GSA Logo Franklin D. Roosevelt and Conservation
Volume One
VOLUME ONE: 1911-1937

Part II
State Senator to the Presidency

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

[WASHINGTON] March 8, 1933

MY DEAR NELSON: As you know, the State College of Forestry has carried on tree plantings on the experimental acreage on my Creek Road Farm at Hyde Park for each of the last two years.1 As we are getting close to the tree-planting season again I wish you would take up with your associates the planting of an additional acreage next month.

I have instructed William Plog, my mother's superintendent at Hyde Park, to have about five acres now in birch growth, cleared, and there is also other available land on the other side of the road. I am wholly willing to leave it to the College as to what type of trees to put in this year, as you will be able to continue the scheme of things started in 1931.

If you will let Mr. Plog know, at Hyde Park, if any of you want to go down ahead of time, he will meet you and you can arrange with him for such extra planting labor as will be necessary.

I wish you would make a note of having a careful inspection made of the swamp area planted last year. The permanent tree crop consisted of tulip poplars and black walnuts and these were interspaced with, I think, red cedar and larch. This planting should be filled out to replace trees that have died. During the winter I had all the sprouts cut off from the stumps of the old trees that had been cut.2

Always sincerely yours,


[13:PPF 38:CT]

1The Creek Road farm was about a mile and a half east of the Roosevelt house near the junction of Creek Road and State Route 9—G.

2Brown replied March 17 and 28, 1933 (PPF 38), describing the plans for the tree planting. An article by him, "President Has Long Practiced Forestry" (New York Times, April 30, 1933, VIII, 1), describes generally the Roosevelt forest plantations. During the spring of 1933 some 36,000 trees were planted and in the fall Brown visited Hyde Park to make plans for the next year (Brown to Roosevelt, June 30, Sept. 23, 1933, PPF 38).

It is interesting, and typical of Roosevelt, that in the first week of his Presidency he should take time to write in some detail of his Hyde Park tree plantings. In his inaugural address of March 4, he had referred in passing to his reforestation-employment plan. Putting people to work, he said, could be "accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the Government itself, treating the task as we would the emergency of a war, but at the same time, through this employment, accomplishing greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our natural resources" (Rosenman, ed., Public Papers, II, 13). On March 6 Roosevelt addressed a conference of state governors at the White House on problems requiring cooperation between the Federal and state governments. The speech as reported makes no mention of his reforestation plan but it was evidently discussed. A resolution proposed by Governor White of Ohio and approved by the conference endorsed the President's plan, "not only as a measure for the conservation of the Nation's natural resources but also as an effective step toward the relief of unemployment." The governors undertook to ascertain what acreage was available for such a program (ibid., pp. 23-24).


WASHINGTON, March 14, 1933

MEMORANDUM . . . I am asking you to constitute yourselves an informal committee of the cabinet to coordinate the plans for the proposed civilian Conservation Corps. These plans include the necessity of checking up on all kinds of suggestions that are coming in relating to public works of various kinds. I suggest that the Secretary of the Interior act as a kind of clearing house to digest the suggestions and to discuss them with the other three members of this informal committee.1


[13:OF 268:CT]

1Roosevelt described his plan for employment by means of conservation projects and other public works at a White House conference on the afternoon of March 9, 1933, attended by the Secretaries of War, Interior and Agriculture, the Budget Director, Interior Department Solicitor Edward C. Finney and Acting Judge Advocate General Kyle Rucker (aide memoire by Colonel Rucker, March 11, 1933, OF 268). According to this memorandum Roosevelt outlined a message to Congress "to seek legislation toward the employment of 500,000 men to be engaged in various activities in the public service, and the project to be financed through a bond issue." Rucker and Finney were asked to draft a bill embodying his ideas and to report back at 9 o'clock that evening. This was done and after some further revision a draft was left with the President at 20:30 P. M. Rucker says that those previously mentioned were present, together with a number of House and Senate leaders.

An account by Finney states that he, in company with Rucker, drafted the bill on the basis of a one-page, unsigned memorandum that Roosevelt had brought with him to the March 9 afternoon conference (Finney to Helen L. Moore, Office of the Secretary, Interior Department, Feb. 12, 1953). Finney says: "The J. A. G. suggested some minor changes in wording and . . . we took the draft to the White House about 9 P. M. F. D. R. was in upstairs study with Louis Howe, Sen. Joe Robinson and a Member of the House of Representatives. He read the draft and said I had failed to provide for condemnation of private property. I then dictated another section covering his suggestion. I recall Louis Howe told F. D. R. we should strike out some military term, think it was 'enlistment.'" Finney also says that he returned Roosevelt's memorandum to him but it has not been found in the Roosevelt papers nor has search elsewhere brought it to light. A draft of the bill as it stood on March 11, with two additional sections (a waiver of compensation and a provision barring pensions), is present as an enclosure in Finney to Rucker, March 11, 1933 (OF 268).

Another account (unsigned) of the March 9 conferences is found in the Civilian Conservation Corps newspaper Happy Days of Sept. 30, 1933. Entitled, "Drama Plays Part as Life is Breathed into the C. C. C.," this account agrees with Rucker's in regard to the drafting of the legislation and describes the administrative organization the President had in mind. It suggests that the only forms of public works discussed by him were reforestation, forest protection and flood control, and makes the point, perhaps worth noting, that the afternoon meeting was really not a conference: "The new President asked few questions of the men he had called before him. He talked. He laid before them in great detail the plan which he had evolved to lend a very necessary hand of help to trees and to young men."

Apparently the memorandum here printed was suggested by Raymond Moley, to whom the Civilian Conservation Corps idea was described by Roosevelt on March 14, 1933. Moley says he made the suggestion, not only to forestall impulsive action on Roosevelt's part, "but, at the same time, to give the Wagner-Costigan-LaFollette group, through Secretary Perkins, a legitimate chance to describe its broader recommendations" (Moley, After Seven Years, pp. 173-174).

130 PRESS CONFERENCE, Executive Offices of the White House, March 15, 1933, 10:25 A. M.

[Excerpt] Q: . . . In plans for putting people to work, does that include a vast public works program?

The President: I knew you were going to ask me that question and I am not ready to answer it yet, for this reason: This is entirely off the record. There are quite a lot of other people who would like to see the bill made an all-inclusive bill; in other words, after a big public works program, after the Wagner Bill that failed in the last Session, or a modification of it along the La Follette-Costigan lines.1 I don't know yet whether the bill would be made all inclusive or whether it would be confined principally to this main thought of putting people to work on natural resources.

Q. Isn't it the program of the Administration to put through that Wagner Bill for unemployment relief?2

The President: There is enough money in the R. F. C. on direct aid for municipalities to last until May, therefore it is a grave question as to whether that is the kind of emergency that ought to keep the Congress here.

Q: How about Muscle Shoals, Mr. President? Would that be included in this plan, or will it be left until later on?

The President: I don't know. We are in the middle of a survey now as to where to put the men to work first.

Q: How many men would be used on the forestry plan?

The President: On the National forests, the Forestry Bureau says two hundred thousand men.

Q: What do you mean by the National forests? What are the National forests?

The President: You know a lot more about that than I do. There is the Shenandoah Forest, the Big Smoky; there is quite a lot of Federal land in Pennsylvania, some in New Hampshire and, of course, there is a very large acreage out west.

Q: What do they do, cut down trees or plant trees?

The President: You are as bad as Mr. Hyde.3 We have to have another class here on it. The easiest way to explain it is this: Taking it all through the East where, of course, the unemployment is relatively the worst with far more people, nearly all of the so-called forest land owned by the Government is second, third or fourth growth land—what we call scrub growth which has grown up on it. What does that consist of? Probably an average of four or five thousand trees to the acre little bits of trees, saplings and so forth. Proper forestation is not possible; in other words, you will never get a marketable timber growth on that kind of land—plenty of cordwood and that is about all. But the timber supply, the lumber supply of the country, at the present rate of cutting we are using lumber somewhere around three to four times the rate of the annual growth. In other words, we are rapidly coming to an end of the natural lumber resources and the end is within sight and, unless something is done about it, we will become a very large lumber importing nation, the figures showing that it will be from 20 to 40 years when that will come about.

Now, take this second, third, fourth growth land. Put men in there. Say there are five thousand of these saplings to the acre. Go in and cut out four thousand and leave one thousand. They go in there and take out the crooked trees, the dead trees, the bushes and stuff like that that has no value as lumber, and leave approximately one thousand trees to the acre. That means that they are sufficiently spaced to get plenty of light and air and there is not too much of a strain on the soil. Those trees then eventually will become a very valuable lumber crop.

That is the simplest way of explaining the operations so far as the trees themselves go.

Then, in addition to that, one of our great difficulties all over the country is with fire, and these men will be put to work in building fire breaks. Well, a fire break is merely an operation of cutting a thirty or forty foot swath through the forest and plowing it up, raking all the leaves and everything possible away from that strip and keeping it clear.

Thus, from that time on, the regular forest rangers and fire protection people, in their tours, will have a great deal better chance of limiting any fire that breaks out, limiting it to a small area.

Q: How long will that work keep these 200,000 men occupied? Is it a long process?

The President: I think Bob Wagner got the letter on that from the Forestry Bureau about six weeks or two months ago. It is certainly over a year and probably over a good deal longer than that.


1On Feb. 9, 1933, Wagner (N. Y.) had introduced S. 5609 as an amendment to the 1932 Emergency Relief and Construction Act. His amendment would have removed the requirement that local public works be self-liquidating, would have lowered the interest rate, and would have enlarged the authority of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to make loans for public works. La Follette had urged a more daring, more comprehensive, attack on the joint relief-employment problem, with much greater appropriations contemplated. The La Follette-Costigan-Cutting bill, S. 1596, "to create an administration of public works, to provide for the construction, extension, and improvement of public facilities and services, to relieve unemployment . . .," was introduced May 8, 1933, but was not acted upon (Cong. Rec., 72d Cong., 2d sess., 76:4, 3664, 4321; 76:5, 5525; 73d Cong., 1st sess., 77:3, 2966).

2The Emergency Conservation Work Bill, approved March 31, 1933, post, 135.

3Arthur M. Hyde, Secretary of Agriculture under President Hoover. See ante, 110 n.


[WASHINGTON] March 15, 1933

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT: In response to your memorandum of March 14, 1933, the undersigned have considered not only the draft of the Bill with regard to the Civilian Conservation Corps, but also the whole program of relief for industrial unemployment.1 We are of the opinion that there are three items to be considered in this program:

1. Federal appropriations for grants in aid to the various states for direct relief work. (The details of such a Bill are now practically agreed upon between Senators Wagner, Costigan, La Follette and Secretary Perkins.)

2. A measure for a large practical, labor-producing program of public works under the control of a Board which can allocate them in such a manner as to drain the largest pools of unemployment in the country, and also arrange to taper off the public works when, and if, regular industrial employment picks up.

3. A measure providing authority for the President to recruit a Civilian Conservation Corps for forestry work under the direction of the Army, Labor Department and Forestry Service. We are of the opinion that the work to be done by this Corps should be strictly limited to works which are not available as projects for public works, either by the National Government or the State governments, and that it is highly desirable that they should be specifically confined to forestry and soil erosion projects in the Bill.

To confine it to such projects specifically will overcome much of the growing alarm regarding the wisdom of this measure, and will serve to reassure those interested in the constructive permanent relief and stabilization of our population, that no enormous dislocation of population is anticipated with all of the social maladjustments which follow such a program. It will also relieve the minds of those who fear the depressing effect on the wage levels of free labor, due to the wide use of this recruited army, and also those who feel that works which should be done by contract by free labor will be progressively urged as suitable for the Conservation Corps, thus further limiting the opportunity to secure normal work and wages.

We respectfully suggest that these three measures be presented as three separate Bills, in order that the debate and discussion on them should be suitably divided and differentiated, but that they be introduced at the same time, at your request, and covered by a message from you in which you point out that this is a three-fold attack upon the suffering and distress caused by unemployment, that it is constructive, that it is generous, that it is flexible, and that prompt action upon the three Bills will really start the reconstruction period in the way in which the Democratic Party has promised, by beginning at the bottom with those who are the great wage-earning and purchasing class, and trusting that prosperity will work up through all of the groups in the country. The note of the definite intention to build up the purchasing power of the wage-earners as the true stimulant to business by making a market should also be emphasized, in our opinion.2

Respectfully submitted,


[OF 268:CT]

1This was done at a conference held on the morning of March 15 in the office of the Secretary of War (The Secret Diary of Harold L. Ickes, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1953, I, 7; hereinafter cited as Ickes' Diary).

2The bill as originally drafted contemplated the employment of a civilian conservation corps in public works of all kinds: ". . . such as forestation on National and State lands, prevention of soil erosion, control of floods, river and harbor improvement, power development, reclamation, drainage, inland waterways, inter-coastal communications, roads and trails, and other public improvements . . ." (section 2 of draft bill enclosed in Finney to Rucker, March 11, 1933, OF 268). Following the conference mentioned in the preceding note the bill was redrafted by Acting Judge Advocate General Rucker and the kind of work the proposed conservation corps could do was restricted to conservation projects such as "forestation on the National and State lands, prevention of soil erosion, and construction, maintenance or repair of roads and trails on the public domain, the National parks, National forests, and other Government reservations (section 4 of draft bill enclosed in Rucker to Wallace, March 16, 1933, OF 268).

In discussing the proposed legislation, the newspapers stressed the assembling of the unemployed in camps at construction centers (cf. New York Times, March 11, 1933, p. 7). By March 13 the use of 200,000 men in reforestation and on projects "such as the Tennessee basin development" was being talked of; by March 14 the plan "outlined by President Roosevelt prior to his inauguration" was mentioned for the first time (ibid., March 14, 1933, p. 20; March 15, 1933, pp. 1, 3). Ickes, in his diary entry cited above, characterized the bill as one that would "take unemployed men out of the crowded areas and put them to work in the national forests, etc."


THE WHITE HOUSE, March 21, 1933

To THE CONGRESS: It is essential to our recovery program that measures immediately be enacted aimed at unemployment relief. A direct attack in [sic] this problem suggests three types of legislation.

The first is the enrolment of workers now by the Federal Government for such public employment as can be quickly started and will not interfere with the demand for or the proper standards of normal employment.

The second is grants to States for relief work.

The third extends to a broad public works labor creating program.

With reference to the latter I am now studying the many projects suggested and the financial questions involved. I shall make recommendations to the Congress presently.

In regard to grants to States for relief work, I advise you that the remainder of the appropriation of last year will last until May. Therefore, and because a continuance of Federal aid is still a definite necessity for many States, a further appropriation must be made before the end of this special session.

I find a clear need for some simple Federal machinery to coordinate and check these grants of aid. I am, therefore, asking that you establish the office of Federal Relief Administrator, whose duty it will be to scan requests for grants and to check the efficiency and wisdom of their use.

The first of these measures which I have enumerated, however, can and should be immediately enacted. I propose to create a civilian conservation corps to be used in simple work, not interfering with normal employment, and confining itself to forestry, the prevention of soil erosion, flood control and similar projects. I call your attention to the fact that this type of work is of definite, practical value, not only through the prevention of great present financial loss, but also as a means of creating future national wealth. This is brought home by the news we are receiving today of vast damage caused by floods on the Ohio and other rivers.

Control and direction of such work can be carried on by existing machinery of the departments of Labor, Agriculture, War and Interior.

I estimate that 250,000 men can be given temporary employment by early summer if you give me authority to proceed within the next two weeks.

I ask no new funds at this time. The use of unobligated funds, now appropriated for public works, will be sufficient for several months.

This enterprise is an established part of our national policy. It will conserve our precious natural resources. It will pay dividends to the present and future generations. It will make improvements in national and state domains which have been largely forgotten in the past few years of industrial development.

More important, however, than the material gains will be the moral and spiritual value of such work. The overwhelming majority of unemployed Americans, who are now walking the streets and receiving private or public relief, would infinitely prefer to work. We can take a vast army of these unemployed out into healthful surroundings. We can eliminate to some extent at least the threat that enforced idleness brings to spiritual and moral stability. It is not a panacea for all the unemployment but it is an essential step in this emergency. I ask its adoption.1


1This text is that of the official White House mimeographed press release; also present (Speech File) are the first and second drafts. The first draft was shortened by Roosevelt by about two hundred words and was otherwise revised by him. In the second he made four minor revisions in phrasing. Authorship of the draft is not indicated but the language suggests that it was composed by Roosevelt. A comparison of the text here printed with that sent to the Congress (microfilm in the Roosevelt Library) shows that in the latter one sentence was crossed out (at the end of the paragraph beginning, "I ask no new funds . . ."); this read: "Before the close of the special session an additional appropriation will be necessary to carry the work on until the regular session. In other respects the texts are the same.

In the Senate this message was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor; in the House, to the Committee on Labor (Cong. Rec., 73d Cong., 1st sess., 77:1, 650, 659-660).


[WASHINGTON] Mar. 28, 1933

DEAR SENATOR WALSH: The President has requested me to inform you that while he does not favor the use of any labor or men provided by Senate bill 598, as reported from your Committee1 to the Senate on March 27, for tree planting, forest improvement, or other work chiefly beneficial to the private land owner, he believes it essential to accomplish the full intent of the bill that an amendment to it be made, preferably after "desirable" in line 24, page 4, of the bill, as follows:

Provided, That the President may in his discretion extend the provisions of this Act to lands owned by counties and municipalities and lands in private ownership, but only for the purpose of doing thereon such kinds of cooperative work as are now provided for by Acts of Congress in preventing and controlling forest fires and the attacks of forest tree pests and diseases and such work as is necessary in the public interest to control floods.

The President states that the public benefits to be derived from the cooperative work covered by the amendment in the furtherance of activities already authorized by Congress are so apparent that there can be no reasonable objection to its inclusion in the bill.2

Sincerely yours,


[Notation: A] Noted War


1Senate Committee on Education and Labor.

2As introduced the bill did not provide for conservation work on county, municipal or private lands. The Forest Service had from the first urged that the bill also apply to lands other than Federal or state on the ground that Federal and state land holdings in the East were limited in extent and that it would be "to the public interest to carry on a number of the contemplated activities on private lands for the purpose of developing and perpetuating the national timber supply and for other purposes of that general character" (Acting Forester E. E. Carter to Tugwell, March 17, 1933, OF 268). Forester Stuart urged this before the joint committee hearings, pointing out that neglect of flood control work and disease and fire preventive measures on private lands could have serious effects on other parts of the watershed (Unemployment Relief, Joint Hearings before the Committee on Education and Labor, Senate, and the Committee on Labor, House of Representatives, 73d Cong., 1st sess., on S. 598, a Bill for the Relief of Unemployment through the Performance of Useful Public Work and for Other Purposes, March 23-24, 1933, Washington, 1933, pp. 6-7).

The committee took no action on Stuart's recommendation but the bill was amended in the Senate to permit forest fire and disease preventive measures and flood control work on county, municipal and private lands. Senator Walcott (Conn.), who introduced the amendment, made it clear that the President did not propose to use the act "for tree planting, forest improvement, or other work chiefly beneficial to the private-land owner" (Cong. Rec., 73d Cong., 1st sess., 77:1, 916-918).

134 PRESS CONFERENCE, Executive Offices of the White House, March 29, 1933, 10:28 A. M.

[Excerpt] Q: What type of organization are you going to set up to mobilize the unemployed on this forestation program?

The President: I cannot tell you anything definite yet. Probably I will have to have somebody to act as director of the whole works, but that means, of course, that he will have to work through existing Federal agencies. For instance, on the initial enrollment, it will be the Department of Labor plus Army facilities, such as trucks and things like that. Then the actual taking in of the men to camp and maintaining them at camp will be an Army feature and the actual work supervision—the supervision of the work will be either an Interior problem or an Agriculture problem, one or the other.

Q: Or both.

The President: Or both.

Q: Will that mean concentration camps?

The President: Do not use that word. It sounds too much like that which some of us older people remember as used in the Cuban episode of 1907 and 1908. I do not know what you could call them. They are merely way-stations to be used on the way to the camps, at which the boys will be properly treated, outfitted and given a complete medical examination. That is about all.

Q: Why not call them cantonments?

The President: Well, a cantonment has a more permanent sound. I hope that we can keep them there just as short a time as possible. The Army, in talking in a preliminary way, says two weeks. I think that is much too long. I think we could keep them in camp a maximum of one week, which would be quite enough. It saves money to keep them out on the job as long as we can.

Q: How soon do you think we can get them out, Mr. President?

The President: I should think we can get the first people enrolled within two weeks after the passage of the bill. That means they probably could not get to camp until three weeks. Of course, we cannot start off with 250,000 at one time. That will take quite a while.1


1For a brief account by Roosevelt of the organization of the Civilian Conservation Corps, see note in Rosenman (ed.), Public Papers, II, 108-110. The file on the CCC in the Roosevelt Library is voluminous; with respect to its initial organization the following reports are especially important: Col. Duncan K. Major, Jr., War Department representative on the Emergency Conservation Work Advisory Board Council, to Fechner, June 30, 1933, and Fechner to Roosevelt, July 1, 1933 (OF 268). Both reports were issued as news releases on July 3, 1933.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That for the purpose of relieving the acute condition of widespread distress and unemployment now existing in the United States, and in order to provide for the restoration of the country's depleted natural resources and the advancement of an orderly program of useful public works, the President is authorized, under such rules and regulations as he may prescribe and by utilizing such existing departments or agencies as he may designate, to provide for employing citizens of the United States who are unemployed, in the construction, maintenance and carrying on of works of a public nature in connection with the forestation of lands belonging to the United States or to the several States which are suitable for timber production, the prevention of forest fires, floods and soil erosion, plant pest and disease control, the construction, maintenance or repair of paths, trails and fire lanes in the national parks and national forests, and such other work on the public domain, national and State, and Government reservations incidental to or necessary in connection with any projects of the character enumerated, as the President may determine to be desirable: Provided, That the President may in his discretion extend the provisions of this Act to lands owned by counties and municipalities and lands in private ownership, but only for the purpose of doing thereon such kinds of co-operative work as are now provided for by Acts of Congress in preventing and controlling forest fires and the attacks of forest tree pests and diseases and such work as is necessary in the public interest to control floods. The President is further authorized, by regulation, to provide for housing the persons so employed and for furnishing them with such subsistence, clothing, medical attendance and hospitalization, and cash allowance, as may be necessary, during the period they are so employed, and, in his discretion, to provide for the transportation of such persons to and from the places of employment. That in employing citizens for the purposes of this Act no discrimination shall be made on account of race, color, or creed; and no person under conviction for crime and serving sentence therefor shall be employed under the provisions of this Act. The President is further authorized to allocate funds available for the purposes of this Act, for forest research, including forest products investigations, by the Forest Products Laboratory.

Sec. 2. For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act the President is authorized to enter into such contracts or agreements with States as may be necessary, including provisions for utilization of existing State administrative agencies, and the President, or the head of any department or agency authorized by him to construct any project or to carry on any such public works, shall be authorized to acquire real property by purchase, donation, condemnation, or otherwise, but the provisions of section 355 of the Revised Statutes shall not apply to any property so acquired.

Sec. 3. Insofar as applicable, the benefits of the Act entitled "An Act to provide compensation for employees of the United States suffering injuries while in the performance of their duties, and for other purposes," approved September 7, 1916, as amended, shall extend to persons given employment under the provisions of this Act.

Sec. 4. For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act, there is hereby authorized to be expended, under the direction of the President, out of any unobligated moneys heretofore appropriated for public works (except for projects on which actual construction has been commenced or may be commenced within ninety days, and except maintenance funds for river and harbor improvements already allocated), such sums as may be necessary; and an amount equal to the amount so expended is hereby authorized to be appropriated for the same purposes for which such moneys were originally appropriated.

Sec. 5. That the unexpended and unallotted balance of the sum of $300,000,000 made available under the terms and conditions of the Act approved July 21, 1932, entitled "An Act to relieve destitution," and so forth, may be made available, or any portion thereof, to any State or Territory or States or Territories without regard to the limitation of 15 per centum or other limitations as to per centum.

Sec. 6. The authority of the President under this Act shall continue for the period of two years next after the date of the passage hereof and no longer.

Approved, March 31st 1933.1

[48 Stat. 22]

1The importance of this act among the conservation measures of Roosevelt's administration, and his intimate connection with it, warrant its publication here. The original bill was introduced in the Senate on March 21, 1933, as S. 598, by Senators Robinson (Ark.) and Wagner (N. Y.), and in the House on the same date as H. R. 3905, by Representative Byrns (Tenn.) (Cong. Rec., 73d Cong., 1st sess., 77:1, 652, 701). The bill authorized the President to create a civilian conservation corps from the unemployed to be used on public works such as reforestation, prevention of soil erosion and of floods; no limitation, however, was placed on the kind of projects. An enrollment period of one year was provided for, with no discharge during this period without permission ("except under such rules or regulations as the President may decide"), and a $30 per month pay limit. (A copy of the bill as introduced may be found in the New York Times of March 22, 1933, p. 2, and in the hearings cited below.)

The Senate Committee on Education and Labor and the House Committee on Labor held joint hearings on the Senate bill on March 23-24, 1933. Representatives of organized labor opposed the measure as militaristic and degrading to labor, referring to the proposed use of the Army in recruiting and supervising the men, the fixed enrollment period, and the low, fixed rate of pay (Unemployment Relief, 73d Cong., 1st sess., Joint Hearings on S. 598, Washington, 1933, pp. 44-61, 63-67). (The hearings are summarized in some detail in Charles Price Harper, The Administration of the Civilian Conservation Corps, Clarksburg, W. Va., 1939.) In consequence of the opposition of labor, the Senate bill was rewritten by the Senate committee: the fixed wage and fixed term of enlistment were removed, and conditions of employment were left to the discretion of the President. (A section-by-section comparison of the second bill with the first was made by Senator Walsh in reporting the new version, Cong. Rec., 77:1, 861-872.) A report on the House bill, as amended, is printed, Unemployment Relief, 73d Cong., 1st sess., H. Rept. 13 to accompany H. R. 3905 (Washington, 1933).

In the Senate the bill was criticized for the wide and undefined powers it gave to the President, and the provision permitting the use of unobligated public works funds (section 4) aroused fears that these funds would not be reappropriated. The authorization given to the President to acquire real property in administering the act aroused fears that unwarranted additions would be made to the public domain; on the other hand, representatives of states with little available public land feared that their states would derive no benefit from the proposed reforestation work. Senate amendments included a provision to extend the act to county, municipal and private lands in furtherance of existing cooperative forest fire and flood control measures (in section 1 of the act as approved); a provision barring the acquisition of lands unless they were contiguous to existing public lands (later repealed by the House); and sections 5 and 6 in their entirety (Cong. Rec., 77:1,866-872, 929-937).

In the House the Senate bill as amended was taken up in lieu of the House bill. It was criticized as being anti-labor, deflationary and paternalistic. Its defenders argued that it was a relief, not an employment, bill, and pointed out its merits as a conservation measure: the forests to be created would be economically profitable; there was need for protection against forest fires and diseases; forests would prevent floods and erosion; and it would be possible, under the bill, to protect the new second-growth forests of the South. Of the numerous amendments offered, two were adopted: the anti-discriminatory provision in section 1, and one repealing the restriction (added by the Senate) on the President's authority to acquire real property. The Senate accepted the House changes on March 30 and the President signed the bill on March 31, 1933 (ibid., pp. 953-954, 954-995, 1012-1013, 1102).

There is in the Roosevelt Library a typed copy of the bill as rewritten by the joint committee, sent by Senator Walsh to Roosevelt with a note, March 25, 1933 (OF 268), asking if he had "any suggestions as to modifications or changes." Also present is a printed copy of the bill as passed by the Senate on March 28, 1933, with the Senate amendments underscored, and bearing the notation "From Cong Byrns 3/29— 1215 p.m."


[13:OF 268:AS:Photostat]1

1The date of this chart is approximate. Roosevelt may have sketched it at a White House conference held on April 3, 1933, at which a plan of enlisting the unemployed and of getting them to the camps was decided upon. (It will be noted that he misspelled Fechner's name.) Those present were Horace Albright, director of the National Park Service, John D. Coffman, fire control expert for the Park Service, William G. Howard, of the New York State Conservation Department, Forester R. Y. Stuart, Assistant Forester C. M. Granger, Col. Duncan K. Major, Jr., of the War Department, and W. Frank Persons, of the Labor Department (New York Times, April 4, 1933, p. 15). By Executive Order 6101, April 5, 1933, Roosevelt appointed Robert Fechner Director of Emergency Conservation Work and established the agency's form of organization. (A four-page memorandum from Acting Judge Advocate General Rucker to the Chief of Staff, March 27, 1933, commenting on a draft executive order to carry out the law, is present, OF 268.)

Fechner (1876-1939), a machinist by trade, was from 1913 to 1933 executive officer of the International Association of Machinists. His appointment was intended to be an assurance to labor that it had nothing to fear from the Emergency Conservation Work Act.


[THE WHITE HOUSE] April 10, 1933

TO THE CONGRESS: The continued idleness of a great national investment in the Tennessee Valley leads me to ask the Congress for legislation necessary to enlist this project in the service of the people.

It is clear that the Muscle Shoals development is but a small part of the potential public usefulness of the entire Tennessee River. Such use, if envisioned in its entirety, transcends mere power development: it enters the wide fields of flood control, soil erosion, afforestation, elimination from agricultural use of marginal lands, and distribution and diversification of industry. In short, this power development of war days leads logically to national planning for a complete river watershed involving many States and the future lives and welfare of millions. It touches and gives life to all forms of human concerns.

I, therefore, suggest to the Congress legislation to create a Tennessee Valley Authority—which is a corporation clothed with the power of government but possessed of the flexibility and initiative of a private enterprise. It should be charged with the broadest duty of planning for the proper use, conservation and development of the natural resources of the Tennessee River drainage basin and its adjoining territory for the general social and economic welfare of its inhabitants the nation. This Authority should also be clothed with the necessary power to carry these plans into effect. Its duty should be the rehabilitation of the Muscle Shoals development and the coordination of it with the wider plan.

Many hard lessons have taught this nation us the human waste that results from lack of planning. Here and there a few wise cities and counties have looked ahead and a few counties also have planned. But our nation has "just grown." It is time to extend planning to a wider field, in this instance comprehending in one great project many States directly concerned with the basin of one of our greatest rivers.

This in a true sense is a return to the spirit and vision of the pioneer. If we are successful here we can march on, step by step, in a like development of other great natural territorial units within our borders.1



1This text is the final draft of three drafts (no copy of the message as sent to the Congress is present). All the deletions and interpolations (the latter shown by italic) are in Roosevelt's hand; with the changes indicated the text is that as read in the Congress on April 10, 1933.

Senator Norris (Nebr.) had been asked by Roosevelt in a note of March 13, 1933 (OF 44), to consult with him on the Tennessee Valley development: "We must decide very soon on procedure and if the Congress should take recess for three weeks, I think we should have the bill ready as soon as the Congress resumes. Norris, with Representative McSwain (S. C.) and Representative Hill (Ala.), met with the President on April 1 and 7 and discussed the legislation contemplated (PPF I—O). After the first of these conferences Norris likened the proposed Tennessee Valley bill to the CCC bill and said that it would be "the start of a national program . . . providing for reforestation, control of flood waters, utilization of marginal lands and development of power" (New York Times, April 2, 1933, p. 18). Roosevelt, in a lengthy note to his Congressional message as printed in Rosenman (ed.), Public Papers, II, 122-129, linked his New York State experience in land-use planning with the Tennessee Valley project and referred to the latter as "regional planning on a scale never attempted before."

On April 11 Norris introduced S. 1272, "To improve the navigability and to provide for the flood control of the Tennessee River, to provide for reforestation and the proper use of marginal lands in the Tennessee Valley; to provide for the agricultural and industrial development of said valley; to provide for the national defense by the creation of a corporation for the operation of Government properties at and near Muscle Shoals in the State of Alabama, and for other purposes." Rankin (Miss.) introduced the companion bill, H. R. 4883, in the House on the same day, and McSwain (S. C.) introduced a somewhat different measure, H. R. 4859, also on the same day. On April 20, Hill (Ala.) introduced another bill, H. R. 5081 (Cong. Rec., 73d Cong., 1st sess., 77:2, 1460, 1531, 2055). The House took up the last-named bill and the act as approved May 18, 1933, was the result of conferences on the Norris and Hill bills.

During the debate the question arose of the extent of Roosevelt's participation in the drafting of the legislation. McSwain said that the President had not drafted either of the bills but had considered only their "general broad principles" (ibid., 77:2, 2179). Considering the highly technical character of the legislation, it would seem that the explanation should have been unnecessary. As a matter of fact.

Roosevelt did suggest that provision of the act by which the Tennessee Valley Authority was permitted to issue bonds for the construction of electric power or transmission facilities, although Norris was afraid the bonds would be unsaleable (ibid., 77:3, 2662).

In the course of the opening debate on the bill (during discussion of the imposition of limited debate) Representative Carpenter (Nebr.), a Democrat, expressed doubt that it was an Administration measure. O'Connor (N. Y.), answered by saying that he understood it was, although he did not "speak with any personal authority" (ibid., 77:2, 2179). This is curious in light of the message itself.


[WASHINGTON] April 18, 1933

DEAR MR. SECRETARY: As a corollary to the memorandum of even date in relation to the purchase of national-forest lands with funds made available by the Act approved March 31, 1933,1 it may be well to comment on the land phase of the general forest situation as determined and understood by the Forest Service, and thus make it evident that the recommended program of forest-land acquisition is in full accord with the definitely established trends in forest economy and forest-land ownership.

Your letter of March 28 to the President of the Senate, transmitting the report required by the Copeland resolution,2 stated that practically all of the major problems of American forestry center in, or have grown out of, private ownership; that first among the assured means of approaching a satisfactory solution of the forest problem are a large extension of public ownership and more intensive management on all publicly-owned lands. Such vital requirements as the protection of major watersheds, the restoration to forest cover of lands unwisely cleared for farm-crop production, the redemption of forest lands that have been depleted or denuded by destructive forms of logging, followed by fire or unchecked attacks of insects or disease will not be met by private initiative; sometimes because of sheer inertia, sometimes because of unsound tendencies towards quick exploitation, and sometimes because the costs while justified by general public benefits can not be compensated by direct financial returns to owners. Where these conditions exist, public ownership is the sole means of protecting imperative requirements of public welfare.

As a feature of the Copeland report, an analysis was made by forest types and regions of the probable extent to which private ownership could and would meet essential requirements of public interest in the management of their lands. The net conclusion was that if the economic and social values of the forest lands now privately owned are adequately to be safeguarded and conserved, public ownership of approximately 224 million acres of such lands eventually will be inevitable.

The calculation is, of course, somewhat theoretical and factors now unforeseen may modify it in some degree, but it seems clearly evident that public ownership of forest lands must in time triple or quadruple in area.

It was assumed that the States containing these lands would recognize an obligation and would have a desire to protect, manage, and administer them to the fullest degree permitted by their constitutional and financial limitation. A careful analysis of present and prospective State plans and programs indicated that the States would not be prepared to assume ownership of and adequately protect and manage more than 90,000,000 acres of this new public domain. Approximately 134 million acres thus would become an obligation upon the Federal Government; unless it were to remain subject to neglect and deterioration ultimately destructive of its major social and economic values and services.

Even if subjected to heavy discounts, these determinations indicate in a striking way that the early purchase of eight million acres of land by the Federal Government would be wholly consistent with the whole trend of land economy and subject to no criticism other than on the grounds of inadequacy.3

Very sincerely yours,


[Notation: A] Copy for Mr. Howe.

[13:OF I—C:CTS]

1The Emergency Conservation Work Act.

2A National Plan for American Forestry, 73d Cong., 1st sess., S. Doc. 12 (Washington, 1933). This was prepared by the Forest Service in compliance with a resolution introduced by Senator Copeland (N. Y.) in the preceding Congress (S. Res. 175, 72d Cong., 1st sess.). As therein printed, Wallace's letter of transmittal is dated March 27, 1933.

3With the letter was enclosed a Geological Survey map showing existing and potential national forest areas.


WASHINGTON, April 19, 1933

MEMORANDUM FOR MR. HOWE: On April 17 I mentioned to you a request made of me by Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Wallace that I submit a plan for the use of $25,000,000 of the funds made available by the Act of March 31, 1933, "For the relief of unemployment through the performance of useful public work, and for other purposes," for the purchase of forest lands and related agricultural lands.

Secretary Wallace informed me that the President had expressed as his desire that there be set up from the funds above mentioned the sum of $25,000,000 for the purchase of approximately 8,000,000 acres of forest land and related agricultural land, at an average price of about $3.00 per acre.

The attached memorandum of April 18 from me to Secretary Wallace, approved by him on April 19, is accordingly submitted for the consideration of the President.

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 268:TS]


WASHINGTON, April 18, 1933

DEAR MR. SECRETARY: Reference is made to the President's suggestion anent the use of $25,000,000 of the funds made available by the Act approved March 31, 1933, for the purchase of forest lands and related agricultural lands at an average price of $3.00 per acre:

Under the provisions of the so-called Weeks and Clarke-McNary Laws, the Secretary of Agriculture, with the approval and concurrence of the National Forest Reservation Commission, hitherto has established 42 purchase areas, within 20 of the States east of the Great Plains, within which to acquire lands for national-forest purposes. In 31 of these units, situated in 19 of the States, there has been purchased or is in process of purchase an aggregate of 4,727,680 acres; and there has been reserved from the public domain or transferred from other departments or acquired by exchange a total of 2,503,875 acres; so that the total area under Federal control is now 7,231,555 acres. These areas are all under active field management, protection, and administration.

The remaining 11 purchase areas, including the one in Kentucky which now has no National Forests, contain no land under Federal control and are not under field protection and management, but they have been carefully examined and covered by detailed reports; and contain a great deal of land that has been examined, appraised, and optioned by the owners at prices believed to be acceptable to the National Forest Reservation Commission.

Within the 31 areas under administration, there are approximately 5,122,266 acres of private lands believed to be chiefly valuable for forest purposes and integrally related to the lands now under Federal control. In the other 11 units there are approximately 1,828,900 acres of lands of the same classes. Contiguous to the boundaries of the 42 established units are certain areas integrally related thereto which might properly and eventually should be acquired for national-forest purposes, involving 688,576 acres.

Then, additionally, there are within the 42 units approximately 989,000 acres not hitherto considered for Federal purchase because they were believed to be more valuable for agriculture than for forestry. Recent economic trends have tended to reduce their value for farm-crop production and the prices at which they can be acquired by purchase. It seems safe to assume that one-third of these so-called agricultural lands could be acquired at prices which would not raise the average price of all the lands above $3.00 per acre.

The total minimum area that could be purchased within these 42 established units is therefore approximately 7,969,700 acres; comprising all of the lands now classified as chiefly valuable for forestry, and one third of the lands hitherto regarded as agricultural. The facts available are insufficient to justify specific guarantees, since the prices acceptable to the owners under present conditions have not definitely been determined. It is, however, the belief that practically all these lands could be purchased for $25,000,000.

But a factor demanding consideration is that in addition to the payments actually made for the lands, there are certain costs incident to their purchase, namely, for examinations, cruises, appraisals, negotiations, surveys, title examinations, etc. In the past these costs have averaged about 15 per centum of total expenditures, but it is believed that hereafter they can be held to 12 per centum. If $25,000,000 were the maximum available for expenditure, $3,000,000 would be necessary to cover costs of purchase, leaving $22,000,000 to pay for lands; an amount hardly sufficient to acquire all of the lands above described. The alternative would be to make an additional allotment to cover the cost of purchasing $25,000,000 worth of lands, which would be approximately $3,415,000. In view of the limit of $25,000,000 tentatively suggested by the President, the alternative is not being recommended, although it would better promote the general program.

In my judgment, such an expenditure of the available funds would be productive of the best net results, both to forestry and to the movement for unemployment relief, for the following reasons:

1. The 42 units are situated in 20 different States, viz: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

2. The 42 units were selected and established because they represented the most acute need for Federal action in relation to the whole range of forest types and entire problem of watershed protection and reforestation.

3. Thirty-one of the units are under active field management with resident personnel, detailed plans of management, at least partial systems of protective and administrative improvements, excellent records of ownership, etc. The other 11 are covered by preliminary plans of management, for most of them ownership records are available and in several the work of examining and appraising land was well under way when the purchase activities were suspended. In the Cumberland Unit in Kentucky, for example, 107,138 acres were examined, appraised and largely optioned but could not be acquired. In the new Mesaba Unit in Minnesota 15,724 acres covered by options were passed over.

4. The agricultural lands embraced in these units largely are of submarginal character and mainly related in the same ownerships with lands chiefly valuable for forest purposes. They are the types of agricultural lands which properly can be withdrawn from farm-crop production and dedicated to timber production.

5. The work of acquisition could be quickly initiated and consummated. The preliminary investigations have all been made. Much of the land has been examined and appraised. The landowners are familiar with the procedure of Federal purchase. Questions relating to titles, as affected by State laws, largely have been worked out. More than one million acres undoubtedly could be purchased during the first six months and with adequate funds available the purchase of the entire area largely could be accomplished within a couple of years, provided the owners of the lands were willing to accept fair prices. Should a tendency to ask unreasonable prices develop, the establishment of new purchase areas would create equivalent and alternative fields for purchases.

6. The intermingled private lands add largely to the difficulty and cost of administering the lands now under public control, particularly in relation to the present program of unemployment relief. Each tract passed to Federal ownership would reduce costs of protection and administration and enhance the opportunity for effective employment of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

7. Standards of soil and timber valuation have been worked out and established in all but a few of the units and are known to the landowners therein, so that the delays incident to the initiation of purchases in new areas would be avoided.

I, therefore, submit the following recommendations for your consideration:

A. That the program of forest-land purchase outlined above, or so much of it as can be accomplished with funds available, be approved as the most urgent and desirable initial action toward (1) the adequate extension of the national policy of forest-land protection and management, and (2) creating the most favorable conditions for the effective employment of the Civilian Conservation Corps authorized by the Act approved March 31, 1933, and that the Forester be authorized to carry it into execution as rapidly as practicable.

B. That to carry out this program, $25,000,000 be allocated for expenditure by the Secretary of Agriculture, with the approval of the National Forest Reservation Commission, in conformity with the procedure established by the Act of March 1, 1911 (36 Stat. 961) as amended, and the long established practices developed under that act.

C. That not to exceed 12 per centum of said $25,000,000 be allotted to cover the costs of land examination, cruises, appraisal, survey, title examination, and other expenses incident to purchase; that the Forester be authorized, subject to your approval, to temporarily employ such additional technical or other personnel as may be required to perform such duties as can not be performed by the regular personnel of the Forest Service, and that to facilitate such employment the usual Civil Service restrictions shall be waived with the understanding that so far as practicable selections for appointment shall be made from the Civil Service registers where available and time permits.1

Very sincerely yours,


Approved: April 19, 1933.
H. A. WALLACE, Secretary of Agriculture

[13:OF 268:TS]

1On May 12, 1933, the National Forest Reservation Commission endorsed the recommendations of this memorandum (Dern to Roosevelt, May 12, 1933, OF 268). On May 20, 1933, Roosevelt allocated (by Executive Order 6135) $20,000,000 for purchase of forest lands within the forty-two existing national forest purchase units. The complete acquisition of these units required the further purchase of 7,600,000 acres but progress toward this had stopped for lack of funds. Although a number of difficulties arose which hindered the immediate beginning of the purchase program, by the end of the summer Forester Stuart was able to say that the stimulus of the new fund was "tremendous": "The incomplete condition of the purchase units was a serious obstacle to the most effective use of the Civilian Conservation Corps on the eastern national forests. But the whole outlook was changed literally overnight when the new fund was unexpectedly made available by the President" (Report of the Forester, 1933, Washington, 1933, p. 15).


[WASHINGTON] April 20, 1933

MY DEAR SENATOR DILL: I have your letter of April 17th in regard to the Columbia Basin project in which you suggest that, under the laws of the State of Washington, a power district or irrigation district could be formed and, after securing a permit from the Federal Power Commission, could build a dam and make contracts for sale of power, thus making possible an application to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation for a loan as a self-liquidating project.1

May I give you what amounts to a snap judgment, because of the fact that I have not had any opportunity to make a study of the details of the Columbia Basin project?

First, I still hold to the thought in my speech in Portland, Oregon, last autumn that the Columbia Basin development is national in its scope and should be developed after careful national planning. It affects, of course, a number of States.

Second, I see no objection to a partial development of a dam site through a State regional public body, provided three factors are present— (a) that the plans fit in with the board general plan for the development of the Valley— (b) that the works undertaken be so constructed as to enable them to be added to and not torn down when a larger development takes place— (c) that the project be self-sustaining.

Third, if the plan can be worked out on a self-sustaining basis, I see no reason why it should not be financed by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation in the same manner as they have already financed several large projects like the San Francisco Bridge and similar large undertakings.

Fourth, it is my thought at the present time that the features involving irrigation of new lands should be deferred until such time as existing lands suitable for agriculture have been taken up.

If the State of Washington is prepared to discuss this whole matter further, I shall be glad to have it taken up by representatives of the several Federal Departments involved. These would seem to me to be Interior, Agriculture, Labor and War Departments, and also the Federal Power Commission.

Very sincerely yours,



[13:OF 360:CT]

1Dill also said, "During all the investigations on this project, irrigation has been one of the prime factors considered, but we are more and more convinced that this should be built as a power project with irrigation considered as an incidental factor" (OF 360). Although consideration of power conservation as such is outside the scope of this work, certain documents showing Roosevelt's views on regional planning have been included.


WASHINGTON, April 24, 1933

MEMORANDUM FOR LEWIS DOUGLAS: What do you think of this suggestion which I have had the Chief Forester explore?1

My thought is that if we have to continue the Civilian Conservation Corps for a second year, as seems likely, a land purchase for some sum, not to exceed $25,000,000, would give us plenty of land to establish the camps on.

F. D. R.2

[13:OF 268:T]

1Above. (The title of the head of the Forest Service at this time was "The Forester" but he was commonly addressed as "Chief Forester.")

2Although not signed by hand, this is the ribbon copy of the memorandum. Many of Roosevelt's brief notes to members of the White House staff and to agency officials (he called them "chits") were left unsigned, his typed initials taking the place of his signature. Since they were dictated by him and typed by his secretary (Marguerite LeHand, and after June, 1941, Grace Tully), they are, however, more personal in character than letters drafted by others. Virtually all of Roosevelt's brief notes of this sort, whether signed or not, may be considered to have been dictated by him.


WASHINGTON, Apr. 26, 1933

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT: If ordinary expenditures are brought within revenues in 1934, it will be only by the narrowest margin. I see no possibility of providing for the Conservation Corps out of revenues. This being so, it seems to me that an expenditure for land ought to be avoided if possible.

I observe from [t]he Forester's letter that 7,231,555 acres in the states east of the great plains are now under Federal control.1 The Forester says that these areas are all under active field management, protection, and administration, but, liberal as the Forest Service appropriations may be, it seems highly improbable that this can imply that there is no work to be done in these areas.

May I have your permission to go into the matter with the Forester, in order to determine whether presently-controlled areas do not offer a sufficiently wide scope for Conservation Corps activities?


[13:OF 268:TS]

1Ante, 140.


WASHINGTON, April 27, 1933

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: This Department feels much concerned over the lack of control of the grazing of livestock on the public domain, resulting in the destruction of forage and in serious soil deterioration.

A bill, H. R. 11816, jointly approved by this Department and the Department of Agriculture, passed the lower House on February 7, 1933, but failed of enactment in the Senate.1 The bill in question would give the Secretary of the Interior broad powers to limit and regulate the use of the public domain for grazing purposes with the view to preventing partial or total destruction of a natural resource which is essential for our future well being. I am persuaded of the necessity of such a law at as early a date as possible. Would you consider it advisable to have this bill reintroduced, but not as an Administration measure, at this special session of the Congress?

Sincerely yours,


[Notation: T] Yes, but there will be a howl. F.D.R.

[13:OF 633:T:COPY]

1This bill was introduced in the next session as H. R. 6462; see post, 227.


[WASHINGTON] May 1, 1933

DEAR GERALDINE: I am thrilled at the thought of your place becoming the first Dutchess County Park and you are doing a splendid thing for the County in memory of Margaret.1

Because this Park may be the forerunner of other parks and, indeed, of a County Park system, I am anxious that the mistakes of Westchester County and Monroe County and Erie County should be avoided. In each of these counties the Park system became a tail of various political kites and led to all sorts of extravagances.

That is why it is terribly important not to let the control of the Park get into the hands of the Board of Supervisors or of any political group. This, however, is a difficult condition because the maintenance funds probably must come from the County authorities.

There is one possible method that would serve as assurance for non-political control for some time to come in any event. This would be the obtaining of a special Charter from the Legislature creating a non-profit corporation to receive and hold the land and maintain it for public use, under regulations to be laid down by the Trustees, who would be named in the Charter and be self-perpetuating. These Trustees could then go to the Board of Supervisors and offer to open the Park, provided the County appropriated the funds.

You could best get advice by seeing either John Mack or Henry Hackett or whoever your lawyer is in Poughkeepsie.2

I do not need to tell you that I shall be delighted to talk with you about it at any time.

Always sincerely,


[13:OF 88:CT]

1Margaret Lewis Norrie, sister of Mrs. Thompson, whose estate, adjoining Staatsburg, New York, became the Margaret Lewis Norrie State Park.

2Mack, a New York State Supreme Court judge, nominated Roosevelt for the Presidency at the Democratic National Convention in 1932. Henry Hackett, Hyde Park, was the Roosevelt family lawyer and an executor of Roosevelt's estate.


WASHINGTON, May 3, 1933

MEMORANDUM . . . I think it very important to put some camps into the prairie states. Senators and Congressman from Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas say that in most of these States the State government has flood control or soil erosion projects already engineered and capable of being started at once.

I wish you would make an effort to get some camps started on this work.

Will you let me know what you can do?1


[13:OF 268:T]

1This refers to an undated letter from some of the senators and representatives of the states named (and also Ohio), asking that water conservation projects be established in their areas as a necessary preliminary to forestation programs (OF 268). Fechner replied May 6, 1933 (OF 268), that a definite plan had already been worked out for Iowa, and that as soon as the governors of the other states agreed to certain conditions he would cooperate with the state authorities in locating the work camps. The location of all work camps and the character of the work to be done on them had to be approved by Fechner and the President before the camps were set up (memoranda by Fechner, April 17 and 18, 1933, OF 268). Through Fechner and the departmental representatives Roosevelt kept in touch not only with major policy and administrative matters but also with details of camp conditions, costs, health of the men, the numbers enrolled in the various camps and personnel.


[WASHINGTON] May 11, 1933

MY DEAR MR. BYRNS: I have not had an opportunity to write you and your colleagues before this in regard to the reforestation of private lands.1 The point is that the Federal Government cannot properly undertake to reforest privately owned lands without some provision for getting its money back when the timber matures. If the State of Tennessee could make some arrangement to attain this end with the owners of the land, that would be a different story. I know you will see the objective. As a matter of fact, there is plenty of Federal and State owned land to keep us busy for a year or two. In the meanwhile it is worth exploring the private land problem.

Very sincerely yours,



[13:OF 149:CT]

1Byrns and other members of the Tennessee delegation in Congress in a letter of April 22, 1933 (OF 149), described the reforestation and erosion problem in western Tennessee and urged that Federal funds be used for corrective measures.


WASHINGTON, May 12, 1933

DEAR MR. SECRETARY: Attached is a copy of legislation which would carry out the recommendations of the Departmental Report on Senate Resolution 175.1

To facilitate review a summary of this proposed legislation is also attached.

The principal recommendations of the Departmental report are for a substantial increase in public ownership of forest land and for placing this land in productive condition, and these recommendations are reflected in the proposed bill. In addition, necessary provisions for strengthening cooperation with the States in order to afford a better opportunity for the practice of forestry on private lands are included, as is also some strengthening of the research which is necessary if the forestry enterprise is to succeed.

The present Administration is making a splendid contribution to the development of American forestry. The proposed legislation would follow this up, round it out, and make it a permanent contribution.

The proposed legislation would be a contribution of first magnitude toward the solution of our national problem of land use.

Legislation such as that proposed would make the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt rival, if not surpass, that of Theodore Roosevelt in the furtherance of the forestry enterprise and all that this means in the future economic and social welfare of the United States. This statement is made in the fullest recognition of the place which Theodore Roosevelt holds in American history for his contribution to forestry and conservation.

It is for such reasons as these that I hope it will prove possible to obtain the President's endorsement of this legislation as a part of his emergency program.

Since the provisions of the bill are in the form of authorizations, the appropriations required could follow at an appropriate time. Perhaps the only appropriation which would be necessary during the coming fiscal year would be for the acquisition of lands, because of the funds which are being made available under the Emergency Conservation Work Act.

This legislation is of such outstanding importance that I should like the opportunity to discuss it with you.

Very sincerely yours,



1A National Plan for American Forestry (Washington, 1933).

149 [Enclosure]

Résumé of Proposed Bill

Section 1. Amending Section I, Clarke-McNary Act: This section now authorizes cooperation with State agencies in recommending systems of forest fire protection. As amended similar systems may be recommended for forest insects, tree diseases, erosion and flood control.

Amending Section 2, Clarke-McNary Act: Now authorizes Secretary of Agriculture to cooperate with State agencies in protection of forest lands from fire. As amended it provides for protection from forest insects, tree diseases, soil erosion and floods and is also made applicable to range and other wild lands.

Amending Section 3, Clarke-McNary Act: Now authorizes an annual appropriation of $2,500,000 for cooperation under Sections 1 and 2. The proposed amendment increases annual authorization to $6,500,000, with $5,000,000 of this for fire protection, $1,000,000 for erosion-streamflow control, and $500,000 for insect and disease control.

Amending Section 4, Clarke-McNary Act: Now provides for cooperation with States in distribution of forest-tree seeds and plants for use on farm lands. Amendment increases annual appropriation authorization from $100,000 to $350,000 and makes possible cooperation with all forest owners.

Amending Section 5, Clarke-McNary Act: Now provides for cooperation with States in farm woodlot extension. As amended authorized annual appropriation is increased from $100,000 to $250,000.

Amending Section 8, Clarke-McNary Act: Now authorizes Secretary of Agriculture to determine location of public lands chiefly valuable for streamflow protection or timber production which can be economically administered as parts of National Forests. As amended President is authorized on recommendation of the National Forest Reservation Commission to add such lands to the National Forests.

Section 2. Section 10 added to the Clarke-McNary Act: This section authorizes an annual appropriation of $375,000 for cooperation with forest owners directly or through State agencies in the management of their forest land. Designed primarily for other than farm woodlot owners.

Section 11 added to the Clarke-McNary Act: Provides for seed testing and certification service with an authorization for an annual appropriation of not to exceed $50,000.

Section 3. Amending Section 9, McSweeney-McNary Act: Section now provides for an annual appropriation of not more than $250,000 for a comprehensive national forest survey. As amended annual authorization is increased to $500,000 and provision made for keeping data current after completion initial survey at not to exceed $200,000 annually.

Section 4. Section 11 added to the McSweeney-McNary Act: Authorization for erosion-streamflow investigations of not to exceed $500,000 annually.

Section 5. A National Forest Acquisition Program: Authorizes an annual appropriation of $50,000,000 for the acquisition of national forest lands pursuant to the Weeks Law and for capital investments necessary to insure effective National Forest management; also authorizes Secretary of the Treasury to borrow annually on the credit of the United States the funds necessary to carry out this acquisition program.1


1The draft bill referred to in the covering letter is entitled: "A Bill to provide the Federal contribution to a coordinated national plan for American forestry, including aid to States and private owners, forest research, and the acquisition and management of national forests." Stuart urged Wallace to support the Forest Service bill and suggested that he take it up with the President and the Cabinet at their meeting on May 19, 1933 (Stuart to Wallace, May 19, 1933, OF I—C). He said: "There are strategic advantages in having the full import of the forest problem placed before the public at this time so that the impression may not be gained that the Emergency Conservation project and the initial $25,000,000 purchase project will meet the situation." The bill was not, however, introduced and no important new legislation for Federal aid to the states was enacted until the passage of the Fulmer act (H. R. 6914) in 1935.


WASHINGTON D. C., 29 May 1933

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: . . . I beg to bring to your attention the enclosed memorandum on the application of the Industrial Recovery Act to the lumber industry. The principle proposed is to couple control of lumber production with control of forest devastation, in order to protect the public against the further needless destruction of our forests as living organisms.

The Industrial Recovery Act presents a providential means for a statesmanlike solution of this problem. But the initiative must, in my opinion, be seized by the Government rather than being left to the industry. In fact, the proposed "code" announced by the industry has nothing whatever to do with the conservation problem involved.

I am drafting a proposed bill embodying the principles here set forth, which I should be glad to lay before you if you wish.

Believe me, with high respect, Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF I—C:TS]

151 [Enclosure]

[May 29, 1933]

Ending Forest Devastation Through Industrial Control

The Industrial Recovery Act gives a brilliant opportunity to end the regime of destructive logging that is rapidly devastating our remaining privately owned virgin forests, destroying them as productive organisms, and destroying the great industry itself whose permanence depends on making these forests permanently productive.

This opportunity, if energetically seized, will permit the greatest advance in forestry since Theodore Roosevelt's creation of the National Forest system, and will at the same time save the lumber industry from self-destruction.

There are two ways of controlling overproduction of lumber:

First, by merely reducing the annual sawmill output of lumber.

Second, by reducing the annual cut in the forests to the amount of the annual timber growth possible under proper sustained forestry practice, and enforcing such practice as a part of control of production.

The first method would treat the remaining forests as a fixed "wasting asset," comparable to oil. It would slightly reduce the annual drain on the total supply. It would not end devastation. In fact, it would merely make devastation more profitable by increasing lumber prices.

The second alternative—permanent sustained yield forestry—will automatically control overproduction by limiting the annual cut to the annual growth, will entirely wipe out devastation, and is the only way to protect the public interest against the incalculable, ever-mounting losses of forest destruction.

The fundamental conservation problem involved in control of lumber production is to save the forests from clear-cutting,1 which destroys the forest itself as a productive organism. Compared with this vast objective, a mere curtailment of the drain on the stored supply of virgin timber is insignificant.

The control of lumber production, therefore, involves a fundamentally different principle from the control of oil production, and still more from the control of ordinary commodity production. But like the oil problem, the forest problem deserves separate, special treatment because of its complexity and special needs.

The vital question of strategy now confronting the Government is to couple control of lumber production with control of devastation. The decision now made on this question will determine whether the remaining virgin forests are wiped out of existence or become permanent national assets.

The lumber industry has demonstrated and admitted its incapacity to solve this problem. Only a highly intelligent, courageous act of the Government—striking at the very heart of the problem—will save these forests for the American people.

The principles and procedure necessary to convert destructive lumbering into sustained yield forestry should be embodied in special legislation comparable to the oil bill. This bill should be framed before the lumber industry applies for licenses to operate under the Industrial Recovery Act and before its policy is frozen into a mere commodity curtailment price inflation program. The basic principle of sustained yield forestry should be announced in advance as the minimum requirement for control of lumber production. Because of the financial difficulties involved, first in the vast carrying charges on private timberlands, and, second, in converting to sustained-yield forestry, the Government must give substantial assistance (mostly indirect) to the industry, as outlined below. The solution, therefore, partakes of the nature of a bargain, a quid pro quo. This policy should be worked out in a preliminary way by conservation experts representing the public interest, and then finally developed in collaboration with the forest industries. This memorandum outlines the basic principles of such a bill.

The Basic Facts of Lumber Overproduction

(1) The lumber industry owns vast timber holdings unwisely alienated by the Government under vicious land laws.

(2) Interest and taxes on these holdings constitute an ever-increasing burden on the owners, forcing overproduction to liquidate stored capital and reduce charges.

(3) A vast surplus sawmill capacity has been created to hasten liquidation in favorable markets.

The basic facts of forest devastation:

(1) Devastation comes from clear-cutting, followed by fire, which together destroy the reproductive power of the forest.

(2) Devastation can be entirely prevented by "selective cutting," i. e., cutting the oldest and best trees, saving the young and middle-aged for a future cut and for reseeding the forest. (There are some exceptions to this technique.)

(3) Selective logging will in general be more profitable than clear-cutting. Much of the small timber now logged is cut at a loss and reduces the profits on the best timber.

(4) Through prejudice and inertia, the lumber industry has never given intelligent consideration to sustained-yield forestry, and will never do so voluntarily, with isolated exceptions.

(5) Only an integral attack by the Government on the whole problem as a unit gives any hope of solution.

Why Prevent Devastation?

(1) Because forest devastation is an abuse of the rights of private property, entailing fundamental, long-time social and industrial evils. It is tolerated in practically no European country; it should not be longer tolerated in America.

(2) Because it will cost the people of the United States from two to three billion dollars to rehabilitate the forests already devastated.

(3) Because it will cost from four to five billion dollars additional to rehabilitate the remaining virgin forests if they are allowed to be devastated.

(4) Because devastation destroys not merely the forests and the vast capital invested in our wood-manufacturing and wood-using industries, but the livelihood of millions of people dependent on these industries.

(5) Because devastation is destroying the artistic and human values of forests, creating desolation and ugliness, and is making the entire land progressively less fit for civilized human habitation.

Is Public Regulation to Prevent Devastation Feasible?

Americans are unfamiliar with the highly successful regulation worked out by various European countries, cannot visualize its operation and are frightened by the magnitude of the job. Practically every European nation now forbids devastation. Austria, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, and some of the German states have been especially successful in this field. Forest owners at first resisted regulation. NOW they take it for granted. They place devastation in about the same class as arson. The costs of compulsory reforestation are offset by higher timber prices, higher grade timber, and lower operating costs. The author of this memorandum has, during the past year, made an intensive study of the administration of regulatory laws in Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia under the auspices of the Carl Schurz Memorial Foundation of Philadelphia, and will be glad to make the results available, if desired.

It is claimed that lumbermen will capture the regulatory machinery, but the same can be said of railroad, public utility, or other forms of regulation. If this claim were true, the Government should renounce every effort to regulate industry and could not possibly justify the Industrial Recovery Act. But the claim is untrue and a negation of government.

The Federal Government has constitutional power to prevent the devastation of forests needed to protect the flow of navigable streams. The states have legal authority to prevent the waste or destruction of natural resources, including forests, as confirmed by court decision and as carried out in laws, for example, to prevent the waste of oil and gas. Still more direct, the Government has the power to enforce forest management as a condition to the granting of licenses to operate under the Industrial Control bill.

Main Elements of Solution

(1) Organize the lumber-producing regions into districts or "pools" for the double purpose of controlling production and adopting sustained-yield management.

(2) Bring the public forests (National and state) and the Indian Forests into these pools.

(3) Create for each major forest region where control of production and sustained-yield forestry is undertaken (e. g. Pacific Northwest, Northern Rocky Mountains, etc.) an official, unsalaried Forestry Board with the double function of controlling production through allocation of cut and enforcing sustained yield management. These boards should have a permanent executive official and a staff of engineers and foresters.

(4) Create, where desirable, subsidiary control boards for individual pools.

(5) Require large forest owners (over 1000 acres) to associate into regional associations, and give them adequate but not majority representation on the Forestry Boards. This will give an element of self-government to regulation without surrendering public control.

(6) Require owners of over 1000 acres of forest to submit forest management plans for sustained-yield production, to be approved by the Regional Forestry Board through its technical personnel.

(7) Create an adequate inspection and enforcement personnel under the Regional Forestry Board to inspect methods of cutting that will insure forest reproduction, and to keep the annual timber cut within the figure allowed by sustained yield.

(8) Promote mergers of smaller timber-holdings into larger units for adequate sustained yield management.

(9) Establish a forest conservation tax on all forest land or on all timber cut, to meet the expenses of the Forestry Board and to improve forest fire protection and reforestation.

(10) Inflict penalties on all owners within a given pool who cut timber in violation of the regulations adopted by the Forestry Boards governing allocation of production and sustained-yield management.

(11) On timber tracts not susceptible of sustained-yield management (i. e., where merchantable timber will be exhausted before regrowth is large enough to cut) require proper cutting methods for reforestation under a contract with the Government to purchase the land at an impartially appraised valuation after the timber is cut. This will prevent devastation and assure public purchase at a reasonable price.

(12) As an alternative to (11), provide for Governmental purchase of heavily timbered (and therefore expensive) forest lands through Forest Purchase Bonds, to be redeemed through a sinking fund created from receipts from timber as cut.

(13) To aid in converting private forests to sustained-yield, provide additional public aid for protection against fire of all forests brought under management standards set up by the Forestry Boards. Provide increased aid for roads to promote sustained-yield production.

(14) Sustained-yield forestry demands abolition of the straight property tax and the substitution of a yield tax, paid on timber as cut. The Forest Service has just completed a fundamental nation-wide study of the forest tax problem, and has submitted detailed recommendations. The reforms proposed must be made by the States, but the Industrial Recovery Act as applied to the lumber industry should be made the vehicle of inducing rapid State action through State compacts.

(15) Provide for a thorough investigation of the large bonded indebtedness of the large timber holdings to discover if cheaper credit can be made available to offset costs of sustained-yield production and of amortization of surplus sawmill capacity. The problem is analogous to the refinancing of farm mortgages. Cheaper credit might be provided through creation of a Federal Forest Bank similar to the Federal Farm Bank. Such credit forms a means of enforcing sustained-yield forestry to guarantee amortization of loans, as demonstrated by European experience. Moreover, such a bank would divert capital from unneeded industrial expansion into forest rehabilitation. Sustained-yield forestry is the safest of all long-term investments.

(16) Direct Federal regulation to prevent forest devastation can constitutionally be applied to all forests necessary to protect the flow of navigable streams.

For non-protection forests, regulatory powers should be sought through (a) Federal promotion of regional state compacts; or (b) the cession of the regulatory power by the states to the Federal Government, or (c), failing (b), direct exercise through the emergency powers conferred by the Industrial Recovery Act.

We must start from the principle laid down by the Supreme Court in the Migratory Bird Treaty case: "It is not lightly to be assumed that, in matters requiring national action, a power which belongs to and must somewhere reside in every civilized state, is not to be found."

Prevention of Devastation in the Tennessee River Project

The principles outlined above apply chiefly to the remaining virgin forests of the West, the South, and the Lake States.

The second-growth forests of the East (largely in small holdings) present a different problem.

An immediate approach toward public regulation to prevent devastation of these forests is presented by the Tennessee Valley Project. The large public investment already made there and to be made in power production, stream regulation, etc., demands protection against the evils of deforestation. The Federal Government, as already pointed out, has constitutional power to regulate the exploitation of private forests needed to protect the flow of the Tennessee River and its tributaries, as well as all other navigable streams. The Government should proceed to delimit these forests into Protection Forest Zones, wherein destructive lumbering would be prevented. The Tennessee Project would be a proving ground for working out the principles of protection forests, and the results should be rapidly applied to all main forested river basins in the United States.

There is much academic debate in the United States over the exact extent to which forests influence stream-flow and erosion. Long European experience accepts an obvious fact and lays vital emphasis on preserving protection forests through special laws and elaborate administration. This practice is confirmed by much research, both in Europe and in America. The Gordian knot of fruitless controversy should be cut by action in the Tennessee Valley by recognizing that forests are important in themselves, and that the common sense of mankind has long recognized their importance in preventing erosion and silting and in regulating stream-flow.

Respectfully submitted by: WARD SHEPARD, Fellow of the Carl Schurz Memorial Foundation of Philadelphia, 29 May, 1933.2

[13:OF I—C:T]

1Words in italic, here and below, are underscored in the original.

2Shepard, formerly assistant chief of research in the Forest Service, was at this time forestry investigator for the Carl Schurz Foundation. The program here outlined by him was endorsed by the Society of American Foresters. Franklin Reed, its executive secretary, said that the plan would make effective the most important part of the society's "Principles of Forest Policy for the United States," and that the full support of the trained foresters of the country could be relied upon to carry it out (Reed to Roosevelt, June 10, 1933, OF I—C). Shepard's memorandum was acknowledged by McIntyre, June 19, 1933 (OF I—C), who said that the President had taken the matter up with the Secretary of Agriculture.


WASHINGTON, June 15, 1933

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Mr. Ward Shepard's memorandum of May 29 has been received and considered with the Chief of the Forest Service in accordance with your suggestion.

The proposal in brief is that the public require sustained yield management and the stopping of forest devastation as a quid pro quo for the privilege of curtailing output, merging holdings, etc., and that advantage be taken of the National Industrial Recovery Bill to accomplish this purpose. Somewhat similar recommendations were made in the Departmental report on Senate Resolution 1751 and have recently been renewed by the Chief Forester.

For reasons outlined in the accompanying statement, I would like to suggest two things for your immediate consideration, with the recommendation for the approval of both:

1. Approval of the principle of regulation of privately-owned forest lands in connection with the administration of the Industrial Bill and the Agricultural Adjustment Act, along lines also outlined in the accompanying statement.

2. The delegation to the Secretary of Agriculture of the necessary authority to administer for the lumber and other forest industries the provisions of the Industrial Bill relating to or closely allied to the treatment of forest lands. This would necessarily involve proper correlation with the administration of other provisions of the bill and also with the pertinent provisions of the Agricultural Act.

General Forest Policy and Legislation

Your suggestion that we should have a forest policy for private forest lands is most opportune, because in my judgment action on the regulation proposal should constitute a coordinated part of a well-rounded program.

The Department has I feel, however, anticipated this suggestion in a recent report on Senate Resolution 175 which is the most comprehensive and exhaustive survey yet made of our forest problem. The resulting National Plan outlined and covering both private and public lands serves as the basis for the attached statement. A copy of the Summary of this report is also attached,2 and a copy of the somewhat voluminous complete report was furnished to you on May 5.

In my judgment no additional legislation on the regulatory phase of the problem suggested by Mr. Shepard is required at the present time. It will be better first to try out administration under the Industrial Relief Bill and the Agricultural Act and be guided accordingly.

For the remainder of the Federal contribution to the National Plan recommended in the Senate Resolution report, including the acquisition of forest lands, putting them into production, increasing in a reasonable degree the scale of public aid and that of forest research, I should like to see general legislation as soon as you feel disposed to take it up. The splendid start already made on Federal forestry during your Administration should in my judgment be crystallized into a long-term program in legislative form. This will help to insure orderly and coordinated progress and to prevent serious setbacks at any future time. The possibilities of economic and social service in our national life are beyond comprehension. The Department is ready to submit suggestions for such legislation whenever you desire.

Very respectfully submitted,


[13:OF I—C:TS]

1A National Plan for American Forestry (Washington, 1933).

2The summary, a 150-page typescript, entitled "A National Plan for American Forestry," is present.

153 [Enclosure]

Statement to Accompany Memorandum to the President on Regulation of Private Forest Lands

Mr. Ward Shepard's memorandum of May 29 has been received and considered with the Chief of the Forest Service, in accordance with your suggestion. It has also been discussed with Mr. Shepard.

The memorandum proposes that forest devastation be stopped by public control based on the pending National Industrial Recovery Act and/or a special bill dealing with the lumber industry.

It proposes that control be not limited to the restriction of lumber production but that it provide also for selective cutting of forest lands to stop forest devastation and insure sustained yield management.

It proposes this as a quid pro quo to the public for the privilege of curtailing output, merging holdings, and some forms of public aid such as loans, etc.

Both the Department and the Forest Service welcome the opportunity to consider this proposal:

First, because of its intrinsic merit and timeliness, and

Second, because it affords the opportunity to bring to your attention a report entitled "A National Plan for American Forestry," prepared by the Forest Service and submitted to the Senate by the Department in response to Senate Resolution 175.

The Department believes that the regulation of forest lands should be considered in relation to the entire national forestry problem and not as a detached move. This is attempted in the report mentioned, which outlines a national policy for both private and public forest lands.

The Main Findings in the Senate Report

The report on Senate Resolution 175, which was transmitted on March 27, is without question the most comprehensive and exhaustive survey of the forestry situation in the United States yet made.

The main findings are:

1. That practically all of the major problems of American forestry center in, or have grown out of, private ownership. This finding must accordingly dominate remedial proposals.

2. That one of the major problems of public ownership is that of unmanaged public lands. Both the Federal Government and the States have large unredeemed responsibilities in this respect.

3. That there has been a serious lack of balance in constructive efforts to solve the forest problem as between private and public ownership and between the relatively poor and the relatively good land. This lack of balance is merely another indication of the failure of private forest ownership.

4. That the forest problem ranks as one of our major national problems.

Should you care to go into the basis for these findings you might find it worth while to glance over pages v to viii of the Letter of Transmittal in the attached Separate.

Pages 11 to 39 of the Summary of the entire report, which are also included in the attached Separate, outline our major forest problems as disclosed by the inquiry still more fully and explicitly: Those of privately-owned forest lands; of the agricultural land available for forestry; of unmanaged public lands; of balancing the national timber budget; of watershed protection; of forest recreation; of forest wild life; and of knowledge.

Why the solution of our major forest problems constitutes one of our major national problems is also discussed and shown graphically in the diagrams on pages 39 and 40 of the Separate.

Activity Programs Proposed in the National Plan

To solve these major forest problems and to meet such obviously necessary objectives as getting our forest land into productive use, meeting national requirements for forest products and services, and obtaining the full economic and social benefits of the forest, nothing short of national planning will satisfactorily meet requirements. A national plan is therefore outlined in the report on the Resolution.

A series of activity programs are proposed as a part of the national plan, including such things as:

Enlarging the area protected against fire from 321 to 510 million acres—a wholly unprotected area of nearly 200 million acres is the chief factor in the 41-1/2 million acres now burned over annually;

More nearly adequate provision for protection against forest insects and diseases—losses now rival or exceed those from fire;

Provision for stopping forest devastation—the area now devastated annually is estimated at 850,000 acres.

Enlarging the area under extensive forest management from perhaps 110 million to at least 279 and preferably to 339 million acres—such management and fire protection will stop forest devastation;

Enlarging the area under intensive forest management from a negligible area to at least 70 and preferably nearer 100 million acres—70 per cent of the drain on our forests is now in saw-timber sizes and growth must be increased 5 times to offset this drain—furthermore, forest capital in the entire East must be increased 2-1/2 times to obtain such growth, but this forest capital is now being reduced;

Planting 25 million acres—a modest program in the light of the 70 million acres of devastated forest land and abandoned agricultural land which will not restock naturally in the next 40 years;

Provision for adequate watershed protection, particularly important on an area of 308 million acres on which the forests are estimated to exert a major influence, and on 141 million acres additional estimated to exert a moderate influence—all the preceding programs will contribute to this;

Adequate provision for forest recreation and for forest wild life—the economic and social importance of these services of the forest are now too little appreciated;

Adequate provision for the management of forest ranges;

Adequate provision for forest research—lack of knowledge of how to make and keep our forests productive, and of the great economic and social losses from unproductive forests has always been and still is a serious handicap;

These activity programs are outlined more fully on pages 42 to 57 of the Separate.

Main Proposals in the National Plan for Carrying Out the Activity Programs

The main recommendations for carrying out these activity programs are for:

1. A large extension of public ownership of forest lands, a total in fact of 224 million acres, of which 90 should be acquired by the States and 134 by the Federal Government.

2. Bringing all publicly-owned forest lands, including those newly acquired, into a productive condition.

These recommendations are based largely on three considerations:

1. The extent to which the major problems of today center in private ownership and the extent to which private effort on which we have been placing main dependence is failing to meet national needs, both despite a free hand and substantial if not adequate public aid. Public aid to private owners has in fact been more than twice the expenditures of private owners on their own lands. (See diagram on page 77 of the Separate.)

2. The lack of any reasonable assurance based on experience that private ownership on the large proportion of the forest lands it now holds can or will carry through the essential, constructive programs mentioned above, many of which must be of great size.

3. The belief that a greatly enlarged public ownership offers the most effective solution in the public interest and that in the long run it will be much more than self-liquidating in direct and indirect returns.

The essence of these main recommendations is that the public should in the shortest possible time take over at least half of the national enterprise in forestry, or more specifically:

Slightly more than half of the commercial forest land;

Half of the timber-growing job;

Five-sixths of the noncommercial forest land;

Three-fifths of the forest ranges;

Four-fifths of the area of major influence on watershed protection;

Eight-ninths of the areas to be set aside for forest recreation.

These relationships are expressed graphically on page 78 of the Separate.

Proposals for Public Aid in the National Plan

A second group of recommendations in the national plan attacks the problem of private ownership from the angle of public aid, including:

Substantial increases in the public contribution to fire protection and the control of forest insects and diseases;

Making planting stock available at low cost to all classes of owners in the full amounts needed;

A seed-testing and certification service;

Sound and effective technical advice on forest management, marketing, and utilization to all classes of owners;

Research as a basis for such advice, which will also enable the public to perfect forest management on its own lands;

Equitable forest taxation.

Proposals for Public Regulation

This leaves a third group of recommendations which deal with public regulation of forest practice on private lands.

The essence of the recommendations in the report on Senate Resolution 175 is that Federal regulation to conserve the forest resource and to protect the public interest might be made a quid pro quo for the privilege of curtailing output of forest products, or of mergers, or of publicly sponsored loans, this to be worked out with interested groups as opportunity offers. The strengthening of State regulation is recommended in such things as the use of fire and the elimination of fire hazard. Beyond this it is recommended that Federal regulation be held in reserve for possible future use.

Mr. Shepard proposes that forest lands of the lumber industry be regulated under the provisions of the proposed National Industrial Recovery Act. The Chief Forester had previously recommended that this be done for all forest industries under the combined provisions of this proposed Act and the Agricultural Relief Act.

The justification for such regulation is that it offers the most positive assurance, short of public ownership, of preventing forest devastation and keeping forest lands productive. Beyond this the conservation of the forest resource is a return to which the public is entitled as compensation for the higher prices it will have to pay for lumber and other forest products.

Undoubtedly a question will be raised as to whether regulatory requirements will interfere with industrial recovery. Lumber, the chief forest industry, has for many years been in chronic distress because (1) of an overload of forest land and stumpage, and because (2) its organization, capitalization, and operations have been based on the most rapid possible exploitation of its basic resource without regard to perpetuation. Only the most temporary alleviation of existing conditions is possible by any means which does not attack these two fundamental weaknesses. The proposal to have the public acquire large areas of forest lands attacks one; that to require sustained yield management on the lands which remain in private ownership attacks the other.

The Legal Authority for Regulation

It is in point to refer to the authority for regulation in the Industrial Recovery Bill and of the Agricultural Adjustment and Credits Act.

Section 1, Title I, of the bill provides, among other things, that it is the declared policy of Congress "to conserve natural resources."

Section 3, in subsection (d) authorizes the President, on his own motion and after public notice and hearing, to prescribe and approve a code of fair competition in any industry or subdivision thereof for which a code has not been approved by him.

Under Section 4 (a), Title I, the President may enter into agreements with, and approve voluntary agreements between, those engaged in industry if such action will aid in effectuating the policy of Title I "with respect to transactions in or affecting interstate commerce," and if consistent with Section 2 and subsection (a) of Section 3 for a code of fair competition. Subsection (b) of Section 4 authorizes a system of licensing if necessary to make effective a code or agreement or otherwise to effectuate the policy of Title I.

Under Section 2, subsection (b) the President may delegate any of his functions and powers to aid in carrying out his functions under this title.

The Department is inclined to believe that "any agricultural commodity or product thereof" mentioned in subsections (2) and (3), Section 8, Title I, of the Agricultural Adjustment and Credits Act may properly be interpreted to include timber and other forest products. If this interpretation is correct, the Secretary of Agriculture could enter into marketing agreements with and issue licenses to processors, associations of producers, and others engaged in handling such commodities in interstate or foreign commerce, in order to maintain a balanced production and consumption, to reestablish prices to farmers that will give agricultural commodities except tobacco a pre-war "purchasing power with respect to articles that farmers buy," and to protect the consumer's interest. This is based on the theory that Congress intended the phrase "any agricultural product" to include all agricultural products as distinguished from "any basic agricultural commodity" mentioned in subsection (1) of Section 8 and defined in Section 11.

