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on the public domain in Alaska, * * *." This appropriation will make possible the setting up of administrative machinery, under the direction of the General Land Office, which will insure the protection and management of these vast resources of the interior of Alaska for the first time since the Territory was acquired from Russia. It means for Alaska, and for the Nation, the protection of these forests from fire and the establishment of sound forestry practices in connection with the development thereof.
The timber sale operations conducted on the lands under the jurisdiction of the Department normally constitute a business amounting to more than 3 million dollars in value and reflect a timber cut of over a billion feet a year. War demands continued at a high level during 1944 and, as a result, a large number of timber contracts were considered and approved by the Department.
LAND CLASSIFICATION AND LAND POLICY During the year 1944 a study was conducted of the land-classification activities of the General Land Office and the Grazing Service, and recommendations were made for coordination and expedition with respect to these activities. A draft statement for the Departmental Land Policy Committee on the land-management policies of the Department was completed and submitted to the Department for final consideration. Land-administering agencies of the Department were kept informed concerning surplus real property in which such agencies might have an interest, and a survey was initiated looking to the compilation of a list of surplus areas suited for addition to existing administrative units. About 1,500 applications involving the disposal, lease, or permitted use of public lands were reviewed. Many of these cases were on appeal or otherwise involved controversial issues and required most careful consideration before recommending action. The General Land Office was assisted in preparing a statement of conservation policy with respect to the sale of isolated tracts of the public domain, and the statement was issued as Departmental Order No. 1973, under date of August 4, 1944.
CIVILIAN PUBLIC SERVICE CAMPS · The Office of Land Utilization continued to act in a liaison capacity between the Selective Service System and the bureaus of the Department of the Interior in the operation of the civilian public service camps during the year 1944. These camps, which provided work of national importance in the protection and conservation of natural resources—including fire, insect, and disease control and water conservation projects—were under civilian direction and were manned by personis who, by reason of religious training or belief, conscientiously opposed participation in the war.
At the close of the year, 10 civilian public service camps were operating on Department of the Interior lands: 5 on the national parks, 3 on reclamation projects, 1 on the O. & C. lands of the General Land Office, and 1 on a national wildlife refuge. The Seney National Wildlife Refuge camp, located in the State of Michigan, was abandoned on June 1, 1945.
WATER RESOURCES COMMITTEE The staff work of the Water Resources Committee, established by departmental order dated May 2, 1944, was conducted by the chairman and the executive officer during the fiscal year just passed. The objective sought by the Committee is to insure the coordination of water-development programs within the Department in order that full recognition may be given to the over-all benefits to the Nation.
In carrying out its stated functions, namely, the assembly and dissemination of essential information concerning water-development programs, the following work was accomplished by the Committee:
1. Sixteen formal meetings were held; and the executive officer represented the Committee at 12 meetings of the Federal Interagency River Basin Committee.
2. Recommendations designed to promote cooperation and coordination at the field level were submitted to, and received the approval of, the Secretary.
3. Consideration was given to a number of project and basin reports of agencies within the Department and the War Department, and definite recommendations were made thereon.
4. Detailed information concerning water projects, laws, policies, and related features was assembled and made available to the interested agencies of the Department.
5. Operating procedures looking to the coordination of the waterdevelopment and water-conservation programs of the Department were established.
The progress made in the coordination of the water-development programs of the Department of the Interior has been encouraging, and the procedures laid down by the Congress in the Flood Control Act of 1944 and the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1945 have greatly strengthened the cooperation between the Federal agencies and the States. However, much remains to be accomplished before the degree of coordination essential to sound management in this complicated field can be fully attained.
PRINCIPLES OF COORDINATION Experience in the Department of the Interior during the past several years has clearly demonstrated the value of effective coordination and close cooperation in the field of land and resource management. It
seems obvious also that the coordination of conservation activities of a Department organized on a bureau basis can be secured by devices less drastic than complete centralization and that a common plan of action which cuts across structural lines in the pursuit of an over-all interest is possible of attainment without seriously disrupting wellestablished bureau organizations.
