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Title: Practical Forestry in the Pacific Northwest - Protecting Existing Forests and Growing New Ones, from the Standpoint of the Public and That of the Lumberman, with an Outline of Technical Methods
Author: Allen, Edward Tyson
Language: English
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Protecting Existing Forests and Growing New Ones, from the Standpoint
of the Public and That of the Lumberman, with an Outline of Technical



Forester for the Western Forestry & Conservation Association (Formerly
U. S. District Forester for Oregon, Washington and Alaska)

Issued by
The Western Forestry & Conservation Association
Office of the Forester
421 Yeon Building, Portland, Oregon.



The object of this booklet is to present the elementary principles
of forest conservation as they apply on the Pacific coast from
Montana to California.

There is a keen and growing interest in this subject. Citizens of
the western states are beginning to realize that the forest is a
community resource and that its wasteful destruction injures their
welfare. Lumbermen are coming to regard timber land not as a mine to
be worked out and abandoned, but as a possible source of perpetual
industry. They find little available information, however, as to
how these theories can be reduced to actual practice. The Western
Forestry and Conservation Association believes it can render no more
practical service than by being the first to outline for public
use definite workable methods of forest management applicable to
western conditions.

A publication of this length can give little more than an outline,
but attempt has been made either to answer the most obvious questions
which suggest themselves to timber owners interested in forest
preservation or to guide the latter in finding their own answers.
Only the most reliable conservative information has been drawn
on, much of it having been collected by the Government.

While the booklet is intended to be of use chiefly to forest owners,
a chapter on the advantage to the community of a proper state forest
policy is included, also a chapter on tree growing by farmers.
The first presents the economic relation of forest preservation
to public welfare, with its problems of fire prevention, taxation
and reforestation; for the use of writers, legislators, voters,
or others desiring to investigate this subject of growing public
concern. It is based upon the conclusions of the best unprejudiced
authorities who have approached these problems from the public

In the technical chapters on forest management and its possibilities,
the author accepts full responsibility for conclusions drawn except
when otherwise noted. To the Forest Service, however, is entitled the
credit for collecting practically all the growth and yield figures
upon which these conclusions are based. Especial acknowledgement
is due to Mr. J. F. Kümmel for information on tree planting.

In concluding this preface, the author regrets that the booklet
which it introduces was necessarily written hurriedly, a page or
two at a time, at odd hours taken from the work of a busy office.
For this reason its style and management leaves much to be desired,
but it has been thought better to make the information it contains
immediately available than to await a doubtful opportunity to rewrite



What This Book Is About, and Why.


What We Have in the West. What We Are Doing With It. Does It Pay?


Importance of Forests as a Community Resource. Wealth Their Manufacture
Brings to All Industries. Value as Source of Tax Revenue. Our Interest
as Consumers. Real Issue Not Property Protection but Conditions of
Life For All. Particularly Favorable Natural Forest Conditions
on Pacific Coast. Present Policy of Waste. Fire Loss. Idleness of
Deforested Land. Action We Must Take. Fire Prevention. Reforestation.
Tax Reform. Public Responsibility. Essentials of Needed State Policy.
Duty of the Average Citizen.


Economic Principles Governing Forest Production. Supply and Demand.
Lumberman Must Consider. Both Profit of Forestry and Popular Demand
for Its Practice. Consumer Must Pay for Growing Timber. Attitude
of State Will Become More Encouraging. How All This Affects the
Lumberman. Should Plan for Meeting the Situation. Circumstances
that Determine Profit. Who Can Afford to Reforest Cut-over Land?


Technical and Practical Problems. Elementary Principles of Forest
Growth. Fundamental Systems of Management. Nature as a Model. Logging
to Insure Another Crop. Natural and Artificial Reproduction. Details
of Management for Each Western Species. Seeding and Planting. Costs
and Carrying Charges. Rate of Growth. Probable Financial Returns.
Hardwood Experiments.


The Slashing Menace. Brush Piling. Slash Burning. Fire Lines. Spark
Arrestors. Patrol. Associate Effort. Young Growth as a Fire Guard.


Cutting Methods on the Wooded Farm. Best Use of Poor Forest Land.
The Handling of Fire in Clearing. Planting on Treeless Farms. Species
Most Promising for Fuel and Improvement Material. Windbreaks to
Prevent Evaporation of Soil Moisture. Methods and Cost of Tree


Tax Reforms to Permit Reforestation. Opinions of Expert Authorities.

The Western Forestry and Conservation Association. Its Organization
and Objects.




_The five states of Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and California
contain half the merchantable timber in the United States today--a
fact of startling economic significance._ It means first of all that
here is an existing resource of incalculable local and national
value. It means also that here lies the most promising field of
production for all time. The wonderful density and extent of our
Western forests are not accidental, but result because climatic
and other conditions are the most favorable in the world for forest
growth. In just the degree that they excel forests elsewhere is
it easier to make them continue to do so.


_On the other hand, forest fires in Montana, Idaho, Washington,
Oregon and California destroy annually, on an average, timber which
if used instead of destroyed would bring forty million dollars to
their inhabitants, Idleness of burned and cut-over land represents
a direct loss almost as great._

These are actual money losses to the community. So is the failure of
revenue through the destruction of a tax resource. Equally important,
and hardly less direct, is the injury to agricultural and industrial
productiveness which depends upon a sustained supply of wood and


Practically all this loss is unnecessary. Other countries have
stopped the forest fire evil. Other countries have found a way
to make forest land continue to grow forest. Consequently we can.
It is clearly only a question of whether it is worth while. Let us
consider this question, not only in its relation to posterity or
to the lumberman, but from the standpoint of the average citizen
of the West today.




_Forest wealth is community wealth._ The public's interest in it
is affected very little by the passage of timber lands into private
ownership, for all the owner can get out of them is the stumpage
value. The people get everything else. Our forests earn nothing
except by being cut and shipped to the markets of the world. Of the
price received for them usually much less than a fifth is received
by the owner. Nearly all goes to pay for labor and supplies here
at home.

_Even now, when the western lumber industry is insignificant compared
to what it will be soon, it brings over $125,000,000 a year into
these five states._ This immense revenue flows through every artery
of labor, commerce and agriculture; in the open farming countries as
well as in the timbered districts. It is shared alike by laborer,
farmer, merchant, artisan and professional man. It is their greatest
source of income, for lumber is the chief product which, being
sold elsewhere, actually brings in outside money.

That it is essential to the prosperity of every citizen to have
this contribution to his livelihood continue requires no argument.
From the manufacturing point of view alone, our forest resources
are as important to everyone of us as to the lumberman, and in many
ways more so, for if they are exhausted he can move or change his
business; while the dependent industries cannot. But our welfare
is at stake in a dozen other ways also.


Every person who uses wood, whether to build, fence, burn, box
his goods, or timber his mine, is directly interested in a cheap
and plentiful supply of timber. _Every acre burned, every cut-over
acre lying idle, raises the price for him without furnishing any
revenue with which to help pay it. Every acre saved from fire,
every acre of young growth, lowers it for him and puts money in
circulation besides._

Similarly, the cost to the consumer of most articles of every day
necessity is directly affected by the connection of forest material
with their production. Wood and water are almost as essential to
mining as are, hence influence the price of metals. In the form
of fuel, buildings, or boxes, if not as an actual constituent of
the product itself, wood supply bears a like relation to almost
every industry.

Every reduction of the lumber traffic which helps support our railroads,
or of their supply of poles, ties and car material, tends to raise
the cost of our groceries and other rail-transported commodities.


Most of our western states have immense areas of forested grant
lands, the sale of timber from which supports the public schools and
other state institutions. Destruction of this asset is a direct blow
to these institutions which can be only partially met by increased


In the case of western agriculture, the relation to the forest
is fundamental and inseparable. Enough has been said to show that
because of its importance as a sustaining industry lumber manufacture
is a prodigious factor in creating a market for farm products,
also that the cost of all articles used by the farmer is cheapened
by forest preservation. _But back of this lies the all-important
dependence of western agriculture upon irrigation. We must save
the forests that store the waters._

Of particular significance to the farmer, too, is the tremendous
importance of forests as a source of tax revenue to help support
state and county government. The cost of government is growing as
our population grows. Taxable property grows mainly in the cities.
Elsewhere we confront the problem of diminishing timber to tax and
consequent heavier and heavier burden on farm property. _It will
be a bad situation for the farmer if the timber is all destroyed
and he has to pay all the taxes, as well as a higher price for his
buildings, fences and fruit boxes. Every acre of timber burned
or wasted hastens this day._

The conservation thus suggested does not mean non-use of ripe timber,
but does mean protecting it from useless waste and destruction,
and replacing it by reforestation when it is used.


Lack of space forbids recounting many other ways in which the forest
question touches the average citizen. It enters into our prospects
of development, our investment values and our insurance rates. Like
the keystone of an arch, or the link of a chain, forests cannot
be destroyed without the collapse of the entire fabric. Their
preservation is not primarily a property question, but a principle
of public economy, dealing with one of the elements of human existence
and progress. _Failure to treat it as such means harder conditions
of life, a handicap of industry; not only for our children, but
for us as well._

It all sums up to this: On every acre of western forest destroyed
by fire, or that fails to grow where it might grow, _we, the citizens
of the West who are not lumbermen, bear fully eighty per cent of
the direct loss_ and sustain serious further injury to our general
safety and profit.


Notwithstanding the above facts, we allow $40,000,000 which we and
our families should share to vanish every year, leaving nothing
more enduring than a pall of smoke from Canada to the Mexican line.
The great area thus denuded uselessly, with that which produced
public wealth through lumber manufacture, _together having been
capable of affording a community resource of $165,000,000_, are
abandoned to lie idle and a menace to remaining timber. It is exactly
as though the owner of a 165-acre orchard should destroy forty
acres wantonly and also abandon the rest, unfenced, uncultivated
and uncared for.

The one waste is as unnecessary as the other. Our Pacific coast
forests owe their unparalleled productiveness to a peculiarly fortunate
combination of climate and rapid growing species unknown elsewhere.
Nowhere else is forest reproduction so swift and certain. Nowhere
can it be secured with so little effort and expense. A little
forethought in cutting methods and protection of the cut-over area
from recurring fires, and an early second crop is assured. Saw timber
can be grown in forty to seventy-five years; ties, mine timber and
piles in less.


It is reasonable to suppose that, although the quality may be inferior
to that of the old forest removed now, timber scarcity will make a
second cut in sixty years equally profitable per acre. Therefore,
if the area denuded annually at present were encouraged to reforest
and protected, it should at the end of that period again yield
$165,000,000 to the community. Each year's growth at present would
be worth a sixtieth of that sum, or $2,750,000. _If given any chance
to do so, the area deforested in only ten years would actually
earn the people of our five western forest states $27,500,000 a

Almost nothing is being done to make it do so. As the result of
the same popular neglect, this annual loss of nearly twenty-eight
millions of dollars is added to that of forty millions caused by
destruction of merchantable timber by fire, and the injury to tax
revenue, water supply and countless dependent industries still
remain to be reckoned. And to this sacrifice of wealth we add that
of scores of human lives, incredible suffering, and the wiping
out of homes and villages by forest fires.


Let us draw a parallel: If riot or invasion should sweep our Pacific
coast states, killing unprotected settlers, plundering banks and
treasuries of $40,000,000 of the people's savings and business
capital, and by destroying the producing power of commercial enterprise
reduce the community's income by twenty-eight millions more, the
catastrophe would startle the world.

If this stupendous disaster should threaten to recur the following
year and every year thereafter indefinitely, annually taking $67,000,000
from the earnings of the people, diminishing their invested wealth
and paralyzing their industries, the situation would be unbearable.
It would dominate the minds of men, women and children. All else
would be forgotten in their preparation for defense.

_Forest fire destruction is a danger in every way as real and immediate
as riot or invasion, equally measurable in losses to us today and
more far reaching in effect upon future prosperity. Although less
sensational, it demands no less prompt action._


The foregoing facts prove that our present forest policy is unprofitable
to the state and its citizens. What, then, is the remedy?

At first thought it may seem that the responsibility for this lies
with the man who controls the land, the timber owner and lumberman.
He does have his part to play, which is discussed elsewhere in
this booklet. But he will not, indeed cannot, do so until the rest
of us play ours. The community must not only coöperate, but in
some directions must act first, because from the beginning the
lumberman is governed by many conditions which are fixed by the
people. It is for the people to make these conditions reasonably
favorable so that he will have neither excuse nor incentive for
failing to conform to them.

In this coöperation the people should not be expected to grant
privileges which are not for their own advantage also. Nor should
they hesitate to coöperate if it is to their advantage, merely
because it is also a help to the lumberman. It is natural that the
public should disincline to assume any further burden to enrich the
timber owner. Were this the sale object of forest protection it would
be fair to leave it to him. But it is the height of bad economy to
obstruct or refuse to help him in handling forest resources to our
best advantage. Whether he gains or loses is merely incidental to
us, but whether we gain or lose is of very great importance.


Obviously reduction of the forest fire hazard is the most urgent
problem. Not only is fire the greatest destroyer of existing forests,
but it also discourages investment in reforestation. The public has
a right to expect the lumberman to adopt every safeguard against
it in his operations. Nevertheless, the first step to encourage
him in this is to reduce the appalling carelessness with fire in
which the people of the West are the worst offenders in the world

Forest fires are almost always unnecessary. They usually result
from a neglect of consideration for injury and distress to others
which is not shown by the American people in any other connection.
The traveler or resident in forest regions simply fails to realize
that his own welfare and that of countless others requires the
same precaution not to let fire escape, and the same activity in
extinguishing fires he discovers, that are accorded as a matter
of course in cities and towns. In reality they are more important.
A San Francisco can burn down and it is soon replaced. Insurance
and capital come to the rescue, labor is employed, and business
is resumed. _But when the forest burns, industry dies and labor is
driven away empty handed._ It is a big price to pay for neglecting
the slight effort required to prevent it.

Fairly good fire laws are on our statute books. Presumably they
were intended to prevent fires. Yet almost every forest community
sees fire after fire set through ignorance, carelessness or purpose,
and so far from punishing the offenders accords them every privilege
of business and society. In cities, however insignificant the damage,
arson leads to the penitentiary. A forest fire may destroy millions and
the cause not even be investigated. If, aggravated by a particularly
inexcusable case of malice or carelessness, some property holder
(seldom the people) secures an arrest, acquittal is practically
certain because the community considers the matter none of its
business. Then the value of the fire law is at an end in that region.
Certainly we cannot expect the timber owner to protect our forest
interests until we ourselves respect and at least attempt to enforce
our forest laws.


But necessary as is better public sentiment, we must also have
practical machinery for enforcing the laws and for stopping the fires
that do start. Just as a city is safeguarded best by an organized
fire department, so the forest can be protected effectively only by
trained men who know the work. And the man who prevents the most
fires is the man who is looking for them, not the man who goes
after the fire is under way.

Theodore Roosevelt says: "I hold as first among the tasks before
the states and the nation in their respective shares in forest
conservation the organization of efficient fire patrols and the
enactment of good fire laws on the part of the states."

The National Conservation Commission reports: "Each state within
whose boundaries forest fires are working grave injury, and that
means every forest state, must face the fact squarely that to keep
down forest fires needs not merely a law upon the statute books,
but an effective force of men actually on the ground to patrol
against fire."

We all know that few disastrous fires start under conditions which
prevent their control. Usually they spring from some of the many
small, apparently innocent fires which burn unnoticed until wind
and hot weather fan them into action. It is far cheaper to put
them out in the incipient stage than to fight them later, perhaps
unsuccessfully until after great damage has been done. And if fighting
is necessary, it is of the highest importance to have it led by
competent, experienced men. Moments count, and bad judgment is

Most western states already have laws regulating the use of fire
for clearing during the dry season. To accomplish this with safety
and without hardship requires fire wardens to issue permits and
help with the burning if necessary.

Public knowledge that there is someone to enforce the law tends
to restrain the dangerous class. Still more useful is the service
of fire wardens in agitating the fire question and keeping before
forest residents the advantage of their coöperation.


In fire patrol, especially, the state and the lumberman must work
together. It is reasonable that the timber owner should contribute
to the protection of his property. He also has peculiar facilities
for getting the work done well and cheaply. As a rule he is willing
to do his part. In 1910 the Washington Forest Fire Association and
other timber owners in that state paid out $300,000 for patrol
and other fire work. The Coeur d'Alene, Clearwater, Potlatch and
Pend d'Oreille Timber Protective associations spent over $200,000
in Idaho. Oregon timbermen spent approximately $130,000. Figures
are not available for Montana and California, but probably the
same proportion holds.

Thorough support by the state is necessary to make private work
effective. The men employed must have official authority to enforce
the law. The dangerous element does not respect a movement which
nominally represents only the property owner. The people in general
do not aid it as much as they do one in which they also share.
Therefore, it is necessary to have state facilities for coöperating
in the organization, authorization and supervision of all forest


But to stop here is like attempting to protect a city from fire
merely by giving its factory owners the right to maintain watchmen.
We want to provide for the greatest possible advantage to the people
through the timber owner's desire to protect his own property,
but any forest policy which ends with this is hopelessly weak.
We cannot afford to leave any matter of public welfare wholly to
the wisdom and philanthropy of private enterprise. If we expect
our paramount interest in forest and water resources to be looked
out for properly, we must pay for it just as we do for all other
protection we get through organized government. Nor should we forget
that the timber owner helps us again in this, for he pays taxes
as well as the cost of his private patrol.

There are also many regions where timber values do not warrant
patrol, but where the safety of other property, and of life, demand
both patrol and fire fighting. Here the state owes its citizens
protection. Moreover, one of the weakest points in our present
system everywhere is lack of police authority to apprehend violators
of the fire laws. The private warden cannot successfully arrest
or prosecute offenders, and everybody knows it. Most fires start
through violation of law. To prevent them the law must be respected,
and to accomplish this there must be state officers who can and
will apprehend offenders without fear or favor.

Any western state can well afford to spend $100,000 a year for
a forest fire service which will prevent a loss of fifty times
that sum. The cost is imperceptible by the citizen, his benefit
immediate. _Forest protection is the cheapest form of prosperity
insurance a timbered state can buy._


Although it does not pay to burn up our forests, it does pay to use
them. _The faster we can replace them with new ones, the quicker
this profit can be made with safety._ Forest land is community
capital. To let it lie idle is as wasteful as destruction. And
we must also remember that the day is coming when our forested
streams must do a hundred times their present duty, and when the
lumber consumer's question may not be "What must I pay for a board?"
but "Can I get a board at all?" We must have new forests coming
as the old ones go.

The Federal Government is practicing forestry in the lands controlled
by the Forest Service. _Why should the states not do the same thing
with their school and tax deed lands? Intelligent care of timbered
school land, selling the timber only under regulations which will
insure reforestation, would realize as much today and in the long
run pay a thousand per cent in dividends for the education of our
children and our children's children._

Further than this, there should be legislation to permit the state
to solidify its forest lands by exchange, when advisable, and to
authorize the purchase of cut-over lands. The eventual profit in
this is certain to be great, and nothing will do more to interest
the public and private owners in reforestation. It is the history or
all countries that forests are peculiarly profitable state property,
especially when, as is the case with us, it can be acquired cheaply.
It is a sound and well-proved policy that it is well for the state to
own lands which are not adapted for permanent individual development.
Forest lands constitute the ideal class, not only because the state
is in the best position to keep up their usefulness to the community,
but also because they will earn perpetual revenue far greater than
they could bring through taxation. They will pay back the cost and
interest, become increasingly valuable, and still pay dividends.

It is even more important that reforestation be secured on private
lands, because their area is greater than that owned by state and
government. With the encouragement which could be given the owner
without any undeserved concession, conditions would warrant him
in securing it. We have reached that stage in our development.
The exhaustion of timber in the country at large, the increase of
consumption, and our peculiar natural advantages, have combined
to promise adequate financial return. And the lumberman does not
want to go out of business unless he has to.


To insure a second crop the lumberman has to lose more or less
money when he cuts the first. His methods must be more expensive
and he must forego present profits on trees he leaves. If he plants,
the outlay is considerable. But let us suppose he is willing to
do all this, not because he is a philanthropist but because he
wants more trees to run his mill some day.

It is a comparatively simple matter to get his second crop started.
American forestry has solved this problem fairly well. It is also
easy to calculate in most cases, beginning with the sale value of
cut-over land, using safe estimate of the next yield and the time
required to mature it, and setting a conservative future stumpage
value, that growing timber ought to be a profitable investment. If
that were all, we could leave the lumberman alone and count on
him to perpetuate our forests because it will pay him to do so.

But the whole calculation, consequently the public's interest as
well as his, is upset by two factors--the danger that his investment
will burn up and the practical certainty that taxes will eat up
all profit before the harvest. If he figures on fire protection
at his own expense against the hazard as it now exists, and the
tax burden on cut-over land which is indicated at present, his
engagement in forest growing will be negligible from the point of
view of public welfare. In some cases he may hold the land awhile,
in few can he afford to protect it, in still fewer is he justified
in actually doing anything to insure reforestation.

If a man proposes to build a factory or railroad in a community
the inhabitants usually encourage him. They do not refuse him fire
protection in the first place and then, if his plant burns down,
threaten to burn it again and keep up full taxation on the vacant
land. They offer every fair inducement to get the industry and keep
it flourishing. They expect it to pay its just share of taxation,
but want it to continue to do so as long as possible.


It has been shown that the first obstacle to reforestation of private
land can be removed only by supporting a fire patrol and creating
public sentiment which will reduce the number of fires. The second
is even more wholly in the hands of the people, for by the system
of taxation they impose they decide _whether it shall continue an
earning power and a tax source forever or be abandoned to become
a desert_; non-producing, non-taxable, and a menace to stream-flow.
Whether its owner has made money on the original crop has no bearing
on the result, nor has his being rich or poor, resident or alien.
Cutover land presents a distinct problem to him. He will and should
pay a full tax on its earning power, which will be demonstrated
when he successfully brings another crop to maturity. But he cannot
carry an investment for fifty years or more without return, with a
risk of total loss by fire up to the last moment, at a cost which
would bring him better profit in some other business.

These facts are recognized by all students of forestry. The following
authorities hold no brief for the lumberman. They approached the
subject solely from the side of the people:

Theodore Roosevelt: "Second only to good fire laws is the enactment
of tax laws which will permit the perpetuation of existing forests
by use."

National Conservation Commission: "Present tax laws prevent
reforestation of cut-over land and the perpetuation of existing
forests by use. An annual tax upon the land itself, exclusive of
the timber, and a tax upon the timber when cut is well adapted
to actual conditions of forest investment and is practicable and
certain. It would insure a permanent revenue from the forest in
the aggregate far greater than is now collected, and yet be less
burdensome upon the state and upon the owner. It is better from
every side that forest land should yield a moderate tax permanently
than that it should yield an excessive revenue temporarily, and
then cease to yield at all."

H. S. Graves, Chief Forester for the U. S.: "Private owners do
not practice forestry for one or more of three reasons: 1. The
risk of fire. 2. Burdensome taxation. 3. Low prices of products."

Professor Fairchild, tax expert, Yale University: "Forestry must
come some time, and its early coming is a thing greatly to be desired.
We can hardly hope to see the general practice of forestry as long
as the present methods of taxation continue. With regard to its
effect on revenue, there is little to be feared from the tax on
yield. It is equitable and certain. _If a tax at once equitable
and dependable is guaranteed, the business of forestry will not
need to ask special favors._"


To accomplish these reforms will take law-making and law-enforcing.
However well we study existing conditions and legislate upon the
premises they furnish, success depends upon competent application
of the laws and their improvement as conditions change. It is a
bitter reproof to us of the West that Eastern states, with forest
and water resources insignificant compared to ours, have gone so
much farther in securing the services of trained men to study these
questions and to guard both private and public interests. The very
first step should be to get competent trained state foresters who
will devise wise measures, protect us from unwise ones, and educate
lumbermen and public alike to the common need of action. We pay
cheerfully for every other kind of public service, for geologists,
veterinarians, insurance commissioners, barber examiners, and what
not. But the two things we must have--wood and water--we leave
pretty much to take care of themselves, and they aren't doing it
and never will.

