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people did not fully understand the bill and lacked the organization and capacity to assume the management of its more than 800,000 acres of land worth upward of $200 million. Some still do not understand it, indeed there were sections of the bill that even attorneys did not understand, and an overall analysis clearly indicated trouble ahead. The difficulty in carrying out Public Law 587, the version of the bill which was ultimately passed, substantiated these beliefs.
It is believed by many people that Congress would never have passed Public Law 587 had it been fully informed of the effect of the legislation. Since the passage of Public Law 587, the Commissioner has fully evidenced his intention to put the Klamath Tribe out of business. Great areas of Klamath Reservation lands have already been sold and more is being sold as rapidly as possible. The theory is that if all the Indian lands are sold there will be no further responsibility on part of the United States Government. While questions of heirship necessitates the sale of some land, there is no valid reason for the rapid disposition of Indian lands with no effort made to keep those lands in Indian ownership; it has been estimated that 98 percent of the sales have been to non-Indians with destructive logging of the areas following.
A great imposition on the Indians was the Land Allottment Act of 1887, a system by which the Indians have been separated from more than 80 million acres mostly of their best lands. This pernicious plan is still in operation. Withdrawal legislation follows to augument it.
During the administration of Indian Affairs by Messrs. Collier and Zimmerman everything possible was done to add to and preserve the Indians' lands and resources. In contrast the Indian Office at present is apparently doing everything possible to dispose of the Indians' lands and resources. Thousands of Indians have had their lands sold and now many of them have and are being relocated, at great expense to the taxpayer, in undesirable and unhealthy sections of our cities. The fact that some younger Indian people want to leave the reservation for elsewhere begs the issue. Indian culture, life, and customs have been uprooted and destroyed trying to make white men out of people who prefer to remain as they are. The one result to which such dislocation will ultimately lead is the Federal Government's repurchase of former Indian lands, at increased expense, and restore same to the Indian people. Indeed this has already occurred in some
Neither at the time Public Law 587 was first proposed did I, nor at present, contend that the Federal Government should never withdraw its supervision over Indian affairs and restricted Indian property, but have always contended that such withdrawal of Federal responsibility, resulting from treaties with the Indians, should, in good conscience, be done slowly, intelligently and equitably at such time as the Indians may be willing and prepared for such a drastic change. I am certain that these feelings are shared by Members of the Congress and others long acquainted with Indian people.
One of the major difficulties facing the Klamath Tribe stems from the pressure of some concerns that long have had their eyes on the timber resources of the Klamath; however there probably is no lumber company or combination of companies which could purchase the entire Klamath Reservation and continue maintenance of forest protection and sustained-yield management. It is conceivable that companies do exist which could make piecemeal purchases of the Klamath Forest lands and strip the timber therefrom on a non-sustained-yield basis, in fact this has happened to some areas already sold. The sale of all the timber from the vast Klamath Forest would undoubtedly depress lumber values and result in the ruination of the lumbering industry in southern Oregon and northern California. The destruction of the present forest lands would spell calamity not only for the Indians but for many people in the Klamath region. The Klamath Forest land is suitable only for forest crops and many of the nearby communities depend to a great extent on the manufacture and sale of lumber and other forest products. The Klamath Reservation lies at high altitude; this fact and the lack of sufficient rainfall and unfavorable temperature for crop production leaves the area hardly suitable for farming or livestock production, unless a qualified individual has relatively large individual land holdings. Some few individual Indians now own or control considerable acreage on the reservation and by their using some tribal land for summer grazing of livestock do very well.
The good features of Public Law 587, are, unfortunately, far outweighed by those adverse to the future welfare of the Klamath Tribe. The present legislation would permit sale of Indian forest lands at prices not yielding a fair return to the Indian owners. Corrective legislation affecting these people should be free from pressure, confusing and illusionary promises. The Klamath people have lived in southern Oregon for hundreds of years, and being already the owners of this land, the tribe should have funds and first opportunity to purchase whatever allotted Indian land deemed necessary to be sold if there is any such land left. Without the annual cash income from their present tribal land holdings and allotted lands in many cases will create vast social and economic problems for the Federal Government as well as the State of Oregon. The citizens of Oregon should be vitally interested in this problem before it is too late.
