The VICE PRESIDENT.
The bill (S. No. 392) to set apart a certain tract of land lying near the
headwaters of the Yellowstone river as a public park, taken upon the motion
of the Senator from Kansas, which was reported by the Committee on Public
Lands, is now before the Senate as in Committee on the Whole. The
bill was read. The Committee on Public Lands reported the bill with
amendments, which were in section one, line nineteen, to strike out the
words "after the passage of this act," and in line twenty, after the words
"settle upon," to insert the words "or occupy;" so as to make the bill
Be it enacted &c., That the tract of land in the Territories of Montana and Wyoming lying near the headwaters of the Yellowstone river, and described as follows, to wit: commencing at the junction of Gardiner's river with the Yellowstone river, and running east to the meridian passage ten miles to the eastward of the most eastern point of Yellowstone lake; thence south along the meridian to the parallel of latitude passing ten miles south of the most southern point of Yellowstone lake; thence west along said parallel to the meridian passing fifteen miles west of the most western point of Madison lake; thence north along said meridian to the latitude of the junction of the Yellowstone and Gardiner's rivers; thence east to the place of beginning, is hereby reserved and withdrawn from settlement, occupancy, or sale under the laws of the United States, and dedicated and set apart as a public part of pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people; and all persons who shall locate, ore settle upon or occupy the same, or any part thereof, except as hereinafter provided shall be considered trespassers, and removed therefrom.
SEC. 2. That said public park shall be under the exclusive control of the Secretary of the Interior, whose duty it shall be, as soon as practicable, to make and publish such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary or proper for the care and management of the same. Such regulations shall provide for the preservation from injury or spoliation of all timber, mineral deposits, natural curiosities, or wonders within said park, and their retention in their natural condition. the Secretary may in his discretion grant leases for building purposes, for terms not exceeding ten years, of small parcels of ground, at such places in said park as shall require the erection of buildings for the accommodation of visitors; all of the proceeds of said leases, and all other revenues that may be derived from any source connected with said park, to be expended under his direction in the management of the same, and the construction of roads and bridle-paths therein. He shall provide against the wanton destruction of the fish and game found within said park, and against their capture or destruction for the purpose of merchandise or profit. He shall also cause all persons trespassing upon the same after the passage of this act to be removed therefrom, and generally shall be authorized to take all such measures as shall be necessary or proper to full carry out the objects and purposes of this act.
The VICE PRESIDENT. These amendments will be regarded as agreed to unless objected to. They are agreed to.
Mr. ANTHONY. I observe that the destruction of game and fish for gain or profit is forbidden. I move to strike out the words "for gain or profit," so that there shall be no destruction of game there for any purpose. We do not want sportsmen going over there with their guns.
Mr. POMEROY. The only object was to prevent the wanton destruction of the fish and game; but we thought parties who encamped there and caught fish for their own use ought not to be restrained from doing so. The bill will allow parties there to shoot game or catch fish for their own subsistence. The provision of the bill is designed to stop the wanton destruction or capture of game or fish for merchandise.
Mr. ANTHONY. I do not know but that that covers it. What I mean is that this park should not be used for sporting. If people are encamped there, and desire to catch fish and kill game for their own sustenance while they remain there, there can be no objection to that; but I do not think it ought to be used as a preserve for sporting.
Mr. POMEROY. I agree with the Senator, but I think the bill as drawn protects the game and fish as well as it can be done.
Mr. POMEROY. Very well; I am satisfied.
The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator does not insist on his amendment?
Mr. ANTHONY. No, sir.
Mr. TIPTON. I think if this is to become a public park, a place of great national resort, and we allow the shooting of game or the taking of fish without any restriction at all, the game will soon be utterly destroyed. I think, therefore, there should be a prohibition against their destruction for any purpose, for if the door is once opened I fear there will ultimately be an entire destruction of all the game in that park.
Mr. POMEROY. It will be entirely under the control of the Secretary of the Interior. He is to make the rules that shall govern the destruction and capture of game. I think in that respect the Secretary of the Interior, whoever he may be, will be as vigilant as we would be.
The VICE PRESIDENT. Perhaps the Secretary had better report the sentences referred to by the Senators as being on this question, and then any Senator who desires to amend can move to do so.
The Chief Clerk read as follows:
He shall provide against the wanton destruction of the fish and game found within said park, and against their capture or destruction for the purposes of merchandise or profit.