_The essentials of a wise state forest policy, based not on theory
but on successful experience elsewhere, are as cheap as they are
simple._ Where tried they have never been abandoned. If they pay
elsewhere, can we afford not to try? Following is the framework
of a code demanded by the situation in every Western state. Some
already approach it, but none goes far enough:


1. A State Board of Forestry selected with the single view of insuring
the most competent expert judgment on the matters with which it
deals. In other words, the board should not be political, but
appointment by the Governor should be restricted to responsible
representatives nominated by the interests most familiar with forest
management, such as state forest schools, lumbermen's associations,
forest fire associations, conservation associations and the resident
Federal forest service.

2. A trained state forester, wholly independent of politics. Executive
ability and practical forest knowledge should be considered essential,
also scientific training. He should have one or more assistants of
his own appointing.

3. A liberally supported forest fire service, in which the state
forester has ample latitude in coöperation, financial and otherwise,
with all other agencies in the same work.

4. A systematic study of forest conditions to afford basis of both
intelligent administration and desirable further legislation.

5. A system for active general popular education, with specific
advice to individuals in proper forest management.

6. Application of forestry principles to the management of state-owned
forest lands and the purchase of cut or burned over land better
suited for state than for private forestry. This is to furnish
educative examples of conservative management as well as to maintain
state revenue and proper forest conditions.

7. Improvement and strict enforcement of laws against fire and
trespass, with penalty for neglect to enforce them by any officer
who is paid to do so.

8. Encouragement of reforestation by assessing deforested land
annually on land value only, deferring taxation of forest growth
until its cutting furnishes income with which to meet the tax.

9. Thorough study of the subject of taxing standing timber, to
the end of securing a system which, by insuring a fair revenue
without enforcing bad forest management, will result in the greatest
community good.


_You, the average citizen of the West, are responsible for the
present situation and for its remedy._ Merely to agree that it is
unfortunate, and virtuously to condemn firebugs, careless lumbermen
and indifferent legislators, does not relieve you of the responsibility.
Neither will it protect you from the consequences. On the other hand,
the firebug will not fire if he knows it will not be tolerated. The
lumberman will adopt protective methods if you encourage him. The
legislator is glad to help in any way his constituents suggest.
_They are all only waiting for a word from you, whose welfare is
really at stake and from whom the word should come._

If any other principle of public safety--say suppression of fraud,
burglary or murder--was being so generally ignored, what would you
do? Would you not look up the laws of the state and find a way
of letting everyone connected with their enforcement know that you
expected them to be enforced? If you found laws or appropriations
inadequate, would you not see to it that every representative in
the legislature knew his constituents demanded improvement?

The legislator or public official is anxious to comply with the
people's wishes, but he must know what the people want. It is essential
to _let him know_ that you want a progressive and liberally supported
state policy that will save our immense forest wealth from needless




The lumber industry is undergoing a process of reorganization which
reaches to its very foundations. It is so deep-seated as to be
almost imperceptible from outward evidence, but is of profound
significance to the owner of timber land and to the public.

Hitherto lumbering in the United States has consisted chiefly of
manufacturing and selling. The raw material has occupied no consistent
place in the equation. The value it has had in fixing the price
of the finished product has been merely in its relation to
transportation. Intrinsically it has been accorded no value. This
situation continued just as long as there was practically free
Government timber to be had by opening it up.

It continues now only relatively, however. Transportation must
always remain a great factor; the timber owner is still obliged
temporarily to meet his obligations by means determined under the
old basis. Nevertheless, the moment it became impossible to get
timber to manufacture without assuming the costs of producing,
such as fire protection, taxation and interest, began an era of
inevitable natural regulation. From that time on timber began to
assume a value which, although affected by transportation facilities,
must eventually be fixed chiefly by the cost of growing other timber
to compete with it.


In other words, the value of anything is what it costs to produce
it, whether it is a tree or a box of apples. That we found our
timber orchard growing when we came to this country does not change
this law. It was suspended temporarily while any individual could
profit by the growth produced without cost, but began to operate
again when he could no longer do so. We are now in a transition
period of adjustment. The important thing to remember is that this
will not continue until the entire output has actually borne the
full cost of production, for before then investments in standing
timber will have been regulated by the same influence.

It is true that at present the cost of lumber to the consumer is not
fixed absolutely even by the cost of manufacturing and selling it,
and that on the contrary it fluctuates greatly with the willingness
of the consumer to buy. But this, except within limits, is not a
sound working out of the law of supply and demand. It is an incident
to the unsound basis of production which still prevails. So long
as a very large portion of our standing timber has not cost the
owner much in either price, protection, taxes and interest, some
of it will be put on the market at a low price in order to carry
a milling business through a depressed period, to realize money,
or for other exigency reasons. So may a wheat grower lose money on
one or two years' crops. But if in the long run the world refuses
to pay for wheat what it costs to grow it, wheat will not be grown.
The real question is whether or not the world needs forests enough
to pay for them.


It is evident, from the history of older countries, that it does.
While consumption per capita will undoubtedly decrease, population
is growing. Substitution will be necessary, but will not supplant
wood for a multitude of purposes. Much has been said about the use
of steel, concrete and like materials in building. The building
trades only use 60 per cent of our lumber today, without considering
fuel. It is unlikely that the reduction of this percentage will
very much more than offset the growth in volume of the reduced
percentage due to increased population. Fifty years ago there was
scarcely a lumber user west of the Mississippi river. We know the
settlements, mines, railroads and cities that have developed since
to use lumber. It is a poor Westerner who doubts that the next fifty
years will see a far greater development. _And the Panama Canal
is coming, with the certain result of making our fast-producing
forests able to compete successfully with Eastern and European
forest crops grown with less natural advantage._

Moreover, we now use three and a half times as much wood a year
as our forests produce. _Consequently the demand might even fall
off three and a half times and still consume the product._ And
the forest producing area diminishes constantly. Little as we now
consider the possibilities of food famine, history shows that nations
rapidly increase to the limit of their agricultural production
or beyond, and we must reckon not only on our own increase but
also upon immigration from, and export to, nations whose pressure
upon their production exceeds ours. It is certain that land now
considered too remote, rough and poor for agriculture will be put
to that use. We know that other countries do not to any considerable
extent devote land to forest that will grow food crops at all well.


Consequently it is safe to assume that within reasonable limits
the consumer will be glad to pay the cost of growing timber when he
is obliged to do so. It is also to be expected that the community
will desire to maintain a resource which employs labor, pays taxes,
and conserves stream flow. Therefore, the price of lumber will be
governed, as the price of every staple commodity is governed, by
a cost of production including reasonable profit by those engaged
in the several stages of the process. That it will include the
growing of new timber on a sound, profitable basis is proved by the
history of other countries which have undergone the same regulation.
This, after all, is the strongest argument with which to answer
the skeptic who, on premises and judgment of his own, doubts the
above conclusions. We need not claim greater prophetic ability, but
have only to make the undeniable assertion that hindsight is better
than foresight. Nothing demonstrates economic laws so irrefutably
as experience.

Less than 29 per cent of the land area of the United States is
occupied by forests today, including swamps, burns and much land
which will be devoted to agriculture. Germany, where great economy
of material is practiced, where wooden buildings are far fewer,
where, indeed, the per capita consumption is only a seventh of
ours, keeps _26 per cent_ of her land area under the most expensive
forest management _and finds the profit constantly increasing_. She
is increasing her production and importing heavily from countries
where lumber is cheap, like the United States, yet the net returns
per acre from the forests of Baden rose from $2.38 in 1880 to $5.08
in 1902. This was due hugely, of course, to improvement of management.
In France lands which only fifty years ago could not be sold for
$4 an acre now bring an annual revenue of $3. In 1903 the town
forest of Winterthur, Switzerland, brought net receipts of $11.69
an acre. These are fair examples in countries where the influence
tending toward less use of wood have been working for a very long
time. They show such influences do not result in refusal to pay the
cost of growing all the wood that can be grown. Wood consumption
in European countries is increasing at a rate of from 1-1/2 to 2 per
cent a year. In other words, the consumers are actually willing to
pay for more wood than they have found necessary, and are warranting
the growers in adopting still more expensive methods to increase
the output. Nor has forest growing proved to be possible only by
the State or Government. In Germany 46.5 per cent of the forest
area is owned privately, in Austria 61 per cent, in France 65 per
cent, in Norway 70 per cent. While it is true that the European
private owner has better tax and fire conditions, it must also
be remembered that the value of the land on which he makes the
growing crop yield a good dividend is about ten times as high as
it now is in the United States.

The prospective grower of new timber in the American West can expect
equal profit here at some time. His chief concern is whether its
foreshadowing influences are sufficiently strong at present. To
determine this he must consider the probable attitude of the public
and of the lumbermen themselves.


To the consumer the principles previously outlined mean that the
price of lumber will rise somewhat. Indeed, he must expect that,
regardless of the production factor, for the timber owner cannot
pay taxes, prevent fire, and keep his money tied up, all for a
considerable period, and still sell the material as cheap as he
could before these expenses accrued. It also means that if the
consumer fails to recognize and concede these principles it will
be at his own sacrifice. Too low prices now merely mean too high
prices in the early future, for they will not permit protection,
economy or reforestation. He must eventually, and not far hence,
pay the total cost of production. It is urgently to his interest
not to add to this by preventing production and thus permitting the
owner of the timber already produced to speculate on the approaching

The danger of this can be illustrated by a comparison. Suppose
three-quarters of the apple growers of the country, either through
ignorance of the principles of their industry or through shortage
of money with which to pay their debts, should be forced for a
considerable period to accept a price for their crop so low that
after paying current bills they were obliged to neglect their orchards
absolutely, without plowing, fencing or spraying. Suppose further
that the public should also destroy a large portion of the orchards,
as the forests are by fire, and also overtax the land so as to
complete the discouragement. Clearly apples would immediately go
up. A few growers would doubtless escape absolute destruction and
these, as long as their orchards lasted, would demand a price
overbalancing many times the saving the consumer made temporarily
while he was destroying the industry. Everyone concerned would be
worse off than if prices had remained just high enough to maintain
an adequate supply.

It is improbable, however, that the consumer will ever voluntarily
pay more than he has to, even if it is to his ultimate advantage.
The most that can be hoped is that as the public at large comes
to understand the situation, it will not support him in the claim
that injustice is being done by the rises he is forced to meet
as conditions adjust themselves. His reluctance will retard, but
not stop, the progress of good forest management.


On the other hand, it is reasonable to suppose that the people of
the timber-producing states will gradually come to see that their
interest, as well as that of the lumberman, is to be furthered
by placing the industry on a sound basis. Selling more lumber than
they consume, they will not rejoice over low prices any more than
a wheat state does over the fall of wheat because it uses some
flour, but they will be equally unable to exert much stiffening
influence on the price. Consequently they will probably attempt to
sustain the industry by increasing production. But in this attempt
they will consider immediate community advantage first, future
community advantage next, and the lumberman's advantage only as it
is incidental. And such measures as they endorse they are likely
to enforce by law.

We see, then, that two forces are making for the better handling of
our forest resources; the economic necessity of the public and the
business advantage of the owner. Both demand the maximum production.
Obviously, since their aims are identical, each has to gain from
earnest coöperation. Neither can succeed alone, for the owner cannot
go far against hostile laws or sentiment, and the public cannot
accomplish half as much by compulsion as by encouraging the owner.
But the great danger to each lies in mutual distrust, which defers
the establishment of effective coöperation.


The primary and all-important moral which all this points out to
the lumberman is that his position under coming conditions will
be largely what he makes it by his own attitude. With the rapidity
with which he gets into a position where his voice is listened to
as unselfish and authoritative on the conservation subject, will
his influence on the new conditions be measured. Therefore, he
must study the subject. He must be able to support good laws and
oppose bad laws with facts and arguments which will stand scrutiny.
Above all, he must show faith by practicing what he preaches so
far as he is able. He must show conclusively the injustice of the
public suspicion from which he suffers.

Conservative forest management has three essentials: Protection,
utilization and reproduction. The last particularly depends on the
first. The timber owner cannot protect adequately alone. Before he
can expect much public help, however, he must show his willingness
to do his share, for the state will not assume the whole burden.
The progressive members of the industry have shown it already, and
the result is evident in the commencement of the states to help.
Their help will increase in the proportion that private effort

Presumably it will be the same with reforestation. With the fire
hazard lessened there will remain the obstacle of overtaxation on
property returning no income with which to meet it. The public
will doubtless soon see that this is bad for the community, but
will hesitate to forego present revenue in order to reap greater
future revenue until convinced that the owner will actually reforest
if given the chance. Even if no actual desire to take advantage
is ascribed, there may be fear that he will make no active effort
to start and protect the second crop, but will merely continue
the course of least expense in the hope that a new forest will
establish itself, with little to lose if it fails. Before he will
receive the encouragement he deserves, he must prove his good faith.
The surest way to do this is to begin actual work now, where he
can without certainty of failure. Unfortunately, this is often
impossible, but he can at least study and experiment so he can
argue convincingly that mutual success will follow reasonable


Let us assume, then, that it is best for the lumberman to start the
practice of forestry for the purpose of strengthening his position
and getting the most favorable conditions possible for its general
adoption and continuance. How much does he depend upon success in
this? Obviously, early public favor will hasten and add to the
security of forest growing as a business, but is it absolutely
essential? Do existing conditions and inevitable future conditions,
regardless of public intelligence, furnish premises upon which we
can calculate certain profit in some degree?

This depends upon the circumstances of the individual investor.
Without an expectation of more favorable fire and tax influences,
reforestation cannot be universally recommended as a business
proposition. Many timber owners are not warranted in undertaking
it. Not enough are warranted in doing so to insure the future timber
supply upon which public welfare depends. Nevertheless, there are
conditions under which it is a good investment. It is even probable
that for those who are well situated, the very obstacles which deter
others will be advantageous through reducing competition. _This
fact is of peculiar significance to the public, for if the latter
fails to stimulate reforestation generally it will play directly into
the hands of the few who are independent of encouragement_.

It is customary, in speculating upon the profits of a second timber
crop, to attempt to reduce it to a financial calculation based upon
estimated yield, estimated future values and estimated carrying
charges. These considerations are important, but their importance is
largely in proportion to the financial weakness of the prospective
timber grower. We revert again to the practical certainty that unless
reforestation is general, the exhaustion of virgin timber will be
followed by a shortage, and that the man who has a second crop at that
time can obtain a price which will reimburse his carrying charges
be they high or low. The cost of overcoming present obstacles will
be shifted to the consumer. The possibility of such an investment
is determined largely by ability to maintain a protective system
with economy and to bear the expense of this and of heavy taxation
during the period of no return.

In short, the weakness of the ordinary financial calculation upon
existing conditions is that it attempts to estimate future stumpage
values without knowledge of the true factor which will determine
them. This factor is not the probable rise of existing stumpage
while it continues to exist, but is the extent of the new-grown
supply which will follow it provided existing conditions remain
unchanged. It is inconsistent to figure the cost upon almost prohibitive
present conditions without also recognizing that such conditions, if
continued, will completely change the influences which now determine
the market.


On the other hand, timber owners have by no means equal opportunity
to take advantage of this fact. The productive capacity of their
land varies, their taxes vary, the extent and location of their
holdings affects the expense of protection against fire, and they
have not the same facilities for financing a long term investment.
It is the balance of these factors that determine their opportunity.
Assuming rate of timber growth to be equal, present fire and tax
conditions classify them in relative advantage about as follows:

1. Owners of large holdings of virgin timber who can meet carrying
charges by occasional sales at a profit over their purchase price,
but will not sell much more than is necessary because all they
can afford to hold is advancing in value. Such owners have more
or less land deforested by fire or their own milling operations,
and will incline to sell only stumpage without land. This land is
not easily realized upon at present, and for the speculative reason
stated, they will continue in business long enough to grow a new
crop on it. The larger their holdings, the greater the certainty of
this and the cheaper, relatively, the cost of protection. Moreover,
concerns dealing with large and long term investments can consider
a lower interest rate.

2. Owners with less facility for making an actual profit through
growing timber, but desiring to maintain a milling business. Even
if the cost of growing approaches or equals the value of the crop,
they will be able to count on continued manufacturing profit.

(Both of the above classes face a possibility of so heavy a tax on
their virgin timber in some instances that they will be obliged to
cut it and go out of business. This is unlikely to occur generally,
however, for tax reform is almost inevitable, and it would have a
compensatory effect of enhancing the value of the second crop.)

3. Owners whose holdings are not large enough to keep them in business
until a second crop matures but are advantageously located. Second
growth need not be mature to have a value. As the present supply
diminishes, available coming supply will gain a high expectation
value which can be realized upon. The profit it offers will be
largely determined by its proximity to market and especially by its
proximity to established mills which see their own supply running
short and have failed, through inability or lack of foresight, to
engage in reforestation themselves. It will also be affected by
tax and fire charges, and the latter, especially, will be largely
a matter of location.

4. The owner with no peculiar advantages, who can only set the
general certainty of a market for second growth against his ability
to carry a costly and uncertain investment for an indeterminate

Of course a first consideration in most cases is the comparative
profits of other possible investments or, in other words, the exact
interest demanded as satisfactory. Individuals are in by no means
the same position in this respect by either inclination, opportunity
or talent. Where one might be safer with his money in timber, another
could make more by manufacturing. Generally speaking, however,
conservative judgment leads to the conclusion that the present
attitude of the public warrants the first of the above four classes
of owners in undertaking inexpensive reforestation where the land
has little sale value for other purposes and where the growth and
fire factors are reasonably favorable. The second class can also
undertake it to advantage on much the same basis, but having less
capacity for meeting the carrying charge, requires still more favorable
conditions. The third class must have the maximum advantage of
every kind. It must calculate closely on the factors of cost and
profit indicated by present conditions. In most cases the risk
will be too great for prudence, and in nearly all financial ability
will be lacking. The fourth class cannot even consider it until
the public's attitude changes.


On the other hand, it is reasonable to suppose that publicly-imposed
obstacles will decrease. It will become apparent that their persistence
is bad economy. Fires will grow fewer and the state will aid in
patrol. Reforestation in itself is a method of fire prevention
when it places a green young growth on a fire-inviting tract of
sun-dried litter and weeds. Taxation will be deferred. As the country
develops interest rates will fall; making it easier to carry forest
investments and harder to gain more through other investments. The
state itself will engage more and more in forestry, with the result
of making its principles understood and endorsed. Stumpage values will
increase. Immature timber will have a sale value, lessening the term
of investment. Gradually the business will get on a sound production
basis, better for the consumer, better for the state supported by
a forest income, and more profitable for the grower. Instead of
capitalizing bad management and the sacrifice of the consumer,
which in effect it does now by forcing the prospective grower to
calculate on covering unnecessary cost in the price received, it
will capitalize the earning power of forest land.

While final adjustment on this basis is still in the future, it is
by no means entirely dependent upon popular foresight. The process
is going on constantly, whether we know it or not. The sun is still
behind the horizon, but the day is sure. Many Western timber owners
are still in too dim a light to make their footsteps certain; others
have a high vantage ground where dawn already lights the path.




Whether the lumberman's judgment of economic influences leads him to
be optimistic or otherwise as to the profit of forestry in general,
he is most interested in the particular forest with which he has
to deal. He can neither accept nor dismiss the proposition
intelligently, much less put his ideas into actual practice, without
knowing something of the capability of his land to respond to his
effort. "What methods are best, what will they cost, and what will
be the result?" are questions which arise at the very outset. They
lead at once into the domain of technical forestry.

With us forestry has not been practiced long enough to furnish
demonstrated examples with which to answer such questions. We can,
however, profit by experience gained elsewhere, for the laws which
govern tree life are as universal as those which govern the life of
men and animals. In dealing with new species and new environments
we have no great difficulty in judging their future from their
past, which lies written plainly for those who care to study it.

While to some extent trees require elements obtainable only from
the soil, they are more independent in this respect than most other
forms of vegetation. Soil influences forest trees mainly by its
physical character, especially as this determines the moisture
contents. Very little nourishment is actually taken out of the
soil for, as someone has said, wood is nothing but air solidified
by sunshine. A tree's immense and complicated foliage system is
the laboratory with which it effects this transformation.

Since air exists everywhere and the chemical quality of the soil
is comparatively unimportant, the requirements of different species
for light, heat and moisture are what mainly determine their
distribution and habits of growth. And since heat and moisture are
largely climatic factors and fairly uniform in given localities,
it follows that the demand of a species upon light may practically
fix its habits and possibilities in those localities. The very great
variance of species in light requirement accounts to a large extent
for the composition of most primeval forests. It is of peculiar
importance in the management of forests by man because he cannot
control it as he may be able to control some of the other agencies
which affected the primeval forest, such as fire or seed supply.


It would be unprofitable to discuss here all the many methods of
forest management which have proved to be best, technically, for
given species and combinations of species. Where market and
transportation facilities are highly favorable, as in Europe, the
timber owner can adopt the method which will bring the best results,
but here he has no such choice. He can but bear in mind certain
fundamental principles, uniformly applicable to large areas for
considerable periods of time. Roughly, however, our Western forests
can be classified by their adaptability to the two directly opposite
systems, known as clean cutting and selection cutting, of which
almost all methods are modifications.

A selection forest is one in which all ages of trees exist, from
seedling to maturity. It is the natural growth of species which
are tolerant of shade. In a natural state, undisturbed by cutting,
it maintains much the same aspect continuously, for as the oldest
trees die, their place is taken by younger ones. Obviously such a
forest must be composed of species, whether one or several, which
can grow beneath its own shade. The understories of varying ages
are as dense as their light requirements and the density of the
overwood permit.

The common hardwood forests of the East illustrate one type of
the natural selection forest. On the Pacific slope an example is
afforded by hemlock, either practically pure or mixed with white
fir, but probably the most typical is the ordinary Western yellow
pine under certain conditions. At its best this tree composes a
forest so dense that all young growth is shaded out, but everyone
is familiar with the frequent opener stand containing all ages.
The younger trees are often called blackjack.


On the other hand, trees extremely intolerant of shade occur only
in what the forester calls even-aged forests. Being unable to start
in the darkness of an existing stand of any considerable density,
they must seize opportunities to recover openings. The Douglas
fir of the Northwest, more commonly called red or yellow fir, is
an excellent illustration. In the interior states this species
reproduces under cover to some extent, because there is a stronger
light average throughout the year and because the stand is not so
dense. In the typical Douglas fir forests of Oregon and Washington,
discussed in this booklet, it never does so. While hemlock, cedar
and white fir undergrowth may be abundant, Douglas fir seedlings
are seldom seen except in burns, slashings, roads, or open spots
in the woods. And the fir trees composing the dominant stand are
of nearly the same age.

How, then, did this even-aged fir forest begin? Close scrutiny
will practically always find the answer in fragments of charred
wood. Long ago another similar forest occupied the ground until
lightning or an Indian's fire started a new cycle. Possibly recurring
burns swept the area many times before wind-blown seeds began to
start advance groups of fir, which, when fifteen or twenty years
old, themselves fruited and filled the blanks between them. Perhaps
destruction was not so complete and surviving trees made the process
a swifter one. Except in the very oldest forests, where remains
of the original stand have entirely rotted away, the history in
either case may be read in ancient snags and fallen logs.

Suppose, however, that fire had not come to aid the fir in perpetuating
itself? This, too, we can answer from the signs today. Every
Northwestern woodsman knows tracts of varying size (usually small
because fire has been almost universal) covered with big old hemlock,
white fir and cedar, with here and there a dying giant fir, perhaps,
but mainly showing fir occupancy only by rotting stumps and logs. No
sign of fire is seen. When this fir forest was approaching middle
age, the shade bearing species began to appear beneath it. As the
firs began to crowd themselves out, the later comers shot up with
the increased light and filled the open places. At last the even-aged
fir forest was completely transformed into a selection forest of
other trees, which will remain until some accident again gives
fir a chance if any survives near enough to reach the spot with

Douglas fir is not the only Western tree which usually grows in
even-aged stands. Lodgepole pine has the same habit, often supplanting
yellow pine after fire or logging. Western white pine is perhaps more
tolerant than Douglas fir, hence more likely to hold its own without
artificial aid, but is also more certain to compete successfully
if it has such aid. The same is true of tamarack.


