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scale than in the past, although there is still need for intensive work with investigation as its prime purpose. From the standpoint of obtaining a maximum return from the expenditure involved much further study is needed. Nevertheless, the knowledge already obtained justifies making a considerable start upon the actual work of reforesting portions of the great area of denuded lands. As sufficiently conclusive experimental results are secured the work will be extended into new regions.
One field in particular calls for early action. The watersheds of certain streams used for municipal supplies or for irrigation are in urgent need of improvement by the establishing of a forest cover at the earliest possible time. While it would be improper to expend large sums in attempting reforestation, even on such watersheds, before methods known to be successful have been worked out, immediate attention can be given to the betterment of a number of important municipal and irrigation water supplies. This work has already been entered upon.
The cost of the seed, nursery stock, equipment, and labor required to reforest the 25,000 acres covered last year was about $134,000. The Forest Service is now prepared to reforest 30,000 acres annually, without asking any increase of its total appropriation. To divert from other lines, which are essential for proper protection of the Forests, and for enabling the public to use them, funds which would provide for a greater extension of the work of reforestation would, in my judgment, not be justifiable under present conditions.
Certain important facts have been discovered concerning the relative merits of different methods. The success of direct seeding in all regions in which the supply of soil moisture is not fairly good must be regarded as at the best problematic, but reasonably good results have been obtained in planting nursery stock in some of the drier regions. The use of European seed appears inadvisable, though it can be bought at a lower cost than that involved in collecting western seed. About 53,000 pounds of coniferous seed was collected by the Forest Service, at an average cost of $1.24 per pound, while about 27,000 pounds was bought at an average cost of 78 cents per pound. Devices have been developed for extracting and cleaning seed by machinery at extracting plants located at central points, to which the cones can be sent. The cost of collecting seed has been found to vary widely, depending principally upon the abundance of the seed crop, and it will be the policy in future to gather large quantities of seed in years when the crop is abundant, spending much of the money available for reforestation in such years in obtaining seed for use in following years. As a result of the study of the effects of storage it is now certain that seed can be carried over from one season to another with slight loss of fertility. The problem of preventing the failure of seeding operations through the work of rodents, studied with the aid of the Bureau of Biological Survey, gives promise of successful solution. Broadcast seeding on unprepared ground, though altogether the cheapest method from the standpoint of labor cost, has been found to be in the long run the most expensive and the least satisfactory method, both because of the relatively large amount of seed required and because the seed seldom finds the conditions required for germination and the establishment of the young plant. As a rule sowing in the fall has been found better than winter or spring sowing, since it secures earlier and, with many species, much more uniform and complete germination. In some localities, however, the contrary is true. The average cost of seeding in the larger administrative units varied from $2.35 to $6.95 per acre. Marked progress was made in reducing the cost of nurserygrown stock, and it is believed that 2-year-old seedlings can soon be produced for not over $1 per thousand plants and 2-year-old transplants for not over $2 per thousand. One-year-old seedlings were grown in Washington at 371 cents per thousand, exclusive of the cost of equipment, but a large part of the stock used in planting during the year cost from $8 to $12 per thousand. The experimental work was exceedingly varied, including many kinds of hardwoods and the widest range of localities, conditions, and methods.
GRAZING ON THE NATIONAL FORESTS.
Both the number of animals grazed on the National Forests and the receipts from grazing were less in the fiscal year 1911 than in 1910; the paid grazing permits issued covered about 1,352,000 cattle, 92,000 horses, 4,500 hogs, 7,372,000 sheep, and 78,000 goats. The amount received from grazing was $935,490.38, which is $51,419 less than last year.
The falling off in the total number of stock grazed was due not only to the reduction in the amount of the range available through eliminations of land from the Forests, but also to general conditions affecting the stock industry. The grazing season of the calendar year 1910 was one of abnormal scarcity of feed and water because of the prolonged drought. The forage crop was estimated at from 25 to 33 per cent below normal, and matured very early. Nevertheless, the stock grazed on the National Forests passed through the season without severe losses and left the Forest ranges in better condition than had generally been expected. High market prices for cattle, however, combined with scarcity of feed on the winter ranges and of hay, together with the belief among sheep owners that the immediate outlook for their industry was not favorable, caused large reductions in the number of stock carried through the winter. In consequence the demand for range for the season of 1911 was decidedly less than the year previously.
The capacity of the range for the grazing season of 1911 was, except for the effect of the eliminations made from the Forests, above that of previous years. Favorable weather conditions resulted in an exceptionally heavy production of forage. The two unfavorable preceding years had put the range to a severe test, but the effects of the regulation of grazing in order to prevent impairment of productive power, and of the development work which has increased the area of available range and the supplies of water for stock, had borne good fruit. On seven Forests considerable reductions in the number of stock which it was considered advisable to admit had been decided upon; but the increases made on other Forests more than offset these reductions, so that had it not been for the decreased demand for the grazing privilege due to general conditions affecting the stock industry, and the elimination of large areas having a high grazing value, the grazing use of the Forests during the year would have exceeded that of 1910.
