|Economics of forestry; a reference book for students of political economy and professional and lay students of forestry, by Bernhard E. Fernow|
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Economics of forestry; a reference book for students of political economy and professional and lay students of forestry, by Bernhard E. Fernow
CHAPTER X. FOREST POLICIES OF FOREIGN NATIONS.
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The conditions which a hundred years ago influenced the policies of European nations in regard to their forest policies,--namely, the necessity of looking out for continuance of domestic supplies--have long ago changed. At that time the fuel question was still the important one, for coal had not yet become an established substitute, and, in the absence of railroad transportation, home supplies were a necessity.
The many ordinances and laws, therefore, which attempted to assure continued home supplies have fallen into disuse, although the desirability of fostering home production and of securing the advantages of a general economic character which come from forest management--notably the employment of labor in winter time, which the forest industries offer--have still an influence upon the policy of governments, or are at least academically discussed as properly establishing a government interest even with regard to supply forests.
In the main, however, the state forest policies of the European governments are based upon the
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protective value of the forest cover, and the recognition that private interest cannot be expected or is insufficient to secure proper regard to this feature in its treatment of forest areas.
It cannot be said, however, that a finally settled policy exists in any of the states, not even in Germany, but only that it is in a highly advanced stage of formation, with the tendency of increasing governmental interference.
All the various methods of giving expression to state interest are employed; the educational function, the police function, and finally state ownership, being brought into use.
State ownership of forest areas, which in the beginning of the century began to decrease under the influence and misapplication of Adam Smith's teaching and the doctrine of individual rights, urged to its extreme consequences after the French Revolution, is now on the increase. Thus France, during and after the Revolution taking the lead in this dismemberment of the forest property, which the monarchy had maintained (then nearly 12 million acres), sold during the years 1791 to 1795 nearly one-half of the state forests, and continued to reduce the area until there remained in 1874 but one-fifth of the original holdings. Since then a reversal of the policy has been in practice, the area of state holdings is being increased, besides financial assistance in reforesting on a large scale being given to private owners and communities.
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In the budget for 1902, of $2,800,000 appropriated for the state forest department, $1,000,000 was set aside for the extension of state forests and necessary improvements in those now existing. The state now owns about 2,800,000 acres,--somewhat over 12 per cent of the total forest area,--managed by a staff of 700 officials and protected by 3500 guards.
In addition, private forest property is absolutely controlled as regards clearing; no clearing may be done without notice to the government authorities, and in the mountain districts not without special sanction by the same.
This control is especially stringent with reference to the holdings of village and city corporations, which represent over 27 per cent of the forest area. These must submit their plans of management to the state forest department for approval, and are debarred from dividing their property, thus insuring continuity of ownership and conservative management.
The necessity for such control became apparent in the first quarter of the century, when, as a consequence of reckless denudation in the Alps, Cévennes, and Pyrenees, whole communities became impoverished by the torrents which destroyed and silted over the fertile lands at the foot of the mountains. Some 8,000,000 acres of once fertile soil in twenty departments were involved in these disastrous consequences of forest destruction on
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over 1,000,000 acres of mountain slopes. The work of recovery was begun under the laws of 1860 and 1864, and a revised law, the reboisement act, of 1882. Under this law the state buys and recuperates the land, or else forces communities or private owners to do so with financial aid from the government.
Since the operation of this law the state has spent in purchases of worn-out lands, in works to check the torrents and in reforesting, nearly $20,000,000, not including subventions to communities and private owners. It is estimated that more than $30,000,000 more will have to be expended before the area which the state possesses or will possess, probably some 800,000 acres in all, will be restored.
The work of fixation of sand-dunes, which has occupied the attention of foresters in all states bordering the sea-coast, has been prominent in France since the beginning of the nineteenth century, especially in the Department of the Gironde, where during the years 1802 to 1864 a round $300,000 were spent in coöperation between the state, the municipal corporations, and private owners to fix the 250,000 acres of sand-dunes and turn them into pine forest, which now, together with 1,500,000 acres of forest planted in its protection during the last century, yields a constant revenue and occupation for the poor population.
A state forestry school at Nancy educates the officers, and is among the best on the Continent.
England, in the home country, has had little
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need of a forest policy on account of its insular position and topography, although one-quarter of the country is waste, on which it would pay to cultivate wood-crops. It imports nearly all its needed wood supplies with over $100,000,000. Of the 3,000,000 acres of woodlands, mostly devoted to purposes of the chase or to parks, 2 per cent are state forests, and so encumbered with rights of adjoining commoners as pasture or for wood supplies that no rational management is possible. But in India there is a well-organized state forest administration, and the government there exercises itself also in promoting private forestry. The policy here differs from those in existence on the Continent of Europe, in that it is based on the supply question rather than the protective value of the forest cover.
In the past the native people of India, as far as known, never realized the importance of their forests. They were mostly more or less common property, or else belonged to the rajas. They were cleared, destroyed, mutilated at all times and in all places, and the use of wood seems never to have formed an important factor in Hindoo civilization.
With the advent of foreign commerce, exploitation for the more valuable export timbers received a new stimulus, and the forests were culled regardless of the future either of forest or people. This exploitation was aggravated by the construction of railways, which, in themselves large consumers,
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also offered a premium on all that contributed to increased traffic. When at last it was noticed that the demands of timber for public works in some localities could no longer be supplied without costly transportation, the matter received the tardy public attention.
The present effective organization of a forest department and forestry service, covering now a forest property of nearly 100,000 square miles, was established under the guidance of German thought and German methods, and for nearly half a century the heads of the state forest department were German foresters.
Although the conditions surrounding the problems of the Indian forest department are quite dissimilar from those with which we have to deal in our country, it will nevertheless be of interest, and suggestive for our own efforts in establishing forestry practice, to give some space to a brief account of what has been established in India.
In 1859, Dr. (now Sir) Dietrich Brandis was appointed superintendent of forests for Pegu; in 1862 he was charged with the duty of organizing a forest department for all India, and in 1865 he was appointed the first inspector-general for the forests of India under the first Indian Forest Act. During the forty years of its existence this department has steadily and rapidly grown in the
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area managed, the number of men employed, and the revenue derived for the state. In 1898 this forestry department had control of about 90,900 square miles of forest, nearly half of all the forests, and about 10 per cent of the entire area of India. Of these state forests, nearly 82,000 square miles are "reserve" or permanent state forests, while the rest are held as "protected" and "unclassed," and will become reserve or permanent forests as fast as the necessary surveys and settlement can be made.