We thus see that if economic reasons suggest it, we may use the
selection system as a basis for artificially managing the shade
bearing species such as hemlock, white fir, cedar, spruce, and even
Western yellow pine. We may cut the largest and oldest trees and
still have a well started second crop. If there is not much young
growth to leave, even a little is valuable. It may be decidedly
best to leave medium sized trees, which otherwise we would cut,
because they are still growing rapidly.

On the other hand, we see that this method would not be of any
advantage at all in insuring a second crop of Douglas fir, for
there is no young growth of this species to protect. The small and
medium sized trees, instead of being immature, are merely stunted
specimens of the same age as their larger brothers and unlikely
to gain in size if left. Selection cutting here would save for
future use only such understory of shade-bearing species as may
exist. Unless this is an object, the best plan is to cut clean and
get all we can. If we leave any fir at all it is for the purpose of
reseeding, not to secure better utilization of the trees themselves,
and whether we do so depends, theoretically at least, upon whether it
is better than artificial seeding or planting. In short, selection
cutting harvests the ripest trees of a perpetual forest, while
clean cutting destroys the forest in order to start an entirely
new and more rapid growing one.

Clean cutting is therefore necessary as well as natural in dealing
with intolerant trees. But it does not follow that the selection
system, although natural to tolerant species, is the only one adaptable
to them. While the one class demands light, the other does not
demand shade. It is merely capable of enduring it. Indeed, except
for the greater susceptibility of some species to extreme heat
and dryness when very young, as a rule shade bearing trees grow
much better if they do have ample light supply. Consequently clean
cutting may be the best system for these also under certain economic

Besides its influence upon the occurrence of species in the forest,
light practically governs the physical form of the individual tree.
If grown in an opening and not artificially pruned, a tree will have
a conical trunk and living branches almost down to the ground. The
denser and consequently darker the forest, the more cylindrical the
trunk, the smaller the crown of branches and the greater the clear
length. The individual tree has no object in assuming a desirable
commercial form and does so only when deprived of side light by
numerous neighbors. Then it sacrifices diameter growth to height
growth in reaching for the top light necessary for its life. At
the same time the lower branches are killed by shade and drop off,
the scars being healed and eventually buried. The pin knots near
the center of a big clear log are the remains of branches which
when living were at the top of the young tree.

This is why, if it is to produce good timber, any forest must be
dense enough to cover the ground throughout the early part of its
life at least. When we see an excellent clear stand of mature Douglas
fir, for example, we may know that it consists of the comparatively
few survivors of a close sapling growth in which the weak were
gradually killed out after serving their office of pruning and
forcing the vigorous. Had only the trees we now see been on the
ground they would be worthless except for firewood. For the same
reason artificial forest planting must be thick, although the fillers
or nurse trees may be of inferior species if not of so rapid growth
as to gain the mastery.

Nature teaches many lessons which we must recognize in artificial
management or fail, but she is no more the best grower of forest
crops than she is of agricultural crops. We have to study natural
methods of forest perpetuation to see how they may be improved upon
as much as to adopt them as models. As a rule the virgin forest is
exceedingly wasteful of ground. The possibilities under intelligent
care are not indicated by nature's average, but by her accidental
best, and usually they far exceed even this. A fair comparison is
that of scientific farming with unsystematic gleaning from wild
and untended fields. The foregoing general principles of forest
growth have been purposely outlined very briefly so as to serve
as a mere introduction to their application or modification in
concrete cases.


DOUGLAS FIR (_Pseudotsuga taxifolia_)

Compared with most important commercial trees, the Northwestern
Douglas fir is remarkably easy to reproduce. It is an abundant
seeder, grows very rapidly, and inhabits a region with every climatic
advantage. In the typical fir districts of Oregon and Washington
deforested land which escapes recurring fire is usually restocked
naturally and with astonishing rapidity.

The exceptions to this rule are where the destruction of seed trees
has been wide and absolute, where already established competing
species are not removed with the original forest, and where the
surviving fir is too old to seed. The two latter conditions are
most prevalent near the coast, where the wet climate not only tends
to protect slashings from fire and thus preserve the undergrowth of
shade bearing species which escapes logging, but has also prevented
the accidental destruction in the past of the original fir stand
by fire.

In considering these natural results as they bear upon proposed
methods, we find actual destruction of seed supply the easiest
to avoid. If the original stand contains suitable seed trees we
can protect a sufficient number of them. If not, or if it is less
expensive, we can secure seed elsewhere. More frequent difficulty
will lie in determining whether the reproduction of fir should
be the sole effort, or whether it should not be sacrificed, if
necessary, in order to utilize an existing start toward a second
crop of other species. This is of peculiar and early importance,
for it usually also decides the question of protecting the slashing
from fire.

If the present stand is nearly pure fir, or if other species are
represented almost wholly by merchantable trees, there will be no
young growth worth saving. A new crop must be started from seed, and
since fir is the quickest and easiest to grow, as well as probably
the most valuable, it should be given every encouragement.

_Slash Burning and Its Exceptions._

In most cases this requires burning the ground after logging, not
only to reduce the future fire risk but also to provide a suitable
seedbed. Fir much prefers mineral soil to start in, as is easily
seen from the far greater frequency of seedlings on road grades
than on adjacent undisturbed ground covered with humus and rotten
wood. Hemlock has no such fastidiousness, even preferring rotten
wood as a seedbed. To protect the slashing from fire, therefore,
both preserves the most unfavorable conditions for fir and subjects
it to unnecessary competition by its rival. Hemlock seedlings already
established, seeds lying on the ground, and surrounding or surviving
trees which may scatter more seed, are all encouraged to shade and
stifle the struggling fir seedlings already handicapped by dislike
for their situation.

On the other hand, a large proportion of what we now consider typically
fir forest has a vigorous ground cover of hemlock and cedar which may
become merchantable many years before an entirely new fir crop can be
grown. The presumably greater value of the latter may be consumed by
the heavier carrying charge before returns are available. Certainly
if the promise of profit from other species and the difficulty of
establishing fir both reach the extreme, protection of the growth
already started is the best forestry if it is practicable. Moreover,
there may be considerable young growth of other species under conditions
which do not preclude satisfactory additional reseeding by fir.

When the owner is in position to plan far into the future, like the
Government or State, he may seek a temporary compromise, although
expecting eventually to secure pure fir. In such a case it may often
be best to utilize a first new crop of hemlock, but on harvesting
this a few decades hence to burn clean and start the next rotation
with fir only.

_Conditions Vary Methods._

Between conditions clearly suggesting one course or another, all
gradations will present themselves and no written rule can be given
for determining the dividing line. Much depends upon future relative
values of species, upon which the owner will have his own opinion.
More depends upon the character of existing young growth and consequent
adaptability to changed conditions after logging. Even a very thick
stand of young hemlock is unlikely to produce much if the overwood
has been very dense, for much of it may be so old and stunted by shade
that sudden advent of strong light will result merely in distorted
worthless branch growth or in killing it outright. Occasional vigorous
young trees just under present merchantable size are of doubtful
value because they are likely to blow down. The most promising
class of undergrowth found in fir forests of the Northwest is where
there has been sufficient light to produce a fairly thick stand
of young hemlock or cedar from five to fifty feet high.

If the undergrowth from which any second crop may develop is
insufficient to be worth much consideration, and reseeding must
be depended upon entirely, there may still be a question as to
species. If ample natural supply of fir seed can be expected, slash
burning is indicated. But if not and the owner is not prepared to
undertake the expense of artificial seeding, while at the same
time there is a promising natural hemlock supply, burning has no
object except the reduction of future fire risk. It may even retard
hemlock reproduction, both by destroying part of the seed supply
and by encouraging the growth of brakes on the area. The question
here is a really financial one. The cost of planting fir under these
conditions may be more than reimbursed by the resultant more valuable
and rapid growing crop. The owner must do his own conjecturing as
to future comparative values of the species.

So far we have discussed slash burning only in its sylvicultural
relation, finding that it encourages Douglas fir reproduction and
is consequently advisable in Northwestern Douglas fir types unless
there is an exceptionally promising second growth already started.
The balance will be further in its favor, in doubtful cases, because
of the protective feature. This is discussed more fully in another
chapter, but it is well to recall here that immunity from recurring
fire is the first essential of profitable reforestation. To secure
second growth by treatment which threatens its destruction later
is bad management unless the original saving is ample to cover
subsequent greater cost of protection. This is seldom the case.

_How to Reseed the Area._

Dismissing the exceptions noted, and returning to our rule that
another crop of Douglas fir is usually the best secured by following
nature--cutting practically clean, burning the ground and starting
a new even-aged stand--we have still to consider means of getting
this stand started. We may depend upon natural reseeding from trees
preserved for the purpose or from the surrounding forest, or we
may resort to planting. What are the comparative advantages of
these two methods and the circumstances governing choice between

Hitherto, students of the subject have inclined to favor natural
reproduction. The very general second growth on deforested land
where no aid has been given indicates that excellent results will
follow slight assistance. Red fir fruits frequently and profusely,
and the seeds carry well in the wind. Burns have been known to
restock fully from seed blown from forested hills a mile or more
away. Moreover, while planting always involves initial expense,
sometimes much may be done to insure natural seeding with little
or no actual outlay.

There is danger, however, that in many instances this economy will
be more apparent than real if it is effected by actually leaving much
value in seed trees. Abroad and in the East there is comparatively
little loss in leaving even a fourth or fifth of the original stand
to furnish seed. The individual trees left may be good seeders,
although small. Little capital is tied up in them and they may
be utilized later to equal advantage. A mature fir forest of the
Pacific coast may have no small fruiting trees at all, and if left
such are likely to be knocked down in logging. To leave 20 per
cent of the large trees standing would sometimes tie up 20,000
feet to the acre, worth $40 or $50. Age and windfall may cause loss
equal to stumpage increase; moreover, they can never be utilized
without the same expense for roads and machinery that is necessary
in the original logging. The second crop will not be allowed to
reach a size requiring such equipment. In considering possible
windfall loss, not the normal wind but the possible maximum storm
within the entire life of the second crop must be reckoned with.

It is probably safe to say of mature Pacific coast fir that leaving
enough merchantable timber on a cutting area for adequate seeding
costs more than to use it and restock. Restocking can be done for
$2 to $10 an acre, which would leave a decided margin for profit
on the seed trees. And if we undertake to reduce this balance by
leaving very few seed trees, we decrease the certainty of successful
reproduction and increase the danger of entire failure through
windfall or accidental destruction when we burn the slashing. It
cannot be denied, however, that fire after planting would result
in complete loss, while seed trees might restock the area again
and again after such accidents.

_Natural Reproduction._

On the other hand, natural reproduction does not always require
the leaving of merchantable timber on the cutting area. Frequently
there are enough crooked or conky trees to serve the purpose. These
defects are not directly transmissible through seed to the offspring,
although conk is infectious and the young crop should be protected
by the removal of the diseased parents after it is well started.

Again, seeding from adjacent timber can often be relied upon. This
is a question of economy in logging operations, lay of the ground,
prevailing wind direction, fertility of the stand and other local
considerations. A valley with healthy fir woods on either side is
likely to seed up promptly even if a half mile wide. So is a flat
at the leeward foot of a hill timbered on the summit where the
wind strikes. A cutting on a ridge is correspondingly unlikely to
restock. Theoretically if a tract of timber were large enough, it
could be opened up by logging operations which, instead of proceeding
steadily from one edge, might skip every other landing or so until
the most remote portion was reached after a few years, and then
work back again, cleaning up the neglected portions after they
had seeded the first openings. The same effect sometimes results
from actual accidental practice.

It is apparent that rules cannot be laid down for general application.
Generally speaking, a logger interested in fir reforestation should
study his ground to see if naturally, or, with inexpensive aid, the
cut-over area will not reseed from the sides and from the cull trees
he will leave uncut. If not, he may leave a few merchantable seed
bearing trees provided the soil is such as to make them deep-rooted
and wind-firm. Groups are better than single trees because less
likely to be blown down and easier to protect from the slashing
fire. More should be left toward the windward edge. But before
tieing up any considerable sum in merchantable trees he should
consider the cost and safety of supplementing any shortage of natural
supply by artificial seeding.

WESTERN HEMLOCK (_Tsuga heterophylla_)

Since hemlock is so frequently associated with Douglas fir, the
principles governing its reproduction and its relative promise as a
second crop have necessarily been largely covered in the preceding
discussion of fir. The following remarks are merely additional.

We have seen that the perpetuation of hemlock is advisable only
where fir reproduction is difficult to obtain or will be at too
great a sacrifice of valuable existing hemlock. The first of these
conditions is confined chiefly to pure hemlock stands and to coast
regions where the fir is often too old to seed well. The second
may exist on the coast or in certain moist interior regions where
there is a heavy hemlock undergrowth. In either case natural hemlock
reproduction will be counted upon, both because it is practically
certain to occur and because if it were not certain and artificial
aid were necessary, we would abandon hemlock entirely and devote
our efforts to fir. In short, discussion of hemlock as a second
crop need not include systematic attempts to seed the ground but
may be confined to protection of what we have to begin with.

In a straight hemlock proposition, the protection question may
differ considerably from that involved by deciding between fir
and hemlock. In the latter case, because of the assistance of fire
to fir, the growth already on the ground must have considerable
value to warrant foregoing the several advantages of slash burning.
In the former, slash burning has no object except to reduce future
risk. The inference is that a much less promising stock of young
growth is worth protecting.

While this is true, there is danger of overestimating its value,
especially if care is not taken in logging. It has been remarked
that suppressed misshapen hemlock is not apt to make a healthy
growth, that windfall is a peril, and that if the previous shade has
been heavy, sudden opening to sunlight may be fatal. It should also
be remembered that even slightly injured young hemlock is worthless,
for it is almost certain to be attacked by borers. Anything which
deadens a small portion of the bark like axe blazes, fire scorch,
or scars from strap leads, is dangerous. Hemlock is more liable than
fir to general defects like black streak, borers, fungous disease
and mistletoe, therefore investment in reforestation needs the
maximum safeguard against them. In many instances better results may
be obtained from a new healthy seedling stand following a purifying
fire, even at some loss of time, than from well started young growth
which is unhealthy and likely not only to fail itself but also to
infect any seedlings which may come in among it. Consequently if
the slashing is not large, and reproduction from the sides may be
counted on, the above considerations, coupled with the reduction
of future fire risk, may suggest slash burning just as in the case
of fir. The remarks apply particularly if it is considered necessary
to log as clean as possible.

With a good, healthy start toward a new forest, however, it will
usually be best to keep fire out, for the material saved will warrant
greater expense in protection during the growing period. Representative
tracts, both on the coast and in the Cascades, have been studied
which showed that, with care in lumbering, enough good young hemlock
too small for logs or skids could be saved after present-day logging
of a heavy mixed fir and hemlock stand to produce in fifty years
11,000 or 12,000 feet of timber over 14 inches in diameter. This
would not be wholly additional to the second crop of seedlings
which might be produced if these trees were not preserved, for
the ground and light they use would be denied to the seedlings,
but undoubtedly the yield would be greater than could be secured
if they were destroyed.

This means that under similar conditions we may go still further
and actually apply the selection system, especially if the original
stand is nearly pure hemlock. So far we have discussed areas left
by present-day logging methods. Suppose, however, the owner of a
good tract of hemlock, having decided that conditions do not warrant
trying to get fir, is willing to modify his methods for the sake of
better hemlock returns at some future cutting. He would probably
do best to take out only the mature trees, leaving everything which
is still growing with fair rapidity. Greater light will stimulate
these immensely as well as encourage further seeding of the ground.
The few merchantable trees he spares, together with those now
unmerchantable, will, in perhaps twenty years, make another excellent
crop. By leaving a fairly dense stand he prevents the windfall
danger which threatens the survivors of too vigorous cutting, and
also prevents them from assuming the branchy form of trees which
receive too much side light. The fire danger is much reduced by
resultant shading of the ground and slightly by the lesser cover of
debris. In short, he makes the most economical use of the ground,
and the capital represented by the trees he spares is well invested.

To sum up, hemlock lends itself to almost every form of management.
Determination as to which is most advisable is governed by its
extremely variable manner of occurrence and by the local promise
offered by associate species. The foregoing discussion can only
serve as suggestive when considering given conditions.

WESTERN CEDAR (_Thuya plicata_)

Except for small swamp and river bottom areas, where the land is
likely to be more valuable for agriculture than for forest culture,
pure cedar stands are not common. Therefore it is as a component of
mixed stands that cedar is likely to become a problem in conservative
management. To some extent it presents a peculiar question by being
taken out alone for special purposes, such as poles and bolts,
independent of ordinary logging of sawtimber.

Western cedar is a typically shade-bearing tree and also endures
much ground moisture. Its occurrence as an under story and in swamps
does not indicate that it always requires such conditions, however,
but more often means merely that they protected it from competition
or from destruction by fire. Charred remains of very large, fine
cedar are often found on comparatively dry slopes where fire has
resulted in complete occupation by fir at present. Cedar's failure
to reappear there after removal is probably because its thin bark and
shallow roots allowed its destruction by a fire which was survived
by some better protected fir seed trees. Nevertheless, cedar must
be classified as a moisture-loving species and occupies dry soils
only in coast or mountain localities where there is a compensating
heavy rainfall.

Reproduction and management of western cedar have not been sufficiently
studied to warrant very positive conclusions. This neglect is probably
due to a wide belief that in spite of its present commercial importance,
its place in the future forest will be small. It most commonly occurs
with other trees in heavy stands, which make the preservation of any
young cedar difficult because of the destructiveness of logging. Being
of comparatively slow growth, also persistent in retaining branches
when grown in the light, it is not as promising for artificial
reproduction as Douglas fir or white pine. To let it become old
enough for good shingle material will be too expensive to pay,
for roofing is one of the wood products easiest to substitute for.
While cedar is adapted for poles, posts and other underground use,
less decay-resisting species can be made equally durable by chemical
treatment. In other words, as a second crop it is probably below
other species in ease of establishment, rapidity and quantity, and
will not have sufficient peculiar value to compensate for consequent
less economical use of the ground.

There may be exceptions to this rule. Good young cedar in forests
which are to be handled under the selection system should be carefully
protected. It can always be utilized and may bring revenue before
anything else can be cut. For the same reason it has been suggested
for planting with fir and white pine, either simultaneously as a
small proportion or later in blank spaces where the others fail.
Under such conditions the main stand will not be modified and the
cedar will afford a valuable adjunct.

SITKA SPRUCE (_Picea sitchensis_)

Although found in the moister mountain regions, this exceedingly
valuable tree seldom occurs to a commercially important extent
except along the coast, where it is common on swales and fertile
benches and in river bottoms often forms pure stands of great density.
Yields of 100,000 feet an acre are not unusual and the trees are
very large. It is also common, although of small size, in swamps.

This spruce reproduces readily in openings, whether made by fire
or cutting. Unthrifty specimens may be found under shade, but
considerable light is necessary for successful development. Even
then, height growth in youth averages slower than that of fir or
hemlock. The leader shoot is likely to die, so that hardly more
than 25 per cent of the young trees establish a regular form of
growth before a height of 20 or 30 feet is reached. After this
stage spruce grows uniformly and rapidly, still somewhat slower
than fir in height but exceeding it in diameter. The branches are
slow to die, however, so that the tree remains bushy for most of its
length until it reaches 60 or 80 feet in height, and even afterward
a dense stand is required to clear it. In many pure spruce forests
the larger trees have been able to withstand the pruning influences
and remain limby, while the smaller ones, being pushed in height
growth to reach sufficient light for survival, have cleared themselves
with remarkable rapidity.

The natural occurrence of Sitka spruce, except in Alaska, is probably
limited chiefly to situations where it escapes competition, in
youth at least, with the more hardy and rapid-growing species. It
has the greatest advantage over these on river bottoms and flats
where there is a dense growth of deciduous brush and where the
soil is very wet in spring. In considering it as a possible second
crop, the same competition must be remembered. Whether seeding is
natural or artificial, the extent to which it will hold its own
with any considerable quantity of other species is doubtful. If
such are present and the situation is adapted to them, any expensive
effort to get spruce merely by modifying methods of logging or
handling the slash is certainly likely to be disappointing. Under
the conditions mentioned as peculiarly favorable for spruce, gradual
natural restocking may be expected if some seed supply is preserved,
but since the growth is rather slow and a thin stand will remain
limby, it may pay to hasten returns by supplementary artificial
planting. Some authorities question the financial practicability
of this on the ground that since spruce is of slower growth it will
pay better to use the ground for fir, but the latter is unlikely
to be true of bottom land.

After summing all its advantages, the peculiar merits of spruce for
certain purposes should be weighed, for sufficiently higher stumpage
value will compensate for delay in harvesting the crop. Moreover,
Sitka spruce has not been as thoroughly studied by foresters as
the more prominent Western trees, and while the foregoing notes
represent general present opinion, further figures on rate of height
growth may be more encouraging. There is no doubt that diameter
increase is rapid from the start. Most of the disadvantages mentioned
also decrease toward the southern limit of the spruce range, the
growth on the Oregon Coast being rapid.

WESTERN YELLOW PINE (_Pinus ponderosa_)

In this species we have the important western conifer which most
often permits the selection system of management. With certain
exceptions in which the entire stand is mature, the object of
conservative logging should be to remove trees past the age of rapid
growth and foster those that remain for a later cut. When comprising
the entire stand, or at least clearly dominating it, with all ages
fairly evenly represented, successful in reproduction, and not so
dense as to present mechanical difficulties, it is ideally adapted
to this form of management. The important underlying principle is
that, since for a period of its life the normal individual tree
increases in wood production and then declines, it is bad economy
to cut it while it is still growing rapidly or to allow it, after
slowing down, to occupy ground which might be used by a tree still
in the vigor of production. For example, if at 100 years old it
contains 500 board feet, it has averaged an addition of 5 feet,
a year throughout its life. If at 125 years old it contains but
560 feet, the average increment will be but 4-1/2 feet a year.
It will not give equal return for the soil, moisture and light
it monopolizes during these 25 years. At the same time, probably
there are young trees nearby which hitherto have averaged below
the maximum, but if released from its competition will forge ahead
for a period at the end of which they will give a greater annual
return than if cut at present. It would be as bad economy to cut
these today as to spare the over-mature tree. In short, the production
of the forest is not only sustained, but actually increased, by
removing the oldest trees at just the proper time; and is decreased
by taking out young trees either not yet at the natural age of
greatest mean annual increment or capable of artificial stimulation
by thinning.

By studying the relation of age to production in the particular
locality, the proportion of different age classes, and also finding
the approximate average diameter which corresponds to the age at
which he desires to cut, the professional forester can make a very
accurate selection of the trees which can be removed to best advantage
at present and also fix the time and yield of the next cutting.
Fortunately, however, commercial and silvicultural considerations
accidentally coincide so nearly under average yellow pine conditions
as to make certain rough rules which can be laid down entirely
consistent with logging methods now in practice. Diameter is far
from exact indication of age, for the location of the forest and
the situation of the individual tree, especially as it affects the
relation between height and diameter growth, are potent factors,
but as a rule merchantability for saw-material is not far from

In a great majority of cases the approximate minimum diameter for
cutting which would be fixed by it forester would be somewhere
between 16 and 30 inches, but say it were 18 inches, for example,
it would not arbitrarily apply throughout the stand. Most trees with
yellow, smooth bark and small heavy-limbed tops, perhaps partially
dead, are mature regardless of their size. If small, they have
been crowded or stunted and may as well be cut. Trees with large,
healthy crowns composed of many comparatively small branches, and
with rough dark bark showing no flat scaling, are sure to be growing
rapidly, even if quite large. They are also less desired by the
lumberman, who often calls them black pine or black jack, so may
often be spared, without much sacrifice, for seed trees or in order
to continue their rapid wood production.

The seed tree problem in such a pine forest and under such a system
as has been described is comparatively simple, for there are likely
to be enough young trees of fruiting age left to fill up the blanks
between existing seedlings. The density of the latter determines
to a large extent the number and location of seed trees necessary,
but there should always be two to four to the acre, even if this
requires leaving some that would otherwise be logged.