It seems rather obvious that the provisions of the Industrial Recovery Bill and the Agricultural Adjustment Act are to some extent overlapping and also that each contains some provisions not found in the other which might be applied with advantage in the regulation of the forest industries. The provisions of the Industrial Bill appear broad enough to permit the regulation of practice on forest lands owned by the groups concerned, the products of which will enter into interstate commerce. Possibly, although not certainly, the same thing could in part at least be done under the provisions of the Agricultural Act. Under the Industrial Bill the acceptance by the group of such regulation may under my interpretation of the Bill properly be made a condition precedent to approving a code or agreement or the issuance of a license.

What the Public Might Grant to the Forest Industries

The benefits which the forest industries might obtain in varying degree with public approval under the above legislation include:

1. Restriction of output of lumber and other forest products which, among other things, would lead to higher prices that the public would have to pay.

2. Mergers of forest land holdings when necessary for sustained yield management and clearly in the public interest.

3. The formation of cooperative marketing organizations (under the Agricultural Act).

4. Loans under public sanction if clearly an aid to sustained yield management and if the necessary authority is found and satisfactory arrangements can be worked out.

5. Financial aid in fire protection, etc., reaching more nearly to the extent of the public interest.

What the Public Has the Right to Exact in Return

In return for these benefits the public undoubtedly has the right to exact from individual owners of forest land such things as:

1. Sustained yield forest management which in itself would limit cut.

2. Selective or other cutting which will perpetuate the forest.

3. Satisfactory protection against fire, forest insects, and diseases.

4. All of the above to be effective should as soon as possible be crystallized into forest management plans for individual holdings.

The Factors on Which Limitation of Cut Should Be Based

The administration of the Industrial Recovery Act should have two main objectives for the forest industries:

1. Industrial recovery, the relief of unemployment, etc.

2. The conservation of the forest resource.

This is in contrast with most other industries in which only the first group of objectives need be taken into account. It follows that the limitation of cut in the forest industries must be based on two factors:

1. The conservation of the forest resource, including what can properly be cut under sustained yield management;

2. The market requirements for the product.

The Administration of Regulation

Because of the conservation factor, special features will necessarily have to be injected into the regulation of the forest industries under the Industrial Bill and the Agricultural Act. Among them are:

1. The division of the country into regions, based upon forest conditions, the organization of the forest industries, etc.

2. Within each region the formation of large owners, including, for example, those holding 1,000 acres or more, into one or more associations which should help to administer the Act in addition to necessary advisory services.

3. Within regions the formation of cooperative marketing associations to meet the needs of small owners and manufacturers.

4. For each region the appointment of a regional executive, together with the necessary staff of qualified foresters, etc., for advising and passing upon forest management plans and silvicultural practice, the inspection of operations, and in general for the enforcement of the Act. To this executive organization suitable committees of the associations indicated under 2 and 3 would act in an advisory capacity.

5. National committees representing different forest industries might also serve a useful purpose.

6. Because of the specialized character and importance of the forest conservation problem, the extent to which this must influence action on the forest industries, and the overlapping of the provisions of the Industrial Bill and the Agricultural Act, the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture seems to be the logical and most effective agency for the administration of the regulatory requirements for forest lands. The undertaking is large and it would be necessary to develop an organization for it.

Immediate Consideration

In view of the recommendations of the Departmental report on Senate Resolution 175 and of the Chief Forester, those of Mr. Shepard's memorandum, and of the unparalleled present opportunity, two things are suggested for your immediate consideration with the recommendation for the approval of both:

1. Approval of the principle of regulation of privately-owned forest lands along the lines heretofore outlined in connection with the administration of the Industrial Bill and the Agricultural Act.

2. The delegation to the Secretary of Agriculture of the necessary authority to administer the provisions of the Industrial Bill for the lumber and other forest industries relating to or closely allied to the treatment of forest lands. This would necessarily involve proper correlation with the administration of other provisions of the Bill and also with the pertinent provisions of the Agricultural Act.

General Forest Policy and Legislation

Your suggestion that we should have a forest policy for private forest lands is most opportune. The suggestion has it is believed, however, been anticipated in the report of the Department on Senate Resolution 175, which in fact covers all our forest lands both private and public. As already indicated, a copy of the Summary of this report is attached and forms a basis for much of this statement. A copy of the somewhat voluminous complete report was furnished to you on May 5.

In the judgment of the Department, no additional legislation on the regulatory phase is required at the present time. It will be better first to try out administration under the Industrial Relief Bill and the Agricultural Act and be guided accordingly.

For the remainder of the Federal contribution to the National Plan recommended in the Senate Resolution report, which includes the acquisition of forest lands, putting them into production, increasing in a reasonable degree the scale of public aid and that of forest research, the Department would like to see general legislation as soon as you feel disposed to take it up. The splendid start already made on Federal forestry during your Administration should, in the judgment of the Department, be crystallized into a long-term program in legislative form. This will help to insure orderly and coordinated progress and to prevent serious setbacks at any future time. The possibilities of economic and social service in our national life are beyond comprehension. The Department stands ready to submit suggestions for such legislation whenever you desire.

[13:OF I—C:T]


WASHINGTON, June 16, 1933

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Section 8 of the National Industrial Recovery Bill gives the President authority in his discretion to delegate to the Secretary of Agriculture control, under that Act, over industries dealing with the agricultural commodities or the products thereof or competing commodities or the products thereof.

It seems imperative that this discretion be exercised at once with respect to some industries and to some extent. In view of the fact that you may leave Washington soon after the National Industrial Recovery Act is approved, I would suggest that you delegate to the Secretary of Agriculture authority under the National Industrial Recovery Act with respect to the following industries, so that it will be possible for this Department to deal with them through agreements and licenses under the Agricultural Adjustment Act and also through codes of practice, agreements, and licenses under the National Industrial Recovery Act: . . .1

9. Lumber and other forest products may fall more fully than the preceding under the Industrial Recovery Act because of its provision for the conservation of natural resources. Approval is requested for the principle of preventing forest devastation on private forest lands and keeping them productive by requiring sustained yield management and satisfactory silviculture and protection as a quid pro quo for the curtailment of output, etc. Delegation to the Secretary of Agriculture of the necessary authority to administer through the Forest Service, for the forest industries the provisions of the Industrial Bill and Agricultural Act relating to or closely allied to the treatment of forest lands is also recommended. This question is covered in detail in my memorandum to you of June 15.

The foregoing does not contemplate that the Agricultural Adjustment Administration need differ in any way with the National Industrial Recovery Board as to general principles relating to codes, agreements, or licenses. The Department can adopt the same general standard forms as the National Industrial Recovery Board, but of course the general forms (whether under our jurisdiction or under the National Industrial Recovery Board) would have to be adapted to each industry after a study of the conditions of that industry. Forest Service administration of the forest industries would necessarily differ to the extent required to conserve the forest resource.


[13:OF I—K:TS]

1Paragraphs one to eight, dealing with commodities other than lumber, have been omitted.



MEMO FOR SECRETARY WALLACE: I think this idea is well worth while.1 I think you might well write a letter to the National Lumber Mfrs. Assn. to be read at their meeting in Chicago and in it you can say: "The President asks me to tell you that he trusts any code relating to the cutting of timber will contain some definite provision for the controlling of destructive exploitation."

When you get through with these papers, will you give them to General Johnson to be used in connection with any code the lumber men may propose.2



[13:OF 446:CT]


2The papers are not identified; see Wallace's reply, post, 164.


WASHINGTON, June 16, 1933

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Reference is made to our conversation of a few days ago regarding the expenditure of the $20,000,000 allotted for the purchase of lands for National Forest purposes:

Executive Order No. 6160 of June 7 specifically provides that the allotted funds shall be expended within the forty-two existing National Forest Units. Technically, an amendment of the Executive Order would be necessary to permit the expenditure of any part of the allotted fund within any other areas. A copy of an amendment of the Executive Order which would meet the situation is attached for your consideration.

At the meeting of the National Forest Reservation Commission on June 9, it was necessary for me temporarily to absent myself to give attention to other matters and during my absence the remaining members of the Commission discussed in some detail the question of confining the expenditure of the allotted fund to the forty-two existing National Forest Purchase Areas as against its partial use in the establishment and acquisition of new areas. The minutes of the meeting, of which a copy is enclosed,1 show that several members of the Commission feel that the expenditure of the allotted fund exclusively within the existing units is the preferable course, while others favor purchases in new areas.

If you still are of the opinion that part of the available fund appropriately might be devoted to purchases of lands within areas not hitherto approved by the National Forest Reservation Commission, I suggest that you sign the Executive Order attached hereto.2 Under its provisions, the new areas within which expenditures would be made would be determined by me, with the concurrence and approval of the National Forest Reservation Commission, in harmony with the objectives you have in mind. Otherwise, the provisions of Executive Order No. 6160 would continue effective and would confine the expenditures of the $20,000,000 exclusively to the forty-two existing National Forest Purchase Areas.3

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 149:TS]

1Both the copy of the amendment to the executive order and the copy of the minutes are present.

2Executive Order 6181, June 24, 1933.

3Roosevelt's interest in the establishment of new national forest areas had been previously indicated with respect to the coastal plains country of North and South Carolina. Forester Stuart, writing to Wallace in this connection (May 24, 1933, OF 268), said that much of the forested land in South Carolina was involved in the purchase program of a lumber company, "which should not be complicated by Federal competition," while in eastern North Carolina much of the forested land was of the "pocoson" or swamp type, better suited for wild life refuges than for timber production. See below.


PULPIT HARBOR, ME., June 24, 19331

MEMO FOR THE SECRETARY or AGRICULTURE: In regard to the allotment of $20,000,000 for the purchase of lands for national forest purposes:

1. I am inclined to the belief that a certain portion of the $20,000,000 should be spent in areas not exclusively within the forty-two existing national forest purchase areas. My reason for this is that as a matter of policy the wider the distribution of federally owned and developed forests, the wider will be the public interest and education in regard to the importance of organized forestry. For example, in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana there are practically no national forests and the inhabitants of those states take little or no interest in forestry.

There are other similar areas where the Federal Government is doing nothing.

2. We should co-ordinate these new land purchases with flood control.

Is there any reason, for example, why some of this twenty million dollars should not be used in conjunction with the Tennessee Valley Authority for the purchase of land along the top of the watershed of the Tennessee. I think it is highly important for the Forest Service to get in touch with Chairman Arthur Morgan in regard to this.

I have, therefore, signed the Executive Order which you sent me. Will you talk this over with me when I get back.


[13:OF 149:CT]

1From June 16 to July 1 Roosevelt was on vacation. After attending Franklin, Jr.'s graduation from Groton School on June 17, he boarded the Amberjack II, a small auxiliary schooner, at Marion, Massachusetts, and sailed her to Campobello, arriving there June 30 (PPF I—O).


WASHINGTON, D. C., July 3, 1933

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Referring to your memorandum of June 24 regarding the expenditure of the $20,000,000 for forest purchases, I am sending you herewith a statement from Major Stuart. Apparently the necessary purchases in the Tennessee Valley are so great as to warrant a very special and separate consideration.

Respectfully yours,


[13:OF 149:TS]


WASHINGTON, June 28, 1933

DEAR MR. SECRETARY: Reference is made to the memorandum addressed to you by the President under date of June 24 in relation to the purchase of lands for National Forest purposes:

The States of Illinois, Missouri, and Texas, which now contain no National Forests, are strongly advocating the purchase by the Federal Government of forest lands within their borders. The State of Mississippi which now contains one small National Forest Unit, is urgently recommending the establishment of one or more additional units in that State. The suggested areas in Illinois, Missouri, and Mississippi already have been examined and reported on by officers of the Forest Service. Examinations of lands in the State of Texas to determine areas suitable for Federal ownership and control will be made as promptly as practicable. Certain additions to existing units also demand consideration.

The present plan of the Forest Service is to determine by a field examination the facts relating to each suggested area, and on the basis of such facts to formulate a program of proposed new purchase areas. As soon as this has been done the program will be submitted for your consideration. If it meets with your approval, or after amendments in conformity with your suggestions, it will then be submitted for consideration by the National Forest Reservation Commission.

The $20,000,000 allotted by the President probably will not buy more than eighty per cent of the lands within the existing forty-two National Forest Purchase Units and each new unit which is created proportionately will diminish the opportunity to complete the Federal purchase program within the established units. When the supplemental program of new units is submitted to you and to the other members of the National Forest Reservation Commission you doubtless will wish to weigh the relative importance and desirability of purchases in one unit as against another and finally to develop the program of purchases which, all factors considered, will yield the highest results in public welfare and in the promotion of the emergency conservation work. Of course, the probability that further funds would be made available for land purchases after the $20,000,000 now allotted has been expended would diminish the necessity for discrimination between one unit and another. As the Congressional Members of the National Forest Reservation Commission have indicated their willingness to return to Washington to attend meetings of the Commission if conditions made such attendance necessary, I am hopeful that final decision in this matter can be reached within the next ninety days or shortly thereafter. At that time by far the greater part of the $20,000,000 allotted by the President will remain unobligated and available for expenditure in such way as you and the other members of the Commission may consider most advantageous.

If any other approach to this problem would be more satisfactory to you I shall, of course, modify the plan accordingly. . . .1

The present apparent feeling that more should be done in the States to which the President refers is entirely justified but the lack of progress is attributable to the several States as much as to the Federal Government. Recent changes in economic trends and the action of the President in allotting $20,000,000 for the purchase of lands have given the National Forest movement in the eastern States an entirely new significance and effectiveness and creates the promise that the deficiencies to which the President has called attention may at least in part be remedied in the near future.

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 149:TS]

1In the part here omitted, Stuart described the state of national forest acquisitions in the South and the difficulties raised by the laws of certain states. He pointed out that it had never been the practice of the Forest Service or the National Forest Reservation Commission "to intrude the purchase policy in a State which did not desire such action," and that a number of the eastern states had felt competent to handle the forest situation without Federal assistance.


WASHINGTON, D. C., 4 July 1933

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: You have requested the National Lumber Manufacturers' Association to consider including in its Code of Fair Competition measures to prevent further destructive exploitation of forests. Because the problem of forest industrial recovery is far more complex than that of most industries and because it involves the conservation of a major natural resource under the Recovery Act, the codes of the lumber and other forest industries require special consideration. May I therefore take the liberty of proposing a special procedure for these codes.

Temporary Forest Advisory Committee

For the ordinary industrial code, a labor adviser and an industrial adviser are sufficient. For the forest codes there might well be in addition a Forestry Advisory Committee to the Industrial Recovery Board, to be appointed immediately, well in advance of hearings on the lumber and other forest industry codes, such as pulp and paper, naval stores, etc. It is essential, first, to have an adequate representation of the public interest in the problem because the industry alone has hitherto never given any real consideration to the abolition of destructive logging, though there is strong evidence that it is now doing so. It is necessary also to have adequate technical advice available to the Industrial Board. I would tentatively suggest the following members:

Henry S. Graves, Dean, Yale School of Forestry, New Haven, Conn. (Formerly Chief of the Forest Service and a strong leader in forestry.)

R. Y. Stuart, Chief Forester, U. S. Forest Service.

Ovid M. Butler, Executive Secretary, American Forestry Association, Washington, D. C.

Franklin Reed, Executive Secretary, Society of American Foresters, Washington, D. C.

David T. Mason, Manager, Western Pine Association, Yeon Building, Portland, Oregon. (An able and influential exponent of sustained yield forest management as the only means of stabilizing the forest industries.)

Fred W. Fairchild, Professor of Economics, Yale University. (Expert on forest taxation.)

Burt P. Kirkland, U. S. Forest Service. (Expert on forest credit.)

John W. Blodgett, President, National Lumber Manufacturers' Association. (An able, broad-minded industrial leader, in general sympathetic to sustained yield management.)

Wilson Compton, Secretary-Manager, National Lumber Manufacturers' Association.

All the men listed above are sympathetic toward a large constructive solution of the industrial forest problem. I realize that Secretary Wallace, if he approved such a committee, might wish to suggest other names. My list is merely something to shoot at.

What the Government Must Be Prepared to Give

The industry has three alternatives:

(1) To resist the President's request.

(2) To accept that request and ask for a maximum of Government aid.

(3) To limit action now to wages, hours, and curtailment of production, playing for time on the sustained yield problem.

In my opinion, the best course would be for the Administration to take the position that now is the time to seek a fundamental solution. This view is reenforced by the fact that it is thoroughly established that selective cutting will be immediately more profitable to the industry than clear-cutting, because it will reduce operating charges. In order, however, to avoid any delay in the adoption of the Code, the procedure could be divided into two steps:

(1) Immediate adoption of Code provisions on wages, hours, and collective bargaining.

(2) Rapid further development of Code provisions on (a) curtailment of production and (b) sustained yield forest management. These two phases must be linked together—curtailment is the great goal of the industry; the Government should hold it in reserve as a means of bargaining for sustained yield.

I must emphatically point out that mere patchwork tinkering will not solve the deep-seated evils of the forest industries. The Government must be prepared to offer aid as far-reaching and sympathetic as that already given to agriculture. The time for timid counsels is past. The only approach that will get anywhere is an integral attack on all the basic problems that confront the forest industries. As suggestive guides, the following are respectfully offered for your consideration:

1. Study of Forest Credit. The forest industries have an aggregate indebtedness comparable to that of agriculture. High interest on short term loans, coupled with frequent renewal charges, impose on these industries an interest burden almost twice as great in proportion to gross income as that borne by all manufacturing industries. Moreover, conversion to permanent forest management will require ample credit facilities for transport and protection facilities, reforestation, amortization of surplus manufacturing equipment, forming mergers, etc. Almost nothing whatever has been done by the Government even to study the credit needs of these great industries, to say nothing of providing credit facilities. In the matter of credit, these industries are where agriculture was in 1908, before the Government started to study European agricultural credit and to take the first steps toward the Federal Farm Bank system. The following steps could well be taken immediately:

(a) A rapid but thorough investigation by the Department of Agriculture or the Research Division of the Industrial Recovery Administration, assisted by the Forest Service and other bureaus, of the indebtedness and credit facilities of the forest industries. A study of the need for a Federal Forest Bank, or the extension of the functions of the Federal Farm Banks to include forest credit. Funds for this research would have to be provided from Industrial Recovery appropriations.

(b) An immediate study by the Farm Credit Administration of using the Federal Farm Banks to promote farm forestry as increased security for loans. (The Federal Bank of Springfield, Mass., has a forester on its staff for this purpose—it is the only one that is intelligently promoting forestry as a credit base.)

(c) The Reconstruction Finance Corporation already has authority to make loans for sustained yield and other forestry enterprises. It has never made use of this power. It is suggested that the Forestry Advisory Committee recommended above negotiate with the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to make loans immediately available for the purposes defined by the Act.

2. Broadening the Scope of Forest Purchases. Consideration by the National Forest Reservation Commission of the following steps:

(a) Feasibility of purchasing uneconomic private forest holdings suitable for National Forests, to be paid for by Federal Forest Bonds to be retired from a sinking fund created from receipts of timber as cut.

(b) Contracts for the future purchase of private timberlands suitable for National Forests, the mature timber to be first cut by the owner under Government supervision, on the selective principle in order to retain an adequate growing stock. (This system was successful in the Federal purchase of Arizona State forest lands.)

(c) A policy to put into effect Sec. 7 of the Act of June 7, 1924 (43 Stat., 653) (Clarke-McNary cooperative forestry law). This section authorizes the Government to receive gifts of forest lands, with the reservation of cutting rights by the donor for merchantable timber. It is probable that this provision could be extensively used for free acquisition by the Government of forests that cannot be economically held by private owners.

3. Forest Tax Reform and Other Aids.

(a) Formulation by the Forest Advisory Committee of a program by which the Administration would endeavor to induce the States (either singly or by regional groups) to put into effect the forest tax reforms recommended by the Forest Service as a result of its intensive study of forest taxation throughout the United States. These reforms will ease the burdens of the forest owners.

(b) Agreement to seek additional Federal appropriations for additional protection against fire for all private forests organized for sustained yield forest management under this program.

(c) Agreement to allocate funds from the emergency public works program for the construction of roads for transport and protection in sustained yield management units (aggregates of individual holdings) organized under this program.

(d) Agreement to bring National Forests so far as practicable into the sustained yield management units so organized.

In addition to the above steps, which apply principally to large timber holdings, the important farm woodlot regions of the East should be handled by the formation of farm forestry and timber marketing cooperatives under the Agricultural Adjustment Act.

Administrative Organization Needed

A special administration will be needed to handle the double function of controlling lumber production by the quota system and establishing Sustained Yield Management Units and enforcing proper logging and cutting methods. The control will be exercised by requiring the submission and following of proper forest management plans. The Forest Recovery Administration should consist of a Director General with an adequate central staff; a minimum of twelve Regional Directors, one m each of the principal forest regions; and, in each region, sufficient District Foresters to care for the local forest units. In the West and other principal lumber regions, the District Forester (with necessary assistants) would supervise the operations on Sustained Yield Management Units. In the Eastern farm woodlot region he would organize and advise farm forestry and marketing cooperatives and bring small sawmills under a licensing system to prevent destructive cutting.

The proposed Committees provided by the tentative code of the lumber industry would be retained as advisory and cooperative agencies, to give industry full representation in the application of the entire program.

This Administration should preferably be lodged in the Department of Agriculture, though all matters affecting wages, hours, and collective bargaining could well be retained by the Industrial Recovery Administration. Because of the magnitude of the job (ultimately involving some three hundred million acres) and the character of the work, it might well be considered whether such an Administration should not be distinct from and coordinate to the Forest Service, with both bureaus possibly lodged under an Assistant Secretary of Agriculture, devoted wholly to forestry.

If it is objected that the cost of such an administration is excessive, the answer is that forest devastation is vastly more costly.

I attach a separate memorandum not directly connected with the Industrial Act.1

Respectfully submitted,



1"Proposal for a Permanent Forest Council," dated July 4, 1933, a seven-page typescript. Shepard proposed a permanent Federal Forest Council to advise the Secretary of Agriculture and the President on forest policy. He said that there was no conservation agency that had "any really organized instrumentality for planning," that the Forest Service had been unable to assume aggressive leadership (the plan envisaged by the Copeland report would not stop devastation on private lands), and the forestry societies were not equipped to do so.


[WASHINGTON] July 11, 1933

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: I have read the memorandum of Major Stuart of June twenty-eighth relating to additional forest land purchases with much interest. It is my thought that our Government policy should take us distinctly into the yellow pine belt in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, not only because we have comparatively little Federal yellow pine land, but also because next winter we may want to establish a great many C. C. C. camps in a warm climate. I suppose we should also consider adding to the above states, land on the coastal plain of South Carolina and North Carolina, also possibly some of the coastal plain land in Southeast Texas.



[13:OF 149:CT]


WASHINGTON, July 14, 1933

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I passed on to Major R. Y. Stuart your memorandum of July 11 with regard to forest land purchases in the South. In reply he submitted the enclosed memorandum.

Respectfully yours,


[13:OF 149:TS]


WASHINGTON, July 12, 1933

DEAR MR. SECRETARY: The President's memorandum to you under date of July 11 regarding the purchase of forest lands has just been received. The expression of the President's views will be most helpful and promptly will be brought to the attention of the National Forest Reservation Commission. In this connection it might be well for the President to know the present status of the project.

Sixty days have elapsed since the President first decided to allot $20,000,000 for the purchase of forest lands, but no funds have yet been made available and the Forest Service is confronted with a difficult situation.

Due to lack of funds it has not been practicable to employ and place in the field the organization necessary to conduct the contemplated purchase program. Land ownership must be determined, offers to sell to the United States must be secured, the offered lands must be examined, cruised and appraised. With the expectation that the costs of such work could be met from the $20,000,000 allotment, the Forest Service has released as savings the $85,854 provided for Acquisition in the 1934 appropriation bill, and thus is without funds with which to meet the July salaries of persons now engaged in Acquisition work. It has not been possible to initiate the general program.

At its meetings of June 9 and June 20, the National Forest Reservation Commission approved the purchase of 666,983 acres of land at a total cost of $1,217,303.17. No funds are available with which to consummate these purchases which are distributed throughout twenty-eight different Purchase Areas in sixteen different States. Failure to act promptly on these cases will engender considerable dissatisfaction.

The first delay was due to the fact that the Executive Order of May 20 allocated the funds directly to the Secretary of Agriculture for expenditure. It was decided that under the provisions of the ECW Act the allotment must be through the War Department. In consequence, an amended Executive Order was prepared and signed by the President June 7.

Both orders limited expenditures of the allotted funds to the forty-two National Forest Purchase Units. The President decided that purchases in other areas also were desirable. To authorize them, a new Executive Order was signed by the President on June 24.

Up to that time the plan was to use part of the funds made available by the Act of March 31, 1933.1 It is understood that the Bureau of the Budget found it impracticable to allocate such funds and finally decided that the allotted $20,000,000 should come from the funds made available by the National Industrial Recovery Act of June 16, 1933. This decision necessitated still another Executive Order.

Such an order was prepared, approved by the Director of the Budget and submitted to the President on July 8. Unfortunately, it did not incorporate the provision of the Order of June 24, and contained the limitation of expenditures to the forty-two existing National Forest Purchase Areas. This fact was noted by the President who accordingly declined to give the Order his approval.

At that time the President expressed certain views which have come to me indirectly and may not be correctly understood by me. One was a feeling that the proposed program of purchases did not adequately provide for the southern pine region where timber grows rapidly and abundantly. As a matter of fact the Government now owns in that region a total of 646,070 acres, the immediate program of purchase within existing units therein would aggregate 536,000 acres, and the purchasable area within tentatively suggested new units totals 935,000 acres additional; so that the full program as conceived by the Forest Service would total 2,117,100 acres in the southern pine belt of the South Atlantic and Gulf States.

This is not the desirable ultimate program, but to date the State of Georgia has declined to consent to Federal purchases of forest land except in the mountainous region in the extreme north end of the State and in the Okefenokee Swamp; the State of Alabama has declined to consent except within the drainage of the Tennessee River; agreement with the State of Mississippi has been reached in connection with only one area; and consent by the State of Texas to Federal purchases of forest land has been granted only within the past sixty days or so. It is anticipated that under now prevailing conditions an additional program of purchase areas in the southern pine region can be developed by agreement with the States concerned and promptly carried into execution.

One important point is that if the President makes the funds available immediately the greater part will remain unobligated and unexpended for at least several months and will be available for purchases in the southern pine belt when conditions permitting its effective expenditure there can be developed by agreement with the States and approval by the National Forest Reservation Commission.

Major Keith of the War Department quotes General Coleman of the Office of Finance as quoting Mr. Howe, the President's Secretary, to the effect that the President feels that the governing Executive Order should not provide that the allotted funds should be expended under the provisions of the Act of March 1, 1911;2 that instead of first establishing purchase areas and then purchasing lands it might be preferable, in some instances at least, to first purchase the lands and then establish a National Forest, or perhaps dedicate the acquired lands to some other public purpose.

There is, naturally, a tremendous pressure to sell lands to the United States, in areas of from forty acres upwards and in widely distributed sections of the country. Some orderly arrangement for handling these many proposals seems indispensable. Action must be governed by some definite public objective and service, and provision must be made for the subsequent management and development of the lands. Procedure under the well established administrative method built up under the Act of March 1, 1911, seems most logical. It prescribes specific public objectives, represents a long-established public policy and program; and permits participation by not only the three executive departments most concerned but also by both Houses of Congress.

On July 10 a revised Executive Order and supporting data were submitted to Secretary Dern for consideration by him as President of the National Forest Reservation Commission and with the thought that he might find it practicable to bring the matter to the President's attention. The Order had been reviewed and approved by General Coleman, and aside from minor changes in language had been approved by the Director of the Budget. If it were practical to secure the President's approval of the Order, the long delayed work of actual land purchase promptly could be initiated.3

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 149:TS]

1Emergency Conservation Work Act.

2Weeks Forest Purchase Act.

3Executive Order 6208, July 21, 1933, allocated $20,000,000 for purchases of land for emergency conservation work.


[WASHINGTON] July 20, 1933

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: In compliance with your suggestion of June 16, I wrote the National Lumber Manufacturers Association regarding the inclusion in their National Industrial Recovery Act code of definite provision for the control of destructive exploitation of timber.

The provisions in Article X of the code submitted on July 10 were thought by the Forest Service and other forestry and conservation agencies to be a far less explicit compliance with your request than is desirable. The lumber industry now proposes a revision. This in conjunction with the letter of June 18 from the Secretary of the Association1 is far more satisfactory, and may be entirely so. Representatives of the industry give the most positive assurance that it is intended as a commitment to go just as far as possible. They propose a conference to be called by the Secretary of Agriculture at which both industrial and public programs to carry out this commitment will be formulated, both to be worked out later in detail.

Should you desire a more explicit commitment on the part of the industry to the principle of sustained forest production it could be obtained by substituting "bring about" for "encourage" in Art. I of the Lumber Code as submitted on July 10: "and to conserve forest resources and encourage the sustained production thereof."

An underlying idea in requesting sustained forest production from the lumber industry is that there shall be a reasonable public return. A clear-cut affirmative statement to this effect from you at the time of the approval of the code would be most helpful in furthering the industrial as well as the public part of the bargain. The Department would be glad to suggest the basis for such a statement if you so desire.2



1Not found.

2The lumber industry code was drawn up at a series of conferences between May 23 and July 20, 1933, beginning with a meeting of industry representatives in Chicago sponsored by the National Lumber Manufacturers Association. David T. Mason, at this time secretary-manager of the Western Pine Association, and later executive officer of the Lumber Code Authority, has described the formation of the code in The Lumber Code (New Haven: Yale University School of Forestry, Lumber Industry Series XI, 1935), and in his diaries, edited by Rodney C. Loehr, Forests for the Future (St. Paul: Minnesota Hist. Soc., 1952). Mason says that he, with William B. Greeley, Wilson Compton and Laird Bell, drafted Article X on July 10, 1933 (Loehr, op. cit., p. 117). (Greeley was secretary-manager of the West Coast Lumbermens Association; Compton, secretary-manager of the National Lumber Manufacturers Association; and Bell, a Chicago attorney.) Between July 10 and 20, 1933, several meetings were held by this group with Forest Service officers and with representatives of forestry associations, forestry schools and foresters, like Pinchot, who were identified with the conservationist point of view. The Forest Service pressed for a substitute conservation article which would have given the Government more control over the administration of the code. Mason characterized the proposed substitute as "vicious" and noted that Stuart accepted the final draft of the article with "some reluctance" (ibid., pp. 117-118). Public hearings on the code began on July 20, 1933.


[WASHINGTON] July 26, 1933

MY DEAR GOVERNOR: In signing a new Order allotting $20,000,000 for the purchase of lands for national-forest purposes, I have had particularly in mind the need for a substantial enlargement of National Forests in the southern pine belt, where the growth of timber is rapid and abundant and where unusual opportunities exist for effective work in forest conservation by the Civilian Conservation Corps during seasons when inclement weather militates against such work in other regions.

I find that while provision is being made for large purchases of southern pine lands in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and North Carolina, none is contemplated in Georgia, due to the fact that the consent of the State, which is a prerequisite prescribed by the Weeks Law under which forest lands are purchased, has not been granted by the State of Georgia except in relation to the mountainous section in the north end of the State, and to the Okefenokee Swamp which is not the most desirable pine area for Federal management. It seems worth while to bring this matter to your attention.

I am sending you this letter because I understand there is a possibility of your calling a special session of the Legislature in the near future. The purchase of such lands will have to be made this year.1

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF I—C:CT]

1(Drafted by the Agriculture Department.) Talmadge replied Aug. 5, 1933, offering an opinion of his attorney general that existing Georgia laws were adequate for the establishment of national forests in the state. Attorney General Cummings was, however, of the contrary opinion, and Roosevelt again suggested that Georgia enact the necessary legislation (Cummings to Roosevelt, Sept. 8, 1933; Roosevelt to Wallace, Sept. 13, 1933, OF I—C).



MEMO. FOR SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: I wish very much that you and Major Stewart would draft a definite, ideal paragraph for forest conservation, to go into the Lumber Code, and take it up with General Johnson.1


[Notation: T] Returning Memo. to President from Secy. Agric. Jul. 20, 1933 in re Lumber Code with correspondence, from Wilson Compton, Wash., D. C., with attached Memo.

[13:OF 466:CT]

1Hearings on the proposed lumber code ended July 26 and it was submitted to the President on Aug. 19, 1933. Mason states that Roosevelt was interested practically only in Article X and this he wanted changed: "We made changes, but not going as far as President asked. Cates, Laird Bell & Bill Greeley went back, and this time President signed" (Loehr, ed., Forests for the Future, pp. 118-119).

167 PRESS CONFERENCE, Executive Offices of the White House, July 28, 1933, 4:10 P. M.

[Excerpt] The President: . . . In regard to these projects,1 I think it is perfectly well at this time to make one thing clear: The Wyoming project, for example, has as its primary purpose the control of flood waters on the upper tributaries of the Missouri River.2 With that control there will be two other results, one power and the other sufficient water to use for reclamation purposes. Now, the very minute you start to increase the irrigation area in the United States, you run into the problem of additional crop production. At the present time we are all against additional crop production. What are you going to do about it? It will be good crop land. It will be irrigated land and therefore the Administration, in order to get this good crop land which will be a by-product of flood prevention, has decided that it will take out of production an equivalent acreage in sections of the country where such acreage is now being farmed on a submarginal basis. Submarginal land, in other words, is land which ought not to be farmed but is still being farmed. Now, that does not mean taking out acre for acre, because this reclamation land which will result from the flood control and this Wyoming project will probably produce three or four times as much in the way of crops as the submarginal land produces, and therefore it may, in all probability, be necessary to withdraw from cultivation three or four acres of submarginal land for every acre of new reclamation land that is being put into use. Therefore, we will undertake to acquire and take out of cultivation an acreage of submarginal land whose production is the equivalent of the new acreage of reclamation land which is put into use, so that the total production of crops will not be increased. Of course, at the same time we are taking off the soil, off that submarginal land, families that today cannot make a living working that submarginal land.

Q: Will the submarginal land be used for forest preserves?

The President: They will probably go back into the public domain and if there are lands which can be used for forestry purposes, we will put them into forestry.

Q: Out of what funds?

The President: Out of the same funds.

Q: Is there any estimate of the acreage on the Wyoming project?

The President: Do you happen to know how much, Harold?

Secretary Ickes: My recollection is about forty thousand.

Q: That will be improved?

The President: Yes.

Q: Will this submarginal land be withdrawn, will that be confined to the same State?

The President: Not necessarily.


1The reporters had been asking questions about proposed projects in the Columbia River Basin, the Missouri Valley, and the St. Lawrence River.

2The Casper-Alcova project on the North Platte River near Casper, Wyoming.



MAC: I want to visit three camps, and suggest that I go to Luray and then come back by whatever is the best way to Washington; will leave on the train at 9:30 in the morning, standard time; want to get back to Washington about 4:00 in the afternoon.

I would like to have Bill Green, President of the Federation of Labor, join me down there and come back to Washington with me.1


[13:OF 268:T]

1On August 12 Roosevelt visited Civilian Conservation Corps camps at Grottoes and Sperryville, and at Bald Face, Big Meadows and Skyland in the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. Fechner described the trips in a radio broadcast from Washington on Aug. 17, 1933 (a transcript is in OF 268). Ickes also described the trip in his Diary (I, 78-80).

169 PRESS CONFERENCE, Hyde Park, August 11, 1933

[Excerpt] The President: I think the only thing you can really write now is the fact that we are studying the problem of how to handle the situation during the Winter and that we hope that as many boys as possible will be able to get jobs.1 Also that the camps that are in the heavy snow belt will have to be moved down to some place where they can be kept going comfortably during the Winter. Of course it will mean that quite a number—a good many thousand—will be moved clear to the south.

Do you know that I allocated twenty million dollars for the acquisition of new forest areas and of that about fifteen million will go to round out existing national forests, preferably in places where they can work all during the year? In other words, they are out of the heavy snow belts and about four or five million will be to establish new national forests, primarily in the sufficiently far south to be workable all the year around. There are areas under consideration in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and, I think, North Carolina. I don't think South Carolina is included. Of course the Tennessee end of it is being taken care of by the Tennessee Valley Authority.

One of the reasons for that is that the Federal Government has never had anything except very, very small acreage—National Forest acreage—in the yellow pine belt. The only state that doesn't come under that is the State of Georgia where they have not passed the necessary enabling legislation. I spoke to the Governor of Georgia about it when he was in Washington and if he has a special session he says he will ask for the necessary legislation to allow the Federal Government to own land in Georgia. Off the record, that was a lead for him to hold an extra session. They could sell about a million acres of land to the Federal Government.


1A reporter had asked about the problem of keeping the Civilian Conservation Corps camps open during the winter.


WASHINGTON, August 19, 1933

MEMO. FOR THE FORESTER: Referring to the enclosed, what would it cost to put a series of 100-foot shelterbelts on the western side of the central belt (i. e. on the map a small portion of Northern Texas, a small portion of Western Texas, a small portion of Western Oklahoma, across Western Kansas and across Central Nebraska), these shelterbelts to be located approximately five miles apart and a total of six belts?


[Notation: T] Memo reforest planting possibilities in the prairie region.

[13:OF I—C:CT]


WASHINGTON, August 15, 1933

DEAR MR. SECRETARY: Attached are some notes on strip planting of forest trees pertinent to the President's recent inquiry. Accompanying them is a map indicating the species suitable for such planting in the Plains region.1 These notes describe a plan for planting 100-foot strips along Federal and other highways and section lines both north and south, which plan would have advantages over planting in blocks. Such a project could be handled in at least three different ways, as follows:

1. Acquisition and forest planting of strips by the Federal Government. This method of handling the project would promise most in the way of prompt and zone-wide action.

2. Acquisition and forest planting of strips by the Federal Government in cooperation with the States concerned on a dollar for dollar sharing basis. This method would have the advantage of insuring a substantial sharing in the work by the local public, represented by the States, to which a large part of the benefits would come. It would tend to win for the project, wherever it was undertaken, highly valuable local participation and support. Under such a plan, however, there would be less assurance of zone-wide completion of the undertaking with the likelihood that in the case of some States 50 per cent of the money necessary to successfully carry through the enterprise would not be forthcoming.

3. Production of the necessary forest planting stock by the Federal Government in cooperation with the States and planting by the interested landowners. This plan has the advantage of being enabled by legislative machinery which is already operating (Clarke-McNary Law, Section 4), although authorization for increased appropriations and actual increases in the appropriations would be demanded. The amount available for the Section 4 project for the fiscal year 1934 is $56,047 which is allotted to 40 States. The authorization is $100,000. We have recommended considerable expansion in both Federal aid in planting and Federal aid in extension, which would be the means by which such a project would be promoted and realized, but the estimates of cost did not include an extensive system of strip planting.

This method would, however, sharply limit the possibility of prompt and complete fulfillment of the work as a zone-wide undertaking, since it is unlikely that private owners could be induced to carry through in the near future their part of the undertaking to a degree which would result in completed strips over extensive areas. The plan would also, no doubt, be opposed by many landowners whose individual farm interests would appear to be injured.

If the President and you think well of it, I can get in touch with the State Foresters and other State officers of the States within the zone under consideration in order to determine the feasibility of Federal co-operation with the States in such an undertaking, and to learn whether they would be prepared to actively participate in a project of this kind and could secure the support of the legislatures and landowners.

No estimate has been attempted as to the probable cost under any of the three methods noted.

Very sincerely yours,

/s/ R. Y. STUART


1The map is present; the inquiry, if a written communication, has not been found.

172 [Enclosure 2]

Forest Planting Possibilities in the Prairie Region

Forest plantations in the true prairie or plains region have proved effective only in the form of shelterbelts. As shelterbelts they have protected homes, livestock, and crops from the effect of the prevailing drying winds. Plantations for wood production only, such as have been established under more favorable conditions elsewhere, have not generally succeeded; in most cases they have not produced sufficient wood to return the initial investment.

Shelterbelt and windbreak plantings have been successful in many parts of the region. In developing these plantings, the deficiency in precipitation has been made up by cultivation and, in many instances, by occasional watering. Winter killing has been prevented by mulching. While the lumber value of the wood produced in shelterbelts is negligible, as a means of bringing personal comfort to the local residents and protection to crops and livestock these plantations are an important part of the region's agricultural economy.

It was the discovery of a tree capable of growing under prairie conditions, the osage orange, that made possible the earliest settlements (1800-1840) in the prairie region. Plantations, or more strictly hedges, of this tree provided the necessary fencing of the farm, furnished fuel, and gave shelter to the homestead. The development of rail transportation and the discovery of nearby sources of coal, respectively, lessened the need of trees as a growing fence and as fuel, but they did not lessen the need of trees as a shelter from biting winter winds. As settlements throughout the prairie region developed, increasing numbers of shelterbelts were planted to protect homes and livestock. A considerable number of tree species other than the osage orange have now been found to be satisfactory for the purpose of protection planting in various parts of the region.

The influence of these forest strips on wind is marked. Wind velocities ranging to 20 miles an hour are reduced by much more than half over distances from 4 to 8 times the height of the windbreak. At greater velocities and at greater distances, the effect becomes less marked. The decrease in wind velocity markedly affects evaporation. On areas protected by windbreaks, from 10 to 60 per cent less evaporation results from winds ranging to 20 miles an hour in velocity, to a distance 5 to 10 times the height of the windbreaks.

Such marked effects upon wind and upon evaporation save considerable quantities of moisture for crop production. Studies have shown that on shelterbelt-protected fields from 15 to 40 per cent (on an average, about 30 per cent) more moisture is available to field crops over an area 12 times the height of the trees, when wind velocities range from 5 to 20 miles per hour. Not only is this saving of moisture effected in the growing season, but because of the retardation of wind velocity and the reduction of evaporation the snow cover is laid down uniformly over the area and the melt is absorbed into the ground instead of being dissipated into the air.

Forest strips are a form of insurance against the evil effects of drouth. This conclusion had been reached in Russia 50 years ago; at that time a special commission of soil experts recommended forest-strip planting in the Ukraine as one means of overcoming drouth and promoting land settlement. This system in which the plains are gridironed with forest strips is now an accepted part of the program of land settlement in southern Russia. Reports on Russian studies in the Ukraine state that the annual precipitation on plains areas protected by a widespread system of forest strips was 3 inches (16 per cent) greater than that on similar areas not so protected. This increase in available moisture was reflected in an increase in crop yields per unit of area, more than counterbalancing the reduction in cropped area that resulted from the tree planting. Yields of hay, wheat, oats, and rye were materially increased. Similar results have been obtained in Poland; protected fields were reported to yield from 20 to 60 per cent more than unprotected fields.

In American investigations carried out in Nebraska, protected corn fields produced 59 bushels per acre as against 41 bushels produced by unprotected fields. In this instance the net gain over an area 10 times as wide as the trees were tall, including the area occupied by the shelter-belt, was 9.22 bushels per acre. Fodder was increased by nearly 50 per cent. Apple trees produced 4.9 bushels each as contrasted with an average yield of 2-1/4 bushels for trees on unprotected areas. In California a higher yield of oranges and walnuts is recorded for protected areas, and a higher percentage of unblemished fruit.

In the Canadian plains region, farmers, formerly made little effort to raise vegetables other than potatoes, few raised small fruits, and none raised larger fruits. Now, under shelterbelt protection, nearly all grow various vegetables, many grow small fruits, and a few are raising apples, plums, etc.

To be most effective in protecting crops, a forest strip should be at least 100 feet wide, consisting of from 10 to 20 rows of trees. This width and spacing give the trees the opportunity to develop real forest conditions. They permit the use of slow growing, shrubby trees on the outside and of taller, more rapidly growing trees in the center, which gives maximum density of foliage and greatest possible height.

For the purposes outlined, forest strips should be not more than a mile apart in either direction; for maximum benefits, they should be about half a mile apart. As local roads in the prairie region very largely follow section lines and thus are usually a mile apart, it appears that widening their rights-of-way across a broad belt of country would make possible the development of a well-spaced system of forest strips that would furnish protection benefits to a large region. If the right-of-way were doubled, there would be sufficient opportunity for developing these strips as part of a highway plan.

Trees planted in 100-foot strips along the section lines (both north to south and east to west) of a belt 75 miles wide would approximate in total area a solid block of forest 3 miles in width. Such an aggregation of strips would cost more per acre to plant and care for than an equivalant solid block of forest. There would be advantages, however, in that the work of replacement and fire protection could be done very largely by road-maintenance crews and whatever additional work would be necessary could be handled locally. The labor for nursery operation, planting, and subsequent management could be drawn from nearby sources over a wide expanse of country.

In addition to serving the purposes already discussed, the strips would provide shade to the highway traveler and could be so planned as to constitute forest parks in a region where parks are rare. They would cause an increase in birds and game. It is possible that their beneficial effects as to climate would spread far beyond their immediate vicinity.

A forest planting such as originally proposed would take a large area of farm land out of cultivation. A solid block of forest 3 miles wide and 1,500 miles long would total nearly 3 million acres. The cost of such a plan would be high, but the loss in farm area, however, would tie into the general plan for reducing crop acreage. A program of forest strips might, on the marginal lands, have the tendency to develop diversified farming, as with protection and more available moisture, a greater variety of crops could be grown. Shelterbelts would probably make some crop production feasible on the poorer lands now so exposed to drying winds that the chances of crop losses are too great for agriculture.1


1There is no indication of the authorship of this memorandum but it was probably written by Raphael Zon, director of the Lake States Forest Experiment Station at St. Paul, Minnesota. Zon, an authority on the relationships of forests to water, was largely responsible for the planning of the Shelterbelt. His appointment to be in charge of its technical phases was announced July 30, 1934 (New York Times, July 31, 1934, p. 34).


WASHINGTON, August 19, 1933

MEMO. FOR THE FORESTER: Perhaps this Pole Mt. Nursery proposition is too expensive for us to expand. What I am seeking is a definite enlargement of desert land planting. Is there any other nursery which we could expand at a lower annual planting cost per acre of forestation?1


[13:OF I—C:CT]

1Stuart had reported (Aug. 8, 1933, OF I—C) on the possibility of using the Forest Service Pole Mountain Nursery in Wyoming to supply shelterbelt planting stock. Acting Forester Sherman replied to Roosevelt Aug. 25, 1933 (OF I—C), describing other Forest Service nurseries. He said that he was confident that with some further indication of what the President had in mind the Forest Service could work out a project in some region that would meet his objectives.


HYDE PARK, N. Y., August 29, 1933

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: Our good friend, Thomas H. Beck, the Editor of Collier's, who is also Chairman of the State Board of Fisheries and Game in Connecticut, writes me as follows:

I was delighted to learn from Ray Tucker that you have decided to have a hearing on the contemplated proclamation concerning migratory water fowl, and I might say that I think such action is extremely wise, not only from the standpoint of your administration, but also from the viewpoint of conservation and restoration of which subject I have been a student for a number of years. As you may or may not know, I am Chairman of the State Board of Fisheries and Game in Connecticut, and as such, I am very much interested in all that pertains to the restoration of our wild life.

I think it is very important to keep the good will of the fish and game clubs and associations, and the chief point is the necessity of giving them a chance to be heard before promulgating orders changing the dates of open seasons.


[13:OF 378:CT]


[WASHINGTON] September 6, 1933

DEAR VAN: I entirely forgot before this to write you about the very wonderful property at Staatsburgh, owned by Mrs. Lewis S. Thompson (Gerald Morgan's sister), which she is considering giving to the Taconic State Park Commission. I hope much that you can have a talk with Mrs. Thompson when you get back, or that Mr. Hadley will do so beforehand.1

As you know, I have for many years advocated acquisition of Hudson River shore front property by the Taconic State Park Commission. Here is a wonderful opportunity, especially because a large portion of this property lies on the river side of the New York Central tracks. Also, it is located on the New York-Albany Post Road.

I had thought of the possibility of this property being turned over to Dutchess County, but Dutchess has no park commission; and in any event, even if it did, the existing political situation in the county would mean a politically run park. It is vastly better to have the park owned and run by a State agency.2

Very sincerely yours,



[13:PPF 56:CT]

1Webb was secretary of the Taconic State Park Commission. Morris Hadley was a member of Webb's law firm, Milbank, Tweed, Hope and Webb (PPF 56).

2Webb replied Sept. 7, 1933 (PPF 56), that he had told Mrs. Thompson her offer would be acted upon as promptly as possible and that the State Park Commission agreed with Roosevelt that the property should be acquired as a park.


[WASHINGTON] September 13, 1933

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: Will you talk this over with the Forest Service and decide whether you think it worth while to try out something like this on the basis of an expenditure of say $1,000,000? I do not think the Government should pay anything for the land. If the land is privately owned it should be donated by the owners.



[13:OF I—C:CT]


WASHINGTON, September 8, 1933

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Reference is made to your Memorandum of August 19, asking what it would cost to put a series of 100-foot shelterbelts on the western side of a belt designated as the "Central Belt."

The location which we believe you have in mind is indicated upon the attached diagram, extending from Childress, Texas, on the south, north across Kansas, through the Halsey Division of the Nebraska National Forest to Valentine, Nebraska. Forest planting has proved successful near Halsey, Nebraska, but conditions become more adverse as one goes southward. For the project as a whole it is believed that forest planting will be generally successful only if the ground is prepared a year in advance by summer fallowing and the plantations are cultivated two or three times each year to keep down competing vegetation and preserve moisture. This cultivation should be continued for about ten years or, in other words, until the forest growth closes in and shades the ground. Best results on plantations of this kind have been obtained by planting in rows 10 feet apart, allowing use of horses and machinery, and spacing the trees at four-foot intervals in the row, this requiring slightly less than 1100 trees per acre. From Childress, Texas, to Valentine, Nebraska, is approximately 600 miles. The area of six 100-foot strips 600 miles long is 43,635 acres. A rough estimate of the cost of planting such strips for windbreaks follows:

Planting stock, 47,519,000 trees at $5.00 per 1,000$237,595
Labor in planting, 43,635 acres at $10.00 per acre436,350
Cultivation, maintenance, protection and supervision of 43,635 acres at $3.00 per acre annually for 10 years1,309,050
     Total cost1,982,995
     Average cost per acre$45.44

This does not include any item of land value. Excepting for a few miles through the Nebraska National Forest, the strips would run through private land. The Bureau of Agricultural Economics estimates the present value of this 43,635 acres at $15.17 per acre based on 1930 census figures showing a 1929 average value of $24.85 per acre. It is evident that to acquire title to such strips of land would on the average cost the government about $20.00 per acre. This would raise the average cost to about $65.00 per acre, or a total of $2,736,275 for the 43,635 acres. However, a forest plantation consisting of a strip 100 feet wide running through fields, pastures and open range would be doomed to early destruction unless protected from stock. A four-wire fence would cost on the average about $320 per mile. Six strips 600 miles long would require 7,200 miles of fence costing about $2,304,000, and raising the total cost to $5,040,275, or an average of about $115 per acre.

These costs could be substantially reduced per acre by modifying the plans. A change from six 100-foot strips to one 600-foot strip would save $44 per acre in fencing cost and reduce the average to $71 per acre. This, however, might not result in as favorable climatic influences as the six strip method. Furthermore, by cooperating with the settlers in the 30-mile strip under consideration it should be possible to secure at a much lower cost, an equal acreage of successful forest plantations well distributed but not in continuous strips. It is quite possible that by a cooperative method it would be unnecessary to acquire any land, labor costs for planting and cultivating might be reduced 50 per cent, and fencing costs reduced to costs of materials only, thereby reducing the final average costs per acre to $37.50 itemized as follows:

Planting stock$5.00
Subsidized planting5.00
Subsidized cultivation, protection & management15.00
Subsidized fencing, materials only12.50

By this method the costs of planting and maintaining for ten years 43,635 acres of forest plantations distributed through such 30-mile belts might be reduced to $1,636,312.50, not including costs of supervision.

If further information is desired covering any feature of this problem I shall be glad to furnish it if possible.1

Very sincerely yours,



1The question of land ownership was also discussed in two letters of Stuart to Tugwell, Sept. 27 and Oct. 18, 1933 (OF I—C). Stuart enclosed lists showing the kinds of land that would be affected by the proposed shelterbelt and a map of the proposed plantings. The problem involved is stated in Possibilities of Shelterbelt Planting in the Plains Region (Washington, 1935), prepared under the direction of Raphael Zon of the Lake States Forest Experiment Station of the Forest Service.


WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 1933

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I have received your memorandum reference of September 12 with attached letter of August 21 to Mr. Delano from Mr. Collingwood of the American Forestry Association.1

Your acceptance of the Lumber Industry Code, and the conservation obligations assumed thereunder in response to your wishes, has prompted Major Stuart to suggest to me that an intensive study should be undertaken of European forestry experience and practice. In Sweden, for example, there has been perfected a system of rational conservation for private forest lands which permits the largest measure of self-government by the industry itself, and which, at the same time, adequately safeguards the public interest. This is essentially the problem that now confronts our lumber industry and there are no precedents to follow in this country. Mindful of this, Dr. Wilson Compton, on behalf of the National Lumber Manufacturers Association, has recommended to me that studies abroad directed to this end will be of value in formulating the necessary supplementary codes of forest practice and their administration. There are also related problems in which European experience may prove of particular value to us at this time such as the organization of farmers' forestry cooperatives, new methods of financing the management of forest properties for sustained production through public credit agencies, and the development of community life through the operation of permanent forest enterprises.

I have in mind other measures for the more effective economic and social use of our lands in which forestry will play an important part: the comprehensive program presented in the National Plan for American Forestry (Senate Document 12); the Tennessee Valley Project, with the prospect of other similar developments; the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps; and the program of the National Planning Board of the Public Works Administration.2 An example of the kind of useful information that can be secured is the recent report prepared by the Forest Service on the Italian national land plan for the conservation, reclamation and utilization of soil and water resources. This report has been widely distributed and has been received with great interest.

In Dr. Tugwell's memorandum of June 27 to Colonel Howe3 it was suggested that it would be feasible to finance the proposed European forest studies through the funds of the Emergency program. In view of the fact that specific provision is made in the Industrial Recovery Act for the conservation of natural resources and that Article X of the Lumber Industry Code is designed to accomplish this objective, it seems appropriate to ask your authority to allocate the estimated cost of $10,000 annually, or a total of $17,000, for the period ending June 15, 1935 from the funds of the National Industrial Recovery Act. An authorization to disburse the necessary sum under my direction is recommended. In view of coming conferences with representatives of the lumber industry, it is desirable that the European studies be undertaken as soon as possible.

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF I—C:TS]

1Roosevelt's memorandum (OF I—C) reads, "What can I tell Mr. Delano about this?" G. H. Collingwood, forester of the American Forestry Association, urged that an intensive study be made of the Swedish system for the control of forest exploitation inasmuch as it required the kind of cooperation between the lumber industry and the government as would be required under the obligations assumed by the Lumber Code Authority and the Federal Government.

Frederic A. Delano, an uncle of the President, had been appointed chairman of the National Planning Board with its establishment, on July 30, 1933, under the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works.

2The National Planning Board was established by the Public Works Administrator on July 30, 1933, "to advise on preparation of comprehensive program of public works, through development of regional plans, surveys and research. . ." (U. S. Government Manual, Winter, 1943-44, p. 613). It was abolished June 30, 1934, by the executive order which created the National Resources Board. For convenience, the dates covered by the succeeding planning agencies are here given: National Resources Board, June 30, 1934—June 7, 1935; National Resources Committee, June 15, 1935—July 1, 1939; National Resources Planning Board, July 1, 1939—Aug. 31, 1943 (loc. cit.).

3Tugwell referred to the value of the information on European forest problems collected by Arthur C. Ringland of the Forest Service and noted that the curtailment of Agriculture Department funds made it impossible to continue Ringland in Europe (OF I—C).


WASHINGTON, D. C., September 20th, 1933

DEAR MR. ROOSEVELT: I have had presented to me a proposal covering a situation in Alaska which is both a relief measure and a conservation measure. Under date of July 28th the Alaska Game Commission addressed a letter to the Chief of the Bureau of Biological Survey, making application for an allotment of $39,139.00 from Emergency Conservation Work funds to assist in relieving the destitution among the native Indians of the South coastal region of Alaska, and to re-stock barren game sections of that territory. The letter goes into great detail showing the destitution among the native Indians, the game that would follow the stocking of the barren game areas, and points out that some years ago, the Territorial Legislature provided funds to a limited extent for this work, with very satisfactory results.

For the past three years the Territorial Legislature has not been able to continue these appropriations.

The matter was referred to the Secretary of Agriculture, H. A. Wallace and the Secretary of Interior, H. L. Ickes. Both Secretaries have written letters strongly approving the request.

As this constitutes a new feature of the work which I am directing, I felt I should call it to your attention, and ask your approval before authorizing the desired allotment.1

Appreciating your prompt attention to the matter, I am,

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 268:TS]

1This letter was sent by Roosevelt to Budget Director Douglas for recommendation. Douglas replied Sept. 26, 1933 (OF 268), that he had no doubt that the project was worthy but that he did not believe the allotment could be justified under the Emergency Work Act.


WASHINGTON, October 10, 1933

MEMORANDUM FOR L. H.: Tell "Chip" Robert that if this matter is worth pursuing any further I have no doubt that Mr. Wilson had a general idea of working young men on conservation as early as anybody else in this Country, but that there were probably a great many other people in various parts of the Country who had the same general idea at an equally early period. Quite aside from the actual details under which the C. C. Camps were finally developed, I myself as early as the autumn of 1929 decided to ask the Legislature of New York State for additional funds for conservation work, with the idea that these funds would be used primarily to employ people out of work. It seems to me that there is plenty of credit due everybody who saw the importance of this fine project.1


[13:OF 268:TS]

1Lawrence W. Robert, Jr., at this time Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in charge of public works, had sent to Howe certain letters of J. D. Wilson, Atlanta, Georgia, who claimed to have given Roosevelt the idea of the Civilian Conservation Corps (Howe to Roosevelt, Sept. 25, 1933, OF 268). Commenting on a similar claim, Fechner wrote to Postmaster General Farley, Jan. 19, 1937 (OF 268): "Everything that Major Hochfelder claims about credit for originating the idea represented by the CCC may be true. We have letters from a large number of individuals including Frederic A. Delano, who also feel that they first conceived the idea of this organization."

Richard St. Barbe Baker, a British forester, says he suggested the idea to Roosevelt at a meeting with him in Albany just before the 1932 election (Baker, Green Glory, New York: A. A. Wyn, 1949, pp. 66-68). Moley (during the drafting of the CCC bill) thought Roosevelt might have been inspired by the William James essay, "The Moral Equivalent of War" (Moley, After Seven Years, pp. 173-174). At that time Roosevelt was dubious about any connection; some years later he settled the question by saying that although he had known James and was familiar with the essay, he could not establish any relationship between it and the CCC camps (Le Hand to Verna Glod, Denbo, Pa., Nov. 28, 1940, OF 268—Misc.). The James essay appeared in 1910; in 1919 the Labor Department published Benton MacKaye's Employment and Natural Resources. Possibilities of Making New Opportunities for Employment Through the Settlement and Development of Agricultural and Forest Lands and Other Resources.


[WASHINGTON] October 18, 1933


MEMORANDUM . . . FOR THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: I get from a good many sources suggestions that the Biological Survey spends too much time on scientific experimentalism, and that we ought to have a more practical spirit—their aim for example at the practical building up of game refuges and working out plans for making birds a valuable crop for the farmer to raise, just as they are in England.

Would you look into this whole subject and speak to me about it at your leisure?



[13:OF I:CT]


SYRACUSE, NEW YORK, October 20, 1933

MY DEAR PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT: On Tuesday, October 17, Professor Sven Heiberg and I spent practically the whole day going over your plantations and outlining some thinning experiments to be continued in your woods east of the dairy farm.

Professor Heiberg, Mr. Ray Bower,1 and I have just gone over the plans for next spring's planting, which may be summarized as follows:

(1) The red maple swamp which was cleared of timber has shown some very successful results in spite of the rather difficult drought conditions of the past summer. It is recommended that the additional acreage, involving probably 10,000 trees, should be planted with mixtures of larch and white pine on half the area, the balance to be planted with a mixture of white pine and Norway spruce. It is believed that in this swamp location the white pine weevil which has affected the plantations on other parts of your place, will not be prevalent here.

(2) The yellow Tulip2 poplar seedlings of approximately 1800 in number, now in Mr. Plog's garden, will be used to refill or supplement the yellow poplar plantations in the middle lot opposite the red maple swamp, and also used in the gravel pit lot.

(3) It is recommended that small dignified signs be placed at the northerly and southerly approaches to plantations pointing out that the plantations were put in as demonstrations and experiments in cooperation between Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New York State College of Forestry. On each individual plantation, small signs showing species, date of planting, spacing, and stock used should be placed at all reforested areas.

(4) The three lots opposite the red maple swamp and as approached from your home place known as (1) the gravel pit lot, (2) the middle lot, and (3) the big lot, will be planted with the Syracuse forestry plow. The big lot of approximately 12 acres will be planted with Norway spruce 4 by 5 feet apart. At approximately 15 by 16 feet apart, European larch will be used.

In the middle lot of approximately 4 acres, Black Hills white spruce will be planted primarily for Christmas tree purposes (some Idaho Douglas fir mixed with the same white spruce will be planted in part of this lot).

The gravel bed lot of approximately 5 acres will be devoted to red oak acorns sown with a plow on the entire area, approximately 6 feet apart. Yellow poplar and white ash will be placed on a wide spacing basis. Fillers on a close spacing basis of white spruce will be used for Christmas trees.

When at Hyde Park on Tuesday, we asked Mr. Plog if he had a general property map of your place which we could use in making a blueprint and to place thereon the location of the various plantations for your information as well as for our records and also for Mr. Plog's information. Mr. Plog says that he hasn't a copy of such map. Could you kindly arrange to have a copy sent to me if available. Will look up.

The above program calls for about 30,000 to 35,000 trees for planting next spring. The trees, oak acorns, etc. will be supplied by the College and it is assumed that, as usual, you will furnish the men to do the planting. I trust this plan will meet with your approval.

I expect to be in Washington from October 24 to 26 to attend the forestry and sustained yield provisions of the Lumber Code and will be at the Cosmos Club. OK

With very best wishes and kind regards in which Alice joins,



[13:PPF 38:TS]

1Heiberg and Bower were on the faculty of the New York State College of Forestry.

2Roosevelt here crossed out "yellow" and wrote in "Tulip." The two notations below (in italic) are also in his hand.


[WASHINGTON] November 8, 1933

MY DEAR MAJOR WELCH:1 I am very anxious to try out in one or two places the idea of giving the men in the C. C. Camps some kind of informal instruction in forestry and the natural history of trees. I am going to ask them to do this in the Virginia Camps this winter, and I wonder if you could get somebody—possibly Mr. Adolph I—to conduct voluntary classes at some of the Bear Mountain Camps this winter. It is my thought that this forestry work throughout the United States is going to expand in the days to come and that a lot of the men and boys might be diverted to forestry instead of going back to the cities.

Always sincerely,



[Notation: T] Copy sent to Mrs. Roosevelt. M. D.3

[13:PPF 973:CT]

1Welch was at this time chief engineer and general manager of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission.

2Raymond D. Adolph, from 1943 to 1947 superintendent of the New York section of the Palisades Interstate Park, was at this time forester of the Interstate Park Commission and had supervision over the forestry work being done by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the park. Following Roosevelt's suggestion, Adolph gave lectures on forestry to the boys at the camps.

3Margaret Donnelly of the governor's staff in Albany; she was temporarily lent to the White House by Lehman.


[WASHINGTON] November 8, 1933

MEMORANDUM . . . FOR THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: Will you please examine the inclosed Code for the Newsprint Industry and the inclosed Code for the Paper and Pulp Industry and let me know whether the cutting reforestation policy laid down in the former code is sufficiently safeguarded?1


[13:OF 424:CT]


WASHINGTON, D. C., November 8, 1933

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Your request for comment on the code for the Newsprint Industry really raises the question of the effectiveness of Article 10 of the Lumber Industry Code since the Newsprint Industry Code refers to that article and promises to abide by its provisions.

I therefore take this opportunity to submit to you a memorandum on that article of the Lumber Code which was prepared for me by four of our wisest and most trusted foresters. You will find its criticism rather devastating but I am afraid that I agree with it almost entirely.

Respectfully yours,


[13:OF 424:TS]


[Oct. 31, 1933]

This memorandum is confined to an analysis of Article X, the so-called "Conservation Article" of the Lumber Code.

This Article was incorporated in the Code at the suggestion of President Roosevelt. Its intent was to commit the industry to such woods practices as will stop further devastation and perpetuate the forest resource upon which the industry operates. In order to facilitate the adoption of these practices by timber operators, the public agencies are expected to assist the industry in various ways.

What the Industry Seeks to Obtain From the Public

The industry has been allowed to organize its economic activities without regard to the anti-trust laws. This concession the industry has coveted for many years and has considered it essential for orderly development. Under the NRA the industry has already obtained material increases in lumber prices.

Among other concessions which the industry is seeking are:

1. Complete fire protection for timber holdings with the public bearing at least three-fourths of the expense.

2. Protection against disease and insect epidemics at public expense.

3. Emergency loans for refinancing the industry and long-term loans at low interest for future development of the industry.

4. Tax relief, ranging from advance of three-fourths of the taxes by the Government to substitution of a yield tax for the general property tax on timber or complete exemption of timber from taxation.

5. A contribution by the Government to local units in lieu of taxes on an annual basis analogous to the tax paid by private property, instead of the present percentage of gross receipts.

6. Government purchase of the land after it had been cut over.

7. A partnership between the Government and the timber owners in the management of the national forests and adjoining private lands, with the Government committed to purchase the private land as it is cut over.

8. Purchase by the Government of private timber that is of such inferior quality or so inaccessible that it cannot be cut at a profit, so as to enable the industry to liquidate its investment more quickly and profitably.

9. Withdrawal of the national forest timber from sale, so as to eliminate competition of public timber with private timber.

10. Abandonment by public agencies, such as the Forest Service, of the well-founded "timber famine propaganda," on the ground that it encourages the use of substitute materials.

11. Embargo on foreign forest products which may compete with American timber.

What the Industry Undertakes to do to Preserve the Forest

The industry promises, through its local divisions:

(a) To determine such standards of forest practice, in conformity with State laws and policies, as will meet the requirements of the Code.

(b) To establish a system of effective machinery through which desirable standards "as economic conditions permit," "may," "step by step," be converted into established forest industry practice. "Thus may industries eventually achieve . . . conservation and sustained production of forest resources."

The industry, however, insists emphatically that it can undertake these measures only if the public cooperation through the Federal and State governments is "substantial, dependable, and enduring." "Public co-operation . . . must not be, as heretofore in the main it has been largely exhortatory."

1. In fire protection the industry undertakes to exercise all reasonable precautionary methods and practices during logging in order to prevent damage by fire.

2. For conservation of young timber all advance growing stock as far as practicable is to be preserved during logging operations.

3. In order to leave some timber for the next cut, the industry will "undertake to determine by regions the extent to which merchantable sizes of timber may wisely be left as part of the forest growing stock and/or as an aid in reseeding."

4. The industry recognizes the desirability of sustained yield, i. e., a balance between forest growth and production, and will cooperate with other agencies in seeking to attain this objective.

5. The industry will not seek or require from individual operators any conformity to rigid or blanket regional standards, but each operator will be encouraged to formulate the standards and methods which he proposes to adopt in order to achieve the declared objectives of conservation and sustained yield.

The industry's declaration as to conservation measures as it is now expressed lacks definiteness and does not carry conviction that the industry takes seriously its commitment to carry out the spirit of Article X.

To test the intentions of the industry and to reduce its value commitments to definite proposals, the following proposal was introduced at the conference:

The lumber and timber products industries accept without reservation the responsibility assumed by them in Article X of the Code, to prevent further devastation and preserve the basic forest resources on which they operate. They pledge themselves to accomplish these objectives in the following ways:

1. Clear cutting of large contiguous areas of forest land will be abandoned as a practice in all regions.

2. All forest lands, before, during and after cutting shall be protected from fire.

3. Selective logging, designed to leave on the ground substantial volumes and values for the next cut shall be the general rule in all operations.

4. Sustained yield operation, either by economic units or by individual ownerships, shall be the chief aim of forest management in all regions.

This proposal was vehemently rejected by the lumber industry representatives as dangerous and unreasonable.

The conservation proposals, as they stand now, both those of the National Lumber Manufacturers Association and those of the Forest Service, have been referred to the Divisional Code authorities for reconciliation and compromise. Mimeographed copies of these two proposals are available. The Forest Service proposals are definite and when reduced to the simplest form express the spirit of the proposal quoted above, which was rejected by the Conference. The proposals of the National Lumber Manufacturers Association, though couched in forestry terms, are vague. Their reconciliation, if such is possible, should be not so much in the mode of expression as in the intent back of the language. It is possible that through further consultation with the industry's representatives some common basis for agreement may be worked out, but this is doubtful. If we follow the spirit of the NIRA such a compromise must be reached, since the industry is supposed to govern itself and resents the suggestion of rigid regulation by the Government. Possibly no solution of the difficulty can be found with the industry's present understanding of the Act. (This applies to other industries as well as to the lumber industry.)


Significantly, the industry opposes having government foresters attached to the Divisional agencies to check on the effectiveness of the conservation measures in the woods. The industry insists on being itself the judge as to such performance. This is a crucial point, which really tests the sincerity of the industry. It is in keeping with the industry's slogan: "This is an industry undertaking. It will be so administered."

The solution patently lies in the control of the industry by public agencies, and not by the industry itself. Unless, therefore, an earnest effort is made to control the industry under the NIRA, it is doubtful whether it will carry out the intent of Article X.

Moreover, Article X is made partially ineffective by non-inclusion under the Lumber Code of the pulp and paper industry which operates in the woods and in some instances is a part of the lumber industry. Often in the same logging operation, some trees are cut for lumber and others for pulpwood. If the pulpwood is not cut in conformity with Article X of the Code, the application of conservation measures in timber operations may be nullified. The lumber industry and the pulp industry fully understand this, but so far neither has made any effort to bring pulpwood under the lumber code.

Finally, the ultimate solution of the problem of conservation of the Nation's timber resources lies in the Government taking over the forests and developing them for the benefit of all the people.1

[13:OF 424:T]

1The original of this memorandum (Oct. 31, 1933, OF 424), was signed by Raphael Zon, director of the Lake States Station of the Forest Service at St. Paul, Minnesota; William N. Sparhawk, senior forest economist of the Division of Forest Economics of the Forest Service; Edward N. Munns, chief of the Division of Silvics of the Forest Service; and Robert Marshall, chief of the Forestry Division of the Bureau of Indian Affairs of the Interior Department. Article X provided that a conference should be held for the adoption of amendments by which its declared objectives could be attained ("Code of Fair Competition of the Lumber and Timber Products Industries as Approved by President Roosevelt on August 19, 1933," mimeographed, issued by the National Recovery Administration). A conference was accordingly held in Washington on Oct. 24-26, 1933; the statement here enclosed by Tugwell is on article X as there amended. (Italicized words are underscored in the original.)

The text of Article X is quoted in Johnson's letter to Roosevelt of March 21, 1934, post, 232. Wallace's speech at the opening of the conference, "Statement of the Secretary of Agriculture before the Conference on Article X of the Lumber and Timber Products Code, October 24, 1933," was issued as an NRA press release of that date (OF 424). A contemporary view of Article X, from a professional forester's viewpoint, is found in, "The National Lumber Code," by Franklin Reed, in Journal of Forestry, XXXI (October, 1933), 644-648.


WASHINGTON, D. C., November 9, 1933

DEAR MR. MCINTYRE: Should it become necessary to take further measures to assure the Forest Conservation Program, the first step is obviously Presidential modification of Article X of the Lumber Code. Article IX Section 5 of the Newsprint Code and Article IX Section 7 of the Paper and Pulp Code would be automatically modified thereby, or subsequently could be modified individually as the circumstances indicated.

Mr. Tugwell's attack on Article X of the Lumber Code should undoubtedly be given thought; but, inasmuch as Section 10 (b) of NIRA is mandatory in all codes, I can see no logical reason for withholding approval of the Newsprint and Paper and Pulp Codes.1

Yours very truly,


[13:OF 424:TS]

1Section 10 (b) provided that the President could cancel or modify any "order, approval, license, rule or regulation" (act approved June 16, 1933, 48 Stat. 200).


[WASHINGTON] Nov. 10, 1933

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: With reference to the inquiry in your memorandum of November 3:1 All things considered, I believe that the plan of placing Pulpwood Producers under the Lumber Code as a self-governing Division by Executive Order is a partial way to meet the existing situation.

Whether or not such an order should be effective only until such time as the industry submits [or?] is granted a code of its own may be more doubtful. There would be some obvious advantages if all classes of private ownership of forest land were ultimately brought under a single forest code. The inclusion of pulpwood under the Lumber Code is perhaps a move in this direction which we might later find it inadvisable to reverse.

In this connection, I refer also to the memorandum transmitted to you yesterday by Dr. Tugwell.2

Respectfully yours,



1A one-line memorandum, "What do you think about this?" covering a memorandum from NRA Administrator Hugh Johnson to Roosevelt, Nov. 1, 1933 (OF 424), on bringing pulpwood producers under the Lumber Code as a self-governing division. Johnson's memorandum is not present.

2Ante, 185.


WASHINGTON, D. C., November 13, 1933

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: You will perhaps remember that you referred to this Department a memorandum submitted to you by Mr. Thomas H. Beck, asking us to look into the recommendation which was contained in it.1

This we have done and I enclose for your consideration a memorandum prepared by the Bureau of Biological Survey which is a rather thorough study of the proposal. You will notice that there is nothing novel in Mr. Beck's proposal and that Biological Survey feels it might much better be undertaken in another way. I have gone over the matter and am inclined to agree with them. It is quite possible that the Bureau of Biological Survey needs some reorganization, a matter which I am studying at the present time with a view to putting into effect such a project.

I think you might be interested in a confidential note concerning Mr. Thomas Beck, which I am enclosing.2 I do not know how well you know him or whether you know of his relationships to conservation matters.

I think you might seriously consider the allocation to the Department of Agriculture of a sum anywhere between 10 and 15 million dollars for the acquisition of further game refuges in the expectation that if the acquisition program in the management of the land were carried out under the auspices of the Department, all the interests concerned would be served better than by setting up under a separate agency.



[Notation: A: LEHAND] File FDR3

[13:OF 378:TS]

1Beck's memorandum is printed (without date) in Conservation of Wildlife, Hearings before the Special Committee on Conservation of Wildlife, House of Representatives, 73d Cong., 2d sess. (Washington, 1934), pp. 241-243. This committee, headed by Rep. A. Willis Robertson of Virginia, was directed to "investigate all matters pertaining to the replacement and conservation of wild animal life (including aquatic and bird life) with a view to determining the most appropriate method of carrying out such purposes." The hearings cited above contain a statement by Beck on the origin of the wildlife restoration committee the President asked him to head. According to this, Beck submitted his plan for the restoration of game birds to Roosevelt on Oct. 15, 1933 it is described in the memorandum here printed.

2This undated, unsigned memorandum said that Beck was prominently identified with More Game Birds In America, Inc., an organization supported largely by wealthy sportsmen. This group had generally opposed Federal attempts to restrict the annual kill of ducks and had sponsored the so-called "cent-a-shell tax bill," a plan to raise funds that was practically identical with the Beck plan. The memorandum charged that the actual purpose of the bill "was to weaken or eliminate the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture to make regulations under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act." The memorandum noted that Beck's proposal made no reference "to the necessity for regulating the annual kill" and it did contain a provision "which would apparently seek to transfer the authority to regulate from the Department of Agriculture."

3This notation appears infrequently and is sometimes in Roosevelt's hand; it presumably means that he did not consider a reply necessary.


WASHINGTON, D. C., November 10, 1933

DEAR MR. SECRETARY: In accordance with your request the following report on the plans proposed by Mr. Thomas Beck is respectfully submitted.

Mr. Beck's plans for the restoration of game birds in America have been carefully studied. In so far as the restoration of migratory birds are concerned, they are identical to an extent with the restoration program which was first developed by the Biological Survey, and the adoption of which we have urged for years. Mr. Beck's proposal appears to overlook an essential feature in that he offers no plan that will insure the immediate conservation of the necessary breeding stock of migratory game birds. This can only be accomplished by the enforcement of restrictions that will reduce the annual kill. Without a sufficient supply of birds for breeding purposes, the remainder of the program is useless. The restoration and creation of areas suitable for wildfowl, as discussed in Mr. Beck's plan, are of the utmost importance to the future welfare of the birds, and of almost equal importance is the development of means by which we may achieve some control of natural enemies and disease. Effective methods to accomplish the control of creatures that prey on the ducks on their breeding grounds are not known at this time, despite all claims to the contrary. Obviously such methods cannot be developed instantly, and the benefits that might ultimately be expected could hardly be realized in time to be of immediate assistance in maintaining the present breeding stock. The Bureau has plans already formulated to accomplish the projects suggested by Mr. Beck. It has proposed them at every opportunity, and also at every opportunity has urged that appropriations be made to carry out these essential undertakings. The Bureau has the personnel trained and qualified to administer this work successfully and economically if funds are made available. The Bureau's plan is more comprehensive than that submitted by Mr. Beck, for it also makes provision for the immediate conservation of the necessary breeding stock by means of adequate enforcement of restrictions that would limit the annual kill. From 300 to 500 men can be immediately and profitably employed in patrolling waterfowl concentration areas in the United States, under the direction and supervision of 23 U. S. game protectors who are trained men. This force could be profitably employed during the winter months or even longer, and the operations would result in saving millions of mature birds that will otherwise be destroyed within the next few months by various illegal practices. These birds represent a considerable proportion of the nucleus that must be retained if the other parts of the program are to be of any value after they have been developed. In so far as funds have permitted it has actually performed this work. This is an elemental requirement.

There can be no question as to the economic value of an abundant supply of game, or that a project of this character will greatly increase employment at this time and will assist in maintaining future employment. It will add greatly to the income of farmers who are suitably located to be able to profit from its provisions and will promote and encourage many industries that serve the sportsman. In addition there are vast recreational advantages that will accrue to our citizens from the development of an effective national program to increase valuable forms of wild life.

The plan must be modified and supplemented, however, since: (1) It does not guarantee the safety of a sufficient breeding stock of birds. Without birds the whole program will fail; (2) By proposing the creation of a new Federal organization it disregards the existence of a Government agency already authorized and established and entirely competent to carry out the actual work.1 The complete technical and scientific information necessary to the administration of the project is now in the Survey. No other organization is in possession of this material.

The part of Mr. Beck's plan that deals with the restoration of upland game is highly commendable in principle. I would point out, however, that the various State governments, while accepting the principle of Federal control of migratory game birds, have consistently opposed any suggestion that contemplated even a partial control by the Federal government of matters dealing with upland nonmigratory game within their borders. Could the money proposed for upland game restoration be allocated and distributed to the various State wild life conservation agencies, under suitable conditions and with broad general limitations as to its expenditure and repayment, the plan might be feasible. The State agencies, however, in my opinion should have entire charge of any upland game restoration project, without interference or dictation from any other agency. The Biological Survey is equipped and prepared to assist these State projects by furnishing advice when it is desired and by conducting types of research work generally beyond the scope and resources of the State agencies. The Survey has rendered such assistance to the States for many years. I believe, however, this should be the extent of the Federal participation in the program.

In justice to the Survey I would like to say that our failure to carry a complete conservation program into effect long ago has been due entirely to our inability to secure sufficient funds. It has not been because the Bureau had no knowledge of the needs of the resource or of the required remedies. Moreover, the personnel of the Survey is entirely competent to administer this work efficiently and economically if it is given the opportunity. In view of their known qualifications and intense personal interest in wild life, together with their ability and their individual records of many years of labor in this cause, I feel strongly that if it is now the worthy purpose of the administration to support an adequate and comprehensive project for the conservation of American wild life, the responsibility of performing the work should be given to me and to my associates in the Biological Survey.

