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Letter to Secretary of Agriculture from Senator Anderson.
Aandahl, December 31, 1957-
Letter to the Secretary of the Interior from Fowler Harper, Solicitor.-
Conservation District, Fresno, Calif., from Secretary of the Interior,
Letter to Senator Anderson from Assistant Secretary of the Interior
Aandahl, January 20, 1958..
Morse, December 19, 1957-----
ACREAGE LIMITATION-RECLAMATION LAW
MEMORANDUM OF TRANSMITTAL
UNITED STATES SENATE,
April 19, 1958. To Members of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs:
The attached news release reveals the objective of the hearing set for Wednesday, April 30, at 10 a. m., room 224,
Senate Office Building, before the Subcommittee on Irrigation and Reclamation.
In addition, there are attached communications from the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture dealing with the acreage limitation provisions of the reclamation law and related subjects. This material is for the information of the committee.
CLINTON P. ANDERSON, Chairman, Subcommittee on Irrigation and Reclamation.
From the Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, April
RECLAMATION ACREAGE LIMITATION REVIEW
A general review of the acreage limitation provisions of the 56-yearold Federal reclamation law affecting the 17 Western States has been set for a hearing on Wednesday, April 30, in room 224, Senate Office Building, at 10 a. m. The hearing will be held by the Subcommittee on Irrigation and Reclamation of the Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs,
Senator Clinton P. Anderson (Democrat), New Mexico, chairman of the subcommittee, today said the review would include hearings on three specific bills, in addition to the general review of the problem. The bills are:
1. S. 1425, to amend the Small Projects Act to conform to the excess land provisions of the reclamation law; sponsored by Senators Douglas, Morse, and Neuberger.
2. S. 2541, to permit the Secretary of the Interior to fix the size of farm units in some circumstances at more than 160 acres; sponsored by Senator Barrett.
3. S. 3448, to remove the excess land provisions from the Seedskadee reclamation project; also sponsored by Senator Barrett.
Invited to attend the hearings and testify are the Secretary of the Interior, who adminsters the reclamation law, including the so-called 160-acre limitation on irrigable acreage in single ownership on reclamation projects, and the Secretary of Agriculture, with respect to economical size of irrigable farm units in the West.
Individuals and representatives of organizations interested in the acreage limitation provisions who desire to testify or file statements should notify the subcommittee.
The 160-acre limitation has been a part of the reclamation law since its enactment in 1902. In the course of the last 50 years, the Congress has exempted certain projects or units from its provisions. In other instances, an interest charge has been authorized for acreage in excess of 160 acres receiving irrigation water from a Federal reclamation project. Federal reclamation investments in irrigation works are interest-free, generally over a 40-year repayment period.
LETTER TO SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR
SEPTEMBER 10, 1957. Hon. FREDERICK A. SEATON, Secretary of the Interior,
Department of the Interior, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. SECRETARY: You are doubtless aware of the continuation of discussions in and out of the Congress relating to the acreage limitation provisions of the reclamation law. On each occasion when a modification or exemption affecting acreage limitations comes before the Senate, questions are raised, particularly as to whether or not a basic provision of reclamation law is being emasculated by attrition.
As chairman of the Subcommittee on Irrigation and Reclamation, I have assured Senator Douglas, a consistent supporter of existing acreage limitation, that a full review of the problem would be had at the earliest opportunity. Senator Barrett, of Wyoming, has introduced S. 2541 which would permit the Secretary of the Interior to fix the size of farm units on Federal reclamation projects at more than 160 irrigable acres in certain circumstances, and for other purposes. A report on this bill was requested on July 16 and the comments of the Department may throw some light on your views.
The Soil Conservation Service, Department of Agriculture, I understand, has been making some studies relating to the economic size of irrigated farm units under various conditions. We expect to have access to any information this agency develops.
The subcommittee has available the report of the Department to the Chudoff subcommittee of the House Committee on Government Operations. Part I of this report, dated May 1956, gives the background of the acreage limitation provisions of reclamation law and administrative interpretations of its application.
In order that we may have available for review and analysis before Congress reconvenes, you are requested to have furnished us by December 1, 1957, the following:
1. A complete list of exemptions from the acreage limitation provisions of the reclamation law by date and project as (a) enacted by Congress, with any background justification available; and (6) by administrative interpretation of the reclamation law as permitting or waiving exemptions where any instances under (6) exist.
2. The views of the Department of the Interior with respect to acreage limitations (a) on a comprehensive broad basis in connection with its general application; (6) in connection with special conditions due to climate, altitude, land classification, or other relevant agricultural or economic factors, including mechanization of farm operations, changing agricultural practices, family-size objectives, etc.
3. A summary of the enforcement procedures of the Department with respect to the existing acreage limitation provisions and the present status with respect to compliance.