I proposed in the beginning, as now, that Public Law 587 immediately be revised or revoked before the Klamath Tribe is forced from its ancestral home. An amendment to the law should include but not be limited to the following:
(a) Permit the Klamath Indians with the help and encouragement of the Government, to form their own corporation so as to take over management of their own property, but not to place it on the public tax rolls, at least not for the near future. Provisions, in lieu of taxes, made for the tribe to reimburse the State and/or the United States Government for any necessary public services rendered the Klamath Tribe such as for schools
and law and order. The tribe has for some years maintained its own hospital, also pays the salaries of Federal Government employees presently stationed on the Klamath Reservation for managing their timberlands, irrigation works, hospital, etc. Since the reservation originally and still is owned by Indians the Federal Government should not take their lands over, nor place legislation on the books that would in effect take the Indians' property. The Indians have been so confused and pressured that they are likely to agree to any proposition to get rid of the present Indian Bureau administration. It should be remembered also that the Klamath Indians presently pay income taxes, many pay property taxes, indirect and all other taxes, save tax on their tribal lands which lands have never been on the public tax rolls before or since Uncle Sam entered into the treaty of 1864 with the Klamaths. Provision should also be made for Federal loans to the tribe to pay those individuals withdrawing from the tribe, said loans to be repaid on an installment plan out of yearly receipts, mostly from cut and sale of timber. No one knows how many of the enrolled Indians want to withdraw from the tribe.
(6) If the Klamath people, after proper organization and due consideration, decide in a majority vote not to keep and manage their own property under conditions that would be practicable, then offer their tribal property for sale to the State of Oregon for management of the Klamath resources
on a permanent sustained yield basis. The price and transaction should have the full Indian understanding and approval. Such continuous governmental management would be of benefit equally to the Klamath Indians and to other Oregon citizens interested in maintaining in perpetuity the forest and other resources of the Klamath Reservation, Provisions for installment payments should be made for the reservation over a long period of time. This proposal would be similar to administration of a national forest, but ownership benefits would remain in Oregon citizens after full payment to the original Indian owners.
(c) If the Klamath Tribe and the State of Oregon would not accept proposal (6) above, then with full understanding and consent of the tribe, sell the Klamath tribal timberlands to the Federal Government to be maintained in perpetuity as a national forest with suitable provisions
honoring the great Klamath Tribe. Through this plan sustained yield management would be assured for benefit of the Klamaths and all other citizens alike. The price would have to be right, with payment made on an installment basis until final settlement is made. It should be clearly borne in mind that any large cash payments made at one time to individual Indians would certainly mean that in a very short time most of the Klamath people, like other people, would have neither cash nor their land left, then what?
(d) If neither (a), (b), nor (c) proposals could be satisfactorily worked out, it then might be possible to offer the tribal timberlands for public bidding in whole or in blocks with strict provisions made, under penalty of law, to insure protection and maintaining sustained yield forest man
agement in perpetuity. As indicated above it is doubtful that a private corporation could financially handle such a vast property with requirements for forest fire and insect protection and for sustained-yield management, with controls over the total annual cut of timber so as not to jeopardize the entire forest economy of the Klamath Basin at any time. A great risk is involved under this plan. Man
agement and/or stockholders of private corporations change as the years go by and the urge to liquidate the property and close out the business is hard to resist and prohibit. In the end it probably would mean only destruction of the great Klamath Forest with calamitous economic effect in southern Oregon. This plan would mean continuous checking and enforcement of protection and sustained-yield management by either State or Federal Governments and probably would be costly. This is the least desirable of all other possible methods of management. The revenue derived from such ownership and management likely would not be spent locally whereas the Indian owners presently spend their reservation income with local merchants.
(e) The extensive marshland on the Klamath Reservation could best be handled for benefit of all by the excellent Fish and Wild Life Bureau of the Federal Government provided the Klamath Tribe is willing to sell. This is a great resource and will become increasingly more so in the future. In any proposal the Indians' hunting and fishing rights should be recognized and preserved. This is dear to the Indians' heart and must be protected at all costs.
Of the three proposals now before your committee, namely Public Law 587, S. 2047, and S. 3051, I believe S. 2047 comes nearer meeting any possible legislation obtainable under the present organization of the Indian Service. The Klamath Tribe has been rushed, pressured, and coerced to the extent that it is not presently capable of making a clear decision to its satisfaction or its best interests. One can only repeat-why the rush? Any action taken that will mean separation of the Klamath Tribe from their old reservation will be a black page in our history.