The area of protected reserved forests is constantly varying, for although new areas are taken up, others are changed into reserves. About 28,000 square miles of forest property of the empire remain still unclassed. On page 114 we have given an account of the personnel required in the management of this largest and youngest forest department of the world and its financial results.
More than half of India lies within the Tropics, and over 60 per cent is farther south than New Orleans, the latitude of which is 30°. From this it is apparent that the climate is generally hot, but, owing to diversity of elevation and peculiarities of the distribution of rainfall, it is by no means uniform.
The rains of India depend on extraordinary sea winds, or "monsoons," and their distribution is regulated by the topography of land and the relative position of any districts with regard to the
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mountains and the vapor-laden air currents. Thus excessive rainfall characterizes the coast-line along the Arabian Sea to about latitude 20° N., and still more the coast of Lower Burma, and to a lesser extent also the delta of the Ganges and the southern slope of the Himalayas. A moderately humid climate, if gauged by annual rainfall, prevails over the plateau occupying the large peninsula and the Lower Ganges Valley, while a rainfall of less than fifteen inches occurs over the arid regions of the Lower Indus. In keeping with this great diversity of climate, both as to temperature and humidity, there is great variation in the character and development of the forest cover. The natural differences in this forest cover are emphasized by the action of man, who for many centuries has waged war against the forest, clearing it permanently or temporarily for agricultural purposes or else merely burning it over to improve grazing facilities or for purposes of the chase. Thus only about 20 per cent of the entire area of India is covered by woods, not over 30 per cent being under cultivation, leaving about 50 per cent either natural desert, waste, or grazing lands. The great forests of India are in Burma; extensive woods clothe the foot-hills of the Himalayas and are scattered in smaller bodies throughout the more humid portions of the country, while the dry northwestern territories are practically treeless wastes. In this way large areas of densely settled districts are
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so completely void of forest that millions of people regularly burn cow dung as fuel.
In the greater part of India the hardwood forest (conifers are scarce and confined in locality) consists not of a few species, as with us, but is made up of a great variety of trees unlike in their habit, their growth, and their products, and if our hardwoods offer on this account considerable difficulties to profitable exploitation, the case is far more complicated in India. In addition to the large variety of timber trees, there is a multitude of shrubs, twining and climbing plants, and in most forest districts also a dense undergrowth of giant grasses (bamboos), attaining a height of 30 to 120 feet. These bamboos, valuable as they are in many ways, prevent, often for years, the growth of any seedling tree, and thus form a serious obstacle to the regeneration of valuable timber. The growth of timber is usually quite rapid; the bamboos make large, useful stems in a single season. Teak grows into large-size saw-timber in fifty to sixty years. But in spite of this rapid growth and the large areas not now in forest but capable of reforestation, India is not likely--at least within reasonable time--to raise more timber than it needs. In most parts of India the use of ordinary soft woods, such as pine, seems very restricted, for only durable woods, those resisting both fungi and insects (of which the white ants are specially destructive), can be employed in the
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more permanent structures, and are therefore acceptable in all Indian markets.
With the irregular distribution of forests, the peculiarities of Indian affairs, and the unsurveyed wild, and difficult conditions of the forests themselves, it is but natural that the work thus far has been chiefly one of organization, survey, and protection, and to a far less degree an attempt at improvement by judicious cutting and reforestation.
Over 23,000 square miles have been surveyed for forest purposes since 1874, at a cost of over $1,500,000.
Work of establishing and maintaining boundary lines, which is often a very difficult and costly matter in the dense tropical jungles, involved during one year, 1894, an expense of over $40,000, and there are at present over 93,000 miles of such boundary lines maintained. Besides this survey work proper, there is a large force constantly at work to ascertain the amount and condition of timber supplies and to prepare suitable plans for their exploitation and improvement, so that over 20 per cent of the entire forest area, or about 20,000 square miles, is by this time managed with definite working plans as to amount of timber to be cut, the areas to be thinned, reforested, etc.
The work of protection is chiefly one of preventing and fighting fires. This protection, with present means, cannot be carried on over the entire forest areas, of which large tracts are not even
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crossed by a foot-path, and in a land where the regular firing of the woods has become the custom of centuries, and where, in addition, intensely hot and dry weather, together with a most luxuriant growth of giant grasses, render these jungle fires practically unmanageable. In all forests near settlements the forest must be isolated by broad "fire traces" or otherwise. In the jungle forests these traces must be broad; the grass, often taller than an elephant, must be cut and burned before the grass on either side is dry enough to burn. Similarly, the traces in the long-leaf pine forests must be very wide and first converted into grass strips, cut or kept clean by burning. In spite of the unusual difficulties there were, in 1898, over 32,000 square miles protected against fire, and on only 8 per cent of this area did the element succeed in doing any damage. In this work, too, great progress has been made during the last twenty years; the efficiency has steadily increased, and the expense, about $10 per square mile in 1883, has been reduced to less than half, or 2 per cent, of the gross revenue.
In the protection against unlawful felling, or timber stealing and grazing, the government of India has shown itself fully equal to the occasion by a liberal policy of supplying villagers in proximity to the forests with fuel, etc., at reduced prices or gratis. Over $2,000,000 worth was thus disposed of in 1894-1895, the incentive to timber
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stealing being thereby materially reduced. A reasonable and just permit system of grazing, where again the needs of the neighboring villagers are most carefully considered, not only brings the government a yearly revenue of nearly $800,000, but enables the people to graze about 3,000,000 head of animals in the state forests, without doing any material damage to tree growth.
Though the forests of India are now, and will continue for some time, little more than wild woods, with some protection and a reasonable system of exploitation, in place of a mere robbing or culling system, yet the work of actually improving the forests steadily increases in amount and perfection.
In the large teak forests of Burma, as well as other provinces, care is taken to help this valuable timber to propagate itself; the useless kinds of trees are girdled, huge climbers are cut off, and a steady war is waged against all species detrimental to teak regeneration. Where the teak has entirely disappeared, even planting is resorted to. Thus in Burma over 35,000 acres have been restocked with teak by means of taungyas, or plantations, where the native is allowed to burn down a piece of woods, use it for a few years as field (though it is never really cleared) on condition of planting it with teak, being paid a certain sum for every hundred trees in a thrifty condition at the time of giving up his land.
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Similarly, the department expends large sums in establishing forests in parts of the arid regions of Beluchistan, and, on the whole, has spent on cultural operations, in different years, from 2 to 51/2per cent of its gross revenue, namely, at the rate of about $125,000 per year, over 100,000 acres having been planted since 1880.