The Office of Land Utilization, since its creation in 1941, has proceeded on the theory that the application of the fundamental principles of coordination and cooperation can be effected without overlapping or duplication and without interfering with the administrative authorities of the bureaus operating in the various functional fields. It has earnestly sought to promote a unification of action directed towards a common goal through cooperative efforts, the dissemination of information, and the rendering of efficient advisory service. The methods pursued have proved to be reasonably successful and have operated definitely in the public interest. It seems clear that the time has arrived when these principles of administrative management should be extended to all agencies operating in the conservation field, for the effective use and development of the basic wealth of the Nation-its soils and waters, its forests and pasture lands—will not be at its best until all interests involved have fully coordinated their responsibilities and activities.
C. L. FORSLING, Director
INDER the administration of the Federal range, as provided by
the Taylor Grazing Act, the surface resources of the grazing districts on most of these public lands were in as good condition at the close of the fiscal year as they were at the beginning of the war, or better. At the same time they made their contribution in meeting the Nation's needs for war. This is in sharp contrast to the First World War when increased numbers of livestock, on the then unregulated, open public range, which, under the circumstances, did not contribute materially to food supplies during the war, resulted in overstocking that added to the already serious degree of depletion of the forage and soil resources.
The aim of the administration of the grazing districts is twofold; namely, the protection, improvement, and proper utilization of the natural resources on these lands and the stabilization of tbe livestock industry dependent upon them. These public lands, together with the non-Federal lands associated with them, continued during the past year to contribute to the Nation's needs of food and fiber, without material injury to their permanent productive capacity. While the Federal range on the whole is still far below its potential production capacity, due to past overuse and fire, extensive areas actually improved in condition as the result of weather conditions above the average, coupled with regulated use.
Nearly 40 percent of the range land in the 11 Western States is situated within grazing districts. Somewhat more than half of this is Federal land; the remainder is in private, State, and county ownership. Associated, both physically and economically, these grazing lands and the intermingled crop lands are the foundation of numerous livestock producing enterprises. Although range land makes large contributions by providing grazing for livestock and big game, its problems are closely related to those of other resources among which are water, wood, crop lands, and recreational use.
Settlement of public land under the homestead pattern of earlier years was reached and over-run during the aftermath of the First World War. New frontiers now lie chiefly in managing the remnant of the former vast public domain so that it may be put to its highest use and fitted into the over-all land-use economy of each locality.
The benefits to be derived are shared by the range users, local communities, and the public.
The war has also emphasized the importance of the Federal range in the training of air and ground troops, the testing of machines, precision instruments, and explosives, and in perfecting techniques of modern warfare. A total of approximately 14,500,000 acres was so utilized. Through cooperation with the War and Navy Departments it was possible for certain of the affected lands to be grazed at the proper time without interference with their use for military purposes. In other instances it was necessary to exclude livestock. One withdrawal in New Mexico, for example, involved the removal from grazing district land of 8,421 cattle, 618 horses, 12,432 sheep, and 10,861 goats belonging to 47 permittees. In still other instances, through special arrangement with the military services, it was possible to provide alternate grazing during the war period for nearly 500,000 sheep and 16,000 cattle on areas set aside for war purposes in several States.
First among the resources and values of the Federal range are the plant cover and the soil. Their protection and improvement are basic to all other uses and values and particularly to the sustained yield of forage for grazing animals. Of equal, if not of greater importance, is the relation of these lands to water supply for irrigation and other purposes. Numerous individual ranches and farms, as well as communities, obtain their water supplies directly from these lands. In addition the Federal range and associated lands contribute more or less run-off to streams which are the source of supply to distant towns, cities, and irrigated fields. Water is so important in the West that it is imperative that watershed lands be maintained in a condition to yield the maximum quantity and quality of water. Siltladen reservoirs and clogged streams or irrigation canals are a direct concern to irrigation, industry, and commerce, as well as to the farmer at the far end of the ditch. Maintaining adequate plant cover conditions is the key to adequate watershed protection.
Thousands of families obtain fuel, fence posts, farm timbers, and rough lumber from the 23 million acres of woodland and forest on the Federal range. No detailed survey has ever been made of the forest and woodland growth. Assuming, however, that the areas classified as woodland and forest contain an average of 10 cords of wood to the acre, there are 230 million cords of wood in grazing districts. In addition to the foregoing there are special use values, such as rightsof-way, home and business sites, recreation, and sites for commercial photography.