In consideration of any legislative bill it should not be forgotten that the Klamath Tribe is composed of human beings and resorting to pressure, confusing and impossible legislation should not be countenanced against these people. The Klamaths are an asset to the country, to Oregon, and where would they go should they lose their lands?
I am greatly encouraged with the sympathetic feeling and work you have devoted to the Klamath people. Great appreciation and thanks from the tribe and other Oregon citizens are most justly due you. Very sincerely yours,
E. MORGAN PRYSE, Colonel, Corps of Engineers, United States Army, Retired.
NATIONAL LUMBER MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION,
Washington, D. C., February 19, 1958. Hon. RICHARD L. NEUBERGER, Chairman, Subcommittee on Indian Affairs, Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR NEUBERGER: By letter dated January 20, 1958, you invited participation by this association in hearings on S. 3051 and S. 2047, and you asked whether we wished to appear at these hearings and testify or submit our views in writing for consideration of subcommittee members and inclusion in the hearings record. By letter of January 22, 1958, we advised you that we had submitted a statement on S. 2047 which was published in the record of the hearings on that bill, and that the views expressed therein could be in. terpreted as bearing on some of the principles set forth in S. 3051 as well. We indicated, however, that we might wish to supplement our previous statement and comment on some features of S. 3051 which differ from your previous bill.
Thereafter, by telegram dated January 31, 1958, you requested information from this association as to which day our spokesman or representative desired to testify before your subcommittee on these two bills. In response to this wire, we advised that S. 3051 had not yet been given sufficient consideration and that we were not yet prepared to present oral testimony on it. We indicated, however, that we would most likely prepare and present a statement on S. 3051 to your subcommittee at a later date for inclusion in the hearings record. The statement that follows conveys our views on S. 3051 and supplements the views we previously expressed to your subcommittee on S. 2047. Our two statements are closely related and should be considered jointly.
S. 3051, if enacted, would require private bidders to prepare management plans for approval by the Secretary of Agriculture before they would be qualified to bid. Any successful bidder would be subjected to a 75-year covenant covering management of the lands purchased. This would be administered by the Secretary of Agriculture. Any lands not purchased by private parties and not retained by the Klamath Tribe would be purchased by the Federal Government. No bids would be accepted for less than the appraised price which would be determined without regard to the 75-year title restriction or other provisions adverse to the purchaser.
It is our belief that to the extent the Klamath timberlands are placed on the market for sale to private parties, all conveyance of title should be in fee simple and should not include a covenant or stipulation limiting the right of the purchaser to manage the property as he thinks best. This form of title encumberance, imposing Federal control over private property rights, would be new in the United States, alien to our traditional concept of individual responsibilities for proper land stewardship and a dangerous precedent for the further control of private property by the Government. Furthermore, in this day of high timberland values and understanding of forestry principles, no such covenant is needed.
The proponents of this legislation have emphasized that it should not serve as a precedent for the extension of Federal control over private lands beyond the boundaries of the Klamath Indian Reservation. This hope is ill founded if history has meaning. Once the door is opened slightly on physical and economic control over the activities performed by an individual on his own property, experience suggests that the door is most apt to be opened wider rather than closed. It must be remembered that the termination program on the Klamath Reservation is only a small part of the entire termination program. There are some 5 million acres of timberland on the several Indian Reservations subject to termination proceedings and an additional 35 million acres of woodland and grazing land. If Federal control over Klamath timberlands is approved by the Congress of the United States, is it farfetched to assume that the Congress will look with disfavor on similar control over similar lands elsewhere?
Under the public-land laws, the Department of the Interior has alienated millions of acres of public-domain land without the restriction of a federally enforcible management covenant. Even today dispositions of forest and other lands are made by the Department of the Interior after due classification without title impediments as related to long-term management. S. 3051, therefore, clearly breaks with the past and launches a new concept of the relationship between the Federal Government and the private purchaser of Federal lands. It represents a concept that departs from the many expressions of the administration relating to matters of individual responsibility, self reliance, and private enterprise.
The cost and complexity of policing the physical property and financial and other records of the private purchasers of Klamath timberlands by the Government is a matter that deserves more consideration than has thus far been apparent.
