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competent Indians to escape from racially restrictive laws while, at the same time, fully protecting the interests of the Indians who are incompetent or who desire to continue in a special status.
Fundamentally, we question any attitude which results in saying to a competent Indian that he may not manage his own life and property as freely as other persons solely because he is of the same race or bloodline as a few other persons who do not desire or are incompetent to exercise such freedom at this time.
In taking this approach to the problem we certainly do not want to be understood as criticizing in any way the attitude of the Indians who desire to remain in a tribal relationship. We believe that the United States is big enough to accommodate their wishes and that their wishes should be respected for a whole variety of reasons which will readily occur to this subcommittee. But we do not believe that their wishes respecting themselves should be binding upon other persons merely because such other persons are of the same racial descent or bloodline.
That is the premise from which we reason. Now, the plan which was presented to this committee in October of 1956 I think need not be further detailed. It has been printed in the committee hearings. Basically, it provided that those Indians who desired to terminate their tribal relationship should be allowed to do so, and that those who desired to remain in turn should be allowed to do so.
We were concerned basically about the timber in that respect because of our very deep belief that no person or no group of persons can live well in the United States, or any place in this world, unless there is some sound economy underneath them. And since the basic resource of this group of persons is timber, their future welfare is dependent upon how this timber is handled.
So we proposed that those Indians who desired to leave tribal relationship, they should be permitted to leave tribal relationship. Those who wished to remain in tribal relationship ought to be accorded that privilege. We proposed that timber representing the value of the interest of the Indians who desired to leave should be acquired by the United States at a retail value, full retail value. As a detail of that we proposed that the acquisition be by the Forest Service, or by the United States Forest Service.
As to the Indians who desired to remain, we proposed that their interest in the forest be managed by the Forest Service under existing legislation. The Forest Service now manages timber for private persons; it manages timber for communities. Such management, therefore, on behalf of the remaining Indians would not be because of any racial or blood line. The Forest Service today, I understand, manages timber for Hood River County, Oreg. It manages some timber for the cities of Medford, Corvallis. To the south it manages timber for private persons. There is no reason, therefore, why the Forest Service could not, under existing legislation, contract for the management of the timber remaining in tribal ownership:
Under such a scheme then, Senator, the ownership of the reservation would be divided. Half would be owned, or a portion would be owned, by the United States, and a portion would be owned by the remaining Indians. And yet the management of the timber, which is the key to this situation, would be in a single entity, the Forest
Service. This would permit maximization of sustained yield. It would permit cutting of the timber wherever most appropriate forestrywise. Distribution of revenues would then be made, not dependent upon where a particular tree was cut, but based upon the value contributed by each of the parties to the total forest. It is analogous in sum to the way O. and C. revenues are distributed to the several counties.
Now that very briefly is an outline of the plan which appears in the record of the
past hearings of this committee. To finance this arrangement, we had proposed, and this is a matter on which we defer to judgments closer to Washington than ourselves, that the acquisition by the United States be made not by a dollar appropriation, but by taking some percentage of total national forest receipts. Those receipts are returning about $110 million a year, or less. This would enable cash to be paid and yet it would assure that the Indians who were withdrawing would have their full value, and yet would not place upon these people the burden of suddenly managing several hundred thousand dollars per family, a burden which can be handled, it seems to me, as well by an Indian family who is not used to that as by a white family or non-Indian family who is not used to handling capital.
Senator NEUBERGER. You represent as attorney a considerable number of what you might call relatively small lumber and sawmill operations?
Mr. NETZORG. These range in size, Senator, from those who cut about 8 million a year up to 120 million feet a year, all sizes.
Senator NEUBERGER. Do you or they have any of the fears about Forest Service operation that Mr. Puckett expressed earlier ?