In disposing of its timber the government of India employs various methods. In some districts the people, paying a small tax, get out of the woods their needs. In other cases, the logger pays for what he removes, being neither limited in quantity nor quality of product. The prevalent systems, however, are the permit system, where a definite amount is to be cut and paid for, and the contract system, where the work is more or less under control of government officers, and the material remains governmental property until paid for. To a limited extent the Forest department carries on its own logging operations. In spite of many difficulties, a poor market (no market at all for a large number of woods), wild, unsurveyed, and practically unknown woodlands, unusual and costly organization and protection, the forestry department has succeeded, without curtailing the timber output of India, to prepare for an increase of output in the future, and at the same time has yielded the government a steadily growing revenue which bids fair before long to rank among the important sources of income.
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The growth of both gross and net revenue is illustrated in the following figures, rounded off, and figuring the rupee at one third of a dollar.1
This steady rise in revenue in response to a rise in expenditures, is one of the best arguments of the efficiency of the administration, brought about by a liberal policy in paying for efficient administration, including a generous pension system--a policy which in its results compares most favorably with the stingy, niggardly policy which usually prevails in the United States in the employment of public officers. The inspector-general receives about $8000, and the conservators about $5000 per annum.
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In the expenditures it is of special interest to note that fire protection absorbs less than 2 per cent of the gross revenue, namely, about $100,000 per year, and about as much is expended on cultural operations, while the superior staff absorbs a little over 13 per cent and the subordinate staff with office establishments 14 per cent.
The forest laws of India were, like those of most countries, a matter of growth and adaptation, with the important difference, however, that the well-defined object of preserving a continuous supply of the all-essential timber was from the beginning steadily kept in mind. The principal acts are those of 1865, 1869, and especially the "Indian Forest Act" of 1878, with secondary legislation applying to particular localities, such as the act of 1881 for Burma and of 1882 for Madras, and others.
In general, these forest laws provide for the establishment of permanent or "reserved" state forests, to be managed according to modern forestry principles. They provide for a suitable force of men, give the forest officers certain police powers, prohibit unwarranted removal of forest products, the setting of fires, or otherwise injuring the forest property. The laws also regulate grazing and the chase by permit systems, and prescribe rules by which the work of the department is carried on, as well as the manner in which officers are engaged, promoted, etc. Since the peculiar circumstances require men specially fitted
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and trained, schools were established to furnish the recruits for this steadily growing service. There is one at Cooper's Hill, England, where a thorough course is intended to prepare men for the superior staff positions, and the Imperial school at Dehra Dun, which is to supply the great number of the executive staff, the young men starting in usually as guards or rangers at a pay of about $25 per month, working their way up to places worth $50 per month, and if well suited, eligible for further promotion. In the Dehra Dun school and the executive staff, the native element is fast making itself felt, and there is little doubt that the men of India will soon be able to manage the forests of their own native land.
In most of the English colonies, there exist also beginnings of a forest policy, and in several of them, at least, forestry departments, albeit inefficient or impotent, as in New South Wales, whose timber wealth, originally enormous, is now rapidly deteriorating under a loosely managed license system, although the department of agriculture and forestry employs some 350 "foresters" and assistants on the 5,500,000 acres of forest land belonging to the government.
Similarly in Western Australia, the conservator of the department of woods and forests is apparently powerless to extend any improved system of utilization over the 20,000,000 acres of woodlands to which the magnificent Eucalypts, especially the
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Jarrah, Karri, and Red Gum, lend special value. The government merely controls the cutting by issuing licenses under certain reservations, and by collecting the revenue.
In South Australia, which is mostly a forestless plains country, a forest department was instituted in 1876 for two purposes, namely, to plant and administer state forest reservations, and to grow trees for free distribution. In 1890 there were about 215,000 acres planted and in reservations, and during the fourteen years some 4,500,000 seedlings had been distributed; the expenses above receipts having been $120,000 during the period.
Cape Colony seems to be similarly situated, mainly forestless, and hence merely interested in tree planting, which is done in a small way by four conservators, who are directly under the Minister of the Colony. Here the government also assists municipalities in covering their watersheds by contributing half the expense.
Even in the Soudan we note a beginning, a report for a plan having lately been at last called for.
The Germans in their African possessions have also begun to introduce their painstaking forestry methods with success.
Two years ago Egypt also entered the ranks of states with a forest policy, encouraging reforestation by relief of taxes on planted land.
The country which, next to British India, can claim to have the largest forest area under one
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policy is Russia. Although one of the export countries, with $30,000,000 to $35,000,000, and largely in the pioneering stage, Russia in Europe, well wooded with 500,000,000 acres in forest, although much in poor condition, has a well-devised forest policy, developed within the last thirty or fifty years, which consists not only in maintaining government forests to the extent of about 300,000,000 acres, divided into 1500 districts under tolerably good management, and 15,000,000 acres of Crown forests, personal property of the royal family, but in restricting private owners (110,000,000 acres in large domains and 75,000,000 in lands of small owners) from abuse of their property, where the public welfare demands, while in the prairie country in southern Russia large amounts of money are spent by the government in planting forests and in assisting private enterprise in the same direction.
With the Siberian forests and those of the Caucasus added, the area of government forest may reach the large figure of 600,000,000 acres, which, though not yet all placed under management, is sooner or later to come under the existing forest administration.
The restrictive policy dates from a very elaborate law passed in 1888, and extended greatly in 1900, in which the democratic spirit in the constitution of the body controlling the exercise of property rights is interesting. The approval of working
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plans, or of clearings on private property, is placed in the hands of a specially constituted committee for each county, which includes the governor, justices of the peace, the county council, and several forest owners, and the government itself must secure the approval of this committee for its operations.
By this law, throughout European Russia, wood-lands may be declared "preserved forests" on the following grounds: That they serve as preventives against the formation of barrens and shifting sands, and the encroachment of dunes along seashores or the banks of navigable rivers, canals, and artificial reservoirs; that they protect from sand drifts towns, villages, cultivated land, roads, and the like; that they protect the banks of navigable rivers and canals from landslides, overflows, or injuries by the breaking up or passing of ice; that when growing on hills, steep places, or declines, they serve to check land or rock slides, avalanches, and sudden freshets; and that they protect the springs and sources of the rivers and their tributaries. One hundred million acres of private forest have thus come under supervision.
In these preserved forests, working plans are made at the expense of the government, and in the unpreserved forests at the expense of the owners. In each province the government maintains an inspector-instructor, whose duty is to advise those who apply to him in forest matters,
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and as far as possible he is to superintend on the spot all forestry work. The government has established nurseries, from which private owners can obtain young trees and seeds at a low price. The owners are allowed to employ as managers of their forests the trained officials of the forest administration, while medals and prizes are given yearly to private owners for excellency in forest culture and management. Two higher and thirty lower schools of forestry are also maintained by the government.
