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curately the Coast Range of California would be the line. The northern boundary is the British territorial line west from the one hundredth degree to the summit of the Sierras, or the one hundred and twentieth meridian. Following the summits of the main range, the north west line would deflect to the central portion of Oregon, following the south westerly bend of the mountains down to the northern boundary of California. The southern limit of this dry area would be the northern line of Mexico, and thence south by east, along the Valley of the Rio Grande, down to the fulf of Mexico. The area then, east and west, through its central and larger portion, runs from the one hundredth meridian to the one hundred and twenty-fourth degree of west longitude, and in itsija greatest prolongation north and south from the forty-third to the twenty-seventh degi of latitude. In its more northern portion it runs east and west from the ninety-eighth to the one hundred and twentieth degree of west longitude. The larger portion from north to south is embraced between the thirty-second and forty-third degrees of latitude, with the sub-:irid or semi-humid area, the eastern line of which, though irregular, may safely be stated as the ninety-seventh meridian, the total area extends east and west for nearly twenty-eight degrees of longitude.

These lines cover nearly one-half of the States of Kansas and Ne. braska, both States of Dakota, the whole of the States of Colorado, Montana, and Nevada, with nine-tenths of California, one-third of Texas, and about one-third of Oregon; also the Territories of Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah; Idaho, and Arizona, with at ast one third (east of the mountains) of Washington. This embraces aut one-third of our whole territorial surface, inclusive of Alaska. How much of the latter-namell Territory may be wholly or partially arid or desert in character can not yet be estimated. The east and west lines of this dry region, then, are, in the widest section, over 1,300 miles apart, and in its greatest length, the northern and southern limits are about 1,000 miles apart. If the whole region were compactly arranged it would make a b about 1,000 miles square. The area thus indicated may be subdiv again into three broad divisions, as follows:

(1) The plains region, running north and south from the British American line to the lower portion of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, and east and west from the one hundredth to the one hundred and fifth degrees of west longitude. This division may be broadly declared to have a general rise and altitude of from 1,500 to 5,000 feet, though it will fall below that at either end of the area. It is but sparcely sup plied with streams, which are mainly fed from mountain sources; the annual precipitation is nearly everywhere below a reliable amount for economic uses. In the central portion this precipitation will not, under favorable conditions, exceed 18 inches per annum in the eastern part, and as we go westward it diminishes to 12 and 15 inches per annum.

In the southern (Texas) portion of this area the rain-fall will somewhat exceed 20 inches on the east, decreasing until, on the north west, it will reach only 8 to 10 inches in the most favorable seasons. In the northern or Dakota portion the average is more evenly maintained. Tbis division will include the western half of Kansas and Nebraska, one-third (or the eastern foot-hills and plains regio:) of Colorado, the major portion of Dakota, the eastern half of Wyoming Territory, anıl one third or more of the Indian Territory and Texas, with about one. fourth (or the eastern part) of New Mexico. It is drained by a number of streams, some of them of importance, and is bounded on the easand north by the Missouri River and its afluents, and by the Pecos and



Cimarron Rivers on the west and south west. Its soil is almost uniformly fertile. Natural grasses of most nutritious quality are found throughout its area. It is the most important grazing section of the \Vest.

Large farming settlements are moving steadily and compactly westward from the eastern line. At various points in its western portion there are important farming communities, created mainly by the use of water as applied through irrigation ditches and by other means of storage and distribution. The valley of the Upper Rio Grande, from the San Juan Range in southern Colorado, to where the river debouches from New Mexico into Texas and becomes the boundary-line between the United States and Mexico, has for many generations been the seat of local and unsystematized irrigation works. The Pueblo or town-dwelling Indians have for centuries practiced it. Since the Spanish conquest, in the sixteenth century, the mixed Mexican people who have inhabited this district have always been obliged to irrigate in order to cultivate. In these latter days our own more enterprising people are inaugurating and carrying on larger enterprises and projjects, whose advantages are already perceivable.

(2) The second great division can be more distinctly characterized as the arid section of the United States. It lies between the one hundred and fifth and the one hundred and twentieth meridians, taking in the whole of our intra-mountain region, from the foot-hills of the Rockies to the lower slopes and foot-hills of the Sierras Nevada in California, and extending north and south from British America to Mexico. Within this area, except on the higher and arid heights of the ranges, principal or secondary, there is generally good pasturage for cattle. The natural grasses are sun-cured, and afford ample food and range for many million head of cattle.

The problem of water supply is, however, one for serious consideration. There are desert tracts and areas within this great region which are undoubtedly arid and desolate to the extent of irreclaimability. Their extent is a matter yet unsettled, especially in view of the great enterprises projected and in progress in both Colorado and California. Even the mountain plateaus, which, from altitude as well as aridity would seem to be undoubtedly sterile, may yet be found useful, not only in providing for cattle, but, possibly under systematic plans of forestculture, they may be made the means of protecting the water sources and otherwise favorably modifying climatic and terrene conditions.

