N.L.W.DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,WASHINGTON,D.C. Dec. 15, 1897.Mr. John Muir,Martinez, California.Dear Mr. Muir:The work in the field is at an end for the present season, and I am now busy preparing my report. Two alternatives present themselves for the treatment of the reserved public timber lands. One is to reserve all suoh lands at one blow by refusing to allow any forest lands of the United States to be disposed of hereafter. This course would probably require Congressional action, and it is by no means certain that such action could be obtained. The other course is to secure the reservation of considerable bodies not now reserved, so as to include, as far as possible, all mountain ranges and any other considerable bodies of government timber land which may exist . The President has the necessary authority, and Congress would not require to be directly consulted . I shall recommend the general withdrawal of all lands as the best plan, but if it is out of reach, I wish to ba in a position to describe accurately suoh large bodies of government forests, that with good will on the part of the President, we could secureessentially the same result Of eourse, we can be said to have secured nothing so far except the chance to fight, but even that is a great thing .02374
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