the Governors of all our States and Territories, a limited number of delegates to be appointed by each Governor, and representatives from leading organizations of both State and National scope engaged in dealing with National resources or with practical questions relating thereto.

We have the honor to ask that in case you concur in our view you call such a Conference. Respectfully submitted. (Signed) THEODORE E. BURTON,

Chairman. (Signed) WJ McGee,


On receiving the communication, the President not merely approved the plan but decided to comply fully with the formal request of the Commission and himself call the Conference; and he so announced in his Memphis address delivered later in the day, as follows:

As I have said elsewhere, the conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others. To solve it, the whole nation must undertake the task through their organizations and associations, through the men whom they have made specially responsible for the welfare of the several States, and finally through Congress and the Executive. As a preliminary step, the Inland Waterways Commission has asked me to call a conference on the conservation of natural resources, including, of course, the streams, to meet in Washington during the coming winter. I shall accordingly call such a conference. It ought to be among the most important gatherings in our history, for none have had a more vital question to consider.

At the Twenty-fifth Session of the Commission, convened on October 5, a Conference Committee was appointed “to confer with the President and take requisite action in conformity with his wishes” regarding arrangements; the Committee comprising Commissioners Pinchot (chairman), Newell, and McGee. About this time it was decided, at the instance of Commissioner Newell, to recommend to the President that the Conference be held in the East Room of the White House; and the recommendation was promptly approved. This Conference Committee kept in communication with the President, and reported progress at several sessions of the Commission.

In November, the President wrote each Governor, inviting him to take part in the Conference; one of the letters being as follows:

My Dear GOVERNOR: The natural resources of the United States were, at the time of settlement, richer, more varied, and more available than those of any other equal area on the earth. The development of these resources has given us for more than a century a rate of increase of population and wealth without parallel in history. It is obvious that the prosperity which we now enjoy rests directly upon these resources. It is equally obvious that the vigor and success which we desire and

foresee for this nation in the future must have this as its ultimate material basis.

In view of these evident facts, it seems to me time for the country to take account of its natural resources and to inquire how long they are likely to last. We are prosperous now; we should not forget that it will be just as important to our descendants to be prosperous in their time.

Recently I declared there is no other question now before the nation of equal gravity with the question of the conservation of our natural resources, and I added that it is the plain duty of us who, for the moment, are responsible to take inventory of the natural resources which have been handed down to us, to forecast the needs of the future, and so handle the great sources of our prosperity as not to destroy in advance all hope of the prosperity of our descendants.

It is evident the abundant natural resources on which the welfare of this nation rests are becoming depleted, and, in not a few cases, are already exhausted. This is true of all portions of the United States; it is especially true of the longer settled communities of the East.

The gravity of the situation must, I believe, appeal with special force to the Governors of the States, because of their close relations to the people and the responsibility for the welfare of their communities. I have therefore decided, in accordance with the suggestion of the Inland Waterways Commission, to ask the Governors of the States and Territories to meet at the White House on May 13, 14, and 15 to confer with the President and with each other upon the conservation of natural resources.

It gives me great pleasure to invite you to take part in this Conference. I should be glad to have you select three citizens to accompany you and to attend the Conference as your assistants or advisers. I shall also invite the Senators and Representatives of the Sixtieth Congress to be present at the sessions so far as their duties will permit.

The matters to be considered at this conference are not confined to any region or group of States, but are of vital concern to the Nation as a whole and to all the people. Those subjects include the use and conservation of the mineral resources, the resources of the land, and the resources of the waters in every part of our territory.

In order to open discussion, I shall invite a few recognized authorities to present brief descriptions of actual facts and conditions, without argument, leaving the conference to deal with each topic as it may elect. The members of the Inland Waterways Commission will be present in order to share with me the benefit of information and suggestion, and, if desired, to set forth their provisional plans and conclusions.

Facts, which I can not gainsay, force me to believe that the conservation of our natural resources is the most weighty question now before the people of the United States. If this is so, the proposed conference, which is the first of its kind, will be among the most important gatherings in our history in its effect upon the welfare of all our people.

I earnestly hope, my dear Governor, that you will find it possible to be present. Sincerely yours,



All the Governors of the States and Territories accepted, a few conditionally on grounds of health or pressure of public affairs.

In December and later the President issued invitations to organizations dealing with natural resources, which were generally accepted. One of these was as follows:

My Dear Sir: Recently I invited the Governors of the States and Territories to meet in the White House on May 13-15 next in a Conference on the Conservation of Natural Resources. In issuing the invitation, I expressed the opinion that there is urgent need of taking stock of our resources, and I added my belief that the Conference ought to take rank among the more important meetings in the history of the country.

The replies to the invitation have been most gratifying. They indicate that practically all of the Governors, each with three special advisers, will attend the Conference. The Senators and Representatives of the Sixtieth Congress, the Justices of the Supreme Court, and the members of the Cabinet have also been invited to take part; and the Inland Waterways Commission, which suggested the Conference, will be present to reply to inquiries and make record of the Proceedings. A limited number of leading associations of national scope concerned with our natural resources will be invited to send one representative each to take part in the discussions. The general purpose of the Conference is indicated on pages 24-26 of the preliminary report of the Waterways Commission, of which a copy is inclosed.