The defined outlines of this second division embrace the great basin action, of which Utah and its water reservoir--the great Salt Lake

the dominating physical and geological features; the Colorado teau region, which occupies the larger portion of Southern Nevada and Northern Arizona; the beautiful parks of the Rocky Mountains or the castern flack and ranges of the North American Cordillera system; the table-lands of southern Arizona, and the great valleys and basin formed on the north by the Columbia River and its important affluents in eastern Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.

Arid and desi us this stupendous mountain system may seem to be, it will be fon on examination to have large sections capable of agricultural uses Id also to hold within its borders such sources and supplies of wates, properly conserved, protected, and distributed, under the wise a conservative direction of the national and State Governments, will be found of ample utility for the purposes (1) of larger pastoral uses; (2) of more limited and localized, but still extensive, agricultural purposes; and (3) as storage and reservoir sources, from which at no distant day the life-giving waters may be conveyed to and distributed over vast areas, which even our present limited experiences prove to be convertible into fertile farms.

A glance at a good topographical map will indicate to the observant eye the areas under reference. For example, the central section of the Rockies (in Colorado, Wyoming, and a portion of New Mexico) contain the sources of important rivers. This hydrological area is extensive, as there are numerous lakes, some of considerable size, while the snow precipitation is also quite heavy.

Inquiry and examination will satisfy the inquirer that in the extreme west the higher Sierras yield from the snow precipitation alone an amount of water which, under proper engineering conservation and wise plans of distribution, carried out for the common weal rather than for corporate profit, would supply the whole great valley and foot-hills region of central and southern California, now being so largely developed as a wheat and fruit growing region. The eastern slopes of the Sierras belong as drainage area to the huge hydrographic basin of which Nevada is the chief portion. The snows and storage of that region should readily reclaim 3,000,000 acres in western Nevada.

In the northern portion of our intra-mountain area the hydrological system, comprising the Columbia and Snake Rivers and their affluents, will certainly give a sufficient water supply both for pasturage and agriculture.

East of the Cascade Mountains the climate and natural features of the country are very different from those of the great basin lying west of them, so that the popular divisions, eastern and western Oregon and Washington, are fully warranted. In the eastern section the thermometer is much higher in summer and lower in winter than in the westeru section. The rain-fall is not half as heavy. From June to September there is no rain. The winters are short, but occasionally severe. Snow seldom falls before Christmas, and, though it sometimes lies from four to six weeks, it usually disappears in a few days. The so-called “Chinook," a warm wind, blows periodically, and melts deep snows in the course of a few hours.

In Eastern Oregon and Washington spring begins in February, and lasts until the middle of May. At this season rain falls in sufficient quantity to give life to vegetation and insure good crops. The average temperature is 520. The rain-fall of the year does not average moro than 20 inches. South of the Snake River it is not more than 15 inches, increasing gradually to the north ward.

In the southern portion of this area, where the Colorado plateau descends to the valleys of the Gila, Colorado, and Rio Grande, formin the table-lands of Southern Arizona and New Mexico, there has alread been utilized a water supply sufficient for cattle, and in several extendeu portions, as in the valleys of the Gila, Rio Verde, Salt, Colorado, Chiquita, San Pedro, and Santa Cruz Rivers, almost enough to meet the present agricultural and horticultural demands has been turned to account.

It may be estimated, then, that, of our whole intra-imountain region below the timber line as herein outlined, at least 60 per cent. affords fair pasturage, with sufficient watering places, thou Sften at long in. tervals apart, and subject to various limitations, wliyin are rapidly being in a degree overcome, and will hereafter largely (cisappear as more attention and skill are directed to the subject. The facts gathered from Utah anı Nevada will show how large are the possibilities of improvement in this direction. No really accurate estimate can be made as to



the proportion of this intra-mountain area that may be reclaimed for arable and horticultural purposes; but it is not extravagant to claim that when the accessible water sources shall be brought into use, onefifth of its acreage (as already defined) may be so utilized. In a very large portion the per cent. will be quite small; in other portions it will greatly exceed the general estimate here made. It must be borne in mind that in both estimates the higher mountain sections, embracing at least one-fifth of the whole region, are excluded. Yet, on the summit of the highest plateau region in northern Arizona, for instance, cattle are successfully wintered at an altitude of from 7,000 to 10,000 feet above the sea.

(3) The third division, which might fairly be ranked first in point of interest, embraces the Pacific coast region from the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada (in California) to the ocean, and takes in the great transverse valley troughs or plains cradled between the Sierra foothills and the Coast Range, the great wheat granary of the Golden State, and also the fruit-growing section, yearly rising in importance.

In treating of these three divisions of the arid region more in detail they will be taken up in inverse order, beginning with the one named last in the above statement.


