Page images

I have a page of pictures here which I should like to just submit.

Senator McCLELLAN. Mr. Callison, may I ask at that point if the arguments you are making in opposition to Table Rock Dam would not apply to every dam that is proposed for flood control or power?

Mr. CALLISON. It depends on the area of the country. In that particular area, and a stream, Senator, of the size of the upper White, which is a relatively small stream, there is not a great deal of firm power to be developed that could be utilized, whereas in that area, as you know, there are practically inexhaustible supplies of coal for the production of power. That is not true in certain other areas.

Senator McCLELLAN. Of course, these dams are both multiplepurpose in that area for flood control and hydroelectric power, and it just occurred to me that the argument you were making against Table Rock would apply to any flood-control or hydroelectric dam. Generally there might be an exception, but another argument you seem to be making is that fishing and the sport of fishing and wildlife is better preserved by leaving the streams in their original state, whereas my observations have been, at least, that the building of these dams and these large reservoirs generally enhances the fishing in the area. That has been my observation. I wondered if yours was different.

Mr. CALLISON. There are a few smallmouth bass streams left in the country, and we should hate to see them all destroyed.

Senator McCLELLAN. You are taking just one specie of fish.
Mr. CALLISON. One type of fishing, a high type of sport fishing.

Just recently the Federal Power Commission rejected an application by the Namekagon Hydro Co. for permission to build a power dam, a private utility power dam on the Namekagon River in Wisconsin on just these grounds, that this was a stream that had a unique recreational resource, principally because it was a smallmouth bass stream.

Senator McCLELLAN. I might wholly agree with them on that particular project where it is granted to a private utility to build a power dam and destroy the resource value; for any other purpose but a multipurpose project, I might wholly agree with you on that, but it occurred to me the arguments you were making might well be made against any multiple-purpose dam.

Mr. CALLISON. You have to consider all of these matters, and we urge that the recreational and wildlife resources of the area be considered.

Senator McCLELLAN. I think they should be.

Mr. CALLISON. They should be considered more than they have; that is our point.

I have here a page of pictures which I will submit.

Senator ELLENDER. Wherever we build any dam any place, I have always heard that it increases the recreational advantages.

Senator McCLELLAN. It enhances them.

Senator ELLENDER. It enhances them, and we provide funds to expand them.

BULL SHOALS RESERVOIR Mr. CALLISON. Senator, if I may direct your attention to that page of pictures of rather recent date in the Springfield (Mo.) News and Leader, those are pictures of Bull Shoals Reservoir, which is just downstream from the proposed Table Rock Dam. There is very little water left in Bull Shoals, as you can see, and in most of the other reservoirs of that area there is very little good fishing left. Your fishing docks and recreational facilities are left stranded high and dry as a result of the severe drought.

Senator ELLENDER. What would have happened if you had not had the dam there? You would have had less water and the fish would

be all gone.

Mr. CALLISON. There is poor fishing coming up in those reservoirs. The history of these reservoirs is that they produce abundant large mouth bass fishing for a few years and good crappie fishing, and then they dwindle off. But we are urging consideration of the retention of this particular stream in the State of Missouri because of its unique value and because we believe the flood matter can be attended to through watershed treatment in a better fashion and a more economical fashion for the country, and because the power needs can be met through other sources.

I have a statement also that I would like to file.


Senator ELLENDER. Your statement will be filed for the record.

Mr. CALLISON. And also a statement for Mr. Ed Stegner, who is executive secretary of the Conservation Federation of Missouri. He could not be here. He was here last week to appear before the House subcommittee.

Senator ELLENDER. That statement will be received and filed for the record along with yours.

(The statements referred to follow :)



My name is Charles H. Callison. I am conservation director of the National Wildlife Federation which has offices at 232 Carroll Street NW., Washington, D. C. The National Wildlife Federation is an organization of State wildlife federations and sportsmen's leagues with their member clubs representing a total membership of some 3 million persons. We are opposed to construction of proposed Table Rock Dam on the White River in southwestern Missouri, on the grounds that this project would involve destruction of natural resources values worth far more than the benefits to accrue to the public welfare from the projects. In the formula of cost-benefit ratios presented to Congress as justification for this kind of project, certain of the true costs are never adequately calculated. Some are not taken into consideration at all, partly as a result of deficiencies or oversight in the laws under which the Corps of Engineers operates.

Table Rock Dam and Reservoir would turn the major portion of the upper White River and its tributary, the James River, into another huge artificial reservoir with fluctuating shorelines. It would thus destroy one of the truly unique recreational streams of the Missouri Ozarks. The upper White and James Rivers are nationally famous for small-mouth bass and for the unusual kind of sport known as float-trip fishing. As such, the White River—the particular section of stream to be inundated by this reservoir-attracts thousands of sport fishermen and tourists annually to this section of Missouri. It is thus an important economic resource. In addition, the White River winds a scenic course through the rugged Shepherd of the Hills country popularized by the Harold Bell Wright novel. The legend and atmosphere created by this novel itself makes this one of the major tourist-recreation areas of the entire Midwest. therein a vast artificial reservoir would destroy much of the charm for which it is famous.

There is another kind of resource value which is important to the future welfare of our Nation but which is never adequately accounted for in the marking up of costs against a reservoir of this kind. I refer to the permanent elimination of agricultural production from the river-bottom land which will be forever flooded. With its rapidly expanding human population and increasing responsibility for maintenance of world peace, this Nation can ill afford to sacrifice good agricultural acreage which may one day be urgently needed to provide food and fibre. This Nation can ill afford to exchange agricultural land for a reservoir of dubious economic justification such as proposed Table Rock project.

In addition to destruction of productive farm and timberland along the White and James valleys, the reservoir would interrupt a highway which is the main artery of farm marketing serving a considerable area of northwestern Arkansas. This is Highway 86, over which flow the livestock and other produce to Springfield, Mo., and in return the feed, machinery, fertilizers, and other material needed to maintain farm production.

Let me return for a moment to the destruction of an important recreational resource upon which the National Wildlife Federation, as a conservation organization, bases its principal objection to Table Rock Dam. The principle of recognition of the somewhat intangible but nonetheless real values of recreational resources inherent in certain streams was eloquently stated by a decision of the Federal Power Commission of July 29, 1953, rejecting an application by the Namekagon Hydro Co. for permit to build a power dam on the Namekagon River in Wisconsin. I quote excerpts from that decision:

“The proposed project would provide the most economical source of power available for distribution in the service areas of applicant's two affiliated companies. Power is available from existing hydroelectric facilities of other companies. However, the rates for such additional power, including the costs of the necessary facilities for transmission of such power to the service areas of applicant's two affiliated companies, is slightly in excess of the cost of power generated from fuel based on fuel and other costs at the time of the hearing. The record shows that the most economical fuel power for the area that would be served by proposed Namekagon project would be that generated by diesel plants.

"The Namekagon River is located in one of the principal recreational areas of the Nation. It originates in Namekagon Lake in Bayfield County, Wis., and runs southwesterly about 85 miles through Bayfield, Sawyer, Washburn, and Burnett Counties to its junction with the St. Croix River, about 6 miles east of the Wisconsin-Minnesota boundary.

"In its lower section, including the area of the proposed project, the Namekagon River is scenic as well as unique with respect to its safety features for canoeing. For this reason the river is used extensively for canoe-floating trips by various children's organizations. The current in the river is relatively gentle and the stream has an unusual uniformity of depth, so that children of the age customarily using this river can wade ashore, were the canoe to overturn. The Namekagon River in its lower section comes within the class of a most special type of recreation because of the indicated uniqueness.

"Furthermore, small-mouth bass fishing is one of the principal past and present resources of the Namekagon River. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has reported that small-mouth bass fishing in Wisconsin and the North Central States is fast disappearing and that small-mouth bass fishing is one of the highest types of angling. The record shows that many fishermen visit the Namekagon River year after year for this type of fishing. Other fishermen prefer neighboring lakes to river fishing * * *.

"It can readily be seen that efforts to attach only money values to recreation of unique and most special types must generally fail, if the purpose is to show all that will be affected if such recreational resources are impaired or destroyed. Unique and most special type recreational streams are, quite frequently, also fine power streams.

“The framers of the Federal Power Act undoubtedly were aware of these conflicting uses when they formulated the statutory guides found in section 10 (a) for the issuance of licenses. Tremendous quantities of falling water-latent electric energy sources—have been and remain unused because of their scenic or recreational values have caused them to be placed in a superior position. In our national park system, the Great Falls of the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park is an example of unused waterpower because of such recreational values. In the eastern part of the United States it is reasonably certain that the fullest possible development of Niagara Falls for electric power will never be permitted as it would involve impairment or destruction of the scenic value of the falls and water of great power value must continue to go unharnessed. It is to be realized that recreational resources of a unique and most special type fall within a wide range as to their local, regional or national improtance. The consideration of public interest is no less because a unique and special type recreational resource may have local or regional interest * * *.

"Upon consideration of the application filed herein, the evidence of record, the contentions and pleadings, and for the reasons and upon the basis of the findings and conclusions set forth herein, the Commission further finds :

(1) The Namekagon River from its mouth to points above the site of the proposed project is a navigable water of the United States.

(2) The interests of interstate commerce would be affected by the construction and operation of the proposed project.

“(3) The proposed project is not best adapted for beneficial public uses of the Namekagon River, including the use of the stream for recreational purposes.

"The Commission orders:

“The aforesaid application for license to authorize the construction, operation, and maintenance of the proposed project in and along the Namekagon River be and the same hereby is denied."

It has been argued by proponents of Table Rock Dam that recreational opportunities created by the reservoir will replace those that are destroyed. In the first place, I should like to point out that such reservoirs are becoming a dime a dozen in the Ozark area and in most States of the Union. There is nothing unique to attract an unusual tourist trade in another flood-control or hydroelectric reservoir. A few miles downstream from proposed Table Rock Dam, we already have the vast Bull Shoals Reservoir. To the east lies Norfork Reservoir; 80 air miles to the west lies the Pensacola Reservoir. To the north is the Lake of the Ozarks, best developed reservoir from a recreational standpoint in the entire Midwest. On the other hand, as pointed out by the Federal Power Commission in its Namekagon decision, small-mouth bass fishing is a type of sport becoming increasingly rare-therefore, increasingly valuable.

Here, from the Springfield (Mo.) News and Leader of February 14, 1954, is a page of photographs taken by an official photographer of the Missouri State Conservation Commission. Here is visual proof that recreational values and local business based upon those values will be sacrificed for the sake of delivery of the last kilowatt of electric power that can be squeezed out of a drought-ridden reservoir.

I present here some figures from the operating records of reservoirs in the Southwest Power Administration integrated system, showing the fluctuations and extreme drawdown of power-pool levels during 1953 :

At the end of last July, Bull Shoals Reservoir stood 3 feet below full power pool. By the end of September the waterline had dropped another 13 feet, to 21 feet below full power pool. By December 31, 1953, the level stood 37 feet below full power pool, as the drastic drawdown continued to fulfill power-delivery commitments.

Fort Gibson Dam stood 14 feet above full power pool on July 31; dropped 23 feet during the next 2 months—the height of the recreational season-to minus 9 feet on September 30, and by November 30 was down to minus 15 feet.

Narrows Reservoir in Arkansas was 2 feet below full power pool on July 31, by September 30 was down to 16 feet below full power pool, and on December 31 stood at minus 18 feet.

Denison Dam was 10 feet down July 31 ; 14 feet down September 30, and on December 31 stood at 5 feet below full power pool.

Pensacola Reservoir ranged from 26 feet below full power to 28 feet below, without ever rising, from July 31 to December 31, 1953.

The kind of violent fluctuations which are so detrimental to recreational uses is illustrated in the record for Norfork Reservoir, on the North Fork of the White River in Arkansas and Missouri. On January 31, 1953, Norfork stood 11 feet below full power pool. About the first of May it rose to 3 feet above full power pool, but by July 31 had dropped to minus 5. The drastic drawdown continued; by September 31 it stood at minus 13; by December 31, at minus 23 feet.

By the end of 1953 only a trickle of electric power was being produced by the entire SPA reservoir system.

The Army engineers cannot be blamed for the drought, of course, but these figures illustrate my point regarding the sacrifice of recreational resources: They further show that dams on these relatively small streams in the Midwest

an area subject to recurring drought-are unreliable sources of electric power. Unless rains come in abundant measure before spring, and we all hope and pray that they do, there will be little power produced at these reservoirs during 1954.

The proponents of Table Rock Dam argue further that this project is needed to supply electric power needs of the area. This is an unfounded argument, Mr. Chairman, for two reasons. In the first place, there is no current shortage of power in the area. Secondly, power needs of the future can be supplied from other sources.

There are abundant figures to prove that every need for electric energy in the four-State area of Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas is currently being met with a surplus to spare. Naturally the power needs of the area can be expected to increase as population grows and industry expands in the future, But this need can be met by other sources of power. There is no shortage of mineral fuel in the area. The region has an almost unlimited supply of coal, and it is a well-known fact that power generated in fuel-burning steam plants is certainly as cheap and a good deal more reliable than hydroelectric power, provided you take into consideration all costs that go into one of the Government projects.

About 2 weeks ago, on Wednesday, February 17, 1954, to be exact, President Eisenhower sent to Congress a special message on atomic energy. In this message the President asserted that economic industrial power from atomic energy is clearly in sight. depending largely on further research and the establishment of conditions in which the spirit of enterprise can flourish. This is a policy, Mr. Chairman, with which the National Wildlife Federation can voice wholehearted agreement.

The imminence of economic development of atomic energy for industrial purposes is another reason why we question the wisdom at this time of committing the taxpayers to an expenditure of $78 million plus for a hydroelectric dam of questionable economic feasibility on a small drought-ridden stream in the Missouri Ozarks. Does it seem a prudent investment in public money in view further of the fact that it would mean sacrificing a unique recreational stream and thousands of acres of valuable agricultural land?

The National Wildlife Federation does not intend to become involved in the public-power versus private power controversy. Basing our judgment on what we consider to be the best management of important natural resources, we should be compelled to oppose construction of this dam on the upper White River whether it were to be built by the Government or by private capital.

Mr. Chairman, if we had no choice here, if construction of Table Rock Dam was the only way electric power could be supplied for the future industrial, agricultural, and domestic needs of the area, then we could hardly oppose this project. Fortunately, however, we have a choice. There are alternate sources of power.

Yes; we have a choice here. We can produc the power without destroying valuable farmlands and without sacrificing the unique recreational, scenic, and wildlife resources of the White and James Rivers, and without changing the natural charm of the Shepherd of the Hills country.

I urge you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, to withhold the unexpended balance of some $242 million from previously authorized appropriations for Table Rock Dam, and to strike this proposal entirely from the active list of Army engineer projects.

I thank you for this opportunity to present our views.


EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, CONSERVATION FEDERATION OF MISSOURI Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, my name is Ed Stegner. I am executive secretary of the Conservation Federation of Missouri, a statewide nonprofit and nonpolitical organization. The federation is made up of some 65 independent conservation clubs from all parts of Missouri and has about 13,000 members. We are affiliated with the National Wildlife Federation.

My organization has sent me here to represent them and offer our inalterable opposition to the building of Table Rock Dam on the White River in southwest Missouri. Many of us know this famous Shepherd of the Hills Country to be one of the most beautiful in our State and we certainly do not wish to see it destroyed forever.

« PreviousContinue »