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The Spirit of Forestry

forests, word, wood, civilization and forest

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Why is it that everybody is interested in forestry? There is an 'mis takable charm in the very sound of the word. It takes hold on the imagination. You hear the word in the street car. and you look up. You see that others are interested, too. Law and medicine and theology are not words that cause the eye of the stranger to brighten. They are world-wo•n—they are as old as civilization. But here comes a word that we have not always known. It is a word as vet untarnished, like a new coin bright from the mint. It hints vaguely at things.

Pointfor Conceptions of Forestry. It is always interesting to learn how various and how shadowy are the ideas people hold as to what forestry is. Ask the hunter. Forestry means to him the restric tion of lumbering, so that big game may abound. Ask the dreamer. He is far away with Robin Hood and his merry men under the green wood tree. That is the kind of forestry he cares for. Ask the student. He has chosen it for his life work. He is being educated by a technical course to help carry out the plans of the Bureau of Forestry and similar work under the Department of the Interior. To him it means position, salary. a delightful profession. Ask the statesman. Forestry, he replies, is to be one of the greatest national movements of the new century.

The _Necessity fin. Forestry. The rational management of woodlands to serve sonic definite purpose : that is forestry. In Europe it has reached its highest development. In America it is yet in its infancy. Our civilization is new. We had to cut down the virgin forests to make room for it. We got into the habit of cutting down trees. We are just beginning to realize that we have carried this work too far. We see with dismay the limits set to our lumber supply. We thought it illimitable. The price of lumber is rising higher and higher. Some kinds of wood can no longer be obtained. We trace spring floods and sunnier droughts to the deforestation of mountain sides. To the same cause we must attribute the ever-increasing burden of soil our rivers carry to the ocean. Every year we expend inure money than the last in gathering up this debris where the rivers drop it. and in dumping it out at sea. It clogs

our harbors if we relax our efforts. and the pity is that the accumulation that so endangers navigation is the best part of our soil. As civilization advances, the wooded areas recede, and we begin to realize how much we depend upon woodlands in other than material ways. Our love for trees in the abstract leads us to a personal feeling toward them —a feeling that we must champion the cause of the abused forests for their sakes and for our own.

The Three Kinds of Forestry. We have three types of forests in America.. First, there is the forest maintained for a game preserve. It is a natural park, and the object of it is to minister to the esthetic enjoy ment of its owners, and to the exercise of their sporting. propensities. Its management is a negative kind of forestry, whose aim is not to make it productive nor self-supporting, but to preserve natural conditions. These forests are owned by private individuals and by clubs. Many of them are to be found in the Adirondack Mountains in New York.

Second, there is the protective forest. which holds the snow and the rain, thus regulating the water supply of large areas of lower land, act ing as reservoirs fur irrigation systems, preventing the evils of floods, and excessive erosion of the surface. This is also a negative kind of forestry. It is adapted to steep and broken mountain regions, lands unfit for agriculture, which are the sources of important rivers. In the arid and semi-arid regions of the western states protective forestry and irrigation are the leading questions of the day.

The third type is the commercial or supply forest. the object of which is solely and emphatically the raising and harvesting of wood crops for profit. Commercial forestry is permanent and self-supporting. It requires most of the forester, and is the type which is usually under stood when forestry is mentioned. Nature's resources are bent by man to the production of the best timber. in the largest possible quantities and at the least expense.

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