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in 1908; these are some of the problems calling for determination in this branch of conservation.
The mineral production of the United States for 1907 exceeded 2,000,000,000 tons and contributed 65 per cent. of the total freight traffic of the country. The waste in the extraction and treatment of minerals during the same year amounted to more than $300,000,000, or 15 per cent. of the whole. Gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, coal, petroleum, iron, phosphates, clay, stone, cement and natural gas were included in this category.
Although continental United States has a great area of land cultivated and capable of cultivation, the yield per acre is less than that of many European countries and this result is largely due to preventable waste of soil and unscientific methods of cultivation. It has been estimated that loss to farm products due to injurious mammals probably exceeds $130,000,000 annually; the loss through insects, $650,000,000; the loss through soil exhaustion and erosion and through plant diseases, each to several hundred million dollars more. In fact, the annual loss to the farming interests of the country from all causes must amount to much more than a billion dollars, most of which could be saved.
In its entirety, the conservation movement seems in an economic sense to mean almost the complete making over of the country and the development of a commercial and industrial
progress compared with which the greatness of the first century of the Republic must fall far behind. The project involves expenses that rise to billions of dollars and it is estimated that this will result in more billions of dollars of National wealth. Under the reclamation act of June 17, 1902, there was spent for irrigation in the ensuing seven years $45,750,000, when it was reckoned that the cost of the undertakings then either finished or in process of completion would be at least $115,500,000. For improvement of waterways, to add to transportation facilities, to lessen flood damage, to reduce forest fire destruction, to add to water power and to save soil erosion, $500,000,000 to be spent in ten years was called for, and it was argued that this would result in an annual national saving of $1,000,000,000, or twenty times the cost. For the protection of woodland, reforestation and other measures, the figures of cost rise to similar figures, with similar proportionate ultimate enrichment in savings and profits.
In March of 1907 President Roosevelt appointed the Inland Waterways Commission, and the first report of this commission pointed out that the problem was broader than the single question of water power and navigation. It involved the control and use of water to conserve coal, iron and the soil, and the preservation of the forests to increase rainfall so as to add to our water supply. The completely interdependent character of
CONSERVATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES.
all these natural resources was dwelt upon and the necessity of strong concerted action in the interests of all.
The ideas that were then presented grew into a larger movement to bring the individual States as well as the Nation into considering and acting upon the matter. The President called a conference of the governors of the States, other prominent public men, representatives of scientific and industrial societies, and others interested in the subject which so quickly assumed national importance. This White House Conference in May of 1908 was exceptional in many respects, but in nothing more than that it was the first time in the history of the country that the governors of the States and eminent citizens had been assembled to consult upon the National welfare. The conservation movement, which had been slowly developing, came from this conference fully grown and clothed with an importance and a power that made it the greatest national enterprise undertaken for over a third of a century.
As an outcome of this conference, both popular and official interest in the subject was awakened to a remarkable degree. Before the governors had separated, they drew up a series of resolutions in which they surveyed the subject in all its branches, taking advanced position in condemning the extravagance and waste which has characterized the past and urging in the strongest terms the importance of protecting and developing
our natural resources as the foundation of our future prosperity. Immediately a National Conservation Commission was appointed by the President, and in less than two years more than forty State conservation commissions and more than fifty similar commissions representing organizations of National scope had been created. In 1909 the National Conservation Association was organized, independent of the official commission created by the President, but designed to work in harmony with that and all other organizations devoted to the cause. The special purpose of its founders is to make it the centre of a great propaganda. With the holding of several conventions and the production and distribution of much literature on the subject, the supporters of the cause made a considerable and definite progress in the first few years of their active work prior to 1911, and laid plans for the future that were even international in scope.
The vital principles of conservation were clearly set forth in the declaration which emanated from the conference of governors in May of 1908. In this declaration it was asserted that the resources of the country were a heritage not to be wasted, deteriorated or needlessly destroyed; that these resources supply the material basis upon which the perpetuity of the Nation rests and yet that this material basis is threatened with exhaustion; that the conservation of these resources the land, the waters, the
forests and the minerals — is a subject of transcendent importance which should engage unremitting attention of the Nation, the States, and the people in earnest co-operation; that there should be a continuation and extension of forest policies adapted to secure the husbanding and renewal of diminishing timber supplies, the prevention of soil erosion, the protection of headwaters and the maintenance of the purity and navigability of streams; that laws should be enacted looking to the conservation of water resources for irrigation, water supply, power and navigation, and to the prevention of waste in the mining and extraction of coal, oil, gas and other minerals, with a view to their wise husbanding for the use of the people.
Congress has been less enthusiastic for conservation than have been the active supporters and endorsers of the movement. Legislation to make effective the plans of the National Commission was urged by President Roosevelt and also by President Taft, but was refused by the legislative branch. Nevertheless something has been done by Congressional enactment, especially in the direction of forest protection. In 1891 the first law treating of the subject was passed. This provided" that the President of the United States may, from time to time, set apart and reserve in any state or territory having public land bearing forests, any part of the public
* United States Department of Agriculture, Farmers' Bulletin 340.
lands wholly or in part covered with timber or undergrowth, whether of commercial value or not, as public reservations, and the President shall, by public proclamation, declare the establishment of such reservations and the limits thereof."
