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system of forestry; the conservation and development of water power in the State of New York, and to promote friendly intercourse between the members and to co-operate with others interested in like objects.” The principles which actuate us in our work need not be stated in the words of our constitution or by-laws, as they are frequently expressed in our daily activity and have their inspiration in the principles of fair play, equality before the law and justice to all classes of men and property.
A FORWARD STEP Now what has been done in the past year to promote these objects, and how far have we adhered to these high principles? It is a pleasure to your President to state the answer. It is conceded that the most forward step yet taken by any association or organization interested in forestry and the kindred subjects of conservation is the appointment, as Forester to this Association, of Professor Bernard Recknagel, late of the faculty of Cornell University. (Applause.) President Schurman of Cornell has expressed it as his opinion that this is the most forward step yet taken by any great association interested in these subjects, which is so largely composed of men interested solely in the economic aspects of conservation. Press notices over the State in the papers and in magazines devoted to conservation have expressed the same opinion. It cannot be denied that our action in this appointment has set a high example for our kindred organizations to follow. The significance of this lies in the fact that the lumbermen of the State, without prejudice and out of their own pockets, are supporting the principles of a rational and constructive system of forestry, founded upon the science of forestry itself as expounded by the universities of our State and as practiced by the Federal Government in the national forests. We believe a system is rational when it recognizes the economic aspect of forestry, and constructive when it provides for the future; and upon these fundamenial principles we are willing to stand with the forces of education and progress.
Our attitude is the more significant, living as we do in a state in which, as our Forester has aptly put it, the Constitution has made a cemetery of 1,800,000 acres of potential forest area. cemetery is the creation of a policy which exists largely for the pleasure and capriciousness of its advocates. The estimated annual loss on the 1,800,000 acres of cemetery forest is approximately 300,000,000 board feet of lumber, with a value of not less than $1,200,000. The annual appropriation for the care and maintenance
of the cemetery, including taxes, amounts to upwards of $300,000; and these figures are rapidly increasing. In addition to this is the principal charge of $4,000,000, which is approximately the investment of the State in the forest preserve. This does not include fire loss or destruction of timber through other causes. It should be our duty to place before every citizen of the State precise and reliable figures upon this question. We believe that those who advocate this cemetery policy are in the minority, and, so far as this Association is concerned, we are going to do our bit to eliminate it and to restore the forests of the State to the service for which Nature intended them.
GENERAL PLAN OF WORK Professor Recknagel will later tell, in detail, of the beginnings of his work. I shall state briefly the general plan of it. We first thought it desirable to inventory the resources of our members, to the end that we might, for proper purposes, be able to state precisely what our Association represents in industrial strength and activity. Organizations standing for the cemetery policy which has been referred to, draw their strength through large individual memDership. We, on the contrary, stand as the representative of certain great industries, and in expressing our views in public, and in private discussion, and in using our influence to advance the objects for which we are organized, it is proper that we should refer to the extent and importance of the industries which we represent. We therefore need an inventory to be able to do this effectively, and Professor Recknagel has spent much time in this work. The results, when tabulated, will make a very useful record to be placed in the files of our general office at Albany. Incidental to this work, our Forester has become acquainted with our membership, and through his efforts several desirable members have come in. Our Forester has made addresses and written articles expounding our views in relation to conservation generally, to current topics, and to forestry in New York State. His address on “The Timberland Owner and the War" before the Cornell Summer School was of such general interest that at the request of the President of the New York State Forestry Association it was repeated at Lake Placid during Forest Week, in the early part of September, and the excellence of the address has inspired favorable comment in the press of the State. In the October number of "State Service," a magazine devoted to a review of the activities of the State government and published at Albany, there appears an article by our Forester discussing, with skill, the outworn and obsolete provision
of our State Constitution in relation to the State forests. If there is any member of this Association who has not read this article, I earnestly urge that he do so at the very first opportunity.
FOREST TAXATION I have advocated in addresses and in articles prepared for publication, that there is urgent need for a correct plan of forest taxation, which will relieve reforested lands and lands devoted to con tinuous forest production from the injustice of the general property tax. The burden of taxation in the forest towns has steadily increased until, over a period of time sufficient to grow a forest crop, three-fourths of its total value is likely to be exhausted through taxation. A yield tax to be collected at the time of the harvesting of the forest crop is the correct basis for a sound system of forest taxation. A tax on yield enables the investor to count upon his future tax burden with reasonable certainty, and guarantees him against arbitrary or excessive taxation. It is paid only in case the income is actually received, and thus does not compel the investor to pay taxes for many years on an income which may finally never be received. From a public standpoint, it supplies a system of taxation most likely to encourage the growing of timber. The problem has not been solved in New York State, because of the failure to develop a system which will not deprive the forest towns of current revenue during the early years of the application of a yield tax. The solution of this problem is difficult because the administrative State officers have been opposed to any plan which increases the tax on the State-owned lands. It seems obvious that the communal duty involved should take precedence and should be discharged without relation to its effect upon the State as a tax-payer in any particular locality. Connccicut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Vermont now have forest taxation laws, based upon che principle of a yield tax; and New York should promptly follow their example.