Qualifications for Leadership in a Wildfowl Restoration Program

Direction of efforts for game bird propagation and increase requires mature judgment based on comprehensive knowledge and extended experience in this technical as well as practical biological field. The biological features are the vital considerations for a program of this kind. The problems are both national and international in scope. Prompt and sound developments in this important field require extended acquaintance and experience in governmental procedure and in cooperation with State agencies and other national governments as well as with land utilization and improvement procedure and with farmers and agricultural agencies—Federal, State, and County. Waste of time, effort, and money; confusion of orderly organized operation; misdirection of public interest and confidence; and added danger to valuable natural resources will inevitably result from failure to recognize and to act in harmony with these basic requirements.

The Biological Survey is the only agency that has the requisite information and experience in this field. Any outside agency that undertook work of this character would be obliged to rely upon the vast fund of information secured by the Biological Survey through 50 years research, exploration and experience in this specialized field of work. To ignore this knowledge, experience, and acquaintance with field conditions and methods of investigation and operation would be fatal. Organization of a separate agency would lead to lost motion and confusion of policy.

The Biological Survey now has a staff of trained, seasoned, energetic men with the requisite technical knowledge and administrative experience in organizing and conducting nation-wide undertakings of this kind and in effecting necessary international arrangements. It has made extended surveys of the abundance, habits, and distribution of game birds of land and water areas and food resources suitable for waterfowl and upland game birds and has devised practical plans and methods for adoption in the United States. It is prepared to proceed expeditiously and effectively with plans that may be authorized and is now actively engaged on many undertakings and has published extensively in this field.

What the Biological Survey Has Done to Create, Improve and Administer Refuges for Wildfowl

The Biological Survey has always sponsored the establishment of inviolate sanctuaries for the conservation of wild life coming under its jurisdiction.

Aside from those areas that have previously been set apart for refuge purposes in the Public Domain, acquisition has been authorized by Congress of the Upper Mississippi River Wild Life and Fish Refuge containing 250,000 acres of land and water; the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Utah containing about 64,000 acres; and the Cheyenne Bottoms Refuge in Kansas embracing approximately 20,000 acres.

The most pretentious refuge program is the Migratory Bird Conservation Act passed in 1929 authorizing the appropriation of $7,875,000 extending over a 10-year period beginning with the fiscal year 1930. That appropriation authorized up to and including the fiscal year 1934 amounts to $2,875,000 but only $1,082,525 has been made available. With this money there has been established by acquisition, cession and gifts, and by Executive order 22 refuges in 18 states and containing an aggregate area of 1,084,683 acres.

The funds available for the current fiscal year are so limited in amount that further examinations, acquisition negotiations and purchases have been brought to a virtual standstill. During the inception of the work the organization was so developed that the Biological Survey could handle with expedition, economy and good judgment a sufficient acreage of land to absorb the appropriations that were authorized for the succeeding years.

As an indication of the thought given and plans made it seems proper to record that detailed field examinations have been finished and basis for valuation fixed on approximately 4,000,000 acres of land in 141 units distributed throughout the 48 states. Part of the work plans contain numerous additional projects awaiting examination and appraisals that would increase this total to about 6,000,000 acres and the Survey is cognizant of other areas on which preliminary data is yet to be compiled.

It has also been the plan of the Biological Survey to develop the refuges that have been acquired where such development is necessary to conserve the water and increase the natural food resources that are so essential to the maximum use and enjoyment of such places by migratory birds in their fall and spring migrations.

The Biological Survey has also stressed on occasions the relationship of public ownership of suitable sites for migratory bird refuges to the reduction of surplus crops by removing submarginal lands from agricultural use.

As another indication of the importance attached to refuges in the conservation of this natural resource, I may remind you that a special meeting of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission was called at my recommendation on May 23, 1933, and after passage of the Act of Congress of March 31, 1933 for the relief of unemployment through the performance of useful public works and for other purposes, there was presented to the Commission a memorandum and a proposed resolution that would have authorized the allotment of $6,750,000 for the acquisition of refuge sites throughout the United States, and the development and improvement of them in order to increase their value for the purposes established and it was anticipated that this program would be accomplished in less than two years. Herewith are copies of the memorandum and the proposed resolution that were laid before the Commission.2 You will recall, and as indicated by the minutes of that meeting, the Commission proposed to lay this program before the President, and, I believe, that this was done on the same day on which the Commission considered the subject. So far as I am aware, approval has not been given to the suggestion.

Under the Public Works Program there seemed to be another opportunity offered to the Biological Survey to in some degree at least accomplish what had been contemplated by the measures proposed at the Commission meeting on May 23, 1933, and the Biological Survey suggested to the Committee considering the projects under the Public Works Program that money be made available for the acquisition of refuge lands and for the development of existing and newly acquired refuges. When the hearings were held the initial announcement of the Committee was that no projects would be considered that involved the acquisition of lands other than those involving very nominal amounts.

Under the allotment of $453,450 made by the Public Works program for the development of refuges, I am glad to be able to report to you that notwithstanding the late date on which funds were made available, work has been undertaken on ten refuges and already about one hundred men are employed. This number will steadily increase until approximately 1,000 men will be performing useful public work incident to the restoration of waterfowl.

If the sum of $12,000,000 for the restoration of migratory birds suggested to the President by Mr. Beck be made available to the Biological Survey it would be possible for this organization to proceed at once with an ambitious program offering employment to thousands of men and that would retire from use many thousands of acres that are in the category of inferior agricultural lands and the development on many areas acquired and contemplated for acquisition could be undertaken with the minimum of delay. I say this with confidence because the personnel of the Biological Survey engaged upon the investigations of proposed refuge sites are intimately acquainted with the economic factors, character of the lands, and the complications that in many places exist by reason of drainage and irrigation developments and are eminently qualified to meet these problems from the knowledge that has already been acquired by them incident to the years that have been devoted to these investigations.

Respectfully yours,


[13:OF 378:TS]

1Beck proposed that his plan be administered by an administrator who would be independent of existing agencies.

2Not present.


[WASHINGTON] November 14, 1933

MEMORANDUM . . . FOR ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE TUGWELL: Because your letter of November 8th with the memorandum, refers to Article 10—the so-called conservation article of the Lumber Code, I have felt constrained to sign the codes for the paper and pulp industry and the newsprint industry. To both of these codes the forest conservation article of the Lumber Code applies. Therefore, the next step is obviously Presidential modification of Article 10 of the Lumber Code.

That article was, as I understand it, approved by the Department of Agriculture. I think it would be well for you to study modifications desired in order that they may be taken up with the lumber industry.


[13:OF 424:CT]


AT WARM SPRINGS, GEORGIA, November 21, 1933

MEMORANDUM . . . FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: I am inclined to think it would be a good thing to set aside for the Reclamation Service and/or Army Engineers a sum of fifty to one hundred thousand dollars for a survey of the whole Arkansas River Basin, starting in Colorado and going clear down to the Mississippi. There is much that can be done in this area for flood control, soil erosion, etc., and, incidentally, it would greatly help the CCC in placing camps in that Basin next year if we had a survey.

This would take in the Cimarron and Salt Fork Rivers, and if you go ahead with this be sure to let Congressman Marland of Oklahoma know.1


[13:OF 635:CT]

1Ernest W. Marland, a member of Congress from 1933 to 1935 and governor of Oklahoma from 1935 to 1939.


AT WARM SPRINGS, GEORGIA, November 21, 1933

MEMORANDUM . . . FOR THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: I think it would be a good idea if the Forestry Bureau would make an inspection of Congressman Marland's estate at Ponca City, Oklahoma. He tells me he has had great success with blue spruce, prostrate cedar, Scotch pine, etc.—altitude 2500 feet. He is an enthusiast, and you should tie his interest in with the Forestry Service.


[13:OF I—C:CT]



SWARTHMORE, PA., Nov. 25, 1933

DEAR MR. ROOSEVELT: There is a matter that needs your immediate attention—the preservation of Okefinokee Swamp. Perhaps you may recall that a few years ago, Francis sent you some of his reprints on the Swamp—one of these being of special importance, "Okefinokee Swamp as a Reservation?" The National Geographic Magazine has just accepted from him a much more comprehensive account, which we hoped would create much additional sentiment in favor of the swamp's preservation.1 For twenty odd years the naturalists and nature-lovers have been working for the preservation of this marvellous wilderness unique in its nature not only in this country, but in the world. The character of its fauna, its flora, and its human life is unsurpassed.

Two years ago the Senate Committee on Wild Life Resources visited the Okefinokee and submitted a report (pursuant to S. Res. 246) recommending its purchase as a national wild-life refuge.2 But because of the depression nothing further has been done.

We now learn of the project to put a ship canal through the swamp. You well know what this would mean to the beauty of the area and to the wild life. The destruction that would thus be brought on is unthinkable. Our hope lies in you, to stop the project before it goes farther, and spend the money in the purchase of the swamp for a reservation, where beauty and scientific interest may be preserved for all time. The Okefinokee is regarded by naturalists all over the country as one of the very finest of all our natural areas, and I sincerely hope you will not bring disappointment and bitterness to them by permitting its destruction.

Why could not the canal go through the St. John's River by way of Jacksonville, where it would do far less harm than in Georgia?

I have a "stake" in the Okefinokee myself, as you will see by the reprint I venture to enclose.3


(Mrs. Francis Harper)

[13:PPF 1091:T:COPY]

1"Okefinokee Wilderness," by Francis Harper, in The National Geographic Magazine, 65 (May, 1934), 597-624. Dr. Harper, a zoologist specializing in the vertebrate fauna of southeastern United States, has also worked extensively in the Arctic and sub-Arctic. His wife, author of this letter, was graduated from Vassar College in 1918, and during the school year of 1920-21 was tutor to Anna and Elliott Roosevelt.

2Senate Resolution 246, introduced by Senators Hawes and Walcott on April 11, 1930, provided for the appointment of a Senate committee "to investigate all matters pertaining to the replacement and conservation of wild animal life . . ." (Cong. Rec., 71st Cong., 2d sess., 72:7, 6916).

3"Collecting Folk-Songs in Okefinokee Swamp," by Jean Sherwood Harper, in Vassar Quarterly, 18 (February, 1933), 31-35. The swamp covers an area of about six hundred square miles and extends from southeastern Georgia into Florida. The proposed trans-Florida ship canal, originally highly favored by Roosevelt, was given up when it was found to be economically infeasible. Fears were also expressed that the subterranean water sources of northern Florida might be harmed by a canal.

195 ROOSEVELT TO JEAN SHERWOOD HARPER, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

[WASHINGTON] December 19, 1933

DEAR JEAN: I too should hate to see the Okefinokee Swamp destroyed. Strictly between ourselves, I think there is much more chance of a ship canal going the southern way than through Georgia.

I hope all goes well with you and the family.

Very sincerely yours,



[13:PPF 1091:CT]


[WASHINGTON] December 19, 1933

MY DEAR CLARENCE: I am interested in seeing the Columbia River Bill. Before we come to a final decision I think it would be well if we could have a conference that would include the Senators from the Columbia River basin, the Senators from the Missouri River basin, led by Norris, and the Senators from the Arkansas River basin. I think we must have a more or less uniform policy for all three areas.

Why don't you collect them and bring them to the White House for a conference?1

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 360:CT]

1Senator Dill conferred with these people but not, apparently, at the White House. See his reply, post, 203.


WASHINGTON, D. C., December 20, 1933

THE PRESIDENT: I respectfully submit to you herewith the result of my efforts during the past several months to encourage a national program of stream purification, with suggestions for a solution which I think will require and merit the attention of a special group or interdepartmental board.

The first enclosure is a letter dated September 30th, 1933, from the Public Health Service, outlining in some detail the present status of stream pollution control in the United States. Attached to this is an opinion of the Solicitor of the Treasury relative to the Quarantine Act of February 15th, 1893, and the possibility of its enforcement in connection with the stream purification movement.1

The conclusions of the Public Health Service are that the best interests of the state are served by permitting their health units to control or prohibit pollution. The Surgeon General also refers to compacts in various states which are proving effective in eliminating pollution along certain streams. He shares my view to some extent that the problem has now become so great that we must look at it from a Federal standpoint and as a health measure encourage the erection of proper sewage disposal facilities by liberal Public Works loans, or by other national planning of either a voluntary or mandatory nature. If left on a voluntary basis, many municipalities which contribute to stream pollution would seek the aid of the Federal Government and others would not. On the other hand, if you, as Chief Executive, were to exercise the broad authority given you under Section 202 of the National Industrial Recovery Act which enables the Administrator of Public Works, under your direction, to "prepare a comprehensive program of public works, which shall include other things . . . and purification of waters," the result would no doubt be far more effective.

A second and more effective step toward a national program for preventing stream pollution could be made by strictly enforcing the Act of March 3rd, 1899, prohibiting the discharge or deposit into navigable waters of refuse material of any kind "other than that flowing from streets and sewers and passing therefrom in a liquid state." Reference to this act is made in the attached report from the Chief Engineer of the War Department2 indicating clearly that little or nothing is being done to enforce the act where tons of suspended solids are allowed to flow in suspension to rivers and harbors, where they form a silt and become a menace to interstate commerce. These deposits in large centers require frequent dredging by the War Department in the interest of navigation, at a great expense to the Federal Government. Attached to this opinion of War Department engineers is a very complete answer by Mr. S. H. Wadhams, Director of the State Water Commission of Connecticut, who presents interesting facts regarding the actual tonnage of sewage deposited in New York Harbor and at other points each day, in the form of suspended solids in liquid matter.3 His conclusion, which I think is a reasonable one, is that the Act of March 3rd, 1899, in the interests of navigation and interstate commerce, if properly and strictly enforced, would enable the War Department with the aid of the Department of Justice in enforcing the criminal provisions of the act, to require our large cities and many smaller communities actually to obtain better sewage disposal methods.

I am also attaching a statement from the Bureau of Fisheries in the Department of Commerce expressing interest in the stream purification movement, and enclosing a statement from Mr. M. W. Weir of New York City outlining a plan and recommending that the Federal Government authorize a comprehensive survey of the water resources of the country.4 His view is to co-ordinate the work of the various boards of water supply of political subdivisions, regardless of the lines of such subdivisions, and with the view of developing additional water supply by elimination of pollution.

I also submit a plan of stream purification by sewage utilization handed to me by Dr. George Wilton Field, Consultant Biologist, the Cosmos Club, Washington, D. C., who has had many years of experience and at one time made a special study of this problem abroad.5 He found in Germany an excellent program of stream purification, through a method of sewage utilization by which communities actually made a margin of profit by the utilization of byproducts of sewage matter.

It is obvious also that the Isaac Walton League of America is interested in a stream purification plan. A letter from their organization is enclosed, together with their suggestion for solution of the problem, which recommends that the industrial codes of the National Recovery Administration should include provisions setting a standard for all industries to adequately dispose or treat injurious industrial wastes and not discharge such in public streams to the detriment of public welfare.6

Inasmuch as several Federal establishments are involved in this question and in view of the importance of stream purification as a national program, I respectfully submit my suggestion that a board or a group, representing the Public Health Service, the War Department engineers, the Department of Justice, the Department of Commerce, should be designated to work with officials of the National Recovery Administration and with outside interests such as the Isaac Walton League and various experts, to form a national program and make recommendations for its application in the interests of public health, navigation, wild life, and industrial development which will add to public works employment.

Respectfully submitted, Yours very truly,


[13:OF 114—A:TS]

1The letter is printed below. The opinion is in the form of a copy (mimeographed) of a letter from Treasury Solicitor R. J. Mawhinney to Assistant Secretary of the Treasury F. K. Heath, Feb. 17, 1932. This and the other enclosures mentioned but not here printed are with Lonergan's letter.

2Dern to Lonergan, Nov. 8, 1933, printed below as enclosure 3, is apparently meant.

3Wadhams to Lonergan, Dec. 8, 1933, a long, technical statement showing that sewage solids were not soluble in water.

4Commissioner Frank T. Bell to Lonergan, Nov. 6, 1933, enclosing Weir to Bell, Nov. 10, 1933.

5Present as a one-page carbon copy (undated) entitled, "A Plan of Stream Purification by Sewage Utilization and to Develop Disposal of Sewage by Utilization."

6S. B. Locke, conservation director of the Izaak Walton League, to Lonergan, Oct. 21, 1933.


WASHINGTON, September 30, 1933

MY DEAR SENATOR: As requested by your secretary, I am furnishing you with the following information relative to the status of stream pollution control in the United States.

Insofar as the control of pollution of intrastate streams is concerned it has been assumed that this is a function of the State and many of the States have laws relating to this subject. In general these laws are administered by the State departments of health. Much is being done in many of the States toward correction of stream pollution. Many complications enter into the problem and the progress is necessarily slow.

In some of the States, particularly those having a considerable stream pollution problem, sanitary water boards have been formed whose sole function has to do with stream pollution and stream conservation. These boards are made up of State officials, with the commissioner of health as the chairman, and the chief engineer of the State department of health as engineer and secretary or executive officer. Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Illinois have such sanitary boards.

In the matter of pollution of interstate streams the problem is somewhat more complex. There are no federal laws dealing directly with this subject. The federal law relating to navigation prohibits the discharge or throwing into navigable waters any material which might obstruct navigation. This law, however, exempts waste water flowing over the surface of the ground or entering through sewers as liquid waste.

Since 1913 the Public Health Service has been carrying on research work in connection with stream pollution and stream purification. These studies have been devoted largely to stream purification and to the effect of pollution upon the operation of water filtration plants, and have been carried on with the idea of determining fundamental laws governing stream purification in order to furnish the State authorities and others having to do with stream pollution problems definite data that would be of value to them.

Because of the effect of pollution of interstate streams on water supplies taken therefrom the health departments of State located on the drainage areas of these streams have realized the necessity of joining forces in the study and control of pollution. At present we have a solution. The largest group and the one at present making the most pacts and these organizations are making headway in control of the pollution. The largest group and the one at present making the most headway is the Ohio River Board in which the health departments of seventeen States have formed a compact and are working together towards a common end. In these States the chief engineers of the seventeen State health departments form the Board of Engineers. An other group is composed of the States bordering on the Great Lakes. It is understood that Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa, have formed compacts relative to certain interstate streams adjoining these States. More recently New York, Connecticut and New Jersey have attempted to create a legally authorized organization under a Tri-State Treaty for control of the coastal waters in the Greater New York area.

The Public Health Service has been willing to give and from time to time has given assistance to the States in connection with their stream pollution studies. At the present time two engineers assigned to this duty are cooperating with the States located on the Ohio River, and with Indiana and Illinois in connection with the pollution of the southern end of Lake Michigan. On account of the lack of funds it is not possible for the Public Health Service to assist the States other than by giving advice, correlation of data, etc. It is expected that the details of the studies be carried on by the States themselves.

Some question has arisen as to just what powers the federal government might have in connection with control over pollution of interstate streams. The Solicitor of the Treasury has given an opinion that the Secretary of the Treasury might issue certain regulations under the Act of 1893 limiting pollution of interstate streams where pollution originated in one State and water supplies were taken downstream in another State. However, the law requires that such regulations be enforced by the State and municipal health authorities when they will do so. In case of failure or inability to enforce the regulations the matter is reported to the President for his action.

I am forwarding herewith a copy of the Quarantine Law of 1893, the opinion of the Solicitor above referred to, and a digest of the stream pollution laws. I would also refer you to a paper delivered by Mr. Thorndike Saville before the American Institute of Chemical Engineers at their annual meeting in Philadelphia in 1931, which covers the whole question of stream pollution very thoroughly. In this paper he shows the limitations of the State and of the federal government in connection with this problem. It will be found in the Proceedings of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers for 1931.

I have not mentioned the Oil Pollution Act of 1924 since this has to do only with oil pollution of coastal waters.

Very truly yours,


[13:OF 114—A:TS]


WASHINGTON, October 5, 1933

MY DEAR SENATOR: I have your letter of September 30 relative to a national program towards regulating pollution of streams.

The pollution of streams at present is principally due to sewage from municipalities and industrial waste from manufacturing plants which, I understand, are eligible for loans from the Public Works Administration with certain limitations.

The State departments of health of the various States are urging the municipalities to take advantage of the opportunity to borrow money with which to undertake construction of sewage disposal works. Funds loaned to a State, under the Act, cannot be used for this purpose. It is possible that industrial plants may also borrow on proper security for the purpose of undertaking waste treatment.

In certain sections of the country the polluting influence on streams which materially affect their use for water supplies, is acid waste from bituminous coal mines. In others it is the oil and salt waste from oil wells. Where these mines or wells are active the owners could be held responsible for the pollution but we have a large number of abandoned coal mines as well as abandoned oil wells of which there is no record of owners and which are a material factor in pollution of streams. Control over this pollution might well be considered a federal project. In this connection steps are being taken to present to the Public Works Administration a plan for sealing abandoned coal mines in the bituminous area.

It would seem that all that can be done towards urging municipalities to take advantage of the loan features of the Act and construct necessary sewage treatment works is being done. It is probable that industrial plants contributing waste of an objectional nature to a stream would have some difficulty in obtaining loans from the Public Works Administration with which to construct treatment plants and as far as I know no steps are being taken in connection with this type of stream pollution control work.

The establishment of a fund which would permit the States and the Public Health Service to enlarge their activities in connection with stream pollution would seem rather questionable since the fund would not be used in connection with construction work but only in studies and missionary work among the communities and industrial establishments.

Very truly yours,


[13:OF 114—A:TS]


WASHINGTON, November 8, 1933

DEAR SENATOR LONERGAN: I am in receipt of your letter of October 24, 1933, on the subject of stream pollution, in which you refer to section 13 of the act of March 3, 1899, and express a desire that action be taken by the War Department under this law to prevent the discharge of untreated sewage into navigable streams.

This statute prohibits the discharge or deposit into navigable waters of refuse material of any kind "Other than that flowing from streets and sewers and passing therefrom in a liquid state." The primary object of the law is the preservation of the navigable capacity of Federal waterways, and the essence of the prohibition is against the introduction of obstructive material into the waterways which would diminish such capacity and interfere with navigation. It expressly excepts from the prohibition the discharge of waste matter carried off in street drains and sewers, and it has been the view of this Department that Congress intended to include in this exception all matters commonly designated as "sewage" which ordinarily is soluble and causes no physical destruction. The discharge of raw or untreated sewage into navigable waters would not be a violation of this law unless the sewage carries with it solid and non-liquefying material likely to form deposits detrimental to navigation.

This Department is not advised that sewage laden with quantities of solid matter has been and is being discharged into the navigable waters of New York and Connecticut, or that such discharges have resulted in the creation of shoals or other conditions injuriously affecting the navigable capacity of these waters. It is deemed proper to observe that this is a criminal statute, violations of which are cognizable in the courts, and that the function of the War Department in its enforcement is limited to ascertaining facts and reporting cases of actual violation to the Department of Justice for prosecution. The Secretary of War is not vested with power to require cities and communities to subject their sewage to any purifying treatment, and it seems doubtful that the purpose you have in view can be accomplished under the provisions of this statute.

That the practice of discharging sewage into running streams is objectionable, and that it injuriously affects the comfort and health of the people, is fully recognized by the Department. The prevention of pollution, however, is not strictly speaking a Federal duty and Federal legislation in reference to it has been limited. The preservation of the purity of the water, it is suggested, is a subject which more properly belongs to the States for regulation under their police powers.

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 114—A:TS]


NEW YORK, December 22, 1933

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I am just in receipt of a letter from Secretary Wallace in which he advises me you have asked him to invite me to become chairman of a committee of three members to outline methods for completing a definite study for large scale development of breeding areas and breeding projects for wild fowl.1

I have this day written my acceptance.

For this honor I want to thank you very sincerely. I have high hopes of formulating, in collaboration with the other members of the committee, a practical and workable plan.2

With assurances of my personal esteem and best wishes for a Merry Christmas to you and Mrs. Roosevelt, please believe me,

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 378:TS]

1Wallace's letter, Dec. 15, 1933, is printed in Conservation of Wildlife, Hearings before the Special Committee on Conservation of Wildlife, House of Representatives, 73d Cong., 2d sess. (Washington, 1934), p. 244. Wallace said he had discussed the plan with the President "on several occasions," and had conferred with the Bureau of Biological Survey and others about it. He asked Beck to be chairman of a committee "to outline methods for completing a definite study of the project." Jay N. Darling and Dr. John C. Merriam were named as the other members of the committee. The latter was unable to serve and Aldo Leopold of the University of Wisconsin was named instead when Wallace announced the appointments on Jan. 2, 1934 (New York Times, Jan. 3, 1934, p. 8).

2Answered post, 208.


WASHINGTON, December 26, 1933

MAC: Tell Marland to have a talk with Senators Norris, Thomas, Robinson and Dill on the general problem of an authority or authorities for the Arkansas, Missouri and Columbia rivers.


[Notation: A: MCINTYRE] Notified Cong. M. & he is taking matter up. 2/27

[13:OF 132:T]


[WASHINGTON] Dec. 29, 1933

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: In accordance with your suggestion,1 I have conferred with Senators Norris, McNary, and Thomas and also Congressman Marland of Oklahoma regarding the different proposed authorities to be created for the Missouri River, Columbia River and the Arkansas River. I have also conferred with Mr. Henry Hunt, Counsel for the Public Works Administration, who has been working on a bill for the creation of the Columbia River Authority at the request of Secretary Ickes.

I find that while there are some minor differences in these bills, in a general way they are quite similar and all propose to grant similar powers to the boards to be created.

As a result of these discussions I have almost reached the conclusion we are likely to find ourselves overloaded with bills for the creation of these authorities and Congress is likely to drop all of them and we will get no legislation at all if we consider them as separate bills. For this reason I discussed with the Senators and Congressman Marland the advisability of one measure incorporating all of these bills. Therefore, I decided to draw a bill that will create one national organization to do all of this work. I haven't yet completed a draft of the legislation, as it is rather difficult to draw, but I have the general plan outlined.

Such a bill should provide for a national conservation and development authority or commission, with not to exceed five members. At this time it might be desirable to appoint only three members, one from the upper Mississippi valley, one from the lower Mississippi valley, and one from the Columbia River valley. At a future time representatives from the St. Lawrence and Colorado River valleys might be included. These members would constitute directors from each of the valleys from which they are appointed.

An interdepartmental committee of subordinates designated by the President, would work with the director in the preparation of plans for the conservation and development of the resources of the valley under consideration. This committee would need no extra pay, since they would already be on the payrolls of the government. They would soon become expert in their work. When the committee and director had prepared a plan for a certain project, they could submit it to the full board, which could approve, modify or disapprove it.

I believe this kind of organization is desirable because the problems arising in the different sections are so similar that experiences in one area would be extremely valuable in solving the problems in another area. For instance, the problems which Mr. Lilienthal is now working on in the Tennessee Valley in connection with the supply of electrical household equipment and other electrical supplies, will be exactly duplicated in the Columbia River country three years hence, when we attempt to sell power from the Grand Coulee and Bonneville dams.

The problems of flood control in the Tennessee Valley area are quite similar to those in the Arkansas Valley area. The problems of forestry are almost identical. Many of the problems relating to mountain streams and flood control in the Columbia River area and the Missouri are identical. It seems wise to me, therefore, to plan for a national organization that will be able to correlate the efforts of officials in different sections of the country. We need not abolish the Tennessee Valley Authority, as it is an experimental body and doing wonderful work. It might be provided, however, that at some future time the President could place its officials under this national organization. In the mean time, men like Mr. Lilienthal could be appointed as advisors to the national organization.

This organization could also work out the data as to a superpower system. It could determine the feasibility, practicability and cost of such a plan and Congress could grant authority to build and develop such a system if that be thought wise.

I am submitting this for your consideration and shall hope to talk with you about it at an early date.2

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 635:TS]

1Ante, 196.

2Answered post, 209.


THE WHITE HOUSE, January 3, 1934

[Excerpt] In this field,1 through carefully planned flood control, power development and land use policies, in the Tennessee Valley and in other great watersheds, we are seeking the elimination of waste, the removal of poor lands from agriculture and the encouragement of small local industries, thus furthering this principle of a better balanced national life. We recognize the great ultimate cost of the application of this rounded policy to every part of the Union. Today we are creating heavy obligations to start the work and because of the great unemployment needs of the moment. I look forward, however, to the time in the not distant future, when annual appropriations, wholly covered by current revenue, will enable the work to proceed with a national plan. Such a national plan will, in a generation or two, return many times the money spent on it; more important, it will eliminate the use of inefficient tools, conserve and increase natural resources, prevent waste, and enable millions of our people to take better advantage of the opportunities which God has given our country.2


1In the preceding paragraph Roosevelt had referred to the need of bringing agriculture into balance with the rest of the economy.

2The text of this excerpt from the 1934 annual message is that of the unsigned reading copy; this was retained by the President and another copy was sent to the Congress. With the reading copy are two drafts, the first revised solely by Roosevelt, the second bearing numerous revisions in his hand and Raymond Moley's hand. Revisions in the part here printed are changes in language only. Thus, in the first sentence, Moley substituted "a better balanced national life" for the phrase "restoring balance." In the third sentence, Roosevelt substituted "to start the work" for "in the initial stages." In the last sentence, Moley substituted "our country" for "to the United States of America." This excerpt is but a small part of the entire message; for this see Rosenman (ed.), Public Papers, III, 8-14.

205 PRESS CONFERENCE, Executive Offices of the White House, January 3, 1934, 4:45 P. M.

[Excerpt] The President: I said today in the Message to Congress,1 in a nutshell, that we are engaged in—you might almost call it rebuilding the face of the country and that it will be, eventually, a national plan. You take, for example, the Missouri River or the Arkansas River or the Upper Mississippi: what we are doing out of Public Works is some of the obvious work at the major places, some of these big dams. Eventually, as we go through with the entire planning which, in the case of a river watershed, might run anywhere up to twenty-five or forty years, my thought is that by another year and a half we will have those plans pretty well nationalized so that there will be a complete national picture and that we will proceed on them at a rather definite yearly rate with the object of getting back as much as we can of that financing, knowing at the same time that we are increasing general national values, even if it does not come back to the Treasury, very largely and doing it in an orderly way and, as we are doing it, paying for it out of current revenues. In other words, putting it, as far as national planning goes, on a pay-as-you-go basis. These Public Works programs are taking care of some of the larger projects first.

What I would like to see—and this is an expression of what I hope will happen in another year and a half—is that we will definitely advocate, as a national policy, the expending of $500,000,000 a year to restore the face of nature and that will be paid for, not out of bond issues but out of current revenues.


1See excerpt above.


WASHINGTON, D. C., January 3, 1934

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I have been wondering for some time why it would not be an excellent idea to allocate a portion of the public funds to a general study and survey of the entire Missouri River and other tributaries of the Mississippi.

I have outlined my ideas in a letter to the Secretary of the Interior, and am inclosing a copy herewith. This letter to Secretary Ickes is, I think, fully self-explanatory, and gives in detail what I have in mind.

Your earnest and careful consideration at the earliest possible moment is most respectfully requested.

Very truly yours,


[Notation: A: LEHAND] Sec. Interior for Prep of reply

[Notation:A] Ans 1/10/34

[13:OF 466—D:TS]


[WASHINGTON] January 3, 1934

MY DEAR MR. SECRETARY: I would like to make a suggestion to you about the allocation of some public funds for the purpose of making a survey and study of the possibilities of the improvement of some of our interior streams, such as the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Arkansas, and other streams of the Mississippi Valley.

Several bills have been introduced for various kinds of improvements on these streams, and for a great many years the Federal Government has spent vast amounts of money for the improvement of these rivers. Much of this, I think, has been wasted, because a definite plan was lacking, and the haphazard expenditure of money in one place had no connection or relation to the expenditure of public funds in another. Some of the funds were spent with only one purpose in mind—navigation. Other money was spent, thinking only of irrigation. The question of marginal lands, reforestation, and general agricultural development has been forgotten. The relationship between irrigation, flood control, navigation, power development, reclamation of marginal lands, and the reforestation of these lands has all been lost sight of in the expenditure of some of these funds. The general welfare of the people and the happiness and prosperity of the citizens, the proper use of lands and other resources have not been considered, except in so far as they apply to some particular improvement.

I think it will be found upon due investigation that all these things bear a relationship to each other. They will all dovetail into each other. It was wrong to expect the farmers to pay the entire cost of the building of a dam, for instance, for irrigation purposes, when that dam, at the same time, stores flood waters which, if uncontrolled, will do damage to other lands, or when it will carry away silt and soils from one section of the country and deposit them in the Gulf of Mexico.

It will be found, I think, upon investigation that some of the money spent for the improvement of streams along the Mississippi, the Missouri, and other tributaries, could have been expended more beneficially in the detention of flood waters nearer the source of these streams. It will be found, also, that much damage done by floods in the upper streams where valuable farms are destroyed and other public improvements carried away, to the damage of property and people farther down the stream, could all have been avoided if the flood waters had been taken care of at the place where Nature has provided a natural storage reservoir. It is wrong to expect the people who pay for electricity, for instance, to contribute all the cost of a dam where that dam helps navigation farther down the stream, or where it prevents flood waters from doing damage farther down.

Some of the interests affected are private in their nature; others are public. It seems to me a study of the entire question should be had. Some studies along this line and some surveys have been made by States, but such studies have no relation to similar studies made in other States. I cannot tell, and I do not believe it is known, just how far these different studies will harmonize, and how complete they are. It will probably be found, upon examination, that some of them are very complete and very efficient, and some of them lack completeness and efficiency. It seems to me it would be proper to allocate a portion of these public funds to defray the cost of a general survey and study of the entire region, with a view of taking advantage of other surveys and studies which have been made, and making others which will dovetail into them.

I am suggesting, therefore, that an allotment be made for the purpose of making such survey and study, under your direction as Federal Emergency Administrator of Public Works.

In my own State, the Legislature several years ago appropriated $25,000, which money was, I think, used very economically in making a survey of the waters of the State, and I believe it will be found that most of this work was efficiently done, and that the results, if properly worked into similar results in other States, will go a long way towards giving us a broader and more definite idea of the entire region and its possibilities. It may be found, upon examination, that similar studies have been made elsewhere, and that they will harmonize into one complete whole. These rivers and valleys should be improved without regard to State lines, and the work would then become national in its character.

I am taking the liberty of sending a copy of this letter to President Roosevelt, and I hope you will consult with him about it, and ascertain if something of this kind would not only be very beneficial to the people at large, but would also go far towards harmonizing work which has already been done, so that surveys and studies might not necessarily have to be duplicated.1

Very truly yours,


[13:OF 466—D:CT]

1Answered post, 210.


[WASHINGTON] January 4, 1934

MY DEAR MR. BECK: It is good to know that you will serve on the Special Committee to outline the next steps in a program for large-scale development of breeding areas for wild fowl. It seems to me that a project of this kind might properly fit into our general program, and I know that you are in a position to give the matter especially interested and informed study.1

Very sincerely yours,



[13:OF 378:CT]

1(Drafted by the Agriculture Department.) This is in reply to Beck's letter of Dec. 22, 1933, ante, 201.


WASHINGTON, January 9, 1934

MEMORANDUM . . . In relation to the watershed developments of the Arkansas, Missouri and the Columbia rivers, may I suggest that after you have talked over the whole subject together that you come down some day at your convenience and talk over the possibility of one piece of legislation to cover the whole thing.

I have read Senator Dill's letter of December twenty-ninth.


[13:OF 635:CT]


WASHINGTON [January 10, 1934]1

MY DEAR SENATOR NORRIS: I have your letter of January 3, suggesting the allocation of funds for general study and survey of the Missouri River and other tributaries of the Mississippi.

A committee, known as the Mississippi Valley Committee, has recently been appointed under the Public Works Administration for the purpose of studying and correlating projects involving flood control, navigation, irrigation, power, reforestation and soil erosion in the Mississippi drainage area. It would seem that there is very close harmony between your suggestions and the functions of this Committee.

I am very deeply interested in this whole matter and trustful that through the agency of the Mississippi Valley Committee, much will be done to correlate the various independent studies that have heretofore been made.2

Very sincerely,


[13:OF 466—D:CT]

1This date is derived from a notation on Norris' letter of Jan. 3, 1934, ante, 206.

2Drafted by the Interior Department.


[WASHINGTON] January 10, 1934

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: The Senate Committee on Conservation of Wild Life Resources, to whom you gave such fine encouragement which brought a quick response from all sections of our country, on December 20th notified you of a National Conference to be held on the 25th of January, with the request that you set a date on the 26th of January for an audience which you agreed to give a special committee.

The committee that will call upon you will represent the Atlantic Coast, the Pacific Coast, the Gulf, the Northern boundary, and the Valley States.

It will be composed of leading representatives of long-established game organizations, editors of special sporting magazines, and conservationists of experience and long-time service. Many of those who will attend this conference will come from long distances, and it will be helpful if you will advise us when it will suit your convenience and at what hour you will receive this delegation on January 26th.

You are, of course, aware that this Senate Committee on Conservation of Wild Life Resources has held many public hearings and made extensive studies of this whole subject, including investigations of different areas. We believe that this proposed conference with you may be of material assistance in outlining and carrying forward any national program of conservation which meets with your approval.1

Soliciting your reply, and speaking for the committee, who are grateful for this consideration, I am, Sincerely,


[13:OF 378:TS]

1The delegation was given an appointment on the date requested (McIntyre to Shoemaker, Jan. 12, 1934, OF 378).


[WASHINGTON] January 15, 1934

MY DEAR CONGRESSMAN: Thanks for your letter of January fourth, enclosing letter from Mr. Morton, which I am returning herewith.1

The subject of soil erosion is one in which I am deeply interested, and the corrective measures to be taken will receive increasing attention as the experimental work and determination of procedure to be followed progress.

I hope some day, when more immediate problems have been disposed of, to talk to you on this subject.

Very sincerely yours,



[13:OF 732:CT]

1Johnson said in part: "I have talked with some of the leading engineers of the Public Works Administration and I know they feel soil erosion is one of the greatest menaces the farmers of America are facing and that a terracing program is essential if the farmer is really to have permanent relief" (OF 732). He did not identify Morton except to say that he was one of his constituents.


WASHINGTON, D. C., January 17, 1934

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Mr. Beck, Chairman of the Special Committee that you suggested that I set up, has given me the enclosed memorandum which I pass on for your information.

I may say to you that I have been much impressed by the work which Mr. Beck and his Committee are doing, and I am very hopeful that they are going to have something practicable and really important.

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 378:TS]


WASHINGTON, D. C., January 17, 1934

MEMORANDUM FOR THE . . . SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: I am told that the members of the Senate Wild Life Committee have asked the President for a definite appointment to present delegates from the American Game Conference.

Assuming that one will be granted, I hope the President will find it advisable to call the attention of the delegates to the fact that you have, at his request, appointed a Committee that is now studying all available data procurable from Government agencies and State fish and game commissioners for the purpose of writing a comprehensive report to be submitted as soon as possible, which will embody:

1. Recommendations for the acquisition of migratory waterfowl nesting areas now in suitable condition or that may be reconstructed and made suitable;

2. Recommendations for the acquisition of upland game areas in the various States suitable for facilitating natural reproduction of various species;

3. A recommendation for a comprehensive nation-wide plan for action that will have to do with the conservation and restoration of all wild life species;

4. A recommendation for a coordinated administration set-up for all forms of conservation, including forests, parks, inland fish and wild life.

We are soliciting and securing cooperation from all organizations interested, including those whose interest is confined to the spectacle, recreational and inspirational value of our wild life resources. We are particularly cooperating with the Senate Committee on Wild Life and the Biological Survey, and they, in turn, are giving and have promised their cooperation—all of which is very gratifying.

The President may wish to say that if and when the report is accepted, it is proposed that the purchases of the necessary areas will be made under the authorization granted to you for the purchase of sub-marginal and waste lands for withdrawal from commercial agriculture, and that their management can be carried on under the broad authority granted you by the Lacey Act, passed in 1900, and which has lain dormant until now.

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 378:TS]


WASHINGTON, January 20, 1934

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: In accordance with the request of your secretary, Mr. Howe, I take pleasure in furnishing my views on the suggestion advanced by Senator Augustine Lonergan that a special group or interdepartmental board be formed to consider measures for stream purification.1

The pollution of our streams by the discharge of sewage and industrial waste is so objectionable as to warrant all corrective measures practicable, and I am heartily in accord with the suggestion that a comprehensive investigation be undertaken to determine the means by which the powers and resources of the Federal Government may be utilized in stream purification.

The Corps of Engineers of this Department is in a position to undertake such an investigation in cooperation with the Public Health Service of the Treasury Department, provided that the necessary funds for the purpose can be made available. This investigation should include a comprehensive survey of the extent of the pollution of our streams throughout the entire nation; the determination of the most suitable general types of remedial measures with due regard to the cost of the installation and operation of the sewage treatment works, and a formulation of a national policy with respect to the prevention of pollution. Since the field offices of the Engineer Department cover comprehensively all of the watersheds of the United States, and are cognizant of the conditions of stream flow, this Department is in a position to furnish, with the advice and assistance of the Public Health Service, a comprehensive survey of the actual extent of stream pollution throughout the nation. The determination of the most suitable general types of remedial measures will require the engagement of the services of a limited number of especially qualified consulting sanitary engineers versed in the latest developments in the art of sewage purification. The minimum sum that should be provided to carry out such an investigation effectively is $250,000. If the funds remaining available for the public works program are sufficient to warrant an allotment in this amount to this Department for the investigation, I recommend it to your consideration.

Senator Lonergan has been misinformed on the effect of sewage in obstructing navigation. While in a very few and exceptional cases the pollution of navigable waters by sewage is so great as to make dredging operations quite disagreeable to those engaged on the work, yet in no case known to the Department does the actual deposit of sewage sludge increase, in any measurable or discernible degree, the cost of maintaining channels of the depths provided in the several projects for improvement. This Department is not remiss in the administration of the laws for the protection of the navigable waters of the United States, but except in a few minor cases, which have been suitably dealt with under the law, no situation has arisen in which there has been even a presumption, let alone proof, that the shoaling of navigable channels could be traced to deposits of solids from sewage. The remedy for the pollution of our streams does not lie in an attempt to misapply the laws enacted for other purposes, but in direct and well considered measures framed to meet this need.

Respectfully yours,


[13:OF 114—A:TS]

1See ante, 197.


[WASHINGTON] January 22, 1934

MY DEAR SENATOR SHIPSTEAD: My acknowledgment of your letter dated January 9th in regard to the proposed study of the Upper Mississippi Valley has been delayed.1 Prior to its receipt I had a further conference with Secretary Ickes as to the most expeditious way of handling a reconnaissance such as you have in mind, in which factors of flood control and prevention, soil erosion, navigation, power, etc., will be co-ordinated. We reached the conclusion that the most immediate and effective result can be obtained through permitting the Mississippi Valley Committee under Mr. Cooke's chairmanship, to conduct these studies with such carefully chosen assistants as may be required.

I am informed that the Mississippi Valley Committee has already initiated special studies for both the Upper Mississippi and Missouri River valleys, on which they are pressing to secure fairly early returns.

Mr. Cooke advises me that he had one conference with you since your letter was written, and hopes to keep you advised as to the progress on this work in which you are so vitally interested.2

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 466—D:CT]

1Shipstead thought that Roosevelt's proposed appointment of a subcommittee to study the problems of the Upper Mississippi Valley was a good idea provided it was done under the direction of "some Chairman who has the social point of view" (OF 466—D). He suggested that the survey include erosion, reforestation, water conservation, flood control and power development.

2Drafted by Morris L. Cooke, chairman of the Mississippi Valley Committee. Cooke had served under Roosevelt before as a member of the New York State Power Commission.


[WASHINGTON] January 23, 1934

MY DEAR MR. WEIDELICH: I thank you and Doctor Dannecker for your interesting letter and the copy of The Forest Manager.1

It is quite true that our past management, or mismanagement, of our forest resource has brought us to a situation where we are now faced with a tremendous job of forest rehabilitation.

We are attacking this problem along two broad lines: Our National Forest system, long established in the West over lands set aside for the purpose from the public domain, is now being rapidly expanded through land purchases to cover a reasonable share of the forested areas of the East and South. Secondly, a definite and far-reaching program of co-operation with private timberland owners is being carried forward in practically all our forested States under the Clarke-McNary Act and in other extension activities of our Department of Agriculture.

Quite recently we have launched a new attack on one phase of the problem. We propose to establish a number of subsistence farm communities in connection with National Forests upon which members of the community may find part time employment. Such a plan, we believe, has great possibilities from the standpoints both of forest development and social welfare.

Your interest is greatly appreciated. I suggest that when next you are in Asheville, you would find it worth while to call upon the Forest Supervisor of Pisgah National Forest. He will be glad to discuss with you our forestry activities and particularly those which bear directly upon the betterment of forest conditions in North Carolina.2

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 149:CT]

1Weidelich had written Jan. 6, 1934 (OF 149), on the efforts of the Log Cabin Association, Inc., of which he was superintendent, "to make the folks in Western North Carolina forest conscious and practice forest management." Dr. K. Dannecker, author of Der Waltwirt, was at this time chief forester of Württemberg. An English translation, by Weidelich, was published by the American Forestry Association in 1939.

2Drafted by the Agriculture Department.


[WASHINGTON] January 25, 1934

MY DEAR MR. DIRECTOR: It is my desire that the Administration of Emergency Conservation Work should continue the Civilian Conservation Corps camps until April 1, 1935, and for this purpose I am requesting the Congress to authorize an appropriation of $275,000,000 for the use of the Administration during the first nine months of the fiscal year 1935, it appearing that its current expenses to June 30, 1934, have already been provided for.

You are accordingly authorized to proceed with the necessary arrangements and plans for continuing the camps until April 1, 1935, subject, of course, to Congress authorizing the appropriation of the additional funds which I am requesting.

Very truly yours,


[Notation: AS] L.W.D.1

[13:OF 268:CT]

1Budget Director Lewis W. Douglas, in whose agency this letter was drafted.


[WASHINGTON] January 25, 1934

DEAR OWEN: I am delighted to see the letter from Mr. Evison.1

I am asking for full continuation of the C. C. C. for another year and I hope that it will become a permanent institution though perhaps on a somewhat smaller basis.

I do hope we shall see you and Peg soon.

As ever yours,


[13:PPF 316:CT]

1Herbert Evison, a Civilian Conservation Corps official, to State Forester C. P. Wilber of New Jersey, Dec. 28, 1933, congratulating him on the way the state park CCC camps in New Jersey were managed (PPF 316). Evison's letter was enclosed with Winston's letter to Roosevelt of Jan. 19, 1934. Winston, at this time a member of the New Jersey State Board of Conservation, said that he hoped the CCC idea would become permanent, "both for the good of our natural resources and the youth of our country."


WASHINGTON, D. C., January 25, 1934

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: We have the honor to present to you the unanimous vote of a large group of representative conservationists who met today at the Senate Office Building at the request of the Special Committee of the Senate on the Conservation of Wild Life Resources to consider certain legislative phases of a program presented by this committee and certain administrative and executive phases of a plan proposed by your committee of three, known as the President's Committee for Wild Life Restoration.

It would be difficult, if not impossible, to express to you the enthusiastic appreciation and the hearty cooperation pledged by the sportsmen of the country, the nature lovers, the farmers' organizations, the conservation commissioners, the representatives of the National Association of Audubon Societies and the sportsmen's magazines for a comprehensive plan with the possibility of a large fund in support of this plan for the restoration of our migratory waterfowl, upland game birds and insectivorous birds, and the purchase, for these purposes, of large areas of submarginal lands.

The conference unanimously approved the following:

(1) The Duck Stamp Bill prepared by the Special Senate Committee on the Conservation of Wild-Life Resources, Senate Bill 1658 and House Bill 5632.1

(2) Senator Joseph T. Robinson's Wild Life Refuge Bill No. 2277: A bill to establish fish and game sanctuaries in the national forests and on other public lands, approved by the Senate Committee and now on the Senate Calendar.2

(3) The Coordination Bill, introduced by the Senate Committee, to coordinate Conservation activities of the several Federal departments, which passed the Senate and was approved by the House Committee in the last session.3

(4) Your stimulating order setting aside the sum of $25,000,000 for the withdrawal of submarginal lands from commercial agriculture at once suggests the use of certain portions of these lands for migratory waterfowl and upland game.

(5) That appropriations should be made as authorized under the Norbeck-Andresen bill and the policy established therein for a period of ten years (five years have already gone) should be renewed.4

(6) The treaty with Canada established our duty to conserve migratory birds along their annual flight lanes within our country. When these birds reach the Mexican Border, or the Gulf of Mexico, many of them cross into the domain of our sister republics to the South, particularly Mexico. We recommend that negotiations be entered into to bring about a treaty with Mexico similar in character to that with Canada.

Proposals for a plan to be submitted to the President by the Presidential Committee for the Restoration of Wild Life:

(1) Restoration of migratory waterfowl nesting areas by purchase (one year lease with option to buy, to hasten possession and guard against error) of a large number of such areas in the States where these birds naturally multiply if given proper environment and food.

(2) A Nation-wide upland game restoration program, with specific projects.

(3) A Nation-wide plan for action involving the acquisition and restoration of areas suitable for facilitating a prolific nature in increasing the population of all wild life, especially those species which are, or are becoming, rare.

(4) A proposal for a much-needed coordinated and businesslike administration set-up to carry the plan into successful execution if or when the report is approved by the President.

For the first time in the history of organized conservation, there was a unanimity of action in a broad program which, in our belief, will redound to the great benefit of future generations.5

Respectfully submitted,

[Notation: A: LEHAND] Sec. Ag for your info—



1The Duck Stamp Bill (Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Bill) was approved March 16, 1934 (48 Stat. 451). It levied a one-dollar tax on hunters of wildfowl, the proceeds to be used for the protection of birds and the purchase of breeding and resting grounds.

2The Wildlife Refuge Bill was approved March 10, 1934 (48 Stat. 400).

3The Wildlife Coordination Bill (S. 2529) was approved March 10, 1934 (48 Stat. 401). It gave the Bureau of Fisheries and the Bureau of Biological Survey certain authority over the use of waters impounded by the Bureau of Reclamation or other agency, and required that the Bureau of Fisheries be consulted before dams were authorized for construction.

4This was the Norbeck-Andresen Migratory Bird Conservation Act of Feb. 18, 1929 (45 Stat. 1222), intended to supplement the Migratory Bird Treaty of 1918 by providing funds for the purchase of bird refuges. Conservationists expected much of the act but appropriations made under it were disappointingly small.

5The document here printed is referred to as a "treaty" in the Report of the President's Committee on Wild-Life Restoration (Washington, 1934), pp. vii—viii, Striking evidence of unanimous and unified support for immediate action on the proposals we are making is had in the 'treaty' drawn and signed by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Conservation of Wild Life Resources, the chairman of this Committee, and the representatives of 47 interested organizations, including the National Grange and the American Farm Bureau Federation, at the Senate committee hearing held January 25, 1934, and presented to the President by a select committee on January 26, 1934." (The Report is described post, 225.) The statement, with signatures of the representatives of the forty-seven organizations mentioned, is printed in the Report, pp. 17-20. See below.


[WASHINGTON] January 31, 1934

DEAR MR. SECRETARY: We are intensely annoyed and greatly embarrassed by the fact that former Senator Harry B. Hawes and Carl Shoemaker, secretary to the Senate Committee on Conservation of Wild Life Resources, circulated through your Department, and, no doubt, elsewhere a printed folder entitled, "A Plan for National Conservation submitted to the President," which many officials assumed was this Committee's expected report to the President on wild life restoration.1

The wording on the title page of this folder is grossly misleading and false, in that it states it was a plan submitted to the President.

Fortunately, the undersigned was able to attend the hearing held on this alleged "plan" and, in consequence, succeeded in having it killed, except for the recommendations concerning the Duck Stamp Bill, the Senator Robinson Wild Life Refuge Bill, the Coordination Bill and a proposed bird treaty with Mexico.2

Is there not some way in which important persons in your Department can be informed of this matter, so that they will be under no further misapprehension?

With assurances of my esteem, please believe me

Sincerely yours,


[Notation: A] For President's Info

[13:OF 378:CT]

1A Plan for National Conservation Submitted to the President for His Approval by a Conference Called by the U. S. Senate Committee on Conservation of Wild Life Resources (Washington, Jan. 25, 1934). (This is an eight-page pamphlet; a copy is with the letter here printed.) This was published by the Senate committee immediately following the hearing held by it on Jan. 25, 1934, referred to by Beck and Walcott in their joint letter of that date to Roosevelt (above). Beck's indignation at what he regarded as an attempt of the Senate committee to appropriate to itself credit for the accomplishments of his group was further expressed in a letter to McIntyre of Jan. 31, 1934 (OF 378), in which he asked that the President be informed of what was going on.

2Concerning these bills, see above. The proposed treaty with Mexico would have extended the protection to migratory birds provided by the Migratory Bird Treaty with Canada. Provisions of the "plan" that the Beck committee opposed included appointment of an "Assistant Secretary of Agriculture in Charge of Conservation"; the changing of the name of the Bureau of Biological Survey to "Wildlife Service"; and authorization of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission to recommend land purchases (for conservation purposes) under the submarginal land retirement program. The plan proposed by the Beck committee is described post, 225 n.

222 PRESS CONFERENCE, Executive Offices of the White House, January 31, 1934, 4:15 P. M.

[Excerpt] Q: Can you tell us about your flood control conference you had here?1

The President: It was preliminary; we are going to meet again. We talked about flood control from the point of view of national planning with the general thought that we would try to work out a national plan in the larger aspect that would list the various rivers and flood control projects in the order of their necessity; that is, on the order of damage done, human beings affected, property affected, et cetera. But that is as far as we got, discussing national planning for flood control and all the things that go with it, power, reclamation, submarginal lands and everything else.2


1Roosevelt had just concluded an hour-long conference with members of Congress interested in flood control and water resources development. Members of the delegation are not identified in the White House list of appointments for the day but presumably among them were the introducers of the resolutions mentioned below, Senator Norris (Nebr.) and Representative Wilson (La.).

2Following the White House conference, the Senate, on February 1, passed Senate Resolution 164, calling upon the President to send to the Senate a "comprehensive plan for the improvement and development of the rivers of the United States, with a view of giving to Congress information for its guidance in legislation which will provide for the maximum of flood control, navigation, irrigation, and development of hydroelectric power." The House companion resolution was approved the next day (Cong. Rec., 73d Cong., 2d sess., 78:2, 1738, 1854-1855). Ickes, in his Diary (I, 145), says that Roosevelt, at the January 3 conference, suggested the introduction of the resolution as a means of getting a unified plan before the Congress. A recent study refers to the resolution as "the initial move by certain members of Congress to write the Rooseveltian water planning goals and purposes into legislation" (Marian E. Ridgeway, The Missouri Basin's Pick-Sloan Plan, Urbana: University of Illinois, 1955, p. 37).

To prepare the plan, the President appointed a Committee on Water Flow, composed of the Secretaries of Agriculture, Interior, Labor and War, and requested it to prepare a preliminary report.


WASHINGTON, D. C., February 3, 1934

SIR: Pursuant to Executive Order No. 6247 of August 10, 1933,1 there is transmitted herewith redraft of a proposed Executive Order submitted by the Director of the Budget under date of January 29, 1934, entitled "Public Grazing Withdrawal No. 4, Utah."

The proposed order withdraws "from settlement, location, sale, or entry," and reserves 1,200,000 acres of public lands in the State of Utah "for classification, in aid of legislation, for conservation and development of natural resources and for use as grazing land." In addition to the recital therein as to the necessity for the proposed order, the Secretary of the Interior, in his letter of January 25, 1934,2 requesting the President to issue the proposed order, states: "The order is submitted in response to a petition filed by users of the range land for the purpose of obtaining conservation of natural resources of the public domain and as an aid in the industrial recovery of the local range users."

The first question to be considered is whether the President is authorized to withdraw the land in question for the purposes stated in the proposed order. The latter recites, in effect, that it is issued under inherent power vested in the President as such, and express authority vested in him by the act of June 25, 1910 (ch. 421, 36 Stat. 847), as amended by the act of August 24, 1912 (ch. 369,37 Stat. 497). This act authorizes the President to withdraw public lands for certain designated and "other public purposes." Obviously the President is authorized to determine the necessity for the withdrawal and whether it is for a public purpose. In my judgment, any one of the purposes recited in the proposed order is sufficient to authorize the withdrawal.

Aside from this statutory authority, the Supreme Court has recognized inherent power in the President to withdraw public lands for public purposes, and that the act of June 25, 1910, as amended by the act of August 24, 1912, supra, merely recognizes and does not circumscribe that power (United States v. Midwest Oil Co., 236 U. S. 459; Mason v. United States, 260 U.S. 545.)

For the reasons stated, it is my opinion that the President is authorized to withdraw the lands in question.

In his letter of January 29, 1934,3 the Director of the Budget suggests that in a recent opinion concerning a proposed Executive Order withdrawing certain lands of the Ute Indians in the State of Colorado, I inferentially doubted the power of the President to withdraw public lands for conservation purposes. That opinion and the views expressed therein related solely to Indian lands and no consideration was given to the right of the President to withdraw public lands for conservation purposes.

The proposed order provides for the use of the land for grazing purposes "in accordance with such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior." This provision raises the question as to the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to prescribe rules and regulations governing grazing on the land withdrawn. There is no express statutory authority vested in the President or the Secretary of the Interior to prescribe such rules and regulations. It is my opinion, however, that since the grant of a power includes all things necessary to effectuate the purpose of the grant, the President has implied authority to issue such regulations.

Since the land is to be under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary acts as the alter ego of the President in matters committed to the President by the Constitution and statutes of the United States, it is my further opinion that the President is empowered to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to prescribe the regulations in question. Such regulations must be limited in scope, of course, to the accomplishment of the purposes of the withdrawal and be consistent with the temporary character of the power vested in the President by the act of June 25, 1910, as amended by the act of August 24, 1912, supra.

The changes made in the draft submitted by the Director do not alter the purpose of the proposed order, the revised draft of which has my approval as to form and legality.4



[13:OF 6—B:TS]

1Prescribing the form of executive orders.

2(OF 6—B). In a letter of the same date to the Budget Director, Attorney General and Secretary of State, asking early action on the order, Ickes said: "You will note that this land is proposed to be withdrawn at the instance of the users of the land. The reason I am suggesting quick action is because of the favorable effect the withdrawal order will have in establishing the land policy of the President."

3Douglas' letter (OF 6—B) concludes: "There are now pending in Congress bills to establish a grazing administration of the public lands and even though you should determine that this may legally be done by Executive Order, I seriously question whether, as a matter of administrative policy, it would be advisable to establish a grazing administration of the public lands in advance, and independently, of action by Congress. For the reasons above stated I cannot give my approval to this proposed Executive Order."

4The order was issued Feb. 6, 1934, as Executive Order 6587. The right of the President to create grazing districts through the withdrawal power was also upheld in a 2000-word opinion of Interior Department Solicitor Margold in a letter to Ickes of Jan. 25, 1934. (A copy is filed with the letter here printed; it is printed in the Congressional Record, 73d Cong., 2d sess., 78:10, 11142-11143). The issuance of the executive order was immediately protested by Governor Miller of Wyoming. In a telegram to Roosevelt of Feb. 7, 1934 (OF 633), he said that he hoped it did not presage similar action in other states. He added that a large majority of the people of Wyoming were opposed to a Federal system of grazing leases; they believed that the entire public lands question should be left to Congress.

Replying to a similar protest from Senator Carey of Wyoming (Feb. 10, 1934, OF 633), Ickes wrote: "For some time the question of the authority of the President, without Congressional action, by Executive order to withdraw these lands for grazing and regulate their use for that purpose has been under consideration . . . Pending action on the Taylor bill, withdrawals of this character will be resorted to when found necessary, largely upon application of local users of the range."

Recent surveys of the western land-use problem include Marion Clawson, Uncle Sam's Acres (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1951); Bernard Frank and Anthony Netboy, Water, Land and People (New York: Knopf, 1950); E. Louise Peffer, The Closing of the Public Domain (Stanford: Stanford University, 1951); and Mont H. Saunder son, Western Land and Water Use (Norman: University of Oklahoma, 1950). See also The Western Range (74th Cong., 2d sess., S. Doc. 199, Washington, 1936), a compilation of monographs on the history of the range by Agriculture Department specialists.


WASHINGTON, February 3, 1934

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I have your memorandum reading as follows: "Dry Farming Stations. 18 of them—can we keep them going in part?"

In reply, it seems necessary to review the whole procedure involving the Department of Agriculture budget. Mr. Douglas asked of us a cut of several million dollars, after we had made enormous reductions, and I felt that it was necessary to talk to you about the matter; at that time, you suggested that we find ways to cut $500,000 from our budget. We did this, and a little more. The budget we submitted to Mr. Douglas involved a reduction of $800,000. This reflected our best judgment of what it was necessary to maintain if we were to carry out the obligations imposed upon us by many specific laws. Mr. Douglas did not accept our recommendations but went ahead with his program, of heavy reduction, and proposed complete cessation of our work in dry farming, western irrigation, all of the research in the Bureau of Biological Survey, all of the work in the Bureau of Agricultural Economics on farm finance, and other reductions of like sort.

If restoration of any one of these items should involve cuts somewhere else in our Department budget, our last state would be no better than our present one. I feel sure that any other reduction that might be made will leave us in as badly crippled a situation as we are in with the reductions that have been made. This Department would welcome restoration of these activities, however, if that could be made as an addition to the total appropriation allowed for in the budget originally transmitted to Congress.

Dry land farming was cut for 1935 in round figures $208,000 and completely wiped out; western irrigation, a closely interrelated activity, was cut $90,000 and practically wiped out. Any restoration of dry farming should include western irrigation. The swarm of protests which have reached the Department have gone to both lines. To hold up dry farming alone in isolation from western irrigation would be altogether unsatisfactory. With a return of 50 per cent of the reductions on both activities, we could carry on in 1935 on the basis of three main dry land stations with a few subsidiaries, five western irrigation stations in lieu of the ten now slated to go. This would meet a fair share of the protests. There would be enough volume left in the work to accomplish useful results.

Sincerely yours,


[Notation:A:TULLY] LD1 What do you think FDR (2-10-34)

[13:OF I:CT]

1Budget Director Lewis W. Douglas.


WASHINGTON, February 9, 1934

DEAR MR. EARLY: The Secretary at Cabinet meeting this afternoon will deliver to the President a report of the Special Committee on Wild Life Restoration, appointed at the suggestion of the President. Since the report is being made to President Roosevelt, we, of course, do not feel at liberty to issue any announcement about it until we have your approval. I am attaching hereto a proposed Press release, and we shall appreciate it if you will let us know when it can be given out, and whether any changes are advisable.1

Sincerely yours,

[Notations: AS] 2/10/34 OK Release SE


[13:OF 378:TS]

1This typed report, "A National Plan for Wild Life Restoration," was sent to Wallace by Beck on Feb. 8, 1934 (OF 378). The report was issued (in part) by the Department of Agriculture as Report of the President's Committee on Wild-Life Restoration (Washington, 1934). The draft press release mentioned was issued by the White House on Feb. 10, 1934, and was published (in part) in the New York Times of Feb. 11, 1934 (I, 37). The plan called for the immediate acquisition of five million acres of submarginal agricultural land and the gradual acquisition of eight to ten million acres more for wildlife production and related purposes. It proposed the coordination of Federal conservation agencies under a "Restoration Commissioner" who would be responsible to a committee composed of the Secretaries of Interior, Agriculture and Commerce. Following an initial allotment of $25,000,000, future maintenance of the tracts was to be derived from four sources: "Duck Stamp" revenue, Migratory Bird Conservation Act funds, a continuance of the tax on arms and ammunition, and appropriations of public funds. Subsistence farmers, under trained supervisors, would manage the areas.

Many conservationists criticized the plan because it failed to consider overshooting as a factor in the rapidly diminishing number of waterfowl. It was pointed out that from 75 to 85% of all North American waterfowl bred north of the United States and the need was to return sufficient breeding stock to the Canadian nesting grounds. The Beck report avoided mention of this factor. See "President's Committee on Wild Life Restoration," Nature Magazine, 23 (April, 1934), 157.

226 PRESS CONFERENCE, Executive Offices of the White House, February 14, 1934, 10:40 A. M.

[Excerpt] Q: Mr. President, are you planning on a Cabinet Commission to handle inland waterway problems or inland waterway commissions?

The President: Both Houses passed resolutions about two weeks ago asking for some kind of a comprehensive plan. It originated from the fact that we, frankly, had no real plan that would take care of rivers and harbors and reclamation and forestry and so forth. There is a Cabinet committee at work on that at the present time. They probably won't get a report out for another three weeks because it is so big.

Q. Who heads that up?

The President: Let me see, there is Agriculture, Interior, Commerce, War—I don't know whether Labor is on it or not but I think so.1

Q. Would this have anything to do with the St. Lawrence Waterway Development, for example?

The President: No, merely as one of the watersheds. The general idea is this: That we have been going ahead year after year—you can use this as background—going ahead with rivers and harbors bills and various other pieces of legislation which were more or less dependent, as we all know, on who could talk the loudest. There has never been any definite planning and the general thought is that we will try, out of this report, to get a permanent planning commission.

This commission will be non-political, non-partisan and this commission will study the whole area of the United States, and the easiest way to do that is by watersheds.

For example, they will study the needs of all of the territory affected by the water that flows into the Atlantic Ocean and then they will list the projects within that watershed in the order of their importance from two points of view: First, the point of view of danger and damage to life and property which includes soil erosion and things like that. Secondly, from the point of view of economics as to whether a new canal is needed or something of similar character. Then there is a third point of view which might be called the social point of view as to whether a territory should have land eliminated from cultivation or whether it could support a greater population.

Then, another survey would cover the watersheds of the rivers that flow into the Gulf, directly into the Gulf, excluding the waters from the Mississippi River which really form a problem all themselves. Then there would be a further study of the waters flowing into the Pacific Ocean.

On each of these watersheds, the idea is that this commission, which probably eventually will become permanent, will list the projects in the order of their importance and, having so listed them, recommendations would be made to the Congress with, of course, full authority in the Congress to change the recommendations. They could change them any way they wanted because that is, essentially, a legislative prerogative.

This permanent long-range planning commission could plan ahead for twenty-five or fifty years, subject of course to changing conditions as time went on. Then, every year—and this carries out what I was talking about a couple of weeks ago—the National Government would plan to spend some more or less regular sum which, in a sense, would take the place of the public works money and would be used primarily to relieve unemployment which we will always have with us in one form or another.

This plan would put the physical development of the country on a planned basis for the first time. Of course it would include a great many factors. It would include flood-control, soil erosion, the question of submarginal land, reforestation, agriculture and the use of the crops, decentralization of industry and, finally, transportation.

Q: And water power?

The President: And water power.

Q: This can be called your land plan?

The President: Yes. Land and water. Of course it is based, in a sense, on water—on watersheds—because this whole thing ties around the problem of the watersheds rather than other types of geographical lines.

Q: Do you still have an idea of taxing the use of the water highways?

The President: That is being studied at the same time. In other words, so far as possible, with all these developments, they ought to be put on a self-sustaining basis, if it is a possible thing to do it. The Government spends at the present time on mere maintenance of existing rivers and harbors and channels, etc., somewhere between 60 and 70 million dollars a year which is an out-of-pocket expense for which the Government is practically not compensated at all. We are studying the possibility of getting back at least the cost of upkeep.

Q: Is there any reason why the St. Lawrence Waterways action should be withheld pending the development of this general plan?

The President: No.

Q: Will you go further on the decentralization of industry, what is meant by that?

The President: Well, the general thought is that there are large areas of the country where farming, by itself, will only provide perhaps a bare subsistence so far as food goes. In other words, the farmer won't bring in a cash crop, and people have to have a certain amount of cash to live on.

Therefore, the idea is to try experiments on the decentralization of industry so that the people living in those parts of the country where they cannot make a profit on farming will be able to do some farming and get a cash crop in the way of wages for part-time work during the year. One thing they are studying, which is not quite parallel, is in connection with the forestry organization. In some of our forest areas which are primarily used for timber, I think we can well adopt what they have done in certain places in Europe where the population of that area lives on small farms, getting their food off the farms. However, it is such mountainous country that they cannot make a profit, they cannot get cash in addition to food, and therefore, during the wintertime, that population as, for instance, in the Harz Mountains and Black Forest has an average of one person out of each family working in the forests during the winter for cash wages. In that case your forestation or timber cutting is an industry.


1The Secretary of Labor was a member; Commerce was not. See post, 237.


[WASHINGTON] February 21, 1934

MY DEAR MR. SECRETARY: I have discussed with you and the Secretary of Agriculture Congressman Taylor's bill, H. R. 6462, to give the Secretary of the Interior the power to regulate grazing on the public domain. I favor the principle of this bill, and you and the Secretary of Agriculture are authorized to say so to the House Committee on Public Lands.1

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 633:CT]

1The original of this letter was signed (and possibly drafted) at a meeting of Ickes and Wallace with Roosevelt at the White House on February 21. They had previously discussed the Taylor bill at a White House luncheon conference on January 25; at that time the President was told that because of western opposition the bill could not pass unless he gave it his support. This he promised to do (Ickes' Diary, I, 143, 148). At his January 26 press conference, Roosevelt was asked if he had decided to send a special message to Congress on grazing control legislation. He replied that both Ickes and Wallace agreed that the pending bill was "a pretty good bill," and that he had asked them to give him a letter on the subject (President's Press Conferences).

The bill had been originally introduced in the 72d Congress by Rep. Don B. Colton (Utah) but had failed to pass. It was again introduced March 10, 1933, as H. R. 2835 by Rep. Taylor (Colo.) but was not reported from committee. As then drawn it contained a provision to which Ickes strongly objected: that the proposed grazing control regulations would be inoperative in a state without the approval of the state, and that state and Federal lands could be merged in a joint administration for grazing control purposes. His views on what constituted adequate grazing regulation received wide circulation in an interview with the writer Marquis James, published under the title, "The National Domain and the New Deal," in The Saturday Evening Post of Dec. 23, 1933. When Taylor reintroduced his bill (as H. R. 6462) on Jan. 5, 1934, he announced that the section to which Ickes had objected had been removed, and had the James article reprinted in the Congressional Record (73d Cong., 1st sess., 77:1, 172; 2d sess., 78:1, 161-151;163, 167-151;168).

Hearings were held and an extended debate ensued (House of Representatives, Committee on Public Lands, To Provide for the Orderly Use, Improvement, and Development of the Public Range, Hearings, 73d Cong., 1st sess., on H. R. 2835, and 73d Cong., 2d sess., on H. R. 6462, June 7, 1933—March 3, 1934, Washington, 1934; Senate, Committee on Public Lands and Surveys, To Provide for the Orderly Use, Improvement, and Development of the Public Range, Hearings, 73d Cong., 2d sess., on H. R. 6462, April 20—May 2, 1934, Washington, 1934). The debate was too involved for brief summary; see Congressional Record, 78: 12, index, and Peffer, The Closing of the Public Domain, pp. 214-224.


WASHINGTON, February 23, 1934

Memorandum Relating to the President's Conference With Lumbermen and Foresters on February 23

President's Co-operation Sought in Promoting Success of Program of Forest Industries in Regard to Industrial Reforestation

The purpose of the conference (which was proposed by the President) was understood to be that of personally acquainting the President with the progress of the lumber industry toward reforestation and its plans to that end. At sessions of the Forestry Conference, held under the conservation article of the Lumber Code in October and January,1 representatives of the public and of the forest industries agreed upon what industry and the public authorities should do to bring about sustained production, or, forest conservation.

The forest industries pledged themselves to the following and have amended the Lumber Code to that end, subject to President Roosevelt's approval:

1. Scrupulous measures by individual operators for protection against forest fires during and immediately following logging.

2. Systematic cooperation of forest owning groups and public authorities in extending systematic protection against fire and other destructive agencies to all forest lands.

3. Preservation of immature trees and young growth during logging operations.

4. Provision for restocking the land after cutting.2 And to take action to apply promptly wherever practicable:

5. Partial cutting or selective logging.

6. Development of individual management plans.

7. Sustained yield forest management.

Beginning of Commercial Reforestation

This program is to be inaugurated on June 1st. That will be a Red Letter day in American industrial history because it will mark the beginning of sustained yield treatment of 400 million acres of land.

The Public's Part

The Forestry Conference adopted recommendations regarding public cooperation in the realization of reforestation, covering a comprehensive program to be called to the attention of President Roosevelt and other national and state public authorities for approval and adoption. In this large program five outstanding features are stressed. These five points are:

1. Executive action to bring under the forestry provisions of the Lumber Code all privately owned timber lands not under other codes.

2. A nation-wide forest fire protection structure.

3. Equitable taxation systems adapted to the nature of a crop which may be harvested only once in a generation.

4. A forest credit system which will help to finance taxation and other carrying charges over the long periods of realization under a sustained yield program of forest development.

5. Greatly enlarged public acquisitions of timber lands, including the early purchase of 150 billion feet of standing timber and of cut-over land as advocated in the Copeland report of the Forest Service, and the inclusion of all forested public domain in the National Forests.

The group which conferred with the President included:

Public Representatives

The Secretary of Agriculture; U. S. Forester, F. A. Silcox; Earle H. Clapp, Assistant U. S. Forester; B. P. Kirkland, Assistant U. S. Forester; Ovid M. Butler, Secretary, American Forestry Association; Geo. H. Collingwood, Forester, American Forestry Association; Franklin Reed, Secretary, Society of American Foresters; Ward Shepard, Indian Forest Service, Dept. of the Interior; W. DuB. Brookings, Chamber of Commerce of the United States; Chester Gray, Washington representative, American Farm Bureau Federation; W. G. Howard, Forester of the N. Y. State Conservation Commission.

Industry Representatives

John D. Tennant, Long-Bell Lumber Co., Longview, Washington, Chairman Lumber Code Authority; B. W. Lakin, McCloud River Lumber Co., McCloud, California; C. R. Johnson, Union Lumber Co., San Francisco, Calif.; G. F. Jewett, Potlatch Forests, Inc., Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; P. V. Eames, Shevlin-Carpenter-Clark Co., Minneapolis; A. Trieschmann, Crossett-Watzek-Gates Co., Chicago; W. M. Ritter, W. M. Ritter Lumber Co., Columbus, Ohio, Hardwood Manufacturers Institute; E. R. Plunkett, President, Northeastern Lumbermen's Ass'n, N. Y. City; Wilson Compton2 General Manager, National Lumber Manufacturers Ass'n; C. S. Chapman, Weyerhaeuser Timber Co., Tacoma, Washington; Carl Bahr, Asst. Executive Officer, Lumber Code Authority; W. L. Hall, Secretary, Forestry Conference, Hot Springs, Ark.; H. W. Cole, Little River Lumber Co., California.3

[13:OF 149:M]

1Oct. 24-26, 1933 (see ante, 186 n.), and Jan. 22-24, 1934. Reports on the January conference are found in H. H. Chapman, "Second Conference on the Lumber Code," and in "Conference of Lumber and Timber Products Industries with Public Agencies on Forest Conservation," in Journal of Forestry, XXXII (March, 1934), 272-274, 275-307. See also Franklin Reed, "Further Progress and Accomplishments under the Lumber Code," ibid. (April, May, 1934), 400-404, 524-528.

2This sentence was underscored in pencil, apparently by Roosevelt.

3This was issued as a news release of the National Lumber Manufacturers Association, Washington, D. C.

229 PRESS CONFERENCE, Executive Offices of the White House, February 23, 1934, 4:15 P. M.

[Excerpt] Q: Do you care to discuss the visit you had from the Reforestation people today?

The President: Who?

Q: The lumber people.

The President: Yes. They came in to give me a preliminary report on what amounts, really, to an extension of the lumber code that was signed last fall, developing it into what might be called a conservation code.

There was a clause in the original lumber code that provided a meeting, of which today's meeting is a result, between the private owners of forests and the state and Federal forestation services, with the idea that we would cooperate, the Government and the state-owned forests and forest systems, with private ownership, which amounts to four-fifths of the total, in a general plan which would cover reforestation. It is a thing that has been worked out, that form of cooperation, in almost every European country with very great satisfaction and very great success, and there is no reason why we should not work it out over here. It depends for its success, of course, on enforcement. It means that either a large company or a small private owner who does not live up not only to the provision for hours of work and pay per hour, but also to provisions for cleaning up after he has lumbered off his property by reseeding or planting, whether a big company or a small company, if they do not live up to it, it means the whole thing falls down. Therefore, it becomes largely a matter of private practice and it must be almost 100% perfect in carrying out the agreement. Like so many other things, about 5% of the operators, if they chisel, the whole thing falls down. But the lumber companies who are represented—I should say the industry itself—feel that proper enforcement can be obtained not only through their own efforts, but also through the assistance of the state and Federal forestry services. It looks as if they are really getting somewhere.

I am particularly interested because away back in 1911 I got through the Legislature the first definite effort to bring the private companies into a spirit of conservation. We passed what was called the "top lopping" bill up in the Adirondack section. Up to that time, when they would cut down a spruce or a pine, they would work out the lower part, the stick, and leave the upper part of the tree sticking up in the air. If you had a fire where that had been done the whole section would burn out over night. The top lopping [bill] provided that all branches should be laid back and that [they] would all work into the ground in the course of a couple of years and would present no longer the fire hazard which the former method of working it did.1

Q: Does the code provide that they must reseed after they cut off the timber? Is that in the code?

The President: Of course that depends entirely on the kind of land. For instance, you take down in the yellow pine belt. Nobody plants yellow pine. If, after you have lumbered a yellow pine area, you clean the ground, you will get a reseeding from the trees that are left—so many trees to the acre left for reseeding purposes—you will get a natural reseeding in two or three years. On the other hand, in certain parts in the North, if you cut clean or even if you leave only a small number of seed trees, according to the character of the land, you do not have to replant. Taking it by and large, in lumbering operations, the percentage of land that has to be replanted is almost infinitesimal. It is one of two per cent because, in almost all forest land, if you leave seed trees, two or three seed trees to the acre, you get an annual reseeding without any cost if you prepare the ground for it by cleaning up.


1(The bracketed words have been supplied.) Roosevelt's memory failed him here. The "top-lopping law" was originally enacted in 1909 and as re-enacted in the 1912 Roosevelt-Jones bill was actually diminished in scope. See statement on the bill, ante, 11 n.


[WASHINGTON, March 2, 1934]

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: There is enclosed a proposed amendment to the Act of May 12, 1933, of which the Agricultural Adjustment Act forms a part.1 This additional legislation, which is in the form of a new title numbered IV to the Act of May 12, 1933, relates to a long time land policy, including broad studies of land utilization and withdrawal of submarginal land from production. In this way it would be possible gradually to center agriculture on the best lands, while making the necessary reductions in output by taking the poorer areas out of commercial production. This land policy is consistent with the policy already approved by you with respect to the withdrawal of submarginal lands by the Surplus Relief Corporation, and the policy for joint development of land and population relocation policies, as announced by Mr. Hopkins.

Titles to many tracts of land are now held by state and county governments and other local governmental units, as a result of tax delinquencies, and by Federal land banks as a result of foreclosure. Under the proposed new title, the President, under suitable regulations, could acquire these lands where they would fit into a land utilization project and exchange Government bonds therefor. These bonds would carry only a very low rate of interest and would not be eligible for resale, so that they would place no present strain on the credit of the Government. Even when the full extent of the bonds provided for, $500,000,000, had been issued, that would involve an interest charge of only 7-1/2 million dollars a year, which is negligible compared to the benefit to agriculture which would result from a removal of these lands from production, and also from the reduced expenditures for the control of agricultural production. The bond issue as proposed authorizes a long step toward the carrying through of a real national land policy with practically no burden upon the present Federal financing.

The Secretary of the Interior has been consulted concerning this proposed legislation and is favorable to its passage.



[Notation: A] 3-2-34


1The draft amendment is present. It is adequately described post, 236.