Under this system recurring cuts may be made at periods of perhaps
30 or 40 years, taking out each time the trees which have passed
the minimum diameter since the last previous cut. It is obvious,
however, that if the process is to continue indefinitely, protection
must be absolute. Destruction of young growth will stop the rotation
at the time the surviving older material is harvested. At each
cut the brush should be disposed of with this end in view. If the
stand is very thin it may not add much to the danger of fire and,
especially if reproduction is difficult and requires shelter, may
best be left spread on the ground at some distance from remaining
trees. Otherwise, and this is the rule, it should be piled and
usually burned. In this process and in logging every effort should
be made to protect existing young growth from injury. Ground fires
should be prevented now and always hereafter.

So far, however, we have been considering how to make the most
of a stand of many ages, due to constant reproduction permitted
by the light supply in a fairly open forest. On the other hand,
yellow pine sometimes produces a mature stand so heavy that there
is little young growth beneath it, or even a thin old stand with
either little reproduction or an invasion of lodge-pole pine. Such
conditions are usually due to fire at some period. In the first
of these cases, usually the dense stand has resulted from a fire
which destroyed its predecessor not so completely as to remove the
seed supply, but sufficiently to afford light for a more uniformly
dense crop of seedlings than would occur in the normal forest.
These have been thinned out as the stand grew old, but never to a
degree which allowed much reproduction beneath them. The natural
cycle will be begun again in time, for toward the end of the life of
this unusually heavy stand, seedlings will begin to appear gradually
as individual old trees die and admit more and more light. The
other exceptions described are due to more recent ground fires
which have destroyed only the less hardy young growth and perhaps
also encouraged the lodge pole which, within its range, is always
quick to take burned ground.

The same result is almost sure to follow the "Indian" method of
forest protection sometimes advocated, which consists of purposely
running ground fires frequently in order to prevent accumulation
of sufficient debris to make an accidental fire fatal to timber of
commercial size. While such immunity may be secured, and perhaps
without sacrifice in stands so heavy as to have no reproduction
or when the latter has already been destroyed, it is obviously at
the expense of young growth if any exists. The counter argument
that a small proportion escaping will be sufficient for the second
crop is fallacious, because good timber will not be produced from
these scattering seedlings subjected to strong light by later logging.
Other means are necessary if the forest is to be reproduced.

This brings us to the possible management of yellow pine as an
even-aged forest. Thoughtful foresters are beginning to suspect
that while the "Indian" system of fire protection will usually
be fatal if ordinary logging practice is followed, it may serve
as an adjunct to a system which, if carefully applied, will be
better than selection cutting for some of our pine areas. This plan
is suggested where there is little young growth worth protecting
and consists of depending upon seed trees almost entirely for
reproduction, protecting carefully until the resultant even-aged
second growth is large enough to stand Blight fire, and then burning
periodically at such a season and with such safeguards as will
prevent the fire from being injuriously severe.

Not only are there many existing forests where absence of small trees
will permit clean cutting without sacrifice, but the same condition
is likely to occur eventually in stands following selective logging
if the second cut is long delayed. Although a good representation
of all ages under the diameter limit remains, the density of this
may become too great to allow further reproduction, and in time
the dominant trees will shade out all smaller growth. To allow this
purposely, choosing heavy cuts at intervals long enough to mature
the crop from seed rather than frequent light cuts of a constantly
replenishing stand, thus reducing the necessity of fire prevention,
is the aim of those who favor clean cutting as the most practicable
system. They assume that additional investment in seed trees, or
planting to insure prompt starting of a new crop after cutting,
will be unnecessary or at least offset by the smaller fire charge
and greater economy of logging.

Theoretically, such practice with a species adapted to the selective
method is uneconomical, for the ground is not fully utilized. Accidental
open places in the stand are not occupied by young trees which would
otherwise fill them. Time is lost by not starting the second crop
until after logging, for were there no fire previously there would
be considerable seedling growth which, although perhaps dormant
because of shade, would begin to amount to something much quicker than
that supplied by seed trees afterward. Nor is the system feasible
where there is much fir or other species less fire-resisting than
pine. It is dangerous in practice except where there is very little
combustible matter on the ground and fire is generally easy of
control, and exceedingly dangerous to advocate because serves as a
pretext and example for indiscriminate carelessness with fire under
all conditions. Finally, the alleged immunity of pine from injury by
ground fires is exaggerated. As a matter of fact, while the whole
stand is seldom perceptibly hurt, the immediate or gradual death of
a good tree here and there thins the stand very considerably in a
few years and it is such a thinning process in the past which makes
many pine tracts bear but 5,000 feet to the acre where otherwise
they would yield two or three times as much. Scorching also retards
the growth of trees not actually injured otherwise.

The technical objections given above may sometimes be offset by
practical advantages and the system is likely to receive expert
approval for certain conditions provided it is not used as a cloak
without taking sincere steps to replace the destroyed second growth
by adequate seed trees or artificial seeding. The latter danger may
easily warrant public alarm manifested by restrictive laws. Universal
ground burning of green timber will distinctly reduce the prospect
of unassisted natural reforestation on the great area of potential
timber land in which, as a resource, regardless of ownership, the
public is vitally interested. Under present conditions at least,
a large proportion of this is likely to be logged without any view
to a future crop. It is questionable whether any state should, or
will, legally approve ground burning except under stipulation of
proper management thereafter.

Unfortunately, it is necessary, in concluding this discussion of
yellow pine, to admit that while an attempt has been made to outline
the methods which will insure a second crop, the promise of satisfactory
financial return is more doubtful than that offered by some other
species. Compared with the typical coast trees, such as Douglas
fir, spruce and hemlock, the growth is slow and the yield small.
The chief circumstances in its favor are low land values, lesser
fire risk, cheapness and certainty of reproduction and excellent
market prospects. Less investment compensates somewhat for longer
rotation and smaller yield. Low taxation, however, is an absolute


Although as a distinct forest type this valuable tree is limited
chiefly to Idaho, it occurs occasionally in mixture or small tracts
over a wide range, and no reason appears why its commercial importance
should not be extended by planting on cut-over lands. Its high value,
rapid growth and heavy yield make it a particularly promising species
for growing under forestry principles. Its chief requirements for
success are fairly good moist land, access by the seed to mineral
soil and ample light for the young seedlings.

Except that it is more fastidious as to soil, white pine usually
demands about the same treatment as that prescribed for Douglas
fir, including clean cutting, slash burning and establishing a
new even-aged stand by seed trees or artificial restocking. Under
favorable conditions the stand is nearly even-aged, with little
undergrowth except of undesirable species. What small pine may
exist is seldom thrifty enough to be worth saving, so the best
thing is to clean off the ground for the double purpose of removing
weed trees and favoring valuable reproduction. Like that of fir,
the natural rotation of white pine forests seems to have been
accomplished often by the aid of fire, and where not given this aid
it suffers from lack of suitable seed-bed and from the competition
of other species already established.

Individual seed trees left in logging are not successful because
of shallow root system and almost certain windfall. Replacement
must be by seeding or planting, or by leaving small tracts of pine
surrounded by cleared fire lines to protect them when the slashing
is burned. The size and distance apart of these must be determined
by their situation and exposure to wind, considering both the danger
of windfall and the carrying of seed. Especially in younger growths,
the quantity of merchantable material tied up in this way is not
so great as is sometimes necessary in the case of red fir, where
single seed trees may contain several thousand board feet. On the
other hand, stumpage value may be high. For this reason artificial
replacement may often be more profitable, especially where there
is reasonable safety against recurring fire.

A thing to be borne in mind is that white pine seems to reach a
healthier and better development when mixed with a small proportion
of other species, such as cedar, tamarack, spruce, lodgepole pine
and Douglas fir, so there is no object in trying to produce an
absolutely pure stand. Some authorities think that 60 per cent
of pine, with the rest helping to prune it, is an ideal mixture.

LODGEPOLE PINE (_P. Murrayana_)

Present interest in private reproduction of this species hardly
warrants treating it at length in this publication, although
unquestionably it will eventually occupy a higher place in the
market than at present and its readiness to seize burned land in
many regions will make it a factor whether desired or not. Where
yellow pine will grow, the problem is most likely to be to discourage
lodgepole competition.

In strictly lodgepole territory, however, it may be the only promise
of a new forest. Generally speaking, an even-aged growth should
be induced by clean cutting if the entire crop can be utilized.
Slash burning in such cases is desirable. The chief difficulty
is in providing seed supply, for either individual seed trees or
small groups are almost certain to be blown down. Experiments so
far indicate that heavy strips must be spared, chosen to afford
the least present loss and safeguarded by fire lines.

In some lodgepole stands, especially where only certain sizes are
marketable, the cutting practically amounts to thinning. Here obviously
the effort should be to prevent over-thinning and to remove debris
with the least damage to the remaining stand. Piling and burning
is essential.

SUGAR PINE (_P. Lambertiana_)

This extremely valuable pine, commercially limited to the Oregon and
California mountains, is fastidious in its choice of conditions. Not
a frequent or prolific seed bearer, it still insists on a moist loose
seed-bed and prefers the natural forest floor to burned-over land. It
cannot stand drought when young and except on cool northern slopes
seedlings may be killed or stunted by exposure to full sunlight. On
the contrary it demands more and more light as it grows older and
will be suppressed or killed if unable to secure it. Under natural
conditions it perpetuates itself best by filling open places in
the forest.

For the above reasons, sugar pine is naturally a component of mixed
forests and it is doubtful whether it will be successfully grown as
a pure stand. Unfortunately, also, logging methods which are both
the simplest and most favorable to the reproduction of its associates
may be discouraging to sugar pine reproduction. Nevertheless, its
value warrants strong efforts to favor it and is an argument, where
considerable young sugar pine exists, against either clean cutting
or the use of fire.

The Forest Service, for which authority much of the above discussion
of this species was taken, offers the following general outline
for management in California:

"Since the forests in which sugar and yellow pine occur vary greatly
in composition, the method of treatment must also vary. For this
the forest types already distinguished may form a basis.

"On the lower portion of the sugar pine-yellow pine type, where
sugar pine forms but a small proportion of the stand, only the yellow
pine should be considered for the future forest. All merchantable
sugar pine may therefore be removed. It will be necessary to leave
only a few seed trees of yellow pine to restock the ground, although
usually it will be a wiser policy to leave a fair stand, since
this can be removed as a second cutting when reproduction is
established. This procedure would also hold for areas on which yellow
pine occurs in nearly pure stands. In these localities dense stands
of second-growth yellow pine occur. It will often be profitable,
where there is a market at hand, to thin these stands when they
are about 30 years old, removing the suppressed trees for mine
props. Trees 6, 8 and 10 inches and up are used for this purpose,
and sell for from 5 to 6 cents a running foot.

"On the upper portion of the sugar pine-yellow pine type, where
both species have about an equal representation in the stand, seed
trees of each should be left, wherever practicable, in the proportion
of two sugar pines to one yellow pine."

In the fir belt, where sugar pine and fir are the principal species,
the fir should be cut clean wherever possible and sugar pine should
be relied upon for the future forest.

"On all lands, the Douglas spruce, white fir and incense cedar
should be cut whenever possible, and chutes, skidways and bridges
should be constructed from the two last named species."

The following specific instructions are issued for marking timber
on National Forest sales in the sugar pine-yellow pine type:

"Owing to the large size of the trees, marking in this type of
forest should be done with special care, since a slight mistake
involves a comparatively large amount of timber.

"On nearly all of the lands included in this type the ground is
now but partly and insufficiently stocked with young timber, the
areas of forest are constantly becoming more accessible to markets,
and there is every indication of a strong future demand at greatly
increased prices. On nearly every tract, a second cut can be made
within thirty years. All marking under present sales should be
done strictly with reference to two points:

"1. Stocking the cut-over land as fully as possible with sugar and
yellow pine.

"2. Securing a second cut within thirty years.

"All cutting should be done under the 'selection system,' which
requires a careful choice of the individual trees to be removed.
Fixed diameter limits and the leaving of any specified number of
seed trees per acre can be very largely disregarded.

"The condition of every sugar and yellow pine on the sale area
should be studied closely to determine whether that tree will be
merchantable thirty years hence, by which time a second cut is
probable. As a rule the trees which will remain merchantable for
another thirty years should be left. Suppressed and crowded trees
which cannot develop should be removed. Under this system of marking,
ordinarily about one-half of the present stand of merchantable
pine would be left uncut. Will it pay?

"On areas where practically all of the pine is over-matured and
would be cut under the rule given above, a sufficient stand must be
left to reseed thoroughly the cut-over land. This requires not less
than four full seed-bearing trees, at least 25 inches in diameter,
per acre. The strongest and thriftiest trees available should be
selected for this purpose, but not less than the number specified
must be left even if every tree will be a total loss before a second
cut is possible.

"Extensive areas of pine timber which are not yet fully mature
should be excluded from the sale. On patches or small areas of
immature pine, which it is not practicable to exclude from the
sale, cutting should be very light, limited to one-third or less
of the largest trees, or omitted altogether.

"No attempt to discriminate sharply between sugar and yellow pine
should be made, as both trees are almost equally desirable. Where a
choice is necessary, sugar pine should be favored on moist situations,
as in canyons, moist pockets, or benches and on northerly exposures.
Yellow pine should be favored on dry situations, including exposed
ridges and southern exposures.

"Fir and incense cedar should be marked, as a rule, to as low a
diameter as these trees are merchantable in order to reduce the
proportion of these species in coming reproduction. It is essential,
however, that no large openings be made in the present stand since
the exposed ground is in danger of reverting to chaparral or of
becoming so dry from evaporation that no reproduction will follow
cutting. Where the stand of pine is insufficient to reseed thoroughly
and protect the cut-over area, enough sound, thrifty fir and cedar
should be left to form a fairly even cover with openings less than
a quarter of an acre in size.'"

The under current of all opinion upon sugar pine up to date is
that reproduction will not be very successful unless enough growth
to shelter the seedlings remains after logging. Where the fire
risk permits, the same end may be furthered by leaving the tops
scattered on the ground.

Little experimenting has been done in planting sugar pine, but
there are many indications that except where conditions strongly
favor natural reproduction it will be resorted to eventually if
any particular attempt is made to get this species. Leaving large
seed trees is not only expensive, but rather uncertain, because
heavy seed years are several years apart and squirrels consume a
large portion of an ordinary crop. Transplants which have received
nursery shelter until past the greatest danger of drying out should
prove most successful on heavily-cut south slopes.

REDWOOD (_Sequoia sempervirens_)

Although probably the most rapid-growing of all American commercial
trees and also of high market standing, redwood has been little
studied by foresters. The layman is still more confused by its many
peculiarities. Growing to a size of 20 feet in diameter and 350 feet
high, reaching an age of well over 1,000 years and seldom reproducing
by means of seed, it is not surprising that it was long regarded
as ill-adapted to second crop management. Although observing that
suckers sprout from the stumps with great rapidity, the lumberman
generally regarded these mushroom growths as abnormal and temporary,
and believed his virgin timber to be the finally-vanishing remnant
of a prehistoric species unsuited to present-day conditions.

It was next discovered that the suckering habit is no new one,
indeed that the majority of the present stand, however old, began
as sprouts from roots or stumps of its predecessors. This is evident
from the circular arrangement of several trees around the spot where
their parent stood. These old sprouts were of very slow growth,
for they were shaded by a forest of extreme density. As seedlings
they could have neither germinated nor grown, but as suckers they
were kept alive by the parent until light supply became available
through their increasing height or through thinning of the forest.
Under such conditions centuries were required to produce large

The owner of today, by cutting down the old stand, gives the suckers
conditions hitherto unknown to the redwood. The vigor and susceptibility
to the aid of light, which originally was necessary in the sprout
growth to perpetuate the species at all, now respond to entire
freedom and light in an astonishing manner. Even after severe slashing
fires char the stumps, the latter throw out clusters of sprouts
which grow several feet a year. Logging works 30 or 40 years old
have come up to trees nearly 100 feet high. Naturally such timber
has a heavy percentage of sapwood and is soft and brittle, but
it is already suitable for piling, box lumber and like purposes
and improves constantly.

Since reproduction by seed does not enter into the problem, financial
possibilities depend almost wholly on the nature of the original
stand. There are many types of redwood forest, pure and mixed,
flat and slope. If the old trees are few to the acre, the sprout
clusters will be so far apart that excess of side light will produce
clumps of swell-butted, short limby trees, of little use for lumber;
that is, unless there is also a seedling growth of fir or other
species to fill the blanks and bring up the density. Where such a
nurse growth is to be counted on, or where the redwood trees are
small and close together, ideal conditions for a certain, rapid
and well formed second crop exist.

The thinner the original redwood stand, the greater the effort
necessary at the time of logging to obtain the required density. The
leaving of seed trees of other species, with as many as possible small
trees of both redwood and other species and the maximum protection
of all from fire, should then be the means employed. On some tracts
the proportion of redwood will not warrant this effort; on some
it is not even required. The question of whether it pays to hold
redwood land is therefore almost wholly local, but when conditions
are favorable it can be answered affirmatively, because of the
extremely rapid growth, with less doubt than of almost any other

There is some tendency to over-production of sprouts by redwood
stumps. Removal of the excess with an ax, saving those closest
to the ground and not over-thinning to the extent of reducing the
density conducive to height growth and shedding of low branches,
improves the chances of those remaining.



It has been shown in a previous chapter that the owner of deforested
land who desires to secure a second crop may find it necessary or
cheaper to adopt artificial measures wholly or in part instead
of depending upon natural reproduction. These measures may be of
two kinds--direct seeding, in which the seed is sown where the
trees are to stand permanently, and the planting of trees grown
in nurseries.

Whether artificial reforestation is accomplished by means of sowing
seed or planting trees, the first requisite is a supply of tree seed
of the desired species and of good quality. Unfortunately for the
timber owner who wishes to enter upon extensive seeding operations,
the business of collecting and preparing forest tree seed for market
has received but little attention from old-established seed firms,
and it is not always possible to purchase the species and quantity
desired. Moreover, the prices charged are often excessive.

In the Pacific Northwest, however, the demand for seed of Douglas
fir and Sitka spruce has led to the establishment of a considerable
trade in these species, and at reasonable prices, so that where
these species are to be used, or only small quantities of other
species, the timber owner will probably find it to his advantage
to purchase the seed rather than to attempt collecting it himself.
Douglas fir seed is quoted at $1.40 to $2.00 per pound and Sitka
spruce seed at $2.25 to $3.00.

In purchasing seed it is common practice to specify that it shall
be of the new crop, because tree seed kept in ordinary storage
loses its vitality materially. When properly stored in air-tight
receptacles, however, as is now done by some seed dealers, it will
retain its germinative power for several years with only slight
depreciation. Moreover, fresh seed, if improperly treated, may
be of very poor quality, so that the age of the seed is of little
value in the determination of its worth and the only sure method
of ascertaining this is by means of germination or cutting tests.
The latter method is the quickest and most simple and consists
of cutting open a number of the seeds and ascertaining the per
cent whose kernel is sound, plump and moist. Seed of good average
quality should contain not more than 25-30 per cent of infertile

When seed cannot be purchased, it is necessary to collect. Since
no species of coniferous trees bear abundant crops of seed each
year and often several seasons will elapse between good crops, it
is necessary to gather sufficient seed when the supply is abundant
to provide for succeeding years when the crop is apt to be a failure.

The seed ripens in the fall, usually during August or September,
and the cones should be collected at that time. Pines require two
years in which to mature the seed; that is, the cones are not fully
formed and the seed ripe until the second fall after the fertilization
of the flowers in the spring. Most of the other important conifers
ripen their seed in the fall of the same season. Shortly after
the seed is ripe, the cones open and allow it to disseminate,
consequently they must be gathered before this occurs.

The cones are gathered either by climbing the trees and cutting
them off from the branches, by picking from the tops of felled
trees, or by robbing squirrels' hoards. Where squirrels are abundant
in the forest, the last method is the cheapest. Climbing trees
is practiced only where the trees are small. When this method is
employed, the workmen should be equipped with linemen's belts and
climbers. Picking from felled trees is readily carried on except
where dense underbrush interferes, as is the case in the ordinary
Douglas fir forest.

Trees growing in the open, with large crowns extending down the
greater part of the bole, bear cones more abundantly than trees
in dense forests, and for this reason collecting from scattered
open growths can be done more cheaply than on logging areas. Often
large quantities of cones can be purchased from settlers who will
collect and deliver them at central points at a stipulated price.
When this method is employed, however, frequent examination of
the cones should be made to ascertain that they contain the full
number of seed, for often opened cones from which a part or all
of the seed has been disseminated will be offered for sale. Insect
larvæ also often destroy a large proportion of the seed, particularly
when the crop is light and care should be taken that the cones
purchased are not infested. The prices paid for cones vary from
25 cents to 50 cents per sack for the larger cones, like yellow
and white pine, and 50 cents to $1.00 for Douglas fir and spruce,
depending upon the abundance of the crop.

After the cones are gathered the seed must be extracted and cleaned.
Where climatic conditions in the fall of the year will permit
air-drying, the cones may be spread out on sheets or blankets where
they will be exposed to the sun and wind. Under this treatment
they will open in from 3 to 6 days, depending upon the weather
and the species. Where bad weather will interfere with air-drying,
the cones must be dried undercover by artificial heat. This is the
method usually employed by professional seed collectors, and where
large quantities of cones are to be treated each year special dry
houses are constructed and fitted with elaborate drying apparatus.
The work can be done most cheaply with such an establishment, but
for the ordinary timber owner who expects to collect seed only
occasionally, a makeshift dry-house which will answer the purpose
can be fitted up inexpensively in any unused building. The essential
features are shelves or trays 4 feet wide arranged around the walls
of the room, one above the other and separated about 8 inches apart,
and a heating stove placed in the center of the room. The shelves
may be made of burlap stretched tight, or, better still, of wire
screening of 1-1/2 inch or 3/4-inch mesh.

After being subjected to a temperature not exceeding 110° Fahr.
for from 24 to 48 hours, the cones will open, allowing the seed to
fall out when shaken or pounded. The seed when separated from the
cones is then mixed with a coarse gravel in about the proportion
of 4 to 1 and churned to remove the wings. Finally, all foreign
matter is removed by screening and hollow seed blown out by passing
it through an ordinary fanning mill.


The selection of the method of reforestation to employ, whether
direct seeding or planting, depends primarily upon the character
of the area to be restocked. Direct seeding is usually considerably
cheaper when the results are satisfactory, but only on the more
favorable sites where moisture and soil conditions are right is
there any assurance of success. Even in such cases partial or total
destruction of the seed often results from birds and rodents. In
exposed situations where the soil is shallow, or where because of
climatic conditions soil dries out several inches deep during the
growing season, the seed may not germinate at all, or the young
seedlings may be killed before they have time to send their roots
down to the permanent moisture level. In such situations, planting
is the only reliable method. If the plant material is of the proper
kind and the work well done, satisfactory results are almost certain
to follow. Direct seeding is a much more rapid method than planting,
and where extensive areas are to be restocked within a short period
and seed is abundant, the work can be completed quickly. On the other
hand, this method is wasteful of seed because a large proportion
fails to germinate and the young seedlings often succumb to adverse
conditions, so that where seed is scarce or its cost high, planting
is the more practical method.

Because planting is the most reliable method it has been the one
most largely employed in extensive operations, both here and in
most European counties, but thorough tests are now being made of
direct seeding and under proper conditions it promises to be fairly
satisfactory. The Douglas fir region west of the Cascade Mountains
offers the most favorable conditions for direct seeding and except
on badly exposed south slopes, or where the growth of brush is
exceedingly dense, it is believed this method will prove a satisfactory
one for the timber owner to employ.

In the yellow pine regions conditions are not so satisfactory for
direct seeding, since this tree occurs largely in a region of deficient
rainfall. However, natural reproduction is abundant throughout
many portions of this type, and it is probable that direct seeding
will prove fairly successful if the proper methods are employed
and if forest conditions have not been too greatly disturbed. That
some method of successfully employing direct seeding with yellow
pine be found is greatly to be desired, since yellow pine seedlings
do not withstand transplanting well, but there is need for careful
experimentation before extensive seeding operations in this type
by private timber owners would be justifiable.