Under the provisions of this law magnificent National forests, not surpassed in extent by any nation of Europe, save perhaps Russia, have been secured to the people forever. The general policy of the Government has been to withdraw from entry lands which are more valuable for timber than for purposes of agriculture. President Harrison withdrew 13,416,710 acres; President Cleveland, 25,686,320 acres; President McKinley, 7,050,089 acres; President Roosevelt, 148,346,925 acres; making a total of national forest area of 194,500,043 acres. Of the 149 national forests existing in May of 1909, 617,677,749 acres were in continental United States, 26,761,626 acres in Alaska, and 65,950 acres in Porto Rico. Most of the continental acreage was in the Far West, but there were portions in 22 States and Territories. As the first decade of the Twentieth century came to an end, the question of the reservation of extensive tracts of the Appalachian range and the White Mountains of New Hampshire was being agitated with every prospect of a favorable outcome.
Following the example of the National Government, more than than 20
Civil service in its broadest sense is, the conducting of public business by chosen officials, whether elected or appointed. In its usual and restricted meaning, however, it is government service, outside of the army and navy, that is performed by appointive, not elective, officers.
Into this system abuses gradually crept, from the very nature of things, and improvement in methods of appointment, rules of conduct, etc., became not only desirable but imperative. Hence came "civil service reform" a movement which looks to the appointment of public servants according to fitness for their duties
The Civil Service Law
rather than as a reward for any political services they might have performed or were supposed to perform,
* Treadwell Cleveland, Jr., A Primer of Conservation, United States Forest Service circular (Washington, 1908); Gifford Pinchot, The Conservation of Natural Resources, United States, Agricultural Department, Farmers' Bulletin 327 (Washington, 1908); articles on the same subject in The Outlook (New York, 1907), and The Fight for Conservation (New York, 1910); Sir Horace Plunkett, The Rural Life Problem of the United States (New York, 1910); Joseph Hyde Pratt, The Conservation and Utilization of Our Natural Resources in Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society Journal, vol. xxvi. (Chapel Hill, N. C., 1910); United States Conservation Conference (Washington, 1909); Report of United States National Conservation Commission (Washington, 1909); Charles Richard Van Hise, The Conservation of Natural Resources in the United States
either by personal effort or by contributions of money. It is "the adoption, by legislation or executive action, of rules for improving the civil service of the State by prescribing the qualifications of candidates for public office and for the good behavior of public servants and their independence of external control."
It is hardly possible to exaggerate the evils which have grown up under what is called the "spoils system." In a republican form of government public policies may, of course, be changed by the electorate. If the people desire a different administration of the tariff, for instance, they may elect officers who are pledged to carry out their views, and these officers may greatly modify protective principles, or even reverse the policy of a preceding administration. But the routine business of the custom houses must go on practically unchanged forever," like Tennyson's brook. And it is highly desirable, if not absolutely necessary, that officers
(New York, 1910); Rudolf Cronau, Our Wasteful Nation: the Story of American Prodigality and the Abuse of Our National Resources (New York, 1908); William B. Bosley, Conservation and the Constitution in Yale Law Review, vol. xx. (New Haven, 1910); Andrew A. Bruce, The Conservation of our National Resources in University of Pennsylvania Law Review, vol. xxviii. (Philadelphia, 1908); George L. Knapp, The Other Side of Conservation in North American Review, vol. exci. (New York, 1910); W. J. McGee, The Cult of Conservation (Washington, 1908); Declaration of Principles, North American Conservation Conference (Washington, 1909); Smith Riley, Preservation and Utilization of the National Forests in Colorado Scientific Society Proceedings, vol. ix., (Denver, 1909).
who are appointed, not elected, should carry on public business undisturbed and uninterruptedly, from year to year. But that is just what, under the spoils system, they were not allowed to do.
In the first forty years of the history of the United States, the six Presidents made less than a hundred removals from office- and every one of these only for cause. But with the incoming of President Jackson in 1829 a revulsion, rising to a revolution, took place. Thousands of subordinates in the Government service were removed for no other reason than that their places were desired by those who had supported or helped to seat the new Administration.
A period of corruption and of deterioration of the public service set in, which was to continue for half a century and intrench itself so deeply and powerfully that only the assassination of a President (President Garfield) could arouse the Nation to a sense of its peril and bring about the overthrow of a system which was second only to slavery itself in its baleful influence on public morals.
This change was not effected without vigorous and prolonged struggle which characterized the half century. In 1835 a great debate took place in the United States Senate, participated in by Clay, Calhoun, Webster and others men who differed radically on many other great questions of the day and who were bitter rivals in personal ambition, but who were agreed