Mail Tribune 100, Aug. 24, 1918 Continued
The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.
Aug. 24, 1918 Continued
OPPOSES PLACING GRAZING LAND IN FOREST RESERVE
To the Editor: I have read Mr. Hawley’s letter in your valued paper and the bill for increase of forest area. The proposed area to be included, roughly speaking is the area between the old Ashland reserve and Jenny creek and south to the state line, and is 20 1/2 miles long, east and west and its greatest depth north and south is 10 1/2 miles and averages about seven miles.
The proposed north line crosses the Pacific Highway just north of Steinman, putting about 1.2 miles of the highway in the reserve. There is about 137 square miles or 87,680 acres in this area, about one-third of which is privately owned. With the exception of this area west of the S. P. railroad, this is a sparsely timbered section and is chiefly valuable for grazing and has been grazed since the very earliest times by cattle for about two-thirds and sheep about one-third of the area. The sheep heretofore have always been Oregon stock and the cattle nearly all California stock coming in from Hornbrook along the Klamath river as far south as Montague.
The Songer sheep range established by Hon. Wm. J. Songer of Ashland, one of the two or three men now living who entered donation land claims in the Rogue River valley, was used by him for him for sheep grazing from those very early days until he retired from active service and was then taken and has been used for the past 10 or 12 years by the late Matthew Thompson and the Grissom Bros., until this spring when the sheep and range rights of the Grissom Bros. was purchased by the Marvin Peterson company of Maxwell, Calif., and has been used by them this season for sheep grazing, with the expectation and intention of future use.
This recital is made for the purpose of getting to the question of taxation referred to in Mr. Hawley’s letter. The Grissoms have always paid taxes on about 750 sheep. The California stock that have always used this range, about 1000 head of cattle and this year 4000 head of sheep, have never paid any taxes in Oregon. The sheep that were grazed here for about four months or equal to about 335 for one year.
Jackson county and Oregon, in justice, should secure taxes from this source of wealth. If placing this area in the reserve would be the easiest way to tax this stock, making reserve of it then would be the proper thing to do. But making this area a reserve is absolutely a question put forward by and of interest to California stockmen and both sides favor it and also favor it being placed on the Klamath reserve, which would be in effect of stock grazing purposes moving the state line to a point just north of Steinman, Pilot rock being the dominant point in this area. WELBORN BEESON, Talent.
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