Western white pine, it is believed, will be easy to reproduce in
most of its native situations by direct seeding, though the greater
scarcity of its seed and the fact that it will be more subject to
destruction by birds and rodents because of its larger size may
make planting the more practical method.

Trees for planting can either be purchased from commercial nurserymen
or grown in nurseries established for that purpose near the planting
site. When only a few thousand trees are needed it is cheaper to
purchase them, but when extensive operations are contemplated,
covering hundreds of acres in which millions of trees will be needed,
it is far preferable for the owner to grow the trees in his own
nursery. Some initial outlay for the establishment of the nursery
will be necessary and a practical nurseryman should be employed,
but the saving in the cost of the trees will fully compensate for

One, two and three year old trees, the latter once transplanted,
are usually employed in planting, the older trees being used for
the less favorable sites. In planting they are placed in rows
equidistant apart, the spacing varying from 4 to 12 feet, with a
general average of about 6 feet. The work may be done either in
the fall after growth has ceased or in the spring before growth

The cost of planting, of course, will vary greatly with the age of
the trees, the number planted per acre and the accessibility and
character of the planting site. With young trees and wide spacing,
the cost may be as low as $6.00 per acre, while in more unfavorable
situations where older plants are used and planting is more laborious
it may be as high as $16.00. A fair average, however, for those
areas which a timber owner would be most likely to plant up is
about $8.00 to $10.00 per acre.

In direct seeding, several different methods may be employed, such
as broadcasting over the entire area with or without previous
preparation of the soil, sowing in strips, or sowing in seed spots;
but observation and experiment have shown that it is necessary for
seed such as Douglas fir, yellow pine and western white pine to
come in close contact with the mineral soil in order that it may
germinate and the seedlings live; consequently only those methods
should be used which will accomplish this. Where the area has been
burned over previous to sowing and the mineral soil laid bare,
broadcast seeding may be employed. Where the ground will permit
the use of a harrow good results are obtainable by scarifying the
soil in strips about 10 feet apart and sowing the seed in these
strips. On unburned areas covered with a dense growth of fern,
salal, moss, grass, or other plants, this covering must be removed
by the seed spot method. This consists in removing the ground cover
with a grub hoe or mattock in spots of varying diameter (6 inches to
3 feet) and of various distances apart (6 to 15 feet), and sowing
the seed in these spots. The advantages of this method are that
a minimum amount of seed is used; the ground can be prepared and
the seed covered to whatever extent is desirable, and the soil
pressed down. This method is believed to be the one best suited
to the greatest variety of sites.

The amount of seed used per acre will, of course, vary with the
species and the method used, and the quality of the seed. The following
table indicates the approximate quantity of seed of good average
quality required per acre for three different methods, the average
cost when collected in fairly large quantities, and the number
of seed per pound:

                                           No. pounds required per acre.
                   No. seed  Cost per  Broadcast,                 Seedspots
    Species.        per lb.   pound.  entire area.   Strips.      6' apart.
Douglas fir          42,000    $1.50     2 - 3       1/2 - 1     1/2 - 3/4
Yellow pine           8,000      .50    10 - 12     2 - 2-1/2    1-1/2 - 2
Western white pine   14,000      .75     6 - 8    1-1/2 - 1-3/4  1 - 1-1/2

The total cost, too, will vary widely, not only because of the
different quantities of seed used but also because of the great extent
to which the methods are varied to suit the conditions occurring upon
the area. Simple broadcasting without any preparation or treatment
of the soil will not exceed 20 cents to 25 cents per acre for labor;
harrowing and sowing in strips, 85 cents to $1.10 per acre, and
sowing in seedspots, $2.00 to $5.00 per acre. Upon this basis the
total cost per acre will approximate the figures given in the table

                    Broadcast over                Seedspots,
    Species.         entire area.    Strips.       6' apart.
Douglas fir          $3.20-4.75     $1.00-2.60    $2.75-6.00
Yellow pine           5.20-6.25      1.85-2.35     2.75-6.00
Western white pine    4.70-6.25      2.00-2.40     2.75-6.00


Of all factors in calculating the financial possibilities of second
forest crops, the growth to be expected is the easiest to determine
with fair accuracy. Future stumpage value, tax burden and fire
risk are all subject to uncertain influences, but the approximate
yield of a given species under given natural conditions will be
the same in the future that it is now. To predict it requires only
study of existing stands without being misled by the influence
of conditions which will not be repeated.

On the other hand, an immense amount of misinformation is circulated
because of superficial observation. Enthusiasts discovering individual
trees which have made prodigious growth, or even fairly extensive
stands on fertile soil with heavy rainfall, will compute sawlog
yields at 40 or 50 years which are much too optimistic for general
application. Others, remembering some stand they have seen in
unfavorable localities, or noting shade-suppressed trees which
will not be paralleled after the virgin forest is removed, are
unduly discouraged. It is most essential that yield tables be made
by trained observers who know how to reach the true average, and
that the figures either actually come from the region to which they
are to be applied or are accompanied by a systematic analysis of
climatic and other conditions which permits intelligent comparison.

In calculating another yield on cut-over land, the system for an
even-aged new growth, such as will follow clean cutting of Douglas
fir, for example, is quite different from that necessary if the
cutting amounts only to selection of the merchantable trees and
leaves a fair stand of smaller ones. In the latter case, yield
tables based on average acreage production are of little use because
so much depends upon the character of the stand which remains on
the tract in question. Here the basis must be the rate of growth
of the average individual tree. An estimate by the number in each
present diameter class may be made of the trees which will escape
logging, showing, let us say for example, about five trees of each
diameter from 6 to 12 inches, or thirty-five in all which are over
6 inches. If the growth study indicates that in 20 years there will
have been added 6 inches in diameter we can estimate a crop of
five trees each of classes extending from 12 to 18 inches. Actually
the process will not be so simple, for the different aged trees
will not grow with equal rapidity, and several other factors must
be reckoned with, but the general principle is to apply rate of
growth knowledge to the material on hand, and study of this material
is essential.

For predicting even-aged crops resulting from entire restocking,
the acquisition of necessary basic information is as difficult, or
more so, but its application is far simpler. That the ground will
be fully stocked by natural or artificial means must be assumed,
but we can also assume that the result will be influenced only by
normal locality conditions and not by accidental condition of the
present forest. Therefore we use a yield table and not a growth
table. This can be made by actual measurement of existing second
growth stands of different ages, which proves not only the growth
rate but also the number of trees which the natural shade-thinning
process results in at different periods of the forest life. The
chief danger of inaccuracy in such information lies in basing it on
insufficient measurements or in applying it where soil or moisture
conditions are greatly different. The latter error can be guarded
against, however, by use of growth figures taken in conjunction
with it. For example, if a yield table showing 25,000 feet to the
acre at 50 years from seed is accompanied by one showing that the
average stand it represents is 125 high at 50 years and its average
50-year-tree is 14 inches in diameter, little investigation is
necessary to determine whether in any given locality the growth
falls far above or below that.

An attempt to reproduce here any considerable number of growth
and yield tables would be of doubtful use without more space than
is allowed to explain how they are made and used. There are many
technicalities, both mathematical and silvicultural, and unfortunately
most of the available figures for the Northwest, obtained by the
Forest Service, have not been generalized enough for wide popular
value. This is particularly true of yield tables which necessarily
require assuming standards of merchantability. While the best western
white pine table assumes that by the time a new crop is cut 7-inch
white pine will be salable, the best fir table was worked upon
a 12-inch diameter basis. Obviously this would show an unfairly
greater yield of a pine forest containing trees between 7 and 12
inches and be very misleading in calculating financial results at
the same age and stumpage rates; yet without the original data
there is no way of reducing both tables to the same basis. As an
example, however, to indicate how the financial possibilities of
second growth can be arrived at if a systematic study is made,
let us take the Douglas fir figures referred to.


These are exceedingly reliable. Measurements were taken by the Forest
Service of practically pure fir on about 400 areas in thirty-five
different age stands from 10 to 140 years old, ranging along the
western Cascade foothills from the Canadian line to central Oregon.
Since reforestation investment is likely to be confined mainly to
the more promising opportunities, only such growth was measured
as gave an average representation of the better class of the two
should all the general territory covered be graded in two quality
classes of all around ability to produce forests. On the other
hand, care was taken not to represent the maximum of the better
class, data being taken only from permanent forest land and not
from rich potential agricultural land which might show unfairly
rapid forest growth. The average areas were actually measured and
the number, age, form, diameter growth, height growth, board foot
contents, etc., of all the trees on them were accurately determined.
Trees 12 inches in diameter 4-1/2 feet from the ground were considered
merchantable, and it was assumed they could be used to 8 inches in
the top. From this data were prepared tables and diagrams showing
the average development of trees and stands under fairly favorable
conditions in the region west of the Cascades.

This gave the following yield per acre:

Age of Stand.    Feet, B. M.    Age of Stand.    Feet, B. M.
     40            12,400            90             70,200
     50            28,000           100             79,800
     60            41,000           110             90,300
     70            51,700           120            101,500
     80            61,100           130            113,000

Let us see how these figures can be used in answering the primary
question of the prospective timber-grower: "Will it pay to hold
my cut-over land for a second crop?"

Obviously no certain answer can be printed here, not only because
no uniform stumpage prices or carrying charges can be predicted but
also because individuals may differ as to what profit is necessary
to make the investment "pay," so it will be necessary to analyze
the situation so each may select the premises which suit his own
case and judgment. The investment made by the holder of cut-over
land is of two kinds; that represented by the land which otherwise
he might sell, putting the proceeds at work in some other business,
and the annual carrying charges which otherwise he might also invest
differently. The sum obtainable by investing the money available
by sale after logging, adding to it yearly the sum required for
fire prevention and taxes, and compounding both at a satisfactory
interest for the entire period, is practically the cost of holding
the tract for any given number of years. By calculating this cost
upon a basis of one acre, and dividing it by the yield board measure
which the same period will produce, the cost per thousand feet of
growing a second crop is arrived at.

Against this may be set the gross return from the same expected
yield at any given stumpage rate. The yield at the end of a 50-year
investment will not be that of a 50-year forest, however, for although
the carrying cost begins at once, the new forest requires a few
years to become established. No exact figure can be set for this,
for some seed will sprout the first year and some blank spaces may
persist several years, but in the tables to follow five years has
been allowed for an average. Consequently, instead of calculating
on a 28 M yield as the return at the end of 50 years, as indicated
in the yield table on the preceding page, the 45-year yield of
20-1/2 M is used, and similarly for the other periods of 60, 70
and 80 years. These four rotations only will be considered here,
for in less than 50 years second growth will probably be too small
to be cut at the highest profit, while after 80 years the investment
compounds so heavily as to make it improbable that increasing stumpage
values will compensate.

Three interest rates have been used in the first table to follow:
4, 5 and 6 per cent, compound. Forest calculations at lower rates
are often seen, but it is not believed that less than 5 per cent
will be satisfactory to private owners and many will insist on 6
per cent. The fair standard is what the owner can make in other
business today, and since he can reinvest his income in the same
business, it is reasonable to figure at a compound rate. A few
examples are given to show how similar calculations may be made
with any set of investment and stumpage factors which appeal to
individual judgment. The second table, prepared from the first,
shows at a glance the price that must be received for Douglas fir
to make it pay either 5 or 6 per cent compound interest under a
range of sixty different conditions of original investment and
annual cost.

It should be borne in mind that, although present land value is
made a charge, the value of the land at the time of harvest is
not considered. This value is certain to increase greatly in the
long periods involved. Taxation charges will be against it as well
as against the timber. Indeed much land is now held without any
regard to possible second growth. It should be assumed therefore
that any profit in forest investment shown will be _increased_ by
the sum obtainable for the land at the end of the same period.

          Cost per M of growing            Cost per M of growing
          Douglas fir resulting            Douglas fir resulting
          from every $1 per acre         from every 1 cent per acre
          originally invested.           of annual carrying charge.
       --------At the end of---------  --------At the end of---------
         50      60      70      80      50      60      70      80
       Years.  Years.  Years.  Years.  Years.  Years.  Years.  Years.
At 4%  $ .35   $ .30  $ .33   $ .41    $ .074  $ .068  $ .078  $ .098
At 5%    .56     .53    .65     .88      .102    .101    .126    .172
At 6%    .90     .94   1.27    1.87      .142    .152    .208    .309

Example 1: With land worth $2.50 an acre at present, and an estimated
carrying charge of 3 cents a year for protection and 20 cents per
taxes, what stumpage price for a 50-year crop will pay 5 per cent
compound interest? 6 per cent?

            5%                       6%
  2-1/2 X .56  = $1.40     2-1/2 X .90  = $2.25
 23     X .102 =  2.35    23     X .142 =  3.27
                 -----                    -----
                 $3.75                    $5.52

Example 2: With land worth $5 an acre at present, and stumpage
estimated to reach $7.00 in 60 years, what is the maximum annual
carrying charge per acre which can be paid during this period and
permit a 5 per cent return? A 6 per cent return?

        5%                               6%
  Gross return = $7.00             Gross return = $7.00
  5 X .53      =  2.65             5 X .94      =  4.70
                 -----                            -----
                 $4.35/.101 = 43c                 $2.30/.152 = 15c

Example 3: Assuming that stumpage will be worth $6.00 in 50 years,
and that public enlightenment will keep the annual fire and tax
charge from exceeding 20 cents, what price obtainable for cut-over
land today, made to earn 5 per cent compound interest in some other
business, is as profitable as keeping the land for a second crop?
If other business would earn 6 per cent?

       5%                                6%
  Gross return = $6.00              Gross return = $6.00
  20 X .102    =  2.04              20 X .142    =  2.84
                 -----                             -----
                 $3.06/.56 = $7.07                 $3.16/.90 = $3.51


Maximum Original Investment $7.50 an Acre. Maximum Annual Carrying
Charge 30c an Acre.

                                  ------------Cost per M Feet-----------
                      Taxes and   50 year   60 year   70 year   80 year
          Original    protection  rotation  rotation  rotation  rotation
         investment  paid yearly  (20.5 M   (35 M.    (46.6 M   (56.5 M
          per acre.   per acre.    per A.)   per A.)   per A.)   per A.)
           -            - 10       $2.40     $2.35     $2.90     $3.90
          |            |  15        2.95      2.85      3.50      4.80
          | $2.50     <   20        3.45      3.35      4.15      5.65
          |            |  25        3.95      3.85      4.75      6.50
          |             - 30        4.45      4.35      5.40      7.35
          |             - 10        3.80      3.65      4.50      6.10
   5%     |            |  15        4.35      4.20      5.15      6.95
Compound <   5.00     <   20        4.85      4.70      5.75      7.80
Interest  |            |  25        5.35      5.20      6.40      8.70
          |             - 30        5.85      5.70      7.05      9.55
          |             - 10        5.20      5.00      6.15      8.30
          |            |  15        5.75      5.50      6.75      9.20
          |  7.50     <   20        6.25      6.00      7.40     10.05
          |            |  25        6.75      6.50      8.00     10.00
           -            - 30        7.25      7.00      8.65     11.75

           -            - 10        3.65      3.85      5.25      7.75
          |            |  15        4.40      4.65      6.30      9.30
          |  2.50     <   20        5.10      5.40      7.35     10.85
          |            |  25        5.80      6.15      8.35     12.35
          |             - 30        6.50      6.90      9.40     13.90
          |             - 10        5.90      6.20      8.45     12.45
   6%     |            |  15        6.65      7.80      9.45     14.00
Compound <   5.00     <   20        7.35      7.75     10.50     15.50
Interest  |            |  25        8.05      8.50     11.55     17.05
          |             - 30        8.75      9.25     12.60     18.60
          |             - 10        8.15      8.55     11.60     17.10
          |            |  15        8.90      9.35     12.65     18.65
          |  7.50     <   20        9.60     10.10     13.70     20.20
          |            |  25       10.30     10.85     14.70     21.75
           -            - 30       11.00     11.60     15.75     23.30

These tables bring out a number of very interesting primary facts:

1. The rate of interest demanded of the investment is one of the
most important factors. This is because such long terms are involved.
The charges compound with prodigious rapidity toward the last.
In any other business paying 6 per cent, compound, the maximum
investment per acre given in the preceding table, that of a land
value of $7.50 and a 30-cent annual charge for 80 years, would
earn $1,317. A 75-year forest then harvestable should have 56-1/2
M to the acre, but this would have to bring over $25 per M to pay
as well. On the other hand, the same deposits earning 4 per cent
would only amount to $338 in the same period which would be equaled
by timber at $6 per M.

2. For similar reasons, the length of time before cutting has much
to do with profit or loss. The compounding of carrying charges
eventually outstrips the production of material to a degree which
can be offset only by the most rapid rise of stumpage values.

3. The greater the investment, the more marked the above effect and
consequently the tendency to market an inferior product. A 60-year
rotation is indicated by a majority of the conditions shown.

4. A comparatively slight increase in annual tax or fire charges
may make the difference between profit and loss. Roughly, stumpage
must bring $1 per M more to compensate for each 10 cents an acre
for taxes at 5 per cent or for 7 cents at 6 per cent.

5. If the land is salable for $5 an acre or more it cannot be made to
pay 6 per cent compound interest under the most favorable conditions,
unless the stumpage received exceeds $6. At $5 stumpage and with
reasonable taxation it will pay 5 per cent if it escapes fire.

6. Thirty cents an acre is apparently about the maximum annual
carrying charge which will permit a 6 per cent profit, even with
very high stumpage prices. Consequently, while present taxes on
cut-over land are seldom prohibitive, there must be reasonable
certainty that excessive increase will not occur.

The carrying charges shown in the second table cover both fire
protection and taxes, as by reading the 15-cent line to include a
10-cent tax and a 5-cent fire patrol. The investment charge may be
used to represent sale value only, or sale value plus any expense
incurred at time of logging in order to secure reproduction, such as
leaving salable material in seed trees, or planting. If desired, any
owner may make a similar calculation on any other valuation better
fitting his own situation. The table is not intended for universal
use but merely as an illustration of how forest calculations may
be made.


Too much space would be required to give a similar table for all
western species, even were as good yield figures available. Roughly
speaking, however, western white pine, under conditions thoroughly
favorable to it, may be expected to make as good a yield as Douglas
fir, and the above fir table will not be far off for it. A probably
higher stumpage value should offset any lesser production.


Western hemlock is of somewhat, but not much, slower growth when
coming in on open land as an even-aged stand. No yield table based
on the same merchantable standards as the fir table quoted has
been prepared, but the following is fairly safe to include all
trees 14 inches in diameter used to 12 inches in the top: At 50
years, 2 M per acre; at 60 years, 22 M; at 70 years, 33 M; at 80
years, 40 M. The absence of a 40-year figure, and the sudden jump
between 50 and 60 years, is because very few hemlock trees reach 14
inches at 50 years, but a large number of 12 and 13-inch trees pass
into that class during the ten years following. Any yield figures
for an even-aged forest show a similar jump at the point where the
stand as a whole reaches the determined minimum merchantable size.
For the same reason these hemlock figures are not very far less
promising than those given for fir, for at corresponding ages the
latter include 12 and 13-inch trees and all trees are considered
merchantable to a top diameter of 8 inches.


Since no systematic study of Sitka spruce second growth has been
made, it can only be predicted from knowledge of its habits that
while in favorable situation it will yield as heavily as Douglas
fir, in other localities its growth in early life is slower and
less regular, making it less likely to produce a good crop before
the carrying charges become burdensome. If this proves true, taxation
rates and land values will be extremely important factors, offset
to some degree by a smaller fire hazard and the probability of
high stumpage.


For redwood we also lack good figures for any considerable range of
conditions and ages, for redwood growth which followed burns does
not exist and there are no very old cuttings. Government studies
on the northern California coast prove conclusively, however, that
this is our most rapid growing native commercial tree. In thirty
years, in fair soil, it will produce a tree of 16 inches diameter,
80 feet high, and some existing 45-year stands run 20 to 30 inches
on the stump and about 100 feet high. Reckoning 14-inch trees as
merchantable, to be used to 10 inches in the tops, a 25 to 30-year
second growth after logging near Crescent City was found to have
2-1/2 M feet to the acre and the future increase should be very
rapid. There is little question of the profit of growing redwood,
provided the difficulties described elsewhere of getting a dense
crop started are overcome.


In addition to the yield of saw timber to be expected when the
second crop reaches manufacturing size, there will be a market
in many cases for material obtained by thinning. It is perfectly
fair to compound for the remainder of the rotation any net profit
so obtained and to set it against the carrying charges. In many
cases it will go far to turn an apparently losing investment into
a very profitable one. Moreover, the proper thinning of growing
stands not only utilizes material which would otherwise die and
be lost before the main harvest, but actually improves the quality
of the first yield.

In obtaining the figures previously quoted the Forest Service found
that the average Douglas fir stand at 40 years contains 410 living
trees, most of them between 6 and 15 inches in diameter. At 60
years there are but 265 trees, 145 having died and decayed in the
20-year interval which were suitable for ties or other small timber
products. The remaining trees would have been improved by thinning
to prevent this loss, for the greatest diameter growth is made
when the stand is open, and the ideal is to have just the density
which will get the greatest wood production and still result in
proper pruning and clearing of the trees.

Commenting along this line Mr. T. T. Munger, who conducted the
investigation, says:

"That thinnings are silviculturally practicable and financially
profitable in the Pacific Northwest has been demonstrated. In the
vicinity of Cottage Grove, Oregon, many fully stocked even-aged
Douglas fir stands now about 50 years old, most of them forming
a part of ranches. Many of these stands have been cut over in the
last 10 years and all the material then large enough for piling or
mine timber cut out. This removed about 20 per cent of the stand.
At the present time many of these same stands now contain much
material valuable for small piles, ties and mine timber, yet the
crown canopy is as dense and the trees as close and fine quality
as though no cutting had ever been done in the stand. In fact,
some of the 50-year old stands have already been cut over a second
time, and each time with decided profit to the owner and no damage
to the forest. From one 10-acre block of second growth now 50 years
old, situated 7 miles from the railroad, already 32,000 feet of
mining timber and about 100 50-foot piles have been taken out,
yet the stand is now in good condition, and in a few years more of
the smaller trees can be removed without infringing on the yield
of the final crop. The material from these thinnings was worth at
the railroad about $80 per acre."


Throughout the preceding pages on the financial promise of
timber-growing in the West, the attempt has been not to give conclusions
but to state certain known facts regarding tree growth and indicate
how these may be used in arriving at conclusions based largely
upon the conditions and judgment of the individual owner. In many
cases they will do little more than suggest further investigation
necessary. The Western Forestry & Conservation Association and,
doubtless, the District Foresters for the Forest Service, will
be glad to discuss such work and assist if possible.

There are, however, several conservative deductions to be made:

1. The Pacific coast states contain large areas having species
and climatic conditions peculiarly favorable for forest-growing
as a business. The rapidity and quantity of yield insure profit
under conditions which would be prohibitive elsewhere.

2. In many cases, perhaps in most, a second crop can be started
with little initial expense.

3. There is much land of no value for any other purpose.

4. Even if the owner does not care to hold his land long enough for
another crop, or if he is prevented from doing so at some future
time by excessive taxation or other prohibition, its disposal value
will be greater if it bears young forest growth than if it does

5. Stumpage values are certain to advance greatly and their advance
will be governed largely by these factors:

a. Speculative influence necessarily accompanying the lessening
of the nation's and the world's timber supply.

b. The carrying charges of fire prevention and taxation imposed
by the community upon virgin timber, which, since they represent
an investment which must be recouped, will either be added in the
long run to the price of stumpage exactly in the measure of their
severity and so transferred to the consumer, or result in rapid
cutting and consequently raise the speculative value of that which
escapes cutting. (This the consumer will pay also.)

c. The quantity of new timber grown.

6. It is probable that future demand for timber will reimburse the
cost of growing it, be this cost high or low _within reasonable

7. This does not mean, however, that the timberland owner will or
can generally engage in the business when the cost is excessive.
While he could probably make a good profit eventually, such an
investment is too heavy and prolonged to be inviting; besides there
is the possibility of entire loss by fire. He will naturally compare
it with other investments having less disadvantages. For example,
since conditions which discourage the growing of new competing
forests tend for this very reason to enhance the value of existing
forests, he might invest further in the latter instead, with equal
ultimate profit and with easier access to his money at any time.

