Water Sheds of Two Large Rivers.
An agreement has been entered into by the secretary of agriculture at Washington, D. C., and the state conservation commission for cooperation in fire patrol forces on the watersheds of the Hudson and Delaware rivers, in so far as such watersheds are located in towns where the conservation commission is charged with the protection of the forests from fire. As a result of this agreement with the United States department of agriculture, various employes of the state conservation commission have their names entered upon the Federal payroll, and the government will pay them salaries, to an amount not exceeding $2,OO0 for the remainder of the present fire season.
The conservation commission has availed itself of the privilege offered by the United States to secure this assistance, pursuant to an act of Congress March 1, 1911. A similar arrangement has been made in Vermont. New Hampshire, Massachusetts. Wisconsin add Minnesota. Certain of the New York state mountain Ration observers and fire patrolmen will he designated as Federal employes, but they are to work under the supervision and direction of the state superintendent of forests, in full accord with the present organization. This is, of course, only a first step in the plan of co-operative state and Federal conservatism, and it is “the hope of the New York conservation commission that should the plan prove satisfactory it may in future he extended so as to cover a much larger range than under the present joint agreement. The co-operation is to he limited to such watersheds and areas in so far as they shall he approved by the secretary of agriculture. The state conservation commission is to indicate the period during which protection from forest fires is proposed under the agreement; the number of patrolmen with their stations, which will be employed by the state: the character and extent of other protective measures which it is propose to put into effect at the expense of the state; and the localities in which it is desired to place Federal patrolmen furnished by the forest serv ice. The state commission is to secure for the F’ederal patrolmen furnished under this agreement, by appointment as state patrolmen, without additional compensation, such police powers for the prevention and control of forest lircs as may me granted under the laws of the state of New York, and shall equip such Federal patrolmen with such fire lighting tools or devices and shall authorize them to employ such assistance in lighting fires as its funds and the state fire laws and regulations will permit. The superintendent of forests of New York is to be appointed collaborator in the forest service of the United States department of agriculture, at a nominal salary of $1 a month, and acting in such capacity to have direct charge of the force of Federal patrolmen employed. The state conservation commission is to appoint Federal patrolmen, subject to approval by the secretary of agriculture, and may remove any such patrolmen at pleasure. The state superintendent of forests shall instruct them as to their duties, supervise their work and certify as to their services on pay rolls of the forest service. The total sum to be expended by the Federal government under this agreement may equal but shall not exceed $2,000; but in no case shall the amount expended by the Federal government in any Federal fiscal year exceed the amount appropriated by the state for and expended by it during the same period for the purpose of protecting from fire the forested watersheds of navigable streams in the state. The secretary of agriculture with his authorized representatives is to have full authority to inspect the protective areas and the force authorized, and at his option, by giving the state conservation commission written notice may withdraw his approval of any such area or portion thereof, or terminate the employment of any Federal patrolman or patrolmen or of the state superintendent of forests as collaborator in the forest service. This agreement terminates on the 31st day of December. 1911. but is subject to renewal.
Four firemen in Louisville, Ky., are contesting the assignment of salaries to money lenders, and have taken the matter into court. The firemen claim that the assignments made to the brokers are void, because they covered unearned pay, and the firemen could not sell something they did not own.