2An attached memorandum of the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture reads in part: "This letter was signed by Dr. Tugwell and evidently carried in person to the White House prior to his departure for Puerto Rico (March 3)." The signed letter is not present.


WASHINGTON, March 13, 1934

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I have Mr. McIntyre's letter of the 9th instant1 transmitting H. R. 5632 entitled:

An Act to supplement and support the Migratory Bird Conservation Act by providing funds for the acquisition of areas for use as migratory-bird sanctuaries, refuges, and breeding grounds, for developing and administering such areas, for the protection of certain migratory birds, for the enforcement of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and regulations thereunder, and for other purposes.

and requesting that I advise you whether there is any objection to the approval of the bill.

The Act imposes upon each person over sixteen years of age, with certain exceptions in favor of Federal and State institutions and agencies, and persons taking waterfowl for propagation or for the protection of crops and other property from their depredations, a license fee of $1.00 to hunt migratory waterfowl within the protection of the treaty of 1916 between the United States and Great Britain and devotes not less than 90 per centum of the revenue from this source to the location, ascertainment, acquisition, administration, maintenance, and development of suitable areas for inviolate migratory-bird sanctuaries, under the provisions of the Migratory Bird Conservation Act of 1929. Incidentally this 90 per centum is also available for the administration, maintenance, and development of other refuges now under the administration of this Department. The remainder of this revenue is to be available for administrative expenses under the Act, the Migratory Bird Conservation Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and any other Act that may hereafter be passed to carry out any treaty that may be entered into with any other country for the protection of migratory birds, and for reimbursement of the Post Office Department for funds expended by it in printing, engraving and issuing the stamps that are to evidence the payment of the $1.00 license fee imposed.

The Special Committee on the Conservation of Wild Life Resources to whom the bill was referred in the Senate transmitted it to this Department for a report. The Department commented upon certain features of the bill, suggesting amendment or elimination. These suggestions were adopted by the Senate Committee and effectuated. The bill was amended in a few particulars while it was on its passage through Congress, but is in all essential and substantial respects the bill upon which this Department favorably reported.

The measure is designed to aid in the acquisition of inviolate sanctuaries for migratory waterfowl, a means for their conservation which has long been regarded as one of the essentials. The Government is committed to a program of refuge acquisition by the Migratory Bird Conservation Act of February 18, 1929.


I am pleased to inform you that I know of no objection to approval of the bill.


[Notation:A] Approved 3/16/342


1Budget Bureau Enrolled Bills.

248 Stat. 451.


WASHINGTON, D. C., March 21, 1934

SIR: Under the Code of Fair Competition for the Lumber and Timber Products Industries, as approved by you on August 19, 1933, the Lumber Code Authority has submitted Amendments Nos. 47 and 48 which are included and attached.

This is a report of the hearing on the foregoing Amendments conducted in Washington on February 26, 1934, in accordance with the provisions of the National Industrial Recovery Act.

These Amendments recognize the obligation undertaken by the applicant industries pursuant to Article X of the Code which reads as follows:

Article X. Conservation and Sustained Production of Forest Resources. The applicant industries undertake, in cooperation with public and other agencies, to carry out such practicable measures as may be necessary for the declared purposes of this Code in respect of conservation and sustained production of forest resources. The applicant industries shall forthwith request a conference with the Secretary of Agriculture and such State and other public and other agencies as he may designate. Said conference shall be requested to make to the Secretary of Agriculture recommendations of public measures with the request that he transmit them, with his recommendations, to the President; and to make recommendations for industrial action to the Authority, which shall promptly take such action, and shall submit to the President such supplements to this Code, as it determines to be necessary and feasible to give effect to said declared purposes. Such supplements shall provide for the initiation and administration of said measures necessary for the conservation and sustained production of forest resources, by the industries within each Division, in cooperation with the appropriate State and Federal authorities. To the extent that said conference may determine that said measures require the cooperation of federal, state, or other public agencies, said measures may to that extent be made contingent upon such cooperation of public agencies.

From the testimony taken at the hearing, it is apparent that these Amendments represent a tremendous step toward the establishment of effective mechanisms necessary to carrying out a successful program of conservation and sustained production in one of the Nation's most important natural resources. As you know so well, the means of embarking on such a program has long been sought in this Country, but the divergent interests involved, while seeking a common goal, defeated each other in its attainment by failing to reconcile their opinions in the matter of detail. In the light of this knowledge, the unanimity of opinion supporting these proposals revealed at the hearing can only be regarded as promising much in future achievement. That this reconciliation has been possible is undoubtedly due more to your interest and leadership than to any other force. . . .1

From evidence adduced during this hearing and from recommendations and reports of the various Advisory Boards, it is believed that these Amendments as now proposed and revised are satisfactory to this industry, labor, public and this Administration. It is recommended, therefore, that these Amendments, as herewith submitted, be approved.2




1Omitted is a formal statement on the legal purport and effect of the code as amended.

2Approved March 23, 1934, by Executive Order 6654.


[WASHINGTON] March 26, 1934


DEAR FRED: Many thanks for that nice note of yours of March twenty-second.1 I am very happy in the thought that we are developing a permanent wild life conservation policy.

By the way, you old rascal, how do you square your conscience with voting against Herbert Hoover's St. Lawrence Treaty? The next time it comes up, I count on your support of it!

As ever yours,


[13:PPF 1386:CT]

1Expressing his appreciation of Roosevelt's support of the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Bill (PPF 1386).


WASHINGTON, D. C., March 26, 1934

DEAR MAC: The matter of the committee report made by Thomas H. Beck, Jay N. Darling and Aldo Leopold has become rather a serious embarrassment to me.1 The report grew out of a recommendation first submitted to the President by Mr. Beck some months ago. Mr. Beck referred the suggestion to us, and by an interchange of comments, the President finally told me to go ahead and name this special committee which later turned in the report in question.

Unless the committee gets some direct word from the President, Mr. Beck, in particular, will feel rather seriously let down. Mr. Beck determines policies for the Collier's Publishing Company, and on that score I think his feeling in the matter would be well worth considering; in addition, he is highly public spirited in his service on this committee, and I think he has done something, in connection with Mr. Darling and Mr. Leopold, that the President would really be interested in if he could find time to go into it.

My own objection to the report, and I presume the President's objection to the report, would be that it is too ambitious to be feasible in the immediate future. I see no possible way of getting fifty to seventy-five million dollars for carrying out the plan. However, the general direction indicated by the plan can be followed to good advantage, and if the President could see Mr. Beck and Mr. Darling for a few minutes so as to say an appreciative word, it would be helpful. Further, if he could find a way to suggest a source for even five million dollars for carrying out the idea, there would be loud cheers.

One reason why I am interested in this is that it offers a means for arousing the interest of a very large element of the population for an all-around land project. I have been amazed to find how universal has been the praise of the report of this committee, representing unification in groups ranging from the rabid conservationists to the game slaughterers. These groups represent, or touch, some seven or ten million of the population, and I think it would be highly desirable to enlist their interest.2

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 378:TS]

1Report of the President's Committee on Wild-Life Restoration (Washington, 1934).

2Wallace enclosed a memorandum outlining the history of the Beck committee plan. (This is unsigned and undated but was probably prepared by Beck.) Roosevelt mentioned the report in his press conference of April 27, 1934: "As far as the principle goes, of course it is a grand report. When you come down to the question of financing it, we have to do it only as fast as we can."


WASHINGTON, March 29, 1934

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I understand that you have already expressed interest in the bill now pending before Congress for the creation of a national park in the Everglades of Florida. If you would be willing to make Speaker Rainey and other leaders in both the House of Representatives and the Senate aware of your interest, it would be very much appreciated by the advocates of this bill, which include this Department.1

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 6—P:TS]

1H. R. 2837, introduced by J. Mark Wilcox of Florida. An attached memorandum, Roosevelt to McIntyre, undated, reads: "Mac: Let some of the people in the House know I am in favor of this bill, if they want to pass it without any particular trouble." An act authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to investigate the advisability of establishing a national park in the Everglades was approved March 1, 1929 (45 Stat. 1443), and a report was made: Report to Congress as to the Desirability and Practicability of Establishing a National Park to be Known as the Tropic Everglades National Park, 71st Cong., 3d sess., H. Doc. 654 (Washington, 1930). A bill introduced by Senator Fletcher (Fla.) to establish the park (S. 324) failed of enactment in the 71st and 72d Congresses but the Wilcox bill referred to above became law May 30, 1934 (48 Stat. 816). The park was established in 1947.


WASHINGTON, April 3, 1934

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT: I have the undated letter, received in this office March 5, 1934, which the Acting Secretary of Agriculture, Mr. Tugwell, addressed to you in explanation of legislation proposed by him relative to the establishment and execution of a long-time land policy, including broad studies of land utilization and withdrawal of submarginal land from production.1

This proposed new land policy would authorize the Secretary of Agriculture:

1. To develop plans for land utilization, including determination of the best uses of land and maybe studies of local government consolidations and reorganizations in cooperation with agencies of the Federal, State and local governments and private organizations.

2. To acquire lands by gift, purchase, exchange or lease using Federal appropriations where necessary.

3. To acquire tax-delinquent and other lands in possession of State and local governments or Federal, State or local government credit agencies.

4. To provide for the issuance of non-resaleable bonds to a maximum of $500,000,000 at 1-1/2 percentum per annum to mature in 40 years to be exchanged for the kind of lands mentioned in paragraph 3.

This bill would commit the Federal Government to a long-time land policy, the scope and annual cost of which is wholly indeterminate.

The Secretary of Agriculture has, however, indicated on various occasions that dependent upon a policy of economic isolation the nation would have to remove permanently from production 50,000,000 acres of good farm land or 100,000,000 acres of marginal and submarginal land, and that dependent upon a greatly liberalized international trade policy, withdrawals might be reduced to 25,000,000 acres of good farming land or 50,000,000 acres of marginal and submarginal land. Such acreage withdrawal plans, now visioned by sponsors as needing fairly prompt execution, will cost large sums of money.

Under the economic isolation policy, the reduction in good agricultural land, using a price unit as low as $75 per acre, would cost $3,750,000,000, while the reduction in marginal and submarginal land, using a price unit of $5 per acre, would cost $500,000,000. The unit cost of $75 per acre for good land by the time it was condemned and locally appraised would doubtless average $100 per acre and perhaps much higher than that, while the increases in the unit cost of marginal and submarginal lands are almost mercurial in their possibilities. Under the liberalized international trade policy, the cost of the procurement of land, good or marginal, would be reduced fifty per cent.

Incidentally, it might be asked on what basis does one consider two acres of marginal land to be the equivalent of one acre of good land in compassing the questions of land utilization and conservation? Again, if good land is to constitute much the larger withdrawals, what is to be done with the marginal and submarginal lands which will then be susceptible to uncontrolled tillage? And further, it might be asked whether the present withholding from production of 43,000,000 acres of farm land at a cost of $750,000,000 per annum, which is the Agricultural Adjustment program now, is to continue beyond 1935 and how far? Also what is to prevent the reopening of these proposed public lands to settlement again just as soon as economic conditions develop the necessary pressures?

Assuming that fifty to one hundred million acres were acquired by the Federal Government and added to the 425,985,920 acres of the present public domain, the Federal Government, instead of owning one-sixth of the country, as it does now, would find itself in possession of more than one-fifth of all the land in the United States and Alaska. The question as to what is to be done with the proposed additional land acquisitions appears to be most perplexing to the Department of Agriculture which is sponsoring this remedial legislation.

In commenting upon the retirement from production of wheat, cotton, tobacco, corn and rice acreage, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration in its recent annual report states that "the removal of forty-odd million acres of land from our total crop area raises puzzling questions as to regional and commodity competition, rotations, replacement crops, use of labor and the like . . . Readjustments occasioned by taking land out of production are complicated still further by the human phase of the problem . . . Provision must be made to see that the hired laborers and tenants do not bear the full brunt of the adjustment. The problem becomes even more difficult when considering the retirement of large acreages of submarginal land." A study of the literature and newspaper releases prepared by the Department of Agriculture in the last few months indicates clearly that any solution of the nation's land problem is extremely empirical. Until this great problem has received at least some degree of rationalization and until the important and costly experiments now under way by the Soil Erosion Service,2 Subsistence Homestead Service and the Tennessee Valley Authority begin to prove something, it would seem bad administration to resort further to the United States Treasury.

The proposed legislation provides for the development and effectuation of plans for land utilization—permanent agriculture, grazing, erosion-prevention, parks, forestry, wild life restoration or conservation and other uses. The Federal Government is spending for these general purposes $658,013,996 in 1934 and $370,019,363 in 1935, as per table below:

Permanent agriculture$47,198,543$36,095,974
(Flood control)85,990,40041,509,100
National parks18,087,70018,431,200
Forestry and public domain47,126,91433,360,858
(Civilian Conservation Camps)341,705,60065,190,000
Wild life restoration and conservation2,307,250882,450
Other Uses
(Subsistence homesteads)9,200,00015,800,000
(Irrigation projects)25,709,800662,753,200
(Rural post roads)51,000,00011,000,000
(Tennessee Valley Authority)26,277,446

It is apparently intended that these expenditures, expanded as they are by emergency allotments during these two years, are to become permanent annual appropriations and be probably increased even above the present figures.

In proposing the issuance of $500,000,000 in bonds for the acquisition of tax-delinquent and foreclosed lands in the possession of Federal, State and local government bodies and affiliated credit agencies, certain obstacles appear. These two classes of farm land will be procurable only in broken lots, and it will be exceedingly difficult in attempting to acquire sufficiently large areas for proper utilization to avoid the dangers that have usually arisen in acquiring national forest lands where homesteads cover the desired tract like the black squares on a checkerboard. Integration and acquisition of lands under such circumstances is very expensive on account of the poor bargaining position in which the Federal Government invariably finds itself. Moreover, tax-delinquent and foreclosed land is largely agricultural in character, and it is not understood what effective use, other than agricultural, could be made of it by the Federal Government once it was acquired, except to give it away again at some future date. This particular proposal would appear to be most difficult and troublesome to administer from whatever angle it is approached. Finally, the proposed exchange of bonds, non-resaleable and bearing only 1-1/2 per cent interest to be amortized in 40 years leaves grave doubt in the mind as to its feasibility, but this aspect of the matter might be referred to the Secretary of the Treasury for his recommendation.

It is noted that a number of additional sheets were attached to Mr. Tugwell's letter and bill, consisting of recommendations by the recently concluded Conservation Conference.

These recommendations would enlarge the expenditures for existing forest and wild life conservation activities by $62,275,000 annually. In view of the immense sums of emergency money being expended during the fiscal years 1934 and 1935, it would seem prudent to revert as quickly as possible to normal expenditure rates since by 1936 a great part of the national forests will have been improved to the point where normal maintenance would be ample to retain the gains made in conserving them by the use of emergency funds.

Summarizing, I wish to say that Mr. Tugwell's proposed bill is so indeterminate as to both scope and cost that it is directly in conflict with the Administration's financial program.3



1Dated March 2, 1934, ante, 230.

2The Soil Erosion Service was established as a bureau of the Interior Department following allotment of funds to that agency by the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works on Aug. 25, 1933. (Under the National Industrial Recovery Act the Public Works Administrator was authorized to set up a soil erosion program.) Hugh H. Bennett, chief soil specialist of the Agriculture Department, was brought to the Interior Department to administer the program. (The background and inception of the program are described in Bennett's report to the Secretary of the Interior in the latter's Annual Report for 1934, pp. 353-363, and in Charles M. Hardin, The Politics of Agriculture, Glencoe, Ill.: The Free Press, 1952, pp. 54-57.)

3An attached memorandum by Tugwell (undated) reads, "Taken up verbally with the President." On April 28, 1934, by Executive Order 6693, Roosevelt created the Committee on National Land Problems, composed of representatives of the Interior and Agriculture Departments and the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. The committee was authorized to make studies of land problems for the purpose of improving land use practices, balancing agricultural production, helping solve the human problem in land use, and developing a national land program.


WASHINGTON, April 17, 1934

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: The committee appointed by you to consider the water resources of the United States and to make recommendations for the development of ten river basins, submits the enclosed report.

Realizing your desire for an early report, your committee has utilized available information without waiting for the conduct of new investigations or the completion of old ones. Much information was found to be readily accessible but further studies are necessary for the proper planning of these and other river basins. Pending these studies it may not be desirable to transmit to Congress a selection of specific projects. Any selection of specific projects at this point must necessarily omit many meritorious projects which further analysis may show to be preferable. Your committee believes, however, that the reports of the technical subcommittees will furnish to Congress the basis of a comprehensive plan of development but a competent coordinating body should reduce the diversified views to practical objectives and supply adequate data which would result in the selection of well-defined projects. The basis of this procedure is referred to on pages 10 and 11 of the attached report.1

Sincerely yours,

[HAROLD L. ICKES] Secretary of the Interior
[GEORGE H. DERN] Secretary of War
[HENRY A. WALLACE] Secretary of Agriculture
[FRANCES PERKINS] Secretary of Labor

[13:OF 1092:CT]

1The letter here printed and the report enclosed with it are in the form of carbon copies sent to the White House by E. K. Burlew of the Interior Department on June 8, 1934 (OF 1092). (The originals are not present.) The committee's letter and report, with additional reports of the technical subcommittees, and with the President's message to Congress transmitting them of June 4, 1934, are printed as Development of the Rivers of the United States. Message from the President of the United States Transmitting a Preliminary Report on a Comprehensive Plan for the Improvement and Development of the Rivers of the United States . . . 73d Cong., 2d sess., H. Doc. 395 (Washington, 1934). The report proposed watershed projects (involving water supply and pollution abatement, irrigation and drainage, soil erosion prevention, recreation, power development, flood control and navigation) for the following river basins, in the order of their priority: Tennessee Valley, St. Lawrence-Great Lakes, Mississippi, Missouri (including the Platte), Sacramento-San Joaquin, Delaware River, Columbia River, Colorado River, Ohio Valley and the Great Salt Lake Basin.

The report was signed by the full committee but Secretary of War Dern and Secretary of Labor Perkins noted their reservations in accompanying letters to the President, both dated April 20, 1934.

Dern's lengthy criticism was, in effect, a denial of the need of a comprehensive national plan and the competence of any agency other than the War Department to make one. He said that stream pollution, soil erosion, reforestation and flood control were special problems and each should be handled by a special group of experts; the coordination of unrelated activities might prove harmful rather than beneficial. Miss Perkins criticized the report because the Santee River basin was not included in the ten most urgent projects and because she believed that national planning of water use should be done by a single competent body. (She thought the National Planning Board qualified.)

On the long-continuing dispute between Roosevelt and the War Department over the control of watershed planning, see Arthur Maass, Muddy Waters (Cambridge: Harvard University, 1951), passim. Roosevelt's message to Congress transmitting the report, June 4, 1934, is printed post, 254.


WASHINGTON, April 18, 1934

MY DEAR SENATOR WAGNER: Congressman Taylor's bill, H. R. 6462, which has recently passed the House and is now before your Committee,1 authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to regulate grazing on the public domain, embodies a principle which has my hearty approval, and I would appreciate the support of the proposed measure by the members of the Senate Committee on Public Lands and Surveys.

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 633:CT]

1Senate Committee on Public Lands and Surveys.

239 SPEECH BY ROOSEVELT, Commerce Department Building, April 24, 1934

[Excerpt] We have been talking about this tremendous development of our forests and we are going to buy, we are in the process of buying, twenty-five million dollars worth of forest areas to add to this great Government domain of national parks and forests. What are we going to do with it? There are a great many people who live on this land that the Government is going to buy. Are we just going to move them out and add to the congestion in other communities? Well, some of them may want to go out and if they want to go out, it is all right. But, after all, forestry is not merely the acquisition of land that has trees on it and the maintenance of that land in a state of nature for a thousand years to come. The land ought to be used. The trees ought to be used. Certain areas, of course, should be applied to public recreational purposes, but the other areas, the tree crop, should be used just as much as a crop of corn or wheat. It takes longer to grow, but that is the only difference.

There are other countries in the world that have scientific forestry in actual operation, countries whose civilizations go back three thousand instead of three hundred years. Every year they know that they have a perfectly definite yield of timber, an annual crop. Well, what do they do in their forest areas? In a great many of those forest areas in Europe, populations are maintained which use the bottom land for the growing of their food supplies and which are guaranteed—let us say that one member of every family in those forests is guaranteed a certain number of months of work in those forests by the state which owns the forest. Now, that is not driving people out of the forests; it is keeping people in the forests in an orderly way with an assurance of making an honest livelihood, of never starving and of having the opportunities of modern civilization.1


1The occasion of this extemporaneous speech was the showing in the Commerce Department auditorium of the work of the subsistence homesteads. Among the exhibits were small models of the homes and reproductions of the rooms in them. The speech as a whole (printed in Rosenman, ed., Public Papers, III, 193-200) dealt with the problem of the rehabilitation of impoverished groups that had become economically stranded. The excerpt here printed is from the stenographic transcript and represents about ten per cent of the whole speech.


[WASHINGTON] May 1, 1934

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: It seems worth while to bring to your attention a resolution adopted by the National Forest Reservation Commission, at its meeting of March 26, which was as follows:

Resolved, that in the opinion of the members of the National Forest Reservation Commission it would be in the public interest for the United States to acquire, under the provisions of the Acts of March 1, 1911 and June 7, 1924,1 all lands within the sixty National Forest Purchase Units, hitherto established with the concurrence and approval of this Commission, which are not now owned or in process of acquisition by the Federal Government and which are chiefly valuable for timber production and/or stream flow protection and other related uses; and as such lands have an aggregate area of 15,160,000 acres and an estimated value of approximately $50,000,000 and as the unobligated balance of the fund hitherto allotted by the President for the purchase of forest lands is now less than $11,000,000, the allotment by the President or the appropriation by the Congress of an additional sum of $25,000,000 for the purchase of said lands is recommended by the Commission.

During the past eleven months the Commission has approved the purchase of 3,241,185 acres of forest land at an average price of $2.22 per acre or total cost of $7,079,994.84. Purchases hereafter should progress at a more rapid rate, as a great deal of the unacquired land has been examined and appraised and considerations which hitherto have deterred owners from offering their properties promise to be less controlling. Apparently it will be wholly feasible to expend not only the remainder of the fund allotted by you last July but an equal or greater amount additional, if it can be made available.

The forest land purchase program is designed primarily to meet pressing problems of forest conservation, watershed protection and soil erosion control. Not only is it meeting those objectives but it also is contributing to the general betterment of economic conditions. The payments made for the acquired lands in large part are used to adjust delinquent taxes that otherwise might not be paid, to meet payrolls, to satisfy other outstanding financial obligations, and to finance desirable programs of improvement. By equitably liquidating frozen assets it encourages a diffusion of funds throughout sections where they are badly needed. A minor proportion of the acquired land is submarginal farm land which thus is withdrawn from uneconomic use for farm crops. Initiation of necessary measures of protection and improvement creates new opportunities for employment.

These results are being obtained at little or no net cost to the United States, as the acquired properties are conservatively valued and their worth at any stage in their development should at least equal the cost of their purchase and betterment. The expenditures for their acquisition and improvement are capital investments rather than current costs of government. I trust it will prove practicable to provide funds for a continuation of the program on a scale commensurate with its national importance.2

Very sincerely yours,


[Notation: A: LEHAND] Sec. Int.—Will you & Lewis Douglas & Henry Wallace talk this over & then speak to me about it (5-2-34)

[13:OF I—C:CT]

1The Weeks Forest Purchase Act and the Clarke-McNary Forest Act.

2On the National Forest land acquisition program, see the Annual Reports of the Chief of the Forest Service.


[WASHINGTON] May 11, 1934

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: It occurs to me that the National Reservation and Park Service may care to look into this suggestion.

I do not know who has the present title to the Chesapeake & Ohio canal, but it occurs to me that if the government could buy it for a parkway and waterway for recreational purposes and develop it at low cost over a period of years, it might be something well worth while.

It is not my thought that the old locks should be put back into use, but perhaps we could put in a carrying path for the transfer of canoes from one level to another.

Will you have it looked into and let me know?


[Notation: T] Letter from Frederic C. Howe, Consumers' Counsel, U. S. Dept. of Agri. AAA. May 1.1

[13:OF 6—P:CT]

1Howe's letter is not present. See Ickes' reply, post, 247.


WASHINGTON, D. C., May 16, 1934

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: The Forest Conservation Code approved by you on March 23rd represents a culmination of a quarter century effort of forest industries, conservationists, and public agencies. It provides, we believe, adequate permanent frame-work and machinery for the development of private forestry, if given a chance to work.

Whether given a chance depends especially upon four conditions. All are substantially beyond the control of the forest industries. All are in whole or in large part within the control of the Federal Government or capable of being largely influenced by it.

1. Forest and forest industry loans and credits;

2. Timber tax reform;

3. Forest fire protection;

4. Forest acquisition, especially timber acquisition.

Nearly a year ago, through the Secretary of Agriculture, you asked the Forest Products Industries to include in any Code of Fair Competition which they might submit for your approval, some provision for forest conservation. They have done so in a manner approved by you and after extensive conferences with the Secretary of Agriculture and other public agencies. These conferences developed and declared a comprehensive dual program for the industries and for the public, and mutually interdependent. The first part, by the industries, is scheduled, unless its operations is "stayed," to be effective on June first. The Lumber and Timber Products Industries are prepared to administer it. But as to the public measures, in the absence of which the industry measures will be largely a gesture, there has been as yet, of public knowledge, no action and no indication of action contemplated.

As a responsible official of the Forest Industries, as one who for fifteen years has sought a practical basis for concerted action in forest conservation, who knows the importance of a willing and helpful attitude on the part of individual forest land owners, I earnestly urge you, before the Forest Code goes into effect on June first, to do something and to say something of your plans and your purposes to establish the recommended public forestry measures.

You are known to have a warm personal interest in the forest program. That fact has been an encouragement to the tens of thousands of forest land owners to do now what needs to be done. They are ready to do their part and they hope that the President will do his part.1

Yours sincerely,


[13:OF 149:TS]

1Answered post, 261.


WASHINGTON, D. C., May 17, 1934

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Our Chief Forester has sent me the attached summary of the results of the lumber code conference with you on May 9. He is of the opinion that it is desirable that a statement be issued along the line of this summary.

Under Article X the lumbermen have made the following commitments contingent upon a comprehensive program of public action:

(a) To maintain their lands in a productive condition.

(b) To practice where practicable selective logging, leaving part of the growing stock.

(c) To recognize their responsibility for fire protection in their logging operations.

(d) To practice where practicable sustained yield management.

(e) A non-voting representative member on their division and subdivision agencies for the administration and enforcement provisions of the Code.

(f) A revision of Article X recently signed by the President, providing for this program.

To carry out this program and get the industry off its suicidal basis they insist that public action is necessary. The public action they propose is to cover:

(1) More extensive land acquisition to establish a better balance between private and public ownership.

(2) Enlarged cooperation in the protection of privately owned lands against fire and other destructive agencies.

(3) Forest extension, including Code activities, inspection and enforcement.

(4) Revision of the taxation system for timberlands.

(5) An extended system of forest credits based on the principle of farm loans.

(6) A more extended program of forest research.



[13:OF I—C:TS]


The forests of this country cover approximately one-third of its total land area. The part this vast area must play in the future security and stability of family and community life in this country is so vital and far-reaching that I approved the Lumber Code only after there had been included in it Article X, a provision for the conservation of forest resources. Under this provision conferences between the industry and public agencies were to be called by the Secretary of Agriculture to work out ways and means to make Article X effective. These conferences were held and the industry has definitely committed itself to the practice of forestry. This commitment requires that timberland owners protect young trees to leave a sufficient amount of growing stock on the ground for a future cutting and cut their timber only as fast as it grows. Such action is sound in their own interest and sound from the standpoint of public policy. Doubt, however, has been expressed by many in the industry as to how far they can carry out their commitments to practice forestry without having assistance from the Federal government. The Federal government is asked by the industry to increase materially its contributions for an enlarged program of fire protection, to extend forest credits, to urge modifications of present State systems of taxation, to enlarge its program of research, and to purchase large areas of privately owned timberlands in order to relieve the industry from the pressure of liquidation.

It is in the public interest to insure adequate fire protection of all of the timberlands in this country. For years the Federal government has joined with the States and private owners, under a cooperative plan through the Clarke-McNary law, to build up an adequate system of fire protection. I am anxious to see this plan enlarged and extended on the basis of joint contributions from the Federal government, the States, and private timberland owners. I have asked the Congress in a special Senate Resolution to restore $600,000 to the $1,358,645 now appropriated for the purpose. This would make available for cooperative fire protection work very close to $2,000,000.

In addition to this I have asked, and Congress has approved, the continuation of the 1460 Civilian Conservation Corps camps for another year. There are 250 of these camps on privately owned timberlands. This makes a working force of some 50,000 young men available as a reserve on these lands which can be used to prevent, detect and fight fires in case of need. Thus the Federal government this year will be expending directly in cooperative fire protection $2,000,000 under the Clarke-McNary act and $20,000,000 on the CCC camps on privately owned timberlands, or a total of approximately $22,000,000, to protect privately owned forests from fire.

I can not escape the conclusion, however, that private timberland owners have a very definite responsibility to take adequate safeguards against fire and to share the burden of fire protection in a more adequate way.

In the extension of forest credits—this is a field to be explored. I have asked that a fund of $50,000 be made available through the deficiency appropriation bill to investigate this question of forest credits in cooperation with the Farm Loan Board and the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. I have asked for a modification of the organic law governing the RFC to permit loans on forest properties provided that such properties are managed on the basis of being self-perpetuating.

The taxation of timberlands by the various States is primarily a State problem. Studies by the Forest Service which have been made indicate that some adjustment in the system of taxation should be made which will give the States current income and at the same time defer the taxation of timber stands on an annual basis, postponing payment of the full tax until the timber is actually cut. Private timberland owners should take this matter up through their regular State channels, and the Federal government stands ready through the Forest Service to give freely of the factual information it has secured through a study of this subject.

I am for an adequate research program which will give us the necessary scientific information for the proper handling of all of our forest lands. The Federal government has established eleven experiment stations in various parts of the country which are investigating various phases of our forest problem. It has established at Madison, Wisconsin, a Forest Products Laboratory, in connection with the University, which is exploring the whole field of utilization of wood. The Laboratory has been recently brought up to date with new equipment. It includes timber testing apparatus and other facilities for determining the best use of various classes of wood products.

The bringing back into public ownership of large areas of timberland has the endorsement of the National Forest Reservation Commission. It has the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture in recommendations submitted by him in the Copeland Report made in response to Senate Resolution No. 175. The Lumber Code Conference on Article X, held in January of this year, approved an enlarged program of public ownership of the timber growing lands of this country. A large program of acquisition has been under way for over a year through the allotment of $20,000,000 to the Forest Service for this purpose. Through this appropriation it is estimated that there will be purchased 8 million acres of timberland as additions to our National Forests. Four million acres of the estimated 8 million acres have already been purchased. I have asked the Congress to continue this program on the definite recommendation of the National Forest Reservation Commission, by making available another $20,000,000. This will make possible the carrying forward of one of the major recommendations of the Conference.

It is my conviction that in the enforcement of Article X, which involves technical problems in the handling of our timber stands, the National Recovery Administration should delegate to the Forest Service responsibility for the enforcement of Article X and make available some of its funds for such enforcement in cooperation with the lumber industry.

The public program is going forward through the various methods I have stated. The lumber industry has assumed certain obligations under the Code for the carrying out of its part. It is my hope that through this development the progress of forestry in this country, on Federal, State and private holdings, will contribute tremendously to the stability and security of industries dependent upon the resources and of the people and communities dependent upon these industries.1

[13:OF I—C:T]

1The May 9 conference referred to in the covering letter was attended by Ickes, Wallace and Silcox. (Ferdinand A. Silcox was appointed Forester Nov. 15, 1933, succeeding R. Y. Stuart who died Oct. 23, 1933.) Wallace had requested this meeting in a letter to Roosevelt of April 7 (?), 1934 (OF I—K). He said that the lumber and other forest industries had committed themselves to the conservation of forest resources and that to insure success of this private effort "the Federal Government must also meet some obligations." The statement enclosed by Tugwell was not issued; see post, 260.


[Excerpt] The President: I talked to some of the grazing Senators yesterday . . .1 I would like to see action on the bill this session. Their objection to the bill, as was proposed by the Interior Department and the Department of Agriculture, was that in certain cases, as I understand it, there is the summer range up in the National Forest for one man's bunch of cattle and then winter range down in the public domain, and that the owner of that bunch of cattle has to go to two different departments. What these Senators are afraid of is that they would be thrown out of the forest reserve on a given date and the public domain would not be open to them until a couple of weeks later, and the unfortunate cattle would have nowhere to go. What I talked over was the definite coordination on the issuing of permits between the Forestry and the Public Domain so they can go to one place and one man and get a permit covering both pieces of territory.


1Alva B. Adams (Colo.), Carl Hayden (Ariz.), and Joseph C. O'Mahoney (Wyo.), concerning the Taylor Grazing Bill (H. R. 6462).


WASHINGTON, May 24, 1934

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: Can you now give me a definite set-up for the Wild Life expenditure? I hope that in addition to the million dollars already allocated, we can get from land purchase, relief, etc., another five millions.

By the way, the Congressmen say the million dollars which I allocated has got lost somewhere. Will you conduct a search party?1


[13:OF 378:CT]

1Answered post, 250.


WASHINGTON, May 28, 1934

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: In your memorandum of May 11 you mentioned that it has occurred to you that if the Government could buy the Chesapeake & Ohio canal for a parkway and waterway for recreational purposes and develop it at low cost over a period of years it might be something well worth while. You concluded by asking me to look into it and let you know.

I think the attached brief memorandum to me from Chairman Frederic A. Delano of the National Capital Park and Planning Commission gives you just the information you wish to have. I heartily endorse the proposed acquisition.

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 6—P:CT]


WASHINGTON, D. C., May 16, 1934

MEMORANDUM FOR SECRETARY ICKES: The following is submitted in response to the President's memorandum to you of May 11 on the possible acquisition and use of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal:

We heartily concur in the suggestions of Mr. Frederic C. Howe. Acquisition of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal by the Federal Government has already been authorized by Congress in the Capper-Cramton Act passed in 1930. Section I (a) of that Act provides for the acquisition and development of the George Washington Memorial Parkway from Mount Vernon and Fort Washington to a point above the Great Falls, including the acquisition of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal to Point of Rocks which is 33 miles above Great Falls.

Apart from the river frontage and the Great Falls itself, the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal is the chief center of interest in the proposed Parkway on the Maryland side. For large numbers of people it would have the greatest all-round recreational value to be obtained in one unit, providing ideal facilities for boating, canoeing, cycling, hiking, picnicing and even swimming at certain points. It traverses a river valley of the greatest scenic interest and variety, and represents an age and advance in American civilization of permanent historic value. The Canal passed its 100th birthday last year and no more fitting time could be found for its dedication to public use than right now.

Plans of the National Capital Park and Planning Commission, which is the agency heretofore authorized to acquire the Parkway, contemplate the preservation of the Canal much as it is today for its entire 15 mile length from Georgetown to Great Falls, and the acquisition of all the low land between it and the river. The Parkway road would be built on the high land above the Canal, often parallel to it, and for the most of the distance would be the boundary of the park. Thus, in the plan of acquisition the Canal is the key property for the George Washington Memorial Parkway just as it would be in recreational, scenic and historic value.

The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad owns all the outstanding bonds and in negotiations in 1929-30 with the Chairman of the National Capital Park and Planning Commission offered to sell for approximately $1,000,000 with certain reservations the entire stretch to Point of Rocks but with a condition that the right of way should never be used for a competing railroad. More recently the Railway Company has submitted valuations showing much higher figures than in the conversations of 1929, and I think it likely that a figure as high as $2,000,000 is nearer the price on which we could settle than the price once talked of.

With a view to determining the cost of development and detailed location of the Parkway road, surveys are now under way by the State of Maryland in cooperation with the Bureau of Public Roads and the National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

Development of the Canal and Parkway could well proceed as meritorious projects for relief of unemployment. Clean up and grading of the old Canal would provide ideal relief work. Landscaping and reconstruction of locks and canal bridges would be excellent projects for C. C. C. camps to undertake.

Finally, we favor the purchase of the Canal and adjacent rights of way for the following reasons:

1. that it will be the main route of access to the Shenandoah-Great Smokies Parkway;

2. that it will afford a charming route to Harper's Ferry and the battlefield of Antietam;

3. that it will supply a new and attractive route to Gettysburg via the Potomac Valley and thence up Monocacy Creek.

Sincerely yours,




WASHINGTON, May 29, 1934

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: Why not include this definitely in next year's budget? I hesitated to spend two million dollars out of Public Works or Relief funds for acquisition of the Canal.


[Notation: T] Purchase of Chesapeake & Ohio Canal1

[13:OF 6—P:CT]

1This refers to the preceding letter. The canal was acquired for park purposes in 1938.


WASHINGTON, D. C., May 29, 1934

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: This is in reply to your memorandum of May 24. The definite set up for immediate action on the Wild Life Program orders itself about as follows:

One million dollars by Executive Order from forestry appropriation$1,000,000
One and one-half million allocated specifically for migratory waterfowl projects from submarginal money1,500,000
     Total for land acquisition2,500,000
Proposed one million from P. W. A. for rehabilitation, materials and construction1,000,000
     Total wild life allocation to date3,500,000

The remainder of the total of $6,000,000, or $2,500,000, has not yet been made available from any source yet discoverable.

Of the funds above enumerated, the $1,000,000 by Executive Order and the $1,500,000 from submarginal land money, or a total of $2,500,000 must, by limitation of original appropriation, be spent only for acquisition and the attendant costs of purchase.

An estimated cost for materials and restoration amounting to 40% of the costs of the lands is being solicited from the P. W. A.

The program of projects, in order of importance, to be acquired and rehabilitated is:

(1) 12 to 20 refuges and nesting areas distributed along the lanes of migration of the Mississippi basin, to be chosen out of a list of 109 filed proposals2,250,000
(2) Malheur Lake restoration and purchase and restoration of Dunner and Blitzen marshes in eastern Oregon. Estimated cost1,000,000
(3) Mata Merquite1 Marshes, purchase and restoration200,000
(4) Additions to Bear River marshes and Mississippi Wild Life Refuge50,000

Awaiting the discovery of further funds for Migratory Waterfowl Refuges are the Spalding Ranch in Sacramento Valley, Louisiana marshes, Medicine Lake in Montana, Kankakee marshes in Indiana, Erie marshes, Florida Everglades, and completion of refugees along the Pacific Coast flyways.

Upland game and big game projects must, under the present limitation of funds, be coincident with submarginal land retirement projects and may be considered as only supplemental and accidental to the original Wild Life Restoration Program as originally proposed in the Beck Committee report, until additional funds over and above the proposed $6,000,000 are provided.

It might be stated that the total funds now proposed for wild life restoration is about the same as that spent on mosquitoes this year, which may account for some of the feverish anxiety on the part of those interested in game.2



[13:OF 378:TS]

1Apparently in error for Mattamuskeet. See post, 265.

2An attached memorandum, Roosevelt to McIntyre, undated, reads, "Keep this in case the Congressmen who come to see us make any other inquiries."


TUXEDO PARK, NEW YORK, May 30th, '34

DEAR FRANKLIN: The enclosed speaks for itself—I only hope that something can be done to limit the slaughter of these great bears so that they will not follow the pigeon and the bison through our own lack of interest.

With best regards. Sincerely


[13:OF 149:TS]

252 [Enclosure] DAVID WAGSTAFF TO ------ ------


DEAR MR. ------: Please don't continue to send me your letters on bear shooting from a yacht in Alaska or the adjacent islands—All my life I have tried to be a sportsman and live up to the reputation of my father and uncle—C DuBois Wagstaff who was a great shot. Your account disgusts me and I sincerely hope that the Aleutian Islands will soon be made a sanctuary.



[13:OF 378:AS:COPY]


WASHINGTON, D. C., May 31, 1934

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: It will be an important encouragement to our progress with the Forest Conservation Code if the Bill S. 3612 (by Senator Fletcher) and H. R. 9649 (by Representative Caldwell), permitting loans by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation in aid of sustained yield forest industry operation, may be pushed to enactment in this Session of Congress.

It is our understanding that there is at least no important opposition to this, and a great deal of vigorous support. It involves no additional Federal expenditure. The R. F. C. has, I understand, indicated that the provision can be readily administered. It has the earnest endorsement of the Forest Service and, I believe, awaits a report from the Director of the Budget.

In the absence of separate forestry legislation, can not this temporary provision be made for the encouragement of sustained yield forest industry operations?1

Yours respectfully,


1The Senate bill was introduced May 14 and the House bill May 15, 1934, but neither was reported from committee (Cong. Rec., 73d Cong., 2d sess., 78:8, 8732, 8930). Hearings were printed: Amendment of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation Act, Hearing before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Banking and Currency, U. S. Senate, 73d Cong., 2d sess., on S. 3612 (Washington, 1934). No reply to Compton's letter has been found. Fletcher introduced another forest credit bill in the next session; see post, 373.


THE WHITE HOUSE, June 4, 1934

To THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:1 On February 2, 1934, by resolution, the Congress requested me to report on "a comprehensive plan for the improvement and development of the Rivers of the United States, with a view of giving the Congress information for the guidance of legislation which will provide for the maximum amount of flood control, navigation, irrigation, and development of hydro-electric power."2

Pursuant thereto I requested the Secretaries of the Departments of the Interior, War, Agriculture and Labor to advise on the development of a water policy and on the choice of projects. I am sending herewith copies of their report,3 together with separate letters from the Secretary of War and the Secretary of Labor, and also:

(1) List of Technical Advisory Committees of the President's Committee.

(2) Review of reports of Technical Sub-Committees on water flow.

(3) Review of report of Technical Sub-Committees covering additions in the Arid Section, prepared by the Bureau of Reclamation.

(4) Seven reports of Technical Sub-Committees covering various regions.

I ask that the Congress bear in mind certain obvious facts relating to these reports:

(1) That the time for the preparation of these reports was extremely limited.

(2) That the subject is one of enormous magnitude covering the whole of the United States.

(3) That the Resolution of the Congress, covering the subjects of flood control, navigation, irrigation, and development of hydro-electric power, automatically opened the door to all interrelated subjects which come under the general head of land and water use. This broader definition brings to our attention very clearly such kindred problems as soil erosion, stream pollution,4 fire prevention, reforestation, afforestation, marginal lands, stranded communities, distribution of industries, education, highway building, home building, and a dozen others.

(4) All of the reports were based primarily on information already at hand and further study is strongly recommended.5

(5) For the purpose of making a preliminary test, I requested a wholly tentative trial selection of ten specific projects. As I had expected, the report6 strongly doubts the advisability of recommending these projects, on the ground that any selection at this point must necessarily omit many meritorious projects which further analysis may show to be preferable.

(6) The reports of the Technical Sub-Committees, covering various areas, are of definite value. But before any work is done, it is obvious that a competent coordinating body must go over all of these reports, as well as reports on other projects and produce a comprehensive plan.

In view of the above, I, therefore, suggest that the Congress regard this message and the accompanying documents as merely a preliminary study and allow me, between now and the assembling of the next Congress, to complete these studies and to outline to the next Congress a comprehensive plan to be pursued over a long period of years. Further legislative action on this subject at this session of the Congress seems to me, therefore, unnecessary.

I expect before the final adjournment of this Congress to forward to it a broader outline of national policy in which the subject matter of this message will be presented in conjunction with two other subjects also relating to human welfare and security.

We should proceed toward a rounded policy of national scope.7



1A draft of this message (Speech File) bears a number of revisions, some by Roosevelt and some by others (not identified). Those made by Roosevelt are noted below. The text here printed is identical with that sent to the Congress.

2Development of the Rivers of the United States (Washington, 1934). See ante, 237.

3The draft reads, "this report."

4"Stream pollution" was added.

5The draft reads, "The Committee strongly recommends further study."

6The draft has "Committee" instead of "report."

7The last sentence was added. In the Senate the message was referred to the Commerce Committee; the action taken by the House is not indicated (Cong. Rec., 73d Cong., 2d sess., 78:10, 10399-10466).


WASHINGTON, June 6, 1934

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF WAR: I wish you would read this letter from the Secretary of the Interior in regard to the Mississippi River Commission and the Mississippi Valley Commission.1 I wish you would have a talk with the Secretary of the Interior about this whole subject.

It is my thought that the Mississippi River Commission should concern itself solely with engineering problems relating to the actual main stem of the Mississippi from St. Paul to the Gulf and should consider only maintenance of levees, overflows from the main river, maintenance of channels, flood readings, etc.

Secretary Ickes is right in that the Mississippi Valley Commission covers a much broader territory and is concerned with questions of erosion, reforestation, stream pollution, etc.2


[13:OF 25—K:CT:COPY]

1Ickes' letter is not present. The President was referring to the Mississippi Valley Committee, not Commission.

2Dern replied June 27, 1934 (OF 25—K), that he had talked with Ickes and agreed with his and the President's view of the division of responsibility between the two agencies.


[WASHINGTON] June 6, 1934

MY DEAR DEAN SPRING: I am greatly interested in the excellent report of Mr. Bower on the planting at Hyde Park this spring.1 I was at home on Sunday and inspected all of this planting that I could reach by my small car.

There are two additional experiments which I am wondering if you and the staff would consider worthwhile making. They are only ideas of mine and may not be worth anything.

1. Would it be worthwhile to try broadcasting hemlock seed in the Tamarack swamp, using a small area for this purpose, and raking them in with an ordinary wooden rake after broadcasting? We might get them to take and they might do well in this damp soil. I do not know what is considered the best season for such an operation.

2. I have long been interested in comparing the results from acorns gathered from trees of different ages. Would it be worthwhile to gather acorns from three age types—one lot, say, from a tree or trees about thirty years old; another lot from a tree or trees about eighty years old, and another lot from a tree or trees about one hundred and fifty years old? We have all of these trees, both red oak and white oak, on our place and the experiments could be tried with both species of oak.

Mr. Plog reports that the acorns hitherto planted have sprouted well. I expect to be at home only for a few hours before leaving for the Pacific Coast the end of this month, but I hope to get home about August twenty-fifth for about three weeks. It would be delightful if you and any of your assistants would care to come down when I am at Hyde Park at that time.2

Very sincerely yours,


[13:PPF 38:CT]

1A four-page typescript, "Report of Forest Tree Planting, Spring 1934, Estate of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Hyde Park, N. Y." (PPF 38). Ray F. Bower, at this time on the faculty of the New York State College of Forestry, had supervised the 1932 and 1933 plantings. See his article, "The President's Forests," in American Forests, 40 (January, 1934), 7-9, 46.

2No reply has been found.


[WASHINGTON] June 6, 1934

DEAR DAVE: You are dead right about the slaughter of those bears. I am starting the machinery to stop that sort of thing from happening again.

Always sincerely,

[13:OF 378:CT]


1See ante, 251.


WASHINGTON, June 6, 1934

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: This horrifies me as much as it does my friend David Wagstaff. If these bears come under your jurisdiction, will you please have the matter checked up? It seems to me that that kind of slaughter ought to be stopped.1


[13:OF 378:CT]

1Answered post, 266.


THE WHITE HOUSE, June 8, 1934

[Excerpt] To THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES: . . . In regard to the second factor, economic circumstances and the forces of nature themselves dictate the need of constant thought as to the means by which a wise government may help the necessary readjustment of the population.1 We cannot fail to act when hundreds of thousands of families live in localities where there is no reasonable prospect of conditions which will allow them to earn a living in the years to come. This is peculiarly especially a national problem. Unlike most of the leading Nations of the world, we have so far failed to create a national policy for the development of our land and water resources and for their better use by those people who cannot make a living in their present positions. Only thus can we permanently eliminate many millions of people from the relief rolls on which their names are now found.

The extent of the usefulness of our great natural inheritance of land and water depends on our mastery of it. We are now so organized that science and invention have given us the means of more extensive and effective attacks upon the problems of nature than ever before. We have learned to utilize water power, to reclaim deserts, to recreate forests and to redirect the flow of population. Until recently we have proceeded haphazardly, almost at random,2 making many mistakes.

There are many illustrations of the necessity for national such planning. Some sections of the Northwest and Southwest which formerly existed as grazing land, were spread over with a fair crop of grass. On this land the water table lay a dozen or twenty feet below the surface, and newly arrived settlers put this land under the plow. Wheat was grown by dry farming methods. But in many of these places today the water table under the land has dropped to fifty or sixty feet below the surface and the top soil in dry seasons is blown away like driven snow. Falling rain, in the absence of grass roots, filters through the soil, runs off the surface, or is quickly reabsorbed into the atmosphere. Many million acres of such land must be restored to grass or trees if we are to prevent a new and man-made Sahara.

At the other extreme, there are regions originally arid, which have been generously irrigated by human engineering. But in some of these places the hungry soil has not only absorbed the water necessary to produce magnificent crops, but so much more water that the water table has now risen to the point of saturation, thereby threatening the future crops upon which many families depend.

Human knowledge is great enough today to give us assurance of success in carrying through the abandonment of many millions of acres for agricultural use and the replacing of these acres with others on which at least a living can be earned.

The rate of speed that we can usefully employ in this attack on impossible social and economic conditions must be determined by businesslike procedure. It would be absurd to undertake too many projects at once or to do a patch of work here and another there without finishing the whole of an individual project. Obviously, the government cannot undertake national projects in every one of the 435 Congressional districts, nor even in every one of the 48 states. The magnificent conception of national realism and national needs that this Congress has built up has not only set an example of large vision for all time, but has almost consigned to oblivion our ancient habit of pork barrel legislation: to that we cannot and must not revert. When the next Congress convenes I hope to be able to present to it a carefully considered national plan, covering the development and the human use of our natural resources of land and water over a long period of years.

In considering the cost of such a program it must be clear to all of us that for many years to come we shall be engaged in the task of rehabilitating many hundreds of thousands of our American families. In so doing we shall be decreasing future costs for the direct relief of destitution. I hope that it will be possible for the government to adopt as a clear policy to be carried out over a long period, the appropriation of a large, definite, annual sum of so that work may proceed year after year not under the urge of temporary expediency, but in pursuance of the well considered rounded objective.3


1Roosevelt had been discussing the factors of relief and economic recovery in the national program. The text of this excerpt is that of the final draft; except for the White House mimeographed release, no other texts are present. With one exception (noted below), the deletions and additions (the latter indicated by italic) are in Roosevelt's hand; as thus edited the message is that as sent to Congress on June 8, 1934. For the entire text, see Rosenman (ed.), Public Papers, III, 287-293.

2This revision appears to be in Louis Howe's hand.

3In his emergency drought relief message to Congress of June 9, 1934, Roosevelt asked for $50,000,000 for emergency acquisition of submarginal farms and for resettlement (ibid., 293-294). The New York Times said editorially (June 9, 1934, p. 14) that the message was "unprecedented" in coming at the end of a session of Congress, and that it was "entirely a document meant for discussion and appraisal all though the summer and up to the time of the Congressional elections in November."


WASHINGTON, D. C., June 8, 1934

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: With reference to the attached correspondence from Dr. Wilson Compton of the Lumber Code Authority urging you to issue a statement covering plans and purposes on public forestry measures in connection with the conservation provisions of the forest industry codes, which became effective June 1.1

The Department believes that the issuance of such a statement would be desirable, that the psychological effect would be particularly beneficial in helping to carry the code activities through the difficult initial period of getting the rules of forest practice into effect, and that many of the things which the public is asked to do would necessarily have to be done in any comprehensive plan for the advancement of forestry even though there were no forest industry codes. I have already presented to you the draft of a possible statement.2 If you concur, the enclosed letter might be sent to Dr. Compton.3

The possibility of financing a limited number of activities such as the acquisition of forest lands, provision for fire protection, provision for a study of the principles which should underlie a credit organization, and provision for a Forest Service organization to assist in getting the code provisions into effect, have been discussed with you. Attempts are being made to obtain the necessary finances in accordance with your suggestions.

Very respectfully,


[13:OF 149:TS]

1May 16, 1934, ante, 242.

2May 17, 1934, ante, 243.

3Sent as the letter following.


[WASHINGTON] June 13, 1934

DEAR DOCTOR COMPTON: The issuance of such a statement as suggested in your letter of May 16th has been under consideration. Since it would undoubtedly advance the general forestry movement and aid in putting the rules of forest practice under the forest industry codes into effect, I shall be glad to issue such a statement in the immediate future. An attempt is being made to work out practical means of accomplishing some if not all of the other matters which you suggest.1

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 149:CT]

1The proposed statement was apparently not issued.


[WASHINGTON] June 14, 1934

Telephoned the following memo to Senator Duncan U. Fletcher's office: That the President is for the creation of the industry up to the point where it might, if overdone, cause destruction to the pine forest reserves. He would like to see the forests conserved, the industry developed and operated so that as pine is cut for wood pulp purposes it would be replanted and the timberlands not exhausted and destroyed. That is his only limitation on it.1

[13:OF 149:CT]

1This refers to the expanded southern pine newsprint industry made possible by the process developed by Charles H. Herty.


WASHINGTON, D. C., June 14, 1934

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: In behalf of The American Forestry Association I respectfully urge that you withhold approval of the bill to regulate grazing on the Public Domain as amended and passed by the Senate on Tuesday and concurred in by the House yesterday.1 I make this request on the grounds that the amendments to the bill as made by the Senate defeat its basic purpose by virtually placing control in the hands of the states instead of the Secretary of the Interior.

This Association has long advocated legislation by Congress that would regulate the use of the Public Domain and make possible its administration along intelligent, constructive, conservation lines. That in effect was the purpose of the bill in question as originally drawn by the Departments of Interior and Agriculture and as introduced in both Houses.

The amendments incorporated in the bill in the Senate, however, seem to us clearly to obstruct that purpose and to render the legislation insidiously destructive of public interests locally and nationally. If the bill becomes law, it may, in our judgment, prove to be a land grabbing and land monopolistic measure comparable to Acts characteristic of free-booting days of the past.

May we call your attention specifically to several amendments in support of our viewpoint? These amendments were supported by western members of the Senate who have been quite frank in stating that the public lands should be turned over to the states. Senator McCarran of Nevada offered an amendment which was adopted as Section 16, which we believe will tie the hands of the Secretary in regulating grazing on the public lands and will defeat the main purpose of the bill. This amendment virtually gives the respective states the right to control grazing on the public lands by state laws heretofore or hereafter enacted in the name of public welfare, police power and public health. Under such a law grazing on the Public Domain in Nevada, Senator McCarran's own State, is now, I am informed, largely in the hands of the State and the large owners of water rights.

Section 3 of the bill contained a provision designed to safeguard the public's right in the public lands by providing that the creation of a grazing district or the issuance of a permit to graze on the Public Domain shall not entitle the permittee to any right, title, interest or estate in or to the land. The same section, however, destroys that safeguard by providing that in the issuance of grazing permits the Secretary shall give preference to land owners or owners of water rights as may be necessary to permit the proper use of land and it further provides "that no renewal of any permit shall be denied if such denial will impair the value of the live stock unit of the permittee, if such unit is pledged as security for any bona fide loan." The extent to which large stock owners control water rights in the West essential to the grazing of live stock is well known, so that the provision in question would seem to vest the large stockman and the large land owner with a well intrenched legal right to much of the Public Domain as against the small stockman who is not so fortunately situated with reference to ranch property and controlling water rights.

Another amendment inserted in the bill in the Senate would seem to vest the banks and money lenders with a right in the Public Domain that may well be questioned. This amendment provides "that any holder of a lien on the live stock of any qualified permittee shall be subrogated to all rights of such permittee under this act upon default under such lien and all rights of such permittee under this act shall continue and be recognized in the holder of such lien so long as said permittee may be an obligor of or to any such loaning agency, governmental or private."2 It is well known that many banks and other private loaning agencies in the West have outstanding loans with stockmen, and it is conceivable, particularly under present conditions, that the effect of the provision in question might easily lodge vast control and influence in these loaning agencies in the administration of the Public Domain.

In conclusion, I desire to reiterate our interest in seeing the Public Domain brought under conservation management by the Federal Government that will protect public interests, but we believe that the bill as vitiated in the Senate will prove a grant of public rights to special interests that will arouse national indignation when the effect of the amendments referred to are realized by the public.

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 633:TS]

1The Taylor Grazing Act.

2The amendment was first offered by Senator McCarran in the language quoted. Following criticism by Senator Adams (Colo.) and Senator O'Mahoney (Wyo.) that it would give opportunity for collusion between borrower and lender to extend a permit, McCarran offered the amendment in this form: "Except that no renewal of any such permit shall be denied, if such denial will impair the value of the livestock unit of the permittee, if such unit is pledged as security for any bona fide loan." Adopted by the Senate, this was unacceptable to the Administration and a conference resulted in a rewording of the amendment: ". . . except that no permittee complying with the rules and regulations laid down by the Secretary of the Interior shall be denied the renewal of such permit, if such denial will impair the value of the grazing unit of the permittee, when such unit is pledged as security for any bona fide loan." This language remained in the act as approved June 28, 1934 (Cong. Rec., 73d Cong., 2d sess., 78: 10, 11151-11156, 11162; 78: 11, 11634, 11745, 11778, 12004; 48 Stat. 1269). The National Grange also urged veto of the bill, for largely the same reasons as offered by Butler (Fred Brenckman to Roosevelt, June 18, 1934, OF 633).


WASHINGTON, June 15, 1934

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: Will you, Secretary Ickes and Administrator Hopkins put this in shape so that we can do something definite before I go away—all of this provided you three agree on the use of the money?


[13:OF 378:CT]


[WASHINGTON] June 13, 1934

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT: You made inquiry of me as to whether under the language of the Deficiency Bill or any other appropriation there would be available to you funds for the purpose of acquiring bird sanctuaries—the Double O Ranch in Oregon, an area in Northern Arkansas, and Lake Matta Muskeet, North Carolina.

The National Industrial Recovery Act authorized an appropriation of $3,300,000,000 for the relief of unemployment through the performance of useful public works. Under the provisions of the Act you, by Executive Order of May 28, 1934, made available $1,000,000 of the $3,300,000,000 for the purpose of acquiring bird sanctuaries.

The Deficiency Bill appropriates additional funds to be allocated by you for further carrying out the purposes of the National Industrial Recovery Act. It seems to me, therefore, that if you could make available $1,000,000 out of the $3,300,000,000 authorized by the National Industrial Recovery Act for the acquisition of bird sanctuaries you may, with equal propriety, out of the additional funds appropriated by the Deficiency Bill make available sums for the acquisition of further bird sanctuaries. It is my understanding that you will do so provided it creates employment.


[13:OF 378:CT]


WASHINGTON, June 19, 1934

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: The correspondence relating to the hunting of bears in Alaska was received on June 7 and the National Park Service has been studying the problem.1 I do not wonder that you were disturbed by the activities described . . . particularly when there has been so much agitation regarding the protection of bears in Alaska.

Although I have little patience with unsportsmanlike activities I find upon second reading of the radiogram that while "over forty were seen" six were bagged with each of the six hunters "getting a trophy." I note also that black bears rather than Alaska brown bears were taken although the latter constituted the next objective.

During the last few years there has been a real drive by conservationists to give better protection to the Alaska Brown Bear. This Department has aided this move by enlarging Katmai National Monument by 1,609,000 acres and the National Park Service has planned a Proclamation doubling the size of Glacier Bay National Monument purposely to give additional protection to brown bears. Already there is in Alaska a total of over 6,000,000 acres in parks and monuments under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service where bears are given total protection. The Alaska Game Commission has afforded brown bears additional protection of late and has established several refuges for bears.

I am sending the correspondence to the Alaska Game Commission of the Department of Agriculture so that you may hear direct as to the legality of the type of hunting indicated by the telegram and as to what means may be taken to regulate it properly.

Sincerely yours,


[Notation: AS] Copy to Wagstaff LB 6/20

[13:OF 378:TS]

1See ante, 251, 257, 258.


[WASHINGTON, June 19, 1934]1

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT RE GRAZING BILL: The suggestion that the Taylor Bill as agreed to in conference grants too much power to the states is untenable. As amended in the Senate the Act protects the respective jurisdictions of the Federal and State governments.

Attention is directed to the following provisions in Section 1 of the Act which has been criticized by the Forest Service as unduly recognizing state jurisdiction:

Nothing in this act shall be construed in any way to diminish, restrict or impair any right which has been heretofore or may be hereafter initiated under existing law validly affecting the public domain, and which is maintained pursuant to law except as otherwise expressly provided in this act . . . nor as limiting or restricting the power or authority of any state as to matters within its jurisdiction.

The act itself is an express provision for the establishment and administration of grazing districts and no state statute which should attempt to regulate grazing on the public domain could stand in the face of the underlined exception. It would be unthinkable, however, that anyone should argue that any right initiated under a valid existing law should be cut off.

Nor should any bureau of the Federal government complain that Congress has declared its belief that "nothing in the act should be construed as limiting or restricting the power or authority of any state as to matters within its jurisdiction."

Section 16 of the act is only declaratory of the present law. It adds nothing to the existing authority of the state to maintain police regulations and to legislate for the public health and welfare. The fear that this section constitutes an invasion of the authority of the Federal government is eliminated by the following provision with which the section ends:

Provided, however, that nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting or restricting the power and authority of the United States.

Another provision added in the Senate to which, I understand, some objection has been raised by the Forest Service, reads as follows:

Provided further, That nothing in this Act shall be construed or administered in any way to diminish or impair any right to the possession and use of water for mining, agriculture, manufacturing, or other purposes which has heretofore vested or accrued under existing law or which may be hereafter initiated or acquired and maintained in accordance with law. So far as consistent with the purposes and provisions of this Act, grazing privileges recognized and acknowledged shall be adequately safeguarded, but the creation of a grazing district or the issuance of a permit pursuant to the provisions of this Act shall not create any right, title, interest, or estate in or to the lands.

Water is, of course, the prime necessity in the arid land states and the Federal government has recognized this fact from the very beginning of Western development (Act of July 26, 1866).2 Even in the Reclamation Act which became a law through the signature of President Theodore Roosevelt, there is a provision substantially similar to the one here under discussion (U. S. C. Title 43, Section 383).

Indeed, the Federal government has entered into solemn compacts with the Western states which I am sure no one will contend should be broken. In the case of Wyoming, for example, the Federal government, in admitting the state to the Union accepted, ratified and confirmed the Constitution which had been drafted by the people under express authorization of the Congress. This Constitution, which is binding upon the Federal as well as on the State governments contains the following provision:

The water of all natural streams, springs, lakes or other collections of still water, within the boundaries of the state, are hereby declared to be the property of the state.

No one, therefore, may acquire any right to the use of water except in accordance with State law. No appropriation of water can be made except by securing a permit from the State. The provision of the grazing act above quoted, therefore, could not possibly create any new right that the State does not already have, and certainly could not give to any individual a right not already recognized by State or Federal law.

It is inconceivable to me that there could be any criticism of this provision of the grazing act, for such a criticism would be based upon a complete misconception of the respective rights of the State and Federal governments.

A plea for the veto of the act on the ground that it changes the traditional public land policy of the Federal government and that the lands should now be conveyed to the states would be understandable and defensible, but a suggestion that the President should veto the act upon the ground that it does not sufficiently invade the jurisdiction of the states would be altogether indefensible.3


[13:OF 633:TS]

1An approximate and supplied date.

2The Mineral Lands Act of 1866 (14 Stat. 251) affirmed existing law and custom with respect to water rights on the public lands.

3Senator Key Pittman (Nev.) also wrote to Roosevelt to the same effect on June 19, 1934 (OF 633).

268 SPEECH BY ROOSEVELT, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, June 20, 1934

[Excerpt] PRESIDENT ANGELL AND FELLOW ELIS: . . . I go back a great many years in calling on Yale men for help. One of the most pleasant surprises this morning was the statement by the Dean of the School of Forestry that this year's graduates were not present because they were already at work, and I looked down at Gifford Pinchot and smiled and he knew what I meant. Twenty years ago, or, more than that, twenty-two years ago, when I was a youngster in the State Legislature, for some perfectly unknown reason I was made the Chairman of a Committee—I think it was because nobody else wanted the Chairmanship—on Forests, Fish and Game. It was a subject about which I knew very little. I discovered immediately that one of the problems before us was the denudation of the Adirondacks. Timber had been cut there without rhyme or reason or thought and many of the upper slopes were being washed away until only the bare rock appeared. I began to take an interest and I sent a letter to the Chief Forester of the United States, asking him to come to Albany to advise me and the Legislature, and Gifford Pinchot came up there and delivered a professorial lecture. He was one of the first of the brain trusters.1

And the thing that sold it to the layman's mind—to the mind of the average member of the Assembly or the Senate—was not so much what he said as what he showed—photographs of North China, a region once covered with magnificent forests, a region which today is a desert. We passed our legislation and that was the first step towards practical government-supervised forestry so far as I know in the eastern part of the country. It started me on the conservation road. From that time on, in company with a great many other graduates of Yale, we have gone ahead by the slow process of education until today the whole country, I believe, is thoroughly familiar with the purpose of the great national plan for the better use of land and water throughout our continental limits.2


1Cf. ante, 12.

2The text followed in this excerpt is that of the stenographic transcript. The speech was delivered at a luncheon following commencement exercises at Yale University, at which Roosevelt received an honorary degree of doctor of laws. He spoke extemporaneously but the New York Times commented (June 21, 1934, p. 1) that "his talk obviously resulted from careful preparation." The speech as a whole (of which about a fourth is here printed) was a defense of the Government's use of trained people irrespective of party.


WASHINGTON, D. C., June 25, 1934

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Pursuant to your request, I have reviewed the so-called Taylor Grazing Bill, Enrolled Bill H. R. 6462, which originated in the House of Representatives, passed that body by a large majority, and passed the Senate without objection, I am informed.

It is long and complicated and I shall not trouble you with detail of its extensive provisions. I may say at once that but one constitutional question appears and that is to be found in Section 11, which deals with grazing districts on Indian lands. The case of Ash Sheep Company v. United States, 252 U. S. 159, holds that the title of the United States to these Indian lands is that of trustee and that the beneficial owners are entitled to the proceeds or usufruct thereof. This question, however, is not serious in this instance, and even if it should be held unconstitutional, which I am not prepared to admit or assert, other provisions or sections would not thereby be affected.

In my opinion, therefore, any refusal by you to sign the Bill may not be on the ground of unconstitutionality. In general, it authorizes the Secretary of the Interior, in his discretion, by order "to establish grazing districts or additions thereto and/or to modify the boundaries thereof, not exceeding in the aggregate an area of 80,000,000 acres of vacant, unappropriated and unreserved lands from any part of the public domain of the United States (exclusive of Alaska), which are not in national forests, national parks and monuments, Indian reservations, revested Oregon and California railroad grant lands or revested Coos Bay Wagon Road grant lands, and which, in his opinion, are chiefly valuable for grazing and raising forage crops," with a provision that "nothing in this Act shall be construed in any way to diminish, restrict or impair any right which has been heretofore or may be hereafter initiated under existing law validly affecting the public lands, etc."

I am informed that 11 of our Western states will be beneficially affected by the Act, and some of them materially so. A delegation of their senators and representatives called on me for the purpose of giving this assurance and pointing out that, while for a long term of years their states and section had insisted that these public lands be ceded by the Government to the several states, they are now satisfied, with practical unanimity, to accept the provisions of this Act instead, which, in their view, inaugurates a sound policy of conservation and development. Their views appeal to me as substantially justified and I recommend them to your favorable consideration.

On the other hand, the objection may be made that the Act is tantamount to a virtual cession of these lands to the several states in which they are located. This, however, I find to be not only an overstatement, but essentially inaccurate. It is true that states' rights, in respect of the police power, public health and public welfare in and over the area, are fully preserved, as are personal privileges, such as hunting and fishing; but, aside from important exclusions in the area itself, it is equally true that the power and authority of the United States are preserved and are, in fact, to be exercised under the provisions of the Act.

Differences of opinion have also been submitted to me by the Interior Department, to which administration of the Act is largely committed, and the Department of Agriculture, the latter contending that conservation is not the purpose of the Act, that regulation of grazing is only a temporary measure, that the lands are not to be held permanently for that purpose, and that their ultimate disposal by the Government is the main purpose for which they are being held. The Department of Agriculture also raises objections to various administrative features.

On the other hand, the Interior Department is equally confident of the wholesome, public purpose to be served and of the workable administrative provisions of the Act, which the Secretary of the Interior insists present no such difficulties as the Department of Agriculture anticipates. I have carefully considered these conflicting views and have reached the conclusion that the objections raised by the Department of Agriculture are not such as to render the Act invalid.

Enclosed herewith for your convenience is a synopsis of the salient provisions of the Act and of the objections raised thereto. There should be added the statement that such lands as may be set aside for grazing purposes will be withdrawn "from all forms of entry or settlement," but without disturbing the right to hunt or fish or to exercise other existing privileges, and that the area withdrawn is less than one-half of the public domain. My consideration of the Act itself and of the views submitted in reference to it lead me to the conclusion that your approval should not be withheld.



[Notation: As] H. D. M.1


1Not identified. Every effort has been made to identify initials (other than typists' initials) but it has not always been possible to do so. Hereinafter, in such cases, no editorial comment will be made.

270 [Enclosure]

June 22, 1934

Synopsis of the Salient Provisions of the Grazing Act

Section 1. The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to establish grazing districts on an aggregate area of 80 million acres of vacant, unappropriated, and unreserved public lands. This section provides that the Act shall not diminish, restrict, or impair any right initiated under existing law affecting public lands and shall not limit, restrict, or impair the authority of any State as to matters within its jurisdiction.

Section 2. The Secretary of the Interior is directed to make provision for the protection, administration, regulation, and improvement of grazing districts. He is also authorized to make rules and regulations to establish service, to enter into agreements to accomplish the purposes of the Act and to regulate occupancy and use, preserve from destruction and unnecessary injury, and provide for the orderly use, improvement, and development of the range. He is also authorized to continue the study of erosion and flood control. Any violation of the act or regulations is punishable by a fine of not more than $500.

Section 3. The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to issue grazing permits to such bona fide settlers, residents, and other stock owners as under his rules are entitled but only to citizens of the United States or those who have declared their intention of becoming such. Preference is to be given those near the grazing district but renewal of permits can not be denied if such denial will impair grazing units which have been pledged as security for loans. The permits are to run for not more than ten years and renewal is in the discretion of the Secretary. The Secretary may specify the numbers of stock and seasons of use. In case of severe drought or period of epidemic, the Secretary is authorized to reduce or refund in whole or in part grazing fees. Grazing permits shall create no right, title, interest, or estate in lands.

Section 4. Fences, wells, reservoirs, and other improvements may be constructed by the authority of the Secretary. Permittees are required to comply with State laws as to cost and maintenance of partition fences.

Section 5. The Secretary may permit free grazing of stock kept for domestic purposes.

Section 6. This Act shall not affect rights of way for all local purposes or mining rights under existing laws.

Section 7. The Secretary of the Interior is authorized in his discretion to classify lands suitable for agricultural purposes but entry may not be made until lands are classified by the Secretary. It is provided that upon the application of any person qualified to make homestead entry the Secretary shall cause agricultural lands to be classified.

Section 8. The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to accept land as a gift on behalf of the United States. When the public interests will be benefited, he is authorized to exchange private land for other land within the grazing districts. He may also make an exchange with a State but no State shall receive land outside of its borders.

Section 9. The Secretary may make rules and regulations for local hearings on appeals from decisions from administration officers similar to those provided for the Land Office.

Section 10. Twenty-five percent of the monies received are made available when appropriated by Congress for expenditure by the Secretary on range improvements. Fifty percent of the said monies are to be paid to the State in which the grazing district is located to be expended as the State legislature may prescribe for the benefit of counties in which the grazing district is located.

Section 11. Twenty-five percent of the money received from grazing districts located on Indian lands ceded to the United States when appropriated by Congress are made available for expenditure by the Secretary for range improvements. Twenty-five percent of the said monies are to be paid to the State to be expended by the legislature on public schools and roads in counties where the grazing district is located. Fifty per cent of the monies received are to be deposited to the credit of the Indians. The applicable public land laws are to continue in force as to the ceded Indian lands but entry may be made thereon only in the discretion of the Secretary.

Section 12. The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to cooperate with other departments where the same stock grazes part time in National Forests or other reservations.

Section 13. The President is authorized to place in National Forests land lying within watersheds and to place under the Interior Department National Forest lands applicable for grazing. Lands so placed in National Forests shall be subject to National Forest laws. Lands placed under the Interior Department shall be subject to public land laws.

Section 14. The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to sell isolated or disconnected tracts of public lands not to exceed 760 acres by auction. He may also, in his discretion, sell tracts not exceeding 160 acres mountainous land unfit for cultivation whether or not isolated to any person who owns adjacent land.

Section 15. The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to lease isolated tracts of 640 or more acres to contiguous landowners for grazing purposes.

Section 16. This section provides that nothing in the Act shall restrict States from enforcing any statutes enacted for police regulation and that all State laws regarding public health and public welfare shall remain in force. The section further provides that nothing in the Act shall be construed as limiting or restricting the power of the United States.

Congressman Taylor, of Colorado, desires that attention be called to his statement on "the orderly use and preservation of the public range" before the Senate Committee on Public Lands and Surveys, which appears in the Appendix to the Congressional Record of June 16, 1934, pages 12,393-12,398.



WASHINGTON, June 26, 1934

MY DEAR GOVERNOR MERRIAM: I have your telegram of June 131 urging favorable consideration of the Central Valley water project by the Federal Government through the Public Works Administration.2

I appreciate the urgent need for protection and development of the water resources in this region. At the same time, you will on your part understand the tremendous demands now being made on the Public Works fund which has just been appropriated by Congress. The state of that fund and the great mass of pending applications are such that we would not be justified, certainly at this time, in allocating over $150,000,000 to a single project. This decision does not in any way imply a judgment on the merits of the project, but is simply a position which, in fairness to the many other applicants, we are reluctantly forced to assume.

It may be that the Federal Government will be able, at some future time, to undertake the financing of the Central Valley project, but naturally I cannot give you any assurance to that effect.

Very sincerely,


[13:OF 402:CT]

1OF 402.

2The Central Valley project was designed to control the flow of the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers and to redistribute their waters and those of their tributaries.


WASHINGTON, June 26, 1934

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: The informal cabinet committee consisting of Secretary Ickes, Secretary Wallace, Secretary Perkins and Administrator Hopkins appointed to prepare a preliminary report on the land and water program met twice and prepared this.

When they met on June 26th, they had before them the proposed Executive Order for a National Resources Board. It was the belief of the committee that the appointment of such a board with the powers indicated at this time would be unfortunate from a number of points of view. Politically such a board would be open to very heavy fire; executively it would find itself in a very difficult situation. It would be in the position of making plans of the most far reaching importance without the responsibility for carrying out these plans.

Every member of this committee which is now reporting has the very highest regard for the members of the National Planning Board and believes that this board has done an extraordinarily good job during the past year and that it could be extremely useful for coordinating and planning purposes.

This committee is prepared to submit to you an alternative plan which we believe is sound. We ask for an immediate conference for this purpose. We do not believe that the proposed Executive Order should be signed.1



Signed by FP with authorization of others.

[13:OF 1092:TS]

1The committee met with Roosevelt at the White House the next day.


WASHINGTON, D. C., June 26, 1934

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: In reply to your recent memorandum requesting that something definite be done in regard to the Wild Life Program,1 we wish to submit the following information.

On executive order, you allotted $1,000,000 for the purchase of land for this purpose, and these moneys are now being expended. In addition, by agreement today, we have made the following arrangement: To allot $1,500,000 for the acquisition of land for migratory water fowl projects approved by the Bureau of Biological Survey, Department of Agriculture, from the $25,000,000 submarginal land fund of the Federal Surplus Relief Corporation. Also, we have definitely allotted $3,550,000 for the acquisition of land in the drought and Mississippi Flyway area to be used for wild life refuges on projects approved by the Bureau of Biological Survey, Department of Agriculture, from moneys appropriated in the Deficiency Act (H. R. 9830, 73rd Congress, Second Session). It has been further agreed that this last sum shall be taken from that portion of the proposed $50,000,000 for emergency acquisition of submarginal lands which has already been designated for acquisitions.

It has been further agreed that the Federal Emergency Relief Administration will furnish suitable labor and materials for the improvement of migratory water fowl areas. It is definitely understood that these areas will be designated to the State Administrators of Relief as preferred work-projects and that grants will be made to them for labor and materials.

To accomplish the full purposes of the Wild Life Program, it will be necessary to obtain a Public Works Administration allotment for the larger restorations, improvements, and developments of all of the lands purchased. A project has been presented to the Public Works Administration, and we hope that it will meet with your approval.

We are now agreed and it is definitely understood that the entire Wild Life Program will include purchases amounting to $6,050,000, and a Federal Emergency Relief Administration program amounting to several million dollars.

Yours very truly,


[13:OF 378:TS]

1Ante, 264.


WASHINGTON, June 26, 1934

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: By reference of Col. M. H. McIntyre, under date of June 18, 1934, I am in receipt of enrolled bill, H. R. 6462, entitled—"An Act to stop injury to the public grazing lands by preventing overgrazing and soil deterioration, to provide for their orderly use, improvement, and development, to stabilize the livestock industry dependent upon the public range, and for other purposes," with request to be advised as to whether there is any objection to its approval.

The passage of this legislation marks the culmination of years of effort to secure authority from Congress to regulate grazing on the public domain in the interests of national conservation and the livestock industry. Exhaustive hearings were had on this measure before Congressional Committees and, as passed, it represents what is probably the most liberal grazing measure securable at this time.

It should be observed that this bill first passed Congress on the thirteenth of June. Subsequently, after conferring with the Secretary of Agriculture, it was decided that certain undesirable amendments had been added in the Senate. Thereafter the bill was recalled by Congress at the request of this Department and on June 16 the objectionable matter was removed and the bill repassed.

This measure, as finally passed by the Congress, has been most carefully considered and, all things considered, I recommend that it be given your approval.1

Sincerely yours,


[Notation: A] Approved 6-28-33


1Ickes had earlier attempted to interest Roosevelt in coupling the passage of the Taylor bill with the transfer of the Forest Service to the Interior Department. Writing to him on June 2, 1934 (OF 6), he said:

"Members of the Senate also tell me that that body could pass an amendment to the Taylor Grazing Bill transferring the forests here. There is some doubt whether this could be done in the House but there is a respectable body of opinion to the affirmative. My considered judgment is that in the end you will be able to effect with less disturbance the mutual transfers as between this Department and that of Agriculture if Forests are transferred now and it might save the Grazing Bill."

A Senate subcommittee print of the bill, dated May 16, 1934 (OF 633), carried amendments proposed by Senator Ashurst (Ariz.), providing for the transfer of the Forest Service to the Interior Department. See below.


WASHINGTON, D. C., June 27, 1934

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I recommend that you withhold approval of H. R. 6462, commonly known as the Taylor grazing bill. My reasons for doing so are set forth in the accompanying memorandum signed by Chief Forester F. A. Silcox, with which I am in general accord.

The original draft of H. R. 6462, as approved by the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture was unmistakably a conservation measure giving the executive department adequate authority to stop injury to the 173 million acres of unreserved Federal range lands by providing for their improvement and for their regulated use under Federal control and on terms fair to the stockmen. As finally amended by the Senate and conferees it is now so contradictory in its terms as to make its actual import uncertain. The construction placed upon it by the Solicitor of this Department is that it would confer upon the present users of the range substantial rights to the use of Government range lands, which rights the Secretary of the Interior could neither diminish, restrict, nor impair, regardless of public necessity. I am also advised that the measure in its present form would nullify the rules and regulations of the Government regulating the use of Government land in a grazing district if in conflict with any statute enacted for police regulation or any law "that may hereafter be enacted as regards public health or public welfare." The conferees' amendment did not remedy this defect. The abrogation of Federal authority still goes as far as the powers of Congress permit under the Constitution.

