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irrigation — mostly in the Far West- was made — the largest up to that ern States, but including rice fields in time, though small compared with Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas — subsequent appropriations. aggregated 3,631,381 acres; in 1899, A decided impetus was given to the 7,778,904 acres; in 1902, 9,681,289 matter by the 1874 report of the acres; in 1907, about 10,000,000 acres; Senate Select Committee on Transand in 1909, about 13,036,700 acres. portation Routes to the Seaboard. The total construction cost to 1899 was The Committee recommended that the $71,226,074; to 1902, $92,731,594; to United States undertake to improve 1907, about $148,200,000. In 1909 the the mouth of the Mississippi, to open National Reclamation Service had 29 a route by the Ohio and Kanawha irrigation projects in process of con- rivers and a railway or canal to struction. The work thus engaged in Virginia tidewater, and another by was planned for the ultimate irriga- canal or railway from the Tennessee tion of 2,700,000,000 acres. The total River to the Atlantic Ocean. None of land in the country available for and these plans was adopted, but the reneeding irrigation was then estimated port of the Committee greatly influto be about 44,375,000,000 acres. The enced the future in the conclusion that computed cost of irrigation works for the constitutional power of Congress this enormous territory was $110,- to regulate commerce includes the 290,000, to be spread over many years. power to aid and facilitate it, thus

Federal expenditure for the im- conferring upon Congress the power provement of rivers and harbors be

to improve or create channels of comgan after 1810. To the close of the

land or by water. This fiscal year 1908 there had been ex- broad interpretation of the Constitupended on this account over $511, tion effectually fixed the policy of the 000,000, of which about $53,000,000 had Government and probably forever degone for a few unimportant projects termined its course of action in the then existent or for obsolete projects matter.


From that time on, approof earlier date long discontinued. priations were more frequent and of Prior to 1880 appropriations for this more considerable size, and every purpose had been irregular and were Congress gave much attention to the generally regarded with disfavor. In subject. But the funds made available 1846 President Polk, and in 1854 being still inadequate, the work was President Pierce, vetoed such bills carried on in a manner not calculated upon constitutional grounds. After to produce the best and the most the Civil War, however, broader economical results. Finally the River opinions concerning

concerning constitutional and Harbor bills became the subject limitations began to prevail, and in of grave scandal, being loaded with 1870 an appropriation of $2,000,000 appropriations for worthless projects


merce on

The Delaware River breakwater and harbor

of refuge
Chicago Harbor
Cleveland Harbor
Buffalo Harbor
Oswego Harbor
New York Harbor.
The Gowanus (N. Y.) Bay Channel
The Delaware River
The San Pedro deep water harbor,
Patapsco River..
Potomac River
James River
Charleston Harbor
Savannah Harbor
Cumberland Sound
St. Johns River..
Mobile Harbor
Southwest Pass (Mississippi River)
Galveston Ilarbor
Buffalo Bayou
Sabine Pass

involving the expenditure of money Mississippi River, upon which the for purely political purposes, regard- Mississippi River Commission had exless of public needs. The scandal as- pended $53,500,300, mostly for levees, sumed such importance that the bill of while $23,277,000 had been used for 1902 specifically provided that there- the operation and maintenance of after all projects be referred to a

locks and dams. Other large entertechnical board of review and favor- prises in this enumeration, with ex

, ably passed upon before being under- penditures to date, were: taken.

In 1908 the Government was engaged upon the improvement of harbors, rivers and other waterways to the total of over 500, including even a few that were practically insignificant. Some of these works had then been under way for many years and large sums of money had been expended upon them from their inception to the close of the year 1908. In the list were 17 harbors of

Duluth Superior refuge, upon which $14,312,000 had been expended; 24 harbors used for refuge and commerce, which cost the United States $24,083,772; 265 lake and coast commercial harbors and

Mississippi River (between Ohio, Missouri,

St. Paul and Minneapolis, and including tidal rivers, with expenditures of $172,707,000; 76 rivers under improvement by regulation or by locks and dams, with expenditures of $204,718,500; 67 interior shallow streams under slight improvements, with expenditures of $7,200,000; 7 inland

7,172,400 waterways and canals, with expenditures of $9,956,000; 12 cases of special work, auxiliary channels, etc., with expenditures of $11,264,432; 5 chan

The original commerce of these nels connecting the Great Lakes, with waterways, calculated for the period expenditures of $25,198,000.

