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Wisconsin. State Conservation Committee (1908-15) / First report of the conservation commission of the state of Wisconsin

Davidson, J. O.
Governor's letter of transmittal,   pp. [3]-5 PDF (570.9 KB)

Page [3]

                          TiiE STATE OP WISCONSIN,
                                  Exccutive Departrnent,
                          MADISON, Ws., February 18, 1909.
To thc Honorable, The Legislature:
  On July 24th. 1908. I appointed a State Conservation Com-
mission, consisting of 1'resident C. R. Van Ilise, Hon. H. P'.
Bird, P'rof. E. A. Birge. State Forester E. It. Griffith, llon.
Win. Irvine. lRon. J. Il. Stout. and Mr. (G. A. Whiting.
  The' Commissi(cn held several meetings at Madison, and, con-
sidering the short time which has elapsed since the creation of
the Commission, it has collected information of so such value
that I deem it desirable that yvo have the benefit of their study
and research in the consideration of certain legislation now
pending, and which will comie before vou for consideration.
  As the Commission is a voluntary organizaton. no authority
exists hy which its report to me can be printed. It is, there-
fore, transmitted to you in typewritten form, with the recom-
iliendation that vlon eause it to be priinted for the use of the
members of your body.
  The Commission make several reeomnuendat~ons for legisla-
tion, some of which have been considered under the title of
"Forestry Department" in my message transmitted to you at
the opening of the session.
  I desire to direct your special attention to what is said by the
Commission on the question of the conservation of the unde-
veloped water powers of the state. Since the organization of
the state, the policy of granting franchises, under special acts,
to individuals and corporations to dani our navigable streams
has been pursued.  Such privileges. until 1905. contained no
provisions tending to protect the public, except the power to
amend or repeal the acts. Since that time a provision has been
incorporated in these acts providing for a forfeiture of the
franchise rights for failure to exercise them within a limited

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