Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The School Book of Forestry by Charles Lathrop Pack

Part 2 out of 2

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.2 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.


The enormous areas of denuded, or waste land in the various
states, comprising more than 80,000,000 acres, which can be made
again productive only by forest planting, present another big
problem in state forestry. Many of the states have established
state forestry nurseries for the growing of tree seedlings to
plant up these lands. The trees are either given away, or sold at
cost, millions being distributed each year, indicating a live
interest and growing sentiment in re-foresting waste lands.

The appalling waste of timber resources through excessive and
reckless cutting, amounting to forest devastation, is deplorable,
but we are helpless to prevent it. Since the bulk of woodlands
are privately owned, and there are no effective laws limiting the
cutting of timber with a view to conserving the supply, the only
means of bringing about regulated cutting on private lands is
through cooeperation with the owners. This is being done in some
of the states in a limited way, through educational methods,
involving investigations, reports, demonstrations, and other
means of bringing improved forestry practices to the attention of
existing owners and enlisting their cooeperation and support in
forest conservation.

Forestry in the state, or in the nation, seems to progress no
more rapidly than the timber disappears; in fact, the individual
states do not take precaution to conserve their timber supplies
until exhaustion is threatened. The damage has been largely done
before the remedy is considered. We are today paying a tremendous
toll for our lack of foresight in these matters. As a timber
producing state becomes a timber importing state, (a condition
existing in most of the eastern and middle states) we begin to
pay a heavy toll in the loss of home industries dependent upon
wood, and also in heavy freight charges on lumber that we must
import from distant points to supply our needs. In many states,
the expenditure of an amount for reforestation and fire
protection equal to this freight bill on imported lumber would
make the state self-supporting in a decade, instead of becoming
worse off each year.

Marked progress has been made along the lines indicated, but
few of the states have begun to measure up to their full
responsibility in protecting their future timber supply.



The public forests are steadily increasing in popularity as the
playgrounds of the Nation. The woodlands offer splendid
opportunities for camping, hunting, fishing and outdoor life.
Millions of motorists now spend their vacations in the government
and state forests. Railroads and automobiles make the forests
accessible to all. Thousands of miles of improved motor highways
lead into the very heart of the hills. More than 5,500,000 people
annually visit the National Forests. Of this number, some
2,500,000 are campers, fishermen and hunters.


The forests provide cheap health insurance to all who will enjoy
what they offer in sport and recreation. For example, over
1,000,000 vacationists visit Colorado's forests each year. If
each person spent but five days in the forests, this would mean a
total of 5,000,000 days or 50,000,000 hours of rest and
enjoyment. Recreation at the beaches and amusement parks costs at
least fifty cents an hour. Applying that rate to the free fun
which the people get out of the forests, in Colorado in one
year the tourists, campers and fishermen gained $25,000,000 worth
of pleasure from the forests.

The National and State Forests furnish summer homes for thousands
of people who live in the neighboring cities and towns. Regular
summer home sites are laid off in many of the forests. Usually
these individual sites cover about one-quarter acre or less. They
rent for $5 to $25 a year, depending on the location. A man can
rent one of these camp grounds for a term of years. He can build
a summer cottage or bungalow on it. There are no special rules
about the size or cost of the houses. Uncle Sam requires only
that the cottages be sightly and the surroundings be kept clean
and sanitary. Many of the cabins are built for $150 to $300. Some
of them are more permanent and cost from $3,000 to $5,000 or
$10,000. In the Angeles National Forest in southern California,
over sixteen hundred of these cottages are now in use and many
more are being built.

Where there are dead or mature trees in the forest, near summer
home sites, timber can be purchased at low prices for use in
building cottages. Even the people of small means can build
cabins in the forests and enjoy living in the mountains during
the heat of the summer. These camps provide fine surroundings for
the rompings and summer games of the children and young people.

In California a number of cities have set up municipal camps in
the National Forests. At very low costs, the city residents can
spend their vacations at these camps. Tents and cottages are
provided. Facilities for all kinds of games and sports furnish
recreation. Each family may stay at the camp for two weeks. The
expenses are so low for meals and tents that the municipal camps
furnish the best and cheapest vacation which the family of
limited means can enjoy. These camps are very popular. Wherever
they have been tried, they have been successful. There are twelve
municipal camps in California. They cost $150,000.

Fine automobile camps are maintained along many of the important
National and State Forest highways for the use of tourists.
Concrete fireplaces, tables, benches and running water are
provided at these wayside camping places. The tourists who carry
their camp kits like to stop at these automobile camps. They
meet many other tourists and exchange information about the best
trails to follow and the condition of the roads. Sometimes,
permanent cabins and shelters are provided for the use of the
cross-country travelers. The only rules are that care be
exercised in the use of fire and the camping sites be kept in
clean and sanitary condition.

All the forest roads are posted with many signs asking the
tourists to be careful in the use of matches, tobacco and camp
fires, so as not to start destructive forest fires. In the
Federal and State forests hundreds of man-caused fires occur
annually, due to the neglect and carelessness of campers and
tourists to put out their camp fires. A single match or a
cigarette stub tossed from a passing automobile may start a
costly fire. During the season from May to October, the western
forests usually are as dry as tinder. Rains are rare during that
period. A fire once started runs riot unless efficient control
measures are used at once.

Those interested in fishing and hunting usually can find plenty
of chance to pursue their favorite sports in the National and
State Forests. There is good fishing in the forest streams and
lakes, as the rangers, working in cooeperation with Federal and
State hatcheries yearly restock important waters. Fishing and
hunting in the National Forests are regulated by the fish and
game laws of that state in which the forests are located. The
killing of wild game is permitted during certain open seasons in
most of the forest regions.


The eastern forests in the White Mountains, the Adirondacks, and
the Appalachians, are not, for the most part, as well developed
as recreation grounds as are the western vacation lands. However,
more interest is being taken each year in the outdoor life
features of the eastern forests, and ultimately they will be used
on a large scale as summer camp grounds. Many hikers and campers
now spend their annual vacations in these forests. Throughout the
White Mountain forest of New Hampshire, regular trails for
walking parties have been made. At frequent intervals simple
camps for the use of travelers have been built by mountaineering
clubs. This forest, located as it is near centres of large
population is visited by a half-million tourists each season. The
Pisgah National Forest of North Carolina is becoming a centre for
automobile travel as it contains a fine macadam road. The
Superior National Forest of Minnesota, which covers 1,250,000
acres and contains 150,000 acres of lakes, is becoming very
popular. It is called "the land of ten thousand lakes." One can
travel in a canoe through this forest for a month at a time
without passing over the same lake twice. Other popular national
forests are the Angeles in southern California, the Pike and
Colorado in Colorado, and the Oregon and Wenatchee--the Pacific
Northwest. Visitors to these forests total more than 1,750,000 a

The western forests are also being used for winter sports. They
furnish excellent conditions for snow-shoe trips, skiing and
sledding. The people who have camps on government land use their
places for week-end excursions during the snow season when the
roads are passable. The White Mountain National Forest is used
more for winter sports than any other government woodland. At
many of the towns of New Hampshire and Maine, huge carnivals are
held each winter. Championship contests in skiing, snowshoeing,
skating, ski jumping, tobogganing and ski-joring are held. Snow
sport games are also annual events in the Routt, Leadville and
Pike National Forests of Colorado. Cross country ski races and
ski-joring contests are also held. In the Truckee National Forest
of California, dog-team races over courses of 25 to 50 miles are
held each winter.