This division embraces the State of California, lying between the one hundred and twentieth degree of west longitude and the Pacific Ocean, east and west, and between the fortieth and thirty-first degrees of north latitude.

In the San Joaquin Valley, at Fresno, and at different points in southern California, as Los Angeles, San Gabriel, Riverside, Anaheim, San Diego, water is found to be attainable at moderate depths, and apparently in all directions. This subterranean supply, wherever it has been reached and utilized, is greatly reducing the need of surface irrigation.

Fruit growers and wheat farmers in southern California unite in the testimony that after irrigation has been practiced for some years a given supply of water suffices for a largely increased area, the explanation being that when water is first applied to arid land a large part of it sinks deep into the dry earth, or is carried away latterally by seepage; whereas, when the lower strata and, to some extent, the lands adjoining those under irrigation, are moistened, the amount of water absorbed in excess of the actual needs of vegetation becomes comparatively small. How much effect this increased humidity of the soil may have on the atmospheric humidity is not yet known, but the increase of evaporation due to this circumstance and to the cultivation of trees and plants must ultimately produce a beneficial change in this regard.

The full industrial use of water in California must necessarily be governed by the larger topographical and other physical conditions. The precipitation seldom exceeds 22 inches annually, and over a greater portion of the State falls below that figure. The wide range of variation in rain-fall is illustrated by the following facts: At Fort Redding the range of three years was from 15.9 inches to 37.4 inches; at Sacramento the range of seventeen years was from 11.2 inches to 27.5 inches; at Millerton, six years, from 9.7 inches to 49.3 inches; at Stockton, three years, from 11.6 inches to 20.3 inches; at Fort Tejon, five years, 9.8 inches to 34.2 inches; at Monterey, five years, from 8.2 inches to 21.6 inches; at Sau Diego, twelve years, 6.9 inches to 13.4 inches; at Benicia, twelve years, 11.8 inches to 20 inches. The above figures show the rainfall for calendar years; the following show the amount of precipitation during the rainy season: Clear Lake, 1,300 feet elevation, six years, 16.2 inches to 66.7 inches; Visalia, three years, 6.7 inches to 10.3 inches; San Francisco, twenty-two years, 7 inches to 49.3 inches; Piliarcitos, nine years, 39 inches to 82 inches; Sacramento, twenty-four years, 4.7 inches to 36.4 inches; San Diego, twenty-two years, 4.5 inches to 14.8 inches.

The importance of California warrants a fuller description of the State, its topography, and other conditions bearing on the question of irrigation within its limits. There are two great mountain ranges running northwest and southeast, namely, the Sierra Nevada and the Coast Range. The former is from 4,000 to 8,000 feet high and the latter from 1,000 to 6,000 feet. The two ranges are connected in the southern part of the State at Tehachipi, and in the northern at Mount Shasta. The Sierra Nevada Range extends along the eastern border of the State and is about 450 miles long. The Coast Range extends along the coast to the northern and southern boundaries of the State. The base of the Sierra Nevada Range north of Fresno has an average width of about 80 miles. The Coast Range averages about 65 miles in width. Between the two ranges are the great Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys, which together are about 450 miles long by 55 miles wide, and may be termed the heart of the State.

In the northern part of the State, and north of the junction of the two great mountain ranges, is the Klamath Basin, through which the Klamath River runs for a distance of 225 miles, between steep hills and mountains and rocky cañons, in a southwesterly course to the ocean. The whole basin of the Klamath is very rugged for a distance of 40 miles from the coast, and along the main river there is very little valley or bottom-land. However, there are several small rich valleys and near the lakes there are large fertile tracts. Pine, cedar, and fir forests cover the mountains, and there are other valuable trees, both on the mountams and in the valley s. In the extreme southeastern. portion of the State is the Colorado Desert, about 140 miles long by 70 miles wide, which is the dry bed of a former inland sea. Another great basin, called the Mojave Basin, lying north of the Colorado Desert, extends into the southern part of the State, the surface of which is cut up by many irregular ridges of mountains.

The Coast Range is composed of a multitude of ridges and is intersected by numerous long and narrow valleys of fertile soil, comprising those of the Los Angeles, Salinas, Santa Clara, Sopoma, Napa, and Russian Rivers. The State has numerous small rivers. In the central portion are the Sacramento and San Joaquin, each in its meanderings abont 350 miles long. These are the only navigable streams in the State. From the Sierra Range westward into the Sacramento flow the Pitti, Feather, Yuba, American, Consumnes, and Mokelumne Rivers. Into the San Joaquin flow the Calaveras, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, Merced, Chonechilla, and Fresno. Into Tulare Lake flow the Kings, Kameah, Tule, and White Rivers, and into Kern Lake the Kern River. All of these are considerable streams, with an average length of about 120 miles. The upper half of each is in the steep and rugged mountains, wuere they are torrential in character. After reaching the plain their currents are gentle, and the banks low, fringed with oak, sycamore, cottonwood, and willow.

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