1890–95, before improvements were inAmong the greatest of these enter- stituted, amounted to $281,760,000 prises was the improvement of the tons annually. The total commerce in

$5,045,000 12.056,000 5.351,000 5,269.000 2,144,700 7.187.839 5,506,000 2,236,000 8,583,000 2,314,000 6,282.000 3,074,200 2,399,400 4,641,000 8,018,000 3,290,500 3,779,300 6,148,000 3,974,000 9,968,000 2,862,300 3,931.000 5,413,000 2,520.700 2,287.000 2,179,000 5,517,000 5,228,000 2,235,800 2,300,400 2,427,900

Toledo Harbor
Oakland Harbor
Humboldt Harbor
Mouth of Columbia River
Hudson River
Warrior River
Red River
Arkansas River

reservoirs )
Missouri River
Cumberland River
Tennessee River
Ohio River
Mononga hela River
Kanawha River
Kentucky River
Fox River
Columbia River Canal.
Illinois and Mississippi Canal.
East River and Hell Gate.
Yazoo River and Vicksburg Ilarbor.
Hay Lale and Neebish Canal.
St. Mary's Canal.
Detroit River
Rivers and connecting channels.
St. Clair River..

27,764,900 11,798.000

3,203,600 4,518,400 15,754,700 10,708,600 4,228,100 2,927,000 3,195,000 3,819.000 7,319,500 4,833,800 2,011,400

7,427,000 4,210,000 3,338,000 2,951,200

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1908 was 591,977,700 tons, a gain of figured that the cost per ton to the 340,217,700 tons. The projects which United States has been about 6 cents, showed an increase of tonnage, pre- considering the total outlay on all imsumably on account of the improve- provements since the beginning of the ments, were 217, while 111 showed a work. What savings resulted to comdecrease and the rest showed no com- merce from these improved facilities mercial effects. It was estimated that it is impossible to estimate even the annual cost to the United States roughly. There have been instances for this increased commerce was 2.4 where, for certain favored localities, cents per ton. But, for various rea.

it has been calculated to be as high as sons, much of this commerce was re- $1 per ton. In other instances it was ported in duplicate or even more fre- little or nothing. Undoubtedly much quently, and, after making proper of the benefit derived from the imallowances, it appeared that the total provements has been of indirect charwater-borne commerce at this time acter and has been entirely lost sight approximated 256,000,000 tons per of in the great bulk of commercial and annum. On this basis it has been industrial wealth of the country.*

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Early indifference to waste of natural resources The first alarm – Waste of water, agricultural lands, and

mineral resources - Enormity of the problem of conservation The Inland Waterways Commission of 1907 — The White House Conference and the National Conservation Commission of 1908 — The National Conservation Association of 1909 — Vital principles of conservation – Congressional apathy to the movement The forest reserves enactment of 1891 – Federal and State reservations.

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Although wastefulness of natural resources dates from the first peopling of the continent, conservation of natural resources did nct have its inception before the last quarter of the Nineteenth century.

To the pioneers the resources of the new country naturally seemed infinite. Land, forests, water, minerals and fish were so plentiful as to become in many instances obstacles to prosperity and comfortable existence. For 250 years

* E. L. Bogart, Economic History of the United States (New York, 1907); Emory R. Johnson, Ocean and Inland Water Transportation (New York, 1906); Preliminary Report of the Inland Waterway Commission (Washington, 1908); Alexander H. Weber, The Waterways of the United States : Actual E.cpenditures and Results to Navigation and Commerce, Doc. 15 of the National Waterways Commission (Washington, 1910); Report of the United States Industrial Commission (19 vols., Washington, 1900–1902); Transportation Routes to the Seaboard, Report of the Select Committee of the Senate, Doc. 307,

Millions of acres of woodland were had been brought about there in the burned because they were in the way course of centuries, and raised the cry or because modern industry demanded of alarm. Forestry was a subject that logs and lumber. That mines of coal, had engaged scientific attention in copper and precious metals might in Europe, and in that the first step in course of time become exhausted was the National conservation movement something not even dreamed of. Of in the United States was taken. course, land fertility would never fail, Some apprehension over the rapid lakes could never dry up, and the reduction of our forests was felt about waters of rivers could be depended 1870, but it was not of much moment upon to run forever regardless of and the public disposition was to what drafts might be made upon them. laugh it down. But in 1873 the