The forest institute in St. Petersburg, with a staff of 15 professors and instructors, and about 450 students, and one at New Alexandria, near Warsaw, supply the superior staff. But the most important and characteristic feature in educational direction are the 30 silvicultural schools, in which the rangers or under-foresters are educated, almost entirely at government expense. There are usually 3 teachers employed, and forestry officials having also other duties, for the 20 students at each of these schools. The total expense of such a school is about $3300, of which the state contributes about $2500.
Another characteristic feature is a method, revived in 1897, from German precedent of 150 years ago, and also practised in France, to secure reforestation of cut-over lands. The wood-merchant who cuts timber on government lands, especially in the pineries, is obliged to clear the ground of débris,
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replant it, and hand it back to the government in satisfactory condition. To insure compliance with this condition, a deposit of $2 to $4 per acre is exacted. Results are not as yet on record.
Russia's small neighbors at the southwestern frontier, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Roumania also can boast of quite effective forest administration. In the former, which is to the extent of 50 percent forested, the state has, since 1878, instituted an orderly management on its 5,000,000 acres of forest property, while Roumania, since 1881, has not only a forest administration for its 2,500,000 acres of state lands, but has also a very efficient and strictly enforced forest protection law, under which 84 per cent of all the forest lands, the total forest area being 6,800,000 acres, are declared protection forests, and their plans of management must be sanctioned by the state authorities. Since 1892, there is also established a forest melioration fund, to which the state contributes 2 per cent of the gross revenue from its forest property, for the purpose of encouraging reforestation.
In Austria, which is wooded to the extent of 30 per cent, and which exports over $40,000,000 in excess of imports, the disastrous consequences which the reckless devastation and abuse of her mountain forests by their owners has brought upon whole communities, have led to a more stringent and general supervision of private and communal forests than anywhere else. In 1868 a
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law was enacted which released reforested areas from taxes for 10 years, and under some conditions for 25 years; the effect seems to have been mainly a moral and educational one. Since 1883 there has been in progress a work of recuperation similar to the French reboisement work, in which, up to 1894, nearly $1,500,000 had been spent, the state contributing variously from 25 to 100 per cent toward covering the expense, the state itself having reforested over 200,000 acres of waste lands. A fully organized forest department manages the government forests, 2,500,000 acres, or 10 per cent of the total forest area, which are gradually being increased by purchase.
Nearly 2,000,000 acres are declared protection forests, and the state exercises the right to expropriate or place under supervision private property for protective purposes. Lately (1898), for the purpose of directing the government's policy regarding the use of its soil resources, a Land-wirthschaftrath (agricultural council), composed of 75 members, has been instituted, consisting of farmers, foresters, miners, and others. One higher and several lower schools supported by the state provide instruction.
Austria's sister state, Hungary, also has a well-established forest administration, and since 1879 has had a law providing for supervision of private forest lands and for reforestation of waste lands, with the assistance of the state.
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Italy has long suffered from the effects of forest devastation by droughts and floods, but the government was always too weak to secure effective remedies. Densely populated, with one-third of its area unproductive and one-quarter almost beyond redemption, no country offers better opportunities for studying the evil effects of deforestation on soil and waterflow. The state owns only 1.6 per cent, or 116,000 acres of forest, the balance of 7,000,000 acres belonging to communities and corporations or to individuals. Yet by the laws of 1877, revised in 1888, the policy of state interference is clearly defined. Excellent though the law appears on paper, it has probably not yielded any significant results, since owing to the financial disability of the government there has not even been general enforcement. This law placed nearly half the area not owned by the state under government control, namely, all woods and lands cleared of wood on the summits and slopes of the mountains above the upper limit of chestnut growth, and those that from their character and situation may, in consequence of being cleared or tilled, give rise to landslips, caving, or gullying, avalanches and snowslides, and may to the public injury interfere with watercourses or change the character of the soil or injury local hygienic conditions. Government aid is to be extended where reforestation appears necessary.
Of the 76,000 acres which required immediate reforestation
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for reasons of public safety, only 22,000 were reforested in twenty years up to 1886, the government contributing $85,000 toward the cost.
In the revised law of 1888, as a result of the past experiences, an elaboration of the same plan was attempted by creating further authority to enforce action. It is now estimated that 534,000 acres need reforesting at a cost of $12,000,000, of which two-fifths is to be contributed by the state.
Expropriation proceedings may be instituted where owners refuse to reforest, with permission to reclaim in five years by paying, with interest, the cost of work incurred by the state.
The latest addition to the inefficient means of coping with the evil is an Arbor Day imported from the United States.
A forestry school at Vallombrosa furnishes all needed opportunity to learn the necessary forestry methods.
Our little sister republic, Switzerland, has had a long struggle during the first half of the nineteenth century to come to a rational forest policy, although the damage done by its absence was clearly enough seen. Only in 1898 has the federal government finally succeeded in becoming the executor of the protective laws in all cantons. These laws prohibit clearing in the high Alps without sanction by the federal authorities. With the assistance of the bund reforesting is done where needed. A forestry school in Zurich educates the staff.
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Sweden and Norway have been the great forest exploiters and exporters of wood materials of the last fifty years, supplying especially England with most of her needs. A comparatively large forest area (over 60,000,000 acres) accessible to water transportation by the many fiords and streams invited this exploitation, the product of which, to the extent of over 60 per cent, goes to England and France and amounts now to nearly 2,000,000,000 feet, B.M.
In Sweden, which contains nearly three-fourths of the forest area, crude beginnings of government interest are recorded from about the year 1500. In the year 1720 a director of forests was appointed, the germ of the present Government Forest Department. It was then that the previous lax policy of the government gave place to a somewhat sentimental solicitude. "It is rather amusing to read the jeremiads that were given utterance to both inside and outside the Riksdag by the men of light and leading of that age with regard to the question of forest exhaustion, when only the fringe of the woodlands had been touched and forest property had scarcely a nominal value as a realizable asset ... the champions of a policy of restriction originated equally much in an apprehended deterioration of climate as in an actual scarcity of wood. Both these apprehensions proved groundless, and we have the testimony of one of the foremost public men of Sweden that the
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climate of Norrland, especially, has been much improved the last sixty years by the partial cutting down of the forests."1
[Note 1: 1 "The Wood Industries of Sweden," Timber Trades Journal, 1896.]