About eighty per cent. of the 5,500,000 people who visit the
National Forests are automobile tourists. The other twenty per
cent. consists of sportsmen interested in hunting, fishing,
canoeing, boating, mountain climbing, bathing, riding and hiking.
In the Pacific Coast States there are a number of mountain
climbing clubs whose members compete with each other in making
difficult ascents. The mountaineering clubs of Portland, Oregon,
for example, stage an interesting contest each summer in climbing
Mount Hood, one of the highest peaks in the country.



A system of forestry which will provide sufficient lumber for the
needs of our country and keep our forest land productive must be
built on the extension of our public forests. Our National
Forests are, at present, the one bright feature of future
lumbering. Their tree crops will never be cut faster than they
can be grown. A balance between production and consumption will
always be maintained. Our needs for more timber, the necessity
for protecting the headwaters of streams, the demands for saving
wild life, and the playground possibilities of our forests
justify their extension. Approximately eighty per cent of the
American forests are now privately owned. The chances are that
most of these wooded tracts will always remain in the hands of
private owners. It is important that the production of these
forests be kept up without injuring their future value. We must
prepare for the lumber demands of many years from now.

Some method must be worked out of harnessing our idle forest
lands and putting them to work growing timber. Any regulations
that are imposed on the private owners of woodlands must be
reasonable. Changes in our present methods of taxing timberlands
must be made to encourage reforestation. The public must aid the
private individuals in fighting forest fires, the greatest menace
that modern forestry has to face. A national policy is needed
which will permit the private owner to grow trees which will give
him fair and reasonable profit when sold.

The farmers of this country use about one-half of all the lumber
consumed annually. They own approximately 191,000,000 acres of
timber in their farm woodlots. If farmers would devote a little
time and labor to the permanent upkeep and improvement of their
timber, they would aid in decreasing the danger of a future
lumber famine. If they would but keep track of the acreage
production of their woodlands as closely as they do of their corn
and wheat crops, American forestry would benefit greatly.

Between 1908 and 1913, the U.S. Forest Service established two
forest experiment stations in California and one each in
Washington, Idaho, Colorado, and Arizona. They devote the same
degree of science and skill to the solution of tree growing and
lumbering problems as the agricultural experiment stations give
to questions of farm and crop management. Despite the fact that
these forestry stations did fine work for the sections that they
served, recently a number of them had to close, due to lack of
funds. Congress does not yet realize the importance of this work.

More forest experiment stations are needed throughout the
country. Such problems as what kinds of trees are best to grow,
must be solved. Of the 495 species of trees in this country, 125
are important commercially. They all differ in their histories,
characteristics and requirements. Research and study should be
made of these trees in the sections where they grow best. Our
knowledge regarding tree planting and the peculiarities of the
different species is, as yet, very meagre. We must discover the
best methods of cutting trees and of disposing of the slash. We
must investigate rates of growth, yields and other problems of
forest management. We must study the effect of climate on forest
fires. We must continue experiments in order to develop better
systems of fire protection.

We need more forest experiment stations to promote the
production of more timber. Twenty of our leading industries
utilize lumber as their most important raw material. Fifty-five
different industries use specialized grades and quality of
lumber in the manufacture of many products. This use of lumber
includes general mill work and planing mill products, such as
building crates and boxes, vehicles, railroad cars, furniture,
agricultural implements and wooden ware.

Our manufacturers make and use more than two hundred and
seventy-five different kinds of paper, including newsprint,
boxboard, building papers, book papers and many kinds of
specialty papers. The forest experiment stations would help solve
the practical problems of these many industries. They could work
out methods by which to maintain our forests and still turn out
the thirty-five to forty billion board feet of lumber used each
year. They are needed to determine methods of increasing our
annual cut for pulp and paper. They are necessary so that we can
increase our annual output of poles, pilings, cooperage and

A forest experiment station is needed in the southern pine belt.
The large pine forests of Dixieland have been shaved down from
130,000,000 acres to 23,500,000 acres. In that region there are
more than 30,000,000 acres of waste forest lands which should be
reclaimed and devoted to the growing of trees. Eastern and middle
western manufacturing and lumbering centres are interested in the
restoring of the southern pine forests. During the last score of
years, they have used two-thirds of the annual output of those
forests. In another ten to fifteen years home demand will use
most of the pine cut in the South. The East and Middle West will
then have to rely mostly on the Pacific Coast forests for their
pine lumber.

The Lake States need a forest experiment station to work out
methods by which the white pine, hemlock, spruce, beech, birch
and maple forests of that section can be renewed. The Lake States
are now producing only one-ninth as much white pine as they were
thirty years ago. These states now cut only 3,500,000,000 feet of
all kinds of lumber annually. Their output is growing smaller
each year. Wisconsin led the United States in lumber production
in 1900. Now she cuts less than the second-growth yield of Maine.
Michigan, which led in lumber production before Wisconsin, now
harvests a crop of white pine that is 50 per cent. smaller than
that of Massachusetts. Experts believe that a forest experiment
station in the Lake States would stimulate production so that
enough lumber could be produced to satisfy the local demands.

Not least in importance among the forest regions requiring an
experiment station are the New England States and northern and
eastern New York. In that section there are approximately
25,000,000 acres of forest lands. Five and one-half million acres
consist of waste and idle land. Eight million acres grow nothing
but fuel-wood. The rest of the timber tracts are not producing
anywhere near their capacity. New England produces 30 per cent.
and New York 50 per cent. of our newsprint. Maine is the leading
state in pulp production. New England imports 50 per cent. of her
lumber, while New York cuts less than one-half the timber she
annually consumes.