REFORESTATION Feforestation in the Adirondacks will not survive the test ordinarily applied to investment of private capital. To demonstrate this, tables have been prepared to show results to be expected from plantations of White Pine and Norway Spruce. In the preparation of these tables, the estimated value of land and of stocking it, 10gether with an estimated cost of 5 cents per annum for administretien ard protection, and 5 cents for taxation, and interest compounded at 6 per cent per annum on the original cost, were used
as a basis for the computation. The results show that at the end of the first 50-year period the White Pine crop would be too small to be marketed, and at the end of 60 years the cost per M feet for stumpage would be nearly three times its present value. From the 60-year period on, there is indicated such a rapid increase in the stumpage cost that the possibility of a profit in the investment entirely disappears. With the Norway Spruce, the results were slightly more encouraging. The cost per cord at the end of 40 years was $5.37, which, upon normal prices, would indicate a stumpage profit of something like $2.00 per cord. After 40 years this apparent profit dwindles, and at the end of 60 years it entirely disappears, and, calculated upon normal stumpage value, is replaced by a loss.
Stock forms a substantial proportion of the cost of land and stocking. I believe the cost of stock is about $7.00 an acre. Am I right about that?
MR. C. R. Pettis: No, about $4.50 an acre, on an average.
THE PRESIDENT: And how many trees are required to plant an acre ?
MR. Pettis: 1,000 trees will plant an acre.
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, it takes about 1,200 to 1,500 trees to plant an acre, doesn't it?
A Voice: About 1,200 planting the trees 6x6 feet apart. At $4.50 a thousand, this is $5.40 per acre.
THE PRESIDENT: That is about what I thought. Well, the cost of stock varies from 25 to 40 per cent and forms a substantial proportion of the cost of the land and stocking, after stocking. It would therefore seem that the furnishing of free stock from the State nurseries would be most substantial assistance in reforestation of private lands. The State is well equipped to develop nurseries and to produce transplants at low cost, and efficiency in the management of the State nurseries should produce Pine and Spruce three and four year old transplants at an average cost of $3.00 per thousand or less. On these figures, the furnishing of stock free, f. o. b. the nurseries, would just about offset the value of the land on which such stock is usually planted in the Adirondacks. It is obvious that this assistance would greatly stimulate the raising of tree crops, and the communal interests thus served amply justify
The New York State Forestry Association has had these important reforms in forest taxation and reforestation under consid
eration, and at its Forest Week meeting at Lake Placid, early in September last, the President of that Association announced the appointment of a committee to consider these subjects, with your President as Chairman, and Messrs. Arthur Goadby, Kenneth Coldthwaite, Professor Ralph S. Hosmer of Cornell, and Professor Franklin F. Moon of Syracuse, as members. This committee is planning to prepare and submit, for the consideration of the Legislature at its coming session, a bill in relation to these subjects. I will add that it will be a matter for this meeting to consider, whether a committee of this Association should be appointed 10 deal with that subject, which is likely to be one under active consideration at the coming session of the Legislature.
WATER STORAGE The conservation of our flood waters, I regret to say, still remains in the realm of discussion, because of failure to agree upon a definite State policy in relation thereto. Chapter 662 of the Laws of 1915, better known as the Machold Law, provides a scheme for river regulation, but progress has not been made under it, because (1) the ambiguity of the provision in relation to State revenue, and (2) the opposition of those citizens who believe the forests and streams in the Adirondacks should not be interfered with for economic development where any incidental sacrifice of natural beauty, or the use of the property for recreation and pleasure purposes, is necessary. This is a perplexing situation, and it bids fair to delay indefinitely the adoption of a policy which will bring practical results in the regulation of the flow of our rivers.
To illustrate this, I refer to the matter of the petition for the creation of the Upper Hudson River Regulating District, now under consideration by the State Commission named in the Machold Law, and consisting of the Conservation Commissioner, the Attorney-General and the State Engineer. This petition is violently opposed, because of possible interference with natural conditions of some of the lakes and streams in the proposed district, mostly those which are now the centers of summer resort activity; and, on the other hand, riparian owners are declining to support the petition, upon the advice of counsel that the provisions of the law in relation to State revenues and taxation are so ambiguous that, with the present tendency towards socialistic principles in government, benefited properties may be confiscated under them.
It would therefore seem that no one is ready to proceed with river regulation under the present statutes. Property is being sufficiently taxed at the present time to curb any desire on the part