I regret that I cannot advise you to sign this measure hoping that its defects may be corrected by another Congress. This would be dangerous in the extreme. Rights once vested by its approval would be beyond recall. Nor is it reasonable to expect that those who insisted against the Federal Government being empowered to control its own lands would withdraw from this position if still further entrenched in that position by a law to which you have given approval. Approval is doubly difficult because the ambiguity of the measure makes it impossible to say with reasonable approximation just what such approval actually authorizes until it has been passed upon by the Supreme Court. An empire of 173 million acres should not be disposed of in language of doubtful meaning. It should be conserved by a law expressed in direct, specific, and unequivocal terms. This is not a measure of that kind.

I have explored this measure thoroughly with the Secretary of the Interior both as to its legal and administrative effect. The net result of our several conferences has been that the legal staffs of the two Departments place entirely different constructions on the Act, and Secretary Ickes has asked the Attorney General for his opinion. This fact in itself is evidence of the measure's obscurity and danger. It is certain that the Western group who conceived the measure will, if it is approved, contend that it means exactly what the Solicitor of the Department of Agriculture believes it means, i. e., that it gives the stockmen grazing rights under State jurisdiction exactly as they have always planned.

Sincerely yours,




WASHINGTON, June 21, 1934

DEAR MR. SECRETARY: I recommend that you request the President to withhold his approval of House Bill 6462, commonly known as "The Taylor Grazing Bill," for the following reasons:

1. It is not now a conservation measure as originally designed. Instead it is a distribution measure, with the policy of ultimate distribution openly stated in the first sentence in the words "pending its final disposal." As approved by the Department in its original form it was a conservation measure in that it gave the Secretary of the Interior authority to place in grazing districts any unreserved Government grazing lands, together with authority to regulate and control their use.

2. The bill grants permanent and inalienable rights to the present users of the range, conferring upon them substantial property rights which the Secretary of the Interior could neither diminish, restrict, nor impair, irrespective of public necessity. In its original form, as approved by the Department, the lands were not burdened by any such servitude, although the Secretary was given wide discretion in his authority to distribute range privileges upon such an equitable basis as in his judgment would be in the public interest.

3. The measure, instead of asserting Federal control, actually abdicates Federal control over these lands in favor of the States so far as such abdication is within the constitutional powers of Congress. The original McCarran amendment grants full jurisdiction to the State laws and correspondingly limits the authority of the Secretary. The amendment to this section merely expresses the constitutional limitation which Congress could not exceed.1 This is made clear in the formal opinion of the Solicitor of the Department of Agriculture submitted to you June 14, 1934.

4. To avoid the inexorable and cancerous-like growth and establishment of a great interior desert our semiarid lands must be placed under strong, farsighted control, full rather than limited, and directed to objectives more far-reaching both in time and influence than the mere liquidation of existing temporary values, such as govern individual use. This measure limits even its phantom Federal control to 80 million acres, thereby definitely dedicating the remaining 93 million acres of open public lands to the avowed policy of "ultimate disposal."2

5. This proposed "ultimate disposal" would be tremendously speeded up by this measure through the instrumentality of Section 14, which would amend the present isolated tract law which now empowers the Secretary of the Interior to sell not to exceed 320 acres of isolated land at a price of not less than $1.25 an acre, with a minimum of $2.50 an acre for lands lying within the primary limits of railroad grants. This measure raises the limit to 760 acres, abrogates the existing minimum price, and provides for sale at auction at not less than the appraised value. It also provides that the owner of contiguous land shall have a preference right to buy the offered land at the highest price bid, and in no case shall be required to pay in excess of three times the appraised price. Although such sales are not made mandatory but merely "lawful" and when, in the judgment of the Secretary, "it would be proper," it is certain that the Department would be under constant and insistent pressure from the owners of great railroad land grants to enable them to block up their checkerboard holdings by acquiring the intervening even-numbered sections. It would be futile for a prospective settler or homesteader to attempt to acquire lands within the limits of such a grant if desired by the railroad company, which, as the owner of "contiguous land," would have a preference right to demand title to the land upon offering to pay the same price the settler had offered, with the special protection of being assured that the railroad company, regardless of the price bid, need not pay in excess of three times the appraised value. The general and liberal application of the provisions of this section would not be out of which the Secretary of the Interior could neither diminish, restrict, nor could the Department be justly criticized for doing what Congress has declared to be "lawful." This section was not in the bill when it went to the Senate Public Lands Committee and so far as I know was not submitted to either Department. Its provisions would be much safer if the special consideration to the owner of contiguous land was left discretionary with the Secretary instead of being made mandatory.

6. The purposes of the bill in its original form and in which it received the approval of the Department of Agriculture was to stop injury to the range and restore its productivity, regulated use, and necessary improvements. From a financial standpoint this has been largely lost sight of in order to make it a vehicle for obtaining local revenue from the Federal Treasury. The measure provides that 50% of the gross receipts shall at the end of each fiscal year be paid over to the counties within which the district is located. This is a departure from the long-established rule of the payment of 25%, applicable to the National Forests, and is certain to result in drives to transfer lands from National Forests to grazing districts, not only for the purpose of doubling the local receipts, but in addition to securing property rights in their range and freedom from control under lax State laws.

7. It is needless for me to elaborate on the undesirability of Section 16 either in its original form or as amended by the conferees. From a legal standpoint this is covered thoroughly in the Solicitor's opinion. I do, however, wish to emphasize the danger of this amendment from an administrative and conservation standpoint. It would establish a precedent leading to the ultimate disintegration of all our conservation policies and measures which, in order to be effective, have necessarily been made nation-wide so far as possible, with the authority of the Federal Government dominant not only as to National Forests but also as to Federal water powers and mineral oils and fertilizers. In short, this measure would tend to undermine what is now a reasonably substantial structure of publicly owned natural resources.

8. The measure is objectionable as a whole because it abdicates Federal control and would perpetuate the existing deplorable conditions. From the date of its admission into the Union each State has had authority to regulate the use of public lands for grazing purposes, in the absence of the enactment of any regulatory law by the Federal Government. Had the States exercised that authority fairly, effectively and intelligently, it would have been unnecessary for Congress to consider the passage of a measure to place the lands under Federal control. The past lack of administration has resulted in the permanent injury of millions of acres of the lands under consideration and has reduced their carrying capacity by at least two-thirds. Already a great interior desert is in the making; the warning has been written in the heavens; the pall of dust has been carried by the winds clear across the continent as though it were Nature's signal to the nation that something is happening to its lands. The approval of this bill would sanction and authorize the continuance of that "something" and assure the ultimate creation of a new Arabia in the United States.

9. The President in his message to Congress on June 8 stated that the extent and usefulness of our great natural inheritance of land and water depends on our mastery of it. Such mastery will, at best, be difficult; will present a tremendous problem of regeneration or reclamation, of adjusting diverse and conflicting interests. If the Taylor bill becomes a law, these difficulties will be multiplied in their relation to the western States. New equities will legally be established, new State powers created, new obstacles will arise to defeat or retard the program which the President is to propose. May I suggest that nothing will be lost, but much may be gained, if the proposed change in the status of the public lands is deferred until the program the President has in contemplation has assumed definite form and the consequences of legislative action such as that embodied in the Taylor bill can be determined with greater certainty and assurance than is at this stage possible.

10. The suggestion has been made that if this bill is approved the objectionable features may be promptly corrected when Congress reconvenes in January. Approval upon such basis would be dangerous in the extreme. This is evidenced by past experience, particularly in the Oregon land grant case. The Act of July 13, 1926 (34 Stat. 951), was signed with the understanding that it would be promptly amended when Congress reconvened. The promise has never been kept. Furthermore, in this particular case, it is unreasonable to believe that Senator McCarran, who insisted upon its amendment, supported by other Members, would be less insistent if once entrenched in his position by an actual law having the President's approval.

11. This is not a measure that can be accepted temporarily in unsuitable form which Congress may remedy at some future time. On the contrary, once the Federal Government waives its jurisdiction over the control of its land property in favor of "all laws heretofore enacted by the respective States or any thereof, or that may hereafter be enacted as regards public health or public welfare" no part of the jurisdiction thus waived could ever be recovered without a bitterly fought contest. Furthermore, should this measure be approved and the Supreme Court hold as the Solicitor of the Department of Agriculture contends, that it gives to the stockmen who are using public range lands in grazing districts rights which the Secretary of the Interior can neither restrict, diminish, nor impair, such rights will then have vested and will be beyond the power of Congress to recall. Once vested in either individual or corporate ownership such rights become private property which, under our Constitution, can be taken for public purposes only by purchase or condemnation and upon payment of adequate compensation. Even though the powers now withheld from the Secretary might later be granted by Congress this grant would not be retroactive as to rights already vested.

12. No matter what may be the outcome of the Attorney General's study in this measure, its rejection by the President is necessary because of its contradictory terms which, at the best, make its actual import uncertain. The very fact that the legal staff of two great Departments place upon it totally different and contradictory constructions is of itself incontestably proof of the ambiguity of its terms. The President should not be asked or expected to approve in ambiguous terms that which he would disapprove if stated openly. This measure, as introduced in Congress and as approved by the President in his letter to the Chairman of the Public Lands Committee,2 provided for the conservation of the remaining public domain range lands by the Secretary of the Interior and vested him with full authority to that end. Intimations that the measure would not receive Executive approval unless Senate amendments granting inalienable rights to present users of the range and perpetuating State control over the nation's range lands were stricken from the bill resulted in its eleventh hour recall and the appointment of conferees. It is understood that Senator McCarran contended that his amendment (Section 16) must stay in the Act or there would be no law. The result was minor changes of wording acceptable to the proponents of the two objectionable points. Only by a very strained and technical interpretation can it be contended that the objections have been met. Having received a friendly warning on these two points, which could easily have been covered by clear and unequivocal language had their proponents been willing to do so, the trifling changes which were made indicate a purpose to yield only so far as may be done in form without actually jeopardizing victory in court. Even though the court might possibly give the construction desired by the President, it would be dangerous for him to approve it since it is also possible—indeed probable—that it would be given a contrary construction, in which event instead of approving a measure giving the Secretary of the Interior authority to regulate and preserve the range for the general good, he would in fact have unwittingly given approval to a measure sanctioning State control of Federal range lands for the benefit of the present users and giving them substantially perpetual rights which the Secretary of the Interior could neither diminish, restrict nor impair. An empire of 173,000,000 acres should not be finally dealt with in such dubious and doubtful terms. Its future disposition should be protected by language direct, specific, and unequivocal.

Sincerely yours,



1The original McCarran amendment read: "Nothing in this act shall be construed as restricting the respective States from enforcing any and all statutes enacted for police regulation, nor shall the police power of the respective States be, by this bill, impaired or restricted, and all laws heretofore enacted by the respective States or any thereof, or that may hereafter be enacted as regards public health or public welfare, shall at all times be in full force and effect" (Cong. Rec., 73d Cong., 2d sess., 78: 10, 11162). This proving inacceptable to the House, the conference committee proposed and the Senate and House accepted the following proviso: "Provided however, That nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting or constricting the power and authority of the United States" (ibid., 78:11, 12004).

2Ante, 238.


WASHINGTON [June 28, 1934]

Statement in re Enrolled Bill 6462

The passage of this act marks the culmination of years of effort to obtain from Congress express authority for Federal regulation of grazing on the public domain in the interests of National conservation and of the livestock industry.

It authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to provide for the protection, orderly use, and regulation of the public ranges, and to create grazing districts with an aggregate area of not more than 80 million acres. It confers broad powers on the Secretary of the Interior to do all things necessary for the preservation of these ranges, including, amongst other powers, the right to specify from time to time the number of livestock which may graze within such districts and the seasons when they shall be permitted to do so. The authority to exercise these powers is carefully safeguarded against impairment by State or local action. Creation of a grazing district by the Secretary of the Interior and promulgation of rules and regulations respecting it will supersede State regulation of grazing on that part of the public domain included within such district.

Water development, soil erosion work, and the general improvement of such lands are provided for in the act.

Local residents, settlers and owners of land and water who have been using the public range in the past are given a preference by the terms of the act to the use of lands within such districts when placed under Federal regulation so long as they comply with the rules and regulations of the Secretary of the Interior. The act permits private persons owning lands within a district to make exchanges for Federally owned land outside a grazing district if and when the Secretary of the Interior finds it to be in the best public interests.

The Federal Government, by enacting this law, has taken a great forward step in the interests of conservation, which will prove of benefit not only to those engaged in the livestock industry but also to the Nation as a whole.1



1An attached memorandum, Ickes to Roosevelt, undated, reads, "This is a retype of a copy approved by Homer Cummings and myself." The statement here printed was issued as a press release on June 28, 1934. For the administration of the act, see the Annual Reports of the Secretary of the Interior.


[WASHINGTON, June 29, 1934]1

MY DEAR SENATOR: I have received your letter of June 7 bringing to my attention the need of making a survey of the water resources of the entire West.2 The suggestions contained in your letter are appreciated and will be helpful to me in working out the water conservation program which is now under consideration.

You are probably aware of the reports that have been made by the Chief of Engineers, United States Army, under the provisions of House Document No. 308, 69th Congress, outlining a general plan for the improvement of the rivers of the United States for the purposes of navigation, water power, control of floods, and the needs for irrigation. In addition to these reports the Secretary of the Interior is making surveys and investigations, and will soon be ready to submit a report on a comprehensive scheme of control, improvement, and utilization of the water of the Colorado River and its tributaries. The need of a comprehensive water policy was brought to the attention of the Congress in my message laid before the Senate on June 4. As stated therein, the message and accompanying documents should be regarded as a preliminary study and, between now and the assembling of the next Congress, the questions would be given further consideration, which is in accord with your suggestions.

I fully appreciate the necessity of taking prompt steps to relieve the acute water shortage which exists not only in Idaho but throughout much of the central and western sections of the country. I am advised by the Secretary of the Interior that investigations are still in progress to locate a reservoir site on the North Fork of the Snake River in Idaho; and that the question of the Salmon River diversion is to receive further consideration with a view to determining definitely the feasibility of this project, with a more careful estimate of its cost, and the quantity of water that can be diverted into the Snake River Valley.3

Assuring you that these important problems will continue to receive my closest attention, I remain,

Very sincerely yours,


[Notation: A] Filed June 29, 1934

[13:OF 402:CT]

1In the absence of a date, the filing date has been used.

2Senator Pope said that the irrigation-based economic life of the West was being threatened by a new problem: a changing climate, denudation of watersheds by the cutting of forests and grazing, and the breaking down of natural water storage by soil erosion. He believed that a survey of water resources would guarantee the coordination of future irrigation projects (OF 402).

3Drafted by the Interior Department.


WASHINGTON, June 30, 1934

MY DEAR GOVERNOR LANDON: Since you wrote me your good letter of June 2 concerning the planning of watersheds in Kansas and adjoining states,1 I have sent two brief messages to the Congress on this subject.2 You have doubtless seen them but I am enclosing copies in case you have not.

In the message of June 7th3 I stated that "when the next Congress convenes I hope to be able to present to it a carefully considered national plan, covering the development and the human use of our natural resources of land and water over a longer period of years." In the preparation of that program we will need the active cooperation and special views of the Governors and state planning boards of the several states.

I understand that the National Planning Board of the Public Works Administration is already assisting the state planning boards through assignment of consultants and has also set up Planning Districts and District Chairmen for the handling of planning efforts by groups of states having common problems. If the new work on water resource planning later requires additional help to these state agencies it can, presumably, be provided in the same way. Through the Public Works Administration a Mississippi Valley Committee has also been at work on the kind of problem you have in mind.

By all this you will see that I greatly appreciate your suggestions and hope to arrange for the greatest possible cooperation between the Federal and State authorities.

Very sincerely,


[13:OF 114:CT]

1Outlining a program of water conservation and flood control for the Kansas and Arkansas watersheds (OF 114).

2June 4 and 8, 1934, ante, 254, 259.

3June 8 is meant.


WASHINGTON, D. C., June 30, 1934

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I am herewith transmitting direct to you, in order to secure the necessary expedition of the matter, a revised draft of a proposed Executive Order submitted to me by the Secretary of the Interior this date.

The proposed Executive Order creates the Quetico-Superior Committee, the function of which is to consult and advise the various Federal Departments and agencies and the State of Minnesota in the furtherance of the program of the Quetico-Superior Council for the establishment of a wilderness sanctuary in the Rainy Lake and Pigeon River Water-Sheds. This program has been endorsed by numerous Organizations interested in the preservation of wild life and the conservation of the few remaining tracts of wilderness in the United States.

The issuance of the proposed order is not authorized under any specific statute, but it is believed that you are authorized to issue the proposed order under your broad general powers as Chief Executive. In any event the issuance of the proposed order is not prohibited in any way, and it would seem to be clearly in the public interest. It is also consonant with the policy of the Government, as exemplified in various acts of Congress, to conserve the natural resources of the country and to preserve its natural beauties.

The draft of the order submitted by the Secretary of the Interior has been revised only as to form, and the revised draft has my approval as to form and legality.1



[13:OF 1119:TS]

1Issued as Executive Order 6783 on June 30, 1934. Appointed to the committee were E. C. Oberholtzer, chairman, S. T. Tyng, C. S. Kelly, Robert Marshall (for the Interior Department), and E. W. Tinker (for the Agriculture Department). The Quetico-Superior area is comprised of the Quetico Provincial Park, established by Canada in 1909, and the Superior National Forest. Conservationists interested themselves in the unique wilderness character of the region and in 1930 the Shipstead-Nolan Act placed restrictions on logging operations within it. In 1933 Minnesota made this act applicable to its lands within the area.


In order to grapple on a national scale with the problem of the millions of farm families now attempting unsuccessfully to wrest a living from worn-out, eroded lands, the President today issued an Executive Order creating the National Resources Board.1 The Board will study and plan for the better utilization of the land, water, and other national resources of the country.

The personnel of the Board includes the Secretary of the Interior, chairman; the Secretary of War, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Labor, the Federal Emergency Relief Administrator, Mr. Frederic A. Delano, Mr. Charles E. Merriam,2 and Mr. Wesley C. Mitchell.3 The last three named also constitute an Advisory Committee, of which Mr. Delano is chairman. The order at the same time abolished the National Planning Board, transferring its personnel, duties and records to the new organization. The relationships with State planning agencies heretofore established by the National Planning Board will be continued and developed by the new National Resources Board. The order provided for a Technical Committee as well, with no fixed personnel or tenure.

The Board will prepare a program and plan of procedure to be submitted to the President dealing with all aspects of the problem of development and use of land, water and other national resources, in their physical, social, governmental and economic aspects.

A report on land and water use is called for in the order, to be submitted before December 1, 1934. The program and plan will include coordination of projects of Federal, State and local governments, defining the division of responsibility and costs among the various governmental authorities.

The new Board which will coordinate the diverse efforts of several government agencies in attacking the problems, supersedes the Committee on National Land Problems, which is abolished by today's order.

As an example of the major problems facing the new Board, there is the imperative need of saving those lands of the country now being rapidly turned into virtual deserts through wind and water erosion, and the relocation of those who are trying to wrest a living from this rapidly deteriorating land. Such lands include the flat prairie lands of the west where drought and wind combine to carry away the remaining fertile top-soil, and hill land where, after land has been cleared, rain has washed the formerly fertile hillsides clean of productive soil, with consequent gullying and virtual ruin of the land for productive purposes. Such lands can be saved by returning them to forest, or utilizing them for grazing rather than attempting to raise clean-tilled crops, which induce rapid erosion.

Coupled with this problem, of course, is that of relocating those farmers and their families on better land, where their efforts will bring them a better living and more certain economic security.

The program will be prepared with more in mind than better land utilization. It will give consideration to the better balancing of agricultural production and the solution of human problems in land use. It will aim to point the way to correction of the misuse of land and water resources, thereby improving the standards of living of millions of impoverished families.

Many agencies of the Federal government will cooperate in this broad program, including the following:

Interior Department: National Park Service, Office of Indian Affairs, the General Land Office, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Geological Survey, the Subsistence Homesteads Division, and the Soil Erosion Service.

Department of Agriculture: Bureau of Agricultural Economics, the Forest Service, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, the Farm Credit Administration, the Bureau of Chemistry and Soils, the Biological Survey, the Bureau of Agricultural Engineering, and the Extension Service.

Relief: The Federal Emergency Relief Administration and the Federal Surplus Relief Corporation.

In matters affecting navigable waters, the War Department will co-operate with the National Resources Board. Likewise, the Bureau of Fisheries of the Department of Commerce will cooperate in matters affecting that national resource.

For Release Tuesday Morning Papers—July 3, 1934, M. H. McIntyre, Assistant Secretary to the President


1Executive Order 6777, June 30, 1934 (printed in Rosenman, ed., Public Papers, III, 335-336). A draft of the order and an opinion concerning it by Attorney General Cummings, June 28, 1934, were sent by Ickes to Roosevelt with a letter of June 28, 1934 (OF 1092). An undated note accompanying the draft executive order, Paula Tully to McIntyre and Forster, reads: "The President says that there is a very good story in this Executive Order and he suggests it be held for release for the Tuesday morning papers." Roosevelt asked for a permanent planning board in his message to Congress of Jan. 24, 1935, post, 310.

2Merriam (1874-1953), chairman of the Political Science Department of the University of Chicago, was later appointed by Roosevelt to the President's Committee on Administrative Management.

3Mitchell (1874-1948), an economist, was director of research for the National Bureau of Economic Research, 1920-45.


WASHINGTON, July 18, 1934

[Radiogram] Wallace sends following: "Silcox tells me it is necessary to move in next three weeks if we are to start the necessary nurseries for the western shelter belt. Would appreciate being advised if and when you have signed the Executive Order which has already cleared the Director of Budget, Attorney General and Secretary of State." Executive Order still disapproved by Douglas.1


[13:OF I—C:CT]

1Executive Order 6793, signed July 11, 1934, allocated $15,000,000 from funds appropriated by the Emergency Appropriation Act of June 19, 1934, "for the planting of forest protection strips in the Plains Region as a means of ameliorating drought conditions." The President was at this time on board the U. S. S. Houston on a vacation trip which took him from Washington (July 1) to Honolulu (July 26) to Portland, Oregon (August 2). He arrived in Washington on August 10.


U. S. S. "HOUSTON," July 20, 1934

[Radiogram] Put shelter belt order through but tell Wallace to try to cut actual expenditures to ten millions.


[13:OF I—C:T]


WASHINGTON, July 20, 1934

Navy Code

MEMORANDUM FOR FORSTER, U. S. S. Houston: Shelter belt order sent to Panama. Signed by President with understanding that we would check again with Budget. This has been done and Douglas still disapproves. In view of Wallace's message sent on eighteenth shall we put order through or hold until President's return? Order allocates fifteen million from the five hundred twenty-five million relief appropriation for stricken agriculture areas to the Secretary of Agriculture for the planting of forest protective strips in the Plains region as a means of ameliorating drought conditions.


[13:OF I—C:CT]


WASHINGTON [July 31, 1934]1

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: The following is a brief statement of the needs of the wildlife refuge program:

1. The desired area for the migratory waterfowl program which will insure perpetuation of the birds is conservatively put at 7,500,000 acres.

2. To date we have acquired or have obligated money for 1,800,850 acres.

3. We immediately need an additional 73 units containing 1,415,000 acres as the minimum requirement for breeding grounds, resting places along the flyways and for wintering grounds.

4. With control of the units acquired and being acquired and those immediately needed, further additions can be made more gradually to provide the total acreage necessary but we need the minimum number of units mentioned above and located on the map submitted to you.

5. With the big game ranges now being set aside in the west we will soon be in a good position to care for all western species on national refuges except grizzly bear, mountain goats, marten and fisher. We are trying to evolve a program for these species.

6. In order to care for eastern species in the same way we need a tract in Maine, one in Dismal Swamp in Virginia, and an area in northern Vermont, New Hampshire or New York.

7. The Singer tract (80,000 acres) in Louisiana should be purchased immediately to save the small colony of ivory-billed woodpeckers found there. It also would be valuable for waterfowl, deer and wolves.

8. About 20,000 acres of Santee River bottoms in South Carolina should be purchased immediately. It contains the finest and purest stock of wild turkeys in southeastern United States, a small colony of ivory-billed woodpeckers, and within the last few weeks the existence in this tract of a small colony of Carolina paraquets has been confirmed. This species has been presumed to be extinct for over thirty years. Here is an opportunity to save and restore this striking bird. The area is also an excellent general wildlife refuge.

9. The total cost of the immediate program would be $25,000,000.

10. It will insure the perpetuation of migratory waterfowl and provide refuge units in the native habitat of practically all the major species of American mammals and birds.

11. It should be completed during this administration which has already done so much for wildlife. So far as the ivory-billed woodpecker and the Carolina paraquet are concerned, it is the last chance, and the waterfowl program is also an immediate necessity.



[13:OF I—C:TS]

1A supplied and approximate date.

286 SPEECH BY ROOSEVELT, Two Medicine Chalet, Glacier National Park, August 5, 1934

I have been back on the soil of the continental United States for three days after most interesting visits to our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Canal Zone and the Territory of Hawaii. I return with the conviction that their problems are essentially similar to those of us who live on the mainland and, furthermore, that they are enthusiastically doing their part to improve their conditions of life and thereby the conditions of life of all Americans.

On Friday and Saturday I had the opportunity of seeing the actual construction work under way in the first two national projects for the development of the Columbia River Basin. At Bonneville, Oregon, a great dam, 140 miles inland, at the last place where the river leaps down over rapids to sea level, will provide not only a large development of cheap power but also will enable vessels to proceed another seventy or eighty miles into the interior of the country.

At Grand Coulee, in north central Washington, an even greater dam will regulate the flow of the Columbia River, developing power and, in the future, will open up a large tract of parched land for the benefit of this and future generations. Many families in the days to come, I am confident, will thank us of this generation for providing small farms on which they will at least be able to make an honest and honorable livelihood.

Today, for the first time in my life, I have seen Glacier Park. Perhaps I can best express to you my thrill and delight by saying that I wish every American, old and young, could have been with me today. The great mountains, the glaciers, the lakes and the trees make me long to stay here for all the rest of the summer.

Comparisons are generally objectionable and yet it is not unkind to say from the standpoint of scenery alone that if many and indeed most of our American national parks were to be set down anywhere on the continent of Europe thousands of Americans would journey all the way across the ocean in order to see their beauties.

There is nothing so American as our national parks. The scenery and wild life are native and the fundamental idea behind the parks is native. It is, in brief, that the country belongs to the people; that what it is and what it is in the process of making is for the enrichment of the lives of all of us. Thus the parks stand as the outward symbol of this great human principle.

It was on a famous night, sixty-four years ago, that a group of men who had been exploring the Yellowstone country gathered about a camp fire to discuss what could be done with that wonderland of beauty. It is said that one of the party, a lawyer from the State of Montana, Cornelius Hedges, advanced the idea that the region might be preserved for all time as a national park for the benefit of all the people of the Nation. As a result of that suggestion, Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872 by Act of Congress as a "pleasuring ground" for the people. I like that phrase because, in the years that have followed, our great series of parks in every part of the Union have become indeed a "pleasuring ground" for millions of Americans.

My old friend, Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior in the Wilson Administration, well described the policies governing the national park administration when he said:

The policy to which the Service will adhere is based on three broad principles: First, that the national parks must be maintained in absolutely unimpaired form for the use of future generations as well as those of our own time; second, that they are set apart for the use, observation, health and pleasure of the people; and, third, that the national interest must dictate all decisions affecting public or private enterprise in the parks.

The present National Park Service stands as an example of efficient and far-seeing governmental administration and to its former duties I added last year by transferring from other departments many other parks, battlefield sites, memorials and national monuments. This concentration of responsibility has thus made it possible to embark on a permanent park policy as a great recreational and educational project—one which no other country in the world has ever undertaken in such a broad way for protection of its natural and historic treasures and for the enjoyment of them by vast numbers of people.

Today I have seen some of the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps boys in this northwestern country. Of the three hundred thousand young men in these camps, 75,000 are at work in our national parks. Here, under trained leadership, we are helping these men to help themselves and their families and at the same time we are making the parks more available and more useful for the average citizen. Hundreds of miles of firebreaks have been built, fire hazards have been reduced on great tracts of timberland, thousands of miles of roadside have been cleared, 2,500 miles of trails have been constructed and 10,000 acres have been reforested. Other tens of thousands of acres have been treated for tree disease and soil erosion. This is but another example of our efforts to build, not for today alone but for tomorrow as well.1

We should remember that the development of our national park system over a period of many years has not been a simple bed of roses. As is the case in the long fight for the preservation of national forests and water power and mineral deposits and other national possessions, it has been a long and fierce fight against many private interests which were entrenched in political and economic power. So, too, it has been a constant struggle to protect the public interest once cleared from private exploitation at the hands of the selfish few.

It took a bitter struggle to teach the country at large that our national resources are not inexhaustible and that, when public domain is stolen, a two-fold injury is done, for it is a theft of the treasure of the present and at the same time bars the road of opportunity to the future.

We have won the greater part of the fight to obtain and to retain these great public park properties for the benefit of the public. We are at the threshold of even more important a battle to save our resources of agriculture and industry against the selfishness of individuals.

The Secretary of the Interior in 1933 announced that this year of 1934 was to be emphasized as "National Parks Year." I am glad to say that there has been a magnificent response and that the number visiting our national parks has shown a splendid increase. But I decided today that every year ought to be "National Parks Year."2 That is why, with all the earnestness at my command, I express to you the hope that each and every one of you who can possibly find the means and opportunity for so doing will visit our national parks and use them as they are intended to be used. They are not for the rich alone. Camping is free, the sanitation is excellent. You will find them in every part of the Union. You will find glorious scenery of every character; you will find every climate; you will perform the double function of enjoying much and learning much.

We are definitely in an era of building, the best kind of building—the building of great public projects for the benefit of the public and with the definite objective of building human happiness.

I believe, too, that we are building a better comprehension of our national needs. People understand, as never before, the splendid public purpose that underlies the development of great power sites, the improving of navigation, the prevention of floods and of the erosion of our agricultural fields, the prevention of forest fires, the diversification of farming and the distribution of industry. We know, more and more, that the East has a stake in the West and the West has a stake in the East, that the Nation must and shall be considered as a whole and not as an aggregation of disjointed groups.

May we come better to know every part of our great heritage in the days to come.2


1The CCC camps in Glacier National Park were established in the summer of 1933. Their work included the clearing of burned-over lands, the clearing of flowage areas around Sherburne Lake and other lakes, roadside clearing, landscaping and trail building (Guy D. McKinney to Early, July 27, 1934, OF 268).

2This speech was based in part on an Interior Department memorandum, "The National Park Service of the United States," sent by Ickes to Early with a note of June 25, 1934 (OF 6—P), and a draft initialed by Raymond Moley (Speech File). The text here printed is that of the reading copy. (Another copy of this speech is in the file of stenographic transcripts of speeches. This "stenographic copy" is, however, identical with the reading copy and the introductory greetings almost invariably addressed by Roosevelt to his hosts and audience are lacking, circumstances that suggest that it is actually the prepared text.)


WASHINGTON, D. C. [August 17, 1934]1

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Referring to our conversation about the shelter belt project, I have talked with the Comptroller General, and enclose herewith a draft of a proposed letter for your signature to the Secretary of the Treasury which the Comptroller General has informally approved.2 The allocation of $1,000,000 as therein proposed would enable us to proceed with the detailed work of planning, surveying, development of adaptable species, planting under cooperative agreements, lease agreements, etc., nursery development, and for similar purposes. Also I understand that essential parcels of land, if the need therefor develops in isolated cases, may be purchased, but that such purchases should be limited to cases of extreme necessity. Under this plan the matter of additional finances can be taken up from time to time as the work progresses and the Executive Order No. 6766 would remain in its present status for the present.

Unusual public notice has been given to the shelter belt project. It has aroused nation-wide interest and our men are already in the field working on organization and like matters so that the need for immediate funds is now critical if we are to avoid serious embarassment.



[13:OF I—C:TS]

1A supplied and an approximate date.

2The draft was sent as the letter following. The reduction in the allocation from $15,000,000 (see ante, 282), was owing to a ruling by Comptroller General McCarl which barred the use of the larger amount for the Shelterbelt on the ground that the project was not a direct and immediate relief measure, and that Congress should have opportunity to pass on the merits of the proposal.


[WASHINGTON] August 17, 1934

MY DEAR MR. SECRETARY: With a view to providing relief in stricken agricultural areas through encouraging and assisting in a systematic planting and growth of trees, shrubs, plants, et cetera, and to secure varieties adapted to such localities and conditions, there is hereby allocated to the Secretary of Agriculture from the appropriation of $525,000,000 made for Emergency Relief by Title II of the Act approved June 19, 1934, $1,000,000. You are requested to take action accordingly, the Secretary of Agriculture to be advised when the transfer of funds has been effected.

Very sincerely yours,



[13:OF I—C:CT]

289 ROOSEVELT TO ROBERT U. JOHNSON, New Milford, Connecticut

[WASHINGTON] August 24, 1934

MY DEAR MR. AMBASSADOR: It is good to have your letter.1 The continuous reservation from Maine to Georgia along the line of the Appalachian is rapidly taking form. You will be pleased to know that this year we are buying twenty million dollars worth of additional land—a large part of it being in the Eastern area.

Very sincerely yours,


[13:PPF 1742:CT]

1Aug. 16, 1934 (PPF 1742), urging that his suggestion of "a continuous Appalachian reservation from Canada to Georgia" now be used. Johnson (at this time director of the New York University Hall of Fame) added: "This might include the proposed Green Mountain National Park in which Colonel William J. Wilgus, our fellow member of the Century Club, has a deep and patriotic interest."


WASHINGTON, August 25, 1934

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: What is the present status of the land acquisition policy about which we have so often talked?

I enclose the last word I have on it—the Director of the Budget's reply to Tugwell's plan of last March.1

Is an inter-departmental committee working on it?

If not, I suggest a committee from Agriculture (as such), Forestry, A. A. A., soil erosion, public lands and F. E. R. A.

How does this tie in with the big study of the general subject of land use, public works, etc?


[13:OF 1017:CT]

1Ante 230, 236.


WASHINGTON, D. C., September 7, 1934

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I should like to summarize the shelter-belt forest situation. Conferences with various people including Silcox lead me to recommend as follows:

That the $15,000,000 set aside from drought-relief funds be transferred by executive order to F. E. R. A. They will buy the land with these purposes in view: (1) resettlement of the people (2) turning over to the Forest Service what of the land is suitable for planting (3) turning over to the Bureau of Public Lands1 what is suitable for grass, to be administered under the Taylor Act.

This will relieve the Forest Service from acquiring and administering tracts to the West of good tree-growing areas which they are reluctant to do. And it will serve the purpose of retiring land and restricting grazing through the agency specifically charged with this duty.

Supplemental to this, and in furtherance of the shelter-belt idea, the regular Clarke-McNary funds for cooperative planting might well be enlarged in next year's budget.



[13:OF I—C:TS]

1General Land Office.


WASHINGTON, September 7, 1934

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: At a recent conference you raised a question about the control of silt in the Yellowstone River. I have passed this question on to Commissioner Mead of the Bureau of Reclamation and I enclose a memorandum just received from him.1

I take it that it is still against the policy of the Administration to bring new lands into cultivation through irrigation. Moreover you doubtless would not want to approve a project of this sort in advance of the report to be made to you by the National Resources Board. Commissioner Mead, of course, is always in favor of any reclamation project. That is his job.

With reference to a survey, I have always been reluctant to approve such projects for two reasons. In the first place surveys of this sort are relatively expensive. Considering the money spent, little employment is given. In the second place the making of a survey is likely to be misunderstood by the interested landowners as in the nature of a promise that the proposed reclamation project in connection with which such a survey is being made will be undertaken by the Government.

You also asked me to consult Commissioner Mead about the feasibility of damming the headwaters of small streams in the neighborhood of Devils Lake, North Dakota. I enclose his report on this subject.2

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 402:TS]

1Aug. 29, 1934, saying that there was no silt problem in the Yellowstone above the mouth of the Big Horn, and that no serious difficulties from silt had been encountered below it. Roosevelt's inquiry arose from a proposal that a dam be built in Big Horn Canyon to impound the river's silt load to keep it out of the Missouri.

2Aug. 28, 1934, stating that a dam such as was proposed by Roosevelt would have no effect on the level of Devils Lake because the shrinking of the lake was caused by increased evaporation. See below.


HYDE PARK, N. Y., September 12, 1934

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: 1. In regard to the Big Horn River project, I suggest you notify Senator Wheeler that the whole matter has been turned over to the National Resources Board which will make a report before the first of the year.1

2. In regard to Devils Lake and small streams in that watershed, I suggest the same thing.


[13:OF 402:CT]

1A typed report of the Water Resources Section of the National Resources Board entitled, "Summary of Conclusions on Big Horn Canyon Dam Project," unsigned and undated, is present with this letter. The conclusion was that heavy erosion was a serious problem in the Big Horn River basin but that a program of forestation, grazing regulation and education in erosion control was "far more badly needed in the Big Horn River Basin than the proposed dam."


NEWPORT, R. I., September 18, 19341

MEMORANDUM FOR ACTING DIRECTOR OF BUDGET: What do you think of this suggestion of the Under Secretary of Agriculture.2 If you think it is the right way to proceed, and the Comptroller General approves, I think the sum set aside should be $10,000,000 instead of $15,000,000.


[13:OF I—C:CT]

1Roosevelt attended the America's Cup Races as guest of Vincent Astor on the Nourmahal on September 15-17.

2See ante, 291.

295 PRESS CONFERENCE, Hyde Park, September 21, 1934, 10:30 A. M.

[Excerpt] The President: . . . What happened, as I remember it, is this, and it ought to be checked up because it is just recollection on my part: The original project called for $15,000,000.1 It included in it quite a large amount for land purchase and the original proposal of the Department2 was to take out not merely the employment, that is, the wages of the people concerned, from relief, but also to take out for the land to be purchased to put the trees on. McCarl, when he went over that with me about four or five days before we went up on that, said, "I do not think we can take any purchases out of relief money." I said, "I agree with you one hundred per cent."

So, there wasn't any disagreement between us on that item. He said that obviously any money spent for wages for the unemployed is perfectly all right. In other words, I think it is a thing that came up as a result of the discussion in one of the departments, agriculture or relief, as to whether they could get land purchase money out of relief money.

Q: You have land purchase money anyway?

The President: Yes.

Q: Where does that money for land purchase come in? Do your recall offhand?

The President: I do not. The Greeks had a name for it but I do not recall it. The Greeks bearing gifts.

Q: I do remember that.

Q: You are going ahead with this timber belt?

The President: Oh, heavens, no; lots of things have not been decided. There is the method of acquiring the land, whether it will be built along the section lines or not. We are going ahead with the appropriations for tree planting but the thing is very tentative as to the actual details. Oh, we are going ahead with it, sure.

Q: I noticed the story said that McCarl had approved $1,000,000 for this preliminary work. Is that correct?

The President: Yes, that is correct. Then, of course, the Government departments wanted five for the preliminary work and I cut that to one.

Q: The only reason I brought it up was that it did get quite a play.

The President: I entirely approve of McCarl's stand that you could not buy land out of relief.3


1A reporter had just asked about Comptroller General McCarl's ruling which barred the allocation of $15,000,000 of 1934 Emergency Appropriation Act funds for the Shelterbelt.


3The matter was arranged by revoking Executive Order 6793 (the Shelterbelt allocation order barred by the Comptroller General); allocating $5,000,000 from the 1934 Emergency Appropriation Act fund to the Federal Emergency Relief Administration for purchase of submarginal lands in stricken agricultural areas; and allocating $10,000,000 from the same fund to Emergency Conservation Work for the establishment of Civilian Conservation Corps camps (Executive Orders 6910—A and 6910—B).


[WASHINGTON] October 6, 1934

DEAR MR. FECHNER: I have been greatly interested and encouraged by the fine report of your visits to C. C. C. camps in many parts of the country.1

This kind of work must go on. I believe that the nation feels that the work of these young men is so thoroughly justified and, in addition, the benefits to the men themselves are so clear that the actual annual cost will be met without much opposition or much complaint.

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 268:CT]

1This refers to Fechner's letter of Sept. 26, 1934 (OF 268), in which he made especial mention of the work of the CCC in forest fire prevention and control, and in the improvement of recreational facilities in the national parks and forests.


[WASHINGTON] October 12, 1934

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: The National Agricultural Conference is keenly appreciative of your interest in the development of a new national land policy. We congratulate you upon your appointment of a Cabinet committee to consider and report to you on matters pertaining to our land and natural resources.

We desire respectfully to call your attention to the following resolution of the National Agricultural Conference which was adopted last January and which has been today reaffirmed by the Conference:

"Resolution No. 5 (adopted January 17, 1934). A land policy that will maintain better balance between production and consumption and the larger purchase for retirement from production of marginal and submarginal land."

The National Agricultural Conference, which is composed of the principal agricultural and cooperative organizations of this country, are deeply concerned about the development of a new land policy as a part of the long-time aspect of our agricultural adjustment program. We will be most pleased to present to you our opinions and judgments relative to these matters when you have this important national program under consideration.1

Very truly yours,


EDW. A. O'NEAL, Chairman, National Agricultural Conference
   President, American Farm Bureau Federation
L. J. TABER, Master, The National Grange
ROBIN HOOD, Secretary, National Cooperative Council
W. H. SETTLE, Farmers National Grain Corporation
GAL. A. WARD, President, Kansas State Farmers' Union

[13:PPF 1953:TS]

1An attached memorandum, LeHand to McIntyre, Oct. 23, 1934, reads: "Get in touch with National Resources Board and Secretary of Agriculture and prepare reply for the President's signature." Answered post, 299.


[WASHINGTON] October 30, 1934

MY DEAR PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT: Supplementing my very recent wire in which I expressed my zeal for a budget item for an adequate research project looking toward developing forage plants on depleted western range land, I am pleased to elaborate my views in a statement as follows:

For a good many years many who are familiar with the problem have been seeing the need for a research project to develop and discover forage plants which could be grown with success upon the depleted range lands of this western country. Such a project would involve development of new strains of plant breeding, discovery of suitable plants by selection and explorations in foreign countries and the development of suitable methods for reseeding and management of the range. As you are aware the major kind of land use, so far as area is concerned, in the eleven western states, is now and always will be for the grazing of live stock. The range sheep and cattle industry is a substantial part of the 'rock' upon which the economical and social welfare of nearly half of the people in such states as Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Idaho, and in fact nearly all of the eleven western states, is dependent. Dry climate and limited water supply for irrigation always will limit cultivated agriculture to less than five or at most not over 10 percent of the land area. A sound land utilization program, such as the President is now working on, must take into consideration this grazing use of the land.

The sad part of the story is that the unrestricted and exploitive system has been practiced so long on western lands that the grazing lands, including the open public domain, state owned lands, and large areas of private land have been stripped of their most valuable forage plants, never to be restored within a reasonable length of time, even under the best kind of regulated grazing, unless man can assist in the process through the introduction of plants by seeding and planting.

Investigations show that over vast areas in Utah and elsewhere in the Intermountain region, practically all the better grasses and herbs are gone, and the palatable shrubs are fast disappearing. Only inferior plants are left. The reduction in forage productivity averages about 60 percent. The better native plants will not come back short of many decades of very limited use because almost none are left to furnish seed.

This depleted condition accounts in no small degree for the difficulties the cattle and sheep men are having these days. The depleted conditions of the range make for uneconomical, unprofitable production. It is doubtful anything more constructive could be done for the range area and the settlers and communities dependent on the range lands than to restore the ranges to their potential value. It would not mean increased meat and wool production, but instead more economical production of the present yield and consequently better homes and happier people.

To a great extent range rehabilitation can be accomplished through regulation of grazing that will result in the natural reseeding of the native grasses and other plants but where few or none now exist to furnish seed, man must help Mother Nature.

Research work already done shows that forage plants of known value in other parts of the United States are not adapted to the severe habitat of much of the western range land. The logical and necessary thing to do is to conduct the research to develop and discover plants that are adapted. Success in plant breeding, selection and importation with the cereals, fruits, vegetables and other domestic plants, suggest that similar results can be obtained with range grasses, if the time and money necessary to do it are made available. Such a program is of the kind that fits in with the "New Deal."

We are extremely earnest about this matter. I am sure that the Agriculture Department will have an idea of the amount of money that would be necessary to appropriate to do a good job. Whatever that amount may be it will be an extremely sound investment. May I hear from you?

With best wishes, I am, Sincerely yours,


[Notation: A] B. P. I. Sig. President Rush1

[13:OF I—C:TS]

1"B. P. I." stands for Bureau of Plant Industry, drafter of the reply to this letter (post, 305).


[WASHINGTON] November 12, 1934

MY DEAR MR. O'NEAL: I am deeply gratified to know of the keen interest of the National Agricultural Conference in the development of a new national land policy expressed in your letter of October twelfth. Your Conference's approval of the establishment of the National Resources Board is particularly appreciated, since it seemed to me that this step has great potentialities for bringing to early fruition the comprehensive and unified program for the better use of our land and natural resources that we have so long needed.

A sound land policy is obviously of vital importance to agriculture, and I shall be glad indeed to have the advice and suggestions of the Conference. The preliminary Land Report of the National Resources Board, now nearing completion, will be available within a few days.1 I am asking Secretary Wallace to arrange for you to receive copies in order that the full benefit of the Conference's views may be obtained. After the Conference has had an opportunity of considering this report, I shall be glad to have an expression of their suggestions and recommendations.2

Very sincerely yours,


[13:PPF 1953:CT]

1Report of the Land Planning Committee, part 2 of the National Resources Board's Report on National Planning and Public Works in Relation to Natural Resources and Including Land Use and Water Resources, with Findings and Recommendations (Washington, Dec. 1, 1934). A brief summary of the findings of the committee is found in Report of the Secretary of Agriculture, 1935 (Washington, 1935), pp. 49-50. The report has been called "epoch-making"; see Charles McKinley, Uncle Sam in the Pacific Northwest (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1952), p. 30.

2Drafted by the National Resources Board and the Agriculture Department. Wallace, in his letter to Roosevelt enclosing the draft, Nov. 12, 1934 (PPF 1953), said that the support of the National Agricultural Conference meant a great deal to the success of a national land planning program.

300 PRESS CONFERENCE, President's Cottage, Warm Springs, November 23, 1934, 2:17 P. M.

[Excerpt] The President: . . .1 Now for the TVA. I can put it this way: Power is really a secondary matter. What we are doing there is taking a watershed with about three and a half million people in it, almost all of them rural, and we are trying to make a different type of citizen out of them, not what they would be under their present conditions. Now that applies not only to the mountaineers, we all know about them, but it applies to the people around Muscle Shoals. Do you remember that drive over to Wheeler Dam the other day? You went through a county of Alabama where the standards of education are lower than almost any other county in the United States, and yet that is within twenty miles of the Muscle Shoals Dam. They have never had a chance. All you had to do was to look at the houses in which they lived. Heavens, this section around here is 1000% compared with that section we went through. The homes through here are infinitely better.

So TVA is primarily intended to change and to improve the standards of living of the people of that Valley. Power is, as I said, a secondary consideration. Of course it is an important one because, if you can get cheap power to those people, you hasten the process of raising the standard of living.

The TVA has been going ahead with power, yes, but it has been going ahead with probably a great many other things besides power and dam building. For instance, take fertilizer. You talk about a "yardstick of power." Harcourt Morgan is running the fertilizer end of it and at Muscle Shoals he is turning out, not a nitrate—the plant was originally built for a nitrate plant—but he is turning out a phosphate. He is conducting a very fine experiment with phosphate of lime. They believe that for this whole area around here, and that would include this kind of soil around here, phosphate of lime is the best thing you can put on land in addition to being the cheapest.

Now, at once the fertilizer companies, the National Fertilizer Association that gets out figures, I believe, they say, "Are you going into the fertilizer business?" The answer is a very simple one. The plant is primarily an experimental plant. That is the primary purpose. Therefore, they are going to take this year a thousand acres of Government land, which is worn out land, typical of the locality, and they are going to use this phosphate of lime on this thousand acres and show what can be done with the land. They are going to give a definite demonstration. They will compare it with the other fertilizers, putting them in parallel strips, and they will see which works out best and at the lowest cost and, by having the large plant which they have, they will be able to figure out what is a fair price for the best type of fertilizer.

Having done that and having figured out the fair price, it becomes a process of education and if the farmers all through that area can be taught that that type of fertilizer at x number of dollars a ton is the best thing for them to use, then it is up to the National Fertilizer Association and its affiliated companies to meet that price. Now, that is the real answer, and we hope that they will meet that price, adding to it, to the cost of manufacture, a reasonable profit. We will know what the cost of manufacture is, and it is very easy to say what a reasonable profit is. Now, if those gentlemen fail to avail themselves of this perfectly magnificent opportunity to conduct a sound business and make a profit, well, it is just too bad. Then somebody will get up in Congress and say, "These fellows are not meeting their opportunities and the farmers will have to have the fertilizer and of course we will have to provide it." But I, for one, hope that that day will never come. Now, that is not holding a big stick over them at all. It is saying to them, "Here is your opportunity. We go down on our knees to you, asking you to take it."2


1Roosevelt had been discussing the problem of raising living standards in the South.

2A brief discussion of this subject is found in Gordon R. Clapp's The TVA: An Approach to the Development of a Region (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1955). Roosevelt repeatedly emphasized the broad objectives of TVA; for example, in a personal letter to Nicholas Roosevelt of Nov. 13, 1934 (PPF 97), he said: "Of course there are a number of other considerations in a government plant of this kind. As for example, reforestation and soil erosion and also the capital investment in improving the conditions of life of well over one million people who live in the region and have been underprivileged in the worst sense of the word for a good many generations."

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

WARM SPRINGS, GA., November 27, 1934

DEAR NELSON: Many thanks for yours of November twenty-second.1 I think the Shelter Belt Project will develop in a more experimental form but on the other hand, I am not at all satisfied with what the Forestry people have done up to now in experimental work in the north to south area where the rainfall is from fifteen to twenty inches a year. They have had lots of money in the past but the experiments have not been pushed or have they been done in a practical way. I may set it up as a separate organization and put more enthusiasts in charge.2

Anything relating to shifts or reorganizations of the various Services is still very much in the tentative discussion stage. I am glad to have your slant on it.

With my warm regards, Very sincerely yours,


[13:PPF 38:CT]

1Brown said (PPF 38) that the Shelterbelt project was looked upon "with great skepticism and considerable disfavor by a majority of the foresters and especially those in the middle and far West." He suggested that small appropriations to carry on experiments should be sufficient for the present, and said that he did not regard the natural conditions for tree growing in the Plains States as very encouraging. He also said that most foresters would oppose transfer of the Forest Service to the Interior Department.

2For brief statements of the initial work on the Shelterbelt, see the Annual Reports of the Forester for 1934 and 1935. Silcox described the project in an article entitled, "To Insure Against Drought, a Vast Plan Takes Shape," New York Times, July 29, 1934, VIII, 3.


WASHINGTON, December 5, 1934

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: This very interesting report on land use by the Science Advisory Board should, I think, be studied by the National Resources Board and Departments of Interior and Agriculture.


[Notation: T] Report by Science Advisory Board, dated April 26, 1934, and report by S. A. Board, entitled "Preliminary Recommendations of the Land-Use Committee relating to Soil Erosion," dated April 6, 1934, and report entitled "Digest of Discussion at a Conference on Land-Use held in Washington, June 14, 1934."1

[13:OF 330—A:CT]

1The reports were sent to Ickes. The printed, general report for 1933-34 is Report of the Science Advisory Board (Washington, 1934).


[WASHINGTON] December 22, 1934

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: As you may recall, Mayor Nielson of Santa Barbara, California, called at the White House this fall and appealed to you personally for aid in preserving for that city an adequate water supply. The basis for his plea for federal aid was that the water supply is derived almost entirely from adjacent National Forest lands, portions of which have been seriously damaged by forest fires.

In the longhand note attached to the Mayor's letter to you of October 15 you ask the Department "what can we do about this?"1 My recommendation based on a report prepared by the Forest Service is that $167,000 of PWA or other available funds be allotted to this Department for the construction of an Indian Weir dam to prevent further silting of the Gibraltar Reservoir. Other funds to insure more intensive fire protection should also be provided as rapidly as possible, but the immediate need of highest priority is the $167,000 required for the construction of the above-mentioned dam.

To present a clear and connected picture of the very serious situation affecting the water supply of Santa Barbara, a brief resume of the problem is given.

The Gibraltar Reservoir was constructed in 1920 by the City of Santa Barbara, under permit, on National Forest lands. The City; with its 35,000 inhabitants, derives its main supply of domestic water from this source. The reservoir occupies the only practicable reservoir site in this part of the State. Heavy deposits of silt, washed into the reservoir from fire denuded slopes, have reduced the original storage capacity by 28 per cent; from 14,600 acre feet to 10,512 acre feet. Any further reduction of the storage capacity of the reservoir by silting would not permit the community to be maintained since the present available supply is barely sufficient for its present needs. It is imperative, therefore, that further silting be prevented.

Detailed field investigations by the Regional Forester, of the California Region, have determined that the initial project, which should be undertaken at once, is the construction of a silt storage basin immediately above the reservoir. This involves the construction of a dam 15 feet high and 600 feet long which will provide catchment for 1,403,000 cubic yards of silt. It is estimated that the cost of this project will be $167,000 and that this will take care of the silt problem for at least 10 years and perhaps, with the re-establishment of forest cover, for an indefinite period . . .

Due to your expressed interest in this problem, it is thought that in order to insure prompt initiation of the project you might wish to direct personally that the $167,000 needed for the construction of the dam be allotted to this Department at an early date.

A detailed report covering the many angles involved in this subject is available in case you care to review it.

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 149:CTS]

1In this letter (OF 149), Nielson said that all but 30 square miles of the total 200 square miles comprising the Santa Barbara watershed were becoming seriously eroded, that the city's water supply was in danger, and that the city was financially unable to cope with the problem.


WASHINGTON, December 24, 1934

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: This is something which I think we have got to do and do at once.1 The whole watershed of Santa Barbala is in jeopardy. Will you let me know?

F. D. R.

[13:OF 149:CT]



[WASHINGTON] December 24, 1934

MY DEAR SENATOR THOMAS: Your letter of October thirtieth, supplementing your earlier telegram and relative to the importance of rehabilitating depleted grazing ranges of the West, is received and has been given careful consideration in the Department of Agriculture.

As you note, the problem is a two-fold one involving, first, a regulation of grazing that will permit reseeding and development of the ranges, such as has been accomplished through research and administration on the national forests, and, second, artificial reseeding in areas too far gone for natural rehabilitation with seed of either native, introduced, or newly bred and developed plants. It is obvious that the second phase of the program is equally dependent upon grazing control, if it is to be successful. It is this second phase of the problem with which you are primarily concerned at the present time.

This problem has been recognized and some effort previously made looking to its solution by the Bureau of Plant Industry and the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture. Extensive collections and studies of both native and foreign plants have been made, looking to the multiplication of those which might best serve in a campaign to reestablish desirable vegetation. In addition, collections have been and are being made in foreign countries where similar severe climatic conditions exist. It is believed that this material should supply stocks which will either be of direct value in reseeding or of use as foundation stocks from which to breed new and improved varieties. Preliminary experimental tests of seeding or transplanting promising native and cultivated species have also been made on national forest ranges in the foothills and mountains. During the past summer plans were formulated by the bureaus concerned for a cooperative attack on the problem.

Funds for the Bureau of Plant Industry to conduct plant breeding and related studies are provided in the budget for the fiscal year 1936 in an amount that appears adequate for the needs of that year and considered in the light of our other financial obligations. I hope at some future date to provide funds for the Forest Service to carry out its part of the cooperative program, including experimental tests of promising species on the range. The Secretary of Agriculture is keenly alive to the importance of this problem and will eventually want to provide for an aggressive attack on all phases.1

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF I—C:CT]

1Drafted by the Bureau of Plant Industry of the Agriculture Department.


[WASHINGTON] December 24, 1934


MY DEAR GOVERNOR WILSON: Many thanks for that nice letter.1 I do hope we can get something definite started on the Green Mountain Parkway. I spoke to the Secretary of the Interior and he called my attention to the fact that Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York ought to be brought into the same picture.

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 129:CT]

1Dec. 19, 1934 (OF 129), saying that he believed Vermont would approve the construction of the proposed Green Mountain parkway, "as part of the general scheme of National Parkways in eastern United States from the Canadian border to Georgia" outlined by Roosevelt. The Vermont Legislature turned down the proposal in its 1935 session but in special session voted to submit it to the voters. In elections held March 3, 1936, Vermont voters defeated a proposed $500,000 bond issue to buy land for the parkway right of way. Opponents argued that scenic areas would be spoiled and one of the last wilderness areas of the United States would be invaded (New York Times, March 4, 1936, p. 3).


[WASHINGTON] January 2, 1935

MY DEAR GOVERNOR: Maintenance of our forests and the industries dependent upon them, which in normal times afford employment to large numbers of our people, is very vital to the welfare of every State. It is also essential for the permanent recovery of our country. It was with this in mind that I insisted that there be included in the Lumber Code a specific provision for forest conservation.

Some of the provisions of the Lumber Code cannot be carried out effectively without Federal and State legislation in the matter of protecting the forests against fire, insects, and disease, adjustment of forest taxation, taking over tax-delinquent forest land for State or other public forests, other suitable measures to increase public ownership, and encouragement of better management of private forests.

I intend to submit to Congress recommendations for legislation looking toward this end, so far as it comes within the scope of Federal action. There are, however, several measures that come within the jurisdiction of the individual States. Among these are measures dealing with taxation of forests, tax delinquency, forest fire laws, cooperation between the State forest agencies and forest owners in developing and maintaining permanent local forest industries and communities, and other measures failing within the police power of the States.

In developing such a forest program, I solicit the closest cooperation between the State authorities and the Federal Forest Service. One step in this direction would be the appointment by you of a committee, including representatives of State agencies, the public, and the forest industries, which could collaborate with Federal representatives. You may wish to consider some other approach. In any case, I am sure that I can count on your interest in helping to perpetuate the forests and forest industries, for the benefit of the people of your State and of the whole country.

Very sincerely yours,


[Notation: T] (This letter sent to all Governors of all States)1

[13:OF 149:CT]

1This is the form copy; the letters were actually dated between January 1 and 17. According to an accompanying memorandum, the carbon copies and the replies were sent to the Secretary of Agriculture and the answers of the governors were acknowledged by him.


WASHINGTON, D. C., January 8, 1935

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I do not know whether you have heard through other sources that you have been chosen as the first recipient of the Sir William Schlich memorial medal.

The Schlich Memorial Fund was established in 1927 by contributions from a large number of individual foresters throughout the British Empire and the United States, in honor of Sir William Schlich (1840-1925). Schlich, who was German born, after 19 years distinguished service in the Forest Service of British India, organized and for twenty years was head of the First British School of Forestry at Coopers Hill College. Subsequently, he was for 14 years in charge of the first school at Oxford University. His encyclopedic manual of forestry has for many years been a standard reference work in all English speaking countries.

The income from the Fund is allotted in rotation to the various parts of the British Empire and to the United States. The income for 1932 was given to the Society of American Foresters, which has invested it and is to use part of the proceeds to award a medal annually in recognition of some especially noteworthy achievement for the advancement of forestry. You have been selected as the first recipient of this medal.

The Society of American Foresters is having a banquet on Tuesday evening, January twenty-nine, and they would like to present this medal in person if you would receive it that way. It occurred to me that you might wish to do so since it would give you a good opportunity to say something about forestry and perhaps the land program. I should like to speak to you about this some time later. I have some material which you could use either for a letter to be sent or a speech to be made in receiving the medal.

Perhaps you will remember that when Silcox and I spoke to you about the enactment of the general forestry legislation you suggested that we prepare a letter which you might write to the Governors of the States, which was done and which I assume has been sent. I also suggested that you might send a letter to heads of appropriate committees or to Congress concerning this legislation. The legislation is in Mr. Richberg's hands and I now enclose material for a possible letter of this sort. I assume you would want to talk with us further before anything definite is done, but I am sending the material along anyway.



[13:PPF 1112:TS]

309 PRESS CONFERENCE, Executive Offices of the White House, January 23, 1935, 10:35 A.M.

[Excerpt] Q: In view of the fact that a bill has been introduced in the Senate regarding a Columbia Valley Authority, do you wish to comment on that?1

The President: There are a lot of bills, probably half a dozen regional bills, in at the present time and, on the question of regional, additional regional authorities, my thought at the present time is that the work outside of the Tennessee Valley has gone such a very small distance—that is to say that they are definitely still in the planning stage, except on the Upper Missouri where we have two projects and the Columbia where we have two projects that won't be completed for a long time—I have forgotten what it is, three or four years—that to set up a separate authority for each region at this time is crowding the mourners a bit, we are not ready for it. What the administrative setup will be eventually, I am not ready to say yet.

I might—this is a thought at the present time—I might set up during the course of this summer what might be called advisory commissions, probably unpaid commissions—it would be grand if they would serve without pay—in those regions in order to develop the future plans in accordance with the broader policies of the National Resources Board report,2 but I do not think the setting up of any highly paid commissions at this stage is justified yet. You take, for instance, the Columbia River: We might very easily set up an advisory committee to study the whole project in order that later on we might set up permanent machinery.


1S. 863, to authorize a preliminary survey of the lower Columbia River for purposes of flood control, was introduced by Senator McNary of Oregon on Jan. 14, 1935, and referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce. No further action was taken (Cong. Rec., 79th Cong., 1st sess., 79:1, 407).

2A Report on National Planning and Public Works in Relation to Natural Resources and Including Land Use and Water Resources with Findings and Recommendations, December 1, 1934 (Washington, 1934).


Jan. 24, 1935

TO THE CONGRESS: To go no further back than During the three or four centuries of white man in on the American Continent, we find a continuous striving of civilization against Nature.1 It is only in recent years that we have learned how greatly by these processes we have harmed Nature and Nature in turn has harmed us.

We should not too greatly largely blame our ancestors, for they found such teeming hospitality riches in woods and soils and waters—such abundance above the earth and beneath it—such freedom in the taking, that they gave small heed to the results that would follow the filling of their own immediate needs. Most of them, it is true, had come from many peopled lands where necessity had made necessary invoked the preserving of the bounties of Nature. but But they had come here for the obtaining of a greater freedom, and it was but natural that freedom of conscience and freedom of government should extend itself in their minds to the unrestricted enjoyment of the free use of land and water.

Furthermore, it is only within our own generation that the development of science, leaping forward, in great strides has taught us where and how we violated nature's immutable laws and where and how we can commence to repair such havoc as man has wrought.

In recent years little groups of earnest men and women have told us of this havoc; of the cutting of our last stands of virgin timber; of the increasing floods, of the washing away of millions of acres of our top soils, of the lowering of our water-tables, of the dangers of one crop farming, of the depletion of our minerals—in short the evils that we have brought upon ourselves today and the even greater evils that will attend our children unless we act.

Such is the condition that attends the continued use exploitation of our natural resources if we continue our planless course.

But another element enters in. Men and Nature must work hand in hand. The throwing out of balance of the resources of Nature throws out of balance also the lives of men. We find millions of our citizens stranded in village and on farm—stranded there because Nature could can not support them in the livelihood they had sought to gain through her. We find other millions gravitated to centers of population so vast that the laws of natural economics have broken down.

If the misuse of natural resources were alone were concerned, we should consider our problem only in terms of land and water. It is because misuse extends to what men and women are doing with their occupations and with to their many mistakes in herding themselves together that I have chosen, in addressing the Congress, to use the broader term "National Resources."

For the first time in our national history we have made an inventory of our national assets and the problems relating to them. For the first time we have drawn together the foresight of the various planning agencies of the Federal Government and suggested a method and a policy for the future.

I am sending you herewith the report of the National Resources Board, appointed by me on June 30, 1934 to prepare the comprehensive survey which so many of us have sought so long.2 I transmit also the report made by the Mississippi Valley Committee of the Public Works Administration, which Committee has also acted as the Water Planning Committee in the larger report.3

These documents constitute a remarkable foundation for what we hope will be a permanent policy of orderly development in every part of the United States. It is a large subject but it is a great and inspiring subject. May I commend to each and every one of you, who constitute the Congress of the United States, a careful reading of our plans. these reports.

In this inventory of our national wealth we follow the custom of prudent people toward their own private property. We as a Nation take stock of what we as a Nation own. We consider the uses to which it can be put. We plan these uses in the light of what we want to be, of what we want to accomplish as a people. We think of our land and water and human resources not as static and sterile possessions but as life-giving assets to be directed by wise provision for future days. We seek to use our natural resources not as a thing apart but as something that is interwoven with industry, labor, finance, taxation, agriculture, homes, recreation, good citizenship. The resultants of this interweaving will have a greater influence on the future American standard of living than all the rest of our economics put together.

For the coming eighteen months I have asked the Congress for four billion dollars for public projects. A substantial portion of this sum will be used for objectives suggested in this report. As years pass the Government should plan to spend each year a reasonable and continuing sum in the development of this program. It is my hope, for example, that after the immediate crisis of unemployment begins to mend, that we can afford and that it will seem fitting that we should to appropriate approximately five hundred million dollars each year for this purpose. Eventually this appropriation should replace all separate such appropriations given in the past without planning.

A permanent National Resources Board, towards the establishment of which we should be looking forward, would report recommend yearly to the President and the Congress recommendations for priority of projects in the national plan. This will give to the Congress, as is entirely proper, the final determination in relation to the projects and the appropriations involved.4

As I have already stated, it is only because of the current emergency of unemployment and because of the physical impossibility of surveying, weighing and testing each and every project that a segregation of items is clearly impossible at the moment.

For the same reason the constituting of fixed and permanent administrative machinery would retard the immediate employment objective.

Our goal must be a national one. Achievements in the arts of communication, of transportation, of mechanized production, of agriculture, of mining and of power, break down not do not minimize the rights of State Governments but they go far beyond the economics of State boundaries.

Only through the growth of thought and actions in terms of national economics, can we best serve individual lives in individual localities.

It is, as these Reports points out, an error to say that we have "conquered Nature." We must, rather, start to shape our lives in more harmonious relationship with Nature. This Report is a mile-stone in our progress toward that end. The future of every American family everywhere will be affected by the action we take.5


1This text is that of the final draft; the revisions are in Roosevelt's hand. Paragraphs 11 and 12 are based on an accompanying two-page draft, presumably prepared by the National Resources Board. The physical character of the final draft indicates that it was prepared in the White House but how much of it was composed by Roosevelt, other than the parts noted, is not clear. As thus revised, the text is that as sent to the Congress.

2Report on National Planning and Public Works in Relation to Natural Resources and Including Land Use and Water Resources, With Findings and Recommendations; Submitted to the President in Accordance With Executive Order 6777, June 30, 1934. Dec. 1, 1934 (Washington, 1934). Roosevelt had previously mentioned this report in his annual message to Congress of Jan. 4, 1935. Referring to the attainment of "the security of a livelihood" through the better use of the country's national resources, he said: "A study of our national resources, more comprehensive than any previously made, shows the vast amount of necessary and practicable work which needs to be done for the development and preservation of our natural wealth for the enjoyment and advantage of our people in generations to come" (Rosenman, ed., Public Papers, IV, 17-18).

3Report of the Water Planning Committee, part 3 of the report cited above and also issued separately. The Mississippi Valley Committee of the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works became the Water Planning Committee of the National Resources Board on Oct. 1, 1934.

4S. 2825 to establish a national planning board was introduced by Senator Copeland of New York on May 14, 1935. Hearings were held and it was reported June 27 but failed to pass (Cong. Rec., 74th Cong., 1st sess., 79:7, 7446; 79:9, 10241; 79:3, 14086-14087).

5In the Senate the message was ordered to lie on the table and be printed; in the House it was referred to the Committee of the Whole House and ordered to be printed (ibid., 79:1, 865-866, 906-907).


WASHINGTON, January 28, 1935

MEMORANDUM . . . I have several pleas in regard to the setting aside of 80,000,000 acres for grazing. I understand the cattlemen are asking for land now fully occupied by big game—Rocky Mountain sheep, etc.—also they say that very soon we shall reach the definite date for turning over those 80,000,000 acres and that after that it will be too late to save the pasturage for game and game only.

As this matter involves some forest lands, as well as public lands, will you two confer on this and let me know?1


[13:OF 633:CT]

1It appears that this memorandum was inspired by Irving Brant, who had talked with Roosevelt about wildlife refuges on the public range at the White House on January 25. Brant says he did so at the request of Jay Darling who was anxious to have an agreement between the grazing interests and the wildlife agencies before the Taylor Grazing Bill became law (Brant to the director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, May 3, June 11, 1954). The President said that the conservation aspect of the matter was new to him and took "detailed notes" on what Brant told him.


WASHINGTON, D. C., January 29, 1935

Presentation of Schlich Memorial Award

MR. PRESIDENT: In awarding to you the Sir William Schlich Memorial Medal, the profession of forestry through the Society of American Foresters is in effect giving international recognition to your interest and effective work in forest conservation. The Schlich Memorial Award is made in commemoration of a world-renowned British forester, and is granted in rotation to five English-speaking countries. The form of the award, and the design of the medal, are our own.

We wish to commend, especially, the broad social vision which led you to establish the Civilian Conservation Corps and to entrust the organization of its work projects to professional foresters in federal and state service. As a profession we have given our best efforts to make this great project a success, putting public service above party affiliation.

Were we to make a request to you at this time it would be this, as coming without a dissenting voice from the foresters responsible for this undertaking: That the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps be continued as it was begun, without reference to political sponsorship for appointees, but solely on the basis of merit and efficiency.

We wish further to commend your allocation of funds from emergency work for the extension by purchase of the national forests in the East, thus making possible the efficient employment of these relief workers on public property.

These are only the high lights in the program of service you have rendered to the public through your efforts to conserve and restore the immense potentialities of our land resources, forest, field and stream.

In token of which we present you with this bronze medal bearing the inscription: "Awarded to Franklin Delano Roosevelt for distinguished services in forest conservation in America—1935."1

[13:PPF 1112:T]

1Now in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.


[WASHINGTON, January 29, 1935]1

To THE SOCIETY OF AMERICAN FORESTERS: It is with a keen sense of appreciation that I accept the award of the Schlich Forestry Medal. I, of course, appreciate your generous recognition of my efforts on behalf of forestry in which I have always been greatly interested; but what I appreciate most of all is that the recognition comes from a profession which from its very inception has looked upon the forests as an instrument for the social and economic betterment of our people—a profession which has always been imbued with an intense spirit of public service.

I consider the social point of view of foresters as most essential to the success of their profession. Forests require many years to mature; consequently the long point of view is necessary if the forests are to be maintained for the good of our country. He who would hold this long point of view must realize the need of subordinating immediate profits for the sake of the future public welfare.

A forest is not solely so many thousand board feet of lumber to be logged when market conditions make it profitable. It is an integral part of our natural land covering, and the most potent factor in maintaining nature's delicate balance in the organic and inorganic worlds. In his struggle for selfish gain, man has often heedlessly tipped the scales so that nature's balance has been destroyed, and the public welfare has usually been on the short-weighted side. Such public necessities, therefore, must not be destroyed because there is profit for someone in their destruction. The preservation of the forests must be lifted above mere dollars and cents considerations.

For this reason, I consider the conservation provision of the Code adopted by the lumber industry as a great step toward recognition of the social value of the forests. The essence of this provision should be retained no matter what other changes may be made in the Code.

The handling of our forests as a continuous, renewable resource means permanent employment and stability to our country life. The forests are also needed for mitigating extreme climatic fluctuations, for holding the soil on the slopes, retaining the moisture in the ground, and controlling the equable flow of water in our streams. The forests are the "lungs" of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people. Truly, they make the country more livable.

There is a new awakening to the importance of the forests to the country, and if you foresters remain true to your ideals, the country may confidently trust its most precious heritage to your safekeeping.2

[13:PPF 1112:CT]

1This date is derived from the White House appointments list (PPF I—O).

2Drafted by the Agriculture Department.


WASHINGTON, D. C., February 4, 1935

CONFIDENTIAL MEMORANDUM . . . Present intensive investigations on which to base the next season's shooting regulations for migratory waterfowl indicate the necessity for drastic restrictions.

Between a strictly closed season and a short open season in which the pernicious practices have been eliminated, the short open season seems at this time to be indicated.

A closed season, to be effective, must be predicated upon an additional appropriation of $450,000 for law enforcement. Without extra emphasis upon law enforcement a closed season would be entirely impractical. Additional drawbacks to a closed season would be apparent in the heavy losses in license fees to the States with consequent breakdown of cooperative efforts, total loss of duck stamp revenue and violent repercussions from institutional and commercial interests.

A short open season, while not so productive of immediate increase in the duck population as a closed season may be so regulated as to contribute more permanent results in the long haul toward our final objective, if by prohibiting all artificial baiting, prohibiting the use of automatics and repeaters of more than three-shell capacity, and reducing live decoys to a minimum, the hunting of migratory waterfowl may be permanently rid of those pernicious practices which have been responsible for the heavy slaughter and commercialization of the sport.

The present recognized crisis in the duck population has created a sentiment among sportsmen which would justify the expectancy that they would accept any regulations which are found necessary.

It seems to me that to be permanently rid of the iniquities is a greater conservation contribution than a closed season.

The 1935 regulations, as tentatively formulated in my mind at this time are approximately as follows:

1. 30-day open season with no rest days.

2. Prohibition of all baiting.

3. Limitation of automatic and repeater shot guns to three shells at one loading.

4. Prohibition of all sink box and sneak box shooting.

5. Use of live decoys cut to a minimum.

6. Shooting day from 8 to 4.

In place of allocation of shooting season by States as recently practiced, the country would be divided into two zones. The north half, lying north of Long Island, the Ohio River, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California might have a season from October 15th to November 15th; the southern half November 15th to December 15th.1



1Roosevelt wrote to Wallace on Feb. 8, 1935 (OF I—F): "I like Jay Darling's suggestions in regard to the next duck season. I take it they will require no legislation to carry them into effect." The proposal to prohibit all baiting reflected the views of Irving Brant who had talked with Roosevelt on wildfowl protection at the January 25 meeting mentioned above (see ante, 311 n.) Brant argued that the attempt to protect the vanishing varieties of duck through a differential bag limit had failed because hunters either could not or would not distinguish the different kinds in the field. He said that only a totally closed season or total abolition of baiting would be effective. Roosevelt agreed with him and said that he was against baiting of all kinds (Brant to William T. Hornaday, Feb. 12, 1935; copy in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library). Darling's proposed regulations were, in their essentials, adopted for the 1935-36 season. See Annual Report of the Chief of the Bureau of Biological Survey, 1935 (Washington, 1935), p. 2.

315 [Enclosure 1]

CONFIDENTIAL MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT AND THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE; TAYLOR GRAZING ACT AND WILDLIFE: Every suggestion as to conferences with Assistant Secretary Chapman, Administrator Carpenter,1 and other agencies of the Department of the Interior has been complied with. The answer does not lie in that direction.

Neither should the future of our American wildlife species rest upon the generosity of the grazing interests or any other encroachments.

A national Government policy should be officially announced which will designate and set aside such portions of the dwindling hereditary game ranges of our wildlife as will guarantee for all time the necessary wildlife reservoirs for their adequate and permanent preservation.

A study has been completed upon which such a national policy should be based.

Game has been the orphan child without asylum in the conservation world. No provision has been made for its permanent home. There has been no Government agency entrusted with its custodianship. It has subsisted on the crumbs dropped from the table of forestry, parks, reclamation and advancing civilization. That it has escaped total extinction is through no foresight or comprehensive plan.

Thirty years ago Theodore Roosevelt established a permanent governmental policy for forests. A like permanent national policy on wild life is long overdue.

It looks to me like an opportunity.



1Farrington Carpenter, director, Grazing Division, Interior Department.

316 [Enclosure 2]

CONFIDENTIAL MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT AND THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE; NATIONAL WILDLIFE PROGRAM: How much land will be needed and where located, to guarantee the perpetual existence of the various valuable wildlife species of our North American continent has been definitely determined.

Much can be accomplished on the present existing public domain. A long-time program for acquisition of game ranges now in private ownership is practical and not burdensome.

Charts, maps and surveys designating boundaries, location and size of areas required have been prepared for bison, antelope, mountain sheep, grizzly bear, Kodiak bear, elk, moose, caribou, sage grouse, wild turkey, prairie chicken, beaver, marten, fisher, deer, ruffed grouse, migratory waterfowl and other valuable species.




WASHINGTON, February 8, 1935

MEMORANDUM . . . Please speak to the Acting Director of the Budget about a deficiency appropriation to feed the Elk in Jackson Hole. At the same time, I think we could tell Congress that 9,000 Elk at that place constitute too large a herd and that we propose to turn some of them loose elsewhere another year.1


[13:OF I—F:CTS]

1Darling had warned Roosevelt and Wallace (in a letter of Feb. 7, 1935, OF I—F), that 9,000 elk in Jackson Hole faced starvation before spring unless $17,500 was provided for hay and cottonseed cake. He pointed out that the situation was not new and that repeated warnings from the Biological Survey had gone unheeded.


WASHINGTON, February 8, 1935

MEMORANDUM . . . What would you think of a conference, starting under my auspices, between Biological Survey, Forestry Bureau, Reclamation Service, to try to work out a definite plan as between these and possibly other Bureaus? If you think it wise let me know who should be at such a conference.1


[13:OF I:CTS]

1This accompanied Darling's preceding memoranda to Roosevelt and presumably refers to the questions raised therein. Answered post, 322.


SWARTHMORE, PA., February 8, 1935

MY DEAR MR. ROOSEVELT: My "beloved Okefinokee" is still in danger, and again I want to ask your help.

Every day's delay means more lumbering carried on and more of the swamp lost forever in its primeval state. It is a wilderness unique in its beauty and unsurpassed as a refuge for vanishing forms of wild life. The Biological Survey has investigated the area and favors its purchase by the Government. If you would but "say the word" to bring this about, it would mean a permanent and priceless gain to the country.

Francis wrote an account of the Okefinokee for last May's National Geographic, but unfortunately the editors deleted all he had said about its conservation.

We wish very much that you could sometime, perhaps on your next trip South, see the swamp for yourself. Transportation could readily be provided by car and boat into some of the most beautiful parts of the swamp, in a trip of only a few hours. Then you would understand why the few of us who know and love the swamp become so "impassioned" when we watch its gradual but steady destruction and see help within reach.1

Sincerely always,


[13:PPF 1091:TS]

1Answered post, 326.


WASHINGTON, February 12, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR HON. ROBERT FECHNER: The Secretary of the Interior asks for 500 camps in lieu of the 348 now allocated to National Parks, How many do you think you should allot?


[13:OF 268:CT]


WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 1935

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Director Fechner of Emergency Conservation Work, in reply to a letter from me, has called my attention to an interview had with you in reference to Emergency Conservation Work, and its relation to the park and recreational development of the country.1

Mr. Fechner informs me that you suggested work on parks could be deferred until later, and that the expansion of the CCC camps should be concentrated on forest protection, reforestation, and soil erosion control projects. This is a wise policy. However, I desire to call to your attention the results of CCC work on state parks, and to urge that a small number of the additional camps be allotted state parks under the expansion program. Emergency Conservation Work has been a tremendous stimulus to the states in providing necessary recreational facilities for their own citizens. Five states have actively entered into state park work since the inauguration of Emergency Conservation Work. Many states have greatly expanded their programs. During the past two years, due almost wholly to the Emergency Conservation program, 422,000 acres, conservatively valued at $6,000,000, have been added, by gift or purchase, to state recreation systems.

Encouraged by existing camps, and the prospect of additional ones in the expansion program, Oklahoma, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Minnesota, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Arkansas, Missouri, North Dakota, Maine, and Nevada have pending state legislation or appropriation items needed to place their park activities on a sound basis.

