SEPTEMBER 15, 1961

PAGE 19710


Mr. HART. Mr. President, on behalf of the junior Senator from Maine [Mr. MUSKIE], who is unavoidably absent, I introduce, for appropriate reference, a bill to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to permit certain property to be used for State forestry work, and for other purposes. I ask unanimous consent that the bill remain at the desk through September 21 for additional cosponsors.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The bill will be received and appropriately referred; and, without objection, the bill will lie on the desk, as requested by the Senator from Michigan.

The bill (S. 2563) to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to permit certain property to be used for State forestry work, and for other purposes, introduced by Mr. HART (for Mr. MUSKIE), was received, read twice by its title, and referred to the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry.

Mr. HART. I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the RECORD a statement prepared by the Senator from Maine, relating to the bill.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

The statement presented by Mr. HART, for Mr. MUSKIE, is as follows:


I introduce for appropriate reference a bill which would permit States to retain nursery facilities financed out of soil bank funds for tree planting operations without returning the residual value of the facilities to the trust fund.

I wish to have this bill remain at the desk through September 21, 1961, to give other Members of the Senate an opportunity to cosponsor the legislation.

I also wish to include a memorandum prepared for me on this subject and a table showing the States affected by this legislation in the RECORD at this point:


"Nursery facilities for the production of tree planting stock up to the passage of the soil bank were inadequate to meet current demand for trees. Therefore when the Soil Bank Act was passed in May 1956, it was determined by the Department of Agriculture that the nursery facilities to produce tree planting stock would need to be expanded substantially and rapidly to meet the needs of the conservation reserve program. This determination was well founded as evidenced by the 2.2 million acres which were signed up for tree planting during the 5 contract years of the program.

"The Department of Agriculture had been cooperating with State forestry organizations since 1924 under authority of section 4 of the Clarke-McNary Act in the production of trees for distribution to landowners. Nearly two-thirds of all trees planted in the country in 1956 were produced in State nurseries under this cooperative program. Since the States had the organization and facilities to readily expand their production and distribution systems to satisfy this added demand and since the experience over the past 30 years with the States in the cooperative production and distribution of trees had been very satisfactory, it was decided to ask the States to cooperate in this expanded tree production program.

"Agreements were entered into with 34 States under which the States agreed to expand to meet Soil Bank needs the State nursery production facilities on land controlled by the State (by ownership or lease) . The funds for this purpose were provided by Soil Bank appropriations. A total of $6.6 million were placed in trust funds by the Department for use by the States for this purpose. These agreements provided that at the close of the Soil Bank program the State would dispose of the facilities not needed by the State for continued tree planting stock production and return the proceeds to the trust fund.

"The States also agreed to return to the trust fund the residual value of those facilities it wished to retain for continued State use. All of the States which participated in this program have indicated the desire to retain these facilities to meet present or anticipated near future needs to grow tree planting stock. The residual value of these facilities, as determined by joint appraisal as of June 30, 1961, is $4.4 million. Most of the States will require special legislation and significant increases in appropriation to exercise their option to continue to use these facilities by returning their residual value to the trust funds established to finance the construction and acquisition of these expanded facilities as provided it their agreement with the Department Of Agriculture. To accomplish this in each of the 34 States involved poses many problems and ultimate accomplishment over a long period of years is not assured.

"Based on published reports of the Department of Agriculture there is still the need to plant to trees more than 40 million acres of land most of the trees for which must come from these State nurseries. It is important that none of this nursery capacity be lost through salvage operations merely because the States cannot place in the trust funds the residual value of these facilities.

"The Department of Agriculture plans to continue to cooperate with these States with funds appropriated by Congress in the production, distribution, and planting of trees to reduce this tremendous backlog of over 40 million acres through section 4 of the Clarke-McNary Act, title IV of the Agricultural Act of 1956, and possibly other programs. The legislation currently proposed to dispense with the placing in the trust funds of the residual value of the soil bank financed nursery facilities now available to the States to meet present and future needs is in the public interest because it will facilitate the Federal-State cooperative effort in the planting of trees to protect the land and much needed to help meet our future needs for timber.

[Table of State Nursery Property omitted.]