Mr. NETZORG. Senator, I have occasion to deal intimately with the Forest Service in California, Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Montana, and forest by forest within these States. The Forest Service is like any other organization. It has its good areas; it has its areas where public relations are not as good as they might be. From what Mr. Duckett says, this is one such area. I think those who deal in a number of areas are aware that this is true equally of the Bureau of Land Management. There are those areas which for reasons of personnel, personality, or the skill of the individuals who happen to be stationed there, relations are not as excellent as they might be. There are some areas where the relations of the Bureau of Land Management with the public and with the operators are bad.
The same is true of the Forest Service. It is a matter largely of the ranger, the particular forester, and the particular persons with whom you are dealing.
I have explained on many occasions that the mere fact that a private citizen fills out a Government form 57 and takes a Federal job does not make him a specialist in the field of public relations, so that the matter is somewhat spotty.
I would say, and this is a purely personal view, so long as Richard McArdle is the Chief of the Forest Service, I have supreme confidence in the Forest Service.
Senator NEUBERGER. I want to say that I personally have confidence in the Forest Service. Without speaking in derogation of any other agency of Government, I believe that the Forest Service has
such confidence on the part of Members of Congress that to have the custody of this timber under the Forest Service would assist passage of the bill more than if
agency of Government had the custodianship.
Mr. NETZORG. I think, Senator, that that is eminently true, mainly because the forestry program of the Bureau of Land Management is confined almost exclusively to western Oregon. The Forest Service has forests, has a hundred-forty-some national forests scattered throughout the United States. People are aware of the Forest Service. They respect it; they may know nothing of timber or timber technology. They know Smokey Bear and they respect the Forest Service.
I am being possibly too honest here. I have an old motto, Senator: When in doubt, tell the truth.
Senator NEUBERGER. I think it is true that people have, and therefore the Members of Congress have, many more recreational contacts with the Forest Service than they have with any of the other agencies which deal with timber management. I just don't think there is any doubt about that. Do you have any questions, Mr. Wolf?
Mr. WOLF. I had one in particular, Mr. Netzorg. Do you propose a physical separation of the Indian and Government portions of the land, or just a pro rata distribution of the receipts from the whole receipts ?
Mr. NETZORG. Mr. Wolf, I think it is most important that this body of land be held under a unitized, a single management. I think there are problems of recreational use, watershed, water control, and forestry, and to break the land in terms of land management merely because ownership is broken is not something that appeals to me. think that the best management comes from a single management, that your management ought to be determined by watershed conditions mainly, and contours, and topography, and not by any artificial boundary line which pertains to legal ownership.
Mr. WOLF. Let me rephrase this. The Management Specialists have a tentative plan which would designate a portion of the reservation as the Indian management unit and would put it under a trustee or under some other form of operation. Do you think that a geographical area should be delineated as being the part which belongs to those Indians remaining in the organization, or do you think thatand I am thinking of the event that at some future date Congress might want to change the situation and designate a portion for the Indians—do you think that the predesignation of that would cause a great difficulty in your management plan, as you liquidated perhaps your virgin timber from what was the Forest Service part instead of liquidating it from the Indian portion, or vice versa ?
Mr. NETZORG. I am not sure I follow this question.
Mr. WOLF. Are you thinking of a physical separation of the lands so that those which would belong to the Indians are known and those which would belong to the Forest Service are known?
Mr. NETZORG. Yes.
Mr. WOLF. The Indians would have title by legal description to definite parts of this reservation?
Mr. NETZORG. That is correct. If the Congress at any time in the future wanted to change the operation, they would have the opportunity at that time to change the operation.
Mr. WOLF. Then would you envision any difficulties from either group if the situation came up where most of the cutting were concentrated on one ownership rather than on the other, in which you would have to reevaluate who had what left in the way of growing stock?
Mr. NETZORG. If that came to pass, Mr. Wolf, I would, of course, anticipate some difficulty. I am not sure they would be insurmountable. They would be troublesome, but it is no greater than the difficulty that would be encountered if we were to change the basis on which the O. and C. revenues are made. For example, today it makes no difference in Multonomah County whether a stick of O. and C. timber is cut in that county or is not cut in that county. It receives revenues based upon the total forest.
Mr. WOLF. And the same is true of each national forest.