Allocation of camps for the fifth period, already agreed upon by the several agencies, and approved by Mr. Fechner, took no account of the existing 172 drought relief camps, of which 53 are on state parks. The program as now considered would involve their loss to park work since it was expected that they would be continued by camps to be created under the expansion program. Furthermore, forty-three state park camps now established in the fourth period were surrendered for the fifth period to other agencies for early placement in high altitude locations. Such losses would have a profoundly discouraging effect on state park development.

The National Park Service and the Land Program Administration have looked to the expansion program to provide camps to develop a number of recreation areas being set up under the Land Program, and thus actually realize a public value from these lands which the Federal Government is purchasing. These areas are needed to supply the recreational needs of metropolitan districts. On these worn out areas, as well as on many state parks, there is a direct forest protection, reforestation and erosion control task to be performed.

In view of these conditions, I recommend that Mr. Fechner be authorized to allot a total of 500 camps to state parks during the fifth period, there now being 348 camps established in the fourth period.2

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 268:TS]

1Fechner had two appointments with Roosevelt on Feb. 6, 1935: one at 4 P. M., and another, in company with Commissioner of Education Studebaker, at 4:20 P. M. (PPF I—O).

2See post, 325.


WASHINGTON, D. C., February 12, 1935

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: This is in reply to your suggestion of February 8 to the Secretary of Agriculture and Chief of the Biological Survey, which read: "What would you think of a conference, starting under my auspices, between the Biological Survey, Forestry Bureau, Reclamation Service, to try to work out a definite plan as between these and possibly other Bureaus? If you think it wise let me know who should be at such a conference."

This is an excellent idea. In addition to the heads of the three agencies you mention, Mr. Darling, Mr. Silcox and Mr. Mead, it would be desirable to have present a representative of the National Resources Board, probably Mr. Charles W. Eliot, II.

A statement respecting the need for coordination in project planning is attached.

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF I—F:TS]

323 [Enclosure]

Memorandum of Coordination

The universal practice of breaking down our endowment of natural environment in pursuit of specialized objectives has proved in many instances more destructive to the general good than beneficial to the interests for which the project was devised. Investigation to determine the contingent consequence before authorization in the field of our national public works program would save much post mortem remorse.

Highly specialized federal agencies have often pursued their specific objectives without adequate consideration for the effect on other conservation activities of contingent agencies. The result has been, frequently, an unconscious but conspicuous nullification by one agency of the efforts of another equally responsible agency or agencies seeking to render service in the public interest. It is recognized that drainage projects, whether for reclamation of land, irrigation, mosquito control or water power dams, may have biological and economic consequences so destructive to contingent interests as to bring into question the ultimate value of the project.

The promotion of projects which permits of duplication, costly cancellation of efforts, and indeed the frustration of the paramount national conservation interest, is too primitive to be tolerated by an intelligent government. With activities in the interest of conservation greatly enlarged under this Administration, the responsibility for coordination is even greater than during the past when other Administrations tolerated this frequent cancellation of efforts.

A clearing house of public works planning for the nation with respect to conservation is essential. The National Resources Board has proposed the establishment of a permanent planning body responsible directly to the Chief Executive.

Pending Congressional authority to act as a clearing house and co-ordinator of public works conservation projects, there is an urgent need for voluntary collaboration between agencies of the government and agencies of the various States operating with federal funds.

If cooperative planning cannot be obtained voluntarily, even for the present, it is desirable that it be enforced by Administrative authority. It is desirable that veto power be exercised in the case of uncoordinated projects. The National Resources Board might possibly exercise veto power. It is doubtful whether public funds should be released, either for national or State projects, until provision has been made for coordination.1

H. A. WALLACE, Secretary
J. N. DARLING, Chief, Bureau of Biological Survey

[13:OF I—F:TS]

1Referring to the meeting proposed in the covering letter, an attached memorandum, Roosevelt to Early, Feb. 19, 1935, reads, "Will you please arrange this conference and also have Tugwell and Hopkins there?" No further mention of the proposed conference has been found in the Roosevelt papers.


WASHINGTON, February 12, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: I approve the letter of January 25th from the Chairman of the National Resources Board,1 in accordance with next to last paragraph providing for:

1. Adequate Federal appropriations to finance specific research projects which may be developed through a committee as outlined in the previous paragraph and which are shown to have national significance.

2. Generous support for scientific work carried on by the several branches of the Government.

I believe that these projects may be attained by allotment along definite lines from the proposed work fund. I should be glad to have the National Resources Board prepare a plan, remembering always that under the allotments to be made at least 90% of the amount expended must go to direct labor paid to persons taken from the relief rolls.


[13:OF 1092:CT]

1Ickes urged Federal aid for a research program, to include stream pollution studies currently being carried on by the National Resources Board, and completion of the topographic mapping of the United States (OF 1092).


WASHINGTON, February 16, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: I enclose copy of letter from the Director of Emergency Conservation Work1 which answers the questions raised in your letter to me of February ninth. It seems to me that Mr. Fechner's letter provides for a reasonable allocation. It must be borne in mind that distribution of C. C. C. camps is advisable along two lines—first, geographical and, second, diversity of useful work.


[13:OF 268:CT]

1Feb. 15, 1935 (OF 268), stating that he thought an allotment of 600 camps out of a total of 2916 for all types of park work would be proper.

326 ROOSEVELT TO JEAN SHERWOOD HARPER, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

[WASHINGTON] February 18, 1935

DEAR JEAN: The enclosed comes from Mr. Darling. I would be entirely willing to have it made a national monument but this would have to come through Congressional action. I am asking Mr. Darling to speak to the delegations concerned.1

Always sincerely,


[13:PPF 1091:CT]

1This is in reply to Mrs. Harper's letter of Feb. 8, 1935, ante, 319.


WASHINGTON, D. C., February 14, 1935

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: The Okefenokee Swamp area should be a national monument. We have investigated it and find it well worthy of preservation.

A public road is now being surveyed to cross it. The Governor could and would, according to reports, stop the building of the road if there was a chance for Federal acquisition at a total cost of approximately one million dollars.

There are no funds available for that project that I can discover.

Very truly yours,


[13:PPF 1091:T:COPY]


WASHINGTON, February 18, 1935

MEMORANDUM . . . In regard to Okefenokee swamp, why don't you try to get some Congressmen interested in the idea of a national monument? I hesitate to initiate the recommendation but some of the people on the Hill might do it.


[13:PPF 1091:CT]

329 PRESS CONFERENCE, Hyde Park, February 27, 1935, 11:10 A.M.

[Excerpt] The President: . . . You can say that I am looking over my land that is to be planted this year—more trees.

Q: Whereabouts, Mr. President?

The President: Well, you wouldn't know if I told you. It is on the other side of the creek, at the back of what I call the Tompkins farm.1

It is way back, an old pasture that is grown over with white birch. I am cleaning off about six acres and going to plant it in the spring . . .

Q: What kind of trees are you planting down there?

The President: Whatever the State College of Forestry recommends. You see, we are using this as an experimental plot and it may be anything—European larch, Norway spruce, native red pine, poplar, any one of half a dozen things they have been working on.

Q: How many acres of your farm are planted according to this scientific formula, or can it be measured definitely?

The President: I should say there are probably about 300 acres of old woodland which have been, over a period of twenty-five years, improved each year, and about 100 acres that I planted myself for the State College—took it over for experimental work, and about 60 acres that they have done. You see, they have only been doing their experimental planting now since 1926 or 1927 and they do about eight or ten acres a year. We have tried all sorts of things, even Douglas fir from the West Coast. That takes a thousand years to grow.

Q: Is it growing?

The President: It is growing up awfully slowly.

Then we are carrying out other experiments with the planting of acorns, different types of oaks, and then I started another experiment to see whether the acorns from very old trees gave a better tree than the acorns from young or middle-aged trees. In other words, I have forgotten what the technical word is, but genetics of various kinds.


1Part of the Roosevelt tenant farm on State Route 9—G.


WASHINGTON, March 2, 1935

MEMO FOR MAC: Will you arrange a conference for me with Secretary Ickes, Secretary Wallace, Bennett of Soil Erosion, and I want Richberg there too?

Will you give me the attached memoranda when they come?


[13:OF 6—U:T]


WASHINGTON, February 23, 1935

MEMORANDUM TO THE SECRETARY: . . . As you will recall, the Department of the Interior representative made application for a total of 943 of the new camps, including 533 camps for the Soil Erosion Service. It was our understanding that the Department of the Interior's request would be treated as a unit, but the breakdown of camps for Park Service prompts us to renew our application with the request that the President be asked to approve the allocation to the Soil Erosion Service of an adequate number of CCC camps to strengthen and supply the needs of the Soil Erosion Service program on agricultural lands. The Forest Service now has 1096 camps, of which 151 are erosion camps working on agricultural lands. The Soil Erosion Service now has 51 camps which are spread over 23 of our projects. At the present time we have 39 approved projects, leaving 16 projects without the supplementary labor resources of the CCC camps. The enlarged program of the Soil Erosion Service includes 50 additional demonstration projects which will in time grow to about 100 projects, each of which could be advantageously served by an average of 5 CCC camps.

It is our conviction that the time has arrived when the function of the Soil Erosion Service as a major agency to be responsible for erosion control on agricultural lands should be recognized. With such recognition it is expected that the CCC camps now under the jurisdiction of the Forest Service on agricultural lands duplicating in a less effective way the work of the Soil Erosion Service should be assigned to the Soil Erosion Service for administration. This recommendation in no way is intended to restrict or reduce the work of erosion control carried out by the Forest Service on the National Forest or range lands, or the National Park Service or other agencies on lands under their jurisdiction. The duplication and overlapping of erosion control work by CCC camps under the Forest Service often conflicts with the more complete program of the Soil Erosion Service. In the interest of greater efficiency and a more general approval of the Administration's attack upon the problem of soil and water conservation, it is urgently recommended that steps be taken to remove the duplication and conflicts, and that the work of erosion be adequately coordinated between the Soil Erosion Service, and the Forest Service and other government agencies.

We, therefore, earnestly recommend that the President be requested to allot to the Soil Erosion Service 533 camps as proposed in your letter of February 6, 1935, to Mr. Robert Fechner, Director of Emergency Conservation Work; and that a coordination of erosion control work be effected as above outlined. The attached letter making such request has been prepared for your signature.1


[13:OF 6—U:TS]

1Not present.


WASHINGTON, February 28, 1935

MEMORANDUM . . . Consolidation of Soil Erosion Service in Department of Agriculture: Following your directions, I have taken up the question of how to consolidate soil erosion work in the Department of Agriculture.

After discussion with Secretary Wallace and an extensive investigation by the Solicitor of his department, I can summarize the following conclusions:

1. The soil erosion work now being carried on in the Department of the Interior can be transferred to the Department of Agriculture by an Executive Order, since that work has been established in the Department of the Interior by the Public Works Administrator, acting under Title II of the National Industrial Recovery Act.

2. A comprehensive program, such as outlined in the bill proposed by the Secretary of the Interior, including a consolidation of the work of all agencies now engaged in this field, cannot be put in effect without legislation. The President's legislative authority under the Act of June 30, 1932, as amended, expired June 30, 1934.1

3. Soil erosion work outside of the Soil Erosion Service in the Department of the Interior is of a minor character, including the following: Office of Indian Affairs and Division of Grazing Control, both in the Department of the Interior; Tennessee Valley Authority, Emergency Conservation Work, Mississippi Valley Committee, California Debris Commission. These activities have such relative unimportance that a practical consolidation of soil erosion work can be effected by a transfer of the Soil Erosion Service in the Department of the Interior to the Department of Agriculture.

4. Under the terms of Title II of the National Industrial Recovery Act new expenditures cannot be made after June 16, 1935 and only the "remaining functions" of agencies established under the Act are to be transferred to such departments of the government as the President shall designate. Therefore, unless the new work relief appropriation provides for the continuance of this work, it would cease June 16th.

5. Apparently the Soil Erosion Service in the Department of the Interior anticipates the continuance of Soil Erosion Service, since agreements are now being entered into with agricultural colleges and State Representatives of the Soil Erosion Service are being directed to prepare plans for carrying on Soil Erosion Service with relief workers.

If this work is to be consolidated in the Department of Agriculture, it would seem important to have the Service transferred immediately to the Department of Agriculture, which will eventually have the responsibility for carrying on the work. If this is your desire, the Solicitor for the Department of Agriculture should be directed to prepare an Executive Order providing for this transfer. After this is done, if the Department of Agriculture thinks further legislation advisable to authorize a comprehensive program, they will naturally prepare such a bill for your consideration.

I have not taken this matter up with the Secretary of the Interior, having simply acted on your instructions to determine what was necessary to transfer this service to the Department of Agriculture.2


[13:OF 6—U:T]

1Title IV, "Reorganization of Executive Departments," of the Legislative Appropriation Act of 1932 (47 Stat. 382).

2Roosevelt had before him at this time a long statement by Bennett to Ickes, Jan. 22, 1935 (OF I), of what he considered to be the unwise soil conservation practices of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration.


[WASHINGTON] Mar. 5, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT: Over twenty bills have been introduced this session of Congress, in both House and Senate, proposing to establish "Authorities" similar to the Tennessee Valley Authority in various parts of the Country. These bills usually authorize an initial appropriation of $50,000,000 for each project, and it is estimated that all of the programs together will eventually call for at least $4,000,000,000 to complete them. These proposals affect the following river systems: (1) Upper Mississippi; (2) Columbia; (3) Missouri; (4) Arkansas; (5) Sacramento-San Joaquin (Calif.); (6) Cumberland (Ky.-Tenn.); (7) Wabash-White (Ind., Ill., O.); (8) Kanawha Monongahela (W. Va.); (9) Brazos (Texas); (10) Connecticut; and (11) Merrimac (N.H.)

The Upper Mississippi Valley Authority proposal has been referred by the Senate to the War Department which reported unfavorably. This proposal and the Columbia Valley Authority proposal have likewise been referred to the Department of Agriculture for report and the latter awaits advice as to whether or not it should state these legislative measures to be in accord with the financial program of the President.

It is respectfully suggested that you indicate whether or not these various regional development programs are in accordance with your financial program.1


[13:OF 79:CT]

1Answered below.


WASHINGTON, March 6, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR THE ACTING DIRECTOR OF THE BUDGET: I have consistently said that I thought no new Authorities should be established this year but that I can take care of preliminary regional set-ups out of the Public Works program.


[13:OF 79:CT]


[WASHINGTON] March 6, 1935

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Under the provisions of the Taylor Grazing Act, the last of the public domain of any value is now in the process of being apportioned out to the grazing interests.

Situated in these proposed grazing districts are certain hereditary game ranges harboring the remnants of many of our big game wildlife species.

No Federal program for the perpetual preservation of these national wildlife assets has ever been formulated and no federal lands appropriated to carry out such a policy. While the chief responsibility may be presumed to rest in the States, it is certain that the Federal government has a definite national responsibility which it has never exercised to see that the valuable wildlife species are permanently preserved.

It is therefore the opinion of this Committee that the hereditary game reservoirs, as specified by the Biological Survey, be withdrawn from the public domain for game by Executive Order before the grazing districts are established. After the grazing districts are once established all game will be subject to the generosity of the grazing administrations.

It should be added that the game areas having been once withdrawn and the title to the land given to game, these same areas may be administered for grazing so long as the grazing privilege is not abused. The important item for consideration therefore is that the game areas be withdrawn before and not after the last of the Federal domain is given away.1

Respectfully submitted,



[13:OF 378:CT:COPY]

1Referred to the Agriculture and Interior Departments for reply.


WASHINGTON, D. C., March 7, 1935

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Congressman Marvin Jones called me up early this week saying that he had a bill providing for setting up the Soil Erosion Service in a permanent way in the Department of Agriculture. He indicated that he didn't want to get his wires crossed and understood that action was in prospect from this end and that you were perhaps contemplating handling the Soil Erosion Service for a while longer on a temporary basis. He said if action was not contemplated on this end, that he would like to push his bill. I told him over the telephone that you had talked to me about it and I thought it would be wise if he would delay matters for the time being.

Enclosed I am sending you a clipping from the New York Times of February 25. On examination of the publication of the Department of Interior referred to in this New York Times article, I find that the Soil Erosion Service is apparently engaging in a great variety of agricultural work. There are articles in this bulletin on "Sweet Clover Planting," "Limestone," "Planting Oats," "Methods of Strip Cropping," etc. The work of the Soil Erosion Service is excellent but it is largely agricultural work and done in cooperation with the Agricultural Experiment Stations and Extension Services on individual farms.

I have the feeling that Secretary Ickes has no illusions whatever as to the character of the functions of the Soil Erosion Service and where it belongs but he is holding on to it because he thinks it is good trading stock. I know you don't want any fights within your family and I am sure that I don't want any disagreement within the progressive segment of the family; nevertheless, I am certain that inasfar as the Department of Interior deals with agricultural matters and with farmers, there is likely to be eventual serious trouble.1

Respectfully yours,


[13:OF 6—U:TS]

1Jones, chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, introduced H. R. 7055, "To provide for the protection of land resources against soil erosion," on March 11, 1935. By March 27 some half-dozen other Senate and House bills to provide for a permanent soil erosion service had been introduced. Two, H. R. 6432 and H. R. 6455, would have placed the proposed new agency under Interior (Cong. Rec., 74th Cong., 1st sess., 79:3, 2821, 2984, 3066, 3180; 79:4, 4133, 4577). Ickes says that Roosevelt had told him that he would not oppose legislation placing soil conservation permanently in the Interior Department and that he had then caused the filing of bills for that purpose (Ickes' Diary, I, 325).


WASHINGTON, March 9, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR HON. J. N. DARLING: Senator Norbeck is tremendously interested in game preservation. Perhaps you will show him the map you showed me. He can be counted on to help us in every way.

I think I have sold the Secretary of the Interior on the idea of giving game the first consideration in the localities marked, then letting public lands authorize limited grazing, but only after certificate from you that such grazing will not affect the wild life.

If there is any hitch in this, let me know.1


[13:OF I—F:CT]

1To resolve the differences between the Grazing Division (Interior Department) and the Bureau of Biological Survey (Agriculture Department), Roosevelt first considered settling all cases personally in instances where the two agencies could not agree. Irving Brant told him (at the White House on Jan. 25, 1935), that this would make him superintendent of every wildlife refuge in the country. Later Roosevelt proposed that the Biological Survey decide how many head of livestock should graze in an area at any one time, and the Grazing Division should decide whose livestock should graze there (Irving Brant to the director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, May 3, 1954). Apparently it was this proposal that is here referred to.


WASHINGTON, March 20, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: I have had a very satisfactory talk with Mr. Bennett of the Soil Erosion Service.1 Mr. Bennett is most appreciative of the splendid cooperation which he has had from the Department of the Interior, and I want to make it perfectly clear to you that he has not in any shape, manner or form, advocated a transfer of the Soil Erosion Service to the Department of Agriculture.

Nevertheless, after full consideration of the functions involved, and leaving out all other considerations—which is after all the only way in which I have any right to look at the problem—I have definitely concluded that as a matter of function, the Soil Erosion Service should be transferred to the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture.

The functional work involved is concerned more with agriculture than with any other broad subject.

In view of this will you be good enough to ask the Public Works' administrative body to pass the necessary Resolution making the transfer? I think no Executive Order is necessary because the Soil Erosion Service was originally set up in the Department of Interior by Resolution of the Public Works Administration.2


[13:OF 6—U:CT]

1Roosevelt decided to call Bennett to the White House after receiving Wallace's letter of March 7, 1935 (ante, 336). With Bennett were Donald R. Richberg, Executive Director of the National Emergency Council, and Walter C. Lowdermilk, associate director of the Soil Conservation Service (PPF I—O).

2This letter was received in Ickes' office during his absence in Florida but he was informed by telephone of the President's decision on March 21. He at once asked that the matter be postponed until his return but was told that the President wanted a special meeting of the Public Works Board at once. Ickes thereupon gave his sanction to the meeting of the board, which passed the necessary resolution on March 22 (Ickes' Diary, I, 325-326; Ickes to Roosevelt, March 21, 1935, OF 6—U). Ickes, as Federal Works Administrator, signed a directive making the transfer on March 23 and Roosevelt approved it on March 25, 1935 (OF 6—U).

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

[WASHINGTON] March 20, 1935

DEAR NELSON: Many thanks for that interesting letter.1 I am delighted to have your comments. Also, I shall be very happy and proud to have the new book dedicated to me. My only difficulty is the question of a Foreword. I have had to turn down relatives, college chums, etc., in the matter of Forewords, and I greatly fear I cannot make an exception.2

By next autumn I expect to have seventy-one additional acres at Hyde Park—north of the stone cottage—nearly all of it excellent land for planting. It was in fields up to about twenty years ago and now has light brush or heavy weeds on it—not much of a job to clear it. Most of it lies higher than any planting we have done yet.

When I get up to Hyde Park in the spring I hope that you and Professor Heiberg can run down and I will show it to you.

Always sincerely,


[13:PPF 38:CT]

1March 15, 1935 (PPF 38), saying that he thought that Article X of the NRA Lumber Code was a step in the right direction but should not be administered by the Agriculture Department; that the revised form of the Shelterbelt would now be approved by foresters generally; and that the Government should not do its own logging and lumber manufacturing in the national forests.

2Brown had asked Roosevelt to write a preface to his forthcoming book, A General Introduction to Forestry in the United States (New York: John Wiley, 1935).


[WASHINGTON] March 22, 1935

DEAR HAROLD: I would certainly have waited in the matter of the Soil Erosion Bureau except for the fact that a very difficult situation started to come to a head on the Hill. I had already talked with Bennett, who, I think, preferred personally to stay in Interior because of the splendid treatment you have given them. Nevertheless, I had to decide the matter from the point of view of common sense administrative lay out and charting and there is no question that Soil Erosion has more to do with Agriculture activities than with Interior activities. I know you will understand.1

As ever yours,


[13:OF 6—U:CT]

1This is in reply to Ickes' telegram of March 21, 1935 (OF 6—U), protesting Roosevelt's decision to transfer the Soil Erosion Service to the Department of Agriculture. An attached note reads, "Please send by hand immediately." The Soil Erosion Service became the Soil Conservation Service of the Department of Agriculture under the act of April 27, 1935: see post, 349.

341 ROOSEVELT TO REVEREND A. C. MILLAR, EDITOR, The Arkansas Methodist, Little Rock, Arkansas

[WASHINGTON] March 22, 1935

MY DEAR MR. MILLAR: I was delighted to have your report on visiting Soil Erosion Project No. 17 and I hope that as you make other visits to any of the conservation projects you will favor me with your impressions.1

I agree with you that terracing is a valuable means of preventing soil erosion, but it does require discriminating use. There are undoubtedly areas where reseeding and other vegetative means may be employed more satisfactorily. There is also the possibility, in some areas, of so changing uses to which the land is now put—putting more land in grass and trees and less in cultivated crops, for example—as to offer considerable hope. I feel that the work of the Soil Erosion Service and other Federal and State agencies cooperating in erosion control is slowly but surely persuading farmers that such control is, in fact, both an individual and patriotic duty.2

Very sincerely yours,



[13:PPF 2364:CT]

1Millar had urged Roosevelt (March 2, 1935, PPF 2364), to call upon Mississippi Valley farmers to terrace their farms as a solution to the soil erosion problem.

2Drafted by the Agriculture Department.


MIAMI, FLORIDA, March 30, 19351

MY DEAR SENATOR FLETCHER: Your letter of March eleventh deals with a subject near to my heart.2 As indicated by my letter of January second to the Governors, I desire to advance the cause of forest conservation in correlated programs covering both Federal and State activities by every means at my command. Among other things, this will obviously require legislation.

As to Federal legislation, I have only been awaiting the most favorable opportunity to present a program for the consideration of Congress. What I have in mind is a rounding out of existing legislation supplemented by new provisions and altogether something which will supply an organic basis, so far as we can now foresee it, for the next ten or fifteen years.

It will be necessary to provide for such things as public acquisition of forest lands, a strengthening of the provisions for making existing national forests and those to be acquired fully productive, and in doing so to afford the opportunity for the relief of unemployment and stabilization of local communities, an authorization of the shelter belt, a well coordinated program of forest research, and finally, comprehensive provision in a variety of fields for stimulating and insuring both State and private activities.

Accordingly, I hope in the near future to get in touch with you and possibly other leaders in the Senate and the House as to the best means for obtaining the enactment of such a legislative program.3

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 149:CT]

1Roosevelt left Washington March 25 for a vacation spent cruising in the Bahamas on Vincent Astor's yacht Nourmahal. He returned to Washington April 9.

2Fletcher referred to Roosevelt's letter to the state governors of Jan. 2, 1935 (ante, 307), and asked for suggestions on legislation for the promotion of reforestation (OF 149).

3Drafted by the Forest Service.


[WASHINGTON, April 9, 1935]

MY DEAR MR. COPE: Your letter to me under date of February twenty-eighth,1 and your letter to Mrs. Roosevelt under date of February sixth, reflect the high ideals and unselfish public interest which have characterized the Pennsylvania Forestry Association throughout its useful and constructive life. I wish it were practicable to act fully and promptly upon your request. Any proposal to preserve the fast dwindling remnants of the virgin forests with which our Nation originally was endowed strongly appeals to me.

The fact that the Federal Government by acquiring and conserving the Tionesta tract will preserve to posterity an example of the original hemlock-hardwood forest of northwestern Pennsylvania is a source of deep gratification to me. While the cost was relatively high I deem it justified by the scientific, inspirational and material benefits which will result.

Additional and larger investments in virgin forest in the same limited area, however, would have to be weighed against other urgent requirements of a sound forest program. There doubtless are other places where the same high considerations that dictated the purchase of the Tionesta tract equally will demand recognition and special action. Purchase elsewhere of tracts of virgin timber may be of wider and possibly much greater public benefit than that which would follow the enlargement of the Tionesta tract to double or triple its present proportions.

While my personal desires accord with your own, I must face the fact that if any appreciable part of the Federal funds available for forest purposes is concentrated in small areas of exceptionally valuable timber, other critical phases of the forest problem will continue without remedial action because of lack of funds. The recent report of the National Resources Board2 suggests ultimate need for public ownership of one hundred and seventy-eight million acres of forest lands now privately owned. Possibly three-quarters of a billion dollars of public funds will be required to carry the program to fruition. In the present financial situation it would be difficult to make one-tenth of that sum available in the immediate future. Investments in heavily timbered lands, therefore, must be made discriminatingly and with the objective of distributing the benefits as widely as possible.

The economic and social considerations also demand attention. I am told that if the lands to which you refer were withdrawn from industrial utilization, nine hundred to one thousand men would be added to the unemployed population and the economic life of a sizable community would be disrupted, as the Federal activities on the acquired lands would not markedly offset the cessation of industrial activity. It is, of course, true that present processes of forest exploitation ultimately will lead to the same result but only after a period of several years during which transitional readjustments would be practicable.

The foregoing circumstances will, I am sure, give you an appreciation of how difficult it would be to comply with your request, much as I should like to do so.3

Very sincerely yours,


[Notation: A] 4/9/'35

[13:OF 149:CT]

1Cope, a member of the Committee on Virgin Forest Areas of the Pennsylvania Forestry Association, urged acquisition by the Government of an 8,000-acre primitive hemlock-hardwood forest near Sheffield, Pennsylvania, which was about to be lumbered (OF 149).

2Report on National Planning and Public Works in Relation to Natural Resources (Washington, 1934).

3Drafted by the Agriculture Department.


[WASHINGTON] April 11, 1935

MY DEAR GOVERNOR LANDON: Following your telegram of March 20th,1 and at the request of Senator Capper and other members of the Senate and House of Representatives from the drought areas, I directed an investigation to be made by the Department of Agriculture and the Federal Emergency Relief Administration with the view of determining what remedial measures might be taken in connection with the disastrous dust storms referred to in your wire.

I am now informed that a project involving strip listing and cross plowing has been developed by the Department of Agriculture, and that in cooperation with the Emergency Relief Administration of the affected states, the Department is putting this project into effect.2

Trusting that the measures taken and to be taken will be effective, I am, Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 732:CT]

1Landon urged (OF 732) that wind erosion be controlled "by listing with uniform and concerted action on a wide area of several state," and that the Government furnish the necessary feed, gasoline and oil to do this.

2Drafted by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration.


[WASHINGTON] April 12, 1935


DEAR MR. CITRON: I am much interested in your letter.1 Before I can really consider going along with any further Regional Authorities, such as a Connecticut Valley Authority, it seems to me that there should be a fairly unanimous sentiment in the area affected. Do you think that the Governors of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut would support the idea of an Authority? Each of these States would be affected in more ways than one.

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 834:CT]

1April 10, 1935 (OF 834), asking support for his bill (H. R. 4979) to establish a Connecticut Valley authority. This provided for reforestation, elimination of pollution, construction of roads and recreational grounds, flood control and development of hydroelectric power.


[WASHINGTON] April 19, 1935


DEAR JOE: The logic of your editorial in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is indeed clearly stated and I shall be very happy if in the last analysis we find that such regulations as are necessary to properly conserve the breeding stock of migratory waterfowl do not conflict too violently with your convictions.1

Between a closed season and a short open season with whatever rigid restrictions may be necessary, the latter seems to me to offer, if wisely devised, an equivalent in conservation possibilities without the general disruptions of State game and Federal mechanisms which would certainly follow in the wake of a closed season.

I am forced to the conclusion that some sacrifice by the hunters will have to be made which will reduce the number of ducks killed this season, and that such restrictions must continue until such a time as natural conditions with the aid of our restoration program may allow a liberalization of the regulations.

The time-honored custom of wildfowling is not to be lightly snatched away but having tentatively resolved in favor of an open season it seems likely that added restrictions should be applied to those practices which are responsible for the heaviest kill.

Knowing your great interest is typical of the thoughtful duck hunter, I assure you your counsel on this question is greatly appreciated and will not be lightly considered.2

Very sincerely yours,


[13:PPF 2403:CT]

1Writing to Roosevelt April 2, 1935 (PPF 2403), Pulitzer objected to proposals for a closed season on ducks and for a prohibition of the shooting of ducks from baited feeding waters. The editorial is not present.

2Drafted by the Bureau of Biological Survey.


WASHINGTON, D. C., April 19, 1935

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: We are here in behalf of our Navajo people of Arizona and New Mexico to express to you their unbounded gratitude and ours for the great interest and consideration you are giving to the welfare and the advancement of the American Indians, especially the Navajo people. Under your farseeing administration and inspiring leadership they have started a movement to take their rightful place in the life of this republic.

Like the rest of our fellow citizens, we, the Navajo people, have experienced the almost complete collapse of the economic and social structure of our tribal and individual life. Almost too late we suddenly realized that our reservation was overstocked with sheep, goats, horses and cattle, far beyond its carrying capacity, our soil was rapidly washing away, and our grazing resources being constantly depleted. This alarming situation called for drastic measures for tribal rehabilitation and readjustment which we are now endeavoring to carry through by cutting down our livestock towards the carrying capacity of grazing lands, by developing all subsistence farming possibilities, by developing reservoirs, springs, and wells so that water may be more evenly distributed, by establishing soil erosion service stations and projects, and by making use of various other means for the restoration of grazing resources.

In this inevitable drastic process of rehabilitation and adjustment, especially in the reduction of sheep and goats, some of our old people, not being physically able to make a living by other means, have been forced to depend upon direct relief for support. It is extremely difficult to secure relief for these people through state relief administrations. We believe that if it is at all possible some provision should be made through some established Federal agency for the direct care of our indigent Indians.

One other matter concerns us greatly and that is health. Trachoma is at present our greatest enemy, aided frequently by epidemics of infectious diseases, which can only be eradicated or brought under control by more hospitals adequately equipped, more highly trained doctors and nurses. We will most deeply appreciate your consideration of these problems with the hope that you may help us materially in solving them.

Mr. President, once more we express our deep gratitude for your great humanitarian administration of the national affairs and for your devotion to the preservation and protection of the natural resources of our country. In all your efforts we are with you.

In closing we extend to you a hearty invitation to come and visit us in the southwest, where the skies and the landscape are so restful and the sun so friendly.



[13:OF 296:TS]

1This petition was presented to Roosevelt by the Navajo delegation in person, in company with Indian Affairs Commissioner John Collier, on the date indicated.


WASHINGTON, Apr. 27, 1935

MY DEAR MR. MCINTYRE: On April 24, 1935, by direction of the President, you sent to me, with request for advice as to whether there is any objection to its approval, the following bill: H. R. 7054, An Act to provide for the protection of land resources against soil erosion, and for other purposes.

I have referred the bill to the Secretary of Agriculture and am transmitting herewith the reply of the Secretary, dated April 26, 1935, in which he advises that approval of the bill is recommended.

The bill establishes in the Department of Agriculture a new agency to be known as the "Soil Conservation Service" and provides that the Secretary of Agriculture, from now on, shall coordinate and direct all activities with relation to soil erosion in accordance with the policy therein set forth. It authorizes the use of all unexpended balances of funds heretofore allotted to the soil erosion organization established under sections 202 and 203 of the National Industrial Recovery Act; provides that funds provided in the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act, 1935, for soil erosion, shall be available for expenditure under its provisions; and authorizes the appropriation, from time to time, of such sums as Congress may determine to be necessary.

I recommend approval of the above bill, which is returned herewith.

Very truly yours,


[Notation: A] Approved 4/27/35.



WASHINGTON, D. C., April 26, 1935

DEAR MR. BELL: Under date of April 24 you sent to me the engrossed bill H. R. 7054 for the purpose of obtaining my comments thereon.

The bill referred to is considered by this department to be highly important and essential legislation. Its provisions are based upon extensive studies made in this Department and also in the Department of the Interior as to the type of legislation needed to provide an effective basis and the necessary authorities for a practical and permanent national program of erosion control and soil conservation. Extended hearings were held on the measure in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and the bill was passed in both branches unanimously by acclamation. The legislation in its final form provides basic authorities considered by this department to be essential to the proposed program. Approval of the measure is recommended.

The Act does not make any appropriations, it being contemplated that during the initial part of the program the work will be financed from the funds provided in H. J. Resolution 117, "An Act making appropriation for relief purposes." There are, however, authorized to be appropriated for the purpose of the Act such sums as Congress may from time to time determine to be necessary. Such appropriations may be sought at future sessions of Congress and, insofar as any departmental recommendations are concerned, would be subject to the usual budgetary procedures.1

Sincerely yours,



1H. R. 7054 was introduced by Representative Dempsey (N. M.) on March 27 and passed by the House on April 1, 1935. The bill declared the wastage of soil and moisture resources on farm, grazing, and forest lands to be a menace to the national welfare, and that it was the policy of Congress "to provide permanently for the control and prevention of soil erosion." It provided for a Soil Conservation Service under the Secretary of Agriculture; he was authorized to conduct investigations, carry out preventive measures and acquire lands. There was only commendation of the bill in the House, and no opposition to it in the Senate except that King (Utah) objected to the transfer of soil conservation activities from Interior to Agriculture. In the Senate the bill was amended by adding the word "permanently" to its statement of policy, and by including in the objectives of the bill the protection of public health. The Senate passed the bill April 15 but on the next day King moved to reconsider on the ground that administration of the law should be by the Interior Department. This motion he withdrew (April 19) after making a lengthy statement on the importance of soil conservation (Cong. Rec., 74th Cong., 1st sess., 79:4, 4577; 79:5, 4803-4810, 5644-5645, 5734; 79:6, 6012-6014, 6016-6018). The bill as reported to the House is printed ibid., 79:5, 4804. The act was approved April 27, 1935 (49 Stat. 163). A study of the Soil Conservation Service is found in Charles M. Hardin, The Politics of Agriculture (Glencoe, Ill.: The Free Press, 1952).


WASHINGTON, May 3, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR HON. F. A. SILCOX: If you have not got accurate figures as to the number of men who could be permanently employed per hundred acres of national forests, State forests or private forests, would it be a good idea to send someone to Europe this summer to get us this data? I do not think we know much about this problem in this country. They have been at it for hundreds of years in Europe. In other words, would it not be a good idea to see how they are working out unemployment under stabilized conditions of foreign management?

I think we could get a qualified man to do it for expenses.1


[13:OF I—C:CT]

1Answered June 18, 1935 (OF I—C), saying that Wallace had already arranged to send up to five foresters to central Europe in 1935 to study the problem.


WASHINGTON, May 11, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT: There has been submitted to me by the Secretary of Agriculture, with request for advice as to its relation to your financial program, a copy of his proposed favorable report on H. R. 6914, a bill—"To authorize cooperation with the several States for the purpose of stimulating the acquisition, development and proper administration and management of State forests and coordinating Federal and State activities in carrying out a national program of forest-land management, and for other purposes."

Briefly, the bill prescribes the following plan to effectuate its purposes, as stated in its title, viz:

1. The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to enter into cooperative agreements with any State or States under which the Federal Government will acquire, by purchase or otherwise, such forest lands within the cooperating State as, in the judgment of the Secretary, the State is adequately prepared to administer, develop, and manage as State forests.

2. All purchases of forest lands must first be approved by the National Forest Reservation Commission.

3. Lands purchased by the Federal Government are to be turned over to cooperating States, which States shall bear the entire cost of administering, developing, and managing them as State forests.

4. One-half of the gross proceeds from all lands covered by cooperative agreements, and to which the United States holds title, is to be paid by the States to the United States and covered into the Treasury. All such payments are to be credited to the purchase price paid for the lands and when the United States has thus been reimbursed the title to the lands is to be transferred to the State or States concerned.

5. There is authorized to be appropriated for the purposes of the bill $20,000,000.

The proposed report of the Secretary of Agriculture states that the Department is wholly in favor of the bill; that the areas to be purchased will help to balance the broad national program of public forest-land ownership; that such purchases will make available more forest land for development under the President's relief work program; and that increased State forest-land ownership will have an important stabilizing effect upon State forestry organizations, stimulate State-wide public responsibility and strengthen broad State leadership in forestry, and aid materially in building up the forest resources of the nation.

The Secretary of Agriculture states that the bill is in line with a recommendation of the Land Planning Committee of the National Resources Board that 77,000,000 acres of forest land be in States' ownership by 1960. At present State forest lands amount to about 17,000,000 acres. At an average of $3 per acre (which the Forest Service tells me is a fair figure to use) there could be purchased approximately 7,000,000 acres with the $20,000,000 authorized by the bill. This would leave 53,000,000 acres to be acquired, presumably by the States.

Under a most liberal calculation, reimbursement to the Federal Government of its investment of $20,000,000 from one-half of the proceeds of the land acquired will take at least fifty years. No interest on this investment is provided for, which, assuming an average rate of 2% (which may prove too low), would, in fifty years, amount to $10,200,000, on the basis of an annual reduction in principal of $400,000. This would be a direct subsidy.

I seriously doubt that the States would be "stimulated," as suggested by the Secretary of Agriculture, in the building up of their forest reserves to the extent of expending some $159,000,000 in acquiring the remaining 53,000,000 acres of land by reason of the Federal Government's purchase of the first 7,000,000 acres. On the other hand, I think it safe to predict that the bill under discussion will be followed by others of like character, the precedent of Federal aid in this respect having been established.

With the expenditure of the $30,000,000 of emergency funds which have been allotted for the purchase of additional forest lands there will be approximately 162,000,000 acres in our National Forests. Possibly additional funds for purchase of National forest lands are to be made available by you from the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act, 1935. Our annual bill for the Forest Service is now approximately $21,000,000 excluding purchase of lands.

I am enclosing a copy of H.R. 6914, together with a copy of the proposed report of the Secretary of Agriculture thereon, and respectfully request that I be advised as to the relation of this proposed legislation to your financial program. My recommendation is that I be authorized to advise the Secretary that it would not be in accord with such program.1


[13:OF 79:TS]

1Answered post, 353.


WASHINGTON, May 13, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR HON. J. N. DARLING: Have you got to the point where you need some help in getting coordination with the Reclamation Service straightened out? If so, let me know and I will arrange a joint meeting.1


[13:OF I—F:CT]

1A notation on this memorandum indicates that it was inspired by a letter from William L. Finley of Portland, Oregon, a field naturalist of the American Nature Association, stating that the Reclamation Service was nullifying the work of the Biological Survey. (The letter is not present; see post, 392.) Darling replied (May 23, 1935, OF I—F) that Ickes was sympathetic but that the destruction continued. On June 13 Early reported to McIntyre (OF I—F): "Ding Darling has not 'gotten anywhere with the Reclamation Service.' As a matter of fact the situation has come to an impasse and a conference with the President is necessary. Darling thinks that the President should also see Secretary Ickes and Director Mead of the Reclamation Service—having them present when he sees them." Ickes, Mead and Darling conferred with Roosevelt on June 14, 1935 (PPF I—O), with what result is not clear. Ickes mentions the meeting in his Diary (I, 376), saying that he was in sympathy with what Darling was trying to do and was willing to help him out wherever he could. Another meeting to resolve the differences between the Biological Survey and the Reclamation Service was held July 22.


WASHINGTON, May 14, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR THE ACTING DIRECTOR OF THE BUDGET: I cannot approve an appropriation of $20,000,000 to buy forest lands for the States.1 It would be a splendid thing to do but this year we cannot afford it.

Will you be good enough to tell this to the Secretary of Agriculture?

F. D. R.

[13:OF 149:CT]

1Roosevelt here referred to Bell's memorandum of May 11, 1935, ante, 351.


WASHINGTON, May 15, 1935

[Telegram] You have my best wishes for a successful celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of a conservation policy in New York State.1 The prudent use and wise development of our resources is necessary for self preservation. Conservation agencies of the Federal Government have cooperated with the State for many years and all proper movements in this direction have my unqualified support.


[13:PPF 771:CT]

1Forest conservation in New York State is considered by many conservationists to date from the Forest Commission Act of 1885. This established a forest commission to make regulations for the administration of the state forest lands.


POUGHKEEPSIE, N. Y., May 24, 1935

DEAR MR. ROOSEVELT: The polluted waters of the Hudson River have for a long time been the source of worry and disgust to the people of eastern New York State. Some day that extreme degree of pollution by sewage will have to be remedied. Would it not be possible to make a beginning in this direction now?

When the late Herman Biggs was Commissioner of Health1 and I was trying to get him to bring pressure on the communities, especially Poughkeepsie, to take their sewage out of the river, he told me that his engineers estimated that the cost of clearing up the Hudson, the Mohawk, and the small tributaries would be approximately one hundred million dollars. Furthermore, that until New York City began to take steps to clear up the cesspool it was making of its harbor with its own sewage, it was hardly worth while to spend so much money higher up the river.

At the risk of adding one more mite to your mass of detail, I am sending this question directly to you.2

With best wishes for all of you, I am, Sincerely yours,


[13:PPF 2567:TS]

1New York State Commissioner of Health, 1914-23.

2Answered post, 361.


[WASHINGTON] May 25, 1935

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Your encouraging letter of March 30, from Miami, in which you declared your intention to advance a program including comprehensive provision for stimulating and insuring both state and private forestry activities, leads me to emphasize the urgent need of adequate forest credits legislation by the present Congress.

Recognizing this need, I introduced rather late in the 73rd Congress a proposal to amend the Reconstruction Finance Corporation Act so as to permit loans to private owners, who should engage in sustained yield forest management. Prior to writing you on March 11, I had introduced a somewhat similar proposal, which I am inclined to believe is favored by the United States Forest Service and other public agencies, as well as private industry.1

A cooperative study of the forest credits problem by the Forest Service and the Farm Credit Administration has resulted in a suggestion for permanent legislation, designed to meet fully the special credit requirements of sustained yield forest industry. I enclose tentative draft of a bill to cover this, which I am disposed to substitute for my bill pending before the Banking and Currency Committee.2

This tentative draft embodies the cooperative principles proven by nearly twenty years' experience of the Federal Land Bank. It provides essential credit facilities to the owners of over 257 million acres of forest land which the National Resources Board estimates will remain in private ownership—even should the Board's program of public acquisition be carried out. These facilities are similar to those now extended by the Farm Credit Administration to owners of agricultural lands.

The provisions advanced in this tentative draft are consistent with the policy of your administration to organize financial institutions under public control capable of extending credit to industry. It proposes to do this at the least administrative cost by placing the Forest Credits Institution under the capable control of the Farm Credit Administration but endowed with the prestige its importance justifies, by setting up a Forest Credits Division therein.

While the comprehensive forest program as a whole might await a more favorable opportunity for presentation to the Congress, there are, nevertheless, certain features concerning which the need for immediate action is so pressing that special bills have been introduced. To illustrate, I mention H. R. 6914 which provides for Federal aid in the acquisition of State Forests and the stabilizing of State Forestry enterprise, passed by the House of Representatives on May 22. This suggested forest credits legislation is equally vital to the stabilization and advancement of private forestry.

I would appreciate your having this proposal examined as soon as may be possible and favoring me with your views regarding same.

Respectfully and sincerely,


[13:OF 149:TS]

1On May 14, 1934, Fletcher introduced S. 3612, "to amend the Reconstruction Finance Corporation Act so as to extend the provisions thereof to private corporations to aid in constructing and maintaining facilities for the marketing, storing warehousing, and/or processing of forest products . . ." On June 12, 1934, he introduced S. 3785, with the same title. On Jan. 10, 1935, he introduced S. 669, similar to the two other bills except that its provisions were extended to associations and individuals as well as to corporations (Cong. Rec., 73d Cong., 2d sess., 78:8, 8732; 78:10, 11110; 74th Cong., 1st sess., 79:1, 252).

2The draft is present. The pending bill, "A Bill to provide for extending credit to aid in the conservation and operation of forest lands, to establish a Forest Credit Bank, and for other purposes," was introduced Aug. 14, 1935, as S. 3417. It was not reported from committee (Cong. Rec., 79: 12, 13032). See post, 379.


[WASHINGTON] May 29, 1935

DEAR MR. BAKER: Many thanks for that interesting letter about the, Brown Pelicans. I am happy to know that they are apparently not decreasing in recent years. I became somewhat worried because on our recent trip through the Bahamas we saw practically no Pelicans at all.1

Very sincerely yours,


[13:PPF 2543:CT]

1Baker wrote (May 27, 1935, PPF 2543), that the brown pelican colony on the east coast of Florida, established in 1924 on Brevard Island, now numbered over 6,000 birds.



MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT: West1 called up to say that there was a movement on foot in the Appropriations Committee of the House to take some action to earmark additional funds for soil erosion.

He says that he believes if you will tell Harry2 to raise his ante from fifteen million to twenty-five million that the fight for the fifty odd million, which is getting pretty hot, can be handled. In other words, he thinks that even with the restrictions "that the sum of twenty-five million be allocated for soil erosion where conditions of distress justify expenditures" it would be acceptable and you might never have to spend more than the fifteen million.3


[13:OF 732:T]

1Charles West, Under Secretary of Interior.

2Harry Hopkins, Works Progress Administrator.

3The Department of Agriculture originally submitted a soil erosion project to cost $67,000,000. The Works Allotment Division of the National Emergency Council rejected this and asked for a revised project amounting to $15,000,000, a figure which Agriculture accepted (Frank C. Walker, Executive Director, National Emergency Council, to McIntyre, June 4, 1935, OF 732).


HYDE PARK, N. Y., June 11, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY: Will you please give me your thought in regard to this proposal for a ten million dollar Endowment Fund and a change of tax methods?


[13:OF I—F:CT]


WASHINGTON, D. C., May 24, 1935


Plan for a 10 Million Dollar Endowment Fund for Wildlife Conservation

A comprehensive and continuing program under national leadership of game restoration principles over a period of years must replace the desultory and ineffective methods which have marked the scattered and intermittent practices of the past. Only by this substitution can the desired objective be obtained.

Such a coordinated plan, based on established game management principles, is ready for direct application. (See detailed analysis appended.) Its success must depend on the guaranteed continuity1 of financial support over a period of years. To have to depend on the variable whims of political favor for the necessary annual appropriations would jeopardize the whole undertaking.

A ten million dollar permanent endowment fund is available if the conditions meet the approval of the Administration.

Ever since the first license fees were assessed on the sportsmen for their privileges of hunting and fishing there has been a pernicious abuse in the use of the money returns. A very small percent in the aggregate of the many millions collected has ever been used in the interest of game. This practice has been chiefly responsible for the great frustration of wildlife conservation and is borne with deep resentment by the sportsmen.

A Federal excise tax on sporting arms and ammunition produces approximately two and one-half million dollars annually. This tax is admittedly taken from the sportsmen's pockets. It is now paid into the Federal Treasury and against it are charged the general cost of Government appropriations.

(The Biological Survey is still operating under a 28% cut and in spite of its intimate relations to the game problems gets scant consideration for adequate maintenance.)

The sporting arms and munition manufacturers have agreed to finance a ten million dollar endowment fund by a pledge of ten per cent of their gross sales annually until the designated total is complete. This voluntary pledge is contingent upon the withdrawal of the present excise tax of ten per cent until such a time as the ten million dollar endowment fund is completed.

I urge serious consideration of this proposal as a constructive measure for conservation. It in no way singles out a special industry for special privilege since the ten per cent tax remains an annual obligation for approximately five years and further I see no other way that a consistent national program of uninterrupted activity can be accomplished.

Respectfully submitted,


(See analysis of a national policy for game conservation in the appended supplement.)2

[13:OF I—F:Ts]

1Italicized words, here and below, are underscored in the original.

2In this 3000-word memorandum, Darling proposed: (1) Federal financial aid to the land grant colleges for study of the problem of game restoration; (2) creation of permanent big game refuges on Federal lands and enlargement of breeding ground areas of migratory waterfowl; and (3) increase of game populations on private lands through improved game-management techniques to be inculcated through the extension services of the land grant colleges. The memorandum did not elaborate on the endowment fund-tax remission plan.


HYDE PARK, N. Y., June 11, 1935

DEAR DOCTOR SMITH: You are wholly right in regard to the polluted waters of the Hudson River.1

When I was in Albany I spent many hours trying to persuade municipalities to put in sewage disposal plants. As a matter of State government policy we undertook, while I was in Albany, to eliminate all sewage running from State institutions into the Hudson River. As you probably know, the Hudson River State Hospital plant has been built.2

The problem is, of course, wholly one for the municipalities and not for the Federal Government. During the past two years, however, they were able to avail themselves of the right to borrow from the Federal Government at a low rate of interest.

I hope some day Poughkeepsie will see the light!

Very sincerely yours,


[13:PPF 2567:CT]

1Ante 355.

2Immediately north of Poughkeepsie.


[WASHINGTON] June 17, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: Will you please look over these papers relating to the State Park Bill. I wonder why Asst. Chief Forester L. F. Kneipp of the Forest Service is opposing this Bill without my knowledge or approval.





WASHINGTON, June 3, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY: During the second session of the Seventy-third Congress, the State Park Bill (S. 3724 and H. R. 9788) was reported out favorably and placed on the calendars. On June 18, 1934, Senator Wagner asked unanimous consent of the Senate bill, but Senator Carey of Wyoming objected, desiring to ascertain the provisions of the bill. It was suggested at that time that you take the matter up with the President in an effort to get the bill through Congress during the last few days of the session but, due to the desire of the administration to allow Congress to adjourn as soon as the important administrative bills had been passed, you felt that you would not be justified in taking this step. No further action was taken before Congress adjourned.

The bill was reintroduced in the present session of Congress and identified as S. 738 and H. R. 6594. (S. 738 is the old bill with a few changes. H. R. 6594 is the desired form, has been approved by you and has cleared the Director of the Budget.) The bill was again reported out favorably and placed on the calendars. It has been called off the Senate calendar twice, but on both occasions has been passed over without prejudice at the request of Senator Carey. We are informed that this action is being taken by Senator Carey at the request of Assistant Chief Forester L. F. Kneipp of the Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, as the Forest Service objects to the national forests coming under the provisions of this bill in any form. Senator Carey is not and has not been friendly to the National Park Service, and it is feared that his objections are made merely to block action on the bill without any serious objections to the bill itself.

We feel that this bill is of great importance to the recreational development of the country and that it will give this Department the necessary authority to provide for a well-rounded national recreational system. The passage of the bill at this particular time is important because a Forest Service bill has already passed the House, which provides for the establishment, development and maintenance of State forests by the States and which would authorize the Forest Service to do work similar to that intended in the State Park Bill by the National Park Service.

We respectfully suggest that you ask the President to urge both houses to pass H. R. 6594 this session. The only apparent objection to the bill is that of Senator Carey.1



1All the bills referred to had the same title: "To aid in providing the people of the United States with adequate facilities for park, parkway and recreational area purposes, and to provide for the transfer of certain lands chiefly valuable for such purposes to States and political subdivisions." The National Park Service, under the bill, was authorized to make a study of the public parks, parkways and recreational area programs of the United States with a view to transferring to the states and other subdivisions certain public lands suitable for park and recreational purposes. The Secretary of the Interior was authorized to make such transfers with the approval of the President. The Interior Department Annual Report for 1934 (pp. 172-173) said that the need for some such Federal-state cooperation in recreational matters had been indicated by Government activities in emergency conservation work and land utilization in connection with the considerable acquisitions of submarginal lands.

Forest Service lands were involved in the proposed recreational areas and the Forest Service was unwilling to permit the Interior Department to dispose of its areas. The 1935 bills also failed of passage and the legislation went over to the next session. See post, 370.


[WASHINGTON] June 17, 1935

MEMO FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: I suppose there is nothing to do but approve the allotment of $350,000 to cover item one for a third double fish lock at Bonneville.

All I can hope is that the salmon will approve the spillways and find them really useful, even though they cost almost as much as the dam and the electric power development.



[13:OF 108:CT:COPY]


[WASHINGTON] June 17, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: Tell Mr. Darling that I think a National Congress for Conservation would be excellent and that I heartily approve.


[Notation: CT] J. N. Darling, Chief, Bureau of Biological Survey (June 8) to the Secretary: "Do you think you could get the President to call a Natl. Cong. for Conservation next January if I'd do all the work and see it properly financed and managed"?



[WASHINGTON, June 19, 1935]

[Telegram] Urgent request from Secretary Wallace asks for conference with President next week by conservation group National Lumber Manufacturers Association. As indicated by his correspondence with Senator Fletcher and Governors the President desires to advance correlated conservation programs including public and private activities and is awaiting most favorable opportunity to present a broad program for congressional consideration. The President regrets however that pressing previous appointments and present legislative situation make it impossible to accede now to request for personal interview.1


[Notation:A] sent June 19, 1935

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1This meeting was sought to urge the President to carry out the Government-aid-to-private-forestry program which had been approved by the Lumber Code Authority acting under Article X of the Lumber Code. (The Supreme Court decision in the Schechter case, announced May 27, 1935, in effect abolished all codes.) In his letter to McIntyre (undated, OF 149), covering a draft of the telegram here printed, Tugwell said that he was under the impression that the President might not "consider it expedient" to grant such an interview "or to make any statement in addition to those made by his letters of January 2 to various Governors and his letter of March 15 to Senator Fletcher The impact of the invalidation of the NRA on the lumber industry is described in Mason's diary, Forests for the Future (Rodney C. Loehr, ed.), pp. 177-182.


WASHINGTON, June 20, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT: I return herewith a memorandum by Mr. J. N. Darling, Chief, Bureau of Biological Survey, Department of Agriculture, dated June 14, 1935, addressed to the Secretary of Agriculture, with respect to legislation affecting the Survey, which you sent to me for review.

The appropriation of the $6,000,000 mentioned in the memorandum of Mr. Darling was included in Public Act No. 148, which was approved by you on Saturday last, June 15.


[Notation: AS] Copy sent to Mr. Darling 6/22/35 bsp2

[13:OF I—F:TS]

1This was the act approved June 15, 1935, to amend the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act of March 16, 1934 (49 Stat. 378). This authorized the President to allocate from funds made available by the Relief Appropriation Act of April 8, 1935, such sums as he deemed advisable for the acquisition of wildlife refuge areas.

2Bernice S. Ponton, a White House clerk.


WASHINGTON, D. C., June 14, 1935

DEAR MR. SECRETARY: There was a rider attached to the Omnibus Bill for the Biological Survey legislation which provides for a $6,000,000 appropriation out of any unexpended balance of the $3,300,000,000 of 1933.

The bill has passed both houses and will be up to the President shortly. I wish you would call his attention to the fact that unless he signs it prior to the expiration of the Act, which is presumably midnight June 16th, the Biological Survey will have no funds with which to carry on its wildlife program for another year.

This $6,000,000 has in it a few things which were mentioned to me by the President himself as desirable of accomplishment by direct appropriation, namely, taking care of the elk in Jackson Hole and the acquisition of Okefenokee Swamp, in addition to the completion of our migratory waterfowl flyways.

You will realize the urgency of this matter when you consider that it is not likely that the Bureau will have any fund with which to carry on its land acquisition program for another year. This is made more vital because in the shifting of methods from the FERA to the Resettlement Administration1 we lost about six weeks of time and many projects will not get up to the wire before the time limit.

Another very important consideration is that within this bill is a clause providing for the purchase of stamps by stamp collectors which was made almost prohibitive in the original draft of the duck stamp bill. The Post Office Department tells us they can sell 200,000 stamps to the philatelists before the end of the month if this bill is passed and signed prior to that time.

Yours very truly,


[13:OF I—F:TS]

1The Resettlement Administration was established by Executive Order 7027 signed April 30, 1935, "to resettle destitute or low-income families from rural and urban areas." The agency's objectives are described in a lengthy note to the executive order as printed in Rosenman (ed.), Public Papers, IV, 143-155. Roosevelt was especially interested in the resettlement idea because of his earlier work with the New York State land survey: see his remarks to Resettlement regional directors of June 20, 1935 (ibid., pp. 277-279). In this talk he said, "Another objective we seek is to devote our land resources to their highest uses, not only for this generation but for future generations. We approach this genuine conservation policy with the future in mind." The Resettlement Administration became the Farm Security Administration on Sept. 1, 1937.


WASHINGTON, June 26, 1935

MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: My attention has been called to the fact that under the provisions of Title II of H.R. 5423, entitled "A Bill To provide for the control in the public interest of public-utility holding companies using the mails and the facilities of interstate commerce, to regulate the transmission and sale of electric energy and natural gas in interstate and foreign commerce," the present inhibition against entering the national parks and national monuments for water power development purposes without the specific approval of Congress would be modified.

I wish to make known my deep interest in preserving the present status of national parks and national monuments as provided in the amendment to the Federal Water Power Act of March 3, 1921 (41 Stat. 1353), and my desire to keep these areas free from commercial utilization.1 There are many power interests which have been seeking the opportunity to enter the Nation's cherished heritages for the private development of water power and, in my opinion, unless the right to grant the use of these areas is retained by the Congress, as at present, the results would be disastrous to the national park and national monument system.

The following amendment to H.R. 5423, if made, would correct the situation:

On page 103, Sec. 212, line 3, after the word "repealed" add:

Provided, That nothing in this Act shall be construed to repeal or amend the provisions of the amendment to the Federal Water Power Act, approved March 3, 1921 (41 Stat. 1353), or the provisions of any other Act relating to national parks and national monuments.

I sincerely hope that, in the consideration of this legislation by the Congress, the above amendment will be incorporated.2

Very sincerely yours,


[Notation: T] Draft submitted by Secy. Ickes.

[13:OF 928:CT:COPY]

1The Federal Water Power Act of June 10, 1920 (41 Stat. 1063), permitted the use, for water power purposes, of the public lands of the United States, including the national parks and monuments. The amendment here referred to repealed that part of the act which applied to national parks and monuments.

2This amendment was added to section 212 of the Public Utility Act of 1935, approved Aug. 26, 1935 (49 Stat. 847).


WASHINGTON, D. C., June 29, 1935

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: In response to your note of June 17, authority which will provide for a well rounded national recreational system is unquestionably desirable. There is, therefore, real need for legislation of the general character covered by H. R. 6594. But I wonder if it is realized that this Bill as it now stands applies to all lands of the United States; that it would apparently place in another bureau and department the functions of studying and planning recreational uses on some 160 odd million acres of National Forest lands which are under jurisdiction of this Department?

Stripped of details, this was the basis for my objection to the National Park Bill in its original, and its present, form.

As you know, the National Forests contain—by reason of their character, cover, and terrain—many areas used by the public for various forms of simple, democratic, informal recreation. In fact, for some years past, the total number of people visiting the National Forests—which are located in 37 States, Alaska, and Puerto Rico—has been in excess of 30 million annually; some 5 to 10 million making much more than a passing use of these lands. And on these lands recreational resources—as well as others—have been studied, planned, developed and administered by this Department's Forest Service for a period of some 30 years.

The Department of Interior is, of course, primarily concerned with National Park matters. Since this is so, I recommended to Senator Wagner, by letter of June 12, 1934, that in event the then proposed legislation (S. 3724, second session 73rd Congress) were enacted, amendments be incorporated which would in effect except National Forest lands from the terms of the legislation.

Bill S. 738 as first introduced in the 74th Congress, recognized this Department's objections and carried the amendments I had previously suggested. I therefore notified Senator Wagner that this Department knew of no reason why this specific proposed legislation should not be enacted, but suggested that his Committee might wish to obtain a report from Secretary Ickes. Later, S. 738 was reported out of Committee with the changes I had suggested deleted. This obviously left the Bill in such shape that this Department's objections to S. 3724 (73rd Congress) applied with equal force to it.

Report upon S. 738, thus amended, was not requested from this Department, but when this situation was discovered, Assistant Forester L. F. Kneipp, acting on this Department's known position, called the original objections to the attention of the Clerk of the Committee on Public Lands and Surveys, who stated that the reasons for deletion would have to be obtained from members of the special Sub-Committee which had deleted the language. Following that suggestion, Mr. Kneipp interviewed Senators Adams and Carey, and the latter expressed the opinion the language recommended by this Department should remain in the Bill.

This Department was not requested nor afforded opportunity to report on H. R. 6594, which was reported out by the House Committee on Public Lands in a form comparable to that of S. 3724 (73rd Congress). When that action became known, Mr. Kneipp apprised Representative Robinson, who had charge of the Bill, of my report on the preceding Bill, and furnished him with a copy of that report. In relation to both Bills, his action was to inspire consideration of the views of this Department as I had expressed them.

Despite the fact that legislation of this general character is desirable, passage of S. 738 or H. R. 6594 in their present shape would, it seems to me, lead to confusion and might well create a situation analogous in some respects to that which was corrected when you and the Congress transferred the Soil Erosion Service to the Department of Agriculture. I trust, therefore, that you will appreciate this Department's desire to have S. 738 or H. R. 6594 as they now stand so amended that they do not apply to the National Forests. The papers attached to your note of June 17 are returned.1




1Neither bill was acted upon in this session. Early in the next session (Jan. 10, 1936), the House bill was reintroduced by Representative Robinson of Utah as H. R. 10104, "A bill to aid in providing the people of the United States with adequate facilities for park, parkway, and recreational-area purposes, and to provide for the transfer of certain lands, chiefly valuable for such purposes, to States and political subdivisions thereof." As in the bill of the previous year, provision was made for the cession of Federal lands to the states for park purposes but the Forest Service's objections were met by excluding national forest lands from the jurisdiction of the proposed act. The House passed this bill but the Senate substituted what was virtually a new bill, providing merely for a survey of state and Federal park programs, and barring any cession of Federal lands (Cong. Rec., 74th Cong., 2d sess., 80:1, 298, 751-753; 80:3, 2910-2917, 2927-2923, 3042-3048; 80:7, 738-7385; 80:9, 9642-9643). This was enacted as "An act to authorize a study of the park, parkway, and recreational-area programs in the United States," approved June 23, 1936 (49 Stat. 1894).


WASHINGTON, July 2, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: Will you and Mr. Delano talk this over and let me know how I should reply to Mr. Cooke? The Water Planning work, is of course, very important.


[13:OF 114:CT]


WASHINGTON, June 28, 1935

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: In the reorganization of the work of the National Resources Committee1 now going on there seems to be a disposition not only to emphasize state interest and study of water problems, but at the same time to minimize Federal leadership. Those of us who have given thought to this subject feel that in adopting such a program we run the very great danger of leaving the situation worse than we found it. Under consistent Federal leadership state policy in water matters has a general tendency to come to a somewhat common standard. In the absence of some reasonably independent and respected agency as the Water Planning Committee proved to be I am afraid that many interstate water situations will tend to become more acute.

Obviously, I am not arguing for any particular setup or personnel. But I do feel that without some active Federal agency continuing the leadership exercised during the last eighteen months many situations that appear to be in the course of adjustment may revert to the tooth and claw stage.

Yours very sincerely,



1The National Resources Board was abolished by Executive Order 7065 of June 7, 1935, effective June 25, 1935. The same order established the National Resources Committee. The new agency inherited the functions of its predecessor and in addition was authorized to consult with other government agencies and public and private research organizations in doing its work.

373 PRESS CONFERENCE, Executive Offices of the White House, July 5, 1935, 4 P. M.

[Excerpt] Q: Can you tell us about your conversation with Senator Fletcher? . . .1

The President: Yes, I talked with him first about a Forest Credit Bill which we are studying and which I am very much in favor of in principle. In other words, it relates to the extension to forest crops of the same principles that we have used in the case of farm crops. The general thought is this, that if the owner of commercial forest land is willing to conform to the general theory of cutting only so much of his crop as will be the equivalent of the maturing crop on another part of his acreage, that in such a case he would be entitled to a Federal credit just like private businesses or railroads or farms, under certain well-defined conditions.

It seems to be a very excellent thing and would, as a general proposition, be of great service to the smaller and medium-sized company. We have found among the medium-sized lumber companies a very great desire to cooperate with the Government and a great many of their operations are being conducted on an annual crop basis.

Most of the trouble has come from either the very small man who goes in and buys stumpage and conducts just one operation over a few months regardless of the consequences, or on the part of very large companies which have not adopted forestry methods.

This is merely a step to try to make lumber an annual crop with the assurance that in 25 years or a generation from now we will have as much maturing lumber or more maturing lumber than we have today.2


1Earlier in the day.

2Asked about the Fletcher bill at his August 2 press conference, Roosevelt said that he had endorsed it in principle but had not "seen hide or hair of it" since his first mention of it (President's Press Conferences). On August 6, Senator Fletcher's secretary telephoned the White House about the bill; a memorandum of that date, Kannee to McIntyre (OF 149), reads: "Mac told the Sen. not to worry about it—something would be done. The President seemed hazy about what was being done on it at his last press conference and we are getting so many inquiries about it, that we would like you to check up on it . . ."


WASHINGTON, D. C., July 5, 1935

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: As you perhaps know, The American Forestry Association was one of the public agencies which participated in the forest conferences of 1933-34, called by Secretary Wallace, which formulated the conservation program later incorporated as Article X in the Code of Fair Competition for the Forest Products Industries. The Association was in thorough accord with the program and at the time of its adoption felt that it presaged the greatest advance in the history of American conservation, particularly if both the federal and industry parts of the program were fulfilled.

While the industry went forward in a commendable way with the inauguration of its conservation obligations under Article X, it has been a matter of regret that conditions have not made it possible for the Federal Government to provide the supplemental legislation as agreed upon by the conference.

Now that the codes are no longer in effect, it is, we think, urgent that every effort be made to maintain the conservation work as formulated by the forest conferences in question and as substantially developed by the forest industries. We believe that the greatest factor in maintaining this industrial program of conservation will be early provision by the Federal Government of legislation generally recognized as necessary in furtherance of the practice of private forestry or sustained yield.

One of the most important pieces of needed forest legislation in the conference program is creation of a permanent forest credits agency. Such an agency, we believe, is a key to the development of sustained yield operations by private industry.

You have already expressed your intention of recommending to Congress at a proper time a program of supplemental legislation that will round out a national forest policy. This purpose on your part is gratifying, I assure you, to all individuals and agencies interested in the development of conservation. As respects the very vital and immediate question of forest credits and its bearing upon the maintenance of the industry's conservation work, we understand that Senator Fletcher has had prepared a forest credits bill for early introduction in Congress. Passage of this bill at the present session of Congress, we believe, may be an instrument in saving the Article X conservation program, and we, therefore, respectfully urge that you give it your earnest consideration and your approval for passage at the present session of Congress.

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 149:TS]


WASHINGTON, July 8, 1935

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: In accordance with your request, Mr. Delano and I have examined Mr. Cooke's letter to you under date of June 28 concerning the future of the water planning work.1

The National Resources Committee has wished to avoid the organization2 as a part of its permanent staff or the continuance of any large administrative or directive permanent set-up, and prefers to place primary reliance on cooperation from bureaus of the Federal Government and from the States to make necessary researches and to secure needed planning information.

In conformance with this policy the water planning activities of the Committee (as well as the land planning work) are being reorganized, retaining the former Water Planning Committee in an advisory capacity and establishing a new group with representatives from the Federal agencies dealing with water problems for continuing contact. This new coordinating committee will be served by a small secretariat, and the many experts now on the payroll of the Committee as per diem consultants will be utilized for special studies and for the preparation of special reports.

It is our belief that with the cooperation of State Planning Boards to secure factual data and through the services of the special consultants and the coordinating committee of the Federal bureaus, we can carry on water planning studies with less overhead expense and with more effective cooperation from all of the agencies concerned.

Sincerely yours,


[Notation: A] Copy sent Hon. Morris Cooke 7/11-35 bsp

[13:OF 114:TS]

1Ante, 372.

2A phrase has apparently been dropped here in the typing of the letter.


WASHINGTON, July 8, 1935

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Mr. McIntyre has referred to me a telegram from Mr. Harry Lee Baker, President of the American Forestry Association, to Senator Fletcher and Senator Fletcher's letter to you concerning the Fulmer Bill, H. R. 6914,1 which has already passed the House and is now before the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry.

In accordance with a letter dated May 18 from Acting Director Bell of the Bureau of the Budget stating—"I have discussed this matter with the President who requests me to inform you that the expenditures contemplated by H. R. 6914 would not at this time be in accord with his financial program," I advised the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry that—"This proposal is desirable and should eventually be enacted. However, it is not absolutely essential at this time, and in view of the present financial situation I recommend against its enactment at the present time."

The bill is an important forest land conservation, development and use measure which the Department believes to be in the interest of the public. All the States, and nation-wide groups such as the Association of State Foresters, the Society of American Foresters, the American Forestry Association, and others are actively back of it.

Could you give consideration to recommending the measure with an amendment deferring appropriations one or even two years in the future? This in our judgment would be an important step forward.2



[13:OF 149:TS]

1Baker's telegram of June 17, 1935, asked Senator Fletcher to secure Roosevelt's endorsement of the Fulmer bill; Fletcher's letter of June 19, 1935 (OF 149), enclosed the telegram and asked that "careful consideration" be given to it.

2Answered post, 390.


WASHINGTON, D. C., July 9, 1935

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: In the $100,000,000 allocated to the Department of the Interior is an item of $824,000 to drain Tule Lake, a migratory waterfowl refuge of greatest value.

You will recall that this is the same refuge where, by ill-timed burning of vegetation on March 28th, over 500 nests of Canada geese were cooked this season.

Destroying Tule Lake Refuge for the sake of increased acreage of questionable agricultural land may result in another Klamath tragedy.

The Tule Lake drainage project should be stopped.

Yours very truly,


[13:OF 402:TS]


NEW YORK, N. Y., July 10th, 1935

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: With all the earnestness at our command, we urge you to issue an executive order closing the hunting season this year on migratory waterfowl. The plight of the ducks, due to legal hunting, commercialization, drought, drainage and other causes, is generally conceded. In our demand for a one-year closing, we are fully supported by a host of sportsmen, conservationists and their organizations throughout the length and breadth of the United States.

We have great confidence in the sincerity of purpose of the Chief of the Biological Survey in attempting to arrive at that decision which, in his opinion, will be to the best interest of the ducks, but we have reason to believe that at this moment his decision does not coincide with our view.

Two weeks ago we presented to you, in behalf of the Midwest Conservation Alliance, massed petitions representing 263,550 people in the Upper Mississippi Valley States, all of whom advocate a one-year closed season on migratory waterfowl this year. The great majority of these are duck hunters, members of sportsmen's associations and rod and gun clubs.

On June 30th last, the Midwest Game and Fish Commissioners, representing North and South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin, voted unanimously for a one-year's moratorium on the hunting of migratory waterfowl.

We hold that the above constitute impressive evidence of the strong sentiment existing among sportsmen for a closed season this year.

When even game commissioners, in possession of knowledge as to the abundant water supply on duck-breeding grounds this year, and in the face of probable decrease in their revenues from hunting licenses, vote for a closed season, it clearly demonstrates the extent to which those concerned with duck hunting as a sport are convinced of the necessity of closing this year.

It is a question of supply and demand. Darling estimates there were 18,000,000 to 20,000,000 ducks left this spring. Over 600,000 duck stamps were sold. That means less than 40 birds per hunter remain. Darling has estimated that between 8,000,000 and 9,000,000 birds were brought to bag during the last hunting season. We hold that these figures constitute proof of the necessity of a real restoration program now.

We heartily favor continuance of the restoration-of-breeding-ground program, which the Biological Survey has been so admirably executing throughout the past year. It will, however, serve no useful purpose unless there be ducks left to occupy the reclaimed areas.

We are just as anxious as is Darling to eliminate permanently the abuses in duck hunting, such as baiting, live decoys, sink boxes, sneak boats, batteries, etc. We highly commend Darling for his tentative conclusion to eliminate all these practices. We see no reason why this cannot be done coincidentally with a one-year closing.

We are fully cognizant of the inadequacy of enforcement funds available to the Survey. We are unwilling to admit, however, that this constitutes an effective argument against closing. The vast majority of duck hunters would, in our opinion, abide by a closed season regulation, and a great number of ducks would consequently be saved to return to the breeding grounds in the spring of '36.

We are not opposed to shooting. We recognize the recreational value of field sports. We believe that the season on migratory waterfowl might reasonably be reopened in the fall of '36, as with favorable water conditions on the breeding grounds in '35 and '36, it would not be unreasonable to anticipate the restoration of a supply of ducks which would permit a reopening.

We believe it is time to work out a plan which, in the light of known facts as to the supply of ducks and the number of guns, etc., will so operate as to prevent in future years any net depletion in the supply of migratory waterfowl as a consequence of factors within man's control. The supply is now so low that we must have restoration before application of such a plan.

Mr. Darling's tentative regulations aim only at a net restoration of 2,000,000 birds per annum. This, in our judgment, is wholly inadequate as an emergency fund to meet future drought years.

The continuance of the shooting privilege, as regards migratory waterfowl in 1935, would seem to us wholly inconsistent with the principles of the New Deal of the existing Federal administration.

An open season would constitute, in our opinion, a yielding to the cries of that small minority willing to further deplete the existing remnant of a great natural resource belonging to the people as a whole.

Sincerely yours,


P.S. We hand you herewith a booklet entitled, Shall Ducks Follow the Dodo?, in which further details of our view are presented.1

[13:OF 378:TS]

1Published by the National Association of Audubon Societies (New York, 1935). Answered post, 385.


WASHINGTON, July 10, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT: On May 30, 1935, you referred to me for preparation of reply, a letter, dated May 25, 1935, addressed to you by Senator Duncan U. Fletcher, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency, enclosing a draft of proposed legislation "To provide for extending credit to aid in the conservation and operation of forest lands, to establish a Forest Credit Bank, and for other purposes."

The Forest Credit Bank contemplated by this proposed legislation would have an original capital stock of $40,000,000, to be subscribed for by the Governor of the Farm Credit Administration on behalf of the United States, and the appropriation of this sum would be authorized. The bank would also be authorized to issue bonds, fully guaranteed both as to principal and interest by the United States, in an amount not exceeding $200,000,000 outstanding at any one time.

I have discussed this matter, by letter, with the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Governor of the Farm Credit Administration, and the Chairman of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. Their written views are transmitted herewith.1

I understand that the establishment of a Federal credit system to aid in the conservation and operation of forest lands is part of a general forestry program, related to long-time planning for the betterment of economic conditions along lines which have your general approval. If such a system is to be established the method proposed by Senator Fletcher is in general accord with the provisions contained in the Home Owners Loan Act, the Federal Farm Mortgage Corporation Act, and other acts, and I should say is the proper way to handle the matter.

Assuming, therefore, that the general purpose of the proposed legislation has your approval, my recommendation is that Senator Fletcher be advised that enactment of such legislation would not, at this time, be in accord with your financial program. From a budgetary point of view, such a conclusion, to me, seems inescapable. A draft of a letter to Senator Fletcher, for your signature, is enclosed.2


[13:OF 149:TS]

1Dated respectively June 26, 21, 12 and 8, 1935, of which the first is printed below. There is also present a copy of a memorandum by Fletcher on "Forest Units and Utilization," sent by him to RFC Chairman Jesse Jones on March 22, 1935, with a copy of Jones' reply of May 8, 1935. Commenting on Fletcher's plan to finance forest industry units through government loans, Jones said that financial aid "in the individual case was available through the RFC to sawmills, pulp mills, and other wood processing industries, but whether authority of the RFC should be extended to give greater aid to reforestation in a manner not amounting to a duplication of the reforestation program of the President," was a matter for Congress to decide.

2The proposed reply (a ribbon copy, on a White House letterhead, unsigned and undated) informed Fletcher that although the President was in sympathy with the purpose of the bill it was not in accord with his financial program. With this proposed reply are two memoranda, one by McIntyre, undated, "Do you want to send this letter?" and one by Roosevelt, July 17, 1935, "No answer—hold for further developments."


WASHINGTON, June 26, 1935

MY DEAR MR. BELL: Reference is made to your letter of June 4, requesting for the early consideration of the President a report on Senator Fletcher's draft of a bill "To provide for extending credit to aid in the conservation and operation of forest lands * * *"

This Department on the basis of careful study, and other conservation authorities, have recognized that a system of forest credits suited to the peculiar nature of the forestry enterprise is vitally necessary. In the Department's report of March 13, 1933 to the Senate (Copeland Report, Senate Document No. 12, 73rd Congress, 1st Session, pp. 1125-1134) a forest credit system was proposed substantially in agreement with Senator Fletcher's draft. Following the adoption of the conservation clauses of the Lumber Code (Article X) there was held under my chairmanship, beginning October 24, 1934, a series of conferences of public and private forest agencies which developed a complete legislative forestry program. That program includes specific approval for the establishment of a forest Credit agency under Federal control. In a general way, the program as a whole has been approved by the President.

Since the drafting of that program the Forest Service of this Department has been cooperating with the Farm Credit Administration in an intensive study of the credit problems involved. This investigation has confirmed the previous tentative conclusion that the work of a forest credit agency, dealing as it does with land use, is closely related to the agricultural credits handled by the Farm Credit Administration and can readily be integrated with its existing credit machinery. Senator Fletcher's draft is in substantial accord with the proposals developed by this joint investigation and will serve to complete the functions of the FCA in providing credit for most rural land uses. It is of special note that forest land use, which obviously requires long-term amortized loans, is now served by no adequate financial agencies although some aid has been given farm woodland owners by the Federal Land Banks. The 444 million acres of privately owned forest land considerably exceeds the crop land area.

This forest credit program will facilitate the private forestry program recommended by the National Resources Board. As noted in Senator Fletcher's letter the NRB report, although recommending a very large program of forest land acquisition by the public, estimates that 257 million acres of forest land will remain permanently in private ownership. The practice of forestry, for which forest credits are necessary, upon this immense acreage is an essential feature of the comprehensive plan of forest conservation to which the Administration is committed.

Although the principal organized agencies of the lumber industry have declared their intention to continue conservation activities following the dissolution of the lumber code, these efforts may be less effective than heretofore. Insofar as the long-term credit resources provided by Senator Fletcher's draft are utilized, all borrowers, because of having entered into a definite contract to operate under sustained yield, will be under even more effective control than was provided by the Lumber Code....1

For the foregoing and other reasons I strongly endorse Senator Fletcher's draft in principle. There is enclosed a memorandum by the Forest Service of suggestions as to certain details which we believe warrant careful consideration.2 Subject to such consideration, I heartily recommend the enactment of the legislation proposed by Senator Fletcher. It will be consistent with previous recommendations of this Department, and a constructive, necessary feature of the Administration's forest conservation program.



[13:OF 149:TS]

1Wallace here quoted from his 1934 Annual Report on using forest industries to take the place of less profitable agricultural crops.