Another experiment station should be provided to study the
forestry problems of Pennsylvania, southern and western New York,
Ohio, Maryland, New Jersey and Delaware. At one time this region
was the most important lumber centre of the United States.
Pennsylvania spends $100,000,000 a year in importing lumber which
should be grown at home. The denuded and waste lands at the
headwaters of the Allegheny River now extend over one-half
million acres. New Jersey is using more than twenty times as much
lumber as is produced in the state. Ohio is a centre for wood
manufacturing industries, yet her timber-producing possibilities
are neglected, as are those of other states needing wood for
similar purposes.

European nations have spent large sums of money in investigating
forestry problems to make timber producing economically feasible,
and have found that it paid. In this country, our forest
experiment stations will have to deal with a timbered area twice
that of all Europe, exclusive of Russia. That is why we shall
need many of these stations to help solve the many questions of
national welfare which are so dependent upon our forests.



Of late years the demand for lumber by the world trade has been
very great. Most of the countries which have extensive forests
are taking steps to protect their supplies. They limit cutting
and restrict exports of timber. Both New Zealand and Switzerland
have passed laws of this kind. Sweden exports much lumber, but by
law forbids the cutting of timber in excess of the annual growth.
Norway regulates private cutting. England is planning to plant
1,770,000 acres of new forest reserve. This body of timber when
ready for cutting, would be sufficient to supply her home needs
in time of emergency for at least three years. France is
enlarging her forest nurseries and protecting her timber in every
possible way. Even Russia, a country with huge forest tracts, is
beginning to practice conservation. Russia now requires that all
timber cut under concession shall be replaced by plantings of

For many years, the United States and China were the greatest
wasters of forest resources under the sun. Now this country has
begun to practice scientific forestry on a large scale so that
China now has the worst-managed forests in the world. Japan, on
the other hand, handles her forests efficiently and has
established a national forestry school. Austria, Norway, Sweden
and Italy have devoted much time, labor and money to the
development of practical systems of forestry. Turkey, Greece,
Spain and Portugal, all follow sane and sensible forestry
practices. Even Russia takes care of her national timberlands and
annually draws enormous incomes from their maintenance. France
and Germany both have highly successful forestry systems.
Switzerland, Australia, and New Zealand are using their forests
in a practical manner and saving sufficient supplies of wood for

History tells us that the forests first were protected as the
homes of wild game. Little attention was paid to the trees in
those days. The forests were places to hunt and abodes devoted to
wild animals. Scientific forestry was first studied and practised
widely in the nineteenth century. Its development and expansion
have been rapid. Germany still leads as one of the most
prominent countries that practices efficient forestry. German
forests are now said to be worth more than $5,000,000,000. France
has over 2,750,000 acres of fine publicly owned forests, in
addition to private forests, which yield a net income of more
than $2 an acre a year to the government. The French have led in
extending reforestation on denuded mountain sides. British India
has well-managed forests which cover over 200,000 square miles of
area. These timberlands return a net income of from $3,000,000 to
$4,000,000 a year. India now protects more than 35,000 square
miles of forest against fire at an annual cost of less than half
a cent an acre.

Forest experts say that the United States, which produces more
than one-half of all the sawed timber in the world, should pay
more attention to the export lumber business. Such trade must be
built up on the basis of a permanent supply of timber. This means
the practice of careful conservation and the replacement of
forests that have been destroyed. We can not export timber from
such meagre reserves as the pine forests of the South, which will
not supply even the domestic needs of the region for much more
than ten or fifteen years longer. Many of our timber men desire
to develop extensive export trade. Our sawmills are large enough
and numerous enough to cut much more timber annually than we need
in this country. However, the danger is that we shall only abuse
our forests the more and further deplete the timber reserves of
future generations as a result of extensive export trade. If such
trade is developed on a large scale, a conservative, practical
national forestry policy must be worked out, endorsed and lived
up to by every producing exporter.

The U.S. Forest Service reports that before the world war, we
were exporting annually 3,000,000,000 board feet of lumber and
sawlogs, not including ties, staves and similar material. This
material consisted of Southern yellow pine, Douglas fir, white
oak, redwood, white pine, yellow poplar, cypress, walnut,
hickory, ash, basswood and similar kinds of wood. The exports
were made up of 79 per cent. softwoods and 21 per cent.
hardwoods. The export trade consumed about 8-1/2 per cent. of our
annual lumber cut. Southern yellow pine was the most popular
timber shipped abroad. One-half of the total export was of this

During the four years before the war our imports of lumber from
foreign countries amounted to about 1,200,000,000 board feet of
lumber and logs. In 1918, imports exceeded exports by 100,000,000
board feet. In addition to this lumber, we also shipped in,
largely from Canada, 1,370,000 cords of pulp wood, 596,000 tons
of wood pulp, 516,000 tons of paper, and close to a billion
shingles. Some of the material, such as wood pulp and paper, also
came from Sweden, Norway, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and the
United Kingdom.

As a result of the war, European countries for several years
can use 7,000,000,000 feet of lumber a year above their
normal requirements. For housing construction, England
needs 2,000,000,000 feet a year more than normally; France,
1,500,000,000 feet; Italy, 1,750,000,000 feet; Belgium and Spain
750,000,000 feet apiece. Even before the war, there was a great
deficiency of timber in parts of Europe. It amounted to
16,000,000,000 board feet a year and was supplied by Russia, the
United States, Canada, Sweden, Austria-Hungary and a few other
countries of western Europe. If we can regulate cutting and
replenish our forests as they deserve, there is a remarkable
opportunity for us to build up a large and permanent export


The Central and South American countries now have to depend on
Canada, the United States and Sweden for most of their softwoods.
Unless they develop home forests by the practice of modern
forestry, they will always be dependent on imported timber of
this type. South Africa and Egypt are both heavy importers of
lumber. Africa has large tropical forests but the timber is hard
to get at and move. China produces but little lumber and needs
much. She is developing into a heavy importing country. Japan
grows only about enough timber to supply her home needs.
Australia imports softwoods from the United States and Canada.
New Zealand is in the market for Douglas fir and hardwoods.

In the past, our export lumber business has been second only to
that of Russia in total amount. The value of the timber that we
exported was larger than that of Russia because much of our
timber that was sent abroad consisted of the best grades of
material grown in this country. In the future, we shall have to
compete in the softwood export business with Russia, Finland,
Sweden, Norway and the various states of southeastern Europe
which sell lumber. In the hardwood business, we have only a
limited number of rivals. With the exception of a small section
of eastern Europe, our hardwood forests are the finest in the
Temperate Zone. We export hickory, black walnut, yellow poplar,
white and red oak even to Russia and Sweden, countries that are
our keenest rivals in the softwood export business.

