Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub
[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

WITI

ITH the spring of 1903, the Government clouds, but beneath is a damp subsoil that re

began a forest-making movement that is tains the moisture of spring through the long in many ways the most important ever under sunshine-flooded summer. It has been found taken. It is the carrying out of plans that have that certain kinds of pine have roots which, gobeen under consideration for years, and which ing far below the surface, tap the moisture stored have had the careful study of the forestry bureau in this substratum and are sustained thriftily. in every detail. It is proposed to solve the Prof. E. A. Braniff, of the Yale School of Forserious problem of forest destruction by growing estry, one of the nation's foremost authorities, new supplies under government care and in says : " The minimum rainfall under which trees parts of the nation where as yet there is nothing will grow is reckoned at twenty inches, and unbut open plain, as well as on the cut-over lands der such conditions they are usually dwarfed, of the once timbered region.

scrubby, and unfit for timber. But in the sand The most interesting feature of this vast un. hills the bull pine has shown a rapid and even dertaking is in the sand hills of western Ne growth and promises to develop into a fine tree." braska, where it is proposed to have wide, undu Growths of from fifteen to eighteen feet have lating reaches of drifted sand succeeded by the been secured under these seemingly poor condiwaving green of a pine forest,—a seeming im tions in ten years. possibility.

THE RESERVES IN THE SAND-HILL REGION.

WESTERN SAND LANDS NOT HOPELESS.

The basis of the theory upon which the Government experiment is proceeding is that once that region was the bottom of a sea ; that, as it is the lowest point for a large area, and the soil is especially adapted to certain kinds of trees, it has, in catching the drainage of the sur rounding plateaus, the conditions needed for the development of a forest. Western sand lands may be dry on top, and the surface may drift in

The sand-hill section, comprising about onefourth of the State, is almost surrounded by a rich farming country, and is used for grazing. Poor as is the pasture, the cattlemen cling to it, and the Government is making arrangements for their coöperation to prevent the burning off of the experimental forests. The two reserves created in this section comprise 211,000 acres,one between the Dismal and the Loup rivers of 86,000 acres, and one between the Niobrara and

the Snake rivers of 125,000 acres. During the past year, the Forestry Bureau has had its rep. resentatives studying these reserves and finding the best places for the experimental groves. A nursery was established at Halsey, in the valley of the Middle Loup River, with a half-acre seed. bed protected by Jaths. Nearly six hundred pounds of seed, principally Western yellow pine and red cedar and jack pine, was here prepared for the spring sowing. Various scattered areas are being sown · later these, by extending the

year destructive fires, most of which, with a little precaution, could be prevented.

It seems strange that such wastefulness should be permitted in one section when in another, on the plains, there is so great a demand for trees. Kansas, for instance, maintains a forestry station in the far southwest part of the State, and distributes annually two million trees to farmers and stockmen, free of cost. These are mostly osage orange, mulberry, and cottonwood, with honev locust and box elder also frequently called

for. The railroads are find. ing the growing of trees along the right-of-way profit. able, both for ties and for snow · breaks, and several Western roads are setting out this sort of protection, using millions of cuttings.

[graphic]

THE BAD TIMBER CLAIM

SYSTEM.

EXPERIMENT IN TREE-RAISING.

For many years the forest extension in the middle West was confined to the - timber claims," on which every settler was given certain preëmption privileges for keeping alive ten acres of trees for eight years. when, if there were alive sufficient of the saplings to satisfy the land office, he received

a deed. Then he was at lib(Eighteen feet in twelve years.)

erty to let the trees die,—and

he often did, or so neglected amounts, are to be united into one great forest. them that there were left, after another half dec. It will, indeed, be a marvelous undertaking and, ade, only a few straggling, wind-bent bushes that if successful, will change the face of the plains. made a pitiful picture in the far-reaching land.

scape. DANGERS OF FIRE AND CATTLE.