2Silcox to Wallace, June 20, 1935. Silcox suggested certain changes in the detailed provisions of the bill and said that the Forest Service recommended its endorsement for early passage.

381 ROOSEVELT TO JOHN R. HICKS, Asheville, North Carolina

[WASHINGTON] July 11, 1935

DEAR MR. HICKS: I am glad to have your letter1 and I shall hope to see you when you next come to Hyde Park. In the meantime, I can only tell you that I wish I could have a trained forester but I cannot afford to do so. With the advice of the State College of Forestry, I am each year cleaning up or planting an additional small acreage. I am buying only a small portion of the Newbold farm—the rear end which, as you remember, used to be mostly in abandoned fields.

Very sincerely yours,


[13:PPF 2704:CT]

1July 9, 1935 (PPF 2704). Hicks, a recent forestry school graduate whose parents lived on the Newbold tenant farm east of the Roosevelt estate on the Albany Post Road, had referred to the President's acquisition of certain forest land in the Newbold tract.


WASHINGTON, July 11, 1935

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: In a discussion with Chief Forester Silcox you suggested that a plan be worked out for Federal aid to stimulate the acquisition and development of State forests, these to include the smaller and more isolated areas not suitable for national forests. Such a plan has been prepared and incorporated in the Fulmer bill, H. R. 6914, of which a copy is attached. The main provisions of this bill are:

Purchase by the Federal Government with the approval of the National Forest Reservation Commission.

Title to remain in the Federal Government pending reimbursement by the States from receipts.

States to carry the entire cost of development and administration, except from emergency funds.

Purchases only in conformity with plans approved by the Department, to insure a coordination of both national and State forest extension.

Standards of management and administration to be approved by the Secretary of Agriculture.

Technically qualified State organizations based on the merit system with preferential treatment to States which provide for such organizations by law.

The passage and enforcement by the States of satisfactory tax delinquency legislation by 1942 with preferential treatment for earlier passage.

Suitable provision for the voluntary or where necessary compulsory termination of agreements.

A suitable safeguard that this development is not to modify existing national forests or limit desirable extensions.

The bill has passed the House and is now before the Senate, where its passage is jeopardized by a report from the Budget that it is contrary to the financial policy of the Administration.

I believe that this legislation is sound public policy and that it would be very desirable from many standpoints if we could obtain the basic legislation during the present session of Congress. If you think that the amount of the authorization is excessive, would it not be possible for the Department to work out with the Director of the Budget an authorization on somewhat less than the $20,000,000 which would not be in conflict with the financial policy of the Administration?


[13:OF 149:TS]


WASHINGTON, July 13, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: In reply to your letter of July eleventh, relating to the Fulmer bill, H. R. 6914, it is my thought that it is an excellent law but that an appropriation at this time is impossible. Perhaps without an appropriation we could do a small part of the work this coming year out of the large appropriation bill, on condition we could get cheap land and put CCC boys to work.


[13:OF 149:CT]


WASHINGTON, July 15, 1935

MEMO FOR MAC: Tell Professor Baker that I know all about it and tell him I simply cannot have an interview; that I am in favor of the bill in principle but have no money at this time.1


[Notation: A] MHM spoke to him on phone

[13:OF 149:T]

1Harry Lee Baker, president of the Association of State Foresters, in a letter to McIntyre of July 11, 1935 (OF 149), had asked that a delegation from his organization be given an appointment with Roosevelt in behalf of the passage of the Fulmer State Forest Bill.


[WASHINGTON] July 17, 1935

MY DEAR MR. BAKER: Thank you for your earnest and comprehensive exposition of the views held by the advocates of a closed season.1 The number of petitioners is impressive. I want to assure you that this Administration is entirely sympathetic with the movement for the conservation of wildlife. It remains to be determined what measures and what means will best accomplish this objective. I assure you that your viewpoint and that of your associates will not be left out of consideration in formulating the regulations for this next season.

At my request a hearing was arranged for the presentation of your petitions to the Secretary of Agriculture and the Biological Survey on July eleventh. I understand that this hearing was held and I hope you received a cordial and receptive audience.

When the final draft of the regulations comes to me for authorization, I will keep in mind your arguments.2

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 378:CT]

1Ante, 378.

2Darling's letter to McIntyre, July 13, 1935 (OF 378), enclosing a draft of the letter here printed, reads in part: "In view of the President's inability to receive the petitions of the advocates of the closed season, I yesterday arranged a hearing before the Secretary of Agriculture and a committee of five from the Biological Survey. Mr. Baker presented his petitions and made a fair statement of his case. I think he went away feeling entirely satisfied with the hearing he had received."


WASHINGTON, July 19, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE: I think this is a very important survey to make. I suggest, therefore, that you ask for the $20,000 from the old $3,300,000,000 fund of 1933. I am sure that Secretary Ickes can take it out of this.

F. D. R.

[Notation: T] Let. from Secy. of Commerce, 7/18/35—re allotment of $20,000 to conduct survey of alleged injurious effects of the pulp mill pollution in the York River, Virginia.1

[13:OF 114—A:CT]

1(Not present; presumably returned to Roper.) Robert R. Moton, former president of Tuskegee Institute, was a leader in the effort to rid the York River of pollution. Writing to Roosevelt on May 28, 1936 (OF 114—A), Moton said that the pollution had ruined the oyster business and had driven "thousands of Negroes and many whites out of the counties to northern cities," where many of them were on relief.


[WASHINGTON] July 20, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT: I am enclosing a copy of H. R. 8455, a bill "Authorizing the construction of certain public works on rivers and harbors for flood control, and for other purposes," which was reported to the House of Representatives by its Committee on Flood Control on June 14, 1935, and is No. 418 on the Union Calendar.

The bill would authorize the construction by the War Department of 285 items of flood control work at a total estimated cost to the Federal Government of $370,450,000.

Federal participation in flood control works has heretofore been limited to works connected with navigation on projects such as the flood control of the alluvial valley of the Mississippi, the Sacramento River in California, and Lake Okeechobee in Florida.

The National Resources Board, in its report to you of November 28, 1934,1 treats of the subject of flood control in its relation to the broader question of the proper utilization and control of the water resources of the nation, involving, among other things, their use for the purposes of power, navigation, erosion, irrigation, and flood control, and recommends the undertaking of comprehensive and detailed studies with a view to the adoption of a broad national policy and program, properly integrated and coordinated.

Assuming that this recommendation of the National Resources Board has your approval, it would seem that the proposed legislation under consideration (H. R. 8455), which is concerned almost exclusively with the question of flood control, is at least premature.

The former Mississippi Valley Committee and the National Resources Board in their reports have advocated the allocation of a large share of the cost of flood control projects to States and local communities which may be benefited by the work and, as I am advised, the National Resources Board is now engaged in a special research and analysis of the question of allocation of such costs. The proposed bill provides for the construction of the flood control projects enumerated therein entirely at Federal cost, local contribution consisting principally of the necessary land, easements, and floodways, which would rarely amount to as much as one-half of the cost of a project. This would establish a new precedent with respect to the allocation of costs for flood control. It would seem unfortunate for such a precedent to be established prior to the completion of the current studies of the National Resources Board, which, I am advised, should be available before the next session of Congress.

Aside from the questions of policy referred to above and regarding the pending bill from a purely budgetary standpoint, I feel that its passage at this session of Congress should be viewed as not in accord with your financial program, as such passage will undoubtedly lead to a substantial appropriation for the fiscal year 1937. If once taken up in Congress its passage would seem assured, since it provides for projects in some thirty-odd States. The legislation has not been submitted to the Bureau of the Budget and I doubt if it will be.2




1Report on National Planning and Public Works (Washington, 1934).

2An attached memorandum, Roosevelt to Bell, July 22, 1935, reads: "Please take this matter up with the Speaker, the Chairman of the Rules Committee and the Chairman of the Committee on Flood Control and explain the situation to them." H. R. 8455 (introduced by Wilson, La.) authorized approximately one-half billion dollars for flood control projects in all parts of the country. Passed by the House by a narrow margin on August 22, it was debated at length in the Senate on the next day. Vandenberg (Mich.) and Tydings (Md.) denounced the bill as a shameless "pork-barrel" mishmash of unapproved projects, and on Tydings' motion it was recommitted by a majority of four votes (Cong. Rec., 74th Cong., 1st sess., 79:8, 9220; 79:13, 14174-14199, 14286-14287, 14288-14290, 14291-14305). Greatly modified, but still unsatisfactory to the National Resources Committee, the bill was again reported the following session. Because of Senator Copeland's sponsorship of it in the Senate it acquired the title "Copeland Bill" and was passed as the Flood Control Act of 1936.

3"CLD" stands for Charles L. Dasher, assistant to the Budget Director, and presumably the drafter of this letter.


WASHINGTON, July 22, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR HON. J. N. DARLING: Do you propose to do anything about purchasing Okefeenoki Swamp out of the $6,000,000?1


[13:OF I—F:CT]

1This refers to the act amending the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act of 1934 (49 Stat. 378); see ante, 367. Darling replied July 23, 1935 (OF I—F), that the Biological Survey planned to buy Okefenokee and was negotiating with the owners in an effort to reach a reasonable price.


WASHINGTON, July 23, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: I understand that the Reclamation Service has as part of its program the draining of Tule Lake, at a cost of $824,000. Will you let me know if this is contemplated?1


[13:OF 402:T]

1Answered post, 401.


[WASHINGTON, July 26, 1935]

MY DEAR MR. SECRETARY: Reference is made to your letter of July 8, 1935, concerning the Fulmer bill, H. R. 6914, to authorize an appropriation of $20,000,000 for the purchase and management of forest lands in cooperation with the States.

While I view what is proposed to be accomplished by this legislation as a splendid thing to do, my financial program does not admit of undertaking it at this time and your advice to the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry with respect to H. R. 6914 has my full approval.

I am afraid that you are a bit too optimistic in your feeling that if we should agree that the legislation be enacted at this time that the appropriation of funds could be deferred, in view of the fact that, notwithstanding your advice to the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, as quoted in your letter, the bill was favorably reported out by that Committee on July 22nd, without amendment. I had hoped this legislation could be postponed until the program it contemplates could be financed.1

Sincerely yours,


[Notation: A] 7/26/35

[13:OF 149:CT]

1H. R. 6914 was passed by the House on May 22, 1935. There the debate centered largely on an amendment requiring the Secretary of Agriculture to secure the assent of the National Forest Reservation Commission before ending any agreement made with a state. This amendment was adopted. In the Senate another amendment was added which gave to the state the authority to appoint the forester who would be in charge of the state lands acquired under the act. The Senate also reduced the original authorization of $20,000,000 to $5,000,000 (Cong. Rec., 74th Cong., 1st sess., 79:4, 4238; 79:7, 8016-8024; 79:11, 12068-12069, 12248-12249; 79:12, 12714-12715, 12866-12867, 13259-13260). The act was approved Aug. 29, 1935 (49 Stat. 963). The bill as introduced in the House, with the House report, is printed in the Congressional Record, 79:7, 8019-8024.


[WASHINGTON] July 26, 1935

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: We can make better use of retired agricultural land than anybody.

Others just grow grass and trees on it. We grow grass, trees, marshes, lakes, ducks, geese, fur-bearers, impounded water and recreation.

The six million we got from Congress and which you think is enough, is mostly going to buy Okefenokee, the ranches on the winter elk range in Jackson's Hole, the private lands that lie in the midst of the Hart Mt. antelope range, and for rehabilitation (dams and dikes) of the duck ranges we bought last year.

By the way, Secretary Ickes wants me to give him Okefenokee. Do you mind? I don't, only that it cuts into our nesting-area funds.

I need $4,000,000 for duck lands this year and the same bill which gave us the $6,000,000 specifically stated that at your discretion you could allocate from the $4,800,000,000 money for migratory waterfowl restoration.

We did a good job last year. Why cut us off now?1


[13:OF I—F:TS]

1Answered post, 393.


PORTLAND, OREGON, July 26, 1935

DEAR PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT: On April 29th, I wrote you in regard to bringing about cooperation of the Reclamation Service of the Department of the Interior with the Biological Survey in conserving waterfowl on sanctuaries which are on Reclamation projects.1

Your letter of May 13th was received saying that you were taking up the matter at once,2 which you did.

This culminated in a conference which I attended in Washington on July 22nd between Mr. Ickes, Mr. Mead, Mr. Darling and other members of the Biological Survey, which was very satisfactory.

One of the agreements reached which met with the approval of all members present was that our Tule Lake Wildlife Refuge, comprising about 10,000 acres and located on the Tule Lake Reclamation Project, should be enlarged. This is important and necessary in conserving waterfowl in southern Oregon and northern California.

As our federal wildlife sanctuaries on Reclamation projects are established by Executive Order, another Proclamation is necessary from you to cover this enlarged area. I trust this Proclamation may be issued by you as soon as possible.3

Appreciating your interest in our waterfowl resources, I am, Sincerely yours,


[13:OF I—F:TS]

1Finley's letter is not present. Finley (1877-1953) was a writer and lecturer on wildlife subjects. In addition to his work for the American Nature Association, he was for many years field biologist for the National Association of Audubon Societies and was vice president of the Izaak Walton League of America and the National Wildlife Federation.

2OF I—F.

3Answered post, 399.


[WASHINGTON] July 29, 1935

DEAR JAY: As I was saying to the Acting Director of the Budget the other day—"this fellow Darling is the only man in history who got an appropriation through Congress, passed the Budget and signed by the President without anybody realizing that the Treasury had been raided."

You hold an all-time record. In addition to the six million dollars ($6,000,000) you got, the Federal Courts say that the United States Government has a perfect constitutional right to condemn millions of acres for the welfare, health and happiness of ducks, geese, sandpipers, owls and wrens, but has no constitutional right to condemn a few old tenements in the slums for the health and happiness of the little boys and girls who will be our citizens of the next generation!

Nevertheless, more power to your arm! Go ahead with the six million dollars ($6,000,000) and talk with me about a month hence in regard to additional lands, if I have any more money left.

As ever yours,


[13:OF I—F:CT]


WASHINGTON [July 29, 1935]

MY DEAR MR. CANNON: I fully agree with you that Federal leadership and coordination are required in studies of our water resources, as suggested in your letter of July 20.1

It is my understanding that the changes made in the organization of the Water Committee of the National Resources Committee are intended to strengthen that organization by securing the cooperation of all of the Federal bureaus concerned with water projects, and at the same time preserve contact with the engineering and other professions which can contribute wise leadership in this field.

It is my hope that this new committee can stimulate the activities of the State Planning Boards in cooperation with other sections of the National Resources Committee so that national policy and State policy can be fully coordinated.2

Sincerely yours,


[Notation: A] 7/29/35

[13:OF 1092:CT]

1Cannon expressed concern over the "dissolution" of the Water Resources Section of the National Resources Committee; what was required, he said, was "strong Federal leadership in a unit, not necessarily large, which has vision, has formulated definite principles, and has evidenced capacity for making studies of problems which lead to long-range programs of development and use" (OF 1092).

2Drafted by the National Resources Committee.


WASHINGTON, August 2, 1935

MEMORANDUM . . . As a matter of national policy affecting both national forestry and trade agreements with foreign nations affecting imports, I wish you would give consideration to the following suggestions:

1. It is clear that we do not grow sufficient pulpwood in the United States to make our own print paper. We import wood pulp in large quantities and also print paper in large quantities.

2. The objective from the point of view of building up and maintaining adequate national forests is to cut, each year, only an amount equal to the annual growth.

3. Suggestion is made that the Government list each year the forest acreage in private ownership on which the principle of equivalent annual-growth-cut is maintained. The proportion which such land bears to the total privately owned forest acreage would represent what might be called a domestic quota. Everything above that domestic quota would be considered a foreign import quota which would be tax free. In other words, as, during a long period of years, the domestic forest area listed under the equivalent growth-cut plan increases, the domestic quota would increase and the foreign import quota would decrease.

This is at least worth studying.

I am sending for your information a mass of material submitted to me by the Maine Senators and Representatives. It has nothing to do with the above plan but if some plan could be adopted as a national policy, it will answer the people in the pulpwood States and furnish them with a concrete national policy on which to proceed.1


[Notation: T] State—Let. from Hollingsworth & Whitney Co., Waterville, Maine, 7/30, with attached memo; Senate Document 115; large manila envelope containing papers re this situation, being petitions from residents of Maine relative to newsprint and pulp and paper industry.

[13:OF 424:CT]

1Answered post, 404.


WASHINGTON, August 2, 1935

DEAR MR. MCINTYRE: Inclosed herewith, in accord with the request of the President, is a proposed reply to a letter received by the President from Mr. Ovid Butler, of the American Forestry Association.1 A question exists about the concluding sentence in the first paragraph. In discussing this letter, Mr. Silcox says he thinks it would be desirable if the President would sign such a letter as this, including the moot sentence. He adds: "This draft would commit the President on forest credit legislation. He indicated to me verbally that he favored it but later is said to have stated that he wished to give the proposal further study. I have been unable to learn the final conclusion reached."

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 149:TS]

1Ante 374.


WASHINGTON, August 5, 1935

MY DEAR MR. BUTLER: I am glad to have the expression of opinion in your letter of July fifth on the importance of passing forest credit legislation. during the present session of Congress. Senator Fletcher's proposal, which I have been studying, It appeals to me because it should stimulate bona fide sustained yield enterprises on privately owned lands, and to such enterprises loans are, should be specifically limited. It will afford me great pleasure, therefore, to endorse this legislation, and I hope that it may be enacted during the present session of Congress.

In general forestry legislation I look forward to something broad enough in its scope to cover the most important phases of both public and private effort not now definitely or adequately provided for, and something which will constitute a landmark in the progress of forest conservation for many years to come. In view of previous announcements it is hardly necessary to reaffirm my intention of submitting proposals to Congress at the first favorable opportunity.1

Very sincerely yours,

[Notation: A: LEHAND] Please rewrite

[13:OF 149:T]

1The interpolations (italicized) and deletions in this draft are in Roosevelt's hand. The revised letter was sent to Butler under date of Aug. 7, 1935, according to the accompanying carbon copy.


WASHINGTON, August 6, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: It is pretty late for us to discover that the salmon ladders at Bonneville may not work.1 It seems to me that all persons concerned should get together in a meeting and agree on something so that at least we can say to the country that we have all done the best we could. Criticism and objections after the Dam is half built get us nowhere.


[13:OF 360:CT]

1This refers to a note from Ickes of Aug. 3, 1935 (OF 360), expressing doubt about the practicability of the fish ladders proposed for Bonneville Dam.


[WASHINGTON] August 7, 1935

MY DEAR MR. FINLEY: I am happy to learn of your satisfaction over the conference between the Biological Survey and the Reclamation Service.1 The service you performed was a splendid contribution.

The Tule Lake refuge boundaries are now being studied for the proposed readjustment and barring unforeseen complications should make a greatly improved refuge.2

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF I—F:CT]

1See ante, 392.

2Drafted by the Bureau of Biological Survey.


[WASHINGTON] August 7, 1935

DEAR MR. AMBASSADOR: It is delightful to have your note1 and I am only sorry that you have been laid up for so long. I do hope that you will soon be out again.

I am keeping close touch with the copyright legislation.

In regard to the Appalachians, the studies are being pushed and the first step seems to be the continuation of the Skyline Trail along the Blue Ridge. Later on we plan for the development along the crest of the watershed and also a trail along the more westerly slopes. At least the nation is becoming conservation minded!

With my sincere regards, Faithfully yours,


[13:PPF 1742:CT]

1July 30, 1935 (PPF 1742), urging Roosevelt to preserve what was left of the Appalachian Mountain forests and protesting against legislation pending in Congress (S. 3047) to amend the copyright law.


WASHINGTON, August 10, 1935

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT On receipt of your note of inquiry of July 23 regarding the plans of the Bureau of Reclamation with reference to the Klamath Project, and with special reference to the draining of Tule Lake, I have made inquiry of Commissioner Mead and have the following information:

Tule Lake was drained twenty years ago.1 Nothing further in that direction is possible. On the contrary, the Bureau's program is to oppose any further encroachments on the sump area around this lake. In this connection Mr. Darling, Chief of the Biological Survey, Department of Agriculture, and Commissioner Mead had a conference on Wednesday, August 7, and are now engaged in working out a program for the better protection of bird life within the area of the Klamath Project.

The allotment of $824,000 for the Klamath Project, originally asked for, was reduced to $135,000. The larger program was to provide works for the irrigation of twelve thousand acres of land, all outside of the Tule Lake sump area. This has been abandoned. The reduced construction program provides for $135,000, which is to complete betterments on the other parts of the project.

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 402:TS]

1See post, 403.


[WASHINGTON] August 12, 1935

MY DEAR GOVERNOR MARTIN: Your letter of July fifteenth deals with a subject of great importance.1 I share your view that perpetuation of the forests and forest industries is very vital to the welfare of Oregon. Your State enjoys a unique opportunity to found a permanent economy and prosperity upon what can be made one of the most enduring of the natural resources and the steps it is taking under your guidance to realize that opportunity are both encouraging and gratifying. With the forests of its mountains complementing the fertility of its valleys, and with abundant hydro-electric power to process the products of both, the State of Oregon has open to it an economic future of great promise and appeal.

It now seems evident that passage to private ownership of so much of the most accessible and productive forest land in Oregon has aggravated rather than simplified the problems of permanent forest management. It will be necessary, as you suggest, to restore to public ownership a great deal of forest land that unwisely was allowed to pass into private control; and to create conditions under which private ownership of forest resources may be constructive rather than destructive. Arrangements to that end which clearly would contribute to the permanent public interest and could not be capitalized to private advantage deserve sympathetic consideration.

The legislation to create the organic basis of a Federal Forest Program, about which I wrote to you on January fourteenth,2 continues to command my interest but so many vital matters have claimed the attention of the Congress during the present session that I have hesitated to urge consideration of the forestry legislation. It is my hope that it can receive attention early in the next session.3

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 149:CT]

1Martin said that if disaster to the Oregon timber industry "a few decades from now" was to be averted, Federal acquisition of a considerable amount of commercial timber stands was necessary. He urged that the President suggest to the Congress the basis of a Federal forest program along the lines suggested in the latter's letter to the governors of Jan. 2, 1935 (OF 149).

2This is the letter sent to all state governors; the form copy, dated Jan. 2, 1935, is printed ante, 307.

3Drafted by the Agriculture Department.


WASHINGTON, D. C., August 17, 1935

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: The Tule Lake and Reclamation-Biological Survey cooperative agreement is still awaiting final modification by the Reclamation Service. Concessions satisfactory but progress slow. The file is in Dr. Mead's office.

The agreement, together with Executive Orders for your signature confirming the future management, should be in your hands August 20th.1

Yours very truly,


NOTE: Secretary Ickes in his letter to you has transposed the Tule and Klamath Lake areas.2 Tule Lake and sump are still amply supplied with water and a first class refuge. The $135,000 for further drainage is for development of agricultural lands adjacent to Tule, not Klamath. The modified program is satisfactory provided the proposed cooperative agreement is authorized.

Klamath Lake, the monumental wildlife tragedy of drainage fame, is a barren dry waste of twenty years standing. It is on the program for restoration if we can find the money.

[13:OF 402:TS]

1See post, 448.

2Ante, 401.


WASHINGTON, August 19, 1935

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: In accordance with your memorandum of August 2, 1935, careful study has been given to the idea of devising a quota limitation on imports of pulp wood, wood pulp, and newsprint in such a manner that the quota might be linked up with the encouragement of the extension of cutting under the principle of sustained yield in our privately owned forest acreage. I am enclosing an analysis of this idea prepared by an economist in the Tariff Commission who has participated in the preparations for a trade agreement with Canada, to which, however, I would like to add the following reflections.

As the enclosure indicates, it would be difficult to devise a quota limitation which, even theoretically, would be suitable to carry out the purpose. In fact, it seems to me that there would, in addition, become necessary some control of the domestic marketing of these products if the essential purpose of the idea, that is, the stimulation of sustained yield production by an increasing reservation of the domestic market for such production, is to be achieved. This, however, is only one of what I think are the major difficulties involved. In the first place, there is in this industry a very complex corporate interrelationship with much of the foreign raw material production under American ownership, particularly by American newspaper interests. Secondly, there is the problem of relationships between foreign producers and domestic consumers established under long-term contracts. Thirdly, it is hardly possible to anticipate what the result of an effective quota restriction would be upon the extremely complicated price situation in this industry, particularly since the element of freight rates plays a large part in this situation.

Finally, it is my understanding that those privately owned lands on which the principle of sustained yield is practiced are largely owned by interests who use their production for the supply of their own needs and who, therefore, are not particularly interested in the restriction of imports.

All of the foregoing considerations not only emphasize the complexity of the problem, but also the significance of the observations made in the report to the Senate on National Pulp and Paper Requirements in Relation to Forest Conservation,1 as quoted in the attached memorandum, to the effect that the pulp wood question cannot be isolated from the general forestry problem. In other words, it is clear that we are dealing with a much larger problem than may at first appear and one which can only be solved over a considerable period of time. The relatively simple procedure of a quota limitation on imports, much as it may appeal to certain elements in the industry, does not actually present a means of solving or improving the situation.

Turning to the relation of this problem to the trade agreements program, we find that it is, on the one hand, a problem requiring a much longer time period for its solution than that involved in the negotiation of individual trade agreements; on the other hand, as is pointed out in the enclosed memorandum, the binding on the free list of pulp and newsprint under trade agreements does not stand in the way of a long time program, since reservation can be made and, in fact, has been made in the agreement with Sweden for such necessity as might develop in connection with a program of production control or conservation.

Finally, I think that in considering the problem of the pulp wood and newsprint industry, we must not, by confining our attention to that industry alone, overlook the effects which any proposed action would have upon other American industries and, through their effect upon the general prosperity of the country, indirectly upon the pulp wood and newsprint industry itself. In this connection, I would call attention to the concluding portion of the enclosed memorandum, in which are suggested the serious effects upon our trade relations with Canada of a restriction of our imports of pulp and newsprint from that country.

Faithfully yours,


[13:OF 424:TS]

1C. E. Curran and C. E. Behre (S. Doc. 115, 74th Cong., 1st sess., Washington, 1935).

405 [Enclosure]

Memorandum on Pulpwood, Wood Pulp, and Newsprint

The President has requested that "as a matter of national policy affecting both national forestry and trade agreements with foreign countries" consideration be given to the following: At present we import woodpulp, pulpwood, and newsprint in large quantities to supplement domestic supplies of pulpwood. Moreover, the objective from the standpoint of forest management is to cut, each year, only an amount equal to the annual growth. Consequently, "the suggestion is made that the Government list each year the forest acreage in private ownership on which the principle of equivalent annual-growth-cut is maintained. The proportion which such land bears to the total privately owned forest acreage would represent what might be called a domestic quota. Everything above that domestic quota would be considered a foreign import quota which would be tax free . . ."

It is understood that the Forest Service is preparing a memorandum to the President on the manner of and extent to which it can be determined what proportion of our annual pulpwood cut is on a sustained-yield basis and the degree to which the management of pulpwood cutting must be related to forest management as a whole. It is assumed, for the purposes of the following discussion, that as a practical matter the proportion of sustained-yield cut to total cut can be determined.

The President's suggestion appears to present two major alternatives: Imports of pulp and paper could be limited (1) to the difference between total consumption of pulpwood (or its equivalent in pulp and paper) and the reasonable consumption by pulp mills of domestic wood from sustained-yield acreage, or (2) to total consumption minus that percentage of total consumption which our sustained-yield cut is of our total domestic pulpwood cut.

The first alternative is relatively simple. In effect it would merely offer the existing pulp and paper mills of this country the prospect that imports would be excluded in proportion as domestic timber cutting is on sustained-yield acreage. It is doubtful whether at present much more than half of the domestic cut is on a sustained-yield basis; and the total domestic cut supplies only about 50 percent of domestic consumption. Consequently a scheme of restriction such as the above would for some time to come permit more rather than less imports: Up to 75 percent of domestic consumption in comparison with the present 50 percent. The pulp mills and pulpwood owners who urge that immediate restrictions be placed on imports in order to provide a more certain market for the domestic product would not be satisfied by this arrangement. They contend, among other things, that forest management would be promoted by reservation of a stated portion of the domestic market to domestic producers. It is just as possible, however, that encouragement of pulpwood cutting in advance of a widespread sustained-yield program would not promote perpetual-cut logging. During the transition from "deforestation" to "perpetual cut" forestry, imports of pulp and paper appear essential.

The second alternative presents difficulties which are unavoidable as long as our total pulp and paper needs are not made the base from which to determine import policy. Assuming that the present sustained-yield pulpwood cut is about 50 percent of the total domestic cut, imports of pulp and paper would be permitted at approximately their present level of 50 percent of consumption. Then assuming that the sustained-yield cut increased to 75 percent to total cut, imports would be reduced to 25 percent of total pulp and paper consumption. To illustrate: Suppose consumption had been running about 10,000,000 cords per year, of which half, or 5,000,000, were domestic and the balance imported (principally as pulp and paper). If the sustained-yield cut reached 75 per cent of total domestic cut then, consumption remaining at 10,000,000 cords, imports would be reduced to 2,500,000 cords. But how would the balance of 7,500,000 be supplied? If sustained-yield cut were 75 percent of the previous total domestic cut, it would supply 3,750,000 cords, leaving 3,750,000 to be supplied by a domestic "deforestation" cut, or a greater deforestation proportion than originally. But it will at once be observed that the 3,750,000 cords of sustained-yield cut have once again become only 50 percent of total cut, and that the import quota would be increased to its original 50 percent of domestic consumption in accordance with the second alternative we are here analyzing. To avoid this stalemate it is necessary to assume: (1) That as the proportion of the domestic cut which is on a sustained-yield basis increases and imports are proportionately excluded, there will be a price increase in pulp and paper large enough to reduce domestic consumption to the approximate limit of the domestic sustained-yield, cut; or (2) that the pulpwood cut of this country can be put on a sustained-yield basis rapidly enough and in sufficient quantities not only to fill the gap left by excluded imports without price increases, but to replace the previous deforestation cut.1

Thus in excluding pulp and paper imports we may be exchanging the known for the unknown: definitively economical and profitable export industries for a domestic industry which is apparently at some competitive disadvantage. How much self-sufficiency in pulp and paper might cost the American consumers who, in 1929, used 220 pounds of paper per capita, cannot be calculated. But the requirements of this country for paper and paper stock are so complex and imports of pulp and paper so thoroughly a part of our international economy that the degree to which our domestic pulpwood cut is on a sustained-yield basis can be only one determinant of our policy relating to imports.2

[13:OF 434:T]

1Omitted is an extended discussion of the conclusions of the Senate report mentioned in the covering letter.

2No further mention of Roosevelt's quota limitation idea has been found.


WASHINGTON, Aug. 21, 1935

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Reference is made to your memorandum with regard to the plan of Mr. J. N. Darling, Chief of the Bureau of Biological Survey, for Federal cooperation in a program for restoration and conservation of the game resources of the country.1 Mr. Darling feels that, since the continuity of the program must be guaranteed, it must not be made dependent on annual appropriations by Congress. He suggests the establishment of a $10,000,000 permanent endowment fund to support the program. This fund is to be provided by the manufacturers of sporting arms and ammunition, who are said to be willing to pledge annual payments of ten per cent of their gross sales for the necessary period, on condition that the present Federal excise tax of ten per cent on firearms, shells, and cartridges is repealed, until such time as the $10,000,000 fund is completed. Under present law this tax will remain in effect only until July 1, 1937, but it may, of course, be further extended. This tax yields approximately $2,500,000 a year.

It seems to me that if Mr. Darling's program is of sufficient public interest to warrant its adoption by the Federal Government, it should be paid for by the necessary appropriations from public funds, in the same manner as other Federal projects. If its benefits are so doubtful, or so restricted, that it is proper for the firearms manufacturers to pay for it, I believe that it should be left to them to set up their own organization to carry it into effect. I do not think that the Federal Government should be placed in the position either of soliciting private contributions to support a public project of nation-wide scope, or of acting as an agency of any industry in carrying out a project of more benefit to that industry than to the public.

The foregoing would be true if the firearms manufacturers' pledges were to be entirely gratuitous. Additional objections to the scheme arise from their demand for a quid pro quo in the form of repeal of the firearms tax. Even if not further extended, this tax would yield one-half as much as the amount they propose to subscribe. Continuance of the tax would certainly be a more practical method of collecting $10,000,000 from the firearms industry than would the enforcement of voluntary pledges.

Mr. Darling's plan would require, in addition to repeal of the tax, legislation authorizing the acceptance of the contributions of the firearms manufacturers, the establishment of these receipts as a trust fund, and the investment of the principal, and permanently appropriating the income for expenditure. The Act passed at the last session of Congress repealing permanent indefinite appropriations established a policy contrary to such legislation.2

Mr. Darling does not give any reason for assuming that Congress would refuse to make annual appropriations for Federal cooperation in a program for restoration and conservation of the game resources of the country, especially if the Administration gave active support to such a project. In my opinion Congress is more likely to be willing to make the necessary annual appropriations than to enact the legislation necessary to carry out Mr. Darling's plan.

Faithfully yours,


[13:OF I—F:TS]

1Ante, 359.

2The Permanent Appropriation Repeal Act of June 26, 1934 (48 Stat. 1224).


WASHINGTON, August 23, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR HON. JAY N. DARLING: I enclose, for your information, a personal letter from the Secretary of the Treasury in regard to the proposed permanent endowment fund. Perhaps you will have a talk with Mr. Morgenthau in regard to it. In any event, we are really getting somewhere.1


[13:OF I—F:CT]

1Morgenthau's letter is printed above. Answered below.


WASHINGTON, D. C., August 26, 1935

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I am returning Secretary Morgenthau's memorandum on the proposed $10,000,000 permanent endowment fund for wildlife.1

Being aware of his competent administration as New York Conservation Commissioner, I am loathe to believe he even read it, to say nothing of writing it.

If he had he would not have said, if the public isn't sufficiently interested in wildlife to support it, let wildlife go hang, and if the manufacturers want game let them pay for it.

To assume that the public functions in its own behalf in proportion to its interest is absurd. And to assume that the manufacturers of sporting arms are ipso facto qualified biologists is quite equal to his assumption that Congress will consistently follow from year to year a program of national wildlife restoration. Continuity is essential. I know of no other way to accomplish the necessary reversal from down hill slide to upward climb for wildlife resources.

There is a growing and national movement to see that sportsmen's money shall go to sportsmen's benefits. It would seem a wise political move to take active leadership in this wholly justifiable contention rather than to ignore or oppose it.

If Secretary Morgenthau had said, "No, we need the money," I could have been reconciled, but to deny it on the ground that the Government has no duty to perform in coordinating the various forces under wildlife leadership is more than my placid disposition can accept.

I thought we were "really getting somewhere" until Mr. Morgenthau threw the gears into reverse. That's not the direction I'm going.



[13:OF I—F:TS]

1Ante 406.


[WASHINGTON] August 26, 1935

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: About recognizing wildlife as a valued agency of public service—it hasn't been so far you know—the only money specifically allocated to wildlife out of the emergency funds so far was your one million last year. All the rest we have had to suck through borrowed straws out of some one else's barrel!!—and it's been tough going.

And about that six million which I believe you mentioned. You suggested that I try to get a special act of Congress for Okefenokee and the Jackson Hole elk. Remember? When I found where the money was and how to get it, that Mr. Ickes was sitting on it and didn't have anything in particular he was going to do with it. I added just a little change for the antelope range in Hart mountain so we won't have to pass the tin cup every winter to buy hay.

We could do a swell job with four million and a fair one with three. It's O. K. with Congress—see Act H. R. 7982, Pub. No. 148, 74th Congress, Sec. 501.1



[13:OF I—F:TS]

149 Stat. 378; see ante, 367.

410 ROOSEVELT TO OTIS MOORE, Roosevelt Farm, Warm Springs

[WASHINGTON] August 26, 1935

DEAR OTIS: I am glad that you are getting ready to cut and that the sawmill is ready to start operating in September. I think that instead of making sales directly, it should be done through the Foundation. Speak to the new Manager there and have him handle the sales with your approval, of course. Incidentally, there should be a good deal of dead or dying timber cut on the Foundation property itself and we could charge them a reasonable amount per thousand feet for the cutting and sawing.

In regard to the trees on the Georgia Wilkins1 land, be sure not to cut any of those fine, big trees unless they are dead or dying. Also, be careful not to injure any of the young growth, especially the young long-leaf Pines.

I am glad that the crops and the cattle are getting on so well. I hope we can get rid of some more stock at a good price this fall or winter and cut down the net loss on the farm.

Very sincerely yours,



1Miss Wilkins was former owner of the Warm Springs property.


WASHINGTON, August 26, 1935

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I transmit information you asked for some time ago.1

You spoke to me the other day about Forest Communities such as they have in the Black Forest. Since August first a plan for one of these which we hoped would form the pattern for many others has been at Works Progress. It has been decided, I understand, to smother it there. I just want to be relieved of responsibility.



[13:OF I—C:TS]

1This is a twenty-four page typed statement by Forester Silcox on the forest situation in the United States, with case histories of communities that had been ruined through "cut-and-get-out" lumbering methods. It was prepared for Roosevelt for use in a speech.


[WASHINGTON] August 31, 1935

MY DEAR MR. HILL: Receipt is acknowledged of your letter of July 25, addressed to Mr. McIntyre, with inclosures.1 I note your concern over reports that certain land purchase projects in the State of Washington on which numerous options have been taken, are about to be abandoned. The projects referred to were developed by the Agricultural Adjustment Administration serving in a technical capacity for The Land Program of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. The program has since been transferred to the Resettlement Administration.

Of the two projects referred to, I am informed that the Big Bend project has been abandoned, largely because of the subsequent decision to construct the foundation of the Grand Coulee Dam so as ultimately to provide for a high line reservoir. This would make a large proportion of the Big Bend project potentially irrigable. The Northwest Washington land project, however, is being continued with a moderate reduction in total area to be purchased necessary to bring it within the financial requirements of the program.2

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 1414:CT]

1Hill said that the Agriculture Department had obtained options on large sections of land, and the farmers, in anticipation of early sales, had not planted crops and were in consequence worse off than before (OF 1414). The enclosures were letters received by Hill protesting abandonment of the submarginal land retirement program.

2Drafted by the Agriculture Department.


THE WHITE HOUSE, September 5, 1935

I have with some reluctance disapproved H. R. 3019, An Act to amend "An Act to stop injury to the public grazing lands by preventing overgrazing and soil deterioration, to provide for their orderly use, improvement, and development, to stabilize the livestock industry dependent upon the public range, and for other purposes," approved June 28, 1934 (48 Stat. 1269).

Some of the changes effected by this legislation were proposed to the Congress by the Department of the Interior. These changes, however, were relatively simple in scope and did not involve radical alterations in the principles of the original law.

Other changes effected by the provisions of this Bill are not sound. They would nullify in large measure the benefits of the Taylor Grazing Act and would make the administration of that Act along sound conservation lines virtually unattainable.

I append hereto copy of memorandum furnished me by the Department of the Interior and I note also the recommendation of the Department of Agriculture that the Bill be not approved.

I am confident that at another session of the Congress the matter can be reconsidered and more suitable legislation passed.



WASHINGTON, August 26, 1935

MEMORANDUM TO THE PRESIDENT: I am returning to you House Bill 3019, amending the Act approved June 28, 1934 (48 Stat., 1269), to regulate grazing on the public domain.1 I recommend that this bill be not approved because of the irreparable damage that would result, if it became the law, to the present program for the orderly use, improvement and development of public grazing lands and for the stabilization of the livestock industry. The provisions in the amendatory act dealing with the exchange, leasing, and outright grant of lands would not only defeat the fundamental objectives of the present grazing law but through their operation might make it possible in a few years for the States to acquire all of the non-mineral unreserved public domain. I do not believe that Congress desires by indirection to make this tremendous grant of land to the States when, I am sure, it would be unwilling to do so directly. Because of the vague and obscure phrasing of many portions of the amendment various interpretations of its meaning are possible, which will undoubtedly result in prolonged and costly litigation. In view of the large public interests involved, I believe I am justified in assuming that the most undesirable results that are possible from any permissible interpretation of this bill are the results that would be likely to flow from it.

There are 165,000,000 acres in the public domain, which for many years have been subject to the unrestricted grazing of cattle and sheep, resulting in the destruction of a valuable natural resources in forage cover and the ruin of the land itself through erosion once the protective vegetative cover has been weakened by over-grazing. This situation brought about the enactment of the Taylor Grazing Law in 1934, which made it possible for the first time to provide for a coordinated, regulatory program for the use by stockmen and sheepmen of 80,000,000 acres of the public domain. This law and the plan of administration adopted by the Department of the Interior which provides for local self-determination of practical range problems has been given enthusiastic support by those intended to be benefited.

The amendatory act now before me expands to 142,000,000 acres the area subject to inclusion in grazing districts. This, in other circumstances, I would heartily favor. I do not believe, however, that the benefits resulting from an enlargement of the controlled area would outweigh the evils which would follow the changes in the law that are now proposed. I am unwilling to sanction the despoilment of the remaining public domain in the name of conservation or set the stage for the abandonment of homesteads by small owners under pressure from livestock interests which would follow the signing of this act. I cannot believe that the majority of the legislative branch understood the vicious cycle of events that might follow the enactment of this apparently beneficent measure.

The bill makes mandatory the exchange of State-owned lands for public lands of equal value, regardless of whether such exchanges are in the public interest, merely on the application of the State. These exchanges could be effected within, as well as outside of established grazing districts and it does not require any preternatural wisdom to foresee that the States would select those public lands within a grazing district that are vital to the administration of the particular area. They could take away from the United States Government lands upon which it had expended public funds for fencing, the development of water, and other range improvements, and which would produce revenue to the Government under the present leasing system.

The States exclusively, and not the Federal Government, would be the moving parties in these exchanges, nor is any discretion given the Secretary of the Interior to protect the interests of the grazing districts. The States, on the other hand, are given the opportunity of consolidating their land holdings within grazing districts by exchanging lands within or outside of the boundaries of the grazing districts. The Federal Government would have no option except to dispossess itself of its own land at the behest of the coveting State. Through the operation of this provision the Federal Government could be required to relinquish the most advantageously situated public lands in exchange for the least desirable tracts, most of which in turn would probably pass to the States at the end of two years as isolated tracts under another provision of the amendatory bill which I will discuss later.

This inequitable and unrestricted power would inevitably increase the instability of the livestock industry that is dependent upon the public range and which the present grazing law was intended to benefit. The small livestock operator could not prosper under an arrangement by which lands might be selected by the State for the use of special interests which might happen in the future as it has in the past. The exchange of lands can only be justified in order to consolidate holdings for the better and widest possible use of the range and the Federal Govern should have not only the right but the responsibility of determining that exchanges and consolidations involving the national estate shall serve the fundamental purposes of the grazing law and conform to a well considered land-use program.

I have mentioned the isolated tracts that undoubtedly would be acquired by the Federal Government under the exchange clause of this proposed amendment. These isolated tracts, under Section 8 of the bill, insofar as they are vacant, unappropriated, unreserved and non-mineral would automatically be granted to the State two years after the passage of this act. It is the combination of this mandatory requirement with the exchange privilege that under a possible interpretation of the amendment might ultimately deprive the Federal Government of practically all of its public land holdings as well as take the breath of life out of the present grazing law.

In order to comprehend the meaning of the "isolated tract" provisions, one must understand that in the public land States the surface has been divided into townships each of which is six miles square. Every township has 36 sections, each of which is one mile square and numbered for identification purposes. In every township in the West, sections 16 and 36 have been granted to the States in aid of common schools. In Arizona, New Mexico and Utah four sections, 2, 16, 32 and 36, have been so granted. Now if we take as an example a township that has passed wholly out of Federal ownership, two sections, 16 and 36, having belonged to the State under Federal grant, and the remainder having gone to private individuals, we would find that under the mandatory exchange provision the State could use its two sections to exchange for still other Federal lands and the two sections in question would again become Federal lands. Since, however, they would in all likelihood be "isolated or disconnected tracts," they would automatically revert to State ownership two years after the passage of the act if unappropriated or unreserved. Thus the State would eat its cake and have it too.

I call attention to the situation in one public land State that has a total public domain area of almost 14,000,000 acres. Proposed grazing districts in this State approximate 11,000,000 acres, leaving about 3,000,000 acres of public domain outside of the grazing districts. There are over 5,000 isolated tracts included in these 3,000,000 acres. The State now owns more than 3,500,000 acres from previous Federal grants, which it would be privileged to exchange for any of the public domain within its boundaries. It could acquire automatically at the end of two years the 3,000,000 acres of Federal lands lying in isolated tracts outside of the grazing districts. It could then exchange the now State-owned lands and the isolated tracts thus acquired for areas of equal value within the proposed grazing districts which once again would leave the Government with large areas in isolated tracts which would in their turn be subject to reversion to the State by the same automatic process. While the amendment prohibits State exchanges within grazing districts, except for the purpose of consolidation, it also permits the State to enlarge its holdings within a district in order to accomplish this objective. It can be seen that by pyramiding these exchanges the entire public domain in due course could be acquired by States, all without volition on the part of the United States Government which owns the land.

The "isolated tract" and the "leasing" clauses have a special significance in railroad land grant areas. In one State there is a strip of land over 300 miles long and 40 miles wide in which the odd-numbered sections, consisting in total of one-half of the area, were long ago granted to the railroad. The even-numbered sections, comprising in the aggregate several millions of acres, are "isolated or disconnected tracts" which, unless appropriated or reserved, could automatically pass into State ownership under the proposed law.

The amendatory act also provides that occupants of lands contiguous to isolated or disconnected tracts shall be entitled to lease them. The language is mandatory. Consider the effect in an area such as that in which odd-numbered sections have been granted to a railroad and even-numbered sections remain largely in public ownership. These public lands are all in the category of "isolated and disconnected tracts," while the contiguous sections are railroad lands. It is common knowledge that vast areas of these railroad lands have been sold or leased to large and powerful stockraising interests. Under the terms of the act under consideration the occupant of the railroad lands and no one else would be entitled to lease the intervening even-numbered sections. Thus this provision patently would operate for the benefit of the large holder.

The small stockman who has taken a stockraising homestead on an even-numbered section in such a region would find himself in a sad plight for the reason that no homestead is contiguous to checkerboarded public lands. He would be deprived of all right or opportunity to acquire by lease or otherwise any other even-numbered section in the region. It is the wise intent of the grazing act of 1934 that, commensurate with proper use, the small owner shall be given at least an equal opportunity with his more powerful neighbor to enjoy the benefits of regulated grazing on the public lands. This will not be possible if this act becomes law.

The present program for administering the isolated tracts is based upon a leasing system which permits stockmen to acquire the right for a period not to exceed ten years to graze their herds on the public domain. Under the amendatory act such a lease could be cancelled arbitrarily as the result of the exchange provision. The grazing administration should not be required to issue leases that lack assurance to the lessee that he will not be disturbed for the term of the lease, particularly when such a lease can be made a valuable credit asset at the bank.

The bill also authorizes employment of personnel without regard to the provisions of the civil service and limits employment to bona fide citizens and residents of the State in which service is to be rendered. This would mean that the employees in any grazing district whose chief duty it is to maintain fair dealing among local permittees, would themselves be local residents subject to local pressure, to the vagaries of local factional strife, and to the whims of some dominant local stockman. The civil service has proved itself an excellent medium for the selection of qualified employees and the maintenance of personnel free from the pressure of powerful local or selfish interests. Civil service rules should continue to govern employment in the grazing administration. Qualifications and not residence should control the selection of personnel.

In conclusion, I may summarize my reasons for withholding my approval from this amendment: The exchange and isolated tract provisions would probably promote monopolistic private control of a natural resource and tend to destroy the small stockman and homesteader; they could result eventually in transferring title to the remaining public domain to the States; they would practically destroy the two principal objectives of the present grazing law, which are the conservation of a valuable natural resource and the stabilization of the livestock industry; and they would turn over to local control the management of a national resource by restricting the power to select personnel. Above all, the most fatal result would lie in the subversion of our national conservation program which this Administration has fostered and which I desire to promote in every possible way.

If and when the Congress shall desire to establish a different land policy and embark upon a radically new course with respect to what remains of our public domain there should be a frank and full consideration of the subject. One hundred and sixty-five million acres of land that belong to the people as a whole should not be permitted to be alienated as the result of obscure language, the implications of which were undoubtedly not understood when this act was pending. I cannot believe that the Congress intended to do indirectly what it has thus far refused to do directly. The chosen officials of the people must vigilantly guard the common heritage of the people.

Very sincerely yours,



1Hearings were held on this bill and on the Senate companion bill: House Committee on Public Lands, To Provide for the Orderly Use, Improvement and Development of the Public Range, Hearings, 74th Cong., 1st sess., on H. R. 3019, March 1-12, 1935 (Washington 1935); Senate Committee on Public Lands and Surveys, To Amend the Taylor Grazing Act, Hearings, 74th Cong., 1st sess., on S. 2539, May 15, June 12, 1935 (2 pts.) (Washington, 1935). The debate, which was vigorous, traversed much the same ground as that covered in the debate on the Taylor bill. The President's statement and the accompanying statement by Ickes were not addressed to the Congress (which had adjourned) but were issued as a matter of public information. Roosevelt explained most of his vetoes; see statement in Rosenman (ed.), Public Papers, III, 305-306.


[WASHINGTON] September 6, 1935

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Enclosed find copy of S. 3417, introduced by me August 14, 1935: "To provide for extending credit to aid in the conservation and operation of forest lands, to establish a forest credit bank, and for other purposes," copy of tentative draft of which was submitted to you and by you—I understand, referred to Secretary Wallace, Governor Myers, and Director of the Budget Bureau.

You will recall that I discussed with you—on at least two occasions, this proposed legislation.

As this bill pertains to a subject in which you have on many occasions expressed interest, it may be that you would—in due course, care to advise me as Chairman of the Committee.

I have requested views of Secretary Wallace, Governor Myers, and Director of the Budget Bureau.

Very respectfully and sincerely,


[13:OF 149:TS]


BUFFALO, N. Y., 1935 Sept. 6

[Telegram] DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I have just read the memorandum of the Dept. of the Interior which accompanies the veto of the amendments to the Grazing Act.1 Its contents compel me to express my great regret that you saw fit to act upon that recommendation. As one who supported this bill and helped to draft some of its criticized provisions, I challenge the accuracy of the memorandum and I resent the charge that the bill was written in the interest of monopoly and special privilege. I do not hesitate to say that the western states are the most progressive in the Union and that with respect to the great liberal movement in which we are engaged, the record of the public land states will bear comparison with that of any other part of the country. The public land states are entitled as a matter of right to the protections against bureaucratic control which were written into this bill. If you had the time to reread the memorandum I feel that you would share my belief that its author was more concerned about firmly establishing complete control of grazing than about protecting the small stockman and homesteader. What possible objection can there be to the selection of supervisory officials from the states which are affected? What better way could there be to protect the small stockman and the homesteader than to give him a voice in the regulatory administration? Observe the contemptuous attitude toward the states which the memorandum displays. Exchanges would be made "merely on the application of a state." The Federal Government would have to act "at the behest of the coveting state." Again a state "would have its cake and eat it too." The provisions of this bill for the exchange of lands with states were drafted after consultation with representatives of the Department and the members of the committee were led to believe they were satisfactory. The new draft was necessary to carry into effect the provisions of the present law with respect to exchanges and leases which the Interior Department has chosen to disregard. Had I had the opportunity to examine the memorandum I am confident I should have been able to convince you that its arguments are without foundation in fact and that you could have safely relied upon the judgment and good faith of the members of the Committees on Public Lands in both the House and Senate who, as I recall, unanimously approved this bill.2


[13:OF 633:T]

1Ante, 414.

2Answered post, 420.


HYDE PARK, N. Y., September 7, 1935


DEAR MR. PACK: Many thanks for sending me those interesting clippings and the article.1 Some day I hope to talk with you in regard to the future of CCC. I believe very firmly that it is one of the things which must be made permanent but this raises important question relating to the unemployment situation, not only as of today but as of the future.

Very sincerely yours,


[13:PPF 191:CT]

1Enclosed in Pack's letter of Sept. 6, 1935 (OF 268). The article, "Pack Asks Action on CCC Enlistments," appeared in the Forestry News Digest, September, 1935; the clippings referred to the article. In this Pack urged that the Civilian Conservation Corps be continued.


SALEM, OREGON, September 13, 1935

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: The purchase of submarginal land by the Federal Government and the transfer of the settlers owning this land to other areas upon which they are more apt to be able to make a living has attracted considerable interest in this state, particularly in eastern Oregon. I understand that the submarginal land program has been decreased by approximately 52 per cent because of either overexpansion of the projects at their inception or a too rapid expenditure of funds. I have been endeavoring to get the submarginal land purchase program expanded into two additional areas in eastern Oregon, but without success. I am informed that it is impossible to expect any expansion, and I am appealing direct to you, presenting the situation as it has been reported to me by special investigators.

In northern Lake County, Oregon, there is an area of approximately 400,000 acres of land which is wind blown, drought stricken, and from which the majority of the settlers have left or are about to leave. This area borders national forests and grazing districts set up under the Taylor Act. It was originally grazing land, and in the opinion of those who should know, should be restored to grazing. It probably can be purchased at an average of $2.50 an acre.

In addition to this, numerous settlers in southern parts of Deschutes and Crook Counties have appealed to me for help in getting the submarginal land purchase program extended to them in order that they may realize something from the equity in their dry-farm homesteads in order to move elsewhere where they may be more apt to make a living. This land, like that in northern Lake County referred to above, was originally grazing land of a desert type and is fit for nothing else. There are probably 100,000 acres of this type of land, perhaps more. These holdings are scattered, while those in northern Lake County are pretty generally consolidated.

It probably would require from $1,200,000 to $1,500,000 to purchase the land which is involved in these two general regions, in which the present settlers have expressed a desire to sell to the Government. Two purposes would be served. First, these people would be given an opportunity to restore themselves to a more secure and stable economic status. Second, the land purchased would logically be incorporated into grazing districts and come under the general supervision of the Division of Grazing of the Department of the Interior. I am therefore requesting that you give this matter personal attention and refer it to the proper authorities with the suggestion that they cause to be made a careful investigation of the adaptability of these lands to their present use. May I request that if your investigators come to the same conclusions as mine, that you extend the submarginal land purchase program to these two areas.1

With kindest regards, I am, Cordially and sincerely yours,


[13:OF 1414:TS]

1Answered post, 429.

419 SPEECH BY ROOSEVELT, Lake Placid, New York, September 14, 1935

GOVERNOR LEHMAN, COMMISSIONER OSBORNE, MY FRIENDS: Today brings back many memories. The last time I was in this spot, speaking in fact from this same platform, I am told, was three years ago at the time of the Olympic ice sports. We had as our guests in the State a great many men and women from Europe, most of the countries of Europe, and Japan. I am very glad that this beautiful Stadium has proven its usefulness on a good many other occasions.

My memory goes back a good deal further than three years ago, in fact it goes back to twenty-five years ago, when a very young and unexpectedly elected Senator from the Hudson River Valley, because they couldn't think of anything else for him to do in the Senate, made him a Chairman of what was known as the Forest, Fish and Game Committee. It was a post that was supposed to be a sinecure, one of no importance, became in those days there was no such thing as the Conservation Department. The Forest, Fish and Game Commission of the State, headed up by an old friend of mine, the father of Commissioner Osborne, started in during the following two years on what was the germ of this great development. We had been protecting what game we had left, we had been planting a few fish in the streams and, with an entirely inadequate force, we were trying, almost in vain, to prevent fires in the Adirondacks. As a matter of fact, the Adirondacks Preserve and the Catskill Preserve in those days were only half the size that they are today. We were growing in the nurseries of the State a few hundred thousand trees, very few people were using them and there was practically no interest in what you and I know today as conservation in its broadest sense.

But, beginning under the leadership in those days of Commissioner Osborne—Lithgow's father—people began to take an interest. There was a very fine episode that occurred in that session of the Legislature. I was very keen, after having studied the subject, to get the people of the State interested in preventing soil erosion in the Adirondacks. There were great areas which had been cut over, the tops of the trees remaining far above the ground. I wanted to get through what was known as the Top Lopping Law and I wanted to get people interested in seeing to it that the trees were preserved on the tops of our mountains. So I invited the Chief Forester of the United States, a man by the name of Gifford Pinchot, who was one of the pioneers of forestry, who had studied in Europe, in come up to Albany. We had a session in the Assembly Chamber and to it I succeeded in getting a large number of Senators and Assemblymen.1

Gifford Pinchot put two pictures on a screen and those two pictures did more than any other thing to sell conservation to the Legislature of the State of New York. One of them, the first one he showed, was a photograph of an old Chinese painting, the painting of some place up in North China having been executed in approximately the year 1510, four hundred years before this talk that he was giving. It showed a beautiful valley, and a walled town in the valley. It was a town which, history says, had three hundred thousand people in it. There was a beautiful stream running through that valley with fields and crops on both sides of it. It was obviously a stream that was not subject to flood conditions. The mountains on each side of the valley were covered with spruce pine forests, clear to their tops. But, if you examined this old painting, you would see that up on the side of one of those mountains was a streak, and if you examined it closely, you found that it was a logging chute. In other words, those old Chinamen, four hundred years before, had begun to cut the timber off the top of the mountain and they were chuting it down to the valley for all kinds of purposes. They had never heard of conservation and history shows that for the next one hundred years the people in that valley cut off all the trees from the top of the mountain.

Then came the second picture, one that Gifford Pinchot, I think, had taken himself, had taken from the identical spot where the first painting had been made. That second picture showed a desert. It showed mountains that had rocks on them and nothing else. There was no grass, no trees, just rocks. In other words, the entire soil had been washed off those mountains and there they were, bare for all time. Down in the valley, the old, walled town was in ruins. I think there were three hundred people left in the ruins, trying to eke out a meagre existence. The stream had become a flood stream. Rocks and boulders had covered the fertile fields that once existed on both sides of the stream.

There you saw the wreck of a great civilization of four hundred years ago and nothing left except some ruins and rocks.

Well, that picture in those days, twenty-five years ago, sold conservation and forestry to the Legislature of the State of New York. And, as a result, we were enabled to get through the first important legislation for conservation. From that time on, you and I know the history. You know that a few years ago we started a more ambitious program in the State, not only for fish and game, but also for the continued purchase by the State of submarginal land and worked out a program for the better use of land as a whole.

It is fine to see this splendid and efficient force under the State Conservation Department. Each year that goes by, they are becoming more efficient, and this is one of the activities of the State that I am very certain will keep going through all the years.

I am glad also to see these boys from the CCC Camps. It is just two years ago when a certain person, who was entering a political campaign, suggested that for the preservation of the forests of the Nation, for the planting of acres that needed planting, for the purposes of preventing soil erosion and, incidentally, for the purpose of helping a great many unemployed families, that the Government of the United States ought to take several hundred thousand young men and ask them to go into forests all over the United States, to preserve those forests and to increase them. And I remember the comment that greeted that suggestion. Some of you who are here remember the ribald laughter about planting trees, this "crazy dream," this "political gesture."

Well, there are five hundred and ten thousand young men today in CCC Camps in every State of the Union. They are preserving the forests and the soil of the United States for generations to come. The idle dream has become a fact. And I see no reason why I should not take this occasion to tell you that, in my judgment, these Camps that do so much good in every State of the Union are not only good for future generations but are doing a lot of good for this generation. I see no reason why I should not tell you that these Camps, in my judgment, are going to be a permanent part of the policy of the United States Government.2

Of course, I do not know if, when Congress meets again, we shall be able to continue them on the present very large scale. Over one million boys, during the past two years, have passed through or are now in those Camps. We have over five hundred thousand now but, if things go along as they are today with a general pick-up in employment, it is my thought that in the future years, the people of this country might well afford to have, every year, three hundred thousand young men go through these Camps. We have, very literally, only just scratched the surface. We have a long ways to go. There is enough work in sight right in this State—I think Commissioner Osborne will bear me out—to continue the work of the CCC Camps for a whole generation to come.

There is one more point that I would like to make to you who are regularly in the service of the State. You are accomplishing the forestry game end of it. You are accomplishing an exceedingly useful purpose. There has been great progress on State lands but, at the same time, one of our problems is to extend the knowledge and practice of forestry to private lands as well. This state is not nearly as badly off today as a great many other States, but, of course, lumber, timber, is a commercial asset to the Nation. And so, outside of these permanent Government preserves, where we are not going in for commercial timber, outside of those areas, there are millions of acres that are being used for commercial forestry. The professional foresters, of which I almost consider myself one because they made me an honorary member—the professional foresters of the country sometimes use long words: They are all working today for what they call "sustained yield." Well, the average citizen does not understand what "sustained yield" means. So, for those average citizens I will translate it in this way: What we are seeking in all the privately owned forest lands, from the farm woodlot up to the large lumbering operations, what we are seeking is the treatment of trees as a crop. Now, that does not mean merely a crop, but an annual crop.

In other words, we must start at the bottom and persuade the farmer that he must only take off his woodlot each year the amount of trees—lumber, logs, cordwood, whatever it may be—equivalent to the growth made in that woodlot that year. And so with the larger lumbering operations. There are more and more lumber companies with very large acreage who are coming to this annual crop theory. With that, we shall eliminate some of the terrific evils of the past. Not in this State, but in many States you will find abandoned communities, communities that sometimes ran as high as three thousand or five thousand people, that were put in there for a lumbering operation. The timber was cut clean over a period of five or ten years and then that community was abandoned to its fate. If you put this thing on an annual basis, your communities in the forest areas will last for all time.

Then there is one other phase of it that is worth thinking about. If timber is treated as an annual crop, it becomes an asset on which you can raise money and I hope that the next session of the Congress will pass legislation which will extend credit to the owners of forest land, credit based on the asset of the crop. There is no reason why either Government or private banking industry should not consider trees just as much of an asset, if they are properly taken care of, as houses or barns or anything else on which, today, we extend credit.

These are some of the things that Conservation has got to look forward to, and in the meantime the spreading of the gospel, the spreading of the gospel of conservation, is something that we are succeeding in accomplishing. The people in the last two years have become more and more conscious of the practical economic effect of what we are doing. They are becoming more and more conscious of the value to themselves, city dwellers and country dwellers, in protecting these great assets of nature that God has given us.

And so, my friends, as a very old Conservationist, I am glad to be with you here today and to congratulate you on the fine work that you are doing. May it go on through all the years.3


1Cf. ante, 12.

2Roosevelt again promised to keep the Civilian Conservation Corps going as a permanent institution in a speech at the CCC camp at Warm Springs on Dec. 7, 1935 (Speech File).

3This speech (delivered at 9:45 A. M.) was exemporaneous; the text here printed is that of the official stenographic transcript. The occasion was the celebration of the fiftieth year of conservation in New York; at the Lake Placid stadium Roosevelt saw a display of conservation work: "Tree planting, tree culture and the fighting of forest fires . . . to the accompaniment of music by the band of the Sixteenth Regiment of infantry . . ." (New York Times, Sept. 15, 1935, p. 35). The President spoke again at noon of the same day (also extemporaneously) at the dedication of the Whiteface Mountain Memorial Highway, a memorial to New York soldiers who had died in World War I. In this speech (printed in Rosenman, ed., Public Papers, IV, 358-361), he referred to the opposition of those who had objected to the building of the highway because it encroached on the wild forest character of the Forest Preserve: "Yet you and I know that it is only a comparatively small proportion of our population that can indulge in the luxury of camping and hiking. Even those who engage in it are going to get to the age of life, some day, when they will no longer be able to climb on their own two feet to the tops of mountains."


HYDE PARK, N. Y., September 16, 1935

MY DEAR SENATOR O'MAHONEY: Secretary Ickes has submitted a report on your telegram of September 6 concerning the veto of the proposed legislation amending the Taylor grazing act of June 28, 1934 (48 Stat. 1269).1 He states the Interior Department has no objection to local stockmen having a voice in the administration of the Taylor grazing act. On the contrary, that Department has adopted regulations to give the stockmen of each grazing district a very important role in the administration of their affairs. These stockmen are authorized to elect from among their own members a group of district advisors who receive appointment as Federal officials and perform a major part of the task incident to the management of the affairs of their districts.

During the period since the enactment of the Taylor grazing act preliminary organization activities essential to development of a land program for the vast public domain region have proceeded rapidly. On November 26, 1934, all the public domain in the 10 principal public-land States was withdrawn from all forms of entry in aid of the administration of the law. By February 1 the boundaries of 50 grazing districts had been tentatively outlined. On May 20 I modified the Executive order of withdrawal to permit filing of State selections. An Executive order is now in course of preparation which will permit filing of applications for sale and lease of isolated tracts of land. Every effort is being made by the Interior Department to facilitate the operation of all provisions of the Taylor grazing act.2

I believe that a frank discussion with the Interior Department will result in a satisfactory adjustment of your differences of opinion.

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 633:CT]

1The "report" is the letter here printed.

2Further details on these withdrawals are found in the Secretary of the Interior's 1935 Annual Report, pp. 13-14.


WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 1935

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I have the honor to transmit a report on the Upper Rio Grande situation prepared by a special Board of Review of the National Resources Committee.1

The report states that the water-supply of the region is already fully appropriated and that increased water-consumption in this Basin will be promoted by projects for which Federal allotments have been made or are now being sought. It is shown that the investments of various Federal agencies have resulted in destructive conflict. Additional similar Federal allotments will impair the security on all such investments, contribute to violation of an Interstate Compact, and lead to social insecurity.

The Board of Review recommends that action to rescind, hold or approve current projects in the Upper Rio Grande Basin be taken as shown on the attached summary sheet, and I concur in these recommendations.

To avoid new conflicts I further recommend that you instruct the Federal agencies from which loans and grants are being sought in this region to notify their appropriate representatives in Colorado and New Mexico as well as in Washington, not to approve any application for a project involving the use of Rio Grande waters without securing from the National Resources Committee a prompt opinion on it from all relevant points of view.

A suggested draft of a letter designed to carry out this recommendation is attached for your consideration. If you approve this procedure, I shall be glad to place photostat copies of this communication in the hands of all departments or agencies which may be involved.2

Finally, the Board of Review recommends a constructive program of planning and research to promote the wise development of this area. Steps are being taken to push forward this program by the National Resources Committee in cooperation with the Tri-State Compact Commission, but action to clear up the present confusion as outlined above is considered essential to progress.

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 1018:TS]

1"Report of Rio Grande Board of Review," Sept. 13, 1935, prepared by H. J. S. Devries, W. W. McLaughlin, Harlan H. Burrows, and submitted by Abel Wolman, chairman of the Water Resources Committee, to Frederic A. Delano, chairman of the Advisory Committee to the National Resources Committee, under cover of a letter of Sept. 14, 1935. Both the report and the letter are copies.

2See post, 425.


WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT: . . . The bill which Senator Fletcher introduced on August 14, 1935 (S. 3417) and which he enclosed in his letter to you of September 6, 1935, is essentially identical with the proposed draft of legislation which accompanied his letter to you of May 25, 1935, except that the original capital stock of the proposed forest credit bank, for which an appropriation is authorized, is reduced from $40,000,000 to $10,000,000.

Notwithstanding the proposed reduction in the amount to be appropriated for the purchase of capital stock, I am of the opinion that, from a budgetary standpoint, this proposed legislation should not be enacted in the near future and I recommend that Senator Fletcher be advised to this effect. A suggested draft of reply, for your signature, is enclosed.

It is requested that I be advised of your decision in the matter.1


[13:OF 79:TS]

1Fletcher's forest credit bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency but was not reported (Cong. Rec., 74th Cong., 1st sess., 79:12, 13032). Bell's draft letter, stating that the proposed legislation was not in accord with the Administration's financial program, was not sent. See below.


HYDE PARK, N. Y., September 21, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR THE ACTING DIRECTOR OF THE BUDGET: I think it is too early to make a determination of this character. I am in favor of extending forest credit because it falls into much the same category as R. F. C. loans and Farm Credit.

Will you ask the Department of Agriculture and the Treasury Department to discuss this matter?

Perhaps the extension of the powers of R. F. C. to cover this subject would be the easiest way. Another suggestion is to transfer ten or twenty million dollars lending capacity from R. F. C. to Farm Credit and let the latter administer the Act.


[13:OF 149:CT]


WASHINGTON [September 23, 1935]1

MY DEAR GOVERNOR MILLER: I have received your letter of September 11, enclosing copy of the letter you addressed to Secretary Ickes under that date discussing a recent Associated Press dispatch setting forth a policy of the Interior Department to include the entire public domain in grazing districts under the Taylor grazing act.2

Secretary Ickes advises me that no such policy has been adopted but that plans are being considered for a temporary regulation of grazing in certain grazing districts recommended by the local stockmen beyond the 80,000,000 acre limitation of the Taylor grazing act, subject to later approval by the Congress. Also, the Interior Department is seeking a method of making effective immediately the provisions of the Taylor grazing act for sales or leases of isolated tracts in areas not recommended for inclusion in grazing districts. A precedent as to sales and exchanges has been established by Executive order of May 20, 1935, under which the State exchange provisions of the Taylor law have been made effective.

I believe the foregoing procedure is in accord with the interests and desires of the public land States and desirable from the standpoint of the Federal Government.3

Sincerely yours,



[13:OF 633:CT]

1A supplied and approximate date.

2Miller's letter, and the copy of his letter to Ickes, Sept. 11, 1935, are present (OF 633).

3Drafted by the Interior Department.


[WASHINGTON] September 23, 1935

To FEDERAL AGENCIES CONCERNED WITH PROJECTS OR ALLOTMENTS FOR WATER USE IN THE UPPER RIO GRANDE VALLEY ABOVE EL PASO: From information secured by the National Resources Committee, it appears that in view of the practically complete present appropriation of reliable water supply in the basin of the Rio Grande above El Paso, Federal investments in this region which promote increased use of water tend to impair the security of extensive prior investments of Federal funds, to violate the terms of an Interstate Compact to which the Federal Government is a party, and to promote social insecurity in the region.

Please instruct appropriate officials of your agency in Colorado and New Mexico, as well as in Washington or in other supervisory offices, not to approve any application for a project involving the use of Rio Grande waters without securing from the National Resources Committee a prompt opinion on it from all relevant points of view.


[13:OF 1018:CT]

426 SPEECH BY ROOSEVELT, Fremont, Nebraska, September 28, 1935

[Excerpt] Three years ago, in the desperate struggle to keep want from the threshold, farmers, no matter how much they might have wished to adopt cropping practices that would conserve and build the fertility of their soil, were compelled to raise more bushels of wheat and corn, more pounds of cotton or tobacco than their land could properly sustain through the years. But with this compelling necessity now passed, they can put scientific crop rotation systems into effect and save their soil fertility. That, my friends, is of equal interest in Pennsylvania and in Nebraska, in Maine and in Georgia. The dust storms that a few months ago drifted from the western plains to the Atlantic Ocean were a warning to the whole Nation of what will happen if we waste our heritage of soil fertility, the ultimate source of our wealth and of life itself.

I have not the time to talk with you in detail about what the Government is trying to do to prevent soil erosion and floods. You know much of that great work to encourage forestation, to give people the opportunity voluntarily to move off submarginal land and on to adequate land where they can make both ends meet—in other words, to use every square mile of the United States for the purpose to which it is best adapted. That in its accomplishment is a project of a hundred years. But for the first time in the history of the Nation, we have started on that project because for the first time we have begun to understand that we must harness nature in accordance with nature's laws, instead of despoiling nature in violation of nature's laws.1


1This speech is one of several made by Roosevelt in the course of a western trip which took him from Washington to San Diego between September 26 and October 2. The text of this excerpt is that of the official stenographic transcript; with this is a copy of the mimeographed press release bearing White House reporter Kannee's notes of the changes made by Roosevelt in reading the speech. (The reading copy is not present nor have any drafts been found.) Such revisions in the whole text are numerous but are chiefly those of form; one interesting change of content should, however, be noted. This was Roosevelt's substitution, in the third sentence of this excerpt, of "Nebraska" for "Kansas." For the whole speech, which deals in general with the Administration's agricultural policies, see Rosenman (ed.), Public Papers, IV, 379-386. This follows the stenographic transcript in the main. (In editing Roosevelt's speeches, Rosenman frequently combined elements of the prepared text and the stenographic text. His method is explained in his foreword to volume X of the Public Papers.)


[Excerpt]1 SENATOR PITTMAN, SECRETARY ICKES, GOVERNORS OF THE COLORADO'S STATES, AND YOU ESPECIALLY WHO HAVE BUILT BOULDER DAM: This morning I came, I saw and I was conquered, as everyone would be who sees for the first time this great feat of mankind.

Ten years ago the place where we are gathered was an unpeopled, forbidding desert. In the bottom of the gloomy canyon whose precipitous walls rose to a height of more than a thousand feet, flowed a turbulent, dangerous river. The mountains on either side of the canyon were difficult of access with neither road nor trail, and their rocks were protected by neither trees nor grass from the blazing heat of the sun. The site of Boulder City was a cactus-covered waste. And the transformation wrought here in these years is a twentieth century marvel.

We are here to celebrate the completion of the greatest dam in the world, rising 726 feet above the bedrock of the river and altering the geography of a whole region; we are here to see the creation of the largest artificial lake in the world—115 miles long, holding enough water, for example, to cover the whole State of Connecticut to a depth of ten feet; and we are here to see nearing completion a power house which will contain the largest generators and turbines yet installed in this country, machinery that can continuously supply nearly two million horsepower of electric energy. All of these dimensions are superlative. They represent and embody the accumulated engineering knowledge and experience of centuries, and when we behold them it is fitting that we pay tribute to the genius of their designers. We recognize also the energy, the resourcefulness and the zeal of the builders, who, under the greatest physical obstacles, have pushed this work forward to completion two years in advance of contract requirements. But especially, my friends, we express our gratitude to the thousands of workers who gave brain and brawn in this great work of construction.

Beautiful and great as this structure is, it must also be considered in its relationship to the agricultural and industrial development and in its contribution to the health and comfort of the people of America who live in the Southwest.

To divert and distribute the waters of an arid region so that there shall be security of rights and efficiency in service, is one of the greatest problems of law and of administration to be found in any government. The farms, the cities, the people who live along the many thousands of miles of this river and its tributaries all of them depend for their permanence in value upon the conservation, regulation, and the equitable and fair division of its ever-changing water supply. What has been accomplished on the Colorado in working out such a scheme of distribution is inspiring to the whole country. Through the cooperation of the States whose people depend upon this river, and of the Federal Government which is concerned in the general welfare, there is being constructed a system of distributive works and of laws and practices which will insure to the millions of people who now dwell in this basin, and to the millions of others who will come to dwell here in future generations, a safe, just, and permanent system of water rights. In devising these policies and the means of putting them into practice the Bureau of Reclamation of the Federal Government has taken and is destined to take in the future, a leading and helpful part. The Bureau has been the instrument which gave effect to the legislation introduced into the Congress by Senator Hiram Johnson and Congressman Philip Swing.

When in flood the river was a threatening torrent. In the dry months of the year it shrank to a trickling stream. For a generation the people of Imperial Valley had lived in the shadow of disaster from this river which provided their livelihood, and which is the foundation of their hopes for themselves and their children. Every spring they awaited with dread the coming of a flood, and at the end of every summer they feared a shortage of water would destroy their crops.2

The gates of these great diversion tunnels were closed here at Boulder Dam last February and in June a great flood came down the river. It came roaring down the canyons of the Colorado, through Grand Canyon, Iceberg and Boulder Canyons, but it was caught, it was caught and held safely behind Boulder Dam.

Last year a drought of unprecedented severity was visited upon the west. The watershed of this Colorado River did not escape. In July the canals of the Imperial Valley went dry. Crop losses in that Valley alone totaled $10,000,000 that summer. Had Boulder Dam been completed one year earlier, this loss would have been prevented, because the spring flood would have been stored to furnish a steady water supply for the long dry summer and fall.

Across the San Jacinto mountains southwest of Boulder Dam the cities of Southern California are constructing an aqueduct to cost $200,000,000, which they have raised, for the purpose of carrying the regulated waters of the River to the Pacific Coast 250 miles away.

And across the desert and mountains to the west and south run great electric transmission lines by which factory motors, street and household lights and irrigation pumps can be operated in Southern Arizona and California. Part of this power will be used in pumping the water through the aqueduct to supplement the domestic supplies of Los Angeles and surrounding cities.

Navigation of the river from Boulder Dam to the Grand Canyon has been made possible, a 115-mile stretch that had been traversed less than half a dozen times in all history. An immense new park has been created for the enjoyment of all of our people. And that is why, my friends, those of you who are not here today but can hear my voice, I tell you—come to Boulder Dam and see it with your own eyes.3


1This excerpt comprises the first half of the Boulder Dam speech; the second half is a defense of public works as a means of giving employment and of adding to the national wealth. The text is that of the recorded radio broadcast; other texts in the Roosevelt Library are the reading copy; a copy of the mimeographed press release of the reading copy (bearing notations by the official reporter of some of the changes made in the speech by Roosevelt at the time of delivery); and the official stenographic transcript. No drafts of the speech are present. The entire speech is printed in Rosenman (ed.), Public Papers, IV, 397-402; this follows the stenographic transcript. The President departed in a number of places from the reading copy; of the changes made in the excerpt here printed only one is of importance and this is noted below.

2In the reading copy (and, with the omission of the first three words, also in the stenographic transcript) this paragraph begins: "We know that as an unregulated river, the Colorado added little of value to the region this dam serves." Roosevelt's deletion of this slighting reference to the scenic Colorado was presumably deliberate.

3Roosevelt made one more speech on his western trip, at San Diego, California, Oct. 2, 1935. Here he boarded the U. S. S. Houston for the trip home.


[LOS ANGELES, October 1, 1935]

MY DEAR SENATOR FLETCHER: This is in reply to your letter of September 6, 1935, with which you enclosed a copy of S. 3417, introduced by you August 14, 1935, to provide for extending Federal credit to aid in the conservation and operation of forest lands through the medium of a Forest Credit Bank.

I am in favor of extending forest credit, but am not prepared at this time to make a determination as to the method which should be adopted. I am having the matter looked into from several angles and at a later date will advise with you further.1

Sincerely yours,



[Notation: AS] DWB

[Notation: A] Oct 1/35

[13:OF 149:CT]

1Drafted in the Budget Bureau, presumably by Charles L. Dasher, assistant to the Budget Director. An earlier Budget Bureau draft, sent to the White House on September 19 (OF 149), contained this additional paragraph: "I have looked into this matter carefully and assure you that I am in thorough accord with the purposes sought to be accomplished by the bill which you have introduced. However, I find it necessary to decide that enactment of the proposed legislation during the next session of Congress would not be in accord with my financial program." A notation on this draft reads, "Not signed C. T. H." (Clarence T. Hess of the White House Office of Chief of Records.)


U. S. S. "HOUSTON," October 14, 1935

MY DEAR GOVERNOR MARTIN: This will acknowledge your letter of September 13, relative to the acquisition of additional lands in Eastern Oregon in connection with the land conservation program of the Resettlement Administration.

Five projects involving the acquisition of approximately 600,000 acres of land at a cost roughly of $3,000,000 have been under investigation in your State. You undoubtedly are familiar with each of these projects. These projects, as originally initiated, involved proposed purchases of land substantially as follows: the Central Oregon Grazing Project located in Jefferson, Crook, and Deschutes Counties, 400,000 acres; the Western Oregon Scattered Settlers Project located in Tillamook, Lincoln, Lane, and Yamhill Counties, 120,000 acres; the Burns Colony Project located in Harney County, 600 acres; the Lake Malheur Project, also located in Harney County, 65,000 acres; and the Silver Creek Recreational Project located in Marion County, 15,000 acres.

Because of the limited funds available for the purchase of land, the land acquisition program in Oregon was drastically curtailed, in line with the reduction made in the program for the Country as a whole. Preliminary estimates indicate that about one-half of the acreage originally proposed for purchase in connection with the Central and Western Oregon projects can now be acquired; that the two projects in Harney County may be continued practically as originally proposed; and that the Silver Creek Project must be suspended for the present. These changes in the program for Oregon were made only after giving careful consideration to the status of the investigational work on each project and the need for providing funds for the completion of various types of projects that have already been initiated.

