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CONCURRENT POLICE JURISDICTION OVER BLACKFEET
HIGHWAY IN MONTANA
MARCH 1, 1932.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state
of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. LEAVITT, from the Committee on the Public Lands, submitted
(To accompany H. R. 8914)
The Committee on the Public Lands, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 8914) to accept the grant by the State of Montana of concurrent police jurisdiction over the rights of way of the Blackfeet Highway, and over the rights of way of its connections with the Glacier National Park road system on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in the State of Montana, having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it do pass without amendment.
The purpose of this grant of jurisdiction is the protection of the public, which comprises many thousands of people from all of the States and foreign countries who visit Glacier National Park. These people necessarily use this highway. The topography of the country within the park is such that it was necessary to construct the arterial road and portions of the feeders outside the boundaries of the national park and within the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. The road is recognized by Congress as a part of the development of the national park. It is important to the protection of the public that it be properly policed." Being on the Indian reservation and in an isolated part of Montana, there is no local authority to assume this responsibility. The State of Montana has ceded concurrent jurisdiction to enable the Park Service to extend the needed protection to travelers. The travel is almost entirely in connection with the use of the national park. The completion of an east and west road through the mountains this coming year will multiply the number of automobiles traversing the road in question, and it is extremely important that this legislation be enacted now.
This bill provides for acceptance by the Federal Government of the grant by the State of Montana of concurrent police jurisdiction over the rights of way of the Blackfeet Highway and over the rights of way of its connection with the Glacier National Park road system on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in the State of Montana.
On February 27, 1929, the Governor of Montana approved an act of the legislature of that State reading as follows:
SECTION 1. That concurrent police jurisdiction shall be, and the same is hereby, granted to the United States of America over and within all the territo which is now or may hereafter be included in the rights of way of the Blackfeet Highway, including the highway itself throughout its length between Glacier Park Station and the Canadian boundary line, and including also the rights of way of the highways on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation connecting the Blackfeet Highway with the Glacier Park road system, including the highways themselves.
Sec. 2. That jurisdiction herein granted shall not vest until the United States of America through the proper officers notifies the Governor of the State of Montana that they assume concurrent police jurisdiction over the said rights of way and the said highways.
ŠEC. 3. This act shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval and upon compliance by the United States of America with section 2 of this act.
The report of the Secretary of the Interior and memorandum of the Director of the National Parks emphasizing the need for enactment of this legislation follows.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
Washington, February 24, 1932. Hon. John M. EVANS, Chairman Committee on the Public Lands,
House of Representatives. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: In response to your request of February 10 for a report on H. R. 8914, which is a bill to accept the grant by the State of Montana of concurrent police jurisdiction over the rights or way of the Blackfeet Highway, and over the rights of way of its connections with the Glacier National Park road system on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in the State of Montana, I transmit herewith a memorandum on the subject that has been submitted by the Director of the National Park Service and in which full details regarding the purposes of this legislation are given.
I concur in the memorandum report of the Director of the National Park Service and recommend that H. R. 8914 receive favorable consideration by Congress. Very truly yours,
RAY LYMAN WILBUR, Secretary.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE,
Washington, February 18, 1932. Memorandum for the Secretary.
Reference is made to letter dated February 10, from the chairman, Committee on the Public Lands, House of Representatives, transmitting copy of H. R. 8914, entitled “A bill to accept the grant by the State of Montana of concurrent police jurisdiction over the rights of way of the Blackfeet Highway, and over the rights of way of its connections with the Glacier National Park road system on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in the State of Montana,” with request for report thereon.
As indicated by this bill it proposes to accept the grant from the State of Montana of concurrent police jurisdiction over and within the territory now or hereafter included in the rights of way of the Blackfeet Highway and connecting roads leading to the Glacier National Park and to extend the laws and regulations of the United States relating to and in force within said park over and within the territory of said rights of way and highways. The bill further proposes to extend the jurisdiction of the United States Commissioner for the Glacier National Park to violations of law or the rules and regulations of the Secretary of the Interior thereby extended within said rights of way and highways.
