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The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. PINCHOT. Furthermore (and then to return), in addition to the enormous value of the forests in the West for irrigation and power, the forests of the United States control the grazing industry on the public lands, because the forest reserves contain nearly all of the summer range. Of course if you can not keep the cattle through the summer on the summer range, you can not use the winter range and the spring and fall range. So that in the western part of the country the preservation of the forest means the preservation of wood, water, and grass. In the eastern part of the country it means the preservation of wood and water. There is no other nation on earth whose dependence on the forest is as striking and as vital as ours, because of the configuration of our country and the manner in which its problems arise.
The CHAIRMAN. The extent of its area, also, I suppose ?
Mr. PINCHOT. The extent of its area and the whole physical condition makes the forest more important to the United States than to any other part of the world of equal area.
By far the larger part of the forests of the United States is and will remain in private hands. While in the national forest reserves there are something over 120,000,000 acres, there is in wood lots alone a much larger area than that; and in addition there are the enormous areas of forest controlled by lumber companies, by a few of the States, and by large owners generally.
We are trying to do, in the Forest Service, two things
The CHAIRMAN. Can you give, right there, any approximation of the percentage of the one-third of the area that is devoted to forests that the Government now holds?
Mr. PINCHOT. Yes; the Government now holds, say, 150,000,000 acres. It holds about a fifth of the forest area of the country, roughly--between a fifth and a sixth.
What we are trying to do in the Forest Service is mainly along two lines: We are trying to educate the private owner to the fact that it will pay him to take care of his forest, and thus get the four-fifths of the forests of the United States preserved by the good-will and the intelligent understanding of the men who own them.
The CHAIRMAN. And the self-interest?
Mr. PINCHOT. And the self-interest-we base that on self-interest absolutely. We appeal to them purely on the ground that it is the best business policy for them to save their forests; and a large part of the work of the Forest Service hitherto has consisted in gathering statistics, by measurements in the forest, to show that forests grow fast enough to make it pay to treat them decently. We have been able to show to business men what their lands will produce after a certain time if they are handled in certain ways; and it has been an easy matter to balance that product, using present lumber prices, against taxes and expense of maintenance and interest, and so on, so as to show definitely that it was a paying proposition to take care of their woods.
On that side, then, we are charged with the general progress of forestry.
The CHAIRMAN. Right there, is there much of what you would call
current expense involved in the application of proper forestry methods?
Mr. PINCHOT. No; there is very little. The CHAIRMAN. Perhaps it would be well to explain, right here, why and how that is.
Mr. PINCHOT. There is very little current expense, because all you have to do is to let the trees alone and allow them to grow. There is a certain amount of taxes, a certain amount of protection against fire, in some cases an expense for fencing, and there is the capital, thé interest account running against the capital value. But the expense of maintenance is small. There is nothing more involved than simply letting the forest grow.
The CHAIRMAN. Is it not a question of cutting out from time to time by proper and intelligent methods ?
Mr. PINCHOT. We recommend no cutting out that does not pay for itself. That is all profitable in addition.
The CHAIRMAN. What method do they use in cutting if they are preserving the land? That is to say, in what way do they cut ?
Mr. PINCHOT. That depends entirely on the condition of the forest. There are as many different treatments for forests as there are different treatments for a man who is sick, depending on the nature of his disease.
The CHAIRMAN. Oh, yes.
Mr. PINCHOT. We simply examine the forest land, find out what its condition is, what it needs, how it can best produce what the owner wants from it, and then make recommendations as to the best method to get that.
The CHAIRMAN. To get that particular
Mr. PINCHOT. That particular service, and at the same time preserve the forest and insure its continuance.
The CHAIRMAN. Those investigations are conducted without expense to the property owner?
Mr. PINCHOT. No.
Mr. PINCHOT. We make the property owner pay the expense of those investigations.
The CHAIRMAN. How expensive are they?
Mr. PINCHOT. At first the property owner paid us but a very small proportion of the expense. Gradually we have increased the proportion we have required from the property owner, as the value of the work that we were doing became recognized, until much of the work that we now do for forest owners pays all the expense involved. And we have almost reached that point where we shall be able to charge the cost, plus 10 per cent, for every piece of work we do for a private owner.
The CHAIRMAN. The cost involves mainly the salaries and expenses of the men engaged in examining the forest ?
Mr. PINCHOT. Precisely; and often the elaboration of the measurements which they have taken.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. Have you reached such a system in connection with that that you have a unit of cost ? For instance, what does it cost to examine and prepare the data for a forest of 100 acres or 500 acres, as the case may be?
Mr. PINCHOT. We have units of cost, which vary in different parts of the country. They also vary very greatly with the amount of information we have already succeeded in collecting about a particular kind of forest. We may be able to tell a man, and we can now for many kinds of forests tell a man right off, what he should do without more than a cursory examination on the ground. In other cases it may take us months of patient measurement to find out exactly what that particular kind of forest will do.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. In other words, some of your examinations have to be specific?
Mr. PinchoT. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Unless the forest inquired about comes within some generalization which you have already gotten the information in relation to?
Mr. PINCHOT. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Is the knowledge that you have acquired of such a character that you can approximate the cost ?
Mr. PINCHOT. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. What I want to get at is what, as a rule, it would cost a man to get the benefit of the knowledge of the Department.
Mr. PINCHOT. It may cost all the way from half a cent to 10 cents an acre. Suppose I put in some specific cases.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; I wish you would.
Cost of working plans, per acre.
