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become a barren expanse of shifting sand dunes, forever impossible of feasible reclamation and subjugation.
Furthermore, the importance of establishing a valid and ungestionable water right for this area by actual and beneficial use would seem to demand its early construction. While it has been the custom in the past for the Government, wherever Indians are concerned, to rely upon the well-known Winters' decision for water rights, it must be admitted that within recent years there has been a tendency on the part of many courts to divest the Indians of what they term special privileges, and to recognize only such rights as have been actually established by regularly prescribed and accepted methods. The Walker River case, where, as the matter now stands, the Indians have water only for 2,100 acres instead of the 3,650 acres they actually had been irrigating and instead of the 10,000 acres that was claimed for them under the Winters' decision, is an example.
Contrary to popular opinion, the water supply of the Colorado River, even though it is fully conserved by Boulder Dam, is not unlimited, and there is the grave possibility that if the development of the Colorado River Reservation is too long delayed it may have only a partial and inadequate water supply by reason of a late priority.
The original plan to collect or colonize, on this reservation, "the Indians living along the Colorado River and its tributaries, and to enable them to become selfsupporting by building an irrigation canal”, necessarily had to be abandoned when it was found impossible, with the means and methods then available, successfully to construct and maintain a canal. Only one tribe, the Hualapais, not resident on the reservation, were ever moved to the Colorado River Reservation. This tribe, then numbering 800, was brought in to assist the Mojaves in building the canal and was to provide the first colonists. They soon returned to their former home.
The plan originally formulated by the Government, but which has never been carried through, apparently is still practicable. There are, in the Southwest, considerable numbers of Indians who will never be able to support themselves on the land they are now occupying. The Colorado River Reservation, if irrigated, would make prosperous homes for many of these people. It apparently could be put to good use in connection with the Navajo situation, as has been suggested heretofore by many interested in their welfare. The Navajos, it is reported, ordinarily sell from 300,000 to 400,000 lambs annually. On account of the overgrazing of their range, and consequent poor condition of the stock, those lambs can be sold only as feeders, and at comparatively low prices, even for feeders. With the Colorado River Reservation developed, it would seem entirely practicable-in fact it has repeatedly been suggested by many successful men in the livestock industry—to ship these lambs from the Navajo range lands to the Los Angeles market, stopping in transit at Colorado River, where they would be put on good irrigated pasturage for several weeks and then taken to market in prime condition. Several conservative men who are in the livestock industry, and whose statements obviously should be considered, estimate that by this plan there could be added to the income of the Navajo Indians from a quarter of a million to a half-million dollars annually.
In June 1920, following extensive surveys and investigations, a complete report was made concerning the construction of a project for the irrigation of 112,000 acres of irrigable river bottom land in the reservation, at a total estimated cost of $7,234,000 exclusive of subjugation. This report includes detailed plans and estimates for all major structures and work involved in the construction of the project.
IMPROVEMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF IRRIGATION SYSTEM, FORT APACHE
RESERVATION Mr. Johnson. We will take up the next item, which is "Fort Apache, $10,000”. Mr. Dopp. The justification in support of this item is as follows:
The Fort Apache Reservation, Ariz., includes an area of approximately 11,682,000 acres, which, for the most part, is rough and mountainous and is valuable only for its forests and grazing resources. Along the numerous creeks are occasional small tracts of level bottom or bench lands, which the Indians irrigate by means of ditches that they have built either entirely by their own efforts or with assistance by the Government. These ditches are maintained and operated by
the Indians themselves, without expense to the Government. The ditches are usually located along steep hillsides or mountains, and divert from the stress with brush and rock dams which are replaced by the Indian farmers as frequent's as they are washed out by flood. Many of the ditches have to be conveyed across ravines by means of wooden flumes, many of which are now in dilapidated condition, and in consequence, large quantities of water are wasted that could otherwise be beneficially used on the land. It is proposed, among other things, to replace many of these wooden flumes with metal fumes or pipe lines.
The Indian Service has been stressing gardening and fruit growing, and the Indians of this reservation have planted several thousand young fruit trees. In addition to fruit, they can raise crops of corn, beans, melons, and alfalfa. This being an inland reservation, far from any railroad, industrial, or commercis! centers, there is practically no work for the Indians except in the development of their own resources, These little farms afford them a place to live, and, though small
, supply them with much of their subsistence including garden vegetables. Without irrigated farms the Indians would be practically unable to subsist sad to make efficient use of their grazing resources.
The total cost for irrigation works on the Fort Apache Reservation to June 30, 1936, is reported to be $106,457.14, of which $104,755.65 is for construction and $950.98 for operation and maintenance. A considerable part of this expenditure was for a hydroelectric power plant for lighting the Indian school and agency buildings. This plant has worn out and is now being replaced through an allotment from the Public Works appropriation.