Mr. EDMUNDS. I hope this bill will pass. I have taken some pains to make myself acquainted with the history of this most interesting region. It is so far elevated above that sea that it cannot be used for private occupation at all, but it is probably one of the most wonderful regions in that space of territory which the globe exhibits anywhere, and therefore we are doing no harm to the material interests of the people in endeavoring to preserve it. I hope the bill will pass unanimously.
Mr. COLE. I have grave doubts about the propriety of passing this bill. the natural curiosities there cannot be interfered with by anything that man can do. The geysers will remain, no matter where the ownership of the land may be, and I do not know why settlers should be excluded from a tract of land forty miles square, as I understand this to be, in the Rocky mountains or any other place. I cannot see how the natural curiosities can be interfered with if settlers are allowed to approach them. I suppose there is very little timber on this tract of land, certainly no more than is necessary for the use and convenience of persons going upon it. I do not see the reason or propriety of setting apart a large tract of land of that kind in the Territories of the United States for a public park. There is abundance of public park ground in the Rocky mountains that will never be occupied. It is all one great park, and never can be anything else; large portions of it at all events. There are some places, perhaps this is one, where persons can and would go and settle and improve and cultivate the grounds, if there be ground fit for cultivation.
Mr. EDMUNDS. Has my friend forgotten that this ground is north of latitude forty, and is over seven thousand feet above the level of the sea? You cannot cultivate that kind of ground.
Mr. COLE. The Senator is probably mistaken in that. Ground of a greater height than that has been cultivated and occupied.
Mr. EDMUNDS. In that latitude?
Mr. COLE. Yes, sir. But if it cannot be occupied and cultivated, why should we make a public park of it? If it cannot be occupied by man, why protect it from occupation? I see no reason in that. If nature has excluded men from its occupation, why set it apart and exclude persons from it? If there is any sound reason for the passage of the bill, of course I would not oppose it; but really I do not see any myself.
Mr. TRUMBULL. I think our experience with the wonderful natural curiosity, if I may so call it, in the Senator's own State, should admonish us of the propriety of passing such a bill as this. There is the wonderful Yosemite valley, which one or two persons are now claiming by virtue of a preëmption. Here is a region of country away up in the Rocky mountains, where there are the most wonderful geysers on the face of the earth; a country that is not likely ever to be inhabited for the purposes of agriculture; but it is possible that some person may go there and plant himself right across the only path that leads to these wonders, and charge every man that passes along between the gorges of these mountains a fee of a dollar or five dollars. He may place an obstruction there, and toll may be gathered from every person who goes to see these wonders of creation.
Now this tract of land is uninhabited; nobody lives there; it was never trod by civilized man until a short period. Perhaps a year or two ago was the first time that this country was ever explored by anybody. It is now proposed, while it is in this condition, to reserve it from sale and occupation in this way. I think it is a very proper bill to pass, and now is the time to enact it. We did set apart the region of country on which the mammoth trees grow in California, and the Yosemite valley also we have undertaken to reserve, but there is a dispute about it. Now, before there is any dispute as to this wonderful country, I hope we shall except it from the general disposition of the public lands, and reserve it to the Government. At some future time, if we desire to do so, we can repeal this law if it is in anybody's way; but now I think it a very appropriate bill to pass.
The bill was reported to the Senate as amended; and the amendments were concurred in. The bill was ordered to be engrossed for a third reading, read the third time, and passed.
JULIA A. SMITH.
Mr. TIPTON. I move that
the Senate take up Senate bill No. 423, a bill to pay to a widow an amount
found due her husband as an officer of the Government, and until it is
paid her--and I have the letter of the Comptroller in my hand saying it
is due--she cannot pay the funeral expenses of that husband, who died here
within the last nine months.
The motion was agreed to; and the bill (S. No. 423) for the relief of Julia A. smith was considered as in Committee of the Whole. It directs the Secretary of the Treasury to pay $640.70 (the amount found to be due by the First Comptroller of the Treasury, as per report No. 22067) to Mrs. Julia A. Smith, administratrix of the estate of the late Charles B. Smith, formerly receiver of public moneys, acting as disbursing agent at Brownville, Nebraska.
Mr. CONKLING. Does this bill come from a committee?
The VICE PRESIDENT. It does; from the Committee on Public Lands. It states on its face that this is an amount found to be due by a report of the first Comptroller of the Treasury.
Mr. TIPTON. I hold in my hand that report.
Mr. SHERMAN. I have the report, and every Senator can see that the Comptroller has passed upon it. I have no objection, Go to the next page