2,300 New River tract (hardwood)
50,000 New York and Texas Land Co. (red cedar) 20,000 Interstate Investment Co. (hardwood)
7,000 Stout-Greer Lumber Co. (shortleaf and loblolly)
700 1, 800
. 10 .027
The CHAIRMAN. It is quite possible, I judge from your statement, that if you were applied to by a man in a certain locality for information as to how he could properly operate his forest under the most improved scientific forestry methods you might possibly be able to give information with comparatively no expense, if it happened to be a locality that you had already covered?
Mr. PINCHôt. That is happening all the time.
The CHAIRMAN. On the other hand, your knowledge of the location is such and your information as to various sections of the country is such that if it was not covered within any generalizations you had already made, you would be able to give him an approximate estimate of what it would cost him to avail himself of this information ?
Mr. PINCHOT. We do that regularly, saying that it will cost him not to exceed so much.
The CHAIRMAN. So that it is a practical business proposition ?
The CHAIRMAN. Ascertainable before the man embarks on the enterprise?
Mr. PINCHOT. Perfectly; and he signs an agreement to that effect. The CHAIRMAN. To produce the results?
Mr. PINCHOT. To produce the results. We make without charge, a preliminary examination to determine whether it is a good scheme to take up, because we only take up the ones that are going to be most useful as object lessons.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. PINCHOT. So that we are gradually creating effective public sentiment, especially among the lumbermen, that it is worth while to look after the forests as a business proposition. We are also helping men to replant large and small tracts. Where it is a little bit of replanting for a farmer's wood lot we do the work without expense. Where is is a larger tract, as for a railroad company or a big owner, we make them pay for it. The idea is to give the small man who can not pay as inexpensive help as possible, and where it is a larger job to get the cost of it from the large owner, for whose profit the work is done. Improved methods in forest management by States and private owners, in cooperation with the Forest Service, result in an annual saving of at least 3 per cent of the yearly cut of one hundred billion feet, which at $3 per thousand is $9,000,000.
The CHAIRMAN. Right at that point, explain how you do replant and what features are involved in replanting, and in connection with that how it happens, if it is a fact, that a soft-wood growth is quite frequently followed by a hard-wood growth?
Mr. Pincuor. I will explain all that with much pleasure, if you wish to have me.
The way we do the replanting work is to send a man on the ground, as we do with the other case where we have not the information already. Where we have it, we simply send out leaflets and general directions to make an examination, where necessary, of the ground itself, study the kind of tree growth that is there already, and apply to that tract the information which we have already gathered of the kinds of trees best suited to kinds of soils in different localities, all of which is summed up in what we call a tree-planting plan, which is finally, with a little map, sent to the owner. The owner is required to supply his own trees and do his own work.
The CHAIRMAN. You say he is required to supply his own trees. What is that for—slipping or planting?
Mr. PINcoot. He has to furnish whatever he wants to plant. We supply no trees and no seed, nor do we do any planting.
The CHAIRMAN. Is it a question mainly of seeds or of plants?
Mr. PINCHOT. Generally of plants. If it is to be a large plantation, a man makes his own nursery and continues planting through a number of years. If it is a small one, as for a farmer in Iowa, he would buy his trees from some nurseryman and set out his wind-breaks
(Witness: Pinchot.) himself. We tell him how to plant and where to plant and what species to plant; we give him a specific plan.
The CHAIRMAN. Do they plant these small trees in forest tracts to any commercial or practical extent?
Mr. PINCHOT. Yes. Many of the large railroads are taking up actively the replanting of the denuded lands which they own, for the sake of producing their own ties.
The CHAIRMAN. And in that case you give instructions as to the kinds of trees to be planted ?
Mr. PINCHOT. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. How near together and under what circumstances they should be planted ?
Mr. PINCHOT. Yes. The CHAIRMAN. Do they need any treatment or care after the first planting?
Mr. PINCHor. Very little. They need a little thinning out, perhaps, afterwards; but the main point is to get them well started." A railroad company, for instance, will come to us, or coal company, or any large enterprise, and say:“Our annual consumption of timber is so much. We are beginning to see difficulty ahead in getting that supply. Will you advise' us how we may protect our own interests by getting ready to produce that timber ourselves?” And we say to them, as the case may be " It is wiser for you to buy timber land already started,” or, “ It is wiser for you to plant such-and-such trees on such-and-such tracts,” and of all this work they pay the expenses.
The CHAIRMAN. Do they seed to any great extent?
The CHAIRMAN. Can they seed? That is, is it practicable to seed for some kinds of trees that they do plant?
Mr. PINCHOT. Perfectly.
The CHAIRMAN. Or are there trees that have to be produced from seed, and can not well be produced by plants? What is the fact in that respect?
Mr. PINCHot. That is an idiosyncracy of the individual species. "The seed of some kinds of trees you can sow broadcast with great suc«cess. Others you can not hope to get satisfactory results from in that way. You must grow the seedlings in the nursery and plant them out afterwards. In the case of some kinds you can plant the seed itself, with the corn planter, for instance.
The CHAIRMAN. What are the principal varieties—that is, the main varieties—that you can plant by seed?
Mr. Pinchot. In the East we are recommending very largely chestnuts for the railroad companies that want to grow ties, and for the telephone people. In the West the catalpa is one of the important trees, and mulberry, ash, and various pines. We find as a rule that the evergreens do better in the arid regions than the broad-leaf trees.
The CHAIRMAN. Do all of those trees come from seed?
The CHAIRMAN. But I mean in connection with your forestry proposition. Is it a feasible proposition to produce those from seed, or is it more feasible to produce them from slips?