Europe wants export lumber from our eastern states because the
transportation costs on such material are low. She does not like
to pay heavy costs of hauling timber from the Pacific Coast to
the Atlantic seaboard and then have it reshipped by water.

Our eastern forests are practically exhausted. Our supplies of
export lumber except Douglas fir are declining. Most of the kinds
of export timber that Europe wants we need right at home. We have
only about 258,000,000,000 feet of southern yellow pine left, yet
this material composes one-half of our annual shipments abroad.
We are cutting this material at the rate of 16,000,000,000 board
feet a year. Some authorities believe that our reserves will
last only sixteen years unless measures to protect them are put
into effect at once. At the present rate of cutting long-leaf
pine trees, our outputs of naval stores including turpentine and
rosin are dwindling. We cannot afford to increase our export of
southern yellow pine unless reforestation is started on all land
suitable for that purpose. Our pine lands of the southern states
must be restocked and made permanently productive. Then they
could maintain the turpentine industry, provide all the lumber of
this kind we need for home use, and supply a larger surplus for

Although our supplies of Douglas fir, western white pine, sugar
pine and western yellow pine are still large, they will have to
bear an extra burden when all the southern pine is gone. This
indicates that the large supplies of these woods will not last as
long as we would wish. To prevent overtaxing their production, it
is essential that part of the load be passed to the southern pine
cut-over lands. By proper protection and renewal of our forests,
we can increase our production of lumber and still have a
permanent supply. The Forest Service estimates that by protecting
our cut-over and waste lands from fire and practicing care to
secure reproduction after logging on our remaining virgin forest
land, we can produce annually at least 27,750,000,000 cubic feet
of wood, including 70,000,000,000 board feet of sawtimber. Such a
production would meet indefinitely the needs of our growing
population, and still leave an amount of timber available for

Our hardwoods need protection as well as our softwoods. Ten per
cent of our yearly cut of valuable white oak is shipped overseas.
In addition we annually waste much of our best oak in the
preparation of split staves for export. At the present rate of
cutting, the supply, it is said, will not last more than
twenty-five years. We ship abroad about seven per cent. of our
poplar lumber. Our supplies of this material will be exhausted in
about twenty years if the present rate of cutting continues. We
sell to foreign countries at least one-half of our cut of black
walnut which will be exhausted in ten to twelve years unless
present methods are reformed. Our supplies of hickory, ash and
basswood will be used up in twenty to thirty years. We need all
this hardwood lumber for future domestic purposes. However, the
furniture factories of France, Spain and Italy are behind on
orders. They need hardwood and much of our valuable hardwood
timber is being shipped to Europe.

Experience has proved that correct systems of handling the
private forests can not be secured by mere suggestions or
education. No ordinary method of public cooeperation has been
worked out which produces the desired results. It is necessary
that suitable measures be adopted to induce private owners to
preserve and protect their woodlands. The timberlands must be
protected against forest fires. Timber must be cut so as to
aid natural reproduction of forest. Cut-over lands must be
reforested. If such methods were practiced, and national, state
and municipal forests were established and extended, our lumber
problem would largely solve itself. We not only should produce a
large permanent supply of timber for domestic use, but also
should have great reserves available for export. Under such
conditions, the United States would become the greatest supply
source in the world for lumber.



The lumber industry of this country can aid reforestation by
practicing better methods. It can harvest its annual crop of
timber without injuring the future production of the forests. It
can limit forest fires by leaving the woods in a safe condition
after it has removed the timber. Some private timber owners who
make a living out of cutting lumber, have even reached the stage
where they are planting trees. They are coming to appreciate the
need for replacing trees that they cut down, in order that new
growth may develop to furnish future timber crops.

The trouble in this country has been that the lumbermen have
harvested the crop of the forests in the shortest possible time
instead of spreading out the work over a long period. Most of our
privately owned forests have been temporarily ruined by practices
of this sort. The aim of the ordinary lumberman is to fell the
trees and reduce them to lumber with the least labor possible.
He does not exercise special care as to how the tree is cut down.
He pays little attention to the protection of young trees and new
growth. He cuts the tree to fall in the direction that best
serves his purpose, no matter whether this means that the forest
giant will crush and seriously cripple many young trees. He
wastes large parts of the trunk in cutting. He leaves the tops
and chips and branches scattered over the ground to dry out. They
develop into a fire trap.

As generally followed, the ordinary method of lumbering is
destructive of the forests. It ravages the future production of
the timberlands. It pays no heed to the young growth of the
forest. It does not provide for the proper growth and development
of the future forest. Our vast stretches of desolate and deserted
cut-over lands are silent witnesses to the ruin which has been
worked by the practice of destructive lumbering. Fortunately, a
change for the better is now developing. With the last of our
timberland riches in sight on the Pacific Coast, the lumbering
industry is coming to see that it must prepare for the future.
Consequently, operators are handling the woods better than ever
before. They now are trying to increase both the production and
permanent value of the remaining forests. They aim to harvest
the tree yield more thoroughly and to extend their cuttings over
many years. They appreciate that it is necessary to protect and
preserve the forest at the same time that profitable tree crops
are being removed. They see the need for saving and increasing
young growth and for protecting the woodlands against fire. If
only these methods of forestry had been observed from the time
the early settlers felled the first trees, not only would our
forests be producing at present all the lumber we could use, but
also the United States would be the greatest lumber-exporting
country in the world.


It will never be possible to stop timber cutting entirely in this
country, nor would it be desirable to do so. The demands for
building material, fuel, wood pulp and the like are too great to
permit of such a condition. The Nation would suffer if all forest
cutting was suspended. There is a vital need, however, of
perpetuating our remaining forests. Wasteful lumbering practices
should be stopped. Only trees that are ready for harvest should
be felled. They should be cut under conditions which will protect
the best interests and production of the timberlands. As a
class, our lumbermen are no more selfish or greedy than men in
many other branches of business. They have worked under peculiar
conditions in the United States. Our population was small as
compared with our vast forest resources. Conditions imposed in
France and Germany, where the population is so dense that more
conservative systems of lumbering are generally practiced, were
not always applicable in this country. Furthermore, our lumbermen
have known little about scientific forestry. This science is
comparatively new in America. All our forestry schools are still
in the early stages of their development. As lumbermen learn more
about the value of modern forestry they gradually are coming to
practice its principles.