In the first part of the nineteenth century laws were passed to restrict clearing, determine the minimum size of logs to be cut, and, in some parts (Lapland), where climatic deterioration was specially feared, preventing all cutting without permission from the government. The more systematic administration of government forests, some 18,000,000 acres, dates from the year 1860, and with it a more conservative policy in the exploitation generally. The success of this administration seems not to have been conspicuous, due partly, perhaps, to an ultra conservative management, partly to the license system under which much of the State forests are cut over by lumbermen. Continuous agitation and troubling prophesies concerning the future of the timber trade led, in 1894, to a special investigation of the subject by a commission sent out from the University. As a result of this inquiry it appears that Sweden is fully able to continue her present cut, or even increase it, without exhausting her resource, provided it is sufficiently protected to permit its renewal and the cutting is done conservatively.
The simplicity of the composition of the forest, namely, pine and spruce with oak almost exclusively,
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insure the renewal with valuable species, although it appears that the spruce is gaining over the pine. Replanting has been begun even by private forest owners; in some cases on large areas. Towns and country districts and parishes own extensive forest tracts. The parish of Orsa is an example of several in similar condition, realizing a fund of $2,500,000 from its forest lands, which does away with the need of taxes. These areas are under the management of a local committee, with the governor of the province as chairman, a crude selection system only being practised.
The country which has attracted the greatest interest in all matters pertaining to forestry, because the science of forestry is there most thoroughly developed and applied, is Germany
It may, therefore, be of interest not only to describe the forest policies of Germany more fully, but briefly to trace their historical development.
Although as early as Charlemagne's time a conception of the value of a forest as a piece of property was well recognized by that monarch himself, and crude prescriptions as to the proper use of the same are extant, a general, really well-ordered system of forest management hardly existed until the beginning of the eighteenth century. Sporadically, to be sure, systematic care and regular methods of reproduction were employed even in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.
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To understand the development of the present forest policy in Germany, one must study the peculiar conditions and development of property rights that led to it. Germany was originally settled by warriors, who had to keep together in order to resist enemies and conquerors on every side, and to be ready to move and change domicile at any moment. The soil which was conquered was, consequently, not divided, but, owned as a whole, was managed by and for the whole tribe. It is only in the sixth century that signs of private property in woodlands are discernible. Before that time it was res nullius, or, as it is expressed in legal manuscripts, "quia non res possessa sed de ligno agitur."
Wood being plentiful and yet needed by everybody, it appeared not a crime to take it unless it had been already appropriated or bore unmistakable signs of ownership, such as being cut or shaped. But severe punishments were in earliest times inflicted for incendiarism and for damage to mast trees, since the seed mast for the fattening of swine was one of the most important uses of the forest.
There was not much need of partition, especially of the forests. The community, to which all the and of a district belonged, and which was managed by and for the aggregate of society, was called the "mark," a communistic institution of most express character, and every "marker" or
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shareholder was allowed to get the timber needed by him for his own use without control.
This early communal ownership of forest land undoubtedly explains the fact that even to-day over 5 per cent of the forest is owned by communities, cities, or villages. Gradually the necessity of regulating the cutting of the wood became apparent, as the best timber in the neighborhood of the villages was removed; and we find quite early mention of officials whose duty it was to superintend the felling, removing, and even the use of the timber. By and by even the firewood was designated by officials. Manufacturers received their material free of charge, but only as much as was needed to supply the community. Occasionally there were rules that each man had to plant trees in proportion to his consumption. So that by the end of the fourteenth century quite a system of forest management had been developed.
Meanwhile the Roman doctrine of the regal right to the chase had also begun to assert itself by the declaration of certain districts as ban forests, or simply forests, in which the king exclusively reserved the right to chase. The kings again invested their trusted followers and nobles with this right to the chase in various districts, thus gradually dividing the control of the same.
While at first these reservations did not bring with them restrictions in the use of the timber or pasture or other products of the forest, these uses
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were gradually construed as exercised only by permission, and the former owners were reduced to holders of "servitudes," i.e. holders of certain rights in the substance of the forest. The fact that the feudal lords frequently became the obermarkers, or burgomasters, of the mark community lent color of right to these restrictions in the use of the property, besides the assertion that the needs of maintaining the chase required and entitled them to such control.
It is interesting to note that through all the changes of centuries, these so-called servitudes have lasted until our own times, much changed, to be sure, in character, and extended by new grants, especially to churches, charitable institutions, cities, villages, and colonists. Such rights, to satisfy certain requirements from the substance of an adjoining forest, were then usually attached to the ownership of certain farms, and involved counter service of some sort, usually in hauling wood or doing other forestry work.
Sometimes when the lordly owners of large properties exercised only certain prerogatives to show ownership, these, in the course of time, lapsed into the character of servitudes, the forest itself by occupation becoming the property of the community. With changes in value and other changes in economic conditions, these rights often became disadvantageous and more and more cumbersome to either or both sides.
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The present century has been occupied with the difficult labor of relieving this state of things and making equitable arrangements by which the forests become unencumbered and the beneficiaries properly satisfied by cession of land or a money equivalent.
This chapter of the history of forest policy is especially interesting to us, as a tendency, nay the practice, exists of granting such right to the public timber to the settlers in the western states, which by and by will be just as difficult to eradicate when rational forest management is to be inaugurated.
Over 5,000,000 marks and several hundred acres of land were required in the little kingdom of Saxony to get rid of the servitudes in the state forests. The Prussian budget contains still an item of 1,000,000 marks annually for this purpose; and although over 22,000,000 marks and nearly 20,000 acres of land have been spent for this purpose in Bavaria, the state forests there are still most heavily burdened with servitudes.
The doctrine of the regal right to the chase, as we have seen, led to the gradual assertion of all property rights to the forest itself, or at least to the exclusive control of its use. This right found expression in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in a legion of forest ordinances, aiming at the conservation and improvement of forest areas, and abounding in detailed technical precepts.
At first, treating the private interest with some
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consideration, they gradually more and more restrict free management. Prohibition of absolute clearing, or at least only with the permission of the government; the command to reforest cleared and waste places; to foster the young growth; limiting the quality of timber to be felled; the prevention of devastation by prohibiting the pasturing of cattle in the young growth, rules in regard to the removal of the forest litter, of pitch gathering, etc., were among these prescriptions, with many others, such as prescribing the manner and time of felling, the division into regular felling lots, determination as to what is to be cut as firewood and what as building timber. Then, with the increasing fear of a reduction in supplies, followed prohibitions against exportation, against sale of woodlands to foreigners, against speculation in timber by providing schedules of prices, and from time to time entire exclusion from sale of some valuable species. Even the consumer was restricted and controlled in the manner of using wood.
In mediæval times, besides private forests of the king and lords, only the communal forest (allmende) was known, and small holdings of farmers were comparatively rare until the end of the middle ages.