It is also to be noted that, both in the case of cattle and horses and in that of sheep and goats, the number of permits issued to small owners was greater than in 1910. The total number of permits issued in 1911 was 25,604, as against 25,687 in 1910; but the number of cattle and horse permits for less than 40 head, and the number of sheep and goat permits for less than 2,500 head, showed an increase.
There has been a tendency on the part of some of the associations of stockmen formed to cooperate with the Forest Service in the adjustment of use of the range to become disorganized because the immediate grazing problems have been worked out to so satisfactory a conclusion that there seems little to hold the associations together. While it is a cause for gratification that the relations of the Forest Service with the stockmen have become so satisfactory, the opportunities for helpfulness to the stock industry in developing better methods of range utilization are such that continued cooperative work is highly desirable, and it is to be hoped that the associations of stockmen will be maintained to further this work. The number of associations now cooperating with the Forest Service is 68.
As a result of the work of the Bureau of Animal Industry in cooperation with the Forest Service, all but three of the National Forests are free from communicable diseases of live stock. Protective measures were necessary to prevent the spread of scabies, lip-and-leg disease, and Texas fever. About 8,000 predatory animals were destroyed by employees of the Forest Service during the year. The number of most kinds of animals killed was less than in 1910, indicating that the work of past years has had its effect in reducing the number of animals which infest the National Forest and adjacent ranges; of grown wolves, however, there were killed 25 per cent more than in 1910. The work of freeing the ranges from prairie dogs was carried on by the Forest Service for a part of the year and then taken over by the Biological Survey; on the areas which have been treated the infestation has been greatly reduced. The losses of live stock from poisonous plants were reduced to a negligible point. The Bureau of Plant Industry rendered indispensable assistance in this work, as also in the study of the very important technical questions involved in the effort to improve the condition of depleted portions of the range.
A work of great importance to the development of use of the range to its highest point was inaugurated in the form of plans for technical reconnoissance on all the National Forests suitable for grazing use, with the object of gathering exact data on all matters which affect range management and the production of the forage crop. This work will ascertain the character of all land within the Forests, the kind of stock to which each natural grazing unit is best adapted, the natural periods of use, the undergrazed, fully grazed, and overgrazed ranges, and localities in which poisonous plants and range-destroying rodents are found.
Striking results were obtained in an experimental test of a system of inclosures for lambing pastures, designed to decrease losses and lessen injury to the range, and in continuation of the coyoteproof pasture experiment.
The act of March 1, 1911, commonly known as the Weeks Act, made available for examining and purchasing forest lands in the White Mountains and Southern Appalachians before the close of the fiscal year 1911 the sum of $2,000,000. By the provisions of this act I was authorized and directed to examine, locate, and recommend for purchase lands in my judgment necessary to the regulation of navigable streams. Approval of all purchases was vested in a commission of seven, created by the act; but purchases were to be made only after field examinations by the Geological Survey had established that control of the lands would promote or protect the navigation of streams. It was provided that I should serve upon the commission, and should purchase, in the name of the United States, lands which the commission had passed upon favorably.
Immediately upon the passage of the act I instructed the Forester to organize and press forward the work of land examination. Field information previously gathered made it possible to select at once a number of specific areas within which the purchase of lands was desirable. Proposals for the sale of lands within these areas were invited on March 27. At the close of the fiscal year, on June 30, proposals covering over 1,250,000 acres had been received, over 170,000 acres had been examined, and the purchase of 31,377 acres had been authorized. The fiscal year 1912 opened with 35 examiners at work, and with every indication that during the year land enough will have been covered to afford a basis for recommendations of purchase up to the limit of the $2,000,000 appropriation made available by the law.
Much of the investigative work of the Forest Service has already been touched upon in describing the administrative work, particularly as regards the study of problems which relate to forest management (including reforestation) and range management on the National Forests. The timber and range reconnoissances which are being carried forward on an extensive scale are investigations to obtain data indispensable for the intelligent utilization and conservation of the productive power of the Forests. Besides the studies of methods of direct seeding, nursery practice, and field planting, which have formed a large part of the reforestation work, the subjects of seed production, seed fertility, methods of storage, and heredity of desirable and undesirable qualities have been under investigation, as well as that of the effect upon reproduction of different methods of disposing of slash, and of different methods of grazing control. At the three forest experiment stations which have been established in Colorado and Arizona, careful studies of forest influences, including the effects of forests upon stream flow, and of climatic requirements of different forest types have been conducted. Research work in forestry is just as essential to securing the best use of our forest lands as is research work in other branches of scientific agriculture to the best use of our farm lands. Unless this work is prosecuted vigorously and along many lines, progress in developing better methods of handling the Forests will be severely handicapped. It has been necessary, however, to reduce the investigative work to a minimum during the year in order to provide for the immediately pressing necessities of protection and use. The present appropriation compels curtailment of activities along all other lines in the effort to keep fires down and transact current business. That is, to a certain extent, a sacrifice of future to present welfare is a fact which must be frankly recognized.
Forest investigations are also conducted in the interest of improved use of the forest resources of the country which are in private ownership and to aid the various states in inaugurating and developing wise forest policies. Forest studies conducted with these ends in view were continued in all parts of the country. Effort was especially directed toward the promotion of practical forestry among