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$118,000,000 IN WAGES are paid annually to persons employed in the wood-using industries of New York State,

FOREST FIRES cause a loss not only to the owner of the timber de. stroyed, but also to every member of the community.


The State is doing its best to prevent forest fires: The Railroads are taking steps to prevent the escape of sparks and coals from locomotives, but it takes the help of every person who goes into the forest for business or pleasure to make these measures effective.

Exercise the same care with fire in the forest that you would take without question in your own home or in the city.

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Published Quarterly at Syracuse by the New York State Forestry Association

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Contributed articles of any length up to 2500 words, and communications to “View-points"

are always welcomed. The editors and the Association, however, are not

responsible for any of the views expressed by contributors.

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APRIL, 1917

No. 1



This article is a portion of a recent report to the Association by its
committee on Forest Influences, of which Prof. Ralph S. Hosmer
of Cornell University is chairman.

HE TERM Forest Influences as it is used by foresters includes T

all effects resulting from the presence of the forest upon climate (including temperature, rainfall, wind, etc.), upon streamflow,

upon the mechanical condition and erosion of the soil, upon health and recreation, and even upon the ethics of the people. The purpose of this statement is to show some of the ways in which the forest exerts these influences, and to connect this phase of the subject with the other branches of forestry, especially with reference to New York State.

The premise on which all forestry work is based is that forests are of value to man in that they are of use to him, in one or more of three ways: (1) as a source of wood or other forest products, (2) as protective covers on watersheds or where forest is required to restrain torrents or to control shifting sands, and (3) as agencies of health, recreation or beauty. Forests devoted exclusively to these uses termed, respectively, supply forests, protection forests, and (for want of a better term) recreation forests. The names aesthetic or luxury forests are also applied to the last class. Each class in its own way is of service to man. Not infrequently a single forest may serve all three functions—sometimes it is found advisable strictly to limit the use of a forest to only one use. One of the problems now before the people of the State of New York is to determine how far it is necessary and desirable to carry out this segregation in the case of the state owned forests.

It must never be forgotten that the essential and basic idea in forestry is the perpetuation of the forest through wise use. Some of the


natural resources, like coal, gas, and the minerals, must ultimately be exhausted; others like forests, can be renewed. The object of forestry is to discover the method by which each kind or class of forest can be made to be of the most service to man, first of all to the people now using it, but also with due regard to those who are to come after us. The term “wise use embraces both the present and the future. It all sums up to finding the best way to make the forests—as well as all other natural resources—serve the greatest good of the greatest number for the longest time.

The highly complex conditions of the forest and of its existence are among the most fascinating of natural phenomena. Here are interrelated physical and biological elements of great variety. The chemical and mechanical characters of the soil, the amount of rainfall, the atmospheric humidity, the temperature, the surface gradients, the elevation above the sea, with its accompanying relative air density, are physical factors which are intertwined with the adaptability of plants to their environment, resulting in forests of many different kinds as regards their dominant tree species, density, and undergrowth. Some of these interrelations we crudely understand; others are as yet wholly obscure. The functions of the animal and vegetable life of minute size, low organization, and great variety which inhabits the forest floor are probably much more important than we know.

In the State of New York, we have forests of variety, both of evergreen (coniferous) and deciduous (hardwood) trees, and their plant and animal populations are diverse. The evergreen forests are mostly in the north, where white pine, red pine, spruce, balsam, hemlock, and red cedar are the dominant trees, and on Long Island, where there are areas of pitch pine forests; the hemlock is also dominant in some areas along the rivers. Forests of hardwood trees occur locally nearly throughout the state, a large number of different trees being dominant in them at one place or another. There are also mixed forests, made up of both evergreen and hardwood species. Northward, we find in swampy areas forests of tamarack or larch, a coniferous tree whose leaves are deciduous.

Forests and Climate Taking up one by one the several divisions that are recognized under

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