The Thirty-years War and the following troublous times gave rise not only to extended forest devastation, but also to many changes in ownership
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of woodlands. With the growing instability of communal organization of the "mark," division of the common property took place, and thus private ownership by small farmers came about reducing the communal holdings. Colonization schemes by holders of large estates also led to dismemberment.
A very large amount of the mark forest came into possession of the princes and noblemen by force, and later the possessions of the princes were increased by the secularization of the property of monasteries and churches. Until the end of the last century these domains belonged to the family of the prince, just as the right to the throne or the governing of the little dukedom, thus contributing toward the expenses of government.
But when, as a consequence of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars and
subsequent changes, the conception of the rights of the governing classes changed, and in
some states, like Prussia, much earlier, a division of domains into those which belonged
to the prince's family as private property and those which were state forests was
effected, so that now the following classes of forest property may be distinguished:--
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and administered for its benefit, situated in the newly acquired province of Alsace-Lorraine.
The proportions of these classes of property which existed in the beginning of the century experienced considerable changes by the sale of state forests, the sales being due partly to financial distress, partly to a mistaken application of Adam Smith's theories, which supposed that free competition would lead to a better management and to the highest development of the forest industry as well as of other industries.
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This tendency, however, was checked when the fallacy of the theory became apparent, especially with reference to a property that demands conservative treatment and involves such time element as we have seen.
The hopes which were based on the success of individual efforts were not realized, and although control of private action had been retained by the state authorities, this could not always be exercised, and the necessity of strengthening the state forest administration became apparent. The present tendency, therefore, is not only to maintain the state forests, but to extend their area by purchase, mostly of devastated or deforested areas and by exchange for agricultural lands from the public domain. Thus, in Prussia, the increase of state forest area has been at the rate of 14,000 acres per year since 1867; during the decade 1891-1900 170,000 acres of waste lands were added at the average cost of $10 per acre, and the budget of 1900 contained $800,000 for that purpose. Bavaria spent about $6,000,000 in such purchases during the last 50 years.
In districts where small farmers own extensive areas of barrens a consolidation is effected; the parcels of remaining forest and the barrens are put together, the state acquires these and pays the owners either in money or other property.
In Prussia, during the decade 1882-1891, 30,000 acres were in this way exchanged for 17,000 acres,
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and in addition some 200,000 acres, waste or poorly wooded, were purchased at an expense of $3,500,000, round numbers. During the same decade the reforestation of 80,000 acres of waste lands was effected, while nearly 75,000 acres in the state's possession remained to be reforested.
The annual budget for these reforestations of waste lands has been $500,000 for several years.
The area of barrens and poor soils in Prussia, fit for forest purposes only, is estimated at over 6,000,000 acres, which it is the policy of the State gradually to acquire and reform.
The present distribution as regards property classes of the round 35,000,000 acres of
forest in the whole empire is about as follows, varying, to be sure, very considerably in
the single states of the confederation:
Half of the forest area consists of small holdings, below 2500 acres, while 15 per cent is in over 12,000 acre domains. In Prussia, the private forest property comprises 53 per cent, with many large domains, while the state and Crown forests represent 31 per cent, the communal forests 12.5 per cent, the balance being institute forests.
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The state and Crown forests are all under well-organized forest administrations, sometimes accredited to the minister of finance, sometimes to the minister of agriculture. These yield an annual net revenue of from $1 to $5 per acre of forest area, with a constant increase from year to year, which will presently be very greatly advanced when the expenditures for road building and other improvements cease.
In the state management the constant care is to avoid sacrificing the economic significance of the forest to the financial benefits that can be derived, and the amount cut is most conservative.
The Imperial forests are of course managed in the same spirit as those of the several state forests.
While the present communities, villages, towns, and cities are only political corporations, they still retain, in some cases in part, the character of the "mark," which was based upon the holding of property.
The supervision which the princes exercised in their capacity of Obermaerker or as possessors of the right to the chase, remained, although based on other principles, as a function of the state, when the "mark" communities collapsed; the principles being that the state was bound to protect the interest of the eternal juristical person of the community against the present trustees, that it had to guard against conflicts between the interest
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of the individual and that of the community in this property, that it should secure permanency of a property which insures a continued and increasing revenue. The principle upon which the control of these communal holdings rests is then mainly a fiscal one.
The degree of control and restriction varies in different localities. Sale and partition and clearing of communal forest can usually take place only by permission of the state authorities, and is generally discountenanced except for good reasons (e.g. too much woods on agricultural soil).
With reference to 5.6 per cent of communal forest property, this is the only control, entirely of a fiscal nature. The rest is more or less closely influenced in the character of its management, either by control of its technicalities or else by direct management and administration on the part of the government.
Technical control makes it necessary that the plans of management be submitted to the government for sanction, and that proper officers or managers be employed who are inspected by government foresters. This is the general system, under which 49.4 per cent of communal forests are managed (as also in Austria and Switzerland), giving greatest latitude and yet securing conservative management. To facilitate the management of smaller areas several properties may be combined under one manager, or else a neighboring government
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or private forest manager may be employed to look after the technical management.
Where direct management by the state exists, the state performs the management by its own agents with only advisory power of the communal authorities,--a system under which 45 per cent of the communal forests are managed (also in Austria and France).
In Prussia this system exists in a few localities only, but since 1876 it is there provided as penalty for improper management or attempts to avoid the state control.
This system curtails, to be sure, communal liberty and possibly financial results to some extent, but it has proved itself the most satisfactory from the standpoint of conservative forest management and in the interest of present and future welfare of the communities. Its extension is planned both in Prussia and Bavaria.
Sometimes the state contributes toward the cost of the management, on the ground that it is carried on in the interests of the whole commonwealth. A voluntary coöperation of the communities with the state, in regard to forest protection by the state forest guards, is in vogue in Würtemberg, as also in France. Institute forests are usually under similar control as the communities.
The amount of state influence, and especially the control of private forests, is extremely varying from state to state, even for the same state
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in different districts. A direct state control of some kind is exercised over only 29.7 per cent of the private forest, mostly in southern and middle Germany, while 70.3 per cent of the private property is entirely without control.
As far as the large land-owners are concerned, this has mostly been of no detriment, as they are usually taking advantage of rational management; but the small peasant holdings show the bad effects of this liberty quite frequently in the devasted condition of the woods and waste places. As a competent writer puts it: "The freedom of private forest ownership has led in Prussia not only to forest dismemberment and devastation, but often to change of forest into field. On good soils the result is something permanently better; on medium and poor soils the result has been that agriculture, after the fertility stored up by the forest has been exhausted, has become unprofitable. These soils are now utterly ruined and must be reforested as waste lands."