The early lumbermen often made mistakes in estimating the timber
yields of the forests. They also neglected to provide for the
future production of the woodlands after the virgin timber was
removed. Those who followed in their steps have learned by these
errors what mistakes to avoid. Our lumbermen lead the world in
skill and ingenuity. They have worked out most efficient methods
of felling and logging the trees. Many foreign countries have
long practiced forestry and lumbering, yet their lumbermen
cannot compete with the Americans when it comes to a matter of
ingenuity in the woods. American woods and methods of logging are
peculiar. They would no more fit under European forest conditions
than would foreign systems be suitable in this country. American
lumbermen are slowly coming to devise and follow a combination
method which includes all the good points of foreign forestry
revised to apply to our conditions.

We can keep our remaining forests alive and piece out their
production over a long period if we practice conservation methods
generally throughout the country. Our remaining forests can be
lumbered according to the rules of practical forestry without
great expense to the owners. In the long run, they will realize
much larger returns from handling the woods in this way. This
work of saving the forests should begin at once. It should be
practiced in every state. Our cut-over and idle lands should be
put to work. Our forest lands should be handled just like fertile
farming lands that produce big crops. The farmer does not attempt
to take all the fertility out of the land in the harvest of one
bumper crop. He handles the field so that it will produce
profitable crops every season. He fertilizes the soil and tills
it so as to add to its productive power. Similarly, our forests
should be worked so that they will yield successive crops of
lumber year after year.

Lumbermen who own forests from which they desire to harvest a
timber crop should first of all survey the woods, or have some
experienced forester do this work, to decide on what trees should
be cut and the best methods of logging to follow. The trees to be
cut should be selected carefully and marked. The owner should
determine how best to protect the young and standing timber
during lumbering. He should decide on what plantings he will make
to replace the trees that are cut. He should survey and estimate
the future yield of the forest. He should study the young trees
and decide about when they will be ripe to cut and what they will
yield. From this information, he can determine his future income
from the forest and the best ways of handling the woodlands.

Under present conditions in this country, only those trees should
be cut from our forests which are mature and ready for the ax.
This means that the harvest must be made under conditions where
there are enough young trees to take the place of the full-grown
trees that are removed. Cutting is best done during the winter
when the trees are dormant. If the cutting is performed during
the spring or summer, the bark, twigs and leaves of the
surrounding young growth may be seriously damaged by the falling
trees. The trees should be cut as low to the ground as is
practicable, as high stumps waste valuable timber. Care should be
taken so that they will not break or split in falling. Trees
should be dropped so that they will not crush young seedlings and
sapling growth as they fall. It is no more difficult or costly to
throw a tree so that it will not injure young trees than it is to
drop it anywhere without regard for the future of the forest.

Directly after cutting, the fallen timber should be trimmed so as
to remove branches that are crushing down any young growth or
seedling. In some forests the young growth is so thick that it is
impossible to throw trees without falling them on some of these
baby trees which will spring back into place again if the heavy
branches are removed at once. The top of the tree should be
trimmed so that it will lie close to the ground. Under such
conditions it will rot rapidly and be less of a fire menace. The
dry tops of trees which lodge above the ground are most dangerous
sources of fire as they burn easily and rapidly.

The lumbermen can also aid the future development of the forests
by using care in skidding and hauling the logs to the yard or
mill. Care should be exercised in the logging operations not to
tear or damage the bark of trunks of standing timber. If
possible, only the trees of unimportant timber species should be
cut for making corduroy roads in the forests. This will be a
saving of valuable material.

In lumbering operations as practiced in this country, the logs
are usually moved to the sawmills on sleds or by means of logging
railroads. If streams are near by, the logs are run into the
water and floated to the mill. If the current is not swift
enough, special dams are built. Then when enough logs are
gathered for the drive, the dam is opened and the captive waters
flood away rapidly and carry the logs to the mill. On larger
streams and rivers, the logs are often fastened together in
rafts. Expert log drivers who ride on the tipping, rolling logs
in the raging river, guide the logs on these drives.

On arrival at the sawmill, the logs are reduced to lumber. Many
different kinds of saws are used in this work. One of the most
efficient is the circular saw which performs rapid work. It is so
wide in bite, however, that it wastes much wood in sawdust. For
example, in cutting four boards of one-inch lumber, an ordinary
circular saw wastes enough material to make a fifth board,
because it cuts an opening that is one-quarter of an inch in
width. Band saws, although they do not work at such high speed,
are replacing circular saws in many mills because they are less
wasteful of lumber. Although sawmills try to prevent waste of
wood by converting slabs and short pieces into laths and
shingles, large amounts of refuse, such as sawdust, slabs and
edgings, are burned each season. As a rule, only about one-third
of the tree is finally used for construction purposes, the
balance being wasted in one way or another.



The tree crop is a profitable crop for the average farmer to
grow. Notwithstanding the comparatively sure and easy incomes
which result from the farm woodlands that are well managed,
farmers as a class neglect their timber. Not infrequently they
sell their timber on the stump at low rates through ignorance of
the real market value of the wood. In other cases, they do not
care for their woodlands properly. They cut without regard to
future growth. They do not pile the slashings and hence expose
the timber tracts to fire dangers. They convert young trees into
hewed crossties which would yield twice as great a return if
allowed to grow for four or five years longer and then be cut as

Just to show how a small tract of trees will grow into money if
allowed to mature, the case of a three-acre side-hill pasture in
New England is interesting. Forty-four years ago the farmer who
owned this waste land dug up fourteen hundred seedling pines
which were growing in a clump and set them out on the sidehill.
Twenty years later the farmer died. His widow sold the three
acres of young pine for $300. Fifteen years later the woodlot
again changed hands for a consideration of $1,000, a lumber
company buying it. Today, this small body of pine woods contains
90,000 board feet of lumber worth at least $1,500 on the stump.
The farmer who set out the trees devoted about $35 worth of land
and labor to the miniature forest. Within a generation this
expenditure has grown into a valuable asset which yielded a
return of $34.09 a year on the investment.


A New York farmer who plays square with his woodland realizes a
continuous profit of $1 a day from a 115-acre timber tract. The
annual growth of this well-managed farm forest is .65 cords of
wood per acre, equivalent to 75 cords of wood--mostly tulip
poplar--a year. The farmer's profit amounts to $4.68 a cord, or a
total of $364.50 from the entire timber tract. Over in New
Hampshire, an associate sold a two-acre stand of white pine--this
was before the inflated war prices were in force--for $2,000 on
the stump. The total cut of this farm forest amounted to 254
cords equivalent to 170,000 board feet of lumber. This was an
average of about 85,000 feet an acre. The trees were between
eighty and eighty-five years old when felled. This indicates an
annual growth on each acre of about 1,000 feet of lumber. The
gross returns from the sale of the woodland crops amounted to
$12.20 an acre a year. These, of course, are not average

Farmers should prize their woodlands because they provide
building material for fences and farm outbuildings as well as for
general repairs. The farm woodland also supplies fuel for the
farm house. Any surplus materials can be sold in the form of
standing timber, sawlogs, posts, poles, crossties, pulpwood,
blocks or bolts. The farm forest also serves as a good windbreak
for the farm buildings. It supplies shelter for the livestock
during stormy weather and protects the soil against erosion.
During slack times, it provides profitable work for the farm

There are approximately one-fifth of a billion acres of farm
woodlands in the United States. In the eastern United States
there are about 169,000,000 acres of farmland forests. If these
woodlands could be joined together in a solid strip one hundred
miles wide, they would reach from New York to San Francisco. They
would amount to an area almost eight times as large as the
combined forests of France which furnished the bulk of the timber
used by the Allies during the World War.

