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Johnson's conclusion. As Prof. William Sommerville, of the Durham College of Science, England, aptly says in a recent paper. "When a spendthrift squanders an inherited fortune he is often, to all appearance, as prosperous on the eve of insolvency as when he embarked in his career of extravagance. Similarly, if it should happen that Sweden, Russia, Canada and the United States are recklessly squandering their timber capital, as is frequently maintained, their bankruptcy in wood may occur with a suddenness of which the Board of Trade returns need not necessarily have afforded the slightest indication."

The process of deforestation is likely to be greatly hastened in the near future by the still more rapid and reckless exhaustion of the timber supply of the United States. The warning note has been repeatedly sounded by Prof. B. E. Fernow of Washington, Chief of the United States Division of Forestry. In his report for 1893, he estimates that it would require fully the annual growth of 400,000,000 acres of fully-stocked forest to furnish the output of mill-timber now consumed. Adding the consumption of firewood, which is largely made up of sizeable timber, he concludes that three times that area is necessary to furnish by its annual increase the wood required. As in another publication the same author puts the total woodland area of the country at 500,000,000 acres, "neither in good condition nor well managed," the rapidity with which the augmenting demand is overtaking the diminishing supply is manifest. It is also sufficiently obvious that, as the nearest and most extensive source of supply to the American market, the forests of Canada will be more and more drawn upon to make up the deficiency.

The reproductive energies of Nature are so great that it is probable that these demands could be met, excepting perhaps as to quality, for many years to come, but for a still more destruc

tive enemy than the axe of the lumberman-viz, the extensive bush fires which yearly devastate large tracts of pine forest. The loss from this cause has been vastly greater than from over-clearance, as fire, in addition to the destruction of standing timber, destroys in many cases the reproductive capacity of the land. Sweeping over rocky or naturally sterile tracts where the production of a forest has been the slow work of centur es, it consumes not merely the vegetation, but the light covering of soil, leaving nothing but the barren substratum. In other instances, where the land is more fertile, in burning up the humus formed of the accumulation of decayed wood and leaves it destroys the seeds which, had the land not been burned over, would in a few years have repaired the devastation of the axe by a vigorous second growth.

So far as the timber lands which yet constitute a portion of the Crown domain are concerned, the problem is much more easily solved-were the public mind once convinced of the urgent need of a solution-than is the case as regards the settled portions of the country. In order to convert what has hitherto been considered-and under the present wasteful system of lumbering practically is—a mere terminable annuity, so to speak, into a perpetual and increasing source of revenue, the Dominion and Provincial Governments have but to apply to the Crown Lands some of the broader and simpler principles of the science of forestry ad pted as a matter of absolute necessity in the leading countries of continental Europe. That such a policy has not long ago been insisted upon is due in large measure to the popular misconception of the real object of forestry. Most of those who have not made a special study of the subject regard forest preservation as incompatible with the progress of settlement and the development of agriculture, and any regrets they feel, either from an industrial or sentimen

tal point of view, over the destruction of the woods, are tempered by the reflection that the process is necessary to the development of the country. Wood and wheat will not grow in the same place, and the forest, like the Indian, the wolf, and the buffalo, is regarded as fated to disappear before advancing civilization.

It is true that a juster appreciation of the principles of forestry is slowly gaining ground, as the evils arising from excessive clearance in the older parts of the country force themselves upon the attention even of the least reflective observer. There is a widespread disposition to admit the desirability of preserving a larger area in woodland than has been retained in most of the settled portion of Ontario, in order to preserve the conditions of climate and distribution of moisture favorable to agriculture. But the truth which the public have been slow to grasp is the possibility of so treating the forest as to render it a permanent factor of that country's prosperity, instead of regarding its utilization as synonymous with its destruc

tion.

Forest preservation by no means implies the prohibition of lumbering. It simply means the regulation of the process of removing the mature timber so that it may be taken out with as little injury as possible to the remaining trees, retaining a sufficient cover of foliage to preserve the forest character of the area, and allowing full scope to the natural and constant reproductive process by which, when conditions are at all favorable, vacancies are speedily filled, whether they are occasioned by the axe or the slower operation of natural decay. The highly elaborate forestry methods of Germany or France would be superfluous here. The object with us is not as yet to develop to the utmost the timberproducing capacities of every acrethat would not pay the cost of the labor and supervision required-but to maintain as far as possible existing

conditions in such portions of our timbered area as from considerations of locality or soil appear best adapted to be permanently set apart as woodland.

In our own Province of Ontario much educational work has been done under government supervision since the appointment of the late Mr. R. W. Phipps to the position of Clerk of Forestry, in 1883. A system of fireranging has been adopted by which the extent and destructiveness of forest fires during the last few years has been very materially reduced at a cost infinitesimally small as compared with the great saving effected. With the appointment of Mr. Thomas Southworth to the position of Clerk of Forestry, the scope of this branch of the public service has been considerably widened.