Need, avarice, speculation, and penury were developed into forest destruction when in the beginning of this century the individualistic theories led to an abandonment of the control hitherto existing, and it was found out that the principle so salutary in agriculture and other industries was a fatal error in forestry.
According to the character of state control, the entire forest area may be classified
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Where control of private forests exists it takes various forms:--
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after removal of the old growth and occasionally on open ground where public safety requires.
In addition to all these measures of restriction, control and police, and enforcement, there should be mentioned the measures of encouragement, which consist in the opportunity for the education of foresters, dissemination of information, and financial aid.
In the latter direction Prussia, in the decade 1882-1892, contributed for reforestation of waste places by private owners $335,000, besides large amounts of seeds and plants from its state nurseries. Instruction in forestry to farmers is given at twelve agricultural schools in Prussia. In nearly all states permission is given to government officers to undertake for compensation at the request of the owners the regulation or even the management of private forest property.
For the education of the lower class of foresters there may be about twenty special schools in Germany and Austria, while for the higher classes not only ten special forest academies are available, but three universities and two polytechnic institutes have forestry faculties.
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Besides, all states have lately inaugurated systems of forest experiment stations; and forestry associations, not propagandists but of practitioners, abound. As a result of all this activity in forestry science and practice, not less than twenty forestry journals in the German language exist, besides many official and association reports and a most prolific book literature.
Germany, as constituted at present, has an area of 133,000,000 acres--about one-fifteenth of our country,--a population of about 47,000,000, or less than 3 acres per capita, or only one-tenth of our per capita average. Its forests cover 34,7000,000 acres, of 26 per cent of the entire land surface. A large portion of the forests cover the poorer, chiefly sandy, soils of the North German plains, or occupy the rough, hilly, and steeper mountain lands of the numerous smaller mountain systems, and a small portion of the northern slopes of the Alps. They are distributed rather evenly over the entire empire. Prussia, with 66 per cent of the entire land area, and also of the entire forest area, possesses 23.5 per cent of forest land, while the rest of the larger states have each over 30 per cent, except small, industrious Saxony, which lies intermediate, with 27 per cent of forest cover.
In spite of the care bestowed upon the management of this resource, which is constantly yielding larger returns as the properties get into regular working order,--the output now is probably 1500
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million cubic feet of wood over 3-inch, or nearly 40 cubic feet per acre,--Germany is next to England the largest importer of wood materials, with $70,000,000 excess of imports over exports, adding 25 per cent to her home product.
The condition of the forests depends largely on the amount of control exercised by the state authorities. It is best in all cases in the state forests, it is almost equally as good in the corporation forests under state control, and is poorest in the private forests, particularly those of small holders.
The control of the corporation forests is perfect in a few of the smaller states only, notably Baden, Hesse, and Alsace-Lorraine; also in some districts in Prussia where the corporation forests are managed by the state authorities, the wishes of the villagers or corporate owners being, however, always duly considered. In a large portion of Prussia, in Würtemberg, and in Bavaria the corporation provides its own foresters; but these, as well as their plans of operation, must be approved by the state authorities, so that here the management is under strict control of the state, and favorable forest conditions are at least partially assured. In Würtemberg the corporation is given the choice of supplying its own foresters or else of joining their forests to those of the state. This has led to state management of nearly 70 per cent of all corporation forests. Only the corporation forests
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of Saxony and those of a small part of Prussia are without any supervision. Of the private forests, those of Prussia and Saxony, involving 69 per cent of all private forests of the empire, are entirely free from interference. They can be managed as the owner sees fit, and there is no obstacle to their devastation or entire clearing and conversion into field or pasture. The remainder of the private forests are under more or less supervision. In most districts a state permit is required before land can be cleared. Devastation is an offence, and in some states, notably Würtemberg, a badly neglected forest property may be reforested and managed by state authorities. In nearly all states laws exist with regard to so-called "protection forests," i.e. forests needed to prevent floods, sand blowing, land and snow slides, or to insure regularity of water supply, etc. Forests proved to fall under this category are under special control, but as it is not easy in most cases to prove the protective importance of a forest, the laws are difficult to apply and not always enforced.
An increase of state supervision over private forests has been attempted in Prussia by the establishment of a law previously referred to, which renders the owner of a forest liable for the damage which the devastation or clearing of his forest property causes to his neighbor. This law, however, is so difficult to apply, and puts the plaintiff to so great expenses, that so
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far it has not been enforced to any extent except where the government itself is the injured party.
Lately, as a result of destructive floods in Prussian rivers, extension of supervision by the state is urged again.
Altogether we can distinguish the South German policy which has been always inclined to be restrictive and coercive, from the North German tendencies which have only lately developed in this direction. The difference is perhaps due to the fact that South Germany is mainly mountain country, North Germany mainly plain.
The unusual floods in the Prussian rivers, especially the Oder, during the last decade,
which occasioned over $2,500,000 damage, led to the appointment of a commission--just as
this year in the state of New York--to propose remedies. In the two reports made in 1896
and 1898, the influence of forest cover on retardation of snow-melting, and of the forest
floor on retardation of run-off are admitted, but forest conditions are found tolerably
satisfactory. Nevertheless, new legislation is proposed to supervise private forest
management so as to preserve existing conditions, the following points being made:--
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by the county president, an appeal may be made to the courts.
Quite different in tone is the Bavarian law of 1852, revised and accentuated in 1896, which absolutely forbids clearing, as well as any severe thinning, except by permission, in all protection forests, namely, on tops of mountains and ridges and steep slopes, on the high Alps where danger from land and snow slides is to be anticipated, or on sand-dunes, and wherever waterflow is influenced. The forest administration, either at the request of the owner or, on its own motion and final decision, by the forest courts, is to decide whether or not a forest property falls in this category. The plans of management for such properties must be submitted for sanction by the government under penalty of $20 to $300, and even $600, per acre for any disobedience. Nor does the state recognize any obligation to compensate the owner for such restriction in the use of his property, although
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the proposition is now under discussion to give a tax release for 20 years for reforested tracts, provided the owner foregoes all use of it for that period.
The two smaller states of Baden and Würtemberg seem to have succeeded better than any other states in their restrictive policies. Würtemberg began proper measures, which have remained fundamental, as early as 1614, remodelling them in 1875 and 1879.