In the North, the farm woodlands compose two-fifths of all the
forests. Altogether there are approximately 53,000,000 acres of
farm woodlots which yield a gross income of about $162,000,000
annually to their owners. Surveys show that in the New England
States more than 65 per cent. of the forested land is on farms,
while in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa from 80 to 100 per
cent. of the timber tracts are on corn belt farms. Conditions in
the South also emphasize the importance of farm woods, as in this
region there are more than 125,000,000 acres which yield an
income of about $150,000,000 a year. In fact the woodlands on the
farms compose about 50 per cent. of all the forest lands south of
the Mason-Dixon line. In Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina,
Kentucky and Oklahoma, over 60 per cent. of all the forest land
is on farms.

The Government says timber raising is very profitable in the
Eastern States because there is plenty of cheap land which is
not suitable for farming, while the rainfall is abundant and
favors rapid tree growth. Furthermore, there are many large
cities which use enormous supplies of lumber. The transportation
facilities, both rail and water, are excellent. This section is a
long distance from the last of the virgin forests of the Pacific
Coast country.

The farms that reported at the last census sold an average of
about $82 worth of tree crop products a year. New York, North
Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky,
Wisconsin and Pennsylvania each sold over $15,000,000 worth of
lumber and other forest products from their farm woodlots during
a single season. In 1918 the report showed that the farms of the
country burn up about 78,000,000 cords of firewood annually,
equal to approximately 11.5 cords of fuel a farm. The Southern
States burn more wood than the colder Northern States. In North
Carolina each farm consumes eighteen cords of fuel annually,
while the farms of South Carolina and Arkansas used seventeen
cords apiece, and those of Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee,
Louisiana, and Kentucky from fifteen to sixteen cords. Even under
these conditions of extensive cordwood use, our farm woodlots
are producing only about one-third to one-half of the wood
supplies which they could grow if they were properly managed.

The farmer who appreciates the importance of caring for his home
forests is always interested in knowing how much timber will grow
on an acre during a period of twelve months. The Government
reports that where the farm woodlots are fully stocked with trees
and well-cared for, an acre of hardwoods will produce from
one-half to one cord of wood--a cord of wood is equal to about
500 board feet of lumber. A pine forest will produce from one to
two cords of wood an acre. The growth is greater in the warmer
southern climate than it is in the North where the growing season
is much shorter. Expert foresters say that posts and crossties
can be grown in from ten to thirty years and that most of the
rapid growing trees will make saw timber in between twenty and
forty years.

After the farm woodland is logged, a new stand of young trees
will develop from seeds or sprouts from the stumps. Farmers find
that it is profitable to harrow the ground in the cut-over
woodlands to aid natural reproduction, or to turn hogs into the
timber tract to rustle a living as these animals aid in
scattering the seed under favorable circumstances. It is also
noteworthy that the most vigorous sprouts come from the clean,
well-cut stumps from which the trees were cut during the late
fall, winter or early spring before the sap begins to flow. The
top of each stump should be cut slanting so that it will readily
shed water. The trees that reproduce by sprouts include the oak,
hickory, basswood, chestnut, gum, cottonwood, willows and young
short-leaf and pitch pines.

In order that the farm woodland may be kept in the best of
productive condition, the farmer should remove for firewood the
trees adapted only for that purpose. Usually, removing these
trees improves the growth of the remaining trees by giving them
better chances to develop. Trees should be cut whose growth has
been stunted because trees of more rapid growth crowded them out.
Diseased trees or those that have been seriously injured by
insects should be felled. In sections exposed to chestnut blight
or gypsy moth infection, it is advisable to remove the chestnut
and birch trees before they are damaged seriously. It is wise
management to cut the fire-scarred trees as well as those that
are crooked, large-crowned and short-boled, as they will not make
good lumber. The removal of these undesirable trees improves the
forest by providing more growing space for the sturdy, healthy
trees. Sound dead trees as well as the slow-growing trees that
crowd the fast growing varieties should be cut. In addition,
where such less valuable trees as the beech, birch, black oak,
jack oak or black gum are crowding valuable trees like the sugar
maples, white or short-leaf pines, yellow poplar or white oak,
the former species should be chopped down. These cutting
operations should be done with the least possible damage to the
living and young trees. The "weed trees" should be cut down, just
as the weeds are hoed out of a field of corn, in order that the
surviving trees may make better growth.

Often the farmer errs in marketing his tree crops. There have
been numerous instances where farmers have been deluded by timber
cruisers and others who purchased their valuable forest tracts
for a mere fraction of what the woodlands were really worth. The
United States Forest Service and State Forestry Departments have
investigated many of these cases and its experts advise farmers
who are planning to sell tree crops to get prices for the various
wood products from as many sawmills and wood-using plants as
possible. The foresters recommend that the farmers consult with
their neighbors who have sold timber. Sometimes it may pay to
sell the timber locally if the prices are right, as then the
heavy transportation costs are eliminated. Most states have state
foresters who examine woodlands and advise the owner just what to
do. It pays to advertise in the newspapers and secure as many
competitive bids as possible for the timber on the stump.
Generally, unless the prices offered for such timber are
unusually high, the farmer will get greater returns by logging
and sawing the timber and selling it in the form of lumber and
other wood products. The farmer who owns a large forest tract
should have some reliable and experienced timberman carefully
inspect his timber and estimate the amount and value. The owner
should deal with only responsible buyers. He should use a written
agreement in selling timber, particularly where the purchaser is
to do the cutting. The farm woodland owner must always bear in
mind that standing timber can always be held over a period of low
prices without rapid deterioration. In selling lumber, the best
plan is to use the inferior timber at home for building and
repair work and to market the best of the material.



