To Save the Water Supply of the Country.
In order to carry out the program for the conservation of the great natural resources of the country, some of the States will be obliged to convey to the Federal government certain tracts of lard lying in the vicinity of the great watersheds of the West, this territory to be added to the forest reserves, so that the water supply, regulated by the snowfall which rests in the heavily timbered mountains, may be preserved. To this end several bills were before Congress. All of them had been shaped so as to conform with the opinion of the judiciary committee that the National government can acquire forest lands within the States, in order to preserve the navigability of streams, but not otherwise. One bill—the Pollard—provided for a commission of five men to be appointed by the president, to investigate and decide upon mountain areas which are important as the sources of navigable streams. These areas will then be proclaimed by the president national reserves to be put under the supervision of the Agricultural Department. Another bill—the Weeks—limited future forest acquisitions to the revenue acquired by the government from the existing forest reserves in the far West.