8. Consequently the growing of timber is promising to the private
owner only when the investment can be borne easily. Since it has
three forms--land value, fire protection, and taxation--all must
be moderate or, if one or more is high, the rest must be low.

9. With the fire hazard great at present, and taxation so uncertain
as to require allowing for its being excessive, the initial investment
must be insignificant.

10. This confines it to land of low sale value and precludes much
expense to insure the second crop.

11. To secure the perpetuation of forests on the scale essential
to public welfare, the public must provide the private owner better
fire protection and an equitable taxation system. _Or else it must
purchase sufficient cut-over land and engage in forestry itself,
bearing the cost and taking the risk._

12. Nevertheless there are several practical exceptions to the somewhat
unfavorable situation theoretically outlined above:

(a) Many owners are warranted in holding cut-over land for some
time, if not indefinitely, because of the upward trend of land
values generally. Unless clearly most useful for agriculture, such
land will be made more valuable by a growth of young timber. However
indefinite the profit of encouraging this growth and protecting it
from fire may be if the present sale value and taxes are computed
against such outlay, _the two latter charges are being carried
anyway_ and are the most important ones. Merely that it cannot
be proved that they can be more than offset is no reason for not
trying to compensate as far as possible at slight further expense.
While this may not often permit any great effort to reforest, it
will usually warrant protection of the natural new growth that
will follow if given a chance.

(b) Many owners would prefer to have their milling business continue
indefinitely. If such have or can purchase virgin timber to carry
them 50 years or more they may do well to grow a log supply to
come into use at that time, even if they would not do so merely
as a stumpage investment.

(c) It is highly probable that history will repeat itself in the
United States, especially in the Pacific coast states where every
other condition is so favorable to making forestry a great benefit
to the community, and that fire and tax discouragements will be
removed as soon as the public realizes the situation. The owner
who anticipates this and gets his crop started first will be the
first to profit from it, and since it is the compounding toward the
latter end of the rotation which now appears serious, the chances
are that he will not have a heavy burden before relief of this
kind arrives.

(d) Every owner of virgin timber which he expects to hold uncut
for 10 years or more should consider reforestation of adjacent
cut-over land in the light of fire protection also. It is the
inflammable, sun-dried, brake-covered openings, yearly increasing
in extent, which constitute his greatest fire menace. The conversion
of these into green young growth, too dense for fern and salal and
destructible only by the hottest crown fires, is the best protection
he can give mature timber surrounded by them. Some additional expense
for a few years to accomplish this will usually be cheaper and safer
than the patrol otherwise required for an indefinite period.

(e) Advance in value of the land itself, realizable when the second
crop is cut, will in many cases be great enough to make an otherwise
unpromising reforestation investment profitable.


In the foregoing pages consideration has been given to the growing
of native coniferous species only. There is a field, however, yet
to be entered into by the timber grower in the Pacific Northwest,
which gives promise of good returns. This is the growing of eastern
hardwoods. As is well known, the supply of native hardwoods in
this region is deficient and those occurring are of poor quality.
The demand for staple hardwoods is constant, and at present can
be filled only through importation from the East. Moreover, the
manufacturing industry in the Pacific Northwest is as yet only in
its infancy, and as this industry becomes of greater importance
in the future, the demand for hardwood lumber is bound to increase.
This increase in demand, coupled with the rapidly diminishing supply
in the East, seems certain to create a condition under which it
will be profitable to grow hardwoods commercially.

That eastern species will thrive under forest conditions in this
region has not, of course, been demonstrated, but the great variety
of species planted successfully as shade trees in towns and cities, and
in many instances by settlers in the mountains and farming districts,
together with the marked success of various fruits introduced here,
would tend to indicate their adaptability to the climate. In many
respects the climate along the coast of Oregon and Washington is
similar to that found throughout the great hardwood region of the
Southern Appalachian mountains.

Of the many species occurring in the East, several appear preëminently
suited to experimentation because of their particular value in the
trade and rapid growth. Hickory is one of the most valuable of
eastern woods, and the supply remaining is probably least of all
the important species. It is largely used in the vehicle industry,
and because of the fact that the trade can use trees of small size,
and even prefers "second growth" hickory to the more mature form,
a crop can be grown within a comparatively short time. Shagbark or
pignut are probably the best species to plant. Red oak is another
species for which there is a large demand, and while it does not
equal the white oak in value, its more rapid growth makes it a
more desirable species to grow. The increasing scarcity of white
oak has brought about the substitution of red oak for many purposes
for which the more superior variety was formerly used exclusively.
Black walnut is a wood highly prized in furniture manufacture, and
this, coupled with its rapid growth, places it among the first
rank of hardwood trees. Chestnut, white ash, tulip, poplar and
black cherry are other species whose value for various purposes
suggests the possible advisability of their introduction.

Much that has been said in the chapter concerning the methods of
establishing coniferous woods applies equally well to hardwoods.
Those species, however, whose seeds are in the form of nuts, such
as hickories, black walnut, chestnuts, and oaks, are particularly
adapted to propagation by direct seeding. Other species, such as
ash, tulip, poplar, and black cherry, whose seeds are small, are
better grown for one year in nurseries before transplanting into the
field. Where plantations are started by planting the nuts directly
in the field, the cost will be moderate. The nuts can be obtained
in any quantity from eastern seed dealers, and their cost, together
with the labor of planting them, should not exceed $4 per acre. Where
the area planted is level and free from underbrush, preliminary
plowing and harrowing, while adding $1.50 to $2 to the cost per
acre, will add much to the success of the plantation. Cultivation
during the early years of the life of the trees will also result
in increased growth.




The function of fire as an aid to reproduction of the forest in some
instances has been discussed in a preceding chapter. The protection
question is of even greater importance, for whether we consider
mature timber or reforestation, no forest management is worth while
if the investment is to burn up. It can be divided broadly under
two heads, reduction of risk due to operative methods and general
protection. Whichever we consider, the interest of every lumberman
is at stake. The fire question affects him in many ways beside the
danger of direct loss. The sale value of timber in any region is
increased by knowledge that progressive protective methods prevail
among those operating there. Nothing more effectively removes public
carelessness with fire, or lack of helpful sympathy with the lumber
industry in general, than evidence that the lumberman himself is
devoting every effort to safeguarding instead of wasting this great
public resource.

Of operative methods reducing fire risk, one of the most important is
disposal of logging debris. The deliberate accumulation of immensely
inflammable material, almost always where extremely likely to be
ignited, is a form of actually inviting disaster practiced by no
property holders except lumbermen. Nowhere is it carried to such
an extreme as in the West, where the refuse left on the ground
is of so great volume as to preclude human control if it is once
fired at a dry time, and where accidental fire is often more of a
certainty than a liability. Of late, however, the more progressive
lumbermen of the fir region have adopted the practice of firing
their slashings annually at a time when the surrounding woods will
not burn, and the pine men of Idaho and Montana have quite widely
endorsed brush piling. Idaho has a piling law. Oregon already has a
slash burning law which is partially observed. The greatest objection
to such a law is that neither reforestation nor economical protection
indicates the same practice in different types of forest and it is
extremely difficult to make the law both flexible and effective.
More will be accomplished by voluntary adoption of the method best
suited to each condition.


In the more open pine stands of the interior, where both logging
debris and original combustible ground cover are small, slashings
threaten the adjacent timber less than in denser forests, but are
of peculiar danger to the valuable young growth usually left on
the area itself. As we have seen in a previous chapter on western
yellow pine, reproduction in dry localities may require scattering
the brush over the ground and keeping fire out, and there may be
abnormally dense stands suggesting clean slash burning, but as a
rule brush piling is the best course. In view of the importance
of this subject the following extracts are taken from a circular
issued by the Forest Service:

"_Advantages of Brush Burning_

"The greatest advantage of brush burning is the protection it gives
against fire. In many cases brush burning is the only practicable
safeguard against fire. After the average lumbering operation the
ground is covered with slash, scattered about or piled, just as
the swampers have left it. This, in the dry season, is a veritable
fire trap. Probably 90 per cent of all uncontrolled cuttings are
burnt over, which retards the second crop at least from fifty to
one hundred years and perhaps permanently changes the composition
of the forest. Fires may be set by loggers while still at work
on the area or several years after by lightning, campers, or
locomotives. By piling the brush and burning it in wet weather,
or in snow, when there is no danger of the fire spreading, all
inflammable material is removed, and the second growth can come
up without serious risk of being destroyed. Even where only part
of the brush is burned and the rest is piled, as when the piles in
open places, along ridges, streams, or laid off lines are burned,
very much is gained in case of fire, since these cleared lanes
form bases from which a fire may be fought.

"Besides lessening the danger from fire, brush burning has certain
minor advantages. When the brush on the ground is removed it is
much easier for rangers and others to ride or walk through the
forest. This may be very important in case of a fire or in rounding
up cattle. It is also much easier to cut and handle ties, cordwood,
or other timber which may later be taken from the cut-over areas
if the slash is out of the way. By piling and burning the green
brush as it is cut from the trees by the swampers, as is now being
done in Minnesota and parts of Montana, the ground is cleared and
skidding is made easier and cheaper. Again, careful piling and
burning of brush improves the appearance of the forest. There is
nothing much more unsightly than a recently cutover area where
no attempt has been made to dispose of tops and lops. Near towns
or resorts and along roads or streams frequented by tourists this
point should be carefully considered, but as a general rule the
utility of the forest should not be sacrificed for beauty.

"_Disadvantages of Burning_

"The disadvantages of burning brush are many and, with the one
exception of protection from fire, far outweigh the advantages.
If protection can be had in some other way, as with more efficient
patrol service or more stringent laws, the practice should in many
cases be abandoned. In many places, especially in the yellow pine
type, the best, and often the only, reproduction comes up under a
fallen treetop or other brush. Where there is little of the old
stand left, the straggling open top protects the seedlings from the
direct heat of the sun. Yet brush not only protects the seedlings
from the sun but, what is more important, the leaves and broken
twigs form a cover which retards evaporation of moisture from the
soil. Over the greater part of the West the soil dries out very
rapidly during the dry season, and this serious retards or even
prevents the growth of seedlings. Even in the moister regions,
such as that of the Engelmann spruce type, it is very necessary
to conserve the moisture in the soil after logging to prevent the
remaining trees from being killed through lack of soil moisture.
A third reason why seedlings so often come up only under the down
treetops is that they are protected from stock. Next to drought,
sheep are perhaps the most serious menace to reproduction, and
though it would be best to keep all stock off the area for several
years after logging, in many cases this is not practicable, and
on many areas the leaving of the tops on the ground is the only
way to protect reproduction from injury.

"In many places after the timber has been cut off gullies and washes
start in the old wheel ruts, log slides, etc., and these and other
forms of erosion can best be prevented by leaving the brush on the
ground, either laid in the incipient washes or scattered over the
soil that is likely to wash. Brush burning destroys the valuable
soil cover, and on the spots where the piles are burned the soil
is loosened, which renders it even more liable to erosion.

"It is well known that where the forest is burned each year the soil
becomes poorer and poorer, because nitrogen, the chief fertilizing
ingredient of the soil, is given off in the smoke, and only the
mineral elements go back to the soil in the ashes. And, what is
more injurious, the humus--i. e., the decomposed vegetable matter
in the top soil--is destroyed. In burning brush after logging all
the fertilizing and humus-forming leaves and twigs are destroyed
just when most needed, for another good crop or leaves cannot be
expected for many years.

"The added cost, both to the lumberman and to the Government, is
another argument against brush burning. The cost of piling brush
has varied all the way from 15 cents to $1 or more per thousand,
with an average or 40 or 50 cents, while the cost or burning may
be from 5 cents to 25 cents per thousand, averaging about 15 cents.
By abandoning the practice of brush piling this 60 cents a thousand
will not be entirely saved, as is claimed by some, for the brush
will still have to be lopped and disposed of in some other way,
which will cost, it is estimated, at least half as much as piling
and burning. But even a saving of 25 or 30 cents a thousand is
a strong argument against the practice.

"Thus, from a silvicultural viewpoint, the disadvantages of brush
burning far outweigh its advantages. Yet, as a general policy, it
seems unwise, until other methods have proved their efficiency,
to abandon brush piling and burning to any great extent at present.
The fire danger is a known quality, and, though it is being reduced
each year, it is still a menace. Therefore changes from the present
practice should be made with caution. Brush piling and burning is
certainly not advisable in all cases, and extensive experiments
should be made to determine what is the best method of brush disposal
for the different types and conditions.

"_Brush Piling and Burning_

"The cost of piling varies with the cost of labor, the methods
of logging, the type, the topography, the kind of trees cut, and
the time of the year it is done. A few figures will illustrate
this variation. In the yellow pine type in Montana an addition
to the swampers' wages of 15 cents a thousand would, it is said,
enable them to pile the brush, as they have to handle it anyway.
Usually, however, the piling is done by a separate crew. Much of
the work is thus duplicated. In yellow pine in the Southwest, brush
piling costs from 45 to 50 cents, while in Montana it can be done
for 25 cents. One operator in lodgepole in Montana says it is cheaper
for him to pile than not to, because he can get his skidding done
so much cheaper, yet on other operations it has cost from 50 cents
to $1 a thousand, depending on how thoroughly it is cleaned up.
In the sugar pine type of California the cost of piling averages
from 25 to 35 cents, while the cost in the Douglas fir type, in
Montana and Idaho, averages about 40 cents, and in Engelmann spruce
type the cost is only about 25 cents a thousand. It is certain,
however, that the cost of piling will everywhere be materially
reduced when the operators begin to look on piling as part of the
swampers' regular work and not as an entirely separate job.

"Dry brush should never be burned during the dry season, unless
absolutely necessary for the suppression of an insect invasion.
Green brush in some places may be burned at any time, but as a
rule it is unsafe to burn it in dry weather. The best time to burn
brush is in the fall, just after the first snowfall. Then the piles
are dry, and there is no danger that the fire will get beyond control.
Brush may also be burned at the beginning of or during the rainy
season, when the ground is damp enough to prevent the fire from
spreading, and the brush dry enough to burn readily.

"The cost of brush burning varies like the cost of piling. It varies
even more in the same localities, with weather conditions and methods
of piling. Brush that can be burned for 10 or 15 cents a thousand
at a favorable time, as just after the first snow, will cost five
or ten times as much to burn in dry weather, or when the piles are
very wet. Brush can be burned more easily the first fall after
cutting than it can the second year, when many of the leaves have
fallen off. Brush burning has been done for 13 cents a thousand
in lodgepole, in the Medicine Bow National Forest, while it has
cost 22 cents in similar timber in the Yellowstone, and estimates
of 40 cents a thousand have been made for it in the Rockies. It
is generally admitted that brush can be most economically burned
by the same people who pile it. Recently several contracts have
been made in which the purchaser of the timber is required to pile
and burn the brush under the direction of forest officers, as has
been the practice in the Minnesota forest for some time. This will
lighten the total cost, and when the weather allows the brush to
be burned, as logging proceeds, the cost of burning will be offset
by the subsequent reduction in the cost of skidding.

"_Piling Without Burning_

"Brush piled properly, even though it is not burned, is a great
protection to the forest. Inflammable material is removed from
among the living trees, and should a fire occur it would be much
easier to fight. This is especially true where reproduction is
dense. Where openings are scarce piles should be made in the most
open places, and may be larger than those made to be burned."


In many regions, especially in western Oregon and Washington, logging
debris is too great to make piling practicable. But except for
the damper localities close to the Pacific, the danger from these
immense accumulations is all the more excessive and, as we have
seen elsewhere, their removal is often desirable in order to further
reforestation by desirable species. Here the only course is to
burn the slashing clean.

This is a dangerous process unless every safeguard is employed.
Burning must be at a time in spring or fall when the slashing is
dry enough but the surrounding woods are not. Spring burning is
theoretically preferable, for it leaves less inflammable material
during the fire season. The first fire is also easier to control
then, because repeated experiments may be made, as the slashing
dries, until just the right conditions exist. On the other hand,
it is dangerous if there are many old stumps and logs in which
fire may smoulder to make trouble later. The exponents or fall
burning also argue that with care they can be ready to fire a very
dry slashing safely at the beginning of a rainstorm. Spring burning
seems to have the most advocates, but it is doubtful whether any
rule for all localities and conditions can be given with confidence.
Frequently failure at one season leads to postponement until the

In either case the slashing can be given the advantage of the greatest
dryness with safety if it is surrounded by a cleared fire line from
which to work. Firing should be against the wind and if the wind
changes suddenly the opposite edge should be back fired. Previous
cutting of all dead trees and snags over 25 feet high is urgently
recommended. The camp crew should be held in readiness, well provided
with tools, as insurance against accidental escape.

Its probable restriction of insect breeding is a point of slash
burning likely to receive much future study. It is well known that
most forest-injuring insects prefer dying trees to vigorous ones;
also that the existence of an abnormal amount of such material
tends to abnormal breeding and consequent serious attack of vigorous
timber when the dead material becomes too dry to be inviting. It
is by no means impossible that the supposed immunity of Douglas
fir from insect injury may be largely due to the almost universal
destruction by fire of logging debris which would otherwise afford
ideal breeding places.


The division of mature forest into compartments separated by fire
lines is seldom practicable in this country. Nevertheless slashings,
deadenings and similar fire traps can very often be profitably
confined by the cleaning of strips which will not only stop or
retard the progress of a moderate fire but also facilitate patrol,
fire fighting or back firing. On favorable ground, where some choice
is offered, much may be done by falling timber inward so as to leave
few tops near the uncut timber and by the location of skidroads.
So far as practicable fire lines should be on the tops of ridges,
for, being slower to go downhill than up, fire is more easily
discouraged just as it reaches a crest. Bottoms of gulches are next
in strategic value, and midslopes least.


The most fruitful source of fires is spark-emitting locomotives
and logging engines. Much data has been collected showing that with
oil at a reasonable price its use is economical from a labor-saving
point of view as well as from that of safety. It reduces expense
for watchmen, patrol, fuel cutting, firebox cleaning and firing.
And since it is an absolute prevention, while all other measures
merely seek to minimize the risk, it is probable that even where
the cost of the oil more than balances these savings it will save
in the long run by averting a costly fire.

Where the use of oil cannot be considered, spark arresters are
essential. The argument that they prevent draft is not worth attention.
It is greatly exaggerated by engineers and firemen prejudiced against
innovation or too inattentive to keep their fires up properly and
consequently unnecessarily dependent on occasional forced draft.
The slight disadvantage involved by the modern improved arrester
is not to be compared with the importance of the safety acquired.

In addition to spark arresters, which may fail or be out of order,
logging engines using fuel other than oil should be provided with
a constant tank or barrel supply of six to twelve barrels of water
and 100 feet of hose with proper pumping attachment. With this a
spark fire can be promptly soaked out beyond danger of invisible
smouldering in rotten wood or duff. When conditions are dangerous,
careful loggers send a man back to each donkey-setting between
supper and bedtime to look for possible fires that were not seen
when the crew left. Many keep a watchman on the rounds all night.

Railroad rights of way can usually be kept cleaned and burned at
a cost far less than that of otherwise frequent shutdowns of the
entire camp to fight fire or rebuild bridges, to say nothing of
loss of timber.


The best way to prevent fire is to prevent it. Putting out fires
already started is better than letting them burn, but as the real
foundation of a protective system it is about like lowering a lifeboat
after the ship has struck. Only by patrol can the incipient spark
or camp fire be extinguished before it becomes a forest fire that
has to be fought, taking hours or days instead of minutes. One
patrolman can stop 100 incipient fires easier than 100 men can
stop one big fire. Fires in the forest may never be wholly averted,
but patrol will prevent them from becoming "forest fires."

This is why the progressive lumberman no longer waits till forced
to layoff his crew to fight, spending in a day or two a patrolman's
salary for a season, shutting down his road and mill for lack of
logs, and perhaps in spite of all losing several thousand dollars'
worth of timber and equipment. It is also why the progressive
non-operating owner no longer considers fire loss the act of God,
to be reckoned as an investment risk of several per cent. The man
who does not patrol his timber nowadays is like a millman who hires
no watchman, has no hose or sprinkler equipment, and carries no
insurance. He _may_ escape loss, but by not making a reasonable
effort to insure against it he takes a course practically unknown
with other forms of property.

Modern fire patrol is systematic. Trained and organized men have
definite duties. Tools, assistance and supplies are available at
known points and without delay. Trails and look out stations, often
supplemented by telephone lines, give the greatest efficiency with
the least number of men. Above all, the system is based on the
fact that results are most truly measured not by the number of
fires extinguished but by the absence of fire at all. Settlers,
campers and lumbermen are visited, cautioned and converted. In
short, the patrolman has a certain area in which to improve public
sentiment. His success in this is worth more than efficiency in
fighting fires due to lack of such success. A system devoted to
mere fire fighting to be adequate must grow larger as time goes
on. One devoted to preventing fire may be reduced, as time makes
it successful.

The cost of efficient patrol varies so directly with the risk that
it is almost constant as an insurance investment. Where prevalence
of fire, difficulty of handling it, etc., make the cost per acre
comparatively high, there is equivalent certainty of greater loss
if this sum is not spent. Where the owner is warranted in believing
his risk small it costs but a trifle to provide sufficient patrol
to insure against it. One to 3 cents an acre is spent in the great
majority of successful patrols in ordinary seasons.


One of the first lessons learned from the establishment of private
patrol in the West was that both efficiency and economy are obtained
by co-operation between owners. Obviously if one patrolman can
cover the holdings of several, it is foolish for each to hire a
man. If a fire threatens several tracts, it is better to share the
expense of labor hired to put it out. The same is true of building
trails, buying tool supplies, etc. This has led to the forming of
associations which at a minimum cost to each member accomplish
the many tasks of finding suitable men, having them authorized
by the State, supervising and supplying them, paying emergency
expense, opening trails, etc. Each member pays his share upon the
acreage he represents.

These associations offer other important advantages besides the mere
cheapening of work. They are admirably adapted to modifying the cost
to fit the season. Beginning in spring with an assessment to cover
putting the whole territory under the essentials of supervision and
patrol, they can add men just as required by the progress of dry
weather and reduce again in the fall. Men can be centralized at
danger points better than through individual effort. Exceedingly
important is the means they afford of bringing in the non-resident
owner, the small owner who is not warranted in employing anyone
alone, and the non-progressive owner who would otherwise do nothing
but is ashamed to stay out of a general movement.

No tract can be safely considered as an independent unit. _No protection
confined to it alone is as good insurance as the removal of risk
from the district within which it lies._ Fire is no respecter of
section lines. There is always danger of unusual weather in which it
may travel a long distance. It is far better to secure the maximum
general safety in the locality than to have guarded tracts alternating
with fire traps. Moreover attention to individual tracts does not
improve surrounding conditions, and the latter may easily become
so bad as to make the cost of individual patrol, as well as the
risk, far overbalance any financial disadvantage at present through

Again, the public is far more likely to take kindly to the enforcement
of fire laws by an association than to the action of an individual
owner against whom some prejudice may exist. Associations greatly
simplify co-operation with State and Government in fire work and
tend to bring about appropriations for the purpose. They enable
uniform and concentrated effort to improve sentiment and legislation.
This booklet and the other work done by the Western Forestry &
Conservation Association was made possible by the existence of
the local organizations it represents. Their independent local and
State effect has been marked.

The bad fire season of 1910 was a supreme test of the associations
of the Pacific Northwest. They kept the bad fires in their immense
territory down to a number which can be counted on the fingers
and their losses were comparatively insignificant. Yet under the
weather conditions which existed the thousands of fires they
extinguished would certainly otherwise have swept the country and
caused a disaster probably unparalleled in American history.


