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The eagle. (Silver City, N.M.) 1894-1???, November 21, 1894, Image 10

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn92070477/1894-11-21/ed-1/seq-10/

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That of the West Needs Better Pro
Violation of the Law in Detitruetion of
Timber Reported to the WuhIi
ington Olllce.
The simplicity of the means by which
permits to cut timler are allowed is a
constant temptation for dishonest people
and lumber syndicates to despoil the pub
lic forests of the country. Various at
tempts have been made to remedy this
evil by legislation, but all measures in
troduced for this purpose have been
sidetracked, doubtless by members of
congress who are interested in the lum
ber business themselves.
As the law now stands, a man who
wishes to cut timber merely has to apply
to the interior department at Washing
ton, either through the nearest land of
fice or directly to the department, giving
the affidavits of four persons that the
timler they desire to cut is necessary for
local supplies. They must also make it
appear that this timber can be cut with
out injury to the public, that is, that it
will not interfere with local water con
ditions and other matters of thissort,and
that they have advertised in two local
newspapers, if there are t wo published in
the section in which the land is situated.
If everything seems satisfactory, the sec
retary of the interior issues apcrmitspe
cifying the minimum size of the trees to
lie cut, the percentage of each class rep
resented on the tract, and the manner of
thcircutting.and many other points. This
license is good for one year, and is re
newable indefinitely at the secretary's
All of this affords very little protection
for the government in a thinly settled
country. The four affidavits can Iks easi
ly obtained, and may be made by the men
in tha deal themselves. In many western
counties there are not two newspapers.or
if there are, they do not circulate out
side the towns in which they are printed.
Sometimes the first intimation a settler
receives that such a permit has been
granted is when the water supply of his
home becomes contaminated by passing
through a lumber camp or a clearing in
which unlawful sheep-herding has suc
ceeded the cutting down of the timber.
It is too late then to do anything. lie
may send a protest to Washington, but
by the time his communication has been
through the circumlocution and red tape
of the land office, and a special agent
sent out to investigate the trouble, and
this report has been examined and the
land office is all ready to act, the damage
has been done.
There is such a small force of special
agents at the disposal of the interior de
partment that no adequate watch can be
kept on the public forests of the country.
All attempts to increase this force are
defeated in congress. Last year the sen
ate cut down the item appropriated by
the house for this purpose from $85,000
to $60,000, to gratify a petty piece of spite
of Senator Gorman, it is said, who was
disappointed in securing one of these
places for one of his Maryland hench
men. Of course it cannot be denied
that often in the past these agents have
been worse than useless, but there is no
reason why competent men could not be
put in si'ch positions and held account
able for their actions. The money spent
in this way would come back four-fold
in fines and recovery of damages where
thefts had been committed.
The McRae bill, which was introduced
in the house last winter, had for its os
tensible object the protection of forests
and provides for the sale of government
timber under the supervision of the sec
retary of the interior. It also made pro
vision for a special fund to employ in
spectors. This bill, however, was open
to certain objections, as it gave the sec
retary of the interior too much discretion
in the sale of timber and left loop holes
for fraud. It was defeated through the
efforts of Representative Tickler of South
The sheep herders have proved to 1h
even more distructive to forests than
timber thieves in many sections. They
frequently in the fall set fire to the
woods to promote a vigorous growth of
young leaves and herbage the next year.
The department has received many
protests from the neighborhood of the
Battlement mesa reserve in Colorado
and San Barnardino reserve in Califor
nia, and many others, declaring that
sheep herders had rendered the waters
beioiv unfit for use by pasturing sheep
on the reservations.
Propositions have been made to use
the United States troops for the protec
tion of the government forest, but with
out the authority of congress the
secretary of war did not care to take the
responsibility of utilizing the idle sol
diers for this purpose.
In the Black Hills region in South
Dakota it is asserted that the Homestake
Mining company has been making use
of the mineral land timber for its pri
vate benefit. Under the law, wood can
be cut from mineral lands for domestic
anil mining purposes without the pre
liminary of taking out a permit. This
company, it is said, has not paid partic
ular attention as to whether the timber
it has cut has been on mineral lands
within the meaning of the law, but has
gone alead cutting timber everywhere it
pleased on the theory that all lands in a
mining country must be mineral in char
acter. It has even built a narrow gauge
railroad 20 miles long which, for eight
months in the year, does nothing but
haul timber from the forests down to the
Nineteen Democrat, Twenty-three Ro
pulillvHiiH, One Dnmoeriitic-lop-ullst
and One SUverlte
As It Now Htands.
Of the 21 states that elected governors,
17 of the successful candidates were re
publicans, 2 democrats, one democratic
populist and 1 silverite.
The states in which republicans take
the place of democratic governors are:
Connecticut, Delaware, New York
Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wiscon
sin. A democrat displaces a repub
lican as governor of California. Popu
lists give way to republicans in Colo
rado, Kansas, North Dakota and Wyo
ming. The list of governors of the states
is as follows :
Alabama William C. Oates, demo
crat. Arkansas J. P. Clark, democrat.
. California James II. Budd, demo
crat. Colorado Albert W. Mclntyre, re
publican. Connecticut O. Vincent Collin, re
publican. Delaware Joshua II. Marvil, repub
lican. Florida Henry L. Mitchell, demo
crat. ' Georgia W. Y. Atkinson, democrat.
Idaho William J. McCofinell, demo
crat. Illinois John 1'. Allgeld, democrat.
Indiana Claude Matthews, democrat.
Iowa Frank D. Jackson, republican.
Kansas Edmund N. Morrill, repub
lican. Kentucky John Young Brown, dem
ocrat. Louisiana Murphy J. Foster, demo
crat. Maine Henry B. Cleaver, republi
can. Maryland Frank Brown, democrat.
Massachusetts Frederic T. Green
harge, republican.
Michigan John T. Rich, republican.
Minnesota Knute Nelson, republi
can. Mississippi John M. Stone, demo
crat. Missouri William J. Stone, demo
crat. -
Montana John F. Richards, republi
can. Nebraska Silas A. llolcomb, democratic-populist.
Nevada John F. Jones, Silverite.
New Hampshire Charles A. Busiel,
New Jersey George T. Werts, demo
crat. New York Levi P. Morton, republl
can. North Carolina Elias Carr, democrat.

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