When the country was new and the American Association for the Adpopulation scant, this view of the case vancement of Science presented a did not much matter. Under the con- memorial to Congress and, when ditions then existing it was scarcely nothing had been done, presented possible for waste, extravagance, and another memorial on the subject in recklessness to progress with the work 1890. As a result of these representaof destruction faster than nature tions, a forestry division was estabcould repair the damage. But the lished in the Department of Agriculolder the Nation grew, the faster went ture in 1887 and laws were passed on depletion. The increasing popula- which led to the first National reserve tion of the country, the demands of in 1891. In 1897 a Bureau of Forestry modern industry and of modern living was established in the Agricultural developed new problems of supply, Department and Gifford Pinchot was and these were met by draughts upon made its chief, holding that position natural resources that grew heavier until 1910. every year.

Originally the forests of the United Long before the general public had States covered 850,000,000 acres. In the slightest appreciation of the situa- addition, there were about 150,000,000 tion, the scientists realized that the acres of scrub forest and brush land. pace, if kept up, meant overwhelming The former was all good timber maNational disaster. They studied other terial, but the latter was of little dicountries, learned the conditions which rect commercial value. In less than

a century and a quarter this magnifi43d Congress, 1st session (Washington, 1874); cent heritage was reduced by nearly Statutes-at-Large of the United States (18651910); The Statistical Abstract (Washington,

one-half, with practically no efforts 1900–1910); N. S. Shal American Highways made to restore the loss. Of the (New York, 1896); Transportation by Water in

original 1,000,000,000 acres of forest Census Report, 1906; Annual reports of the Chief of Engineers of the United States Army.

land, there were left at the close of CONSERVATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES.


40 years.

the first decade of the Twentieth mate of 1880 was 237,000,000,000 feet century approximately 550,000,000 of standing southern yellow pine; in acres forest-clothed. Even in this 1909 the amount was 137,000,000,000, acreage most of the best timber had with an annual cut of 12,000,000,000 been cut while the forests had been feet. Oak, poplar, elm, hickory, maple, damaged by fire and otherwise. Still spruce, ash, birch — in fact all the this remaining portion was a very con- woods that were in common use and siderable estate, being one-fourth of plentiful in the middle of the Ninethe entire area of the United States. teenth century — were becoming alNo other nation on the face of the most rarities in the opening years of globe then had proportionately such a the next century. It was then estivast forest land. About four-fifths of mated that the quantity of standing this property was owned by private timber was between 1,400,000,000,000 individuals, the rest still being held for and 2,000,000,000,000 feet and the the public. Properly protected and annual cutting was 50,000,000,000. wisely conserved from further defor- That rate of consumption would make estation and developed with new the country timberless in from 30 to growth, this great area may yet save the country from disaster. But the The sole source of our fresh water destruction that has been going on in is rainfall, including snow. From this recent years and that must be halted all running, standing and ground if there is any hope for the future, is waters are derived, and upon these decertainly appalling. In the north- pends the habitability of the country. western States an army of nearly Our mean annual rainfall is about 30 200,000 men is annually employed in inches; the quantity is about 215,lumbering, and it is estimated that 000,000,000,000 cubic feet per year — they waste a billion feet of lumber for

a sum, altogether incomprehensible as every five billion that they get out. expressed in figures, equivalent to the

In 1880 the timber cut of the United flowage of ten Mississippi rivers. States was 18,000,000,000 board feet; Half of this is evaporated, much flows in 1890, 24,000,000,000; in 1900, to the sea, and only about one-sixth is 35,000,000,000; in 1906, 50,000,000. consumed or absorbed. How to reduce The States bordering on the Great the amount of water permitted to run Lakes once had over 350,000,000,000 to waste; how to increase the supply feet of standing white pine; the census by increasing the forest area; how to of 1900 showed only 50,000,000,000 feet control the rivers and lakes for navi. left. White pine had practically dis- gation, irrigation and power; how to appeared from the lumber market in

prevent the enormous yearly damage the next decade, and yellow pine was by floods which increased from $15,going the same way. The census esti- 000,000 in 1900 to over $238,000,000

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