The construction program on this reservation contemplates the rehabilitation and improvement of 47 existing irrigation systems, consisting of 90 miles of canals serving 3,900 acres and including diversion works and headgates so as to make possible the efficient and beneficial use of water, and in this way to increase the production of Indian farms and gardens and at the same time protect the water rights by facilitating beneficial use of water. The work will directly benefit all the 2,718 Indians living on the reservation.
The structures and canals involved are mostly small, making feasible the effective subdivision of the work program over several years. It is proposed to expend $10,000 during 1938 and to continue with expenditures of approximately $25,000 each year until the work is completed. The total estimated cost is $110,000. A large amount of hand work is involved.
These improvements are urgently needed, since the reservation is located in the watershed of the Salt River, where water is scarce and valuable and the various agencies for its utilization compete strenuously for it.
Mr. O'NEAL. That is a reimbursable item?
IMPROVEMENT AND MAINTENANCE, HOPI RESERVATION IRRIGATION
Mr. O'NEAL. The next item is Hopi, $25,000.
The one irrigation project on this reservation of some 2,472,320 acres, constructed by the Indian Service, consists of the Oraibi Wash development where a small rock masonry and earth fill diversion dam and a distribution system were constructed with a Public Works allotment of $14,000. The needs and problems of the Hopi Reservation, with a population of 6,000 Hopi and Navajo Indians, justify the development of all feasible irrigation possibilities as a supplemental means of livelihood. With an agricultural record extending back through centuries it is believed that these Indians will make full use of the proposed permanent irrigation facilities. It is planned to replace crude brush dams which are annually destroyed by floods with permanent diversion structures to provide adequate distribution systems to conserve the limited water supply and to assist the Indians in preparing their lands for efficient irrigation. The extent of the development is dependent upon the available water supply. Although the streams, for the most part, are ephemeral and the flow fairly constant during the spring and early summer months, the supply is very limited and it is necessary to provide storage works where feasible, permanent diversion structures and efficient distribution and spreading facilities if full use is to be made of the scant supply.
Preliminary plans and estimates have been made for projects aggregating 2,650 ecres as follows:
The above estimate includes $50,000 appropriated for the fiscal year 1937.
It is proposed to spread this work over a period of 4 or 5 years commencing with an appropriation of $25,000 for the fiscal year 1938 for the following projects: Lower Dennebito: 600 acres irrigable land, laterals and turn-outs..
$9, 000 Subjugation...
Upper Oraibi: 1,000 acres irrigable land, distribution system with struc
25, 000 Mr. O'NEAL. Have any of those projects been begun up to this time, sir?
Mr. WATHEN. The Indians themselves have been irrigating as much as possible, and some of these projects have been started by the Indians. What we expect to do is merely to help them complete the development and to bring in as large an acreage as possible.
Mr. O'NEAL. Is this supplemental, or will this bring water originally to some point?
Mr. WATHEN. It will provide permanent facilities for the area that they have been irrigating and will bring in some additional new acreage.
Mr. O'NEAL. Have you any idea what the proportion of the new acreage is?
Mr. WATHEN. It is about 50 percent new acreage.
Mr. WATHEN. We can use $25,000 a year until the project is completed, but we can complete it in 4 or 5 years, depending upon the desires of this committee. We can use funds faster than at the rate of $25,000 a year. We could complete the work in 4 years.
PRESENT SITUATION OF THE INDIANS
Mr. O'NEAL. Have the Indians been able to carry on there with their present facilities, or what is the general situation now?
Mr. Wathen. The Hopis are not in a very good condition financially. We feel that every irrigation project on the reservation should be developed as soon as possible, in order that they may raise sub
sistence—and it is simply a subsistence proposition and after the construction work is completed, the Indians themselves will maintain and operate the works, with just a small amount of supervision, and perhaps the furnishing of some materials.
CONSTRUCTION COSTS NOT REIMBURSABLE
Mr. O'NEAL. It is not expected that the construction costs will be returned by the Indians eventually, is it?
Mr. WATHEN. No; it is not contemplated that the construction costs will be returned. The Leavitt Act of 1932 provides that no construction assessment shall be made so long as the Indians retain title to the land, and there is no question but what they will retain title to that land indefinitely.
IMPROVEMENT AND MAINTENANCE, NAVAJO IRRIGATION SYSTEM,
ARIZONA AND NEW MEXICO
Mr. O'NEAL. The next item is “Navajo, Arizona, and New Mexico, $100,000."
Mr. Dodd. We submit the following justification:
The work contemplated involves construction or completion of 15 small projects scattered over the Navajo Reservation in Arizona and New Mexico which were started with funds either made available through direct appropriation by Congress or by allocations from the Public Works appropriation. The work includes construction of permanent diversion and storage dams, extension, or improvement of distribution systems, and the subjugation of land.
The construction costs to June 30, 1936, for all water development and irrigation construction in the Navajo area of Arizona and New Mexico amounted to $2,912,451.83 of which $1,191,415.51 was allotted by the Public Works Administration.
