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for him and his associates. And again, that representative men, in a certain rapidly growing irrigating region, have delayed pressing upon their Board of Supervisors the wants of the county for a reliable map, in anticipation of the issue of a map from this office, embodying much data not otherwise available.

Now, I believe these representations all to be reasonably fair, and to be prompted, in a considerable degree at least, by motives of public interests, and that the public dissemination of this data would be to the benefit of the State.

The maps, papers, notes, etc., in this office, have never been made public records, like those in the Surveyor-General's office. They are not arranged so that they can be consulted by those not familiar with the work. The arrangement of plates, etc., for public inspection, is quite a different matter from the arrangement of data for office work in the preparation of a report; money has been provided for the last purpose, but not for the first. Even to lay open the work to public inspection would necessitate the employment of at least one clerk and draughtsman to attend to the matter, and there is no money for any such purpose. To comply with requests to furnish data will be to spend part of the little appropriation in the preparation of copies, etc., which would not be justified, of course, or to establish the fee system.

The State Engineer is instructed in the law "to divide the lands which are now, or may in the future be in need of irrigation* * into their natural districts; * to make studies of the best means of irrigating each district, and to give his opinion and advice to such parties as may be engaged in irrigating a district, or who may be about to undertake the irrigation of a district," etc.

No report has been made in the proper outlines of irrigation districts, for reasons heretofore given in my reports to the Legislature. If such districts were now established and recognized, there would be the necessity, under this law, for the applicant for information and advice to show satisfactorily that he really contemplated the irrigation of the district, for there is nothing said about advising or giving information to persons engaged in private enterprises.

In conclusion, the situation is just this: a general report and map is being prepared in this office for publication by the State; an appropriation, upon a definite estimate, for the completion of this work was asked for; the Legislature cut down the amount to two fifths of the estimate. There is no money whatever for publication, nor can there be, unless the next Legislature sees fit to appropriate it; hence, there can be no publication completed for at least a year, and perhaps longer.

The details of the work, which are the data specially required in most applications thus far made, cannot all be embodied in any report which I can prepare with the means at command. They should be available for those who can use them, in all reason and justice, considering the arnount of money expended by the State in other quarters, and it is my desire to make them so. If my recommendation be acted upon, they will never be needed by the State in any scheme of State works for irrigation, for I have already spoken adversely to any such policy, in a report made in January, 1880, and again in January, 1881.

Hence, if, by any means, the desire of the people of the irrigation counties, where our work has extended, to have its detail results at their disposal, can be favorably met, I hope that it may be done.

If the position taken by me, with respect to the disposition of the work is wrong, then I desire to be corrected, and to be instructed to give out the information to whoever applies. If right, then I hope some means may he devised for so disposing of the data as to meet the popular demand, if, indeed, there is one, without favoring, or appearing to favor, special individuals. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


State Engineer.



Wm. Ham. Hall, State Engineer:

SIR: Your communication of the twentieth instant has been duly received, and I have considered the question you have presented therein. While I think you have pursued the proper course in not permitting the results of your work to go into the hands of private persons for their own personal use, I also agree in believing that, if possible, this data should be brought before the public, or made available for public use, as soon as possible. It occurs to me, that if any considerable interest in any county desired a tracing of some detail, map, or copy of some notes to be at hand for their reference, it would be an easy matter to have these data called for by the Board of Supervisors; and that, on such applications, you would be justified in permitting tracings and copies to be made for publication, as it were, by posting or filing in the custody of an official of the county. Of course, persons most interested would have to provide for the cost of copies, and the applications should be made by the county officials. This would, in fact, be a publication, and the most inexpensive that could be provided, I suppose.

Further than this, if persons interested should choose actually to publish, by lithographing any such maps, there could be no objection, so long as the State was not made liable for the cost of the work, and individuals are not permitted to secure copyrights for publishing the maps or data.

Very respectfully,


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Amount and classification of expenditures in the State Engineer's Department from May 1, 1881, to January 1, 1883, on account of irrigation investigation:

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Wm. Ham. Hall, State Engineer:

SIR: I submit the above as a correct statement of amount and classification of receipts and expenditures of the State Engineer Department for the term above mentioned, on account of the Irrigation investigation.

Very respectfully,


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