However progressive the preventive policies adopted, the race between
them and the increasing sources of hazard resembles that between
armor plate and ordnance in the construction of battleships. While
for a given population engaged in pursuits endangering the forests
the risk lessens, the total activity increases at a rate which
makes the smaller proportionate risk as great in actual measure.
This is particularly true of the growth of slashing areas. The
virgin forest becomes more and more and checkered by burned and
cut-over deadenings, veritable fire-traps open to sun and wind,
and, especially west of the Cascades, usually covered by inflammable
debris, brush or dead ferns. Each year brings nearer the time when,
unless something is done, such will constitute the majority of
once forested land and the uncut timber will remain like islands
in expanses of extreme danger.

Next to cultivation, which but a small percentage will receive,
the safest insurance against recurring fires in these cut-over
areas is a thrifty young second growth. It shades the ground, keeps
out annual vegetation that furnishes fuel when dead, and will itself
carry none but such furious crown-fires as would be practically
unknown were there no openings for them to gain headway in. This
is less true of pine, but the very best protection which can be
given a tract of merchantable fir is a strip of 10 to 50-year second
growth surrounding it.

Whether regarded from the owner's standpoint or that of the public,
reforestation should be considered as a protective measure of extreme
importance. Actual expenditure to obtain it may easily be profitable
for this reason alone, for once established it will decrease the
cost of patrol thereafter. Were all cut-over land in the Northwest
immediately restocked, the fire hazard would be enormously reduced.




If there is anyone for whom the practice of forestry is practical
and profitable, it is the farmer who owns the timber he uses for
fuel or other purposes. His supply of the most suitable material
is almost always limited and in any case his method of using it
is practically certain to influence his permanent labor expenses.
Nevertheless, especially in well-timbered regions, cutting is apt
to be with but two considerations--the quickest clearing of land or
the easiest immediate fulfillment of some need for tree products--and
the passage of a few years brings realization that this early
thoughtlessness must be paid for at a high price.

In the first place almost all timber of a commercial species has
real and increasing value. If it is young, this value is increasing
doubly because of growth. Varying greatly, of course, young timber
in the Pacific Northwest very often adds from 500 to 1,000 board
feet to the acre annually. This annual gain is taking place even
if the timber has not reached merchantable size, being like coin
deposited in a toy bank which does not open until full. And this
is true whether the ultimate use may be for fuel, poles, or salable
material like tie or saw timber.

Too much land is cleared of young growth, merely because such clearing
is easy, which is of such low value for tilling or even pasture that
its use for these purposes does not pay as well in the long run
as would its use for growing timber, especially when the investment
of clearing is considered. The resulting expanse of charred stumps
and logs, producing little but ferns, is a small farm asset at
best. The timber it would grow may eventually be a large asset.
And the labor of clearing applied to a smaller tract of good land
is sure to bring greater returns. An illustration is furnished
by two tracts near the end of a recently completed railroad in
western Washington. Twenty years ago a settler slashed a large
area of presumably worthless sapling fir adjoining his tillable
bottom land, set fire to it, piled and burned the remaining poles,
"seeded down" a pasture, and enclosed it by an expensive cedar
rail fence. The pasture, never useful except in early spring, grew
up to ferns, and was finally abandoned. Even the fence was moved.
The settler on the next claim left his part of the same sapling
growth to grow and this year sold the timber alone for $1,000 to
a tie mill which came into the neighborhood with the railroad. The
moral of this does not apply to cutting alone, but argues equally
for preventing fire in second growth.

It is also poor economy, if mature timber exists, to cut rapidly
growing young timber for fuel because it is nearer the house or
easier to cut. The former has become stationary in production,
while the latter, if left, is earning money by growing in quantity
and quality. If young timber must be used, and the land is not
worth actually clearing for cultivation or pasture, it is usually
far better to thin out the poorest trees, thus leaving the remainder
stimulated to a more rapid growth, which will soon replace those
removed, than to begin on the edge and take everything.

There is no reason why a certain poor-soiled timbered portion of
the average claim should not be considered as a permanent wood
lot, to be treated with the same interest and pride in making it
produce the greatest quantity of forest products for sale or use that
the owner accords his fields. With this point of view established
and consequent study given the subject, it will also be easier to
decide how large this portion should be. In many cases the result
will be abandonment of the idea that all forest growth is an enemy,
to be destroyed on general principles without calculating what
actual profit there is in destruction.

Another point often overlooked in the Pacific Northwest, because
of our local tendency to consider the forest only as something to
struggle against, is the exactly opposite influence of properly
placed tree growth upon sale values if the prospective buyer is
from the East or from our own cities or tree-less regions. Such
are attracted strongly by the grove-like effect of a few trees left
around the house. Their desire for this is as strongly ingrained
as the average local resident's desire for a completely free outlook
to mark his victory over unfriendly nature. The appeal a place
makes to a buyer as a pleasant home has frequently as important
an influence on his decision as its purely practical merits.

His judgment of the latter, however, is also affected by his earlier
environment. If he has lived where farming land is open, evidences
of the labor of clearing are discouraging. The untouched forest,
being totally beyond his capacity to estimate the labor its removal
entails, repels him less than stumps, logs, desolate burnings and
like detailed evidences of the work which lies before him. This
is another reason why the clearing of clearly fertile land may
be better business than the half-clearing of land perhaps best
suited for forest growth anyway. Again, not fully realizing the
plentifulness of forest products in the new locality, he may actually
overestimate the value of an attractive piece of forest land showing
evidence of the thoughtful care suggested in a preceding paragraph.


Above all, it pays the settler in wooded regions to be careful
with fire. Properly directed and confined, fire is necessary in
clearing land. But there is no profit in allowing uncontrolled
fire to spread from the actual clearing to create a snarl of dead,
decaying and falling trees and underbrush. It is usually harder
to extend the clearing into such ground than into green timber.
This added work later is many times that necessary to safeguard
the burning in the first place.

In every case that fire ever escaped from clearing operations,
the cause was either thoughtlessness or unwillingness to perform
certain work. Because it is easier to burn a slashing than to pile
and burn; or when a ground burn is desirable, because it is easier
to take chances than to clear a fire line around the area and have
a force of men present; because burning at a dry, dangerous time
will be cleaner and thus save work after the fire; inexperience,
coupled with unwillingness to take advice from the experienced--these
and like reasons are responsible for the destruction of lives and
property worth over and over again the sum that was saved by the
attempted economy. And, although this does not save others, the
person responsible also usually loses instead of gaining.

Without deprecating in the least the importance of agricultural
development or of lightening the useful and not easy task of the
settler, it is still terribly true that the agricultural industry
and the settler suffer an annual loss through the destruction of
improvements, crops and stock by fires from careless clearing that
is far greater financially than the saving in clearing cost which
was the cause. In other words, agricultural development is retarded
instead of advanced by its present careless use of fire.


Great as are the timber resources of the Pacific Northwest, there
are extensive regions in central and eastern Oregon and Washington
where timber is a scarcity, and wood for fuel and farm repair purposes
for settlers and ranchers can be obtained only at heavy cost. In
such situations it will be a paying investment for the farmer to
set out a small plantation simply to produce his own wood for fuel,
fence posts and other purposes. It is true that some time must
elapse before plantations begin to be productive, but by choosing
rapid-growing species and planting closely, the thinnings which
will be necessary in a few years, even though the trees be small,
will do for the woodpile. Trees which grow rapidly and at the same
time produce good wood are, of course, preferable. If they also
sprout from the stump, a little care will maintain the supply

The choice of species for a woodlot must be governed to a great
extent by the location. Many portions of the treeless areas in this
region are situated at a high altitude where the climatic conditions
are severe and frosts are common throughout every month of the
year. In such locations only the most hardy trees will succeed.
Other areas are deficient in moisture, and where this deficiency is
so great as to prohibit the growing of agricultural crops by dry
farming it is useless to attempt growing trees without irrigation.

Probably the tree most commonly planted in treeless regions has
been some species of cottonwood. Lombardy poplar and Balm of Gilead
have been great favorites. Cottonwood grows rapidly and is hardy
against frost, but requires a never-failing supply of water within
five to twenty feet of the surface. Because of its demands for
moisture it will not grow on uplands, but thrives along water courses
or where there is plentiful supply of moisture below the surface. Its
fuel value is not high, though the quantity of its wood production
compensates for its poor quality, nor does it make good fence posts.
Where quick growth is the main consideration, however, it is a good
tree to plant. The varieties known as Norway and Carolina poplar
are the best.

Green ash and hackberry are also hardy against both cold and moisture,
but of slow growth. Their wood is durable in contact with the soil,
making them suitable for fence posts. Where it succeeds black locust
combines many of the desirable qualities to the highest degree. It
is a rapid grower, makes excellent fence posts and has high fuel
value. It is not as hardy against frost as cottonwood and ash,
and while it has been planted successfully in sheltered locations
on high plateaus, its success where frosts occur during the summer
months is problematical. A closely related species, honey locust,
is more frost-hardy but less desirable in other respects, though an
excellent tree nevertheless. Other fairly hardy and drought-resistant
trees are osage orange and Russian mulberry. Their value for fuel
and fence posts is high, but they will not succeed in the most
severe situations. Box elder is hardy and has been widely planted,
but it is of low fuel value and short lived.

In favorable localities at low altitudes, where moisture is abundant
either through natural precipitation or from irrigation, the number
of species which are adapted to woodlot planting is largely increased.
Black walnut, black cherry and hardy catalpa are probably the most
valuable of these. The latter, however, is sensitive to early and
late frosts.


The planting of windbreaks and shelter belts around dwellings and
fields is of prime importance to the settler in an open country.
Nothing adds more to the comfort of the dweller than a belt of
timber about the home to protect it from the wind. Orchards need
windbreaks to save them from injury in a wind-swept country, and
gardens are more successful when surrounded by trees. One of the
most important functions of the windbreak, however, is the saving of
soil moisture within the protected area, for it is a well established
fact that evaporation takes place more rapidly when there is a
movement of the atmosphere than when it is calm. It is safe to
say that a windbreak is effective in preventing evaporation for
a distance equal to ten to fifteen times its height.

Some species, because of the form of their crowns and their rapid
growth, are more effective for windbreaks than others. Since more
coniferous trees retain their foliage throughout the entire year,
they afford protection in winter as well as in summer. Such species
as western yellow, Scotch and Austrian pine grow rapidly, are hardy,
and serve the purpose well. In regions of abundant moisture Douglas
fir or Norway and Sitka spruce are unequaled. European larch has also
been very successful in many regions, but, unlike most conifers,
it sheds its leaves in winter. Where a windbreak is to consist of
a single row only, it should be of a densely growing type that
branches close to the ground. For low breaks of this character
the Russian mulberry and Osage orange are excellent.

Trees for woodlot or windbreak planting can be purchased from commercial
nurserymen or grown by the farmer. Many growers of orchard trees,
particularly in the states in the middle West, do a large business
in forest tree seedlings. Since the transportation charges are
often high, and since most farmers can give the attention and labor
necessary to raising the trees themselves without inconvenience
or extra expense, it is often desirable for them to do so. The
Forest Service of the U. S. Department of Agriculture has issued
several publications containing full directions for the establishment
of nurseries, and these can be obtained from the Superintendent of
Public Documents, Washington, D. C., free or at a nominal cost.[*]

[Footnote *: Reprint from Yearbook, Dept. of Agr., 1905, "How to
Grow Young Trees for Forest Planting."

Bulletin No. 29, "The Forest Nursery."

Planting leaflets for almost all important forest trees.]

Planting may be done in the spring or fall, the latter being often
preferable in regions where a dry season occurs early in the summer.
For plantations of broadleaf species, one-year-old seedlings are
best suited, while coniferous species should be two to three years
old. The chief points to remember in setting out the trees are
not to allow the roots, particularly of coniferous trees, to dry
out; to dig the holes large enough to enable the roots to take a
normal position without doubling up, and to pack the soil firmly
around them. Where planting is done on open ground, it is highly
advantageous to plow and harrow the soil before setting out the
trees in order to preserve the moisture and kill weeds and sod.

Willows, cottonwoods and other poplars are very easily propagated
from cuttings. Cuttings should be of strong, healthy wood of the
previous season's growth which ripened well and did not shrivel
during the winter. A good length is 8 to 12 inches, with the upper
cut just above a bud. They may be made when wanted and planted
with a spade, or if the ground is mellow they can be merely shoved
into the soil until only one bud is above the surface and then

The spacing of the trees is a question largely of utility, with
some variation for different species. In general, however, close
planting is advisable in treeless regions, since an artificial
forest must stand in a dense mass if it is to succeed in the struggle
against native vegetation, wind, sunshine, frost and dry weather. A
single tree or row unprotected by associates has a poorer chance.
Cultivation is the best method of conserving soil moisture. To obtain
the best results plantations should be cultivated, if possible,
at least during the first few years. The less care the trees are
to have, the thicker they should be set in order that they will
be close enough to establish forest conditions of shade, litter
and underbrush. Thinnings can then be made as they grow and need
more room. The material thus obtained will provide an early supply
of fuel, stakes and posts. A spacing of 4x4 feet is common, but
this does not allow for cultivation. For this reason 2x8 feet is
preferable. Shelter belts should be planted closely in order to
give protection quickly.


The cost of planting is not great. Broadleaf seedlings will cost
from $1 to $6 per thousand at the nursery, coniferous plants $2.50
to $10. If grown at home the cost will be greatly reduced. The
preparation of the soil by plowing and harrowing should not exceed
$2 per acre, and planting from $2.50 to $5 per thousand, according
to the species, the method used and the condition of the soil.




It is of the very highest importance to have that part of our constantly
increasing area of cut and burned over forest land which is not
more valuable for agriculture put to its only useful purpose--the
growing of another forest crop. If this is done it will continue to
be a source of tax revenue, to employ labor and support industry,
to supply our forest needs, to bring revenue into the state, and to
protect our streams. Otherwise it will become a desert, non-taxable,
non-productive, a fire menace, and in every way worse than a dead
loss to the state in which it exists and to the country at large.
In the one way it will be of use to every citizen, whatever his
occupation; in the other it will be a burden upon every citizen.

The realness and directness of this problem in the Pacific Northwest
is seldom realized. Our deforested areas are great and growing, but
of even more peculiar significance is our unparalleled opportunity
for making them quickly profitable to the community. Forest growth
is more rapid and certain than elsewhere. A heavy crop may be had
again in from 40 to 60 years. It will hardly be of the quality of
that now being cut, but considering the shortage then to prevail
should bring fully as much wealth into the state from its manufacture,
the majority to be circulated as payment for supplies and labor.
Since, therefore, our denuded land should in 60 years or less bring
in again as much as it has already, its idleness costs us each year
a sixtieth or more of that immense sum, amounting to a great many
millions of dollars annually. To this loss is added the loss of
tax revenue which the new crop would yield, with countless indirect


For this situation our system of taxation is chiefly responsible.
The owner may or may not hold the land for a time under the present
system, in the hope of selling it or of tax reform, but he will
seldom if ever take any steps to insure reforesting, because to
do so is too likely to be at an actual loss. Whether he has made
money on the original crop has no bearing; nor has his being rich
or poor, resident or alien. His cut-over land presents a distinct
problem to him.

In the first place, its sale value represents an investment. He
may sell and reinvest the money in any business which looks
inviting--perhaps in standing timber. Presumably he can get ordinary
business returns, 6 per cent or more, and continue to reinvest
these returns. Therefore if he leaves this money in forest land
for 50 years without return, for every dollar so tied up he must
get $18.42 at the end of that period if he is to make 6 per cent on
the investment. And this applies not only to the present value of
the land, but also to any added expense he incurs in modifying his
cutting methods, or in replanting, in order to insure reforestation.
If both together amount to $5 an acre, he must net $92.10 at the
end of his 50 years in order to make 6 per cent.

So far no complaint can be made. But if the land is to produce a
second crop it cannot be left to take care of itself, as it might
were it being held for speculative purposes only. It must be protected
from fire and trespass. And since the interest and principal invested
will amount to so much for so long a period and be totally lost in
case of destruction, the protection must be adequate, practically
amounting to insurance. The annual cost will vary greatly according
to locality, class of timber, and the enforcement of fire laws,
but will be from 1 cent at the minimum to 15 cents at the maximum
in bad seasons. If all cost of protection and administration is
placed at only 5 cents annually, for the sake of illustration,
this represents another investment constantly increasing and
compounding, which, at the end of 50 years at 6 per cent, will
amount to $14.51 an acre. Consequently, adding that to his original
investment which will have become $92.10, he must net $106.61 to
make his 6 per cent.


Let us now consider the influence of taxation. We have assumed the
land to be valuable for forest growing only, and in calling his
investment $5 an acre included some cost of insuring reforestation.
Place this at $2 and leave a land value of $3, to be fully taxed
at 30 mills for both state and county purposes, which is perhaps
a fair average. This represents the third form of his investment,
or 9 cents an acre invested annually and left unavailable for 50
years, and will amount at the end of that time, at 6 per cent, to
$26.13. He has now to clear $132.74 an acre, besides being always
in danger of total or partial loss from fire, _and during all this
time has to have the money, made in some other way, to meet all the
annual payments._ But no injustice appears, for he has been taxed
on an equal basis with other producers. If his acre yields 20,000
feet (the maximum to expect), worth $7 a thousand, he has made his
6 per cent, the community has gained a resource, and everyone is
satisfied. His land has been taxed fairly and as he now has a crop
to sell he can afford to pay a tax on it also. If it is taxed at 3
per cent, or $4.20 an acre, county and state will altogether have
received from him the same tax revenue they collect from other forms
of property and industry of like value and profit, and received
also the other benefits of forest production and of his expenditure
of wages for protection.

But this is just what cannot legally be done under our present
tax system. _By failure to recognize that the growth produced is
a crop, distinct from the land, grown at the owner's effort and
expense, and returning no revenue until ripe, the law now compels
the repeated annual taxation of the owner's effort to an extent very
likely to amount to confiscation._ It has been seen that even under
the fair system outlined in the preceding paragraph, forest growing
is not more than ordinarily inviting and involves considerable risk
and capital. Yet it assumed only a fair annual tax on the land.
Under our present system, logically carried out, here is what would

The first year the tax would be the same. The second year a fiftieth
of the total fifty-year crop, which we have assumed worth about
$140, or $2.80, would be added to the land; therefore not $3, but
$5.80, will bear the 30-mill levy, and not 9 cents, but 17 cents,
actual tax will be paid. The third year the tax will be 25 cents
an acre; at the twenty-fifth year it will be over $2 an acre. We
have seen that even a 9-cent tax amounted to an investment of over
$26 an acre in order to produce the crop. The continual increase
of this according to growth would make the investment run into
many hundreds of dollars if the same interest is calculated, and
in any case would make reforestation _financially impossible_.

In actual practice, the increased valuation would probably not
be made by the assessor in the manner just described. Instead of
determining the rate of growth scientifically and applying it annually,
he now makes an ocular reappraisement at considerable intervals.
In most cases there is no increased value, for the land does not
reforest but is continually reburned. Where it accidentally does
reforest, he makes a rough calculation of the value of the second
growth, based upon no particular system and seldom alike in different
counties. But the principle remains the same and the result differs
only in degree. With the most lenient valuation at 10 or 15-year
intervals, the addition of material which makes growing forests
so different from our stationary mature forests of today is bound,
under our present system, to have confiscatory effect. The land
owner, so far from being encouraged to establish and protect a
new forest, is actually penalized, for he must assume that its
expectation value will be taxed annually, perhaps on an exorbitant
basis, as soon as it becomes apparent.

If only the value _added each year_, $2.80 in our illustration,
were taxed annually, there would be no injustice. The tax would
then, in the case cited, be 9 cents the first year and 17 cents
every year thereafter. But this cannot be calculated with sufficient
accuracy upon our present knowledge of forest growth and under
conditions varying with every trace or acre. Our example, with its
several arbitrary factors of growth, tax rate, interest rate, and
future stumpage price, was merely for the purpose of illustration.
Furthermore, such a solution would still be illegal under our present


These facts are recognized by all students of forestry and taxation.
In all countries where forests are grown the general property tax
has been abandoned. Disinterested authorities of every class,
approaching the subject only from the public's point of view and
holding no brief for the timberland owner, unite in saying emphatically
that its application to growing forests will retard or prevent
forestry in our country. These authorities include statesmen like
Roosevelt and our most prominent governors and senators; expert
authorities on taxation generally, like state, national, and
international tax conferences and professors of economics in the
leading universities; forestry authorities like Graves, Pinchot
and State foresters; and all the many associations and congresses
devoted to such subjects.

These authorities all agree that the forest crop should not be
taxed till harvested, but differ somewhat as to the degree to which
the public need of reforestation warrants deferring part or all of
the land tax also. This Association, after careful study of the
subject, including European methods, the experiments made by several
of our States, and the plans proposed by many others, believes the
following objects should be sought:

1. Greater permanent revenue to state and country than is possible
under the present system of destroying the taxable source.

2. Sustention of present revenue to the highest degree compatible
with permanence.

3. Assurance that the owner will do his fair part to make the land

4. Assurance to the owner in return that future action by the community
will not confiscate all profit resulting from his effort.

5. Division of risk, so both owner and community will seek highest
production and safety from fire.

6. Demonstrable justice to all concerned, rather than subsidy which,
while doubtless warrantable to secure the public good, affords
less precise basis of legislation at the present time.

7. Simplicity in adoption and operation.


These requirements can be met by legislation, following constitutional
amendment where necessary, providing that where the owner of cut or
burned-over land will contract with the State to insure reforestation
and protection for a specified term of years, the State shall notify
the county assessor that the land is separated for taxation purposes
from any forest growth thereon. The land may continue to pay a fair
dependable tax, but the crop shall not be taxed until harvested.
To the end that cutting of standing timber shall be conducted so
as to place the land in the best condition for reforesting, uncut
forest land should be subject to examination and similar contract,
and the separate classification for taxation should take effect
within a year after the timber is removed in compliance with the

This would mean that when the owner of deforested land chiefly
valuable to the community for forest production agrees to make it
produce, he shall be taxed not on his effort but upon the results
of his effort, and then exactly as other producers are taxed upon
their results. He may pay tax upon his land, as other land owners
do, upon its actual value, but without this value being enhanced
for taxation purposes by reason of any crop thereon.


The community would get no less tax revenue, but presumably more,
than it does under the present system. In either case the owner
will really pay annually only upon the land value, not upon the
growth; the only difference being that under the proposed system
he would not be asked to, while under the present system _either
there will be no growth to tax, or, if there is, he cannot afford
to pay and the land will revert_. It must be borne in mind that
while cut-over land is actually being held under the present system,
it has seldom grown anything yet. No expense has been incurred to
establish a crop, accidental growth is almost always destroyed
by fire because it does not pay to protect it, and if it is not so
destroyed it has not yet been accorded the expectation value which
the assessor will be obliged to recognize in the early future if he
really observes the present law. The inevitable tendency of the
present system is continuance to pay on the land with speculative
value for purposes other than forestry but _abandonment of land
valuable only for forestry, with destruction of the forest growth
in either case_, by purpose or negligence, because it means added
cost of holding with no possibility of profit. Since the owner
cannot be compelled to grow timber to be taxed at his net loss,
no timber tax at all will be received by the community and its
annual land tax will be confined to land worth holding without
timber for purposes other than timber growing. Under the proposed
system, the latter class would pay the same annual tax, the annual
tax revenue from strictly forest land would be greater, and in
addition to both would be the future yield tax upon the crop.


A possible superficial criticism may be that, leaving the land out
of consideration, the proposed yield tax at a personal property
valuation of the crop means that but one year's tax is to be paid
upon the timber. The fallacy of this, however, will be seen when it
is remembered that it is a crop, having been produced from nothing
by the owner, since his acquisition of the land and while he was
paying taxes upon his land upon its value for productive purposes
throughout the entire period just as any other crop grower loes.
_It is not unearned speculative increment._ To tax it annually is
exactly equivalent to taxing an agricultural crop 50 times during
its growing period. The proposed plan does tax the annual production
fully, although not until the crop is produced, for taxing its full
value when grown is the same as taxing each year the increment
added since the preceding year. If it is worth $150 an acre, after
50 years from seed, a 3 per cent yield tax would be $4.50. Each
year since the first must have produced a fiftieth of the ultimate
value, or $3, and had this been taxed at 3 per cent, or 9 cents,
the same aggregate revenue of $4.50 would have resulted. To also
tax annually the value of proceeding years' production, like taxing
a wheat crop twice a week, is exactly the confiscatory prohibition
of forest growing which we should seek to avoid.

