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tural lands, etc. (b) Boundaries, organization, means of logging, etc. (c) Market and relative demand for the various products, local or foreign. (d) Working plan (that is, changes of facts to be made or provided for). Herein is outlined the work to be carried out on the forest in the future.
What a working plan provides is of course largely governed by the owner's opinion. An optimistic owner will cut little; hence changes will be toward increasing investment. A pessimistic owner will want heavy cuts, discarding all but what commands the highest price (as pulp wood in Saxony). In Saxony they did not rely on an increase in stumpage; in the Black Forest they did and have accumulated timber capital. Again, Saxony's method has created their highest present values and they
have the highest present returns on their invested capital (which is relatively small). In Saxony, neither the demand nor the price of large logs has increased. The rise has been greatest for the small material and hence Saxony has reaped and continues to reap today the highest returns, while the Black Forest has the highest value in forest capital with the smallest returns.
The larger logs are sawn into lumber at the mills, in or near the forest, while most of the other forest products, such as poles, mine props, railroad ties, Christmas trees and plup wood are assembled at a railroad station for shipment to centers of consumption of such products.
FOR SERVICE ABROAD
pointed a recruiting officer for a regiment of woodsmen and mill
workers to be sent abroad for early service in France. The regiment will form a part of the Engineer's Reserve Corps and is being organized at the request of the Allies.
The duty of the regiment will be to get out timber needed by the armies, such as railroad ties, trench timbers, mine props, bridge timbers, lumber and cord wood. It is to be in every sense a handpicked regiment, capable of carrying to the forests of France the best traditions of the American lumber woods.
HE following information regarding the New England Mill Units for
service in the United Kingdom has been obtained from Mr. W. R. NULL) Brown, of the Berlin Mills Co., Berlin, N. H., to whom the organization of the Units was entrusted.
June 12, 1917.— "The expedition will start in about a week, and we have the ten mills purchased and four extra ones donated; most of the equipment is in storage in a freight shed nea Boston; the horses are purchased and awaiting shipment, and we have selected a considerable part of the men out of one thousand applications which have come in.
"Downing P. Brown, who has been mill superintendent for us at La Tuque, P. Q., is going over at the head of the expedition, and E. C. Hirst, State Forester of New Hampshire, will be Assistant General Manager.
"Each of the six New England States has raised $12,000—($72,000), and the balance of $48,000 is pretty much all in from private lumber concerns. The State Department at Washington has agreed to furnish the passports for the men and exemptions from draft service for those who are within military age, and the expedition will go on an English vessel probably from Boston. The members all hire out with the British Consul General in Boston before starting, for one What part of the United Kingdom they will go to has not been decided as yet."
June 27th-Associated Press Despatch— "New England woodsmen reach England today."
A MODERN GORDIAN KNOT-FOREST TAXATION
By Arthur Goadby.
F it is true that fire and taxes are the two greatest obstacles to forestry then the work of the forest enthusiast is but half done. The problem of fire control has been solved and all that remains
is to apply the solution. But with the problem of taxation it is no exaggeration to say that we are nearly as far from the solution as ever. It is now thirty years since this question began to receive attention in the United States and there is scarcely a forester or a tax reformer that has not at some time puzzled over it. Many excellent reforms have been suggested, some of which have found their way into the law and yet because of legislative restrictions failed to achieve results; the old maxim that "too many cooks spoil the broth" was evidently framed with forest taxation in mind. It seems to be a fact that democracies are far more difficult to administer in certain respects than are the older and, to us, semi-obsolete forms of government, and while in America we have excellent ideals which are not easily applied, the nations of Europe, and even Asia, are able to get excellent results out of the most imperfect theories. Here we toil with infinite patience to untie Gordian Knots, there they simply crack them with a sword. Italy and Switzerland, Germany and Austria have been taxing forests for centuries: their tax methods are complicated, even absurd: yet they are equable, and while the theorists may differ, nevertheless the forests prosper.
But in America all is chaotic: theorists largely agree, yet the forest owners complain and the trees are slowly-nay rapidly-disappearing.
When I say that theorists agree I presume I am guilty of exaggeration, for as a matter of fact they agree about ninety per cent, the remaining ten per cent being the fatal crux of the whole matter. Unanimous concerning the aim, they partly differ as to the means; but their lack of unity is not a matter of divergence, but simply one of unwillingness to proceed together on the way. Some students have gone further on than others toward the complex and the radical extreme, others have remained behind advocating simplicity and conservatism,
and all of them are extended along this line never quite able to reconcile their views, nor to secure effective results however excellent their theories, nor to persuade the ephemeral overlord that happens to occupy the seat of the mighty, to descend an instant and cut the Gordian Knot.
But is the knot, in default of the arbitrament of the sword, worthy any longer of the time and devotion of the would be loosener? Is the solution of the Problem essential to the prosperity of our forest? What Say the foresters? They reply
unanimously "Yes." While ultimately the woodlands may be publicly owned, and thus the question fall of itself, nevertheless during the next
A DIVIDE, from a western Lookout Station, few critical decades public ownership is out of the question, and in another generation there may be left no forests for the government to
To-day four-fifths of the forest area is privately owned, and these four-fifths are being rapidly depleted because of the arbitrary injustice of the general property tax.
However enthusiastic we may be over the extension of the national forests and over the progress achieved in many states, yet the hard fact remains that the country is consuming its forests twice as fast as they grow.
Perhaps however it may be contended that the general property tax is no longer the cause of this deforestation; that many states, especially in the north east, have already superseded it with enlightened reforms. This indeed is true, but notwithstanding all the generous efforts of those who have devoted themselves to the question, and notwithstanding all the skill they lavished upon it, these statutes have so far failed to achieve the wished for results. However excellently well devised, they had to be amended, often with reason, to meet legislative or constitutional approval, and the final upshot of the matter to-day is that they are either ineffective or fail to induce land-owners to register under their provisions.
Much discouragement therefore prevails and I believe we are approaching a crisis, and unless more outside interest is shown the problem is very likely to remain unsolved. Some association should now take up the burden which hitherto has been shouldered by a few individuals; it should induce a few experienced and competent men, principally from our northeastern states, to convene to trade experiences, to formulate their principles, reconciling their differences, if such exist, and then to devise an efficient constitutional and attractive tax measure. Otherwise the tax problem will never be solved, for the conviction will then grow up that there is not enough general interest, that the problem has too many economic and political difficulties, and that public ownership will be the eventual solution whatever may happen. This conclusion, as I have already suggested, would be disastrous. It would be a misfortune to the country at large, both in its human, agricultural
and forestal aspects.
One alternative may yet exist to this state of affairs. Some adequate simple law might be devised to obviate the whole difficulty, for instance based on English method, namely — exempting the
trees until cut, then THE FOREST SERVICE NURSERY, at Monument, Colo. levying a yield tax; but
exacting an annual revenue from the land assessed at its estimated agricultural rather than forestal value. This method has been universally praised and recommended for our country, and it is surprising that it has not been tried. Four years ago at the Conservation Congress in Washington, it was officially recognized as the ideal method. Why then has it not been embodied in law? It should be tried at once. If it saved the forests our problem would be solved, if not our experience would be still further enriched. Personally, however, I am not sanguine of its success if adopted, for I believe that certain activities can prosper only through