The setting apart of Algonquin Park, as a perpetual forest reserve, a few years ago, is a recognition of the principle which ought from the outset to have prevailed in connection with the management of our public lands; that the regions which, either by reason of their position at the headwaters of our larger streams or on account of their unfitness for profitable agriculture, it is in the public interest to retain as forest, should be withdrawn from settlement. Hitherto the practice has been to permit settlers to take up land in such districts and to encourage an influx of population, no matter how sterile or unpromising from an agricultural point of view the locality may be. As a consequence, when the lumberman has removed the most valuable of the timber, settlers come in small numbers, selecting what appear to be the least barren locations here and there, in the hope that between such farming as is possible and the sale of what is left in the way of timber on their lots, eked out it may be by government road-making or such makeshift jobs as are obtainable in a sparsely settled region, they may be able to subsist. Profitable farming

is out of the question, and many who have settled among the rocks and swamps simply because the land was easily obtainable have speedily realized their mistake. In any event it is natural that under such circumstances they should seek to get as much out of the land as possible, and the work of clearance is pushed on apace. When all saleable wood is removed the worthless "farm" is abandoned for another location. As woodland it was valuable both as a source of production and as a protection to the springs and water-courses by which the rivers are fed and the conditions of climate maintained in due equilibrium. As a stripped and desolate clearing it is worth nothing either to the individual owner or the country and will not be for generations to come, until nature, by an almost insensibly slow process, has reclothed it with the vegetation of which it should never have been deprived. Unfortunately even this gradual rehabilitation is likely, under existing conditions, to be interfered with by fire. The carelessness of settlers in burning brush-heaps or lighting fires in woods when hunting or fishing is responsible for most of the damage from this cause in the thinlypopulated "debateable ground" between farm and bush-land. The isolated settlements which add practically nothing to the wealth of the country and hold out to the farmer no reasonable expectation of establishing a prosperous or permanent homestead are the cause of the destruction of millions of dollars worth of valuable growing timber, in addition to incalculable loss by the deforestation of large fireswept regions rendered non-productive.

fire as have been found effective, and a closer supervision over lumbering operations than has so far been exercised, would do much to avert the threatened peril of excessive deforestation. So far indeed as the loss of timber by fire is concerned the mere exclusion of settlers would of itself greatly lessen the number of forest conflagrations. With the example of the United States before us, public opinion is probably fully prepared for a measure involving a careful discrimination in dealing with Crown Lands, between those areas suited for tillage and those marked by Nature as better adapted for the production of timber than anything else, and the management of the latter under such restrictions as will best maintain their productiveness.

The same considerations which induced the withdrawal from settlement of Algonquin Park might very well prompt an extension of the policy to other regions where similar conditions prevail. The perpetual maintenance of these in forest, subject to such regulations for minimizing the danger from

Turning from the Crown Lands to the settled and cultivated portions of the country the question assumes a different phase. The soil being in the hands of private owners, any measures to be taken towards woodland preservation or restoration must be carried out in the main by individual enterprise, with perhaps some encouragement in the way, either of aid or direction, such as has been afforded in connection with various branches of agriculture. The steady decline in agricultural prosperity, caused by the world-wide decrease in the price of cereals and other farm products, ought to insure for the subject a more interested hearing than could have been hoped for in a time of comparative prosperity. Farmers are beginning to learn that it is only by diversified farming, by utilizing to the full all the capacities of their land, by adding to grain growing, cattle-raising, dairying, fruit culture, poultry and bee-keeping, etc., that they can hope to succeed. If to these varied and continually-multiplying adjuncts of farm industry, they could be persuaded to add sylviculture, the decreasing profits of which they now complain would in a few years be

very materially increased. Farmers are accustomed to contrast their position unfavorably with that of the city man of business, and to point envyingly at the comparatively large profits of the merchant and manufacturer.

There is much of truth in their complaints-but apart from unequal laws and unjust social conditions there is one very marked difference between the habits of thought of the countryman and the man of business, that largely accounts for the disabilities of the former. The successful capitalist is as a rule a man of foresight. He must plan and calculate for a comparatively distant future, be continually on the alert to observe the tendencies of trade and the signs which portend the shifting of the current, and often content to forego immediate profits in view of richer returns at the end of many years of working and waiting. The farmer has but rarely learned these lessons. Like the Jews of old, he is a good deal better at discerning the face of the sky than the signs of the times. His outlook on life is narrow, and he is prone to follow in the footsteps of his fathers, rather than to keep abreast of changing conditions and strive to forecast the future. He is little accustomed to make expenditures in view of a far-off return. The idea of growing trees as a profitable industry usually excites his derision. "Why they won't be good for anything for thirty years; I'll be dead long before that," is the frequent response to the suggestion. And yet it is precisely the counterpart of many operations continually undertaken in the commercial world, and carried on from one generation to another.

In view of the fall in prices and the competition of the prairies in wheatgrowing, the "margin of cultivation," instead of advancing, is actually receding. The less choice and rich land, the sandy, stony, or broken ground, is allowed to remain waste or partially utilized. It is obvious that land which it would just pay to cultivate with

wheat at a dollar a bushel will not remunerate the farmer's labor with that staple at sixty cents, or thereabouts. The continued depression of agriculture, therefore, means the abandonment of large areas of comparatively poor land which, having been stripped of its forest covering, has become practically valueless. According to the report of the Bureau of Industries for 1894, there are 23,038,974 acres assessed in the rural area of the Province of Ontario, of which 12,292,610 acres are classed as cleared land, 7,859,714 acres as woodland, and 2,886,650 as swamp, marsh, or waste land. The system of classification pursued by the local assessors is regarded as by no means exact, much land being entered as woodland which is to all intents and purposes waste, that is to say partially cleared tracts where a few trees have survived the axe or the fire, but which have lost their distinctive forest character. and the conditions of reproductiveness which prevail in a thick wood. During an hour's railroad travel in any direction one may see from the carwindows dozens of such patches of sccalled woodland merely dotted with trees, with large grass-grown spaces, and the stumps and debris of partial clearings between them, with few or no saplings growing up to take the places of the scanty remains of the forest. The land is practically waste, and ought to be classed as such. When the remaining timber timber has been felled for fuel or other requirements, unless the soil is adapted for cultivation, under existing conditions it will yield nothing except. a scanty crop of pasturage. The falling-off in the value of agricultural land in Ontario, owing mainly to the continued low price of farm produce and the competition of newly opened up grain growing regions in various parts of the world, is indicated by the Bureau of Industries returns, according to which it has fallen from $654,793,025 in 1883 to $587 246,117

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