Mr. NETZORG. Senator, I wonder if I might mention 2 or 3 other things which I hope to take up very briefly. I did want to say that we are also persuaded that there is a national interest in this forest, in the maintenance of the forest. The Forest Service recently published the Timber Resources Review. I don't think I need to describe that to the committee; it is a massive study of the forest potentials of this country. It is the view of those who prepared this study, and it was done over many years, prepared over the course of many years and by many persons whose judgments are not subject to casual questioning, it is their view that by the year 2000 we will need for consumption in this country roughly twice the wood products that we are now producing. We cannot, therefore, afford to dissipate this forest, and anything which would tend to dissipate this forest hurts the entire Nation,
There has also been some talk here about values, the value of this and the small sale as against the large sale. Or, if I may translate that into other terms, as against valuation of this forest on a retail basis as against a wholesale basis. There has been some hope, apparently, in some of the statements here earlier, that there could be small sales, thereby maximizing the return to the Indians. I think that is largely not feasible economically.
The mills in this area, it is true, may be able to buy some of the timber, but if they pay retail prices for it, then they cannot afford to hold that timber. They simply must liquidate it quickly, and I represent none of these mills, but I am sure with the economics of the situation as such that the situation I described is applicable to the largest as well as to the smallest of the mills in this area.
If then you are to sell large chunks of this reservation at a wholesale price, some of the companies will be enabled economically to carry it.
They may not wish to carry it for long. It would be possible for them to carry it, but at this point the Indians who are entitled to revenues would not be receiving their proper return.
Then I observed also, Senator, that you had mentioned three possible plans. I think returning the permutations, there is a fourth
possible plan, not a plan I would advocate, but I simply wish to mention it for the consideration of the committee. And that is a plan whereby you might sell this reservation off on a wholesale basis with something in the nature of a covenant running with the land to require sustained-yield production on the land, whatever is meant by sustained yield, and it frequently means all things to all persons.
This would result, of course, in a wholesale price to the Indians, and the Congress may then want to consider whether it would subsidize the operation by giving to the Indians the difference between the wholesale price and the retail price.
I think the plan has flaws; I think they are apparent. I simply mention it as somewhat of a coalescence between the public ownership concept and the private ownership concept. It would be private ownership of the timber but the Government would sit on the board of directors, so to speak, of any company that had the temerity to buy the timber.
Basically, the group I represent advocates that this timber stay in public management, in public control. Multiple use will require it, and the continuation of small, independent, free competitive enterprise seems to rest on that basis, a supply of timber available on a competitive basis from the Government. I don't think any other course is going to sustain the same type of private industry as we know today.
That, Senator, concludes my statement, and, if there are any question, I would be happy to answer them.
Senator NEUBERGER. Thank you very much, Mr. Netzorg. I remember when you originally presented your views for the Oregon Council of Churches they aroused great interest; they had great merit, and we appreciate your coming here.
Our next witness will be the Honorable John Kerbow, State represenative in the Oregon Legislature from Klamath County, who, as I understand it, will represent the Oregon Legislative Interim Committee on Indian Affairs, many of whose members we are very pleased to have with us today.
STATEMENT OF JOHN KERBOW, STATE REPRESENTATIVE TO THE
OREGON LEGISLATURE FROM KLAMATH COUNTY Mr. KERBOW. Senator, members of the committee, I have a prepared statement here which is very general, as our committee has met only once, but I would like to present it to you to impress upon you our willingness to work with your committee, or any other agency, in solving this problem.
I have been requested to appear before you today as spokesman for the Oregon Legislative Interim Indian Affairs Committee established by the 49th legislative assembly of 1957.
Before proceeding, I would like to acknowledge to you, Senator Neuberger, and to the members of the committee, the appreciation of residents of Klamath County for the deep concern you have shown for our problem emanating from the eventual termination of Federal supervision of the Klamath Reservation.
As members of the subcommittee may be aware, our legislative group has had time to hold only one meeting to this date, and that for the purpose of organization. We expect shortly to employ staff and get