I invite the cooperation of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in bringing this matter before the people; and it gives me added pleasure to invite you as President of the Society to take part in the Conference. Sincerely yours,

(Signed) THEODORE ROOSEVELT. Meantime correspondence was conducted with experts by the President or his Secretary, and also by the Conference Committee; and a Syllabus was prepared for the guidance of experts in the preparation of opening statements. This Syllabus is printed on later pages.

In the course of the correspondence, the President invited as special guests five eminent citizens widely recognized as authorities on national aspects of the resources of the country.

As the plans for the Conference grew definite, early in the correspondence, and it became clear that the statements and deliberations of the Governors and other Conferees might assume such importance as to be of interest to the coordinate branches of the Federal Government, the Justices of the Supreme Court and the Senators and Representatives of the Sixtieth Congress were invited by the President to take part. Similar invitations were extended also to members of the Cabinet.

Throughout it was planned to provide for press attendance in the interests of the public and to prevent possible misapprehension of purpose; and as the time for the Conference approached it was decided to

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invite representatives of the periodical press as well as the daily press. The former, coming from different parts of the country, were personally invited by the President, after selection by the Periodical Publishers Association; the latter (forty in number) were selected by the managing committee of the Congressional Press Gallery from the Washington representatives of the leading papers and entered on personal recognition and press badges, under regulations of their committee.

Finally, toward the end of April, a limited number of bureau chiefs and other experts of national reputation connected with the Federal service were invited by the President to take part in the Conference; and these invitations, like all others, were generally accepted.

Early in May the Calendar of the Conference was prepared, chiefly for the convenience of the Governors and subject to change by them after assembling; in its final form it is reprinted on later pages. Although not designed as a fixed programme, its order was found convenient and was followed somewhat closely, except on the last day of the Conference.

The Conference Committee kept in close touch with the arrangements, including provision for the safety of the unprecedented assemblage of public officials; they were aided efficiently by Mr Thomas R. Shipp, who was made General Secretary of the Conference, the Secretary of the Commission acting as Recording Secretary. (During the second session, Governor John Burke, of North Dakota, was chosen Honorary Secretary.)

A few Governors were kept away by illness or special pressure of public business. As the date for the Conference approached there were a number of changes among the Governors' advisors, with a few among the representatives of organizations; while of the five special guests invited by the President, one-Ex-President Cleveland—was confined to his home by illness which soon after proved fatal.

The Roster on later pages comprises the Conferees (including Governors prevented by illness or public duty from appearing in person), arranged by groups. The half-tone engraving following it represents the Governors present at noon of May 13, with several other guests. A photogravure representing all the Conferees was prepared with the consent of the Conference Committee, but is not reproduced herein. W JM.


MINERAL RESOURCES MINERAL FUELS: a. Coal fields of the United States, including (1) extent, (2) varieties, (3)

amount, (4) production, and (5) value. b. Methods of mining. c. Rates of use and probable duration of (1) anthracite, (2) coking bitumi

nous, (3) ordinary bituminous, (4) lignite, and (5) cannel coal. d. Losses in mining and waste in use in connection with power, heating,

smelting, and gas production. e. Estimated duration of present methods of mining and use, classed by

kinds and fields. f. Influence of progressive exhaustion on current prices. g. Improvements in mining and use, and their estimated effects in pro

longing supply. h. Connection between coal production and transportation, including (1)

price, (2) rate of output, and (3) exhaustion of fields. i. Relation between coal and other resources, including (1) substitution of

water-power for fuel-power, (2) saving (in both power and smelting) through substitution of water carriage for rail carriage, and (3) saving

through substitution of gas motors for steam-engines. j. Petroleum and rock gas.

k. Possible substitutes for fuel. ORES AND RELATED MINERALS: Q. Mineral production in the United States, including (1) iron, (2) copper,

(3) gold, (4) silver, (5) other metals, (6) cement, (7) brick-clay, (8)

stone, and (9) miscellaneous. b. Relation between production and price. c. Estimates of (1) available quantity, (2) prospective cost of production

and price, and (3) duration of supply. d. Processes of mining and quarrying, including (1) growth and improve

ment, (2) prospective improvement, and (3) possibilities of reducing

waste. e. Relation between ores and other resources. f. Probable consequences of exhaustion of standard minerals, including

(1) iron, (2) copper, and (3) gold.

a. Origin of the soil and its relations to underlying rocks.
6. Natural products of the soil and adjustment of soil and products to rains

and running waters.
c. Progressive enrichment of soils under natural conditions.
d. Effects of cultivation in (1) impoverishing and (2) enriching soils.
e. Soil erosion, including (1) amount, (2) direct loss involved, (3) indirect

losses due to scouring of channels, deposition of débris on bottomlands, building of sand bars, diversion of streams, and (4) means of

prevention. f. General estimates of loss to the country through needlessly reduced fertility and decreased production.

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