For many years technical studies of wood were neglected. Detailed
investigations of steel, concrete, oil, rubber and other
materials were made but wood apparently was forgotten. It has
been only during the last decade since the establishment of the
Forest Products Laboratory of the United States Forest Service,
at Madison, Wisconsin, that tests and experiments to determine
the real value of different woods have been begun. One of the big
problems of the government scientists at that station, which is
conducted in cooeperation with the University of Wisconsin, is to
check the needless waste of wood. By actual test they find out
all about the wasteful practices of lumbering in the woods and
mills. Then they try to educate and convert the lumbermen and
manufacturers away from such practices.

The laboratory experts have already performed more than 500,000
tests with 149 different kinds of native woods. As a result of
these experiments, these woods are now being used to better
advantage with less waste in the building and manufacturing
industries. A potential saving of at least 20 per cent. of the
timbers used for building purposes is promised, which means a
salvage of about $40,000,000 annually as a result of strength
tests of southern yellow pine and Douglas fir. Additional tests
have shown that the red heartwood of hickory is just as strong
and serviceable as the white sap wood. Formerly, the custom has
been to throw away the heartwood as useless. This discovery
greatly extends the use of our hickory supply.

Heretofore, the custom has been to season woods by drying them in
the sun. This method of curing not only took a long time but also
was wasteful and expensive. The forestry scientists and lumbermen
have now improved the use of dry kilns and artificial systems of
curing green lumber. Now more than thirty-five of the leading
woods such as Douglas fir, southern yellow pine, spruce, gum and
oak can be seasoned in the kilns in short time. It used to take
about two years of air drying to season fir and spruce. At
present the artificial kiln performs this job in from twenty to
forty days. The kiln-dried lumber is just as strong and useful
for construction as the air-cured stock. Tests have proved that
kiln drying of walnut for use in gun stocks or airplane
propellers, in some cases reduced the waste of material from 60
to 2 per cent. The kiln-dried material was ready for use in
one-third the time it would have taken to season the material in
the air. Heavy green oak timbers for wagons and wheels were dried
in the kiln in ninety to one hundred days. It would have taken
two years to cure this material outdoors.

By their valuable test work, scientists are devising efficient
means of protecting wood against decay. They treat the woods
with such chemicals as creosote, zinc chloride and other
preservatives. The life of the average railroad tie is at least
doubled by such treatment. We could save about one and one-half
billion board feet of valuable hardwood lumber annually if all
the 85,000,000 untreated railroad ties now in use could be
protected in this manner. If all wood exposed to decay were
similarly treated, we could save about six billion board feet of
timber each year.

About one-sixth of all the lumber that is cut in the United
States is used in making crates and packing boxes. The majority
of these boxes are not satisfactory. Either they are not strong
enough or else they are not the right size or shape. During a
recent year, the railroads paid out more than $100,000,000 to
shippers who lost goods in transit due to boxes and crates that
were damaged in shipment.

In order to find out what woods are best to use in crates and
boxes and what sizes and shapes will withstand rough handling,
the Laboratory experts developed a novel drum that tosses the
boxes to and fro and gives them the same kind of rough handling
they get on the railroad. This testing machine has demonstrated
that the proper method of nailing the box is of great importance.
Tests have shown that the weakest wood properly nailed into a
container is more serviceable than the strongest wood poorly
nailed. Better designs of boxes have been worked out which save
lumber and space and produce stronger containers.

Educating the lumbering industry away from extravagant practices
is one of the important activities of the modern forestry
experts. Operators who manufacture handles, spokes, chairs,
furniture, toys and agricultural implements could, by scientific
methods of wood using, produce just as good products by using 10
to 50 per cent. of the tree as they do by using all of it. The
furniture industry not infrequently wastes from 40 to 60 per
cent. of the raw lumber which it buys. Much of this waste could
be saved by cutting the small sizes of material directly from the
log instead of from lumber. It is also essential that sizes of
material used in these industries be standardized.

The Forest Products Laboratory has perfected practical methods of
building up material from small pieces which otherwise would be
thrown away. For example, shoe lasts, hat blocks, bowling pins,
base-ball bats, wagon bolsters and wheel hubs are now made of
short pieces of material which are fastened together with
waterproof glue. If this method of built-up construction can be
made popular in all sections of the country, very great savings
in our annual consumption of wood can be brought about. As
matters now stand, approximately 25 per cent. of the tree in the
forest is lost or wasted in the woods, 40 per cent. at the mills,
5 per cent. in seasoning the lumber and from 5 to 10 per cent. in
working the lumber over into the manufactured articles. This new
method of construction which makes full use of odds and ends and
slabs and edgings offers a profitable way to make use of the 75
per cent. of material which now is wasted.

The vast importance of preserving our forests is emphasized when
one stops to consider the great number of uses to which wood is
put. In addition to being used as a building material, wood is
also manufactured into newspaper and writing paper. Furthermore,
it is a most important product in the making of linoleum,
artificial silk, gunpowder, paints, soaps, inks, celluloid,
varnishes, sausage casings, chloroform and iodoform. Wood
alcohol, which is made by the destructive distillation of wood,
is another important by-product. Acetate of lime, which is used
extensively in chemical plants, and charcoal, are other products
which result from wood distillation. The charcoal makes a good
fuel and is valuable for smelting iron, tin and copper, in the
manufacture of gunpowder, as an insulating material, and as a
clarifier in sugar refineries.

It is predicted that the future fuel for use in automobile
engines will be obtained from wood waste. Ethyl or "grain"
alcohol can now be made from sawdust and other mill refuse. One
ton of dry Douglas fir or southern yellow pine will yield from
twenty to twenty-five gallons of 95 per cent. alcohol. It is
estimated that more than 300,000,000 gallons of alcohol could be
made annually from wood now wasted at the mills. This supply
could be increased by the use of second-growth, inferior trees
and other low-grade material.



Westward the course of forest discovery and depletion has taken
its way in the United States. The pine and hardwood forests of
the Atlantic and New England States first fell before the bite of
the woodman's ax and the sweep of his saw. Wasteful lumbering
finally sapped the resources of these productive timberlands.
Shift was then made farther westward to the Lake States. Their
vast stretches of white pine and native hardwoods were cut to a
skeleton of their original size. The lumbering operations then
spread to the southern pine belt. In a few years the supplies of
marketable lumber in that region were considerably reduced. Then
the westward trail was resumed. The strip of country between the
Mississippi River and the Cascade, Sierra Nevada and Coast Ranges
was combed and cut. Today, the last big drive against our timber
assets is being waged in the forests of the Pacific Coast.