There are approximately 42 separate irrigation systems in the Navajo area having a combined area of approximately 19,000 acres under construction works. With the constant depletion of the range and the increase in population it is necessary to provide irrigation facilities wherever feasible for producing subsistence crops for local use and exchange for livestock from outlying districts. It is estimated that a total of approximately 34,000 acres can be made economically susceptible of irrigation at an additional cost of approximately $1,300,000. It is proposed to spread this work over a period of years. It is proposed to allocate the $100,000 asked for 1938 as follows: Arizona: Marsh Pass...
$4, 500 Lower Moencopi..
5, 000 Navajo Canyon.
6, 000 Nazlini...
12, 000 Red Rock.
6, 000 Reservoir Canyon.
24, 000 Segehotsoci.
2, 000 Navajo subsistence projects.
3, 000 Total...
62, 500 New Mexico: Black Creek.
10, 000 Red Lake.
15, 500 Navajo Church Rock.
12, 000 Total.---
37, 500 Plans and estimates have been prepared for each project and work can be commenced immediately.
The Navajo Reservation today is in a critical condition. The primary elements of the problem are some 15,000,000 acres of depleted land and an ever-growing population, which at the present time approximates nearly 50,000 persons. The
local aspect of the problem is to arrest immediately the destructive processes and to restore the land to its highest productive capacity as rapidly as possible.
There are, at present, approximately 9,547 acres under irrigation, 27,962 acres in floodwater farms, and 4,723 acres in what might be termed dry farms. Within the physical potentialities of soil and climate, this could be increased to an ultimate total of approximately 34,000 acres of irrigated land, 46,496 acres of floodwater land, 10,000 acres of dry-farm land, and in addition, water could be spread on approximately 160,300 acres to increase the production of vative grasses—a small amount of which might be cut for hay.
The average size family on the Navajo Reservation is five persons and, on the basis of a population of 50,000, there are at present 10,000 families. If the present farm land were divided equally among all families, each would have 0.9 acres of irrigated land, 2.7 acres of floodwater land, and 0.4 acres of dry-farm land. Under the ultimate agricultural development, assuming that there is no increase in population, there would be available for each family 2.2 acres of irrigated land, 4.6 acres of floodwater land, and 1 acre of dry-farm land.
The range resources are as strictly limited as are the agricultural possibilities. The present carrying capacity of the range is 560,000 sheep units. Assuming that the average family needs 3 horses, an allowance should be made for 30,000 horses which, converted into sheep units on a basis of 5 to 1, would mean that 150,000 sheep units should be subtracted from the 560,000 total carrying capacity in order to obtain the possible productive units which would be 410,000. It makes little difference whether these be considered as cattle or sheep, as the productive capacity of the range would be approximately the same. On the basis of sheep alone 10,000 families would have 41 sheep each. It is rather difficult to predict the future increase in capacity of the range. Assuming that the present capacity could be doubled by proper range management and that the human population remains constant, each family could have 97 head of sheep.
İf the present program is not carried out, the range will be rapidly denuded and most of the present farm land will be entirely destroyed. Under such conditions, it is quite apparent that at least half of the population must become dependent upon Government subsidy. Present records indicate that the absolute minimum for per-capita subsistence needs is $36 per year. With 25,000 Navajos receiving subsistence, the taxpayers would have to contribute $900,000 toward the support of the Navajos. This would be in addition to the regular administrative expenditures. On the other hand, if the present program is carried out to a successful completion, the resources of the Navajo Reservation should be at least adequate for the present population.
With 50,000 Navajos, there is but a very small margin of safety above the actual subsistence needs. Considering the present condition of the reservation, the subsistence needs of its population are not being met. If it were not for the present Government subsidy, a large proportion of the population would be in actual need. This is due in part to the uneven distribution of wealth and in part to the depleted and undeveloped resources. The various economic surveys which have been made on the reservation have shown that the subsistence income of an average Navajo family is about $235 on a trading basis. It has been calculated that it takes 57 ewes or about 6 acres of irrigated land to produce this amount of income.
It is estimated that 7,500 families are chiefly dependent upon livestock as a source of income. The remaining 2,500 families secure part of their income from livestock and the remainder from farm produce, arts and crafts, and labor. On the basis of 57 ewes per family, the forage resources of the reservation, under proper stocking, would take care of 7,193 families. If all the available and potential irrigated farm land were divided equally among the remaining 2,807 families, each would have 7.7 acres.
If all the agricultural and range resources were divided equally among the 10,000 families, the probable income would be somewhat as follows: 6 tons alfalfa hay from 2.2 acres of irrigated land, at $15.50 per ton.
$93 60 bushels of corn from 4.6 acres of floodwater land and 1 acre dry-farm
land, at $1 per bushel Income from 40 evzes, at $4.10.
164 Total income per family from all agricultural resources.
317 Thus it will be necessary to have a more equitable distribution of wealth among all the families if they are to be maintained above a bare subsistence level.