"LOGGED-OFF” LAND ? The close pasturage of the sand lands not only kills the grass, but it gives the winds an oppor There is in the coast region a vast amount of tunity for cutting great holes, known as “ blow "logged-off” land which has been robbed of its outs," in the surface. These injure the grass

timber and now lies desolate, fit only for graz. for many rods hy covering the tops with the ing. The fact that the underbrush in these un. drift.

tended areas is the source of many destructive The cattlemen promise to cooperate with the forest fires has caused a widespread discussion Government in this attempt, and to refrain from of the best means of rehabilitating the lands with close pasturing

The forest fires of the moun another forest growth to succeed the one now tain regions will also be prevented by greater gone. vigilance on the part of the guards, if such be One of the plans suggested is to remit the possible. Oregon and Washington, according taxes or reduce them, as an inducement toward to the national Bureau of Forestry, lost last year reforestation of the lands ; but a special report thirteen million dollars' worth of timber, eight of the Forestry Bureau says that, even consider. million dollars' worth of which represented sal ing the value of the land at only one dollar an able material. In California, Colorado, and Wis acre, “ The cost of holding a quarter section for consin, on the timber lands, there rage every fifty years would be $1,742, or $10.90 an acre.

WHAT IS TO BECOME OF

with green.

THE INTEREST OF THE IRRIGATIONIST IN FORESTRY.

Under such conditions few men will hold logged. Pine, in varieties suited to the moisture likely to off land. The property reverts to the State for be secured, was generally planted. On March delinquent taxes and, still considered worthless 1, this year, it was announced that the seeds and wholly unprotected, it is burned off again planted in November had begun to germinate, and again until it becomes a desert.” The Pa and that there was promise of a successful cific Coast Lumber Manufacturers' Association growth over the areas treated.

In a few years advises the using of burned-off land for pasture, the bare mountain sides will be clothed again and says it does not think much of projects for replanting such lands. ONLY WOOD ENOUGH FOR ONE MORE GENERATION.

The denuding of the mountain regions means Professor Fernow, of the Cornell School of a loss to the irrigationists of the plains that is Forestry, said recently that at the present rate almost immeasurable. If the snows be not held of consumption the lumber supply of the nation in the hills, the streams that take their long slow will not last another thirty years. If none of course across the plains will fail in summer, the logged - off lands are reforested, to what when their supply of moisture is essential to cropsource shall the building trade look for its sup- raising. With the rapid extension of ditches in ply after that time? To the redeemed prairie every part of the West, and with the added imreaches ? It is doubtful if even the most en petus of the new government assistance through thusiastic believers in the latter method of grow the utilization of land-sale incomes, the water ing forest areas expect any such generous out supply is certain to be tested to its limit. Alcome. It is for this reason that the problem ready interstate conflicts have arisen concerning becomes the more important, and the task of the the inadequacy of certain streams. If the mounforestry bureaus of the Government and of thesev tain snows rush to the sea with the first warm eral States is of direct industrial interest, as well sun of spring, the lack will be yet greater. as bearing a close relation to climatic conditions. Under these conditions, it is little wonder that

For three months, beginning last November, the Western States that have not yet lost the a squad of from ten to fifteen men, under a com bulk of their forests should be anxious for re. petent leader, spent its time reseeding the moun strictive laws that will restrict. If the sand hills tain regions of southern California, where fires of Nebraska can be transformed in the next had denuded the surface. The country, alarmed quarter century into two hundred thousand acres by the decreasing water supply, asked for this of luxuriant pines and cedars from ten to eighteen work, and assistance was given by the towns of feet high, it will be to a large degree a solution the section visited in carrying on the replanting. of the matter.

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

ACROSS THE PATAGONIAN PLAINS IN WINTER.

AN AMERICAN'S VIEWS OF PATAGONIA.*

THE
HE publication of Darwin's account of the historic life, and with the aid of his camera he

voyage of the Beagle, in 1839, made Pata succeeded in obtaining and bringing back to gonia's general features known to the world, civilization some unequaled pictures of the few and since that date few explorers have added scattered human beings who roam over the vast anything of material value to the observations wastes of what has hitherto remained the most of the great naturalist. During the last decade, sparsely peopled region on the known globe. however, the researches of the Argentine and Other photographs secured by Mr. Hatcher, Chilean boundary commissions have been in some of which are reproduced on this and the progress, while the earlier efforts of the Argen- following pages, represent the natural scenery of tine geographer Moreno had resulted at least in the country. Darwin and all later travelers a clearer mapping of the country; but Ameri. have dwelt on the vastness and monotony of the cans should take especial interest and pride in Patagonian plains, but these pictures tell us that the magnificent work of one of our own coun it is not wholly a land of dead level. Here and trymen, achieved under great difficulties and there the traveler encounters rugged peaks made possible only by the munificence of the towering far above