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Testimony of Members of Congress, Organizations,
Printed for the use of the Committee on Appropriations
U.3. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1965
SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
SPESSARD L. HOLLAND, Florida, Chair man RICHARD B. RUSSELL, Georgia
MILTON R. YOUNG, North Dakota CARL HAYDEN, Arizona
KARL E. MUNDT, South Dakota LISTER HILL, Alabama
ROMAN L. HRUSKA, Nebraska
CLIFFORD P. CASE, New Jersey
Ex OFFICIO MEMBERS FROM THE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE ALLEN J. ELLENDER, Louisiana
GEORGE D. AIKEN, Vermont JAMES 0. EASTLAND, Mississippi
RAYMOND L. SCHAFER, Clerk to Subcommittee
WALTER J. STEWART, Assistant Clerk
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND RELATED
AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS FOR 1966
MONDAY, APRIL 26, 1965
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 10:25 a.m., pursuant to call, in room 1114, New Senate Office Building, Hon. Spessard L. Holland, chairman of the subcommittee, presiding.
Present: Senator Holland.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
NATIONAL RECLAMATION ASSOCIATION
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM E. WELSH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Senator HOLLAND. The subcommittee will come to order.
Senator HOLLAND. The committee will now hear representatives of various organizations who wish to offer testimony in regard to various items to be considered by the subcommittee later when it meets to make recommendations in regard to appropriations for fiscal 1966, for the Department of Agriculture.
The first organization on the schedule today is the National Reclamation Association. Mr. William E. Welsh, the executive director, has requested to be heard.
Mr. Welsh, do you wish to enter your statement in the record and summarize it, or how do you wish to proceed?
Mr. WELSH. Mr. Chairman, I would appreciate it very much if I might have the privilege of filing the statement, and having it included in the record, and I would refrain from making any further comments, solely for the purpose of conserving or saving of time of this committee.
I do want to emphasize that the irrigation farmers of the West, a large segment of whom I am privileged to represent, are intensely interested, and I hope that my request is not interpreted as a lack of interest on their part.
Senator HOLLAND. Thank you very much.
(The prepared statement of Mr. Welsh follows:)
My name is William E. Welsh. I am executive director of the National Reclamation Association.
My purpose in presenting this statement to your committee this morning is to bring before you the views of the members of our association-especially the water users or irrigation farmers. Every major irrigation district in the West has representation in our association. It is these people who are especially interested in the programs which are before your committee for consideration.
We are especially interested in the programs of two agencies within the Department of Agriculture, They are the Soil Conservation Service and the programs in which we are interested, including technical services to water users, snow surveys and water supply forecasting, river basin planning, and watershed protection and flood prevention.
The other agency is the Agricultural Research Service, and we are especially interested in its program relating to the following:
SOIL AND WATER RESEARCH First, I will discuss with you the programs coming under the jurisdiction of the Soil Conservation Service. Technical services to farmers
Farmers on irrigated land of the West rely heavily on the technical assistance available from the Soil Conservation Service through local soil conservation districts. This is no doubt true of most farmers throughout the country but it is particularly essential to farmers on irrigated land since proper and efficient application of irrigation water requires accurate leveling of land and a carefully designed farm distribution system. Technical assistance of a high quality is required for such work in addition to the types of technical services needed by farmers who do not farm irrigated land. Consequently, technical assistance available from the Soil Conservation Service is of even greater value to irrigation farmers than to other farmers. This is especially true during the first few years of operation where new lands are brought under irrigation. The SCS has been most cooperative in assigning capable technicians to local soil conservation districts, including new irrigation projects, who have helped materially in laying out the farms for proper irrigation practices. Some of our State reclamation associations as well as the National Reclamation Association adopt resolutions each year supporting the SCS technical services program.
The National Reclamation Association is concerned about the proposal to establish user fees for technical services to farmers and is opposed to such a plan. There has also been public discussion of a proposal to reduce the funds available to the Soil Conservation Service to render technical assistance to cooperators, Reduction in the amount or quality of technical services available to irrigation farmers or establishment of user fees for the services of the Soil Conservation Service would have an adverse effect upon every irrigation project in the West. We trust that the Congress will provide for an increase in the technical assistance now available to farmers rather than curtail any of the services now provided. Snow surveys and water supply forecasting
Water is always an important subject. This is particularly true in the arid areas of the West. Many of the streams in this area are snow fed, receiving their supply of water from the melting snows on the high mountains. It is highly beneficial to users of this water to know in advance how much will flow down the river systems and at what rates. It is essential that accurate and detailed information be obtained to provide a reliable estimate of the amount of water that will come from the mountains. The Soil Conservation Service conducts snow surveys and provides water supply forecasts for this purpose. There is a growing need for more frequent snow measurements, peak-period forecasts, and updating the data-gathering procedures to allow speedier and more efficient collection systems. Field trials are underway in developing remote snow-measuring equipment which promises to greatly increase the efficiency of snow survey operations. This activity is of vital importance to the membership of our association and we urge a level of appropriations that will permit the Soil Conservation Service to meet these needs of the water users as rapidly as possible. River basin planning
We support the coordinated river basin planning being accomplished throughout the country by water resource agencies. We commend the Soil Conservation