Our virgin forests originally covered 822,000,000 acres. Today,
only one-sixth of them are left. All the forest land now in the
United States including culled, burned and cut-over tracts,
totals 463,000,000 acres. We now have more waste and cut-over
lands in this country than the combined forest area of Germany,
Belgium, Denmark, Holland, France, Switzerland, Spain and
Portugal. The merchantable timber left in the United States
is estimated at 2,215,000,000,000 board feet. The rest is
second-growth trees of poor quality. One-half of this timber is
in California, Washington and Oregon. It is a long and costly
haul from these Pacific Coast forests to the eastern markets.
Less than one-fifth of our remaining timber is hardwood.
56,000,000,000 board feet of material of saw timber size are used
or destroyed in the United States each year. Altogether, we use
more than 26,000,000,000 cubic feet of timber of all classes
annually. Our forests are making annual growth at the rate of
less than one-fourth of this total consumption. We are rapidly
cutting away the last of our virgin forests. We also are cutting
small-sized and thrifty trees much more rapidly than we can
replace them.


The United States is short on timber today because our fathers
and forefathers abused our forests. If they had planted trees on
the lands after the virgin timber was removed, we should now be
one of the richest countries in the world in forest resources.
Instead, they left barren stretches and desolate wastes where
dense woods once stood. It is time that the present owners of the
land begin the reclamation of our 326,000,000 acres of cut-over
timberlands. Some of these lands still are yielding fair crops of
timber due to natural restocking and proper care. Most of them
are indifferent producers. One-quarter of all this land is bare
of forest growth. It is our duty as citizens of the United States
to aid as we may in the reforestation of this area.

Fires are cutting down the size of our forests each year. During
a recent five-year period, 160,000 forest fires burned over
56,488,000 acres, an area as large as the state of Utah, and
destroyed or damaged timber and property valued at $85,715,000.
Year by year, fires and bad timber practices have been increasing
our total areas of waste and cut-over land. We are facing a
future lumber famine, not alone because we have used up our
timber, but also because we have failed to make use of our vast
acreage of idle land adapted for growing forests. We must call a
halt and begin all over again. Our new start must be along the
lines of timber planting and tree increase. The landowners, the
States and the Federal Government must all get together in this
big drive for reforestation.

It is impossible to make National Forests out of all the idle
forest land. On the other hand, the matter of reforestation
cannot be left to private owners. Some of them would set out
trees and restore the forests as desired. Others would not. The
public has large interests at stake. It must bear part of the
burden. Proper protection of the forests against fire can come
only through united public action. Everyone must do his part to
reduce the fire danger. The public must also bring about needed
changes in many of our tax methods so that private owners will be
encouraged to go into the business of raising timber. The
Government must do its share, the private landowner must help to
the utmost and the public must aid in every possible way,
including payment of higher prices for lumber as the cost of
growing timber increases.

France and Scandinavia have solved their forest problems along
about the same lines the United States will have to follow. These
countries keep up well-protected public forests. All the
landowners are taught how to set out and raise trees. Everyone
has learned to respect the timberlands. The woods are thought of
as treasures which must be carefully handled. The average man
would no more think of abusing the trees in the forest than he
would of setting fire to his home. The foreign countries are now
busy working out their forestry problems of the years to come. We
in America are letting the future take care of itself.

Our States should aid generally in the work of preventing forest
fires. They should pass laws which will require more careful
handling of private forest lands. They should pass more favorable
timber tax laws so that tree growing will be encouraged. Uncle
Sam should be the director in charge of all this work. He should
instruct the states how to protect their forests against fire. He
should teach them how to renew their depleted woodlands. He
should work for a gradual and regular expansion of the National
Forests. The United States Forest Service should have the power
to help the various states in matters of fire protection, ways of
cutting forests, methods of renewing forests and of deciding
whether idle lands were better adapted for farming or forestry

Experts believe that the Government should spend at least
$2,000,000 a year in the purchase of new National Forests. About
one-fifth of all our forests are now publicly owned. One of the
best ways of preventing the concentration of timber in private
ownership is to increase the area of publicly owned forests. Such
actions would prevent the waste of valuable timber and would aid
planting work. For best results, it is thought that the Federal
Government should own about one-half of all the forests in the
country. To protect the watersheds of navigable streams the
Government should buy 1,000,000 acres of woodlands in New England
and 5,000,000 acres in the southern Appalachian Mountains. The
National Forests should also be extended and consolidated.

Federal funds should be increased so that the Forest Service can
undertake on a large scale the replanting of burned-over lands in
the National Forests. As soon as this work is well under way,
Congress should supply about $1,000,000 annually for such work.
Many watersheds in the National Forests are bare of cover due to
forest fires. As a result, the water of these streams is not
sufficient for the needs of irrigation, water power and city
water supply of the surrounding regions.

Right now, even our leading foresters do not know exactly what
the forest resources of the country amount to. It will take
several years to make such a survey even after the necessary
funds are provided. We need to know just how much wood of each
class and type is available. We want to know, in each case, the
present and possible output. We want to find out the timber
requirements of each state and of every important wood-using
industry. Exact figures are needed on the timber stands and their
growth. The experimental work of the Forest Service should be
extended. Practically every forest is different from every other
forest. It is necessary to work out locally the problems of each
timber reservation. Most urgent of all is the demand for a law to
allow Federal officers to render greater assistance to the state
forestry departments in fighting forest fires.

Many state laws designed to perpetuate our forests must be passed
if our remaining timber resources are to be saved. During times
when fires threaten, all the forest lands in each state should
be guarded by organized agencies. This protection should include
cut-over and unimproved land as well as timber tracts. Such a
plan would require that the State and Federal governments bear
about one-half the expenses while the private forest owners
should stand the balance. There would be special rules regulating
the disposal of slashings, methods of cutting timber, and of
extracting forest products such as pulpwood or naval stores.

If our forests are to be saved for the future we must begin
conservation at once. To a small degree, luck plays a part in
maintaining the size of the forest. Some woodlands in the South
Atlantic States are now producing their third cut of saw logs.
Despite forest fires and other destructive agencies, these
forests have continued to produce. Some of the northern
timberlands have grown crops of saw timber and wood pulp for from
one hundred fifty to two hundred fifty years. Expert foresters
report that private owners are each year increasing their
plantings on denuded woodlands. New England landowners are
planting between 12,000,000 and 15,000,000 young forest trees a
year. The Middle Atlantic and Central States are doing about as
well. To save our forests, planting of this sort must be
universal. It takes from fifty to one hundred years to grow a
crop of merchantable timber. What the United States needs is a
national forestry policy which will induce every landowner to
plant and grow more trees on land that is not useful for farm
crops. Our forestry problem is to put to work millions of acres
of idle land. As one eminent forester recently remarked, "If we
are to remain a nation of timber users, we must become a nation
of wood growers."

Book of the day: