out?"


[WASHINGTON] November 6, 1942

DEAR UNCLE FRED: Ever so many thanks for that mighty interesting report about the Arkansas Valley. I most certainly want to send it to Congress as a suggestion for a large post-war planned operation.1



[13:OF 1092:CT]

1National Resources Planning Board, Regional Planning, Part XII, Arkansas Valley, Preliminary Report (October, 1942), sent by Delano with a letter of Nov. 4, 1942 (OF 1092). In this letter Delano referred to a talk by Roosevelt to the board, "soon after the T. V. A. got going," on the possibilities of the development of the Arkansas Valley.


[WASHINGTON] November 20, 1942

DEAR GOVERNOR: I am very happy to have the report on forestry by your Forest Advisory Committee.1

I do hope that while we are in the war we can prevent unnecessary waste and, if the war ends while I am still here, I hope to call a conference of the State Executives on the whole subject of commercial forestry, including commercially using forests on State or Federal forest lands.

It has long been my thought that we are confronted with two problems. First, year by year we are cutting more lumber in the United States than the annual growth. Therefore, with each succeeding year, lumber becomes scarcer. Second, we are coming into an era when lumber will be used more and more as a fiber with which to make composition materials of all kinds. That means a greater demand. We have not solved that problem yet, by a long way.

Very sincerely yours,



[13:OF 149:CT]

1Let's Keep Washington Forests Growing (Forest Advisory Committee: Olympia, 1942).


WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 1942

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: On September 29, I submitted to you two memoranda on the lumber situation generally and airplane spruce conditions in particular. Since that time, this Department has given consideration to the availability of and the need for cutting Sitka spruce on lands under our jurisdiction in western Washington.

The lands in question, known as the Queets Corridor and the Ocean Strip, were acquired with a view to ultimate incorporation in the Olympic National Park pursuant to Executive Order No. 6343 of October 18, 1933, under the National Industrial Recovery Act. They have not yet been given a national park status. I am advised that with your approval timber may be sold from such lands (Act of June 16, 1933, 48 Stat. 195, 202, Title II, sec. 203).

There is no doubt that there is an acute shortage of logs for the manufacture of airplane stock in the Grays Harbor and Puget Sound areas. A substantial amount of Sitka spruce that could be removed without serious impairment of scenic and recreational values, is available within the Queets Corridor area. This Department has been zealously devoted to the maintenance of primitive conditions in national park and monument areas, but the critical shortage of timber for airplane production for war purposes compels me to suggest a temporary deviation from that policy.

I accordingly request that you authorize me to sell, for war purposes, spruce and Douglas fir timber on the Queets Corridor and Ocean Strip lands in accordance with the principles of selective logging.

Sincerely yours,


THE WHITE HOUSE, December 24, 1942.


[13:OF 446:CT]


WASHINGTON, January 16, 1943

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I enclose a memorandum with respect to your desire to set up the proposed Porcupine Mountains National Monument in Michigan. We, of course, are willing to introduce legislation but you will note that even if such a bill should pass, it would not include some of the area. Director Drury makes the suggestion to me that I may wish to confer with General Knudsen1 to ascertain whether the General Motors Corporation would be willing to donate certain lands. I know General Knudsen so slightly that I have no reason to believe that anything that I might say would be influential. Moreover, I wonder whether he could speak now for General Motors. I suspect that you could designate someone else to do it with a better chance of results, unless, of course, you feel like doing it yourself.

Considering the fact that Senator Brown and Congressman Hook were both defeated in November, I shall await instructions from you before proceeding further.2

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 149:TS]

1William S. Knudsen (1879-1948), former president of General Motors Corporation, was at this time director of production for the War Department on the War Production Board.

2Senator Prentiss M. Brown and Rep. Frank E. Hook of Michigan, sponsors of the Hook-Brown bill, mentioned in the enclosure.


CHICAGO, January 8, 1943

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY: This is to call to your attention the status of the proposed Porcupine Mountains National Monument, Michigan, which the President approved in principle when you submitted to him the letter of January 14, 1942 from Mr. Irving Brant 1 (copies attached).

On June 1, 1942 (copies attached) the President requested the Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior "to get together" on the acquisition of the area. This, you will recall was done through field conferences and by agreeing upon a suggested amendment of the Hook-Brown bill, which amendment would have authorized the establishment of a national monument comprising 45,000 acres.

The Department of Agriculture, however, did not submit a final report upon the bill because that Department wanted the purchase program to be financed by the Commodity Credit Corporation, whereas the Bureau of the Budget wanted the program financed by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, as originally written in the bill.

Due to the defeat of Senator Brown and Congressman Hook, and drawing my inference from informal conferences with representatives of the Department of Agriculture, I believe it is doubtful that the so-called Hook-Brown bill will be reintroduced in the present session of Congress. The forest is being logged so rapidly that there is little hope of saving anything unless we act in the near future. One of the suggestions in Mr. Brant's letter was that General Motors Corporation might be interested in donating its lands within the proposed monument area (see attached map).2 General Motors holdings do not include all the land that would be necessary for the proposed monument, but the Corporation owns an important part of the remaining virgin forest. The donation of these lands might pave the way for obtaining additional lands either by donation or through an appropriation by Congress.

It is suggested that you may wish to confer with Mr. Knudsen to ascertain whether General Motors Corporation would be willing to donate the lands.

There is attached a copy of Planning and Civic Comment for July, 1942, on pages 30-33 of which there are pictures of the Porcupine Mountains forest.1


[13:OF 149:TS]

1Ante, 1077.

2Present, as is the publication mentioned below.

3No action was taken by the Federal Government but in 1944 Michigan established the Porcupine Mountains State Park in the area. This comprises about 50,000 acres.


[WASHINGTON] February 22, 1943

DEAR UNCLE FRED: I am much upset over the Congressional attitude toward the National Resources Planning Board. The need for such studying and planning as your Board is doing is so obvious that I am very hopeful that the Senate will restore the appropriation.

I know that you and your staff can and will present a strong argument to the Senate Appropriations Committee for the full amount of $1,400,000 as requested for the Board in the Budget estimates.

Congressman Cannon's reply to my letter to him of February sixteenth is attached for your information.1

Very sincerely yours,



[13:OF 1092:CT]

1(Drafted by McIntyre.) The Budget Bureau estimate for the National Resources Planning Board was dropped from the 1944 Independent Offices Appropriation Bill (H. R. 1762) by the House Appropriations Committee, of which Cannon (Mo.) was chairman. Roosevelt's letter to Cannon of February 16 was a request that the item be restored (OF 1092). Cannon replied Feb. 19, 1943 (OF 1092), that he thought it better strategy to try to get the appropriation restored in the Senate since the House committee was hostile. In the meantime, on February 17, an attempt was made in the House to secure favorable action. Representative Magnuson (Wash.) proposed an amendment to appropriate $415,000 for a "National Resources Planning Council" but a point of order made by Dirksen (Ill.) that there was no legal authorization for such an appropriation was upheld (Cong. Rec., 78th Cong., 1st sess., 89:1, 1072). Roosevelt again requested an NRPB appropriation in identical letters to Representative Cannon and to Senator Glass, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, both dated March 24, 1943 (OF 1092). The Senate, on May 27, 1943, approved an appropriation of $200,000, following a lengthy debate in which Taft (Ohio), Tydings (Md.) and Byrd (Va.) attacked the NRPB and its predecessors as being unauthorized, useless and dangerous. The House refused to accept the Senate action, however, and the Independent Offices Act as approved June 26, 1943, provided for the abolition of the National Resources Planning Board ns of Aug. 31, 1943 (Cong. Rec., 89:4, 4942-4966; 89:5, 6044-6045; 57 Stat. 169).


WASHINGTON, February 27, 1943

DEAR "PA": This is what I was telephoning to you about yesterday:

For some fifteen years John D. Rockefeller, Jr., has been offering to give, without cost, approximately 32,000 acres of land to the Government. This land will not cost the Government a cent. No strings are attached to the offer except that the land be used either as a park or a national monument. It is intended that the land should be included in the Teton Mountains National Park, or be set up with adjoining United States forestry land as a national monument.

This land has cost Mr. Rockefeller about $1,500,000. He has been paying taxes on it of $11,000 a year while waiting for the Government to say either "yes" or "no" to his offer. He is now almost 70 years old, and, with the heavy additional taxes that he will be called upon to pay, he wants to get his affairs in order. Before Christmas he wrote to me, and the day before Christmas itself, he called on me to explain that he could not continue to offer this land to the Government later than February 28, next. I promised to take it up with the President, having in mind suggesting to the President the setting up of a national monument, which can be done under the law.

There should be no publicity on this. My own view is that the President ought to set up a national monument before we lose an offer that will never be made again. We need this land, not only to round out our park holdings in the Grand Teton area, including Jackson Lake, but also because much of this land would afford winter feed for elk and deer, thousands of which are without sufficient forage during the winter.

Naturally, I am anxious to move. We have the Executive Order all drawn and it has been submitted to Director Smith of the Budget. I have Director Smith's authority to say that he is in favor of setting up this monument and doing it now. I hope for an early appointment with the President on this matter.1

Sincerely yours,



1Ickes had lunch with the President on March 12; the proclamation creating the Jackson Hole National Monument (No. 2578) was issued March 15, 1943. Rockefeller wrote to Roosevelt on March 17, 1943 (OF 6—P), that in establishing the monument he had "made possible the preservation for all time of the most uniquely beautiful and dramatic of all the areas set aside for national park purposes."


WASHINGTON, March 15, 1943

MY DEAR GOVERNOR LANGLIE: I am prepared to issue a proclamation adding to the Olympic National Park, approximately 20,600 acres of the area known as the Morse Creek Watershed, which is within the boundaries of the Olympic National Forest. A copy of the proclamation is enclosed.

Section 5 of the act establishing Olympic National Park, approved June 29, 1938 (52 Stat. 1241, 1242, 16 U. S. C. sec. 255), provides that "before issuing any such proclamation, the President shall consult with the Governor of the State of Washington, the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture and advise them of the lands which he proposes to add to such park, and shall afford them a reasonable opportunity to consult with and communicate to him their views with respect to the addition of such lands to such park."

The proposed addition is desirable to simplify administration of the park, and to place a scenic area under the most suitable land classification. Permanent protection of the forest in this watershed is essential to the water supply for the City of Port Angeles.

Regional Director Tomlinson of the National Park Service and Superintendent Macy of Olympic National Park have maps showing in detail the land involved, and will be glad to confer with you at your convenience, if you so desire.

I shall be pleased to have you communicate your views to me concerning this proposed extension.1

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 6—P:CT]

1(Drafted by the Interior Department.) The addition included the greater part of Mount Angeles on the northern boundary of the park and a lake of the same name. It also gave the National Park Service control over the route from Port Angeles to the park. Governor Langlie replied March 25, 1943 (OF 6—P), offering no objection to the proposed enlargement. This was effected by Proclamation 2587, issued May 29, 1943.


WASHINGTON, March 29, 1943

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT: I have your memorandum of March 13 requesting my consideration of the letter of March 2 from Mr. Irving Brant concerning the Olympic National Park situation with special reference to the relationship of the Park timber to the war program.1

Mr. Brant has offered the following suggestions:

1. That action be expedited looking to the incorporation of the Morse Creek Watershed in the Olympic National Park.

2. That you direct a memorandum to me requesting that timber cutting in the Park be not approved until after consultation with you.

3. That lumber production for military purposes be put on the same basis as other critical materials without regard to the cost of production.

4. That consideration be given to the effect of the Canadian embargo on the export of logs to the United States.

An Executive Order providing for the transfer of the Morse Creek Watershed from the Olympic National Forest to the Olympic National Park is now in process.

With respect to the second suggestion, it is my judgment that the proposed memorandum to me is unnecessary since the development of the resources within the Park proper is specifically prohibited by the Act of August 25, 1916 (39 Stat. 535)2 and could not be authorized without legislation or action by you under authority of the War Powers of the President.

The suggestion that the development of timber for war purposes be authorized without regard to the cost of production has been met in part by the War Production Board in cooperation with the Public Roads Administration, and machinery has been established providing for the construction of access roads to inaccessible tracts of timber as well as to undeveloped mineral deposits. I doubt if anything further can be done in this direction unless the Federal Government goes into the logging business in the States as it has done in Alaska—a policy which I would hesitate to advocate at this time in view of the existing shortage of men and equipment in the lumber industry.

Mr. Brant's fourth proposal concerning the Canadian embargo on the exportation of high-grade logs to the United States is deserving of most careful consideration. British Columbia has very extensive resources and, until within the past two years, large volumes of logs have been exported to the mills in the State of Washington. In like manner British Columbia mills have drawn upon Washington log supplies and this interchange of materials between the two countries has operated to stabilize industry and employment. However, the placing of an embargo upon the exportation of logs from British Columbia has disrupted the interchange of logs and seriously upset conditions in the lumber industry in the Pacific Northwest.

In a letter dated September 1, 1942, from the Under Secretary of War to the Secretary of State, it was suggested that steps be taken by the Department of State to prevail upon the Canadian authorities to remove the log export embargo in effect in order that critical war demands might be met. I am not informed as to what steps were taken by the State Department but I am advised that the log embargo is still in effect with respect to the exportation of high-grade spruce and fir logs.

Under date of October 7, 1942, the War Production Board called a meeting on this question at which the Canadian Timber Controller was present. The Controller took the position that the Canadian industry could not spare any of its logs for export to the United States. This position was challenged by the War Department's representative who submitted for the record a memorandum dated October 6, 1942, over the signature of Colonel Clifford V. Morgan, Chief of the Materials Branch.3 A copy of this memorandum is attached.

A consideration of the facts set forth in the War Department's memorandum has convinced me that it would be inadvisable to initiate action which would authorize the cutting of timber in the Olympic National Park until this Canadian embargo question is disposed of and until every other source of aircraft timber supply has been exhausted.

The Department fully recognizes the unfavorable balance which exists between the supply of and demand for aircraft lumber and is keeping in constant touch with developments. The situation is such that it may ultimately be advisable to make some of the spruce timber in the Olympic National Park available in the interest of victory. If such proves to be the case, I will submit proper recommendations to you for consideration.

Mr. Brant's letter is returned herewith.


[13:OF 6—P:TS]

1Roosevelt's memorandum, covering Brant's letter (OF 6—P), reads, "Will you be good enough to send me a memorandum on this?" Brant called attention to the fact that the Queets corridor, technically not in the park, had been opened to lumbering but that only one bid had been made for the lumber. Nearby state-owned timber drew no bids at all, "except for one tract." Brant said that this showed the speciousness of the argument that park timber was needed for war purposes.

2The act establishing the National Park Service.

3Of the Services of Supply. The memorandum is present.


WASHINGTON, April 10, 1943

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: Are we doing anything about this Calaveras Sequoia Grove? If not, can we?1


[13:OF 149:T]

1With this memorandum is a pamphlet, Protect the South Calaveras Sequoia Grove, by Irving Brant, published by the Emergency Conservation Committee, 734 Lexington Ave., New York (undated); see Ickes' rely, below.


WASHINGTON, Apr. 30, 1943

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: The Calaveras groves of Sequoia gigantea, referred to in your memorandum of April 10, should be preserved. The North Grove has been acquired by the State of California and the South Grove is included in the State's park program.

The Director of the National Park Service spent much time over a period of some 20 years in helping to work out the Calaveras project.1 The attached map shows the present status of the two groves. The North Grove State Park embraces 1,951 acres. It cost $275,000, of which the State provided one-half. The South Grove contains an area of 1,500 acres and can be acquired at an estimated cost of $250,000. The acquisition of this area is included in the present program of the California State Park Commission.

It is my judgment that these two groves should be a part of the California State Park System, since representative stands of Sequoia gigantea are already a part of the national park system. There are two courses which might be pursued, namely, (1) to encourage the State of California to acquire the lands, and (2) to amend existing legislation (45 Stat. 428) which provides for the transfer of certain forest lands to the State of California for park purposes; thus making it possible for the Federal Government to acquire the South Grove by exchange or purchase for transfer to the State when it is prepared to reimburse the Federal Government for the property.

The National Park Service is very much interested in this project and Director Drury expects to confer with the State Park Commissioners thereon in the near future. While the acquisition of the lands by the Federal Government would be a Forest Service undertaking, the National Park Service is in a position to assist in working out the details of the proposal.2

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 149:TS]

1Before his appointment as National Park Service director in 1940, Drury was secretary of the Save-the-Redwoods League and executive secretary of the California State Park Commission.

2A copy of Ickes' letter was sent by Roosevelt by Brant (May 10, 1943, OF 149), with the hope that he would "take it up further with the Secretary." California acquired South Grove in 1954 through the efforts of many people and organizations, including the Save-the-Redwoods League and John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who gave $1,000,000 towards purchase of the forest. With an area deeded by the Federal Government in 1952 the state park now forms a preserve of over 5,000 acres.


WASHINGTON, May 26, 1943

I am signing the Republican River Compact bill because I believe it offers a sound solution to problems of water allocation and utilization on that stream. The procedure prescribed by the bill for the exercise of the powers of the Federal Government would not be entirely satisfactory in all circumstances but the prospects in fact for the exercise of such powers in the Republican basin are not great. For streams where conditions are otherwise and there appears to be a possible need for Federal comprehensive multiple purpose development or where opportunities for important electric power projects are present, I believe the Republican River Compact should not serve as a precedent. In such cases the compact and the legislation should more adequately reflect a recognition of the responsibilities and prerogatives of the Federal Government.1


[13:OF 635:TS]

1The compact between Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska authorized by this bill (approved May 26, 1943) was intended to provide for the most efficient use and equitable distribution of the waters of the Republican River basin, and "to promote joint action by the States and the United States in the efficient use of water and the control of destructive floods" (57 Stat. 86). A similar act passed the preceding year had been vetoed because it sought to withdraw Federal jurisdiction from the waters of the basin (Budget Director Smith to McIntyre, March 31, 1942, Budget Bureau Enrolled Bills; Cong. Rec., 77th Cong., 2d sess., 88: 3285-3286).


WASHINGTON, June 10, 1943

MEMORANDUM FOR MAC: Will you ask Mr. E. I. Kotok to let us have a report on this? Will you tell him I am adverse to opening up the Skagit to any lumbering?1


[Notation: A] MHM did do 6/10/43

[13:OF 446:T]

1This refers to a letter from Roy S. Leonard to McIntyre, June 7, 1943 (OF 466), saying that the Forest Service proposed to permit the lumbering of the Skagit River area. Leonard was a Seattle public utilities man working in Washington for the War Production Board; Kotok was assistant chief of the Forest Service. See below.


WASHINGTON, June 18, 1943

SUBJECT: PROPOSED NATIONAL FOREST TIMBER SALE SOUTHWEST OF NEWHALEM, WASHINGTON IN THE DRAINAGE OF THE SKAGIT RIVER: Action on this proposed sale has been suspended pending decision by you. The facts are:

1. The timber is urgently needed in the war effort. Of the estimated total of about 30 million board feet of logs to be cut, 24 million will be Douglas fir. An unusually large proportion will be high-grade logs suitable for conversion into veneers, pontoon lumber, ship decking, long ship timbers, airplane lumber and other urgently needed materials. Such areas are now scarce in the Puget Sound territory. The western log and lumber administrator of WPB has emphasized the need for the logs from this sale in meeting present deficiencies in production.

2. The logs can be put on railroad cars at Newhalem with an unusually short truck haul, and therefore with relatively small consumption of strategic materials such as rubber and steel.

3. The sale area does not include any area used by tourists or recreationists based on the City of Seattle development at or above Newhalem.

4. Plans for the sale have been approved by Mr. Hoffman, Superintendent of the Seattle City Light Department, and by Mr. Kemoe, in charge of the City Light Skagit Tours.

5. The sale area is chiefly in the drainage of Newhalem Creek which enters the Skagit River from the south below Newhalem. This part of the area is not visible from the road or the railroad which follow the north side of the Skagit to Newhalem.

6. All that part of the sale area in the Skagit River bottom is across the river from the road and railroad. All of it and all of the area in Newhalem Creek suitable for that treatment is to be logged selectively, leaving virtually an unbroken crown cover. A light cut is to be made of about 30 percent of the stand volume in the largest and most mature trees.

7. The applicant (the North Bend Timber Company) has a trained, efficient crew, consisting in large part of local residents. It is just finishing cutting on another nearby area. If this crew is disbanded, the assembly and training of a new crew will be almost impossible under current conditions of shortage of skilled logging labor in the Northwest. The applicant Company has no other area of good quality timber in which to continue its operations.

I earnestly recommend that the suspension of action on the making of this sale be lifted, with the full understanding that the Forest Service has definite responsibility for so administering the sale as to protect the scenic and recreational values of the vicinity.

Very early action is essential if the continuous output of urgently needed high-grade logs by the applicant Company is not to be disrupted.

No sales in the Skagit River drainage above Newhalem are even under consideration.1


[13:OF 446:TS]

1In an accompanying memorandum to Roosevelt of June 19, 1943, McIntyre summarized Watts' memorandum and said: "I am sending it up instead of holding it because Mr. Watts points out that it is a matter in which a speedy decision should he made." See below.


WASHINGTON, June 24, 1943

MEMORANDUM FOR MAC: Will you tell the Chief Forester to let it proceed?1

F. D. R.

[Notation: A] MHM did do 6/24/43

[13:OF 446:T]

1This refers to the preceding memorandum.


WASHINGTON, July 21, 1943

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Irving Brant, who knows more about the lumber situation in Olympic National Park than anyone in my acquaintance, has written me a letter that I am sure will interest you.

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 6—P:TS]



DEAR MR. SECRETARY: Newton Drury has shown me his proposed report on Sitka spruce in the Olympic National Park. While I understand from him that they outline concessions to which he is opposed, but which he fears may become necessary later, I can't help feeling that this is a time for an "offensive defensive" rather than the charting of a line of retreat. Also, I feel that the matter involves some new dangers to the entire park and monument system.

The only reason assigned for opening the park to lumbering is a shortage of manpower in the lumber camps. It is therefore argued that available lumberjacks should be used in the timber easiest of access, which is said to be in the park. There is no actual shortage of timber outside, and a call for bids for some state-owned timber actually produced not one bidder.

Why is there a shortage of lumberjacks? Because they have been lured into shipyards and airplane factories by higher wages, or have been drafted. The argument for opening the national park to lumbering therefore comes down to this: That all future generations, as well as we ourselves, should be deprived of the scenic and recreational and scientific value of these big trees and rain forests, because we haven't sense enough to send a few hundred men back into the work for which they are trained. That's about as monstrous a failure of democracy as I ever heard of.

You and I both know, of course, that the real drive behind this call for lumbering is the desire of timber interests at Gray's Harbor and elsewhere to exploit and despoil; also that the lumber decisions of the War Production Board are being made by people who have never been sympathetic toward the park. . . . Neither the War Department nor the Manpower Commission, left to itself, will lift a finger to send lumberjacks back into the woods, for the purpose of saving this park from ruin. They will act only if the President orders them to, and probably only if he issues the orders two or three times. I don't see how he can refrain from acting if he understands that the cutting is absolutely needless, and that the area threatened with destruction is the portion of the park which he has always been most anxious to preserve—the Hoh, Bogachiel and Queets River Valleys. The unhappy results of the cutting in the Queets corridor is enough to show what the devastation will be, even under the most carefully supervised cutting.

I note what Mr. Drury says about eliminating these river valleys from the park if they are to be lumbered, and agree with him in theory but would go somewhat farther than he did (in conversation) in pointing to the danger found in any method of elimination. He is unquestionably right in saying that Congress should not be asked to make an elimination—that would set all the hounds of the Northwest converging on Washington. I think it would be a great misfortune to have even a legal ruling that the President has power to make such an elimination by proclamation. Based, as it apparently would be, on a distinction between the status of land placed in a park by Congress, and by the President under authority derived from Congress, it would not be limited to war power (which would be equal in relation to both classes of land), but would unsettle all the national monuments in the country. The Wallgren Bill1 was worded so that it would not give sanction to the action of President Wilson in cutting down the Mt. Olympus National Monument during the first World War. It would be far better, in my opinion, to leave a despoiled area in the park than to open other areas to despoliation by the influence of pressure groups upon future Presidents.

But it will be a crime and a dereliction if a manpower shortage which can be remedied by one positive order is allowed to ruin these last scenic forests of the Northwest. It is not a case of putting these forests ahead of the lives of soldiers. If any soldiers die because of a shortage of lumber, the fault will lie upon those who drafted the lumberjacks out of the woods, or allowed them to shift to higher paid war jobs which could be done by men and women without their training.2

Sincerely yours,



1The Olympic National Park Act of 1938.

2Roosevelt sent Brant's letter to Forest Service Chief Watts with a memorandum of July 23, 1943 (OF 6—P), reading, "For your information and please return for my files." Watts returned the letter with thanks for having had the opportunity to see it (Watts to Roosevelt, July 24, 1943, OF 6—P).


[WASHINGTON] August 31, 1943

DEAR UNCLE FRED: Congress may have abolished the National Resources Planning Board, but it can't stop the good work of planning to which you have given so many years of hard work. By the way your report on the "Unfinished Business of Planning" reads, it looks as if you had really succeeded in making planning popular in business and in states and cities.1 The work of the Board may not have pleased some members of Congress, but it certainly seems to have convinced the country of the need for a lot more planning.

I am writing to your colleagues today to give them a personal word of thanks for all they have done, but the principal thanks go to you as the Chairman and responsible leader of the organization and movement.2 I hope you feel the satisfaction in what you have accomplished which the work so obviously justifies. It has been a grand job and grand fun in the doing.3

Very sincerely yours,



[13:OF 1092:CT]

1This report is a typed memorandum, dated Aug. 24, 1943, enclosed with a letter of the same date to Roosevelt from the National Resources Planning Board (OF 1092). Only one paragraph of the ten-page report dealt with land, water and energy resources; this noted that planning in connection with such resources could be continued through interdepartmental committees but that these had not been "uniformly or conspicuously successful for a variety of reasons, including the clash of overlapping operating agencies."

2Copies of Roosevelt's letters to the other two members of the NRPB, George F. Yantis and Charles E. Merriam, Aug. 31, 1943, are with the letter here printed.

3Drafted by William D. Hassett, Secretary to the President.


WASHINGTON, September 8, 1943

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: I am glad to have your excellent report about the Farm Woodland Marketing Program.1 The real outcome of this, which is primarily a war measure, should be to have attached to every county agent a forester—or perhaps one forester to several counties. This depends, of course, on the locality.

The point is that the average county farm agent knows nothing about trees and it is too much to expect that county farm agents will ever add this to their curriculum. Such a local forest agent would not only give advice in regard to planting trees and selling trees, but would also have a big effect in the State Legislatures for the building up of state tree nurseries.

We need state tree nurseries. For example, in a certain state I can buy small tulip poplars for $4.00 a thousand from the state nursery, and the best price I can get is $12.00 a thousand from a private nursery.


[13:OF I—C:CT]

1This report is a letter from Wickard to Roosevelt, Sept. 4, 1943 (OF I—C), enclosing copies of letters and reports of woodlot owners. With funds formerly used for the Shelterbelt program, the Forest Service was providing a farm forestry service "on a basis of getting for the seller a fair price for his product and for the buyer an additional source of raw material to be harvested under good cutting practices."


[Excerpt] I was telling His Royal Highness,1 at supper, that I knew that one of their problems in Arabia was an insufficiency of water in many places, and also of not enough trees. And I was telling him of what we in our younger years used to call the Great American Desert, a strip running from the North in our own country, to the South where there was very little water, and where there were very few trees.

I was telling him that some years ago we had undertaken a certain project known as Shelter Belt, but since the outbreak of the war it has been going only sporadically, yet the people out there have seen what it has already done in many parts of the West. And I might just as well tell the Congress of the United States now that I am going to revive it, if I live long enough. It's a very excellent thing. Something like that should be known and experimented with, and practised at, in many parts of the world.

I use that just as an illustration, because Arabia is a land of great resources—agricultural and surface resources, and sub-surface resources. And I want to assure their Royal Highnesses both, that the United States is not a nation which seeks to exploit any other nation, no matter what its size.

I wish much that the father of these gentlemen could come himself. I hope some day he will be able to come over here, just as I hope that some day I myself can go and visit him in Arabia. . . .

And so I should like to propose the health of the King of Arabia, wishing much that he could be with us tonight.2


1Amir Feisal, son of Ibn Saud; Ibn Saud was not present. The occasion was a White House dinner in honor of Amir Feisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia.

2For the entire toast, see Rosenman (ed), Public Papers, XII, 417-418.


WASHINGTON, January 14, 1944

MY DEAR SENATOR MCCLELLAN: I am very much interested in your bill, S. 1519, relating to the construction and operation of water control and utilization projects in the basins of the Arkansas and White Rivers.1 Enactment of the bill would be an important forward step in effectuation of the policy of multiple purpose development of our great river basins and the prudent conservation of our vast public resources.

I feel certain that the people whose homes are in the basins of the Arkansas and White Rivers and the soldiers who will want to return to the area and to work and make homes there would be deeply grateful if the Congress were to pass S. 1519. The benefits that they would derive from a well coordinated program for the prevention and control of floods, the improvement of navigation, the disposition of low-cost electric power and the irrigation of fertile lands would be of incalculable value. I am particularly pleased that the direct and more tangible benefits from power and irrigation would be made available in accordance with the sound principles of public benefit that the Congress has previously laid down.2

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 4283:CT]

1S. 1519 would have placed the construction and operation of navigation and flood control projects in the Arkansas and White River basins under the Secretary of War. Power not needed for operation of the projects would be sold and distributed by the Secretary of the Interior, who would also be permitted to construct and operate irrigation works in connection with such projects. The letter here printed was drafted by Ickes. In his covering letter to Roosevelt (Dec. 6, 1943, OF 4283), Ickes said that the bill was "designed primarily to implement the carrying out of water control and utilization programs in the basins through existing executive departments and agencies, as distinguished from special agencies or authorities." He also said that while he realized that the bill was not as comprehensive in setting a pattern of regional development "as you and I would prefer," he believed its enactment would be an important step forward. S. 1519 (a copy is with Ickes' letter to Roosevelt) was introduced Nov. 9, 1943, and referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, but no further action on it was taken (Cong. Rec., 78th Cong., 1st sess., 89:7, 9393-9394).

2McClellan replied Jan. 22, 1944 (OF 4283), inviting further help in getting the legislation he had introduced.


WASHINGTON, January 31, 1944

MEMORANDUM FOR STEVE: Do you think I should see Bennett and tell him that I think what he is doing is all to the good but not send him any written communication? I do want to tell him about some ideas I have anyway, outside of this.


[Notation: AS] The President: Respectfully suggest that Pa make the appointment for purposes outlined above. S. E.1

[13:OF I—R:T]

1Morris Cooke had suggested that Roosevelt write to Hugh H. Bennett, chief of the Soil Conservation Service, to congratulate him on the great progress he had made in securing the cooperation of farmers in adopting contour plowing and other soil conservation practices (undated draft by Cooke, OF I—R). According to a notation on the draft, no letter was sent nor was an appointment arranged. ("Pa" was Presidential Secretary Edwin M. Watson.)


WASHINGTON, February 7, 1944

MY DEAR MR. WHITTINGTON: Over two years ago, on May 5, 1941, I wrote to you about the Kings River project and the Kern River project in California. Your committee was then considering the authorization of both of these projects for development by the Corps of Engineers under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of War.

The Schedule of Hearings on the Flood Control Bill of 1944 indicates that proposals for authorizing these projects as undertakings of the Corps of Engineers will be considered again on February 9, 1944. I shall appreciate it if you will read this letter into the record at that time.

In my letter of May 5, 1941, I said, in part: "Good administration continues to demand that projects which are dominantly for irrigation should be constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation, Department of the Interior, and not by the Corps of Engineers, War Department. The Kings River project is authorized for construction by the Bureau of Reclamation at this time. The proposed project on the Kern River . . . is dominantly an irrigation project. . . . Neither of these projects, therefore, should be authorized for construction by the Corps of Engineers. To do so would only lead to needless confusion." That letter is applicable today.

These projects should be constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation and that portion of their cost to be charged to irrigation should be financed on the basis of the prevailing Federal policy of 40 annual payments by irrigation beneficiaries. These projects should be maintained and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation, but operation for flood control should be in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of War.

In my letter of May 5, 1941, I suggested that a sound policy in connection with these water projects would consist of selecting the construction agency by determining the dominant interest. Projects in which navigation or flood control clearly dominate are those in which the interest of the Corps of Engineers is superior and should be so recognized. On the other hand, projects in which irrigation and related conservation dominate are those in which the interest of the Bureau of Reclamation in the Department of the Interior is paramount and should be so recognized. No matter which agency builds a multiple-purpose structure involving in even a minor way the interests of the other, the agency with the responsibility for that particular interest should administer it in accordance with its authorizing legislation and general policies. For example, the Bureau of Reclamation in the Department of the Interior should administer, under the Reclamation laws and its general policies, those irrigation benefits and phases of projects built by the Corps of Engineers. These suggestions are, to my mind, even more pertinent today. For today we gird for peace. Confusion over jurisdiction ought not to be allowed to disrupt the great preparations now being made for postwar construction of vital public works.1

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 402:CT]

1(Drafted by the Interior Department.) Whittington replied Feb. 17, 1944 (OF 402), that the testimony at the hearings held by the House Flood Control Committee on Feb. 9, 1944, showed "conclusively" that flood control was the dominant interest in the Kings and Kern Rivers projects, that there were no Federal reclamation projects along these rivers, and that no public lands were involved. Testimony at these and earlier hearings of this committee is printed, Flood-control Plans and New Projects, 1943 and 1944, Hearings, 78th Cong., 1st sess., on H. R. 4485 . . . May 13, 1943 (Washington, 1944).


[WASHINGTON] February 10, 1944

MY DEAR KING IBN SAUD: Because I have been laid up with the "flu" since the New Year I have not had an opportunity before this to thank you for that very interesting set of stamps of Saudi Arabia which you sent to me through Colonel Hoskins.1 They have given me a great deal of pleasure and I have had much relaxation in putting them into my stamp album of Saudi Arabia.

It is my lasting regret that I was unable, because of the short time at my disposal, to see you on my trip to Cairo and to Teheran. However, I flew across the northwestern corner of your Kingdom on my way to and from Iran and I saw enough to make me wish that you and I could meet. My avocation, as you probably know, is the increase in water supply and in reforesting vacant land. I feel sure that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a great future before it if more agricultural land can be provided through irrigation and through the growing of trees to hold the soil and increase the water supply.

It was good to see your two sons before I left Washington and I hope much that they were satisfied with what they saw in the United States. As they have undoubtedly told you, this Nation is in full production of munitions and other supplies for the carrying on of the war to a successful conclusion.

It is, of course, possible that I may visit the Near East again for conferences and if that happens I count on seeing you. There are many things I want to talk with you about.2

In the meantime, I send you my high regards and best wishes and I am,

Most sincerely yours,


[13:PPF 7960:CT]

1Harold B. Hoskins, in 1944-45 successively special assistant to the American ambassador in Iran and counselor for economic affairs at American diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia and other Near Eastern countries.

2Ibn Saud replied April 1, 1944 (PPF 7960), expressing pleasure at the possibility of a visit from Roosevelt but making no comment on the latter's ideas on water conservation in Arabia.


[WASHINGTON, February 26, 1944]

In signing the Belle Fourche River Basin Compact bill, I find it necessary to call attention, as I did last May in the case of the Republican River Compact bill,1 to the restrictions imposed upon the use of water by the United States. The procedure prescribed by the bill for the exercise of the powers of the Federal Government would not be entirely satisfactory in all circumstances but the prospects in fact for the exercise of such powers in the Belle Fourche basin are not great. For streams where conditions are otherwise and there appears to be a possible need for Federal comprehensive multiple purpose development or where opportunities for important electric power projects are present, I believe the Belle Fourche River Compact should not serve as a precedent. In such cases the compact and the legislation should more adequately reflect a recognition of the responsibilities and prerogatives of the Federal Government.2

[Notation: AS] OK FDR
[Notation: A] 2-26-44
[Notation: A] Statement given to Press Febr. 28, 1944


1Ante, 1105.

2This compact was entered into by South Dakota and Wyoming to secure for themselves the most efficient use of the waters of the Belle Fourche basin. Under the bill assenting to the compact (58 Stat. 94), the Federal Government agreed that the beneficial use of the waters of the basin was of "paramount importance" to the development of the basin itself, and that no Federal use of the waters would be made that would interfere with such paramount interest until after consultation of all the Federal and state agencies concerned. The issuance by the President of a statement having the purport of the one here printed was recommended by the Federal Power Commission and the Interior Department. Budget Director Smith did not think such a declaration necessary because article I of the compact declared that neither the states nor the Congress conceded that the agreement established any precedent with respect to any other interstate stream. However, he submitted a draft statement which was issued as the one here printed (Olds to Smith, Feb. 18, 1944; Fortas to Smith, Feb. 21, 1944; Smith to Latta, Feb. 23, 1944, Budget Bureau Enrolled Bills). This was issued as a press release Feb. 28, 1944.


WASHINGTON, March 6, 1944

MEMORANDUM FOR HON. JAMES M. BARNES: Before I send this, I wish you would have a talk with Secretary Ickes. Frankly, I am inclined to think that the Bureau of Reclamation should handle this because the waters concerned are not only inland waters, but do not even run into the sea. They run into a lake and thence disappear into thin air by evaporation.1


[13:OF 402:CT]

1This refers to the letter following. Barnes replied (March 7, 1944, OF 402) that he had talked with Ickes and that he was in "perfect accord" with the signing of the letter.


WASHINGTON, March 7, 1944

MY DEAR MR. WHITTINGTON: I have received your letter of February 17, 1944, in which you discuss the proposed Kern River, California, multiple-purpose project.1 It may well be, as you state in your letter, that, when the structure proposed by the Chief of Engineers is considered alone, the benefits are predominantly flood control. However, I feel that neither the Kern River project nor the Kings River project can properly be viewed without regard to the development of the Central Valley of California as a whole.

It seems to me that the multiple-purpose projects proposed by the Chief of Engineers on the Kings and Kern Rivers are only two elements in a basin-wide plan for the development and use of the water resources in the Great Central Valley of California, and that the primary and dominant objective of that plan, especially in the southern part of the valley, is the provision of water supplies for domestic, municipal, industrial and irrigation uses. It would appear that, if any such plan is to be successful, the operation of all units of the plan should be fully coordinated on a regional basis. Such coordination, insofar as the projects undertaken by the Federal Government are concerned, can best be obtained by a single agency constructing, operating and maintaining the multiple-purpose elements of the plan, particularly those projects involving water conservation. Since the Congress has already authorized the construction and operation by the Bureau of Reclamation of certain multiple-purpose elements of the Central Valley plan involving water conservation, from the standpoint of good Federal administration it would follow that the Bureau of Reclamation should also be authorized to construct and operate the other multiple-purpose elements, such as the projects proposed on the Kings and Kern Rivers by the Chief of Engineers, with appropriate care exercised, of course, to observe the existing local irrigation rights established by usage, decrees, and agreements.

I know that you will understand that my expression of views arises from my desire to obtain what I believe to be the best method of Federal participation in the over-all plan for the development of the Central Valley, and not from any intention of interfering with the proper consideration of this matter by the Congress.2

Sincerely yours,


RWH: FJB: CDC: ED 2/25/44
[Notation: AS] Copy of this letter sent to Mr. Hartley, Bureau of the Budget 3/8/44 hm

[13:OF 402:CT]

1OF 402.

2Drafted by the Interior Department.


[WASHINGTON] March 14, 1944

DEAR HENRY: Thank you much for letting me see Watts' memorandum about the Redwood and the Sequoia. I have tried raising the Sequoia from seed in the greenhouse. I have tried it in two locations at Hyde Park but it has died the first winter or the second winter.

Also, I have twice tried Sequoias and Redwoods sent to me from the Coast, planting them immediately in sheltered good soil. Nearly all the trees died the first or second year except one outside my window in the new Library grounds and, after surviving for three winters, it died this past spring. I do not think it is possible to make them grow in the East—with one possible exception. As you know, the rainfall in the Great Smoky Mountain Park, or a little south thereof, is the highest in the East and I am going to get the Park Service to try planting them there in several correct locations.

As ever yours,


[13:OF 6—P:CT]


WASHINGTON, March 14, 1944

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: Please read Chief Watts' memorandum to the Vice President and my letter to the V.P.1 Will you go ahead and get the Park Service to plant some Sequoias and Redwoods in or near the Great Smoky Mountain National Park where there is more rainfall than any other part of the East? These trees are easy to raise from seed and grow fast, but they should be put out in their permanent location within a year. The location should be protected from winds and, at the same time, the soil should be as rich and deep as possible. There are many such places in the Smokies.2


[13:OF 6—P:CT]

1See above.

2Ickes replied April 3, 1944 (OF 6—P), that he had asked the National Park Service to try to grow some of the trees referred to in the Great Smokies but that he was doubtful of the success of the experiment.


WASHINGTON 25, D. C., Mar. 29, 1944

MY DEAR MR. LATTA: On March 24, 1944, you advised this office that S. 250, "To promote sustained-yield forest management in order thereby (a) to stabilize communities, forest industries, employment, and taxable forest wealth; (b) to assure a continuous and ample supply of forest products; and (c) to secure the benefits of forests in regulation of water supply and stream flow, prevention of soil erosion, amelioration of climate, and preservation of wildlife," had been received at the White House, and requested reports and recommendations as to the approval of the bill.

It is the purpose of the bill to give the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior with respect to Federal forest lands under their respective jurisdictions, and intermingled and nearby private forest lands, discretionary authority—

(1) to establish cooperative sustained-yield units for the purpose of coordinated sustained-yield management of the public, and interrelated private forest lands;

(2) to enter into cooperative agreements with willing forest land owners within such units, under which, in consideration of the assured privilege of purchasing Government timber and of other benefits to them from coordinated management, they will manage their land in strict accordance with requirements as to the rate, manner, and time of cutting prescribed by the Secretary; and

(3) to establish sustained-yield units of exclusively Federal forest land where necessary in order to maintain dependent communities, and within such units to sell timber without competition at not less than appraised value to responsible purchasers established in such communities.

As a safeguard the bill provides for a public hearing before any sustained-yield unit is established or any cooperative agreement is consummated, and also that a hearing shall be held upon the request of any person having a reasonable interest before a sale of timber is made without competition.

A facsimile of the enrolled enactment has been referred to the Departments of War, Agriculture, and Interior, and the Federal Power Commission, and their replies, either recommending approval of the bill or interposing no objection to its approval, are attached.1

The bill authorizes appropriations for the purpose of carrying out its provisions in an annual amount of not to exceed $150,000 for the Department of Agriculture, and $50,000 for the Department of the Interior, which amounts would be in addition to funds made available for the management of lands under the jurisdiction of the respective Departments and under existing provisions of law.

I recommend that the bill be approved.2

Very truly yours,


[Notation: A] Approved 3/29/44


1These are all dated March 25, 1944. The Agriculture and Interior Departments recommended approval.

2S. 250 was approved March 29, 1944 (58 Stat. 132). This bill, introduced by Senator McNary (Ore.) on Jan. 11, 1943, had as its precursor the act of Aug. 28, 1937 (50 Stat. 874), which provided for sustained yield timberland management on Interior Department lands in the revested Oregon and California Railroad and reconveyed Coos Bay Wagon Road grant lands in Oregon. By establishing sustained yield forests areas the Government hoped to interrupt the process whereby forest communities became extinct in consequence of the long established practice of "cut and get out." S. 250 was intended to enable the owner of private forest land to adopt sustained yield practices by enlarging his cutting area through the opportunity to buy, noncompetitively, adjacent National Forest timber. In return he agreed to adopt Forest Service approved cutting practices on his own lands. The bill also provided for the noncompetitive sale of timber from National Forest areas to processors whose operations were vital to the life of the communities in those areas. Forest Service Chief Watts said that the law was a "major step towards obtaining the maximum benefits from the national-forest system for support of timber-dependent communities" but he noted that "great caution" would be required in its application to make sure that the long-term arrangements between the Government and private owners were clearly in the public interest (Report of the Chief of the Forest Service, 1944, p. 14). An account of the enactment of the legislation may be found in the diary of the forester David T. Mason, Forests for the Future (Rodney C. Loehr, ed.), p. 232 et seq.


WASHINGTON 25, D. C., June 2, 1944

MY DEAR SAM: The Rules Committee on the House has reported out a rule permitting the early consideration of H. R. 2241, a bill introduced by Representative Frank A. Barrett, of Wyoming, to abolish the Jackson Hole National Monument, and it is anticipated that the bill will come up for a vote in the House next week. This bill should be defeated or, if that is not possible, it should be recommitted to the Public Lands Committee.

Jackson Hole is one of the most scenic areas in the country and a wintering ground for the southern Yellowstone elk herd, the largest elk herd in the United States. About 15 years ago, after conferring with Wyoming State officials, with members of the Wyoming Delegation in Congress, and with the then Secretary of the Interior, Mr. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. purchased about 34,000 acres of land in Jackson Hole at a cost of $1,500,000, to donate to the Federal Government for a national park. The park project would have been consummated years ago if suitable arrangement had been made to compensate the county for the loss of taxes when Mr. Rockefeller's lands are conveyed to the Federal Government and are removed from the local tax rolls.

Last year, to avoid losing Mr. Rockefeller's gift and to carry out the commitments made to him during the administrations of Presidents Coolidge and Hoover, I established the Jackson Hole National Monument, under the authority of the Act of June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225), known as the Antiquities Act. This Act had been used for this purpose many times before. Five Republican Presidents and one Democratic President before me have established a total of 71 national monuments under the authority of this Act, many of them larger than the Jackson Hole National Monument.

The Federal lands and the lands which Mr. Rockefeller bought to give to the public comprise more than 92 percent of the area within the monument boundaries, and the proclamation was issued subject to all valid existing rights. This applies to Federal lands and to the remaining 8 percent of state and private lands.

The establishment of the monument leaves some problems unsolved, such as the tax question. I would favor the enactment of some suitable bill to authorize the sharing of a reasonable portion of national park entrance fees with the counties in which the national parks and monuments are situated. Many other Federal land administering agencies now have this authority.1

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 928:CT]

1Drafted by the Interior Department. In his letter to Roosevelt enclosing the draft, June 1, 1944 (OF 928), Ickes said that he had pointed out to Rockefeller's representatives that H. R. 2241 was not a partisan measure since establishment of the national monument was in fulfillment of commitments made during Coolidge's administration, and that he had asked them to "line up" the Republicans to vote against the bill.


WASHINGTON 6, D. C., August 29, 1944

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: As previously arranged,1 I enclose for your consideration a suggested draft of a letter to Allied Governments proposing a Conference on the conservation of natural resources as a necessary requirement for permanent peace.

If the course there outlined should meet with your approval, then I would like further to suggest:

That a Committee on Arrangements be appointed by the President to draw up a tentative program for the Conference; to prepare a suggested plan for an inventory of the known natural resources of the world; and otherwise to make ready for the sessions of the Conference.

That the Committee be authorized by the President to ask for and receive the full cooperation of all Government Departments and other Government organizations.

That a Secretary and such other assistants as may be required be assigned to the Committee from experienced persons already in the Government service.

That the Committee be authorized to invite and receive the friendly cooperation of experts not in the service of the Government.

If desired, I would be glad to prepare and submit for your approval a list of competent persons for appointment to the proposed Committee.

Faithfully yours,


[13:OF 5637:TS]

1Pinchot was at the White House on June 29, 1944 (PPF I—O). He referred to this in a letter to Roosevelt of July 29, 1944 (PPF 289): "When I had the pleasure of making . . . a short statement concerning conservation and permanent peace, you were good enough to express yourself, in general terms, as favorably impressed. It was agreed that I should prepare a plan and submit it to you in something over three weeks."


August 29, 1944

No worthier task confronts the world than to make future wars impossible. That can be done only by removing the incentives to war; by putting an end to the causes which drive nations to aggression.

Since human history began, the commonest cause of war has been the demand for land. Under whatever name, land means natural resources. And natural resources—forests and waters, soils and minerals are the material foundations of human security and progress. Without them we cannot live.

The conservation of natural resources means the planned and orderly use of all the earth produces for the greatest good of the greatest number for the longest time. It is the basic material problem of mankind.

Conservation as a policy is universally accepted as sound. The United Nations, through the Atlantic Charter and the Lend Lease Agreements, have declared for fair access to needed raw materials for all the peoples of the world.

If the commonest of all causes of war is the demand for land, for natural resources on which to live and grow strong, then permanent peace is impossible until general plenty, through the conservation of natural resources and fair access by the Nations of the world to necessary resources, is assured.

The conservation policy was first formulated in the United States nearly forty years ago. In 1908 President Theodore Roosevelt, on the valid ground that "The people of the whole world are interested in the natural resources of the whole world, benefited by their conservation, and injured by their destruction," sent to 58 Nations invitations for a world conference on the conservation of natural resources, to be held in the Peace Palace at The Hague. Thirty of the Nations, including Great Britain, France, Germany, Canada, and Mexico, had accepted when a change of administration defeated the plan.

The movement for international conservation thus begun has recently been given strong support. In 1940 the Eighth American Scientific Congress, representing all the Nations of the Americas, by unanimous vote declared that:

"International cooperation to inventory, conserve, and wisely utilize natural resources to the mutual advantage of all Nations might well remove one of the most dangerous obstacles to a just and permanent world peace."

In 1941 the British Association for the Advancement of Science, in preparing a plan for an International Resources Office, declared that: "Unless we apply our ordered intelligence to this question, the sequence of crisis and war will continue with ever more disastrous results."

We cannot safely ignore any course that may assist in abolishing war. Therefore I believe that it would be wise for the United Nations, through their appointed delegates, to meet and consider the conservation of natural resources, and fair access to them among the Nations, as a vital step toward permanent peace.

Accordingly, I have the honor to invite the Government of       to take part in a Conference of the United Nations, to be held in the City of Washington, beginning on the       of      , to consider this question, and to formulate a plan for securing to mankind the blessings of enduring peace.

Such a Conference might well consider: An inventory of the natural resources of the world; a set of principles for the conservation of resources and fair access to them in the interest of permanent peace; conservation and fair access in the recovery and reconstruction of Nations; and such other related questions as the Conference might decide to take up.

If a majority of the United Nations accept this invitation, the Government of the United States is prepared to draw up and submit to the Conference tentative agenda for its approval or modification, together with available supporting data.

Open discussion should bring to light the principles upon which all Nations can agree for conserving and distributing the natural resources of the earth, to the great end of human welfare through general plenty and permanent peace.

Without world-wide conservation, lasting peace is impossible. And permanent peace is the hope of the world.

[13:OF 5637:T]

1127 ROOSEVELT TO JEAN SHERWOOD HARPER, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

WASHINGTON, September 13, 1944

MY DEAR JEAN: Upon receipt of your letter of August 211 I made inquiry through the Secretary of the Interior in regard to oil operations in the vicinity of the Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge. I understand that some prospecting has been carried on west of the area and that some of the Department officials have been consulted with reference to a possibility of drilling on the refuge. There is no intention of leasing the Okefenokee for oil exploration. I have directed the Fish and Wildlife Service to maintain this area in its untouched, pristine condition and they are making every possible effort to comply with my direction.2

Sincerely yours,


[Notation: AS] Copy of this reply sent to Interior 9/14/44 hms

[13:OF 378:CT]

1Expressing concern at the possibility that the Government might grant oil leases in the Okefenokee (OF 378).

2Drafted by the Interior Department.


THE WHITE HOUSE, September 21, 1944

TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES: I enclose a copy of a resolution adopted by all but one of the Missouri River States, represented in a recent meeting of their Governors and the members of the Missouri River States Committee.1 In general, the resolution asks for executive and legislative action toward procuring a single, coordinated plan for the development of the Missouri River basin "for the greatest benefit of its citizens both present and future, and for the greatest benefit to the United States."

As the Congress knows, I have for many years advocated the establishment of separate Authorities to deal with the development of certain river basins where several States were involved. The general functions and purposes of the Tennessee Valley Authority might well serve as a pattern for similar developments of other river basins. The Tennessee Valley Authority was charged by the Congress with the development of practically all of the factors which are important in establishing better living standards and a better life for the people throughout that great watershed.

The benefits which have resulted in the Tennessee River Valley include flood prevention, irrigation, increased electric power for farms and shops and homes and industries, better transportation on land and water, reforestation and conservation of natural resources, the encouragement of small businesses and the growth and expansion of new businesses, development and wide-spread use of fertilizers and improved agricultural methods, better education and recreational facilities—and many kindred improvements which go to make for increased security and greater human happiness.

The Congress has at all times retained the final authority over the Tennessee Valley Authority, for the Authority comes before the Congress each year to obtain appropriations to continue its work and carry out its plans.

I have heretofore suggested the creation of a similar Authority for the development of the Arkansas River watershed from the Mississippi all the way west to its source in Colorado.

I have also suggested the creation of an Authority to render a similar service in the Columbia River watershed, including the States of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

I now make a similar recommendation for the Missouri River basin.

The resolution very properly asks that the legislation dealing with matters relating to the waters of the Missouri River basin recognize that it is dealing with one river and one problem; and points out the necessity of a comprehensive development of the Missouri River, indicating that there can be no piecemeal legislative program. The resolution asks that "the Congress should recognize now the problem in its entirety as it affects the people of the Missouri basin and their economic destiny and that of the United States."

I am in hearty accord with these principles. I hope that the Congress will give careful and early consideration to the creation of this federal authority to consider the problem in its entirety, remembering always that any appropriations to carry out any plan are and will be within the complete control of the Congress, and that the interest of each of the States in the basin will, of course, be given full consideration. I am sure that none of the States in the Tennessee River basin have lost any of their rights because of the creation of the Authority in that valley.

May I also ask that renewed consideration be given to a study of the Arkansas and Columbia River basins? The fact has been established that such legislation can do much to promote the welfare of the great mass of citizens who live there—as well as their fellow citizens throughout the United States.

I need hardly point out to the Congress, in addition, how helpful this legislation will be in the creation of employment and in the stimulation of industry, business, and agriculture throughout the areas involved, in the days which will follow the end of the war.2



1"Resolution of the Missouri River States Committee to Secure a Basin-Wide Development Plan," sent to Roosevelt by Governor Merrell Q. Sharpe of South Dakota, chairman of the Missouri River States Committee, Aug. 21, 1944 (OF 1516). (Sharpe's covering letter was submitted to the Congress with the resolution.)

2This message is based on an undated draft bearing numerous additions and deletions in the hand of Samuel I. Rosenman, Special Counsel to the President (OF 1516). A copy of the revised draft was sent by Roosevelt to Budget Director Smith with a memorandum of Sept. 1, 2944 (OF 1516) reading, "The enclosed is merely a first draft. What do you think?" Smith sent back a completely different draft, undated, but endorsed as having been received at the White House on Sept. 20, 1944 (OF 1516). This draft made no mention of the resolution of the Missouri River States Committee nor did it refer to the example of the Tennessee Valley Authority. Instead of urging the creation of a TVA-type of authority for the Missouri valley, it recommended "the establishment of a temporary, engineering commission . . . which would be charged with the duty of preparing and presenting to the Congress through the President, after taking into account the plans that are presently being proposed, an integrated and comprehensive plan for the development of the water and land resources of the Missouri Valley."

No change, however, was made in the White House draft except for the insertion of the word "irrigation" in the first sentence of the third paragraph. This single addition, in Roosevelt's hand, appears on an undated teletype copy of the message headed, "To Miss Tully: Draft submitted to Budget Sept. 1. 2nd draft" (OF 1516). (From Sept. 9-21, 1944, Roosevelt was at the Quebec Conference and at Hyde Park.) In the Senate the message was referred to the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, and in the House to the Committee on Rivers and Harbors (Cong. Rec., 78th Cong., 2d sess., 90:6, 8065, 8108).


[WASHINGTON] October 12, 1944

DEAR MR. SPENCE: I have your letter of September 27, 1944,1 regarding water pollution control in the Ohio River valley area and know of your deep interest in this whole subject.

My views regarding the need for water pollution abatement, as expressed in my message to the Congress, February 15, 1939, are, I believe, well known to you. More recently, the emergency conditions of the defense and war programs have prevented the undertaking of any active water pollution control program. Nevertheless, the importance of this field of conservation to the public health, industry, and other activities has not diminished but has rather been increased by the war production program. We can all agree, I am sure, that both the Federal and State governments should be working toward the development for post-war application of a program for water pollution control which would recognize the interests and responsibilities of the various public and private organizations concerned.

Please be assured of my continued sympathetic interest in this problem.2

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 114—A:CT]

1Spence said that the people of the Ohio Valley were greatly interested in the control of water pollution and that he would like to have Roosevelt's views on the matter (OF 114—A).

2Drafted by the Federal Security Agency. FSA Administrator McNutt, writing to Hassett Oct. 10, 1944 (OF 114—A), enclosing the draft, said: "As you doubtless know, this whole question of stream pollution has been under consideration in Congress for a number of years and there is now more or less agreement on the type of bill that would be suitable. This Agency has had conferences with the Director of the Bureau of the Budget and I feel that the attached draft expresses in general terms the view of the Administration on this important matter."


WASHINGTON 4, D. C., October 12, 1944

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Your personal support of reclamation as a national policy in the development of comfortable farm homes through out the western half of the United States has been continually helpful during all of the nine years that I have been President of the National Reclamation Association.

I am writing this letter because some confusion of understanding has followed your message to Congress, transmitted on September 21, 1944, in which it was stated that you were in "hearty accord" with the principles adopted and with the over-all plan urged to bring about a complete development of the land and water resources of the great Missouri Basin, as approved at a session of the Missouri River Nine States Committee, meeting at Omaha, Nebraska on August 6, 1944. This plan included irrigation, the incidental production of power, flood control, assistance to navigation and other industrial and domestic uses of the available water.

For the furtherance of this development proposal the Missouri River States Committee, at the close of a two day consideration, approved three important findings:

(1) That there must be an over-all unified plan for development of this Missouri Basin.

(2) The President and the Congress were urged to authorize and direct the United States Army Engineers and the United States Bureau of Reclamation to bring before the Congress such a plan of coordinated engineering.

(3) That whatever unified plan might be agreed upon nothing should be done that would adversely affect the use of water for the irrigation of land of the upstream states in carrying forward this basin-wide development.

Permit me to suggest that in the preparation of your message to Congress, transmitted under date of September 21, 1944, you quite definitely approve finding number (1). You appear to favor a modification of finding number (2). There is some confusion and friendly concern lest you may have overlooked the importance of number (3). This matter could be quite completely cleared up now by a statement that however the desirable unified proposal in question may be carried out, nothing should be done to adversely affect the use of water for irrigation in the upstream states.

I feel sure that this must be your present attitude because of your personal support of reclamation running through the years as mentioned at the beginning of this letter. Furthermore, this thought on my part is emphasized as I recall your letter of February 7, 1944 to Chairman Mansfield of the Rivers and Harbors Committee of the House of Representatives. I believe there have been other like communications declaring that the beneficial use of water in the upper basin should not be affected by the proposed lower basin improvements.

Please accept my assurance of wishing to be helpful, and thanks for such consideration as you think an important subject now before the Congress merits at this time.1

Most respectfully yours,


[13:OF 1516:TS]

1This letter and a draft of a suggested reply (composed by Warden) were brought to the White House by Postmaster General Frank C. Walker (Rosenman to Roosevelt, Oct. 21, 1944, OF 1516). Extensively revised by Rosenman, Warden's draft was sent as the letter printed below. An accompanying memorandum by Early, undated, presumably addressed to his secretary, reads: "Phone Mr. Warden in the the morning. Tell him I am going to tell the Press at 10:30 about the P's letter. Ask him if he cares to release it textually to the Press."


[WASHINGTON] October 23, 1944

DEAR MR. WARDEN: I have read with interest your letter of October twelfth last directing attention to the possibility of some confusion in the minds of those who may not have followed the record of the present administration with respect to reclamation.

We have continually encouraged and favored support for such development of the land and water resources of the western states as would most benefit each region affected and the country as a whole. I think that record is clear. It has always been progressive. Whatever agency carries through a unified plan in the development of a watershed, such as is now under consideration for the Missouri River Basin, it should be so done as not to affect adversely the use of water for irrigation in the upstream states.1

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 1516:CT]

1Drafted by Warden; see preceding note.


[WASHINGTON] October 24, 1944

Dear Gifford: Remember that I have not forgotten that conservation is a basis of permanent peace, and I have sent the enclosed to Cordell Hull.1 I think something will happen soon.

You must, of course, be on the American Delegation.

This blankety blank campaign is nearly over.2

My best to you, As ever yours,


[13:OF 5637:CT]

1The letter following.

2Pinchot replied Oct. 31, 1944 (OF 5637), that he would be delighted to be on the American delegation of the proposed conference.


[WASHINGTON] October 24, 1944

MY DEAR MR. SECRETARY: In our meetings with other nations I have a feeling that too little attention is being paid to the subject of the conservation and use of natural resources.

I am surprised that the world knows so little about itself.

Conservation is a basis of permanent peace. Many different kinds of natural resources are being wasted; other kinds are being ignored; still other kinds can be put to more practical use for humanity if more is known about them. Some nations are deeply interested in the subject of conservation and use and other nations are not at all interested.

Many nations have been denuded of trees, for example, and therefore find it extremely difficult to live on eroded lands. Many nations know practically nothing of their mineral resources. Many nations do not use their water resources. Some nations are not interested in development of irrigation. Some nations have done little to explore the scientific use of what they have.

It occurs to me, therefore, that even before the United Nations meet for the comprehensive program which has been proposed, it could do no harm—and it might do much good—for us to hold a meeting in the United States of all of the united and associated nations for what is really the first step toward conservation and use of natural resources—i. e., a gathering for the purpose of a world-wide study of the whole subject.

The machinery at least could be put into effect to carry it through.

I repeat again that I am more and more convinced that conservation is a basis of permanent peace.

Would you let me have your thought on this?

I think the time is ripe.1

Always sincerely,


[13:OF 5637:CT]

1Acknowledged by Stettinius, Nov. 2, 1944 (OF 5637), saying that the suggestion was under active consideration"; answered by him post, 1137.


[WASHINGTON] October 24, 1944

DEAR GOVERNOR SHARPE: Mr. Hassett has called my attention to your letter of September 28 with its enclosure.1 I appreciate having your views concerning my message recommending a Missouri Valley Authority and have carefully considered your suggestion that the flood control bill be promptly passed with the understanding that, if Congress finally creates an Authority, that agency could take over flood control projects in the Missouri basin.

The answer to your proposal seems to me implicit in your statement before the Senate Subcommittee on Irrigation and Reclamation. There you point out that the "diversities of interest and divisions of opinion throughout the basin and within the several states themselves tend to assert themselves more and more as the several plans for basin development are presented." You further offer it as your view that none of the divergent interests or localities should ever be given any permanently dominant position over the others, but that at all times one general coordinated plan of development and control should be followed. . . ."

I concur heartily in this view. In fact, it is precisely that reasoning which led me to recommend a Missouri Valley Authority. For more than ten years the Tennessee Valley Authority has been successfully demonstrating that the way to harmonize diverse interests and assure a coordinated plan for full utilization of the resources of a great river is to place the entire responsibility in a single agency created for that purpose. It has also shown that such an agency, located in the valley, can identify itself with the region which it serves and so assure the greatest possible state and local participation in the program.

This is in contrast with an approach to comprehensive river basin development through several agencies sponsoring omnibus bills to authorize special purpose projects in many river basins. Such an approach tends to foster centralization in Washington and, at the same time, to accentuate diversities of interest which attach themselves to particular bills and to the agencies authorized to undertake projects with which they are directly concerned.

So, while I agree with you on the urgency of the flood control program for the Missouri basin, I feel that the surest way to expedite it is to unify the development of the Missouri River and its tributaries for flood control, irrigation, navigation, power and other beneficial purposes under a single authority. In view of the fact that the several plans for the basin are still in preliminary stages, prompt action on the necessary legislation should entail no delay in the initiation of essential projects.

I appreciate your active leadership on behalf of a single comprehensive plan satisfactory to all interests in the basin.2

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 1516:CT]

1Sharpe to Hassett, Sept. 28, 1944 (OF 1516), enclosing, "Statement of M. Q. Sharpe before United States Senate Sub-Committee Relating to Bureau of Reclamation Plan for Missouri River Development," dated Sept. 22, 1944 (mimeographed).

2This letter was drafted by Leland Olds, vice chairman of the Federal Power Commission. In his letter to Roosevelt enclosing the draft, Oct. 21, 1944 (OF 1516), Olds said, in part: "Public support of the TVA pattern has been steadily rising. No attempt to achieve the same results through a make-shift wedding of specialized federal agencies can be more than partially successful."


[WASHINGTON] October 24, 1944

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I want to inform you of the acceptance by the United States Government from the State of Texas on June 12, 1944, of the deed to the land for the Big Bend National Park, a project in which I believe that you are particularly interested, as I have been for a number of years.

In giving the land to the Nation the people of Texas have achieved high distinction in the park and recreation field. The new area contains over 700,000 acres. The southern border follows the International Boundary formed by the Rio Grande for a distance of more than 100 miles.

In the United States we think of the Big Bend region in terms of its international significance and hope that the Mexican people look forward in the same spirit to the establishment of an adjoining national park in the States of Chihuahua and Coahuila. These adjoining parks would form an area which would be a meeting ground for the people of both countries, exemplifying their cultural resources and advancement, and inspiring further mutually beneficial progress in recreation and science and the industries related thereto. I have followed the progress of the conversations between the representatives of our respective Governments regarding the establishment of international parks, and I do not believe that this undertaking in the Big Bend will be complete until the entire park area in this region on both sides of the Rio Grande forms one great international park.

Accordingly, I would appreciate your views regarding my hope that early in the postwar period such a park, formed of suitable areas on each side of the boundary in the Big Bend region, might be dedicated and that it might mark the initiation of a joint program of park development for the benefit and enjoyment of our peoples.1

As ever yours,


[13:OF 6—P:CT]

1(Drafted by the Department of State.) President Camacho replied Nov. 30, 1944 (OF 6—P), that the Mexican section of the park would be developed as soon as possible.

1136 SPEECH BY ROOSEVELT, Clarksburg, West Virginia, October 29, 1944

MY FRIENDS: This being Sunday, the Governor,1 in cooperating with me in keeping politics out of it, says that he is not even going to introduce me.

I have been here before, and it is a great comfort to come on a Sunday in a campaign year, because on Sundays my life is made much more comfortable by not having to think about politics. Unfortunately, I do have to think about the war, because every day, including Sundays, dispatches come to me, on the train even, to tell me of the progress of our boys in Europe and in the Pacific and in the Philippines. I can't get rid of that.

So coming up through the State today, I have been looking out of the window, and I think there is a subject that is a good subject for Sunday, because I remember the line in the poem, "Only God can make a tree." And one of the things that people have to realize all over the United States, and I think especially in West Virginia, I don't see the trees I ought to see. That is something that we in this this country have fallen down on. We have been using up natural resources that we ought to have replaced. I know we can't replace coal—it will be a long time before all the coal is gone—but trees constitute something that we can replace.

We have to think not just of an annual crop, not just something that we can eat the next year, but we have to think of a longer crop, something that takes years to grow, but which in the long run is going to do more good for our children and for our grandchildren than if we leave the hills bare.

I remember a story, and it is taken out of Germany. There was a town there—I don't know what has happened in the last twenty years—but this is back when I used to be in grade school in Germany2—and I used to bicycle. And we came to a town, and outside of it there was a great forest. And the interesting thing to me, as a boy even, was that the people in that town didn't have to pay taxes. They were supported by their own forest.

Way back in the time of Louis something of France—some king—the French king was approaching this town with a large army. And the prince of the time asked the townspeople to come out to defend their principality, and he promised them that if they would keep the invader out of the town, out of the principality, he would give them the forest.

The burghers turned out. They repulsed the French king. And very soon the prince made good. He gave the forest to the town. And for over two hundred years that town in Germany had to pay no taxes. Everybody made money, because they had no taxes. In other words, it was a forest on an annual yield basis. They cut down perhaps 70 percent of what they could get out of that year's mature crop. And every year they planted new trees. And every year the proceeds from that forest paid the equivalent of taxes.

Now that is true more and more in this country. There are more and more municipalities that are reforesting their watersheds, putting trees on the top of their hills, preventing the erosion of soil. They are not on a self-sustaining basis because it has only been started within the last ten or fifteen years. And yet while only God can make a tree, we have to do a little bit to help ourselves.

I think that all of us sort of look at our lives in terms of ourselves, and yet your children, your grandchildren, your great-grandchildren, your great-great-grandchildren—some of them will be living right around here, right around where the population is today. Perhaps the old house—perhaps a better, new house. And more and more we Christians are going to think about those grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It doesn't amount to very much, this cost of planting trees, and yet the hillsides of West Virginia of our grandparents' day were much more wonderful than they are now. It's largely a deforested State. And I believe that from the point of view of the beauties of nature, from the point of view of all that trees can be, and from the point of view of your own grandchildren's pocketbooks, the small number of cents, the small number of dollars that go into reforestation are going to come back a thousand-fold.

Up where I live, in the country on the Hudson River, my family had—when I was a boy—five or six hundred acres. It wasn't valuable land. And my own father, in the old days, would go in every year and cut the family needs in the way of timber.

When I was a small boy, I realized that there was waste going on; and when I went to the State Senate as a young man, somebody appointed me to the Conservation Commission.3 Some parts of upstate New York were being eroded, a lot of topsoil was running away, we were getting more floods than we had ever had in the old days.

And just as an experiment, I started planting a few acres each year on rundown land. I tried to pasture some skinny cows on it. And at the same time, I went into the old woods and cleaned out no'count trees, trees that were undergrown or would never amount to anything, crooked trees, rotten trees.

Well, the answer was this. When the last war came on, the old woods had some perfectly splendid trees, because I had cleaned them out, cleaned out the poor stuff. And during that war I made 4 thousand dollars, just by cutting out the mature trees. And I kept on every year. And in the winter-time, when the men weren't doing much, cleaning them out. And the trees grew.

And a quarter of a century later, there came this war. I think I cooperated with the Almighty because I think trees were made to grow. Oh, yes, they are useful as mine timbers. I know that. But there are a lot of places in this State where there isn't any mine timber being cut out.

And in this war, back home, I cut last year—and this is not very Christian—over 4 thousand dollars' worth net of oak trees, to make into submarine chasers and landing craft and other implements of war. And I am doing it again this year.

And I hope that this use of wood for growing, for all kinds of modern inventions, plastics, and so forth, I hope that when I am able to cut some more trees, twenty or twenty-five years from now—it may not be me, it may be one of the boys—we will be able to use them at a profit not for building mine chasers or landing craft, but for turning them into some human use.

And I believe that in this country—not this State only, but a great many more—that we in the next few years, when peace comes, will be able to devote more thought to making our country more useful—every acre of it.

I remember eight years ago, I think it was, out in the west, we knew that there were great floods and a dry belt in there. We knew, also, that trees bring water and avoid floods. And so we started one of those "crackpot" things, for which I have been criticized, a thing called the shelter belt, to keep the high winds away, to hold the moisture in the soil. And the result is that that shelter belt—not much ran downhill—a great success has been made of it. And the farmers are getting more crops and better crops out there on the prairies in the lee of these rows of trees.

Forestry pays from the practical point of view. I have proved that. And so I hope—I hope to live long enough to see West Virginia with more trees in it. I hope to live to see the day when this generation will be thinking not just of themselves but also of the children and the grandchildren.

And so I had a happy day this morning in looking out at this wonderful scenery, but I couldn't take my eyes off those bare hilltops. I couldn't take my thoughts off the fact that this generation, and especially the previous generation, have been thinking of themselves and not of the future.

And so some day I hope to come back, and I hope to see a great forestry program for the whole of the State. Nearly all of it needs it. I hope to come back and be able to say, "I stopped, once upon a time, in Clarksburg, on a Sunday morning, and just avoided politics and talked to the people in Clarksburg, and they must have heard me all over the State, because they started planting trees."

And so I think my Sunday sermon is just about over. It has been good to see you, and I really do hope that I will come back here, one of these days soon.4


They say up here it's a good sermon.


1Matthew M. Neely.

2In the course of a trip to Europe in the spring and summer of 1891, Roosevelt for a time attended the Volkschule at Bad Nauheim.

3The Forest, Fish and Game Committee of the New York State Senate is meant.

4This speech (delivered at 12:10 P. M.) was extemporaneous. The text here printed is that of the stenographic transcript; some of the more awkward locutions were edited (presumably by Early) in the version given to the press (cf. New York Times, Oct. 30, 1944, p. 11). (One of these revisions is interesting: in the twelfth paragraph Roosevelt used the colloquial phrase "no'count," a term certainly understandable to his audience. This became, in the press release, "no-account.") There is present (Speech File) a draft labeled "Address of the President at Clarksburg, W. Va., October 29, 1944. First Draft." The authorship of this draft, which deals entirely with freedom of conscience, has not been determined. No part of it was used by Roosevelt.


WASHINGTON, November 10, 1944

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT: Proposed Conference on Conservation and Natural Resources: Further reference is made to your letter of October 24, 1944, suggesting the possibility of calling a conference of the United and Associated Nations on the conservation and use of natural resources. There can be little doubt that, as you suggest, the development of effective international cooperation in stimulating the adoption of sound national conservation policy on a world-wide basis, in promoting joint measures of attack upon common problems, and in enlarging our knowledge of the natural resource basis from which the peoples of the earth derive their living, might make a significant contribution to the solution of the problem of maintaining world peace.

There are, however, a number of considerations which I should like to bring to your attention that appear to me to make less urgent the need for a special international conference on conservation at this time. These considerations are set forth in the attached enclosure. Beginning with the projected Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations which grew out of the Hot Springs Conference, and extending through to the Economic and Social Council of the general international organization, our post-war economic policy planning has given and will continue to give a place of high importance to questions of conservation of natural resources.

I have considerable doubt as to the desirability of a separate international conference in the near future centering its attention exclusively on conservation. It seems to me unlikely that most of the governments of the world will find themselves able to reach any firm views on the important problems of conservation in the absence of a clearer view than they now have on the prospects for production and trade and of the nature and extent of international collaboration therein.

I shall of course be glad to discuss this with you further if you should so desire.


[13:OF 5637:TS]


1. In the years to come we shall be faced with a wide variety of situations pertaining to particular natural resources. In some of them, we shall be faced, for a few years at least, with continuing shortages in comparison with war and reconstruction needs. In others, we shall soon be faced with troublesome problems of surplus production and surplus capacity. I should be much inclined to doubt whether we should be able to reach significant international agreement on conservation programs without simultaneously considering the prospects for the orderly development and marketing of these resources. If this view is correct, it sets conservation as one part, and a very important part, of the total problem of international collaboration in the wisest use of the world's productive resources. This is the pattern which we have been attempting to follow to date.

2. The conservation and development of agricultural resources was one of the subjects discussed at the United Nations Conference on Food and Agriculture at Hot Springs, and Article I of the draft Constitution of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations specifically provides that the Organization "shall promote and, where appropriate, shall recommend national and international action with regard to . . . the conservation of natural resources and the adoption of improved methods of agricultural production." Under the terms of the proposed Constitution of the Food and Agriculture Organization, the scope of its activities covers fisheries and forestry, as well as agriculture proper. Arrangements are therefore well under way whereby provision will be made for the handling on an international basis of conservation problems in the fields of agriculture, fisheries and forestry.

3. The orderly development of world petroleum resources for the needs of international trade is a basic objective of the Anglo-American Petroleum Agreement now pending before the Congress and is similarly contemplated as an objective of the broader international agreement which is envisaged by the Anglo-American Agreement.

4. The preparation of the American program on other aspects of international post-war economic policy is, as you know, already far advanced. Part of this program is a proposal for an appropriate international organization to facilitate study and discussion of international commodity programs and to aid in the negotiation and operation of particular international commodity arrangements. In this preparatory work, for example, it has been recognized that conservation is an important element to be considered in connection with international commodity arrangements. For the reasons which I have set forth in paragraph number one above, I believe that it would be preferable to introduce the problems of conservation as a part of the coming international discussions in the field of commercial policy and commodity problems, rather than to treat it separately from, and in advance of these negotiations.

5. To the extent that the foregoing steps would still leave need for special international machinery to deal with problems of conservation, the Economic and Social Council of the proposed general international organization might well be assigned this as one of its first and urgent tasks. This would safeguard against the possibility of creating too much international machinery with possibly overlapping fields of jurisdiction. The powers of the Economic and Social Council and its liaison with the Security Council will put this body in an excellent position to see the economic, social, and political ramifications of the entire problems of resource utilization in proper perspective. It can be expected to stimulate and supplement the activities of international agencies with specified responsibilities in its field.

[13:OF 5637:T]

1139 PRESS CONFERENCE, Executive Offices of the White House, November 14, 1944, 4:10 P. M.

[Excerpt] Q: Mr. President, Senator Overton says that the Missouri Valley Authority proposal would be dead, in his opinion, if the Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation plan, which he favors, is adopted. Would you care to comment on the acceptability of that plan as a substitute?

The President: I am not really sufficiently in touch with the plans. I couldn't—I couldn't even tell you what is in them exactly.

The problem is this, in the Mississippi Valley. Like other watersheds that contain a good many States, there are always problems between—two kinds. The first is the problem of the States themselves. Each State wants everything, and the say in everything affecting, of course, their own State, but affecting incidentally the whole flow of the river from the top to the bottom, passing through a number of other States. Well, that is something that has to be reconciled.

In the Tennessee watershed, for example, there were, I think, seven States that were affected by the T. V. A., and there was a lot of feeling that they were going to give up some kind of a right; and that was a good many years ago, and it has been in operation for quite a while, and there isn't one of those States today that feels that they have been—that State has been unfairly treated. It has been done for the benefit of all the States, and in proportion to the flow of the water, and the mileage, and the character of the land in the whole Valley.

Well, there has been a feeling out there in the Missouri Valley, that there are two parts, the parts further back at the head of the streams—tributaries—of the Missouri, and the parts that are lower down and that are affected by floods and other things. And they think that by some other method they will be able to agree, but it's always been terribly hard to get them to agree, unless there is some—what might be called a central authority to—to make the final decision.

Of course, they ought to be heard the whole length of the Missouri, which covers a tremendous territory, but somebody's—there ought to be somebody—it's a question of speed—getting things done. So they would hear them all, and bring them together, and talk things over, and make a final decision.

Then the second part of it relates to a thing that goes way, way back. Who is to build the dam, the Department of the Interior or the War Department? Well, that is purely a jurisdictional thing, and it has never worried me very much. They each have a corps of dam builders, and they are very good. They built some very, very good dams. Some of them were built by the War Department engineers and some by the Reclamation Bureau.

Of course, the theory—that goes way, way back to 1860 something—is that irrigation was always turned over to the Interior Department to do, but that navigation was turned over to the Army engineers to do. Well, I don't—I don't much care who—who does the actual dam building. It probably is a good thing to have two different dam building authorities—agencies—in the Government, because you get a certain amount of competition between two Government agencies.

Well, there is—as it worked out, they are both pretty good. They are both awfully cocky about the good dams they build. Well, that's fine. That's all to the good. They will both bring in a plan on the same dam, which is part of it navigational in its purpose and part irrigational. And we get plans from both, and then decide which one will do it. Well, that's not bad. There's very little waste as between—in the competition between the two Departments. I would say you would save money, on the whole. But that is a purely jurisdictional thing within the Government construction work.

Of course, the only real example that we have got in operations on a big scale is the T. V. A., and the people down there in all the seven States like it, and it seems to be working. There is no local dispute over the T. V. A. so far, because it has been fair as between the different States. So I don't—I can't tell you in that one particular case about the Missouri, because I am not sufficiently up to date on these different—these different bills.

I still think there ought to be a Missouri Valley Authority. There are an awful lot of States—an awful lot of territory.

And of course, I hope that there will be an authority, for instance, for the Arkansas river. Well, people there—in the East don't—don't visualize it. The Arkansas river rises right on the Continental Divide in western Colorado, and it already has become—has become a menace—floods—by the time it gets down to southeastern Colorado. Pueblo is on the Arkansas river. Well, Pueblo is way out in Colorado. And then it goes—meanders down through a lot of States before it gets down to Arkansas and Louisiana to the Mississippi river. It's an ideal thing to put under an authority.

Same way, we have talked about a Columbia river authority and some people talked about an Ohio river authority, so that I have drawn the thing out on a sheet of paper so many times I can do it in my sleep. A map of the United States—well, I divide it up roughly into seven different regions, one of them being the main stem of the Mississippi river itself, because that has been a separate entity for all time. There is the barge line on the—on the Mississippi, and it is more of a unit than any other river, just a narrow strip from the top end of the country to the southern end of the country.

And I hope that in time we will get seven different authorities, each one with a separate general location.

For instance, a good example, the Cumberland river, which starts up in—what?—northern Kentucky and wanders down into Tennessee. And it's almost parallel with the Tennessee, and actually as it gets west, just before the Ohio goes into the Mississippi, it turns north and goes into the Mississippi1 within ten or fifteen miles of where the Tennessee goes in. And yet it is an entirely different watershed. Well, in all probability, affecting in general terms the same States, it ought to be part of the—of the Tennessee—Tennessee Valley Authority, to save time and trouble. And the construction work of the T. V. A., of course, will be completed pretty soon. I think it's fair to take on another valley basin.

When you come to the other problems, the little rivers to the south of it, like—what?—Tombigbee, which starts across a little watershed about 150 feet high and about 25 miles from the Tennessee—and the Tennessee, of course, running at that point northwest to the Tombigbee and due south to the Gulf of Mexico—well, there are half a dozen Tombigbees in that—in the Gulf section. Probably, they should be put into a separate authority, including rivers in Texas.

But it is awfully hard, because there is so much feeling, that no one State wants to join up with another State in the general policy or management of running a great watershed project. Mind you, it isn't only water power. That is one of the—one of the lesser things, on the whole.


1The Ohio is meant.


WASHINGTON, D. C., Nov. 16, 1944

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT: There are now before the Congress, for its consideration in connection with pending legislation and with your message of September 21 calling for a Missouri Valley Authority, two reports setting up engineering plans for the development of the waters of the Missouri River. The one of the Chief of Engineers, U. S. Army, submitted by the Secretary of War, is published as House Document 475, 78th Congress,1 the other of the Bureau of Reclamation, submitted by the Secretary of the Interior, is published as Senate Document 191, 78th Congress.2 The two reports are in part in conflict.

On October 16 and 17, in accordance with instructions of their bureau chiefs, representatives of the Corps of Engineers and of the Bureau of Reclamation met at Omaha, Nebraska, to develop a technical reconciliation of the engineering plans presented in the two reports. Such a reconciliation has been developed and at my request has been submitted to the Bureau of the Budget.3

Members of Congress and of the press are aware that this reconciliation report has been prepared and that it has been sent to the Bureau of the Budget. It can be anticipated that if this report is not otherwise made available to Congress, members thereof will call upon the departments for its submission.

This reconciliation now results in there being offered by the two agencies, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Corps of Engineers, a single coordinated plan for the development of the waters of the Missouri River. Such a plan would need to be developed ultimately under your proposal that the Congress create a Missouri Valley Authority. I recommend that you transmit this report to the Congress with the attached letters which I have prepared.4


[13:OF 1516:TS]

1Missouri River Basin, Letter Submitting Report on Review of Reports on Missouri River for Flood Control Along the Main Stem from Sioux City, Iowa, to the Mouth (Washington, 1944).

2Conservation, Control, and Use of Water Resources of the Missouri River Basin . . . (Washington, 1944).

3This report of reconciliation, signed by Chief of Engineers Eugene Reybold for the War Department, and by Commissioner of Reclamation Harry W. Bashore for the Interior Department, to the Secretaries of War and Interior, Oct. 25, 1944, is present (OF 15 16). It encloses, "Joint Report of Representatives of Bureau of Reclamation and Corps of Engineers on Plans for Development of the Missouri River Basin," to the Chief of Engineers and the Commissioner of Reclamation, Oct. 17, 1944.

4Identical letters to the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate; see post, 1143.


WASHINGTON, November 22, 1944

MEMORANDUM FOR THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUDGET: Jonathan Daniels tells me that the pending Flood Control Bill will jeopardize the possibility of the creation of the Missouri Valley Authority and other similar projects.1

Will you make a study and let me know?


[Notation: T] Memorandum in re the Flood Control Bill, H. R. 4485, a copy of the bill being attached.

[13:OF 132:CT]

1Daniels wrote to Roosevelt Nov. 20, 1944 (OF 132), that the policy of the bill as stated in its preamble was antagonistic to his program of river development through regional authorities based on the TVA plan.


WASHINGTON, November 22, 1944

MEMORANDUM FOR THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE: I am not satisfied with the Department's attitude on a Conservation Conference. Whoever wrote the memorandum for you1 has just failed to grasp the real need of finding out more about the world's resources and what we can do to improve them.

Just for example, take the case of Persia (Iran). The greater part of it, i. e., the North, used to be a forested country. Today it is utterly bare with a few cattle and a few very poor crops in the small valleys. The people are destitute. Anyone who knows forestry would say that an immediate program of tree planting is the only hope for the Persia of the future. The population is abject—poverty stricken—filthy. Very little water means that something drastic must be done and it will take several hundred years to accomplish it.

But it is a big country and there is plenty of labor. Persia has no resources to buy our products.

Very little is actually known about it, but I am sure there are enormous possibilities.

Lots of countries are like this.

My thought is that we should call a Conference to which each of the United and Affiliated Nations would send one representative. Most of them are poor. One man from each country is enough. The countries that wanted to send somebody could have them meet here in a more or less secluded spot and we would get world information which is now lacking, and in a short period of time we could begin a program to build up non-buying nations into good customers.

When I say a short space of time, I mean a hundred years but that is short in these times.

Will you let me have this memorandum back and also the letter from Governor Pinchot?2


[13:OF 5637:TS]

1Ante, 1137.

2Ante, 1125. Answered post, 1145.


WASHINGTON, November 27, 1944

SIR: On September 21, 1944, I sent a message to the Congress recommending the creation of a Missouri Valley Authority that would be charged with the duty of preparing and carrying out a single coordinated plan for the development of the Missouri River Basin for the greatest benefit of its citizens, both present and future, and for the greatest benefit to the United States. At that time there was under consideration by the Congress two reports, the one presented by the Corps of Engineers, the other by the Bureau of Reclamation, which, while presenting comprehensive plans for the development of the Missouri River, were in conflict in many details. The two bureaus have reconciled the technical differences in these two reports and have prepared a joint recommendation which, in conjunction with the two reports, constitutes a basic plan for the development and control of the waters of the Missouri River.

This joint plan represents a beginning in the solution of the problems of the Missouri Valley. But it is only a beginning, for other important matters not within the scope of this joint report bear very materially upon the entire region. As a practical matter, most of these cannot be dealt with by conference and agreement among the ten states directly involved working with separate Federal agencies, for the delay in getting action would be too great to bring about the objectives important to the economy of the entire region. A single authority, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority, over the entire region would provide an adequate mechanism for the adjustment of the interests of the states and for the planning and development of the entire valley.

I am transmitting herewith a copy of that report of reconciliation together with accompanying papers. I now recommend that the plans of the two bureaus, published in House Document 475, 78th Congress, and Senate Document 191, 78th Congress, as modified in accordance with the recommendations of this joint report, be authorized as a basic engineering plan to be developed and administered by a Missouri Valley Authority, such as I have already recommended in my message of September 21.1

Sincerely yours,


[Notation: A] Copy of this letter sent to Budget [Notation: AS] HDS2

[13:OF 1516:CT]

1This letter was read in the House on Nov. 28, 1944, and referred to the Committee on Rivers and Harbors. The same letter, addressed to the President of the Senate, was read in the Senate on the same day and referred to the Committee on Commerce (Cong. Rec., 78th Cong., 2d sess., 90:6, 8479-8491, 8504).

2Budget Director Harold D. Smith, in whose agency this letter was drafted.


WASHINGTON 4, D. C., December 7, 1944

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: What people like about the TVA idea is that it has decentralized government back to the people themselves. National policies have been applied without adulteration, but they have been adapted to fit the realities of the region, states, and localities.

As one of our Rocky Mountain members has put it, we want to know at all times whom to go to, whom to blame or credit for policies and actions that hurt or help—and we want to get to them without having to travel half way across the continent to do it.

As we go into the historic fight to apply this new principle of government—perhaps the greatest proven discovery of your administration—I wish you would, if you feel you can do so, write me a brief message making explicit and unequivocal your support for the central idea of TVA, viz., genuine decentralization to the region without the intervention of any department, agency, coordinating board or commission, with responsibility direct to the Office of the President and the Congress.

Frankly, we fear that, in the midst of the debate over the MVA bill this winter, the issue may be confused by a superficially plausible argument that, to ease the burden on the President or on some other pretext, coordination of various regional authorities should be assigned either to Interior or some new agency.

In our view, coordination if it means anything, means control, and control of administration in Washington means the destruction of decentralization, the key to TVA's success. Unless the MVA, and any other regional authorities proposed, retain this essential characteristic, neither our organization nor people generally will be interested in supporting it.

At present, necessary fiscal and budgetary coordination is being attended to by your Bureau of the Budget and can be continued there, and broad general policies are coordinated by the Congress, as they should be.

Your assurance on this central issue of genuine, unequivocal, all-out decentralization with respect to MVA and similar authorities for the Columbia, Arkansas, and other river valleys will be of immense help in the weeks and months to come. I hope you will give that word now. With it in hand, we can be well on the way toward success in making TVA the pilot operation for the Nation.1

Respectfully yours,


[APS] Mr President: Ickes is certainly muddying up the whole basic T. V. A. concept. JIM

[13:OF 1516:TS]

1A copy of this letter, with the postscript omitted, was sent by Roosevelt to Ickes with a memorandum dated Dec. 11, 1944 (OF 1516), reading, "Please read and return. I am inclined to believe that he is right." Ickes reacted violently in a lengthy letter of Dec. 18, 1944 (OF 1516). After restating his position on the administration of regional conservation authorities, he charged that the Missouri Valley Authority bill would lead to the destruction of the Interior Department. He said that the problems confronting the development of the Missouri Valley's resources were far more varied and complex than those of the Tennessee Valley, and that the TVA method was unsuited to the former region.


WASHINGTON, December 16, 1944

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT . . . PROPOSED CONFERENCE ON CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES: Your memorandum of November 22 makes it clear that we had previously misunderstood this proposal. We had been thinking of it in terms of a "full-dress" international conference and we had questioned its advisability during the war. We had had in mind the difficulty in getting facts from countries still the scene of hostilities, and possible duplication of the conservation work of some of the other conferences.

My suggestion would be that we start now finding out more about the world's resources and what we can do to improve them, on an experimental basis, in areas where the necessary information can be obtained during the war. These would include the Near and Middle East, Africa, and this hemisphere.

Subject to your approval, a meeting could be called in North Africa for the Near and Middle East and Africa. A similar one could be held in this hemisphere under the auspices of the Inter-American Economic and Financial Committee or the Pan American Union. A good start, even during the war, could thus be made on these areas about most of which existing data is very inadequate. Then, after hostilities cease, we could complete the job by gathering the requisite information on Europe and the Far East.

The next time we are together, perhaps we can discuss this further. The memorandum and the letter from Governor Pinchot are returned herewith, as you requested.1


[13:OF 5637:TS]

1Ante, 1142, 1125.


WASHINGTON 25, D. C., Dec. 22, 1944

MY DEAR MR. SMITH: This Department has been requested to report on enrolled bill H. R. 2241, entitled "An Act to abolish the Jackson Hole National Monument as created by Presidential Proclamation Numbered 2578, dated March 15, 1943."1

I recommend that the President withhold his approval from H. R. 2241 for the reasons stated in the attached draft of a proposed memorandum of disapproval.2 In addition, the abolishment of the Jackson Hole National Monument would make impossible the acceptance of the offer to the Federal Government by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., of 32,117 acres of strategic land within the monument, a gift to the people of the United States which cost him approximately one and one-half million dollars.

The Proclamation of March 15, 1943, issued pursuant to the Antiquities Act of June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225), which established the Jackson Hole National Monument, merely reserved the Federal lands within the monument boundaries from all forms of appropriation under the public land laws, subject to prior existing rights, and provided for their administration as a national monument. The owners of private lands within the limits of the monument retain their ownership and are entitled to the full use and enjoyment of their property to the same extent as private landowners elsewhere.

Soon after the creation of Jackson Hole National Monument by the President I issued a policy statement outlining the principles to be followed in its administration. A copy of that statement is enclosed.3 Since then I have repeatedly indicated that I would be willing to support legislation that would extend the force of law to the policies expressed in that statement. Nor would I object to the enactment of legislation which, in addition to providing for the continuance of existing leases, permits and licenses during the lifetime of the present holders and the members of their immediate families, would provide for the continuation of grazing privileges on Federal lands within the monument until such time as the lands to which these privileges are now appurtenant had been acquired by the Federal Government. Provisions to this effect were contained in H. R. 5469 introduced by Chairman Peterson of the House Public Lands Committee on November 16.

In all fairness it must be admitted that a serious tax problem will confront the people of Teton County, Wyoming, if and when the Rockefeller holdings are acquired by the United States. In order to overcome the objection that the local tax structure would be jeopardized as a result of the removal of these lands from the tax rolls, I have gone on record as favoring the enactment of legislation which would permit some part of the revenues inuring to the Federal Government from national parks and monuments to be turned over to Teton County. Appropriate provisions to this end were also contained in H. R. 5469.

I appeared before the House Committee on the Public Lands and the Senate Committee on Public Lands and Surveys when H. R. 2241 was before them for consideration. In my statements to those Committees I took great pains to outline the true facts involved and to explain the misrepresentations and misunderstandings which the proponents of H. R. 2241 have intentionally and widely circulated, not only through the press, but also in the course of the hearing and debates on this measure. For your information I am enclosing copies of my statements to the Committees.4

Sincerely yours,



1H. R. 2241 was debated at length in the House on Dec. 8 and 11, 1943. Its supporters made much of the argument that in establishing the monument by proclamation the President had usurped the powers of Congress. They charged that the area was not worthy of monument status, that its residents would be unjustly deprived of their homes, and that the monument was not wanted by Wyoming. Most of the western representatives supported the bill; however, Outland (Calif.), in a long and obviously carefully prepared statement, said that the manner of the preservation of the area (whether by park or monument) was immaterial: the important thing was to preserve it while it retained its wilderness character. The bill was approved by the House on Dec. 11 and by the Senate on Dec. 19, 1944 (Cong. Rec., 78th Cong., 2d sess., 90:27, 9090-9095, 9283-9286, 9804). With passage of the bill, supporters of the monument asked for a veto; its opponents urged approval.

2Ickes' draft is present; concerning it see post, 1148 n.

3"Statement of Policy Concerning Administration of Jackson Hole National Monument, Wyoming," a one-page mimeographed document issued by the Secretary of the Interior on April 8, 1943.

4"Statement of the Secretary of the Interior Before the House Public Lands Committee, June 1, 1943"; "Statement of Harold L. Ickes, Secretary of the Interior, Before the Senate Committee on Public Lands and Surveys, on H. R. 2241, A Bill to Abolish the Jackson Hole National Monument, Friday, December 15, 1944." (These are mimeographed documents.) The House Committee hearings are printed: To Abolish the Jackson Hole National Monument, Wyoming, Hearings, 78th Cong., 1st sess., on H. R. 2241, May 19-June 9, 1943 (Washington, 1943).


[WASHINGTON] December 23, 1944

I have signed, on December 22, 1944, the Flood Control Bill, H. R. 4485. It appears to me that, in general, this legislation is a step forward in the development of our national water resources and power policies. The plan of calling upon states affected by proposed projects for their views is a desirable one, but, of course, the establishment of such a procedure should not be interpreted by anyone as an abrogation by the Federal Government of any part of its powers over navigable waters. Authorization of the projects listed in the bill will augment the backlog of public works available for prompt initiation, if necessary, in the post-war period.

I note, however, that the bill authorizes for construction by the Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation those improvements in the Missouri River Basin which, on November 27, 1944, I recommended be developed and administered by a Missouri Valley Authority. My approval of this bill is given with the distinct understanding that it is not to be interpreted as jeopardizing in any way the creation of a Missouri Valley Authority, the establishment of which should receive the early consideration of the next Congress.

I consider the projects authorized by the bill to be primarily for post war construction, and, until the current wars are terminated, I do not intend to submit estimates of appropriation or approve allocations of funds for any project that does not have an important and direct value to the winning of the war.1



1This was drafted by the Budget Bureau. A slightly different version, signed by Roosevelt, is present (Budget Bureau Enrolled Bills); in this the first sentence reads, "I have today signed the Flood Control Bill, H. R. 4485." A much longer Interior Department draft is also present; with this is a memorandum, Rosenman to Roosevelt, Dec. 22, 1944, recommending that the Budget Bureau draft be issued. The Interior Department draft noted that the new law provided for "participation by the states and other agencies in the work of the Army Engineers," and gave "assurance that the views of affected states and agencies on proposed works" should be presented to Congress in an orderly manner. It noted that the Secretary of the Interior was given authority to make sure that electric power developed under the act would be disposed of in the public interest, and that reclamation uses of water from Army dams and reservoirs were placed under that official. The Interior Department draft also reviewed the Reclamation Bureau-Army Engineers dispute over the administration of the Central Valley of California projects and pointed out that the new law incorporated the policies urged by the Interior Department.


THE WHITE HOUSE, December 29, 1944

MEMORANDUM OF DISAPPROVAL: I have withheld my approval from H. R. 2241 "To abolish the Jackson Hole National Monument as created by Presidential Proclamation Numbered 2578, dated March 15, 1943."

The effect of this bill would be to deprive the people of the United States of the benefits of an area of national significance from the standpoint of naturalistic, historic, scientific and recreational values. The Jackson Hole National Monument as established by Proclamation Numbered 2578 constitutes an outstanding example of a valley formed by block-faulting and glacial action1 and has as significant a story to tell of these great forces of nature as has the Grand Canyon to reveal of erosive processes. It also constitutes a breeding and feeding ground for rare types of birds and animal life. For many years it was a celebrated rendezvous of trappers and Indians; very few areas of the West preserve as many frontier associations. In addition, it provides the necessary foreground for the great mountain peaks in the adjoining Grand Teton National Park, and in its scenic and geologic characteristics forms an integral part of the whole Grand Teton region.

In issuing the proclamation creating the Jackson Hole National Monument, I followed precedents repeatedly established by my predecessors, beginning with President Theodore Roosevelt, in exercising the authority conferred by section 2 of the Antiquities Act approved by the Congress on June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225). Eighty-two national monuments have been established by Presidents of the United States of both political parties. Seven of these monuments are larger than the Jackson Hole National Monument. There are few official acts of the President of the United States, in the field of conservation or in any other phase of Government, so amply supported by precedent, as is the proclamation establishing Jackson Hole National Monument. In the light of the legislative history of the Antiquities Act of June 8, 1906, and the interpretation placed thereon by the Supreme Court of the United States in Cameron v. United States (252 U. S. 450), I am convinced that Jackson Hole is an "object of historic or scientific interest" within the meaning of that Act. Therefore, I cannot assent to the position taken by the proponents of H. R. 2241 that the monument reserve should be annulled on the ground that there was no authority for its creation.

The proclamation establishing the Jackson Hole National Monument reserved only the Federal lands within appropriately designated boundaries, and was issued subject to all valid existing rights. As in the case of many other Federal reservations, certain private and State lands are also within the boundaries designated in the proclamation. These lands, which comprise a small fraction of the total acreage, are not affected in any way by the proclamation. They are still in private and State ownership and the rights of the owners are the same as they were before the proclamation was issued. No lands have been or can be confiscated; no citizens have been or can be dispossessed. Moreover, private property and incomes within the monument boundaries remain subject to taxation by the State and county to the same extent as they were before the monument was established.

Soon after Jackson Hole National Monument was created, the Secretary of the Interior issued a policy statement setting forth definite principles to govern the administration of the Federal lands within the monument. This statement provides for the continuance of all permits issued by the Forest Service or other Federal agencies for the use of lands now within the national monument during the lifetime of the present holders and the members of their immediate families. In this statement the Secretary recognized existing grazing privileges on monument lands and existing stock driveway privileges, and declared that cattlemen desiring in the spring and fall to drive their cattle across monument lands, between their respective ranches and the summer ranges, would be permitted to do so as a matter of settled administrative policy.

I recognize the seriousness of the tax problem that might be produced in Teton County, Wyoming, were those lands within the monument boundaries which have been acquired by private interests, for ultimate incorporation in the monument, to be removed from the tax rolls at a time when fully equivalent revenues have not as yet accrued to the County through the development of the tourist attractions of the region. I would be sympathetic to the enactment of legislation whereby revenues derived by the Federal Government from the National Park and Monument system could be used to off-set, on an equitable basis, any loss of taxes due to the Federal acquisition, by donation or purchase, of private lands within the monument. I would also be sympathetic to the enactment of legislation that would incorporate into law the administrative policies with respect to the private utilization of Federal lands within the monument to which I have already referred. Among other things, such legislation might provide assurance for private landholders within the monument who now have grazing privileges on Federal lands that these privileges will be continued to them, and to their heirs and assigns, so long as the lands to which these privileges are appurtenant remain in private ownership.

In the establishment of the Jackson Hole National Monument consideration was given to the interests of the people of the United States as a whole in order that the area might be preserved and made available to our citizens for the realization of its highest values, including its scenery, its scientific interest, its wildlife and its history. I believe that whatever reasonable objections may exist to the continuance of the monument can be overcome without depriving this area of the protection to which it is justly entitled under the Antiquities Act of June 8, 1906, and under the other laws relating to national monuments. Therefore, it would seem to me that the proper remedy in this situation is not the undoing of what has been done, but the making of such adjustments as may be appropriate to meet the local conditions.

For these reasons I feel that it is my duty to withhold approval from H. R. 2241.1



1This memorandum of disapproval was drafted by the Budget Bureau. It is the same as the draft that Ickes sent to the Budget Bureau in his letter of Dec. 22, 1944 (ante, 1146), except for the omission of a paragraph which followed paragraph two of the statement as here printed. This omitted portion called attention to the eighty-two national monuments that had been created by Presidents of both parties since the approval of the American Antiquities Act of June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225). With the Budget Bureau draft is a memorandum, Rosenman to Roosevelt, Dec. 27, 1944, referring to H. R. 2241, "I concur in the recommendation that this bill be vetoed, and recommend that the memorandum of disapproval prepared by the Budget Bureau be signed."

Senator O'Mahoney of Wyoming, leader of the Senate group supporting the bill, wrote to Roosevelt at length on Dec. 22, 1944 (OF 928). He urged that the bill be approved on the principal ground that the creation of the monument was an injustice to those landowners in the area who had not sold their land to Rockefeller. Hassett replied Dec. 30, 1944 (OF 928), that while the President regretted that he could not accede to O'Mahoney's wishes, he felt sure that his decision, "reached after most careful consideration," would merit his respect. Of the thirty-some letters in the Roosevelt Library concerning the act (OF 928), about a third (mostly from western governors) urged its approval, while the remainder (mostly from heads of conservation organizations) urged its veto. In 1950 Jackson Hole National Monument became part of Grand Teton National Park.


WASHINGTON, January 2, 1945

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE: It is perfectly all right for Joe Grew to act as President of "The Save-the-Redwoods League" but I think it important to get the idea abroad that some long-time conservationists are interested. For example, Gifford Pinchot, who is undoubtedly our No. 1 conservationist, should be in this thing.1


[13:OF 5666:CT]

1Stettinius, in a memorandum to Roosevelt of Dec. 27, 1944 (OF 5666), asked if it would be proper for Grew to head a campaign for funds to establish a "National Tribute Grove" to honor the men and women of the armed forces of World War II.


[WASHINGTON] January 8, 1945

MY DEAR MR. SEHLMEYER: Secretary Ickes has told me of his conversation with you regarding your proposal for establishing a Central Valley Authority, about which you wired me on October 5.1 I am hopeful that this area may be included in legislation for establishing River Basin agencies.

I have repeatedly urged that additional projects in the Central Valley such as the Kings and Kern River developments be undertaken by the Reclamation Bureau in order to achieve orderly unified administration under the Reclamation Laws. Moreover, effective coordination of these multiple-purpose water conservation projects with the other local activities of the Department of the Interior, such as the mineral development work of the Bureau of Mines and the program for fish and wildlife conservation, is essential to a proper resource program of the basin.

I favor the establishment of regional agencies for the handling of Federal responsibilities in the field of conservation. However, legislation creating such an agency for the Central Valley or for any other region where the irrigation of arid lands is a major concern should include the most careful consideration of this phase of water conservation and should carry forward the sound traditions of the Reclamation Laws.2

Very sincerely yours,


[Notation: AS] Copy of this reply sent to Interior 1/9/45. hms

[13:OF 402:CT]

1Sehlmeyer said that the position of the California State Grange was that the complex problems of the Central Valley project could best be solved by a regional administration, and that the Grange feared that pending legislation in Congress would result in competition among Federal agencies in developing the project (OF 402).

2(Drafted by the Interior Department.) On the failure to resolve the Central Valley dispute, see Maass, Muddy Waters, pp. 252-259.


[WASHINGTON] January 8, 1945

DEAR HAROLD: Before I answer Patton's letter about the Missouri Valley and other Authorities,1 I wish you would give consideration to two problems which tie in with the whole subject.

The first is the preservation of State's rights and the Authority method seems to have done this very well in the case of TVA—McKellar being the only dissenter. The other matter relates to the Interior Department. What you say is perfectly true in the sense that no President ought to have to manage or settle the problems of seven or eight different Authorities.

On the other hand, TVA's great success has been the fact that it has been, in practice, autonomous and people in the Tennessee watershed can get decisions and actions from Knoxville instead of having to come to Washington. How can we arrange things so that this will continue but that at the same time, Interior will have a large say and a final say in things like grazing, irrigation, etc. etc.?

This, of course, would be more true in places like the Missouri Valley than in an Authority over the Eastern Seaboard Valleys, for example.2


[13:OF 1516:CT]

1Ante, 1144.

2Ickes replied Jan. 15, 1945 (OF 1516), that he believed in "regional agencies administered in the region by officials who have jurisdiction to make final decisions." He described a plan which he favored: this contemplated a number of regional agencies, to be coordinated by a River Basin Planning Board, headed by the Secretary of the Interior. This board would "develop general national plans and programs for river basin development," and the Secretary of the Interior would be empowered to supervise the activities of the various regional authorities. Ickes said that he had drafted a bill embodying these proposals for introduction in Congress if Roosevelt approved, and he enclosed a draft reply to Patton which argued: (1) a drive for several regional authorities would be more successful than for one; (2) with "a multiplicity of such authorities" a central agency was necessary; and (3) this agency should be the Interior Department. Ickes' proposed letter was not sent. Patton wrote to Roosevelt again on March 28, 1945 (OF 1516), charging that Ickes' campaign to gain control of all valley authorities was threatening to block affirmative action on the Missouri Valley Authority bill.


WASHINGTON, January 16, 1945

MEMORANDUM FOR HON. GIFFORD PINCHOT: I have been so busy over the new year that this is the first chance I have had to send you Stettinius' memorandum to me.1 What do you think of these area conferences?


[13:OF 5637:CT]

1Ante, 1145.

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