Naturally, the Resettlement Administration has had many requests for the initiation of new projects. Many of these proposals are highly meritorious, but since our funds must be closely budgeted to accomplish the basic purpose of the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act, the initiation of these new projects would necessarily force abandonment of worthy projects which have already been established and on which considerable expenditure has already been incurred.

On the basis of your recommendation, the Resettlement Administration has instructed the Regional Director, Land Utilization Division of that Administration, to investigate, for purposes of possible future expansion of the program, the possibilities of establishing projects in Northern Lake County and in the Southern part of Deschutes, Crook, and Oregon Counties.1

Thanking you for bringing the situation in Eastern Oregon to my attention, I am, Sincerely yours,



[13:OF 1414:CT]

1Drafted by the Resettlement Administration. Assistant Administrator Alexander, in his letter of Oct. 8, 1935, sending the draft (OF 1414), said that in view of the drastic reductions which had been made in the land conservation program, "it would seem inadvisable further to curtail or abandon projects, in order to increase funds for new projects in Eastern Oregon." See below.


WASHINGTON, October 24, 1935

MY DEAR MR. ASHBROOK: This will acknowledge your letter of September 20, urging that the Mohican Forest and Recreational Park Project in Ashland, Holmes and adjoining Counties in Ohio be continued.1

At the time you discussed this project with Mr. Tugwell, it was hoped that this project might be continued on the basis of the acquisition of 5,000 acres to be used principally for recreational purposes. This, however, was before a second reduction was made in the land utilization program. At the time of making the second reduction it was found necessary to suspend the project.

You are, of course, aware that funds for continuance of the land utilization program are derived from the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935. In view of the purposes and objectives of this Act it has been found possible to set aside a total of $20,000,000 for the purchase of land in connection with these projects. Since this amount was insufficient to purchase all of the land in projects as first revised, a second revision was necessary.

I am informed by Mr. Tugwell that the Mohican Project is a very worthy one and I have instructed him to give it further consideration in the event that funds should be made available for the purchase of additional land in the State of Ohio.

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 1568:CT]

1Ashbrook's letter was retained by the Resettlement Administration, drafter of the reply here printed.


[WASHINGTON, October 25, 1935]


In May, 1933, Congress enacted the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which was designed to relieve the distress then prevalent among farmers. Since that time several million producers have joined wholeheartedly with the Agricultural Adjustment Administration in far-reaching adjustment programs.

I wish to pay tribute to the courage and perseverance with which these farmers, using the facilities made available by Congress, have fought their way out of the acute depression which engulfed them in 1932. They have been patient in the face of delay, tolerant of a host of irritations and undeterred by opposition because they knew they could never win except through cooperation on a national scale. The first opportunity farmers ever had to work together on such a scale was afforded by the Adjustment Act.

The achievements of the A. A. A. for agriculture are apparent to millions of farmers. The improved demand for city-made goods resulting from increasing farm buying power is reflected in better business in towns and industrial centers everywhere. The Adjustment Act has served the national welfare.

There are people in this country who can see no room for further progress in agricultural adjustment. Of these, some would be content to continue the adjustment programs exactly as they are. There are even a few supporters of the A. A. A. so well satisfied with what has been done that they would like to call the job complete and finished.

But it never was the idea of the men who framed the Act, of those in Congress who revised it, nor of Henry Wallace nor Chester Davis that the Agricultural Adjustment Administration should be either a mere emergency operation or a static agency.

It was their intention—as it is mine—to pass from the purely emergency phases necessitated by a grave national crisis to a long time, more permanent plan for American agriculture.

Such a long time program is developing naturally out of the present adjustment efforts. As I see it, this program has two principal objectives:

First, to carry out the declared policy of Congress to maintain and increase the gains thus far made, thereby avoiding the danger of a slump back into the conditions brought about by our national neglect of Agriculture.

Second, to broaden present adjustment operations so as to give farmers increasing incentives for conservation and efficient use of the nation's soil resources.

Simplification of present programs, with a view to increased flexibility, would readily lend itself to the broad objectives outlined. Decentralization of machinery to get more efficient administration closer to the farmers already has begun, and will be vigorously continued. To simplify administration, the AAA will work toward the objective of one contract per farm. The modifications planned, in addition to making administration easier, will facilitate production adjustment either upward or downward.

The time may come when the AAA will prove as important in stimulating certain kinds of production as it has been in removing recent burdensome surpluses. For example, an expanded production of hogs, to replace shortages caused by drought, is contemplated under the proposed new corn-hog program, which is put up to a decision of producers in a nation-wide referendum tomorrow.

Present and future production of supplies of food and fiber ample for this country's need and for available export markets is a sound objective. However, there was nothing sound in the situation in the past when, spurred by ruinously low prices, farmers have been compelled to mine their soil of its fertility by over-intensive cultivation in a race to make up in volume of units what they had lost in unit price. This has resulted in waste on a colossal scale. Dust storms and mud-laden streams have been symbols of this exploitation.

Tens of millions of acres have been abandoned because of erosion. This jeopardizes both consumer and producer. Real damage to the consumer does not result from moderate increases in food prices, but from collapse of farm income so drastic as to compel ruthless depletion of soil. That is the real menace to the nation's future food supply. That has caused farmers to lose their homes. It has hastened the spread of tenancy. It lies at the root of many serious economic and social problems besetting agriculture.

Already the adjustment programs have made important gains in conservation and restoration of soil fertility. Many millions of acres which farmers have signed contracts to divert from surplus production are being devoted to legumes, pastures, hay and other crops which fertilize the soil and protect it from blowing and washing.

The long-time and more permanent adjustment program will provide positive incentives for soil conservation. The benefit payments can be made on a basis that will encourage individual farmers to adopt sound farm management, crop rotation and soil conservation methods. The crop insurance feature afforded by benefit payments will help farmers to maintain these beneficial systems of farming without interruption in poor crop years. Long-time adjustments can be adapted to natural soil advantages of regions and localities. Already the Adjustment Administration has under way local studies to help in working out farm programs on a county basis, so as to fit the best permanent use of the varying soil resources of the county, up to that county's share of available domestic and foreign markets. Thus, plans are being worked out that should encourage widespread cooperation of farmers in a permanent national soil maintenance program.

The simplified and more flexible adjustment program of the future can be made to serve the permanent advantage of producer and consumer. It can iron out the succession of extreme market gluts and extreme shortages which in the past have alternately wrecked farm income and penalized city people with too high prices. It can protect the nation's heritage of soil, help farmers to produce up to the full possibilities of profitable export, and give this country the safest possible assurance of abundant food in the years to come. I can think of nothing more important to the permanent welfare of the nation than long-time agricultural adjustment carried out along these lines.

[Notation: A] Re A. A. A. Oct. 25, 19351


1This was issued as a White House press release on this date.


[WASHINGTON] Nov. 4, 1935

MY DEAR SENATOR JOHNSON: I have received your letter of October 9,1 in which you discuss conditions affecting the development of the Central Valley project in your State and express the belief that a modification of the statement approving the allotment of $20,000,000 should be made.

The need for this modification arises in part out of the fact that the allocation was reduced from $20,000,000 to $15,000,000, which reduction prevents carrying out the original plan. As I understand it, the modification is needed for the important reason stated in your letter—that it is a more logical arrangement for beginning the development of this important and complex project and will better satisfy the experts and the people of the State vitally concerned in this conservation program.

After careful consideration of the statement in your letter, I have decided to concur in your recommendations and have modified the language of the allotment of $15,000,000 to conform to your recommendation. A copy of the modified allotment is enclosed.

I realize that the basis of this development is the conservation of the waters of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, and that through such conservation there will be a great increase in the volume of water available for irrigation, domestic uses, and the generation of hydroelectric power. I am satisfied that the demand both for water and cheap power in California is so great that no difficulty need be anticipated in finding a market for both as soon as development has reached a stage where their delivery is assured and contracts with definite terms are possible. Hence, there is no need for the immediate making of contracts entailing great delay in beginning construction and employment of labor.

I therefore approve the beginning of construction before these contracts are executed. Knowing the value of this project to California and the anxiety with which you await the initiation of this work, it is a great satisfaction to be able to comply with your request.2

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 402:CT]

1OF 402.

2Drafted by the Interior Department.


WASHINGTON, November 8, 1935

MEMORANDUM . . . This problem of building roads into the National Forests and the public domain is, I think, one of major policy.

I wish you would have a conference on this subject.

My offhand opinion is that the Federal Government on Federal lands should build, out of Federal funds, access roads to or through wide areas which now have no such roads and where general communications will be served thereby.

On the other hand, I do not believe the Federal Government should build roads for individual mining activities or feeder roads, corresponding to farm to market roads, until and unless the population to be supplied justifies the expenditure.

In regard to the Idaho situation, if the trails are directly justified for fire prevention purposes, and, at the same time, will serve mining operations, this can properly be taken into consideration. From the point of view of the Government, fire prevention on Government property must be the first consideration and if, at the same time, private mining interests are thereby served, there can be no objection.

This is merely for your consideration when you talk it over.


[13:OF 289:CT]


WASHINGTON, November 15, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR HON. J. N. DARLING: If the three Bureaus concerned are in agreement, I think this should be submitted to the National Resources Committee to be given an appropriate place on their general schedule for future projects or acquisition of lands.


[Notation: T] Let. signed by J. N. Darling, John Collier & Arno B. Cammerer, 11/14/351—they have conferred with Barron Collier: proposal is that govt. buy about 140,000 acres of Everglades, to be assigned for Indian use and occupancy and for wildlife conservation. Administration to be carried out by Indian Affairs, with technical advice and co-operation of Biol. Survey & Natl. Park Service.

[13:OF I—F:CT]

1This letter is not present and presumably was returned to Darling.


[WASHINGTON] November 16, 1935

MY DEAR MR. MCCORMACK: I have carefully read your letter of November eleventh, in reference to the work of the Emergency Conservation Work organization.1 It has been very gratifying to know that the Civilian Conservation Corps camps have met with such general approval and that they have accomplished so much good work both in the direction of rehabilitating needy men as well as in conserving and restoring our natural resources.

I wish there were funds enough available to offer enrollment to everyone who wanted to go to a Civilian Conservation Corps camp and to permit him to remain as long as he desired, but unfortunately that is not possible. Authorization was given the Director to build the organization up to a maximum of 600,000 enrollees but I felt that enrollments should be restricted to individuals who themselves, or whose families, had been receiving public welfare aid. I felt that it was the desire and intention of Congress to have the relief funds used for this purpose.

I have publicly announced my purpose of recommending the enactment of legislation to place this work on a permanent basis and I felt that we should prepare now for that time. Statistical information available appears to indicate that an annual enrollment of 300,000 would be ample to take care of all necessary relief cases and I have asked the Director to gradually reduce the organization from its peak of last Summer so that by July first, 1936, we will have what might be termed a stabilized organization of approximately 300,000 enrollees. That is the reason a number of camps were closed last month. A further gradual reduction will be made until the organization is on a basis of 300,000 enrollees.2

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 268:CT]

1McCormack protested the closing of 489 camps and urged that they be reopened or new ones established, with the requirement removed that boys come from families on the relief rolls (OF 268).

2This letter was drafted by Fechner.

3On Sept. 23, 1935, Roosevelt informed Fechner that he had decided to hold the CCC at an enrolled strength of 500,000, and that no more than $600,000,000 could be allotted for the rest of the fiscal year. This meant a curtailment, in the original program, of 100,000 men and 489 camps (McKinney to Early, Sept. 24, 1935, OF 268). Wallace saw in the reduced program "a situation of grave consequence to the Administration," because commitments made to state and local governmental units and to associations of farmers and timberland owners could not now be honored (Wallace to Roosevelt, Dec. 6, 1935, OF 268). Protests from members of Congress and state political leaders led to a reconsideration of the program and to somewhat less severe reductions (Fechner to Frank Walker, Dec. 14 and 19, 1935; Walker to the National Emergency Council, Dec. 17, 1935; Fechner to Roosevelt, Jan. 3, 1936, OF 268).


[WASHINGTON] November 23, 1935

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Almost exactly a year ago the National Resources Board presented its report concerning various conservation and development problems of the Nation. In order that you might have the situation concerning these matters before you in connection with the budget and legislative proposals for the next Congress, our Advisory Committee, with the assistance of the coordinating agencies in the organization, has prepared the attached statement of recommendations and progress. A more complete report on these same subjects is being prepared for submission to you at a later date.

These comments and recommendations represent the views of the Advisory Committee only and have not yet been reviewed by the full membership of the Board. Since in some instances they have an immediate bearing upon current proposals now before you, they are submitted in this preliminary form subject to such changes as may later be determined by the full membership of the National Resources Committee.

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 1092:TS]


[WASHINGTON] November 23, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR THE CHAIRMAN: I beg to submit herewith a Report of Progress and Work Under Way for the period ending December 1, 1935.

I. Progress and Work Done

Encouraging progress has been made in many fields in which the Board has made recommendations. As an example in one field, we might cite the following on the land program:

1. Over 10,000,000 acres of submarginal farm land are under option for use as wild life refuges, parks and Indian reservations. The Forest acquisition program has been approved, involving about 3,000,000 acres in addition. The Record Service of this Committee is aiding in coordination of these purchase programs.

2. Permanent establishment of the Soil Conservation Service by action of the last Congress provides assurance of a now unified attack on one of the greatest scourges of the Nation.

3. Through the President's order closing the public domain to new homesteading, the Federal Government has prevented the pitiful additional settlement of submarginal areas on which it is impossible to maintain the American standard of living.

4. Legislation has been introduced into Congress to curb the growth of tenancy and to take positive steps in helping tenants to become owners.

5. Cooperative arrangements between Federal agencies and State governments for continued land research by State Planning Boards, land use committees, and assistance from Land Grant Colleges have provided local support for these efforts of the Federal Government.

The reorganized Water Resources Committee of the Board has secured:

1. The agreement of Federal agencies on procedures and division of labor for the gathering of data necessary for water planning.

2. A special investigation of pollution problems undertaken by that committee has suggested a new method of attack on that thorny problem.

3. Separate preliminary studies made at the request of local or Federal organizations have been undertaken in the drainage basins of the Central Valley in California, Red River of the North, Upper Rio Grande, Columbia, Colorado, and Grand-Neosho, and progress reports on a number of other basins have been prepared by the staff of the Board.

4. A priority rating of the principal projects on all of the larger drainages of the country has been compiled for use by the Public Works and Works Progress Administrations.

In the mineral field, some of the principal recommendations in the report submitted last year on mineral resources are embodied in the Guffey Coal Act, although many of the problems facing the oil industry and the so-called submarginal minerals, such as copper, zinc, etc., are still open.

State Planning: Since the establishment of the National Planning Board, forty-six State Planning Boards have been established, thirty-two by act of the State Legislatures. These boards are actually engaged in the process of planning from the ground up and strongly reinforce the whole project of national planning.

A full report of the activities of the Board and the details of the work of the several subcommittees are contained in a separate report.

II. Work Under Way

Two major investigations undertaken at the request of the President have now reached the point where reports will be in his hands within a few weeks.

1. A report on Regional Factors of Planning and Development, prepared by a special research committee, deals with interstate compacts, Federal corporate authorities such as the Tennessee Valley Authority, regional planning organization, and a variety of related agencies.1 This report, for the first time in our history, lays the basis for practical consideration of the relation of various areas in the United States to the national government and to each other under modern conditions.

2. A report on the Allocation of Responsibilities and Costs of Different Kinds of Public Works is also nearing completion, dealing with both the growth of practices of grants-in-aid in general and different types of public works.2 The findings of this report should establish a firmer basis for Federal public works and relief policies through an impartial determination of the relative burden to be borne by the United States and the several States, localities and private beneficiaries in the construction of the $3,000,000,000 of public work enterprises normally developed annually.

Through the Land Committee a supplementary report on land use has been prepared and is now in the hands of the printer.3 Special reports by the Water Resources Committee on hydrologic standards, pollution and special drainage basins are being followed up, and the Mineral Policy Committee is completing studies on British experience in coal production control and on mineral reserves and smelter capacity in the United States.

A new Science Committee, composed of some of the most distinguished scientists of the Nation, has been organized in accordance with the President's letter of February 12, 1935,4 providing for the first time joint discussion of national planning problems by representatives of the National Academy of Sciences, the Social Science Research Council, and the American Council on Education. This committee is undertaking two major research projects in the general field of human resources, namely (1) as to the quantity, distribution, quality and "opportunity of life" of our American population, and (2) on the social implications of inventions.

The Industrial Committee is making a basic study of (1) production capacity; (2) America's capacity to consume, and (3) of the relation of these two factors to the American standard of living. This is a basic study of far-reaching importance for the future planning of our national resources. The full implication of such a study will be developed as the data are collected and analyzed. This fundamental inquiry will provide invaluable material for elevating the standard of American living within the limits of our resources.

A large part of the funds of the Committee is devoted to the encouragement of State and regional planning, through the assignment of expert consultants and some staff to the various State and regional planning commissions. Two of these planning agencies are of special importance, namely, the Pacific Northwest Regional Planning Commission and the New England Regional Planning Commission. It may be added that these State and regional planning enterprises have in nearly all instances been locally supported without regard to class or party; for example, a part of the expenses of the Montana State Planning Board has been defrayed by the Montana State Chamber of Commerce.

The State Planning Board Staff Project sponsored jointly by the Works Progress Administration and by our Committee has increased the responsibility of our Consultants in the field. The allocation of funds for the support of State Planning Boards by the Works Progress Administration has been extremely helpful, and these Boards will be useful in the analysis of the situations creating such conditions as made necessary the Works Progress Administration and in preventing their recurrence.

The Committee also has a committee of experts, headed by Clarence A. Dykstra, City Manager of Cincinnati, studying the role of the urban community in the national economy. The future of our great cities and the relation of urban and rural problems has never been seriously explored, and the pending investigation will give for the first time an expert and, we hope, authentic interpretation of the underlying factors in this problem. It will also present specific and practical recommendations, helpful to the American people in determining and adjusting the position of the city in the American economy.

III. Needed Legislation and Funds

For the immediate future we respectfully urge consideration by the President in connection with legislative proposals and budgetary matters for submission to the next Congress of two major proposals treated in our report of a year ago, but still urgently requiring action, namely, (1) establishment of an advisory national planning board, and (2) establishment of a permanent national development administration.

1. National Planning: A bill to establish a permanent National Planning Board has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Copeland, has been reported favorably by the Commerce Committee, of which he is chairman, and is now on the Consent Calendar of the Senate. The sooner the National Planning Program can be placed upon a permanent basis, the more effective it can become in outlining basic policies for the better preservation of our national resources. For the work of this Committee or of the proposed Board, a continuation of our present annual appropriation of $1,000,000 will be required. Details of these expenditures have, of course, been filed with the budgetary estimates and are before the President.

2. National Development: In accordance with our recommendations of a year ago, reinforced by experience since then, we again urge the establishment of a permanent National Development Administration, based upon the powers, duties and functions of the Public Works Administration, the Works Progress Administration, the Allotment Committee, and the Federal Employment Stabilization Office. The suggestions contained in last year's report concerning organization and duties of such an Administration, and its relations with the proposed National Planning Board, appear to be applicable and more than ever needed. Last year the President suggested a separation between emergency appropriations for public works and a continuing fund for permanent Federal developments. If it is to be the policy of the Government to continue expenditure of money on public works for relief of unemployment and industrial depression, the establishment of a National Development Administration should prove a useful means in the attainment of such a purpose; or, if work is to be put on a normal basis, it would be desirable to make a beginning of long-time planning development through such an agency of the Government.

The programs suggested in our report last year for collection of basic data have made little or no progress during the last twelve months. All of our coordinating committees—and particularly the Science Committee, urge increased efforts to secure necessary information on which sound plans can be based. Efforts to adapt mapping and other programs to requirements of work relief have been unavailing and the only apparent method of making progress is through increased regular appropriations to the scientific agencies of the Government.

Our Committee has been from the beginning a purely advisory, part time body, endeavoring to act as a "general staff" to the President in certain lines of national planning. We appreciate the relief the President and you have given us from political or administrative responsibilities, and trust that our inquiries and other efforts may be of continuing value to the United States in shaping long-time programs for the better utilization of our national resources, and that as time goes on, it will prove possible to bring together more effectively the planning policies of the Nation.

Respectfully submitted,


[13:OF 1092:TS]

1Regional Factors in Planning and Development (Washington, 1935).

2Public Works Planning (Washington, 1936).

3Report on Land Planning (Washington, 1935-38).

4To Ickes (OF 1092), approving Federal aid for scientific research.


[WASHINGTON] November 25, 1935

Through The Secretary of the Treasury

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT relative to "Memorial by Board of Health of the State of Maryland to the President of the United States" submitted through Abel Wolman, Chief Engineer, Maryland State Department of Health, November 12, 1935.1

The Memorial deals with the subject of stream and coastal waters pollution in Maryland. This is a problem common to all of the States; in some of the States it is even more acute than in Maryland. Any reply to this Memorial other than a bare acknowledgment may be interpreted as the policy of the Administration in respect to the whole problem of water pollution. It is respectfully suggested, therefore, that the receipt of the Memorial be acknowledged with the statement that it has been referred to the National Resources Committee.

The Memorial specifically requests cooperation and financial assistance from the federal government to the end that certain Maryland towns and cities desiring to construct sewage disposal plants may be enabled to do so, thus removing present insanitary and dangerous pollution of the Maryland streams and waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries under federal jurisdiction.

The Memorial also refers to the general subject of pollution of surface waters in the United States and particularly to the interstate streams.

The statement is made that some of the cities and towns in Maryland would be unable to contribute toward the building of sewage disposal plants, while others might be expected to contribute at least one-half the cost.

References are made to the report of a Conference of the Chesapeake Bay Authority held in Baltimore in October, 1933, and also to that part of the Report on Water Pollution made by the Special Advisory Committee on Water Pollution to the National Resources Committee under date of July 1935, relative to the proposed establishment of a demonstration stream pollution control unit in the Potomac River Drainage Basin.

The pollution in many of the streams in the United States, both intrastate and interstate, as well as in some of the coastal water areas, has reached such a state that remedial measures must be taken within the near future. Because of the interests involved it would appear that the problem is one requiring cooperative endeavors of both the federal government and the States. Just how such joint action could best be taken is entirely problematical at present as there is no precedent to follow. The Special Advisory Committee on Water Pollution, after careful study of the subject, was unable to recommend any definite procedure for the correction of existing conditions or for prevention of future conditions. The Committee did recommend that a relatively small drainage area upon which there now exist the various problems that would be encountered in any drainage area be selected as a demonstration area. In this connection the Committee stated:

Such a demonstration unit on an interstate river system of some magnitude, involving several States and the Federal government would be best suited for a demonstration of the possibilities of (a) better coordinated water-pollution control legislation in the several states, and between the States and the Federal government, (b) more adequate administration procedure by State agencies, (c) the development of the legal and administrative procedures for regional or metropolitan pollution-abatement authorities, (d) the coordination of municipal sewage disposal projects with statewide or interstate projects, (e) clearing up unsolved problems of treating industrial waste, (f) extension of cooperation with industry, and (g) the stimulation of public demand for adequate control of water pollution. Such a unit would not only aid in the solution of many perplexing problems of water-pollution control, but also would serve as a training field for the development of personnel, scientific and administrative, that would be competently trained for duty with other States or for absorption into an organization for a national program.

The Committee suggested that the Potomac River Basin be selected for such a demonstration since it meets more nearly than any other area the requirements considered necessary for a demonstration project.

The question of control over stream pollution is at present a live one, not only with official governmental agencies but with many local and national organizations. Some definite national policy relative to this subject is desirable and I respectfully suggest that the National Resources Committee be requested to consider this whole subject.



[13:OF 114—A:CT]

1The memorial was sent to the National Resources Committee for consideration and report, according to an attached memorandum by Roosevelt, Dec. 2, 1935. Wolman's covering letter was referred to the Public Health Service for preparation of reply.



MY DEAR MR PRESIDENT: There is a good chance that the dust storms of last year will be repeated this winter. In anticipation of a great deal of pressure for Federal funds I have appointed a committee consisting of State and Federal officials with the duty of making a report on fundamental causes and remedies. They will, of course, report that arable farming ought not to be carried on over a large part of the area. My thought is that such a report will provide the basis for withdrawing assistance some time in the future to those who persist in plowing in that area. We will work through the A. A. A. which will restrict its contracts, through the states if they can be got to zone, and through Soil Conservation Service for constructive treatment. The part of Resettlement will be to acquire and retire the worst lands and to assist those who desire it to move.

A large percentage of the population is now on our rolls and for all we can see will remain there. Our efforts of last year have improved the blowing situation but not in proportion to the outlay. It costs enough to protect uncovered land for two years to buy it. I think you may hear a good deal about this area during the winter. We know what to do; and I think now we have a conciliatory approach to it.1

Respectfully yours,


[13:OF 987:AS]

1Answered post, 441.


[WASHINGTON] December 5, 1935

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: It seems no progress has been made under the Fulmer Act, approved August 29th last, providing for Federally-acquired, State-administered public forests.

Mr. Harry Lee Baker, of the Florida Forest Service and a member of the Fulmer Bill Committee, Association of State Foresters, is very anxious to have some steps taken and he has written me quite a statement of the situation, in which he says:

My ardent hope is that a way will be found for the President to hear what the State Foresters have to say about the importance of taking steps to render the Fulmer Act effective. Will you endeavor to arrange for such an interview? If you are able to do so, I could arrange for a small group to present the matter to the President either in Washington or at Warm Springs, etc.

I enclose the letter of December 3rd herewith and submit the matter to you.1

Very respectfully and sincerely,


[Notation: A: LEHAND] Mac Prep. reply P

[13:OF 149:TS]

1(Baker's letter is present.) McIntyre replied Dec. 26, 1935 (OF 149), that so far as the President was concerned, "arguments by a group of State Foresters in support of maximum progress in the execution of the Fulmer Bill would be unnecessary," but that the request for a conference would be considered. This reply was drafted by Wallace whose covering letter to McIntyre of Dec. 21, 1935 (OF 149), suggested that if the state foresters were permitted a brief conference they would "be much better satisfied than they otherwise would be and could perhaps accomplish more in the development within their States of proper cooperation by the various agencies concerned."


WASHINGTON, December 11, 1935

MEMORANDUM FOR THE UNDER SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: That dust storm problem is interesting.1 Will you and Harry get together and let me have some kind of recommendation in regard to the program from July 1, 1936 on?


[13:OF 987:CT]

1See ante, 439.


PORTLAND, OREGON, December 14, 1935

DEAR PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT: The conservation of our wildlife resources has made some big jumps in the past year. We appreciate your interest, but need some more help. Restoration has not caught up with destruction.

The conference in Washington last July with Mr. Ickes, Mr. Darling, Mr. Mead, and others seemed encouraging, but I think no settlement has been reached. A plan was proposed whereby Reclamation officials would give some consideration to waterfowl protection on federal refuges. I thought all of us had reached an understanding that Tule Lake Refuge would be enlarged.1 Mr. Mead said he would turn the entire sump over to the Biological Survey, but this seems to be blocked. I am sure a word from you would straighten things out.

May I call your attention to another matter of great importance in the West relating to the Public Domain. In one respect, the Taylor Grazing Act was a marked advance. Regulated grazing was a necessity. But if the Public Domain is to be turned over and governed by regional stockmen, under the present set-up the rights on these vast areas will fall into the hands of private interests. The livestock owners of the country do not deserve this donation from the public. The men who have ruined the Public Domain are not likely to bring it back. We may as well say good-bye to the wildlife on these hereditary game ranges.

The proposed policy on the Public Domain is in striking contrast to the control of grazing on our federal forests. The federal foresters have ironed out conflicts between game and domestic animals and adjusted matters on the basis of the highest social and economic value. Some 60,000,000 acres of suitable game range in national forests are not grazed by domestic stock, and yet the livestock industry has not been injured. The reason behind this is a far-sighted government service handling these areas for the people of the United States, and yet surrendering no public rights to any private individuals.

You can compare the federal forest areas with the 80,000,000 acres of Public Domain turned over to the Department of the Interior. You have withdrawn the balance of more than 80,000,000 acres from settlement, which is an important step. Out of this 173,000,000 acres belonging to the public, and upon which depends the continued existence or extermination of certain wildlife species, not one foot is under the Biological Survey, the one federal agency in this country established to maintain our wildlife resources.

In my presence Mr. Ickes told Mr. Daring to go ahead with the Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge. It was our understanding that this would be controlled by the Biological Survey.

In 1924, we tried to get a bill through Congress covering this area, but failed. Enclosed is copy of the bill.2 Through state laws and with the help of the Biological Survey we have built up the largest herds of antelope in the United States. There are perhaps 8,000 antelope on this range which will easily support 10,000 or 12,000. Even though the water holes are limited, and all the land around these has been overgrazed by sheep, the antelope have survived even in mid-summer when they had to range from fifteen to twenty miles from the water holes to get food.

I think investigation will show that some one in the Interior Department has wrecked the Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge. I have read your Executive Order of September 6, 1935, establishing Hart Mountain Game Range. This provides that the maximum number of antelope is to be 4,000. If this is put into effect, it means that several thousand will have to be killed off. The State of Oregon will object to this. Our state law prohibits an open season. These animals range on a State Game Refuge and are protected by special statute. Instead of establishing an antelope refuge administered by the Biological Survey, a sheep and cattle range has been created for the private benefit of stockmen.

I know you do not have time to go into the details of a matter of this kind, but I hope you will call in some federal experts who have a heart for wildlife interests.3

Sincerely yours,


[Notation: A] Send to Interior & Agriculture for preparation of reply—

[13:OF 378:TS]

1Tule Lake Wildlife Refuge was enlarged by Executive Order 7341, signed April 10, 1936.

2"A Bill to establish Warner National Game Refuge in the State of Oregon." This is not an official print but a privately printed copy in the form of a four-page folder, including letters supporting the proposed legislation.

3Answered post, 450.


[ST. LOUIS] December 14, 1935

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I have just read the annual report of the Director of Grazing, and am concerned to notice that he says not one word about the establishment of wild-life sanctuaries on the public domain affected by the Taylor Grazing Act. A few weeks ago I asked Jay Darling about the status of these sanctuaries, and he said the agreement reached between him and the Interior Department had never been signed by the Secretary of the Interior.

I cannot help feeling that unnecessary obstacles are being placed in the way of final action by Mr. Ickes, whose friendliness to the sanctuaries cannot be doubted. The retirement of Darling from the Biological Survey has removed a positive influence looking toward their establishment.1 I can understand that it might take a considerable time to carry out the instructions you gave last winter in this matter, but the prolonged delay in ratifying a completed agreement and the failure to devote even one sentence to the subject in the director's annual report look somewhat sinister to me. I hope that you may feel like giving the slight push that seems necessary to get these sanctuaries established.2

Yours sincerely,


[13:OF 378:TS]

1Darling resigned Nov. 15, 1935. He was succeeded as head of the Bureau of Biological Survey by Ira N. Gabrielson, assistant chief of the Division of Wild Life Research of the Bureau.

2Answered post, 448.


WASHINGTON, December 19, 1935

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I have the honor to transmit herewith a report entitled Little Waters: a Study of Headwater Streams and Other Little Waters: Their Use and Relations to the Land.1

This report is noteworthy in that it deals comprehensively with a subject of high importance which has heretofore been neglected. Governments, private enterprises and engineers have been concerned primarily with great waters and with the resulting problems of controlling major floods, developing hydro-electric power, providing for navigation and irrigating arid lands. Yet it is the little waters which form the great waters. We must utilize and control small streams if we are fully to utilize and control great ones.

For the first time this problem is here inclusively treated. Scientific data made available by various Federal, State and private agencies has been integrated from the point of view of the long-term public welfare, and the findings and recommendations are here formulated in a simple, clear and convincing statement.

A reading of the text suggests the desirability of a comprehensive program of conservation which will enable us to make beneficial use of waters now permitted to go to waste, to save our lands from the disastrous effects of improperly controlled run-off, and to remedy conditions that have proven socially and economically disastrous in numerous rural communities.

It is hoped that such a program may be undertaken without undue delay, and that further studies may be made in the same field. The effective control of little waters would, it is believed, be a lasting contribution to the Nation's prosperity.

Very sincerely,


[Notation: A: LEHAND] S. T. E. Will you cut down and see if you can improve it? FDR.2

[13:OF 2450:TS]

1By H. S. Person, with E. Johnston Coil and Robert T. Beall (Washington, 1935). This was prepared for the joint use of the Soil Conservation Service, Resettlement Administration and Rural Electrification Administration because of their joint interest in erosion control, rural rehabilitation and rural electrification. Projected originally for administrative purposes, the completed report was recognized by the heads of the sponsoring agencies (Bennett, Tugwell and Cooke) as having a much wider range of usefulness. In their letter to Ickes of Dec. 10, 1935, sending the report (printed, op. cit., p. iii), they said that it should have a place in the series of reports on natural resources being prepared by the National Resources Committee: "It brings together in a unique manner and from a new point of view, data accumulated by various public and private agencies. Its findings and generalizations have a social significance."

2This notation refers to an attached draft of a message to Congress for the transmittal of the report.

445 PRESS CONFERENCE, Executive Offices of the White House, December 20, 1935, 10:37 A.M.

[Excerpt] The President: . . . We are calling a North American Wildlife Conference February 3 to 7, to be held in Washington, the purpose being to bring together all interested organizations, agencies, and individuals in behalf of restoration and conservation of land, water, forest, and wildlife resources. The conference will be under the direction of a Citizens' Committee which I will appoint under the chairmanship of Mr. Silcox, Chief Forester. The governors of the various states, or persons designated by them, will be invited, and in addition every state will be asked to send twice as many delegates as it has Senators and Representatives; so there will be a total of 530 times 2—about 1,060. The delegates from the states will be selected at meetings of the conservation organizations within each state, leaving that up to each state to determine the details of the method. At the general meetings each day—separate meetings of scientists and technicians in each field involved—they will discuss restoration of the rapidly vanishing wildlife of the continent, which involves also soil erosion, restoration of impounded water, and pollution control; also a better utilization of the public domain, worthless lands, national parks, forests, et cetera. They will adopt a program and make definite recommendations as to methods of closer cooperation between interested groups, individuals, and Government agencies. The final objective is restoration and conservation of national land, forests, and wildlife resources.

Q: Is that the result of Ding's agitation?

The President: Partly the result of the tremendous impetus that he gave to the whole subject.1


1Darling's resignation as chief of the Bureau of Biological Survey on Nov. 15, 1935, followed a long period of mounting discontent with the difficulties encountered in instituting the wildlife conservation program he had planned. Earlier in the year (April 17, 1935), he had openly criticized the Administration's wildlife conservation program and had said that he was ready to quit unless matters improved. He ascribed his attitude to three things: the failure of Congress to include wildlife restoration activities in the work relief bill; the failure of other agencies to act on the recommendations of the Biological Survey; and inaction on what he regarded as required legislation for wildlife. After his resignation Darling made a number of speeches in which he attacked the Government's conservation policies. On Aug. 24, 1936, speaking on a Republican National Committee program on behalf of Landon, he accused the Administration of ignoring a carefully worked-out water conservation plan in North Dakota and of turning over to the politicians funds intended for conservation projects (New York Times, April 18, 1935, p. 4; Nov. 16, 1935, p. 13; Aug. 25, 1936, p. 9). Roosevelt's 1936 campaign speech at Elkins, West Virginia, of Oct. 1, 1936 (printed post, 561), was intended as a reply to Darling's charges.


[WASHINGTON] December 20, 1935

MY DEAR MR. SILCOX:1 Conservation of our remaining natural resources through use is vital to the social and economic welfare of the nation. Despite real progress in conservation of such resources as minerals, forage, forests, and the soil itself, much remains to be accomplished. This is particularly true with respect to the restoration of wildlife.

I have, therefore, called a North American Wildlife Conference, to be held in Washington on February third to seventh, next, and have asked you to serve as its Chairman. You have accepted. This letter will confirm your appointment.

My purpose is to bring together individuals, organizations, and agencies interested in the restoration and conservation of wildlife resources. My hope is that through this conference new cooperation between public and private interests, and between Canada, Mexico, and this country, will be developed; that from it will come constructive proposals for concrete action; that through those proposals existing State and Federal governmental agencies and conservation groups can work cooperatively for the common good.

I am asking you to extend on my behalf an invitation to the various Governors, for it is my earnest hope that each of them or his personal representative may attend this conference. And I trust you will arrange through proper channels for the appointment in each State, by wildlife and allied organizations, of delegates not to exceed in number twice the number which each individual State has as members of the Congress.

It is also my thought that there should be a citizens' committee, composed of outstanding leaders in the field of conservation, to assist you in planning an agenda which might perhaps include such matters as uses of forest, forage, soil and water in relation to conservation of wildlife.

A North American Wildlife Conference is, as you know, a logical outcome of the work of the National Resources Board within the wild life field.2

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 1878:CT]

1Silcox's title was changed from "Forester" to "Chief of the Forest Service" on July 1, 1935.

2Drafted by the Forest Service.


WASHINGTON, January 3, 1936

MY DEAR MR. SECRETARY: On the occasion of the forthcoming Salt Lake City grazing conference, I desire to offer my congratulations.

The grazing program on the public domain under the Taylor Grazing Act is a new conservation movement that promises to have historic significance. It is the first time since the settlement of the West that there is an opportunity to regulate over-grazing on the public domain. In less than fifteen months after the law was enacted the cattle and sheep men have buried their differences and combined in a joint effort to abolish unfair range practices and to conserve natural resources. The most noteworthy feature of the program, however, is the unique coordination of local and Federal effort whereby fifteen thousand stock men have participated successfully in the policy of the Department of the Interior to give local autonomy in the administration of the new law.1

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 633:CT]

1Drafted by the Interior Department. Ickes, in his letter to Roosevelt covering the draft, Jan. 2, 1936 (OF 633), said that the Interior Department had been depending upon cooperative effort in the administration of the 80,000,000 acres in the grazing districts, and that this had secured the good will of the 15,000 users of the range and had "immeasurably decreased the expense of operation." The conference, an official meeting of the District Advisory Boards, was held Jan. 13-14, 1936.


WASHINGTON, January 7, 1936

MY DEAR MR. BRANT: I have discussed with Secretary Ickes of the Department of the Interior your letter of December 14 concerning co-operation between the Division of Grazing in that Department and the Bureau of Biological Survey in the Department of Agriculture.

Secretary Ickes advises me that the plan of procedure for the administration of public domain areas jointly useful for game animals and domestic livestock, approved by the Departments of Agriculture and Interior, is incorporated in Executive order No. 7178, establishing the Hart Mountain game range, which I signed September 6, 1935.

Subsequent to the signing of that order, the Bureau of Biological survey advised the Interior Department that the language of the order was unsatisfactory in certain respects. Appropriate changes are now under consideration. The purpose of the changes requested by the Bureau of Biological Survey is fully endorsed by the Department of the Interior and the matter should be adjusted within a short time.1

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 378:CT]

1Drafted by the Interior Department.


WASHINGTON, January 7, 1936

MY DEAR SENATOR COSTIGAN: I have read the letter of December 20, 1935, signed by yourself, Governor Johnson and other Colorado representatives, in which is stated the need for water conservation in Colorado.1 You also stress the small provision so far made for this conservation in Colorado as compared with other states.

Projects of the type suggested are usually handled by the Bureau of Reclamation under the Reclamation Law. This requires repayment of the cost in 40 years without interest. Funds have been allocated for all projects presented from Colorado on this basis and it is not clear from your letter that the present request contemplates compliance with this provision. Perhaps this is responsible for the lack of approval of Colorado projects rather than any lack of interest or sympathy on the part of the Government.

It is not my understanding that allotments of money for irrigation developments have been made as grants with no showing of willingness and ability to repay the cost. Such a showing is required under the Reclamation Act. In all developments in Wyoming and Utah the allotments were preceded by a complete showing of willingness and adequate earning power to comply with the statutory requirement. If your statement could be supplemented to indicate the views of Colorado in regard to repayment conditions and the contribution to be expected from the beneficiaries of conservation, I could more intelligently cooperate with you.

I realize the unique position of Colorado as the source of western rivers and desire to cooperate in their conservation as fully as may properly be done under the statutory provisions. Will you convey these ideas to the others who signed the statement with you.2

Sincerely yours,


[13:OF 402:CT]

1OF 402.

2Drafted by the Reclamation Bureau.


WASHINGTON, January 7, 1936

MY DEAR MR. FINLEY: I have received your letter of December 14 and appreciate your comments relative to conservation of wildlife resources in the State of Oregon.

In the administration of the Taylor grazing act the Department of the Interior has adopted a policy of cooperating with the Department of Agriculture, where such action is necessary or desirable, for conservation of game resources. Executive Order No. 7178, of September 6, 1935, establishing the Hart Mountain game refuge, contains the plan of procedure approved by both Departments. It provides that forage resources on the public domain within the Hart Mountain region shall be under joint jurisdiction of the two Departments and shall be utilized for the primary purpose of satisfying the range needs of 4,000 antelope. Any surplus shall be available for domestic livestock, subject to the limitation that the number of domestic livestock shall be at no time in excess of the carrying capacity of the surplus forage resources. The amount of feed reserved for the antelope is being supplemented by land acquisitions of the Biological Survey and upon a proper showing of a need therefor, the amount of public range feed reserved for game animals can be increased. Your estimate that there are nearly 8,000 antelope within the Hart Mountain region is considerably higher than the 4,000 estimate of the Biological Survey for which public range forage resources should be reserved. The propriety of increasing this number is now under consideration.

The Bureau of Biological Survey and the Bureau of Reclamation have been cooperating in working out a satisfactory program for the enlargement of the Tule Lake Bird Refuge and the administration of this area by the Biological Survey so as to give the greatest possible protection to the migratory birds and provide an adequate supply of feed. It is expected that the details of this agreement will be concluded within the next few weeks and I feel that it will be quite satisfactory to all parties concerned.1

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 378:CT]

1Drafted by the Agriculture and Interior Departments.


WASHINGTON, January 9, 1936

DEAR MR. BEACH: Your article, "The Place is Alaska," enclosed with your letter of December 23, contains suggestions that deserve serious consideration.1 The Government bureaus concerned with mining agree that Alaska is our principal remaining frontier for mineral exploration and discovery, and worthy of intensive study.

The Bureau of Mines informs me that your suggestion of aerial mapping is eminently sound and desirable, but that it is only a first step in the preparation of maps for the guidance of the prospector. The procedure successfully followed in Canada and in this country is to make from aerial photographs a base map, which is used by geologists in preparing a geologic map showing rock formations and outcrops of mineral deposits, if they appear. Armed with such a map, the intelligent prospector can guide himself to favorable localities. This method has resulted in important discoveries, particularly in Canada, where it has been widely applied.

However, in predicating a program for Alaska on what has been accomplished in Canada, it should be remembered that Canada, east of the Rockies, is a vast peneplain—a country of low relief studded with lakes that furnish ideal landing fields for airplanes equipped with pontoons in summer and skis in winter. No part of the great Pre-Cambrian shield that covers much of Canada and has been so successfully explored and developed with the aid of airplane mapping and transportation is more than a few miles from one of these ready-made landing fields. The rugged topography of Alaska introduces quite different problems, both with respect to aerial mapping and to transportation of men and materials. The Canadian program of aerial mapping and transportation has already run over a period of ten years or more. Results come slowly and cannot be successfully accelerated to a degree that would offer quick employment to any considerable number of men.

Aerial mapping on the whole can2 be regarded as taking the place of the topographic base map generally used for geologic mapping, though it brings out more sharply in some cases topographic and structural details that make geologic mapping more rapid and exact. But aerial maps would not be in themselves of great use to the prospector. The preparation of geologic maps, if they are to be reliable, takes time and the subsequent use of them by prospectors takes still more time before mineral discoveries are made. It does not appear, therefore, to be an emergency project opening the way for immediate extensive employment or a scheme into which the uninitiated should be unreservedly invited.

You suggest that experienced prospectors should accompany the inexperienced. I am informed that prospectors who searched our western frontier and joined the great rush to Alaska, in which you had a part, at the end of the past century, are gone and no new generation of prospectors of the old-fashioned kind, skilled in the craft, has been trained in this country to take their place.

An Army aviation station has been authorized for Alaska but not yet established. When its location has been decided and it begins to function, it may be possible for Army flyers to occupy themselves with aerial mapping and the Geological Survey to follow up and complete geologic maps in the areas favorable for mineral deposits.

The Bureau of Mines in 1932 and 1933 investigated the use of airplanes in Alaska in mining and as an aid to prospecting and arrived at conclusions favoring their use in mapping and for transportation to regions inaccessible by other means.

Regarding your suggestion that Glacier Bay National Monument be immediately opened to prospecting, this question is already under consideration, and I am informed that Mr. Dimond, Delegate from Alaska, has introduced a bill to permit mining within this reserve.

Your article is timely and constructive and I appreciate your spirit of championship of our great frontier territory.3

Sincerely yours,


[Notation: STAMPED] (Sgd) Ickes

[13:OF 928:CT]

1Beach (1877-1949) was a prolific author of novels and plays of adventure. In his letter (OF 928) and in the article (published in Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan, January, 1936), Beach urged aerial mapping of Alaska to encourage prospecting there, and the opening of Glacier Bay National Monument to mining. He said that it was unsound conservation policy to protect forests that did not yet exist and scenic splendors that could not be marred at the cost of strangling mineral production.

2From the sense of the sentence it would appear that "cannot" was meant.

3(Drafted by the Interior Department.) Following a meeting with Roosevelt at the White House on Jan. 10, 1936, Beach wrote again on January 14 (OF 928). He again urged that Glacier Bay Monument be opened to mining either by proclamation or through passage of the bill introduced by Alaskan delegate Dimond (H. R. 9274), and suggested that the National Park Service prohibit the carrying of firearms in the monument to prevent illegal hunting by miners.

452 PRESS CONFERENCE, Executive Offices of the White House, January 10, 1936, 10:55 A. M.

[Excerpt] Q: Mr. President, do you still stand on your statement of last October 25th, relative to agriculture?1

The President: What was that?

Q: A permanent program.

The President: Yes. If you want a lead about agriculture, I think probably it would be worth while to bring out certain responsibilities that necessarily devolve on me.

I have to think of agriculture from the point of view of forty-eight states, not separately but as a part of the Nation. In other words, there is no question as to what my duty as President is, and that is to view agriculture as a national problem.

The reason I am saying this is that, at the present time, as a result of the decision, a good many of the old suggestions that were made away back, going back as far as the earlier days of President Coolidge's administration, are being revived. There is, for instance, a good deal of discussion, to bring it down to a practical problem, a good deal of suggestion that we should subsidize the export of certain crops. Of course, if you once begin to subsidize the export of certain crops, you subsidize the export of a great many crops and eventually of all crops. And because I have to think of it nationally, rather than think of agriculture as a local problem, I have to think of the implications of what would happen if, by an export subsidy of some kind, we encouraged the growing of a very vastly increased total of agricultural production.

You can take any number of examples. For instance, wheat: We never had very much of a problem on wheat until, well, the past generation when dry farming came in, and with the advent of dry farming, the old buffalo grass was plowed up. It was not plowed up in one county or township, it was plowed up in a great many states and we all know the result of that.

With the advent of modern machinery and a certain amount of capital, you could go in and drive a furrow in buffalo grass country ten miles long before you turned around. The result was what we all know, that a very light soil was turned up, the grass was plowed under and disappeared, and they started in to raise wheat. Because of the great area that each farm could be cultivated in, the large size, the yield per acre, was not the main consideration. A man could make money on wheat at a reasonable price if he only got a yield of ten or twelve bushels to the acre. He could still make money. Of course ten or twelve bushels an acre is nothing, but nevertheless it paid to do it if wheat was paying a big price.

What was the result of this plowing up of land that had never been plowed up before in all history? Dust storms began and they have been getting steadily worse year by year. The result is that we have in this country an area which is subject to dust storms. This was caused solely by the fact that we were using land for the wrong purpose; instead of using it for pasture, we are using it for wheat.

Now, what is the area? It isn't just one state, it is the Panhandle of Texas, Western Oklahoma, Western Kansas, Western Nebraska, Western South Dakota—just speaking from memory—Western North Dakota, a large portion of Montana, Eastern Colorado and Northern New Mexico.

Now, the area in square miles I don't know, I never figured it out. But, thinking of it in terms of the map, that area is probably as large as all of New England and all of New York and all of New Jersey and all of Pennsylvania put together. That is a tremendous national area.

Now, if we go in for a national agricultural policy that encourages the plowing up of that land again—and we are trying to take it out from being plowed—it means that people will go in with modern machinery and, because of some kind of an export subsidy, it will pay them to plow it up again. And the dust storms will continue and we will have—we will approach much more quickly to what we have all been worrying about, making that area a desert on which nobody can live.

Now, the same thing is true of cotton. If we were to give an export subsidy, it would mean anywhere you would go that people would say, "Domestic prices are all right, the export prices are all right, too; the more I grow the more money I make," and the average cotton farmer in the Southeast, let us say, will increase his land and start going up on the hilltops and will begin planting again land that ought to be in pasture or land that ought to be in woods. The result will be that all through the cotton area you will have an increase in the amount of soil that runs off to the ocean.

In other words, to put it the most simple way, we must avoid any national agricultural policy which will result in shipping our soil fertility to foreign nations. I think probably that is the best way of putting it.

Q: Can we put that in quotes?

The President: Yes, you can put that in quotes. We must avoid any national agricultural policy that will result in shipping our soil fertility to foreign nations. We have had so many lessons in that in the past that it seems perfectly clear.

Now, of course it is very attractive to say, "We can go ahead and raise any quantity at all of any crop with a certain definite export market caused by a Congressional subsidy," and a lot of people will be for it, but not the thinking farmer, and more and more of them are thinking all the time.

The people who probably are most actively for it are, let us say, the transportation companies, the railroads, because, of course it means more business for them and it is very human that they should think about the railroads ahead of soil fertility or the future of the Nation. That is perfectly human. To the steamship companies it means carrying more, and it is perfectly reasonable and natural that they should think in terms of more bulk agricultural freight than about the future of this country. And it is very reasonable that the warehouse people should seek greater crops.

It means that they will have more crops to put into their warehouses. It is very natural that commission merchants should think of greater crops because the bigger the crop the bigger the commission. And it is reasonable also that the commodity exchanges should be in favor of bigger crops.

In other words, the pocketbook, naturally, has a very definite influence on people who are engaged in some particular line of handling farm products, so that is one of the things we have to think of.

I think that covers the thing pretty well. I have tried to say it in as simple terms as possible.

My position is that I have to think of the future of the country and it seems pretty clear from the teachings of history that absolutely unlimited production—not merely in two or three crops because if you started with two or three you would eventually get a subsidy on all crops—will result in the loss of American soil fertility in a generation or two, and I believe that we have to think ahead.

Q: That seems to point to something in the nature of the allotment plan or—

The President: No, I was just thinking out loud. We haven't come to any plan yet. We are still talking it over, as you know, but undoubtedly we will try to get some legislation at this session which will carry out in some way the general thought of seeking to maintain or perhaps to retain and regain soil fertility because we have lost an awful lot of it and, at the same time, keep the price for American agricultural crops up to a high level.2


1Ante, 431. On Jan. 6, 1936, in U. S. v. Butler, the Supreme Court had declared unconstitutional the production control and processing tax features of the Agricultural Adjustment Act.

2Referring to the 1934-35 drought in the Great Plains states, Wallace said: "It is improbable that there will be any general retreat of farming from even the worst affected areas" (Report of the Secretary of Agriculture, 1935, p. 44). See below.


[WASHINGTON] January 11, 1936

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I am in receipt of a telegram signed by the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Wilbur C. Hawk, a prominent newspaper publisher, Mayor Ross D. Rogers, and other prominent citizens of Amarillo, Texas, reading as follows:

The President's interview wherein he is quoted as saying lands in the Panhandle of Texas, Oklahoma and other midwestern states should not be plowed again1 is a matter of great concern to the territory affected so that we urge that you clear the situation so that we may be assured there is no national policy in the making that would result in any substantial amount of our panhandle lands being forced back to grass. If such a policy is brought forward it is our opinion that our people are ruined. Our people request complete clarification on this matter to the end that the value of their investments may not be destroyed and like the Acadians be transported to a land selected by others for them.

I feel sure that there must be some misunderstanding in connection with this wire or as to the situation in the Panhandle. Hundreds of thousands of acres have been successfully cultivated in the Panhandle for the past quarter of a century. In fact the finest wheat in the country and perhaps the world is produced around Amarillo in the Panhandle. Agriculture is a most substantial element in the economic setup in the Panhandle. The production of kaffir corn for the sustenance of livestock is one of the principal industries there and has always been a success.

Kindly have the matter clarified in order that the people in the Panhandle may be reassured.2

With continued good wishes, I am, Yours very sincerely,


[13:OF 1414:TS]

1The press conference of Jan. 10, 1936 (above), is meant.

2Answered below.


[WASHINGTON] January 15, 1936

DEAR MORRIS: As usual the newspaper scribes got the story wrong. I mentioned that certain lands in western Texas, western Oklahoma, western Kansas, western Nebraska, western North and South Dakota, eastern Colorado and certain sections of New Mexico and Montana were susceptible of blowing away if cultivation continues. You and I know that that statement is true.

Always sincerely,


[13:OF 1414:CT]


[WASHINGTON] January 15, 1936

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: Rex Beach says that if we open the Glacier Bay National Monument in Alaska for prospectors for gold and silver, thousands of unemployed will immediately go there on grub stakes, and that it is generally agreed that the area is highly mineralized.1

As I understand it this monument is wholly unfit for human habitation and I do not see why mineral development could seriously affect its scenic beauty.

In regard to wild life, if the monument here was opened to mineral exploration, why not adopt the Canadian system of allowing no firearms to be carried by prospectors. This has worked in Canada and the wild life has remained.

Will you let me have a report on this.



[13:OF 928:CT]

1See ante, 451.

456 PRESS CONFERENCE, Executive Offices of the White House, January 17, 1936, 10:40 A. M.

[Excerpt] Q: Mr. President, would you care to talk on farm relief if we point out that you are not replying to Mr. Hoover?1

The President: Yes, I would just as soon do that. As a matter of fact what I was reading over when you came in were two things; first, the Soil Erosion Act of 1935 and, secondly, the statement I made and gave out on October 25 of this past year. I think probably the easiest thing to do is to read the statement of October 25th over, because that gives you a pretty good picture, a pretty good lead as to what the objective has been for a long time. In other words, this isn't anything new.

This statement of October 25th last year referred to the broad policy in relation to agricultural adjustment and of course on that I want to point out again that adjustment does not mean only adjustment downward, it means adjustment upward as well. If a man takes a quarter of his acreage out of one crop and puts it in another crop, he is adjusting one crop downward and adjusting another crop upward. It is an adjustment that is both ways.

I said there were two points and, mind you, this was away back in October.

The first was to carry out the gains already made, thereby avoiding the danger of a slump back into the conditions brought about by our national neglect of agriculture. Secondly, to broaden present adjustment operations so as to give farmers increasing incentives for conservation and efficient use of the nation's soil resources.

The time may come when the Triple A will prove as important in stimulating certain kinds of production as it has been in removing recent burden some surpluses.

Tens of millions of acres have been abandoned because of erosion. This jeopardizes both consumer and producer. Real damage to the consumer does not result from moderate increases in food prices but from collapse of farm income so drastic as to compel ruthless depletion of soil. That is the real menace to the nation's future food supply and has caused farmers to lose their homes. It has hastened the spread of tenancy. It lies at the root of many serious economic and social problems besetting agriculture.

Already the adjustment programs have made important gains in conservation and restoration of soil fertility. Many millions of acres which farmers have signed contracts to divert from surplus production—

this, of course, was when the contracts were legal—

are being devoted to legumes, pastures, hay and other crops which fertilize the soil and protect it from blowing and washing away.

>The long-time and more permanent adjustment program will provide positive incentives for soil conservation.

And then I spoke of the more simplified and more flexible program of the future and how it can serve to iron out the succession of extreme market gluts and shortages which in the past have wrecked the structure. And I said further,

I can think of nothing more important to the permanent welfare of the nation than long-time agricultural adjustment carried out along these lines.

That was true last October and it is true today with the exception of the contract method of soil conservation.

The Soil Conservation Act seems to point a way to carry out the broad purposes so we are proceeding on that theory.

Q: Does that not also contain a contract method?

The President: No.

Q: Doesn't that permit the Government to lease land?

The President: Yes.

Q: And thereby withdraw it from production?

The President: The bill says at the beginning,2

It is hereby recognized that the wastage of soil and moisture resources of farm, grazing and forest lands resulting from soil erosion is a wastage of national welfare, etc. The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to conduct surveys relating to the character of soil erosion, the preventive measures needed, to carry out preventive methods, including but not limited to engineering methods, changes in use of land, to cooperate and enter into agreements with and to furnish financial or other aid to any agency, Government or otherwise, or any person subject to the conditions necessary, to acquire lands or rights or interests therein by purchase, gift, condemnation or otherwise, whenever necessary for the purposes of the act.

The rest is administration.

Q. That mentions an agreement. That is out, isn't it, under the AAA decision? You can't have conditions?

The President: That I don't know. I don't think that has been checked. It can be done by lease.

Q: Does the present statute provide you with sufficiently broad legislative—

The President: It may be necessary to amend very slightly to clarify one or two of the provisions. It would be a very simple amendment.

Q: How do you raise the money for this?

The President: That we haven't got anything on as yet.

Q: Do you propose to amend the Act to provide for additional payments to farmers?

The President: You mean this Act?

Q: Yes.

The President: As I said, very, very slight amendments.

Q: If you lease the land from the farmer and thereby withdraw production, the rental money you pay to the farmer would be about the same thing as the benefit payment under the AAA?

The President: That would depend entirely on the character of the land. It would not be in every case.

Q: Any estimate of the cost of this program?

The President: No.

Q: In case a man had any submarginal land on his farm at all, this would not give you the means for leasing it?

The President: Yes, but his land might be running out. It might not be submarginal today, but it might be tomorrow.

Q: Or some time in the future?

The President: Yes. One of the things that needs clarification, speaking about amendments: Obviously the purpose of this, although it is not entirely clear, is to prevent the loss of soil fertility. Now, of course, very few of you know anything about farming but you can imagine perfectly well a field—let us bring it down to a field—where there isn't erosion in the sense that the soil is running off of the field into the creek. In other words, it is not something that when it dries or when it is deposited when the water stops perhaps a mile down, you can pick up in your hand. Nevertheless, that same field may be having a condition where the chemicals in the soil are being carried away. You can't pick up those chemicals in your hand. So, soil erosion, when you come down to a matter of actual fact, may be in one of two forms, the tangible thing that you can pick up in your hand, such as a handful of mud, or it may be the chemicals that are being washed out of the land. For instance, you take Hyde Park: It is an entirely different proposition from down in Georgia. In Georgia Warm Springs the soil itself actually washes off the cultivated fields and eventually you get these great furrows, gullies. At Hyde Park we don't get any gullies except on some of the higher hills. But if I don't rotate crops at Hyde Park, if I keep on planting corn year after year in the same field, after a while I don't get any corn crop. There are two causes, the first being that the corn itself takes the minerals out of the soil, and the second is that when that land is never put back into pasture, the chemicals in that particular field run off with the rains. That does not make a gully because chemicals are almost intangible; you cannot pick them up in your hand.

That is one of the questions with respect to this Bill, whether it is clearly enough stated that soil erosion is not limited to the physical running off of the soil in the form of ground. Is that clear?

Q: On the other basis of interpretation, there would be erosion on every farm in the country.

The President: Yes, possible erosion.

Q: Wouldn't it be actual, because you can't keep growing the same crop on any land without having it deteriorate?

The President: That is perfectly true.

Q: As a practical proposition, who will determine, and how, what land is eroding and what is running away?

The President: Oh, the same people who are doing it now, the county agents helped by the state colleges of agriculture. Put the entire system under the Department of Agriculture.

Q: Would you care to state whether you believe this program would be better in the long run than the original AAA?

The President: If you read the October 25th statement you will see that this is carrying out what AAA started to do, which was supplemented by the Soil Erosion Act. That is nothing new; no new policy. It is carrying out what we started two years ago.


1Hoover had attacked Roosevelt's farm policies in a speech in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Jan. 16, 1936.

2Roosevelt here read a paraphrase of the policy statement of the Soil Erosion Act of 1935 (49 Stat. 163). The Soil Conservation Act of 1936 (49 Stat. 1148) was enacted as an amendment to the 1935 measure.


[WASHINGTON] January 22, 1936

MY DEAR MR. DELANO: I am sorry that I could not accept your invitation to be present at the dinner which you are having tonight in recognition of the accomplishments of the National Park Service.1 I need not tell you that I have for a long time been deeply interested in the conservation and preservation of our natural resources, not only those resources of great money value, but also those of scenic value which, if once destroyed, can never be replaced. Anyone who has read the history of our country knows how in our rush to acquire land and subdue the forests many of these natural resources were destroyed for all time. It is fortunate that there have always been a few men who have stood stoutly for their preservation.

An interesting chapter in the history of our natural resources is the report of the Washburn Expedition in 1870 into the Yellowstone Park area. The recommendation of its participants, due largely, if not entirely, to the vision of Cornelius Hedges, bore fruit two years later in an act of Congress setting aside the Yellowstone Park; but ever since it has required the vigilance of public-spirited citizens to prevent the utilization and spoliation of such areas as the Yellowstone Lake itself and the Bechler Meadows.

Present day and future citizens of the United States owe very much to the vision of the men who were pioneers in the work which is now carried on by the National Park Service and while that service is now established on a very solid footing, it will always need the support of far-seeing, public-spirited and conscientious citizens.2

With very best wishes for the success of your meeting, I am,

Very sincerely yours,



[13:PPF 430:CT]

1The dinner was part of the program of the conference on the National Park Service held in Washington, Jan. 22-24, 1936, by the American Planning and Civic Association and the National Conference on State Parks.

2Drafted by Delano.

458 PRESS CONFERENCE, Executive Offices of the White House, January 24, 1936, 10:40 A.M.

[Excerpt] Q: Do you care to comment on suggestions for State A. A. A.'s?

The President: That was one of the newspaper stories this morning.

Q: The guessing record is on a kind of low average today, Mr. President.

The President: Yes, bad.

Q: What do you regard as the objective in that case?

The President: Well, you can put it as we stated it (in this statement of October 25th)1 or you can even use what I said up in New York as quotations from T. R.2 I would say, to so manage the physical land use in the United States that we will not only maintain soil fertility, but we will hand back to the next generation a country with better productive power and a greater permanency for land use than the one we inherited from the previous generation. That is the broad objective. We have got to go a long ways to catch up with the mistakes of the past so as to make the United States, as a whole, as productive as it was a hundred years ago.

Q: May that be used in quotations?

The President: I think so, if you will let me look it over.

Q: Do you think those objectives can be reached without amendment to the Constitution?

The President: I hope so.


1Ante, 431.

2At the dedication of the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial at the American Museum of Natural History, Jan. 19, 1936, Roosevelt quoted the former President's statement that conservation means development as much as it does protection, and that the nation behaves well if it turns over its natural resources to the next generation increased in value. The speech is printed in Rosenman (ed.), Public Papers, V, 61-65.


THE WHITE HOUSE, January 30, 1936

To THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES: I transmit herewith for the information of the Congress a letter from the Chairman of the National Resources Committee1 with the accompanying report entitled: Little Waters: a Study of Headwater Streams and Other Little Waters: Their Use and Relations to the Land.

This report treats of a subject with which the physical well-being of our people is intimately bound up, yet to which, in the past, too little attention has been paid. We have grown accustomed to dealing with great rivers, with their large problems of navigation, of power and of flood control, and we have been tempted to forget the little rivers from which they come. The report points out that we can have no effective national policy in those matters, nor in the closely related matter of proper land uses, until we trace this running water back to its ultimate sources and find means of controlling it and of using it.

Our disastrous floods, our sometimes almost equally disastrous periods of low water, and our major problems of erosion, to which attention has been called by the reports of the National Resources Board, the Mississippi Valley Committee, the Soil Erosion Service, and other agencies, do not come full-grown into being. They originate in a small way, in a multitude of farms, ranches and pastures.

It is not suggested that we neglect our main streams and give our whole attention to these little waters but we must have, literally, a plan which will envisage the problem as it is presented in every farm, every pasture, every wood lot, every acre of the public domain.

The Congress could not formulate, nor could the Executive carry out the details of such a plan, even though such a procedure were desirable and possible under our form of government. We can, however, lay down certain simple principles and devise means by which the Federal Government can cooperate in the common interest with the States and with such interstate agencies as may be established. It is for the Congress to decide upon the proper means. Our objective must be so to manage the physical use of the land that we will not only maintain soil fertility but will hand on to the next generation a country with better productive power and a greater permanency of land use than the one we inherited from the previous generation. The opportunity is as vast as is the danger. I hope and believe that the Congress will take advantage of it, and in such a way as to command the enthusiastic support of the States and of the whole public.2


1Ante, 444.

2The first draft of this message was by Robert L. Duffus, staff writer of the New York Times. On Jan. 16, 1936, Morris Cooke informed Roosevelt that the printing of the Little Waters report would be completed by January 22 (OF 2450). He added that Duffus was going to prepare something that might be used as a preliminary draft of a transmittal message: "He is both sympathetic and familiar with this subject and has been so helpful in connection with this particular publication that I rather think he will do a good job. Anything on conservation he does con amore."

Cooke sent the draft to Roosevelt on Jan. 18, 1936 (OF 2450). Hassett revised it by removing what he termed "most of the rhetoric" (references to "the pioneer blood . . . in our veins," "fighting the wilderness," and "working with Nature") (Early and Hassett to Roosevelt, Jan. 24, 1936, OF 2450). Also removed was a sentence which perfectly expressed one of Roosevelt's beliefs: "As to the principles, I believe there will be general agreement that no owner of land has the moral right, whatever his legal rights may be, so to use his property as to cause injury or loss to his fellow citizens, and that no present-day owner of land has the moral right to impair the heritage of soil fertility which should be handed down to the generations to come." In the Senate the message was referred to the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry; in the House, to the Committee on Flood Control (Cong. Rec., 74th Cong., 2d sess., 80:2, 1229, 1289).


WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 1936

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I have the honor to transmit herewith a report by a sub-committee of the National Resources Committee on Drainage Policy and Projects with the comments and recommendations of our Advisory Committee.1

It is believed that the need for coordination and advance planning of drainage projects shown in the report could be met by requesting all Federal agencies concerned with land drainage or water storage to report their impending programs of drainage or storage work to the National Resources Committee at regular intervals. The Committee would keep all interested agencies currently informed of the programs of others, and would be prepared to adjust controversies which agencies could not themselves reconcile. In this fashion unwise projects would be detected at an early time, and conflicts would be brought into the open before rather than after construction work had begun.

The attached draft of a suggested memorandum authorizing the foregoing procedure is submitted for your consideration. It calls for the same informal type of review specified in your order of September 23, 1935, regarding the Upper Rio Grande Basin, which procedure is now proving highly satisfactory. If you approve of this procedure, we will undertake to distribute photostat or other copies of the memorandum after your signature.

In the event that you consider it wise to issue a memorandum of the character suggested, the opening of the National Wildlife Conference on February 3 would be an especially appropriate time at which to announce your action.

Sincerely yours,


[Notation: A: LEHAND] RF2 Is this the proper way to get this out? FDR

[13:OF 1092:TS]

1Drainage Policy and Projects. Report of the Special Subcommittee of the Water Resources Committee of the National Resources Committee (Washington, 1936).

2Rudolph Forster, Executive Clerk of the White House Office.

461 [Enclosure]


MEMORANDUM: TO FEDERAL AGENCIES CONCERNED WITH PROJECTS OR ALLOTMENTS FOR LAND DRAINAGE OR WATER STORAGE: From investigations made by the National Resources Committee, it appears that unnecessary waste and delay in the execution of land drainage and water storage projects result from the failure of Federal agencies to secure review of projects from all relevant points of view while the work is being planned, and that certain projects which are ill-advised from public health, wildlife conservation, or other standpoints, may be undertaken because such review is not made.

Please instruct appropriate officials of your agency to submit a statement of impending programs involving land drainage or water storage to the National Resources Committee at regular intervals in order that other agencies having an interest in the work may be informed by the Committee of the programs well in advance of their initiation.1

[13:OF 1092:CT]

1The ribbon copy of this memorandum was signed by Roosevelt and returned to Ickes.


[WASHINGTON] February 1, 1936

MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: I have signed the suggested memorandum to the agencies concerned with land drainage or water storage projects and will appreciate it if you will see that properly authenticated copies are sent to the heads of all the agencies affected thereby.

Announcement of this action may be made, as you suggest, at the opening of the National Wildlife Conference on February third.1

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 1092:CT]

1This refers to the preceding memorandum. Speaking at the conference on Feb. 4, 1936, Jay Darling said Roosevelt's action in issuing the memorandum was one of the most important steps ever taken toward the restoration of wildlife environment (New York Times, Feb. 5, 1936, p. 21).


[WASHINGTON] February 3, 1936

To THE NORTH AMERICAN WILDLIFE CONFERENCE: I regret my inability to extend a personal welcome to you or to participate personally in your discussion. Because this is impossible, I have asked Secretary Wallace to convey my best wishes for a most successful and profitable meeting.

It has long been my feeling that there has been a lack of full and complete realization on the part of the public of our wildlife plight, of the urgency of it, and of the many social and economic values that wildlife has to our people. This, and the firm belief in the ability of the American people to face facts, to analyze problems, and to work out a program which might remedy the situation, impelled me to call the North American Wildlife Conference.

Our present wildlife situation is more than a local one. It is national and international. I sincerely hope that with the help of good neighbors to the north and south of us, your Conference will unite upon a common purpose and a common program.

You have been told that this Conference is an open forum; that it is entirely autonomous; that its future is subject to its own decisions. This is as it should be, for it makes it possible for you as representatives of thousands of wildlife organizations with millions of interested and zealous members to make effective progress in restoring and conserving the vanishing wildlife resources of a continent.1


[13:OF 1878:CT]

1(Drafted by the Biological Survey.) An important product of the conference was the organization of the General Wild Life Federation for the advancement, restoration and conservation of wildlife. Jay Darling was elected acting president (New York Times, Feb. 6, 1936, p. 4).


[WASHINGTON] February 8, 1936

SUBJECT: A bill to extend from 80,000,000 acres to 143,000,000, the area of the public domain that may be placed in grazing districts.1 This legislation was first transmitted to the President on January 30, 1936. The President directed that the matter be submitted to the Department of Agriculture, and under date of February 7, 1936, the Under Secretary advised that enactment thereof is desirable.

This bill does not appropriate any funds, and none apparently are required to effect its operation. The Secretary of the Interior favors adoption thereof, and sets out cogent reasons to support his conclusion, among them being that enactment of such bill would increase the value of C. C. C. work and permit its extension to areas sorely in need of such improvement. The bill contains proper provision for hearings of all interested parties before new grazing districts are created, and provisions to protect lawful rights under other existing law validly affecting the public lands.

I recommend that the President find that the said bill is in accord with the program of the President.


[Notation: A] Feb. 8, 1936 "L.T.A. O.K. FDR"

[13:OF 633:CT]

1H. R. 10094, introduced by Representative Taylor (Colo.) on Jan. 9, 1936, amended the Taylor Grazing Act of June 28, 1934 (48 Stat. 1269), to the extent here noted. Passed by the House (March 16) without debate, it was amended by the Senate in these particulars: the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to classify public domain lands for use was extended to lands withdrawn under Executive Orders 6910 (Nov. 26, 1934) and 6964 (Feb. 5, 1935); and the provisions relating to the exchange of public domain with private and state lands, and relating to the leasing of lands outside the grazing districts, were made more explicit. (For some reason, not explained in the Congressional Record, the area involved was reduced to 142,000,000 acres.) In addition, a new section created the post of director of grazing and required that the director, assistant grazing directors and graziers should be natives or bona fide residents of the state in which they were to serve (Cong. Rec., 74th Cong., 2d sess., 1936, 80:1, 285; 80:4, 3815-3816; 80:9, 9316; 80:10, 10624-10626). The act was approved June 26, 1936 (49 Stat. 1976).


WASHINGTON, February 8, 1936

MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: H. R. 10094 is a bill introduced by Congressman Taylor—on his own initiative, so far as I know—bringing the remainder of the public domain under the Taylor Grazing Law. A similar but more complicated bill passed Congress at the last session and was vetoed by you on the recommendation of this Department because of certain objectionable amendments that were attached to the bill. The present law is a simple one and is quite satisfactory to this Department.

It is of vital importance that this bill be passed. I find upon inquiry that it has gone through the Bureau of the Budget and the National Emergency Council. Mr. Alverson sent it to Mr. Forster, who then sent it to the Department of Agriculture.

Of course I have no complaint to make of this last reference but it just happens to be the fact that the Department of Agriculture urged you to veto the original Taylor Grazing Act and I don't quite see how the matter comes within the jurisdiction of that Department. It deals with public lands, which are within the sole jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior. Congressman Taylor is clamoring for a report on this bill and unless the policy of the Administration has changed since the last session with respect to the subject matter we ought to be in a position to report favorably so that the bill may be carried through Congress without unnecessary delay.

In my judgment, it is of vital importance to bring the balance of the public domain within the Taylor Grazing Law.

Sincerely yours,


[Notation: A] R. F. President would like to know where report from Ag on this is—

[13:OF 633:TS]


[WASHINGTON] February 12, 1936

MY DEAR MR. MAVERICK: I entirely approve the establishment of a National Resources Board.

As I stated in my Message to the Congress, in transmitting the report of the National Resources Board on January 24, 1935, "a permanent National Resources Board, toward the establishment of which we should be looking forward, would recommend yearly to the President and to the Congress priority of projects in the national plan."

Definite legislation would provide for the continuance of the effective work already done by the present National Resources Committee and its predecessors.1

Very sincerely yours,


[13:OF 1092:CT]

1This is in reply to Maverick's letter of Jan. 21, 1936, asking support of H. R. 10303, to establish a permanent national resources board, introduced by him on January 16, and suggesting that the President secure the help of Delano, Ickes and others (OF 1092). Roosevelt had earlier, however (apparently in November or December, 1935), asked Delano to get Representative Doughton (N. C.) to introduce a planning board bill and had indicated his approval of an annual expenditure, for such an agency, of from $600,000 to $1,500,000 (Acting Executive Director Alverson, National Emergency Council, to Roosevelt, Jan. 9, 1936, OF 788). Doughton, however, said he knew nothing about the subject and had "grave doubts" about introducing a planning agency bill in view of the recent invalidation of the National Recovery Administration Act (Delano to Maverick, Jan. 8, 1936, OF 1092). Delano then wrote to Ickes (Jan. 31, 1936, OF 1092), that the Maverick bill was satisfactory to the Advisory Committee of the National Resources Committee and enclosed a draft reply to Maverick that was sent as the letter here printed. (Another draft prepared by the National Resources Committee which specifically approved Maverick's bill was not used by the White House.) The House took no action on the Maverick bill, and an attempt in the Senate to add its Senate counterpart (S. 2825) to the 1936 omnibus flood control bill (H. R. 8455) failed (Cong. Rec., 74th Cong., 2d sess., 80:5, 5269-5270 80:7, 7706-7710).


[ST. LOUIS] February 13, 1936

DEAR MR. ICKES: As I told you when we met for a moment in Mr. McIntyre's office, I had been talking with the President about the conflict between the National Park Service and Forest Service, and I now wish to outline to you our conversation and what preceded it, for whatever it may be worth to you.

The matters about which I spoke to the President were the preservation of the virgin forests around the present Mt. Olympus National Monument and the sugar pine grove near Carl Inn, on the edge of Yosemite park.

Some days earlier, I had made some comment to Secretary Wallace about the unwillingness of the Forest Service to let go of any of its lands, and he asked me to have lunch with himself and Mr. Silcox to talk over the Olympus situation. Thanks to Mr. Horning of the National Park Service, I had some detailed information about the situation there, and the upshot was that Silcox (who seems to have a genuine desire to protect virgin timber) said that if the facts were as I stated he would support a move to have additional areas (he did not say how extensive) permanently protected. But he said he would not sanction the transfer of a single acre to the "administrative methods" of the Park Service.

The statement I had made, based on information from Mr. Horning, was that the area desired for a national park included only 5 billion board feet of timber which could be marketed, that this would last only five years in the Gray's Harbor mills, and that on a sustained yield basis this area would produce only 5 per cent of the entire sustained yield of the area tributary to the Olympic Peninsula lumber interests. Therefore the demand for economic use of the timber meant that trees 400 to 1,000 years old, irreplaceable and the last of their kind, would be sacrificed to keep mills running five years or to prevent the transference of 170 families (5 per cent of the population).

Silcox said the Forest Service could be trusted to guard these trees in perpetuity. I told him that in 1927 or thereabouts the Forest Service officials at Portland had told me they were going to make these forests into a wilderness area to be preserved forever, but now they were planning to run roads and railroads in and log them off. Silcox then said he would be willing to see the Olympic National Monument extended if administration of it were transferred to the Forest Service, or if administration of the added area were left to the Forest Service. I said that an act of Congress would be needed to insure the permanence of a national monument, but raised no objection to his suggestion of divided jurisdiction, for this reason: If the Forest Service agrees that the trees must be protected, it abandons the only argument (economic use) on which it could oppose a national park.

In talking with the President I outlined the matter much as stated above, emphasizing the fact that Silcox agreed to preservation, but said he would not agree to a transfer to the National Park Service. I told the President that I thought this put action up to him. I also told him of the relationship of these lands to the Roosevelt elk herd. (Incidentally, the President, in looking over Mr. Horning's pictures of the high mountain land, said he would like to get in there and wanted to know if a road was to be built. I told him that the N. P. S. planned a highway into the high mountains but wanted to leave most of the land in a wilderness condition.) He took notes on this and seemed decidedly interested.

On the sugar pine matter, I told him I had just learned that the Yosemite Lumber Company had started cutting toward the Carl Inn grove, which meant that a race was on to see how much could be saved before they cut to the park boundary. This is the finest sugar pine grove left in California. It has been saved for the past few years by the depression. To my mind, these sugar pines are hardly if at all inferior to the great sequoias, for they make up in beauty the little they lack in size, and it would be a crime if a grove which naturally belongs to Yosemite park, and once was inside of it, should be destroyed when it could be saved by a trade for national forest lands. I told the President that action was needed on a bill to authorize the transfer. I believe, also, that there is great need for national publicity, both to encourage action by Congress and in the hope that somebody will make a money gift which will insure the saving of some part of the trees. This is a matter on which delay is fatal; the trees are going.

I am sure that you take a keen interest in these matters, and hope that you may be able to secure action. If the administration would get behind the two bills, and tell the Forest Service people to keep their hands off, they would go through Congress without difficulty.

Yours sincerely,


P. S. Inclosed is an editorial on your joint appearance with his chain gang excellency.1

[Notation: A] P's desk at office

[13:OF I—C:TS]

1The editorial is not present. "His chain gang excellency" refers to Gov. Eugene Talmadge of Georgia, so dubbed by Ickes.


WASHINGTON, February 18, 1936

MEMORANDUM . . . MT. OLYMPUS NATIONAL MONUMENT: I understand that there is a forest area immediately adjacent to the national monument. Why should two Departments run this acreage? If the forest portion is not to be used for eventual commercial forestation and cutting, why not include the forest area in the national monument?

This is a matter which should be settled by Mr. Silcox and Mr. Cammerer.

Please let me have a report recommending Executive action.1


[13:OF 928:CT]

1No reply to this has been found.


WASHINGTON, February 18, 1936

MEMORANDUM . . . I understand that Okefenokee swamp has been bought with Biological Survey funds. In view of the fact that this is to be set up as a permanent preserv