When the essential difference of the two systems Is grasped--that
the _crop is distinct from the land and the latter is still fully
taxed_--it will be seen that but one tax upon the crop, at the
rate other property pays, is all that is just and all that can
possibly be paid in a competitive commercial business. The case is
not analogous with our present system of taxing mature timber, in
which land and timber together are assumed to constitute inseparable
realty, _stationary in production_ and increasing only speculatively
in value, therefore the comparison with one year's taxation under
our present system has no weight.


Nor does the proposed system by any means either subsidize the forest
grower or assure him a profit. It merely puts on a basis similar to
that of other enterprises a business more greatly handicapped by
long-deferred returns, risk of loss, uncertainty of future prices,
and continued current expense without current revenue. Only escape
from fire and high future stumpage prices will permit profit at
best. Otherwise, since the tax is definite and not upon income,
the forest grower will pay the community for the honor of providing
it a resource at his own expense.

It is believed, however, that a more fortunate outcome is sufficiently
promised in this region of rapid growth if we remove the single
fatal handicap of uncertain confiscatory taxation.


THEODORE ROOSEVELT: Second only in importance to good fire laws
well enforced is the enactment of tax laws which will permit the
perpetuation of existing forests by use.

GIFFORD PINCHOT: Land bearing forests should be taxed annually
on the land value alone, and the timber crop should be taxed when
cut, so private forestry may be encouraged.

that excessive taxation on standing timber privately owned is a potent
cause of forest destruction by increasing the cost of maintaining
growing forests, we agree in the wisdom and justice of separating
the taxation of timber land from the taxation of timber growing
upon it, and adjusting both in such manner as to encourage forest
conservation and forest growing.

The private owners of land unsuited to agriculture, once forested
and now impoverished or denuded, should be encouraged by practical
instruction, adjustment of taxation, and in other proper ways,
to undertake the reforesting thereof.

  Commissioners representing the United States.
  Commissioners representing the Dominion of Canada.
  Commissioners representing the Republic of Mexico.
  Commissioner representing the Colony of Newfoundland.

FRED. R. FAIRCHILD, Professor of Economics, Yale University, member
International Tax Conference: Probably nothing more effectually
discourages investment than uncertainty as to future costs. And
whatever may be said of the present system of taxation, there can
be no question of its arbitrariness and uncertainty. If to all the
other risks of forestry we add uncertainty as to what the taxes
are going to be, we cannot blame investors for some hesitation in
embarking on an enterprise which may have to pay taxes fifty years
before the returns come in. And more than this; the investor cannot
safely base his calculations on the continuance of the present
lenient administration of the property tax. As has been shown, the
tendency today is toward a stricter enforcement of the law and a
heavier burden of taxation.

State constitutions stand today in the way of many plans for reform
in State and local taxation. The movement toward their amendment
is growing as part of the general programme of tax reform.

The real problem of forest taxation is in connection with the future
of our timber lands rather than with their past. The preservation
of the forests is a matter of the utmost importance. So far our
forests have been exploited with little or no regard for the future.
But the present methods cannot last much longer. Forestry must come
some time, and its early coming is a thing greatly to be desired.
And whenever we are ready to seriously undertake it we will find our
present methods of taxation a severe handicap. Strictly enforced,
according to the letter of the law, the annual tax on the full
value of the land and standing timber is almost sure to result
in excessive taxation, and the timber owner cannot count on the
continuance of the present lenient enforcement of the law. Even if
the tax might not be excessive, its uncertainty would be a serious
obstacle to investment. We can hardly hope to see the general practice
of forestry as long as the present methods of taxation continue.

To be equitable, taxation of timber lands like taxation of anything
else should be based on income or earning power.

With regard to its effect on revenue, there is little to be feared
from the tax on yield. Eventually, revenue will be increased by
a method of taxation which does not prevent the development of
forestry. Forests paying a moderate tax are better than waste lands
abandoned and paying no tax at all.

The tax on yield has many decided advantages. It avoids the evils
of the general property tax. It is equitable and certain. It is in
harmony with the peculiarities of the business of forestry, and
will be a distinct encouragement to the practice of forestry. Its
adoption by the States would remove one obstacle to the perpetuation
of the nation's forest resources.

NATIONAL CONSERVATION COMMISSION, appointed by the President of
the United States: It is far better that forest land should pay
a moderate tax permanently than that it should pay an excessive
revenue temporarily and then cease to pay at all.

We tax our forests under the general property tax, a method of
taxation abandoned long ago by every other great nation. In some
regions of great importance for timber supply, and in individual cases
in all regions, the taxation of forest lands has been excessive and
has led to waste by forcing the destructive logging of mature forests,
as well as through the abandonment of cut-over lands for taxes. That
this has not been even more general is due to under-assessment, to
lax administration of the law, but to no virtue in the law itself.
Already taxes upon forest lands are being increased by the strict
enforcement of the tax laws. Even where this has not yet been done,
the fear that it will be done is a bar to the practice of forestry.

We should so adjust taxation that cut-over lands can be held for
a second crop. We should recognize that it costs to grow timber
as well as to log and saw it.

From now on the relation of taxation to the permanent usefulness
of the forest will be vital. Present tax laws prevent reforestation
on cut-over lands and the perpetuation of existing forests by use.

UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE: It is evident that the old method of
taxing forest property, as well as other property, at its supposedly
full value will, as the value of timber increases and is recognized,
put a premium on premature and reckless cutting, and will hinder any
effort to reforest cut-over lands. No business man will engage in
an undertaking where the returns are so long deferred and the risks
are uninsurable unless he can estimate the probable expenses and a
reasonably large profit. That the forests themselves, irrespective
of their ability to stand taxation, are of great value to the
communities in which they are located, for water protection, lumber
supply, and scenery in resort regions is undoubted.

The fundamental difficulty is that the tax should be in proportion
to yield or income and not in proportion to the market value of
the land and standing timber. Economists are substantially agreed
that this principle is applicable to the taxation of all kinds
of property with certain exceptions. Where there is a reasonably
certain annual yield or income the market value is theoretically
dependent upon it. A woodlot or forest, however, usually in this
country has no annual yield. It is unjust to require the owner
to carry the full annual burden of taxes, risk and protection in
every year for the chance of a yield once in fifty years, and it
is impossible for the owner to do it, for the taxes with compound
interest would confiscate his entire capital.

INTERNATIONAL TAX CONFERENCE, held at Toronto: _Resolved_, That
it is within the legitimate province of tax laws to encourage the
growth of forests in order to protect watersheds and insure a future
supply of timber; and legislation, or constitution amendment where
necessary, is recommended for these purposes.

AMERICAN FOREST CONGRESS, Washington, D. C.: _Resolved_, That we
earnestly commend to all state authorities... reducing the burden
of taxation on lands held for forest reproduction in order that
persons and corporations may be induced to put in practice the
principles of forest conservation.

ideas of value and their assessments vary widely. The only remedy
for the forest owner is to appeal from the assessment to the county
commissioners, and, if here unsuccessful, to the county court, a
matter involving both time and expense and frequently more costly
than the differences in taxes to be gained; _but at the same time_
the fact is well recognized that forested land is both unequally
and unfairly taxed.

H. S. GRAVES, Chief Forester for the United States: The forest areas
now owned chiefly by lumber companies will cease to be devastated
as soon as fires are stopped. They will not, however, be handled
to any large extent with a view of future production until the
taxes are placed on a fair basis.

FILIBERT ROTH, Professor of Forestry, University of Michigan, State
Fire Warden of Michigan (speaking of frequent local attitude toward
non-resident owner):

Though, in truth, these resident people often make their living
from the tax money of the non-resident, and though the latter
contributes toward every rod of road and every schoolhouse built,
and other improvement, yet he is treated as if he were a wrongdoer,
is taxed unmercifully, and, in addition, a trespass on his land
or forest is excused and it is almost impossible in many places
to get conviction.

If the State and local people had treated the owners of timber
honestly and had spent a reasonable part of the taxes in giving
the protection which the owner had a right to expect under the
Constitution, there would still be more than half of our pinery
lands covered by forest.

Forestry is no "sugar trust baby," as so many are trying to make it
out. Forests can pay taxes as well as any other property. Forestry
is like any other honest business, it cannot stand confiscation.

Suppose you have a twenty-acre lot of sugar beets and the assessor
would hang around until the beets are ripe and then figure: "The
land is good; I assess it at $75 per acre, and the crop is worth
$75 more, so that this property will stand at $150." What would
you say? But the assessor who assesses the timber as part of the
real estate and assesses the same crop of timber year after year
does precisely this thing. He assesses land and crop for the owner
of a woodlot and forest, while for all other farmers he assesses
only the land.

Let the State pass a few simple laws; provide for the protection
of forest property as we provide for other property; prevent
confiscation under the guise of taxation; stop forcing its poor
tax lands on the market, and go ahead with a good example on its
own lands, and instead of holding them in a waste land condition
protect them and grow timber.

A. T. HADLEY, President Yale University: We have it in our power
to make intelligent forestry by individuals more profitable. The
margin between business that succeeds and business that fails is
a narrow one, and by just covering that margin by _differences
in tax laws_, by differences in protective laws, by laws for the
prevention of fires, we can make profitable an industry which the
public needs, but which today is unprofitable.

JAMES O. DAVIDSON, Governor of Wisconsin: It is to be hoped that
laws will be passed encouraging owners to cut timber conservatively
under forestry regulations, rather than oblige them to cut as quickly
as possible to escape the injustice of taxation.

PROFESSOR F. G. MILLER, University of Washington: Next to fire the
most serious handicap to the progress of forestry is our unjust
method of forest taxation. Laying as we do a yearly tax on both
the growing crop and the land, the burden of taxation makes the
holding of land for a second crop prohibitive as far as the private
owner is concerned.

The farmer pays a yearly tax on his land, and a tax on his crop
each time he harvests one. This is usually annually. However, if
through drought, insect invasion or other misfortune he loses his
crop, he is not called upon to pay a tax upon it.

SENATOR REED SMOOT, of Utah, Chairman Section of Forests, National
Conservation Commission: One of the urgent tasks before the States
is the immediate passage of tax laws which will enable the private
owner to protect and keep productive under forest those lands suitable
only for forest growth. In our discussion in committee meeting
there was a question raised by a member present as to this
recommendation, claiming that it would encourage great monopolies
in securing larger holdings of timber, if an annual tax was not
required on the timber itself. I have studied this question in
foreign lands, particularly in Germany and Switzerland, and I find
that the result has been exactly the opposite. It is a short-sighted
policy which invites, through excessive taxation, the destruction of
the only crop which steep mountain lands will produce profitably.
Taxes on forest land should be levied on the crop when cut, not
on the basis of a general property tax--that unsound method of
taxation long abandoned by every other great nation.

GOVERNOR NEWTON C. BLANCHARD, of Louisiana: Under the present tax
laws of many of the States large assessments are put on timber
lands, and this is forcing timber holders--the owners of the
sawmills--to cut off that timber too rapidly. At least it is having
much effect that way. Give them the encouragement to hold back
and not force their product upon the markets, and then exempt,
by a system of wise tax laws, cut-over lands devoted to purposes
of reforestation.

MARYLAND STATE BOARD OF FORESTRY: The present method is to assess
woodlands under the general property tax, making the assessment
high where the timber is valuable and placing it low where the
timber has been cut off. There is in the operation of this system
a tendency to cut off the timber before it reaches maturity to
avoid the high rate of taxation. A premium is placed on forest
destruction and a penalty on forest conservation.

The growth of timber is slow and under present stumpage prices
and rates of taxation there are comparatively few cases where the
sale value of the crop equals the cost of growing it, if a fair
rental for the land is considered. It is true that most of the
forests are on lands that could not be used for anything else,
but it is not fair to expect the landowner to produce timber which
is a public necessity, the use of which is only less universal than
food crops, at a financial sacrifice. Increasing prices and better
forest management are relieving the situation to some extent, but
the most effective, as well as the most equitable way, is through
a change or modification of present tax laws.

PROFESSOR EDWIN R. A. SELIGMAN, Columbia University: The general
property tax as actually administered is beyond all doubt one of
the worst taxes known in the civilized world. Because of its attempt
to tax intangible as well as tangible things, it sins against the
cardinal rules of uniformity, of equality, and of universality
of taxation.

PROFESSOR ALFRED AKERMAN, Georgia University: One reason why it
(the general property tax) is so outrageous in practice is that
it is wrong in theory. The mere possession of property may or may
not be an index to the ability of the owner to pay tax. It all
depends on whether the property brings income.

ALLEN HOLLIS, Secretary Society for Protection of New Hampshire
Forests: Taxation today, in my opinion, is the greatest menace
to forest preservation.

One principle is absolutely sound--we all know it, and what we
have to do is to make everybody else know it--and that is, that
the annual taxation on a crop which is constantly increasing in
value each year means confiscation of that property.

It is submitted here that no single factor bears so definitely
upon the future of our forests as this constitutional requirement
of equality in taxation. As a business proposition, no one can
afford to hold woodlands and pay annually 2 per cent upon their
actual value, increased each year by growth and advancing prices,
during the fifty to one hundred years necessary for maturing the

CHARLES LATHROP PACK, Director American Forestry Association: While
the nation and the State are working to devise ways and means of
conserving our forest resources, we are at the same time, in a
real sense, taxing our timber to death.

Our present tax laws prevent reforestation on cut-over lands and
the perpetuation of existing forests by proper use and economic

governor): The system of taxation should be modified so as to stimulate
timber production instead of repressing it.

There is no logical, moral or political reason why a crop of growing
trees should be included in the assessment, in addition to the
actual value of the land, that does not apply with equal force and
reason to farm lands which are continuously cropped with grains,
root crops or hay. The uncertainty of realizing upon a tree crop is
very much like the uncertainty of a given farm's producing its crop
in full. The only difference is that the forest crop is subjected
to the vicissitudes and chances of a long series of years, while
the farm crops are subject only to the vicissitudes of about one
year. Many of the crops are only subject to the accidents of five
or six months.

In the present stage of forestry in this country, what is most
imperatively required is such a treatment of the subject of taxation
of forested lands as will induce private owners to retain their
forests until ripe to the harvest and to reforest denuded lands.
This would apply to those having lands suitable for such purpose,
or others who might purchase lands suitable therefor, who, under the
present diverse, and oftentimes inequitable, practice of assessments,
cannot be induced to make investments of that character.

FRANK W. ROLLINS, President: The law of New Hampshire requires
that all property shall be taxed equally, according to its value,
a law constantly and necessarily violated by assessors of forest
property throughout the State. Its strict application even for a
short period would go far to rid the State of its standing timber.
The reason for this is that timber is a growing crop--the only crop
taxed more than once, and if taxed annually at its full value the
cost to the owner of holding the property would be so excessive as to
require its hasty disposal. Assessors everywhere feel instinctively
the inherent injustice of taxing a growing crop at a high annual
rate, and violate the law and their oaths of office with impunity.
The result is there are as many systems of forest taxation in the
State as there are assessors, and glaring inequalities exist, not
only between neighboring towns, but also in some instances between
different parts of the same town.

The unequally high rate placed upon the timber of non-residents
is wholly iniquitous.

NEW HAMPSHIRE STATE GRANGE, Committee on Agriculture: Many of the
towns in our State invite the misuse of forests by overtaxation.
This should be guarded against. By reasonable thrift we can produce
a constant wood and timber supply beyond our own need, and with it
conserve the usefulness of our streams for water supply, navigation
and power, and at the same time increase the value of our farms.

E. M. GRIFFITH, State Forester of Wisconsin: The present method
of taxing timberlands is hostile to the forestry interests of the
State, as a single timber crop is taxed heavily and repeatedly,
and the owners are forced by our present laws to cut their mature
timber in order to escape inequitable taxation, to sacrifice their
young growth, and to disregard conservative methods of forest

Taxes are unfortunately a very valid reason in many sections of
the State for not practicing forestry. Many town assessors seem
to feel that they must tax the timberland owner, especially the
non-resident owner, as heavily as possible, and naturally in
self-defense the owner is forced to cut his timber and so reduce
the taxes to a reasonable amount. Then, when it is too late, the
towns find that they have "killed the goose that laid the golden
egg." However, the loss of the taxes on the timber is but a drop in
the bucket compared to the irreparable damage to many communities
from losing the industries which depended upon the forests for
their raw material. To appreciate this one only needs to visit
towns in which the sawmills have shut down on account of lack of

Of late years the end of the timber has been largely hastened on
account of the excessive taxes placed upon it. The whole system
of forest taxation in this country is wrong, for it puts a premium
on forest destruction.

RALPH C. HAWLEY, Instructor in Forestry, Yale University: A system
of taxation which discriminates against timber, one of the chief
natural resources of the commonwealth, is to be condemned.

valuation of other than forest property becomes necessary because
of the greater development of the resources of the region, the
valuation of forest property should be increased with great caution
in order that the forest lands may be held to advantage for the
production of future timber crops. A timber crop is marketed only
after the young growing timber has been held for a long term of
years, during which time the forest has been yielding only a very
slight revenue, if any, to the owner. If the valuation of the forest
or its rates of taxation goes beyond a comparatively low limit, the
holding of forest land for a second crop of timber is impracticable
or nearly prohibitive. This condition has prevailed in many other
States where now the problem of taxation is a difficult one to

ALFRED GASKILL, State Forester for New Jersey: The present practices
favor and encourage the untimely or wasteful use of standing forests,
discourage the propagation of others, and tend to hasten the time
when the country shall be forced to face a wood famine.

It would be impossible to apply the European system here with anything
like the exactness that attaches to it in the old countries, because
we have not the means of knowing the true worth of forest soil or
of forest crops, but the principle is applicable anywhere. Even
in the hands of non-expert assessors it gives a fairer basis of
valuation than our present method, and in the long run will insure
larger returns.

J. E. FROST, Tax Commissioner of Washington: The State's system
of taxation is obsolete, and only 13 civilized communities in the
world have such an out-of-date system. The State is confined by
the constitution to property tax, well known as a primitive system,
utterly incapable of coping with modern business. It can be remedied
only by recognizing the different classes of taxable property.

DR. FRANCIS L. MCVEY, University President and Tax Expert: Under
the old plan of valuing annually the property it was difficult to
secure an appraisement that was satisfactory to anybody and, what was
more, as the years went by the local governments found their assessed
values decreasing and the burden of government materially increasing
with the decline in amount of standing timber. The annual taxation
of the land upon which the timber stands meets this difficulty,
while the taxation of the product at the time of harvesting provides
a plan that is fair both to the local government and to the owner
of timber.

COLORADO CONSERVATION COMMISSION: _Resolved_, That it is the sense
of the Colorado Conservation Commission that the governor and
legislators should submit to the people at as early a date as possible
an amendment to the constitution, exempting from taxation lands
devoted solely to the growth and culture of new timber, and if
such amendment is adopted, the same to be followed by suitable

and legislation should be invoked to permit a low fixed tax on
cut-over land during the period of no return to the owner, the
State to be compensated by a tax on the crop when cut. Obviously
this inducement should be offered only to those holders of cut-over
land who will reciprocate by furthering the object sought. The
result of such a system would be not only perpetuation of the forest
and its attendant industries and payroll, but also a far greater
tax return than the present one of encouraging potential forest
land to become worthless and non-taxable.

LEGISLATURE OF MINNESOTA: "Sec. 17 a. Laws may be enacted exempting
lands from taxation for the purpose of encouraging and promoting the
planting, cultivation and protection of useful forest trees thereon."
This is the text of an act amending the Minnesota constitution
passed by the legislature.

question of holding cut-over forest land for a second crop is of
paramount importance to the State, and

_Whereas_, This is made impossible on the part of private owners
by our present method of forest taxation, whereby the owner is
obliged to pay an annual tax on the land as well as an annually
repeated tax on the same growing crop, therefore be it

_Resolved_, That this convention favors such remedial legislation
as will encourage reforestation of privately owned lands, and be
it further

_Resolved_, That it is the sense of this convention that as applied
to reforestation such remedial legislation can be secured by a
plan which will levy an annual tax on the land and an income tax
on the forest crop only when the crop is harvested.

urge the adoption of a system of taxation under which woodlands
will pay a moderate annual land tax and the timber will be taxed
only when cut.


The Western Forestry and Conservation Association has no individual
membership, but consists of and represents all organized agencies
for forest protection in the States of Montana, Idaho, Washington,
Oregon and California. Following is Article IV of its constitution:

"Any association formed for the purpose of organized effort in
the protection of forests from fire and for the reforestation and
conservation of the forest resources of the States represented
shall be eligible for membership. Any organization admitted to
membership shall be entitled to two votes in the meetings of this
Association. The chief forest officer of each of the five States
embraced, and of each district of the United States Forest Service
embraced, shall be honorary members."

The allied organizations are at present fifteen in number: The
Oregon Forest Fire, Oregon Conservation, North Willamette Forest
Fire, Coos County Fire Patrol, Northwest Oregon Forest Fire, Klamath
Lake Counties Forest Fire, Polk-Yamhill Forest Fire, Lincoln-Benton
Forest Fire, North Idaho Forestry, Washington Forest Fire, Washington
Conservation, Inland Forest Fire, Potlatch Timber Protective, Clearwater
Timber Protective, Pend d'Oreille Timber Protective, Coeur d'Alene
Timber Protective and Northern Montana Forestry Association.

The purpose of the Western Forestry & Conservation Association is
to promote forest fire prevention, conservative forest management,
reforesting of cut-over lands not more valuable for agriculture,
improvement in taxation systems, preservation of stream flow, and
all other things comprehended by forest conservation.

Its meetings enable representatives of the allied associations
and of State and government to exchange ideas and devise ways and
means for carrying on these movements in harmony along practical
and effective lines. It also affords means of collecting and
distributing information from these several sources.

It believes in the use of every legitimate means of publicity and
education to interest lumbermen, legislators and public, not only in
paving the way for future advance, but also in such actual, workable,
conservation measures as can be put into practice immediately.

To this end, believing action speaks louder than words, it practices
what it preaches. While fully recognizing the great value and necessity
of associations devoted entirely to propaganda, it sees also a need
of reducing theory to a sound business basis. Either as associations
or through their members the forest protective associations it
represents spent about $700,000 in 1910 for patrol and fire fighting
to protect the forests of the West. They safeguarded millions of
acres of timber, put out many thousand fires, and saved forest
resources worth billions of dollars to the community. As a result
of their effort the losses in Idaho, Washington and Oregon were
kept down to about a quarter of 1 per cent of the privately-owned
timber in these States, and this notwithstanding that it was one
of the worst fire years in American history.

While they unite in the Western Forestry and Conservation Association,
and levy a special assessment to support its work, the local
organizations are wholly independent in their actual forest fire
work. Their systems vary slightly, but the majority follow the
general plan outlined on pages 100-103 of this booklet.

One of the primary objects and ambitions of the Association is to
extend this effort until all the timber owners in the five States
do their part and every acre of private forest land is brought under
a highly trained and organized service. If the States themselves
lend aid and backing this can be made the most efficient fire service
in existence, as the most magnificent body of standing timber in
the world deserves.

The Association also employs a trained forester to assist its members
who control timber to install and maintain improved methods of
protection, cutting and reforestation. In this way it not only
helps those who will to really accomplish the end in view, but
by publishing such material as is contained in this booklet makes
the experiments serve as object lessons to others.

Perhaps the most unique function of the Association is to furnish
the only common meeting ground and clearing house for the many
public and private agencies for forest protection. At its meetings
Federal and State officials, representatives of public conservation
associations and timber owners join on equal footing, without
controversy over rights or authority, in discussing practical details
of how to accomplish the best results together under conditions
as they exist. Every man present is there because he wants to do
his part, with his own hands or money, to preserve the forests of
the West. He knows what he is talking about and the others are glad
to hear him. The result is a mutual understanding and coöperation
along practical lines which is of immense benefit to the public whose
welfare depends largely upon these agencies that really control
its forest resources.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Practical Forestry in the Pacific Northwest - Protecting Existing Forests and Growing New Ones, from the Standpoint of the Public and That of the Lumberman, with an Outline of Technical Methods" ***

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