S. 3051 would specifically impose sustained-yield management on timberland of the Klamath Reservation following their transfer to private ownership. If it is important for sustained-yield management to be practiced by private owners of timberland, is it not equally important that those responsible for the administration of publicly owned timberlands do likewise? If this proposal requiring sustained-yield management by any private purchaser is to be retained in the proposed legislation, should not the legislation specifically require sustainedyield management of any of the Klamath timberlands acquired by the Federal Government? And with regard to the timberlands retained by the Klamath Tribe, should not sustained-yield management be a matter of similar concern? While sustained-yield management of privately acquired timber resources would be mandatory and conservation of soil and water resources imposed on any private purchaser, nothing specifically is said in the legislation concerning sustained yield or conservation management as a condition of ownership by other custodians of valuable timber, grazing, soil, water, recreation, and wildlife resources.
Although "sustained yield” is a term referred to throughout the legislation, it is nowhere defined. There are many definitions of this term. Both physical and economic factors are involved. This has sometimes led to misunderstanding or disagreement among those who are responsible for various aspects of timberland management. Perhaps the most authentic professional explanation is presented by the Society of American Foresters. Its definition of "sustained yield” is in four parts as follows:
"1. As applied to a policy method, or plan of forest management, implies continuous production with the aim of achieving, at the earliest practical time, an approximate balance between net growth and harvest, either annual or somewhat longer period.
“2. As applied to forest and range management, implies measures which will maintain the productive capacity of the land.
"3. As applied to a forest, refers to one which is under sustained-yield management.
“4. In forest finance, refers to a forest property, the current income from which is equal to the interest on its capital value; if equality is achieved on an annual basis the property is characterized as an annual sustained-yield property.”
Some legally defensible definition of the term would obviously have to be developed for purposes of S. 3051 which might depart from a professional or academic definition. If this is not done, the prospective purchaser would be under a handicap in not knowing what would be expected of him under the legislation, especially in future years, and endless litigation in the courts might result.
It is obvious that in some circumstances a purchaser might not want to practice annual- or short-term sustained yield on a particular tract that he was going to purchase since it might become part of more extensive holdings on which overall sustained yield would be practiced. In such case his objective might be the postponement of timber harvest so as to fully develop a component part of his total raw material supply. This would be more in the public interest than to force sustained yield (implying an annual or near annual balance of growth and cut) upon him. There are other circumstances in which the application of scientific forestry practice under an economic plan of management is more in the public interest than is sustained yield, especially if the term is confined to physical factors alone.
It is still our understanding that the lands in question are the property of the Klamath Indians. Has this legislation been approved by these Indians? Are they aware that a restrictive title and other onerous provisions will adversely affect the disposal of the property to private owners? It appears that the executive department of the Government, in their sincere desire to continue the results of their own management program, has failed to delegate to these Indian owners the responsibility which is rightfully theirs in the solution of the problems of disposal. In this connection, we might observe that we see no evidence that the legislation provides for participation by the State of Oregon. Practically all responsibility under S. 3051 is vested in the Secretary of Agriculture or the Secretary of the Interior.
S. 3051 provides that the “realization value” shall be approved by the Secretary of the Interior which is defined to be the same as fair market value. The propriety of legislating fair market value in this manner might well be questioned. Under S. 3051, “realization value," as defined, is certain to be in excess of the fair market value (as determined in the market place) because it is based upon an appraisal which has not taken into account the adverse factors included in the legislation which most certainly will both discourage private bidding and decrease values.
The act of March 1, 1911 (36 Stat. 961) is referred to in S. 3051. This act, among other things, provides for a National Forest Reservation Commission consisting of the Secretaries of Agriculture, Interior, and Army and four Members of Congress. The act states that such Commission was “ * * * created and authorized to consider and pass upon such lands as may be recommended for purchase * * * and to fix the price or prices at which such lands may be purchased and no purchases shall be made of any lands until such lands have been duly approved for purchase by said Commission * * *.”
S. 3051 would set aside this traditional procedure under which land aggregating almost 19 million acres has been added to the national forests over a 47year period. If the Klamath timberlands are to be added to the national forest system, we believe the National Forest Reservation Commission should consider and pass on the transaction in keeping with the desire of Congress expressed in the act of March 1, 1911.
A provision in the bill states: "All sales of tribal lands on which roads are located shall be made subject to the right of the United States and its assigns to maintain and use such roads.” Unless a prospective bidder can negotiate a long-term agreement with the United States, setting forth reasonable terms and conditions of road use, including equitable payment for such use, it is unlikely that a sale to such a prospective bidder would be consummated. This presupposes that improvements, such as roads, are part of the "realization value” as defined in the legislation.