The Blackfeet Highway and connecting roads referred to in this bill all control the various entrances into the Glacier National Park on the east side and appropriations made by Congress since the establishment of the park in 1910 for the maintenance of these roads by the National Park Service recognize these roads as part of the park highway system. It is quite desirable, therefore, from the standpoint of best administration of the park that these roads be placed under the police jurisdiction of the Federal Government and that the park laws and regulations be made enforceable thereon by park rangers.
The proposal for the exercise of Federal police jurisdiction over these roads has met with the full approval of the State of Montana and pursuant to established precedents House bill No. 127 ceding concurrent police jurisdiction over these roads to the Federal Government was enacted by the Legislative Assembly of that State and was approved by the governor on February 27, 1929. A copy of House bill No. 127 of the State of Montana as enacted into law is attached hereto. This action by the State assembly to accomplish the purpose desired is in accordance with established precedents in law which I will briefly refer to below for convenient reference.
In the case of Fort Leavenworth R. Co. v. Lowe (114 U. S. 532) the court specified two ways in which the United States may acquire jurisdiction over land within the States. First, the constitutional method, by purchase with the prior consent of the State, and second, by an express cession by the particular State.
Cessions of jurisdiction by the States were upheld with reference to land located in national parks in the cases of Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. v. County of Gallatin et al. (31 Fed. 2d series, 644) and the Arlington Hotel Co. v. Fant (278 U. S. 439), the latter with reference to lands located in the Hot Springs National Park.
In reference to the exercise of jurisdiction by the Federal Government under Article 1, section 8, of the Constitution, the court stated in U. S. v. Tucker (122 Fed. 518) that the broadest construction has been put upon the language of this clause-one which makes it cover all structures and all places necessary for carrying on the business of the National Government.
In Robbins v. United States (284 Fed. 39) a resolution of cession of jurisdiction by the State Highway Commission of Colorado over certain State roads within the Rocky Mountain National Park, was upheld and the jurisdiction of the United States over the roads thus ceded was sustained. Also see Colorado v. Toll (268 U. S. 228), in which the United States Supreme Court impliedly holds that if the cession by the State is proven then the United States has the right to exercise exclusive jurisdiction over the roads in the Rocky Mountain National Park.
A great many other precedents may be pointed to of like action having been taken for the purpose of accomplishing the exercise of Federal jurisdiction over territory within the several States, but it is assumed for the purpose of this report the above will be sufficient.
I earnestly recommend that H. R. 8914 receive favorable consideration by the department and Congress.
HORACE M. ALBRIGHT, Director.
TEMPORARY RELIEF OF WATER USERS ON IRRIGATION
March 1, 1932.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
state of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. Smith of Idaho, from the Committee on Irrigation and Reclama
tion, submitted the following
(To accompany S. 3706)
The Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation, to whom was referred the bill (S. 3706) for the temporary relief of water users on irrigation projects constructed and operated under the reclamation law, having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it
The committee conducted extensive hearings, and was addressed by the Commissioner of Reclamation, Dr. Elwood Mead, and by representatives from the various reclamation projects in the West, and has unanimously reached the conclusion that this legislation is imperative in order to relieve the settlers on many of the projects, who are unable to meet their annual construction charges because of water shortage, due to unusual drought conditions throughout the arid States, and the low price of farm products, such as:
Receipts on the Rio Grande project, where the crop is principally cotton, were reduced over 60 per cent, cotton being worth but little more than 5 cents per pound. There is really no market for potatoes produced on many of the projects in the Northwest Butterfat at the present time is bringing only 18 cents per pound, eggs 8 cents per dozen, wool 14 cents per pound, lambs 4 cents per pound, hogs 4 cents per pound, and beef cattle 4 cents per pound, and wheat sold as low as 30 cents per bushel.
As a matter of fact, everything that the farmer grows is selling for only about one-third of the cost of production.
The pending bill does not involve any appropriation. The payments on reclamation projects have been quite satisfactory to the Reclamation Service up to the year 1930, but the extremely low prices of farm products for the past two years has caused the farmers to operate at heavy losses both in 1930 and 1931.