The "forest police law" of 1879 decides:--
The law of 1875 relating to the management
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and supervision of forests belonging to villages, towns, and other public corporations, about one-third of the forest area, places all the forests under this category under direct state supervision; there being a special division of corporation or municipal forests in connection with the state forestry bureau. The law demands that all corporation forests be managed in accordance with the principles of a continued supply, the same as the state forests. The corporation may employ its own foresters, but these must be approved by the forestry bureau and are responsible for the proper execution of the plans of management. These plans are prepared by the foresters and must be approved by the state forest authorities. If preferred, the corporation may leave the management of its forests entirely to the state authorities. This is always done if a corporation neglects to fill the position of its forester within a certain period after it becomes vacant. Where the state forest authorities manage either corporation or private forest, the forest is charged with eight cents per acre and year for this administration. This fee is generally less than it costs, so that the state has been really making a sacrifice so far in providing a satisfactory management for these forests.
The forest policy of Baden has also been conservative for a long time, and there is no state in Germany where the general conditions of the
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forests are better. Since all municipal and corporation forests are under direct state control, being managed by the state forest authorities, about 910,000 acres, or over 60 per cent of all forests, enjoy a careful, conservative treatment, which insures to them the largest possible return in wood and money. But even the private forests, representing another third of the forest area, are under the supervision of the state authorities, and though the private owner may use his forest very much as he pleases, he can in no way devastate or seriously injure it. Clearing requires a permit, even a complete clearing cut, which latter is permitted only if the owner guarantees the reforestation of the denuded area within a given time. Bare and neglected spots in forests must be restocked, and failure of private owners to comply with the forest rules and laws leads to temporary management of the forest by the state authorities, such management never to continue less than ten years.
It is evident that the existence of thoroughly organized, efficient state forest administrations make the execution of the laws regarding the use of forest properties comparatively easy, and from the technical point of view the supervision competent. Moreover, the good example which the forest management of the state sets is of most salutary influence, especially in showing that such management pays.
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By good management for "sustained yield" the yearly cut has been increased, in some cases doubled, since the beginning of the century, and the income has increased of course in greater rate, partly due to advance in prices for wood, which for a long series of years has not been less than 11/2 per cent annually, partly to increase in the quality of the output, but largely to improvements in transportation, for which large sums have been expended, especially during the last fifty years. The future promises even greater returns, when all the properties are in working order and covered with road systems.
Moreover, it is believed that the state administrations are now less profitable than they might be, as they are managed with great conservatism and without an attempt at greatest financial results, the economic objects being kept foremost.
The following tables give most briefly an insight into the financial aspect of forest management of the leading states. They show that the financial results vary considerably for the different administrations, owing largely to differences in market conditions; they also show the increase of revenue from 1890 to 1897. The figures for the whole country are in part rounded-off estimates for all the state forests. The record of the city of Zürich is added to show how an intensively managed small forest property under most favorable conditions of market compares with the more extensively
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image viewer (table) GERMAN STATE FORESTS.
Financial Results, 1890.
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image viewer (table) Financial Results, 1897.
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image viewer (table) Percentic Distribution of Main Expenditures, 1897.
managed larger forest areas. Judging from the results of the state administrations, it can be assumed that Germany produces annually wood values equal in amount to England's consumption, namely, somewhat over $100,000,000, or $3.00 gross and probably $1.75 net per acre, from soils that are mostly not fit for any other use, and which by being so used contribute to other favorable cultural conditions.
This net income, figured at 3 per cent, would make the capital value of soil and growing stock nearly $60 per acre, and the value of the entire forest resource of Germany 2000 million dollars.
The revenues have apparently risen with the increase of expenditures. In 1850, when Prussia expended only 37 cents per acre, her net income was 46 cents; in 1901 her expenditure had increased to $1.43 and her gross revenue to $2.87,
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although wood prices for the entire Prussian cut of 300,000,000 cubic feet have in that period advanced only 37 per cent; while Saxony expended 80 cents per acre in the beginning of the century and netted 95 cents, to-day she spends three times the amount and has increased her revenue nearly fivefold.
The table of the distribution of expenditures is especially interesting, showing that even in Saxony, the very state where the timber is usually cut clean and the land restocked entirely by planting with nursery stock, the item of planting, etc., uses up the smallest portion of the income.
From this brief outline it will be apparent that forestry in its modern sense is not a new, untried experiment in Germany, but that care and active legislative consideration of the forest wealth dates back more than four centuries; that the accurate official records of several states for the last one hundred years prove conclusively that wherever a systematic, continuous effort has been made, as in the case of all state forests, whether of large or small territories, the enterprise has been successful; that it has proved of great advantage to the country, furnished a handsome revenue where otherwise no returns could be expected, led to the establishment of permanent woodworking industries, and has given opportunity for labor and capital to be active, not spasmodically, not speculatively, but continuously and with assurance of success. This rule has, fortunately, not a single exception. To be
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sure, isolated tracts away from railroad or water, sand-dunes, and rocky promontories exist in every state, and the management of these poor forest areas costs all the tract can bring and often more; but the wood is needed, the dune or waste is a nuisance, and the state has found it profitable to convert it into forest, even though the direct revenue falls short of the expense.
The unsatisfactory condition of many of the private forests and their uneconomic exploitation, due to the speculative spirit developed after the Franco-German War, are deplored, exposed, and discussed with a view of extending state supervision. In Bavaria, in spite of severe prescriptions and in spite of the assistance given by the state, which distributed 127,000,000 plants during the years 1893-1899, deforestation is in excess of reforestation, and the private forest diminishes. Similarly in Prussia during the last twenty years over 75,000 acres were deforested by private owners, although the state here too is exhausting all ameliorative and persuasive means, which, however, remain ineffective. Hence the state buys the half-wastes, restocks them at great expense, and thus public money pays for public folly in not restricting ill use of forest properties.
Of extra-European countries and nations, we should at least mention Japan, as one that has had a forest policy earlier than any of the European nations, and has now as efficient and modern apparatus
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to carry it into effect as any, Germany hardly excepted.
It is interesting to note that the historical development of this policy considerably resembles Teutonic development under the feudal system. During the first century after Christ, and repeatedly during later ones, frequent edicts were issued to enforce the planting of watersheds to alleviate floods, and the state representatives, the provincial princes, from early times took active interest and supervised the fellings.1
[Note 1: 1 See an interesting historical sketch in Zeitschrift für das gesammte Forstwesen, 1900.]
The forests thus protected by strict laws remained in comparatively good condition, so that in 1867, when the great modern change in the government of Japan took place, they came into imperial hands nearly unimpaired. A department of forestry, instituted in 1874, in the department of the interior, has the management of the state forests, which comprise 17,500,000 acres, or 30 per cent of the total forest area of 57,000,000 acres. Some of the private forests, namely, those declared protection forests, are under supervision. A forest academy, according to German models, and at first manned by German foresters, was established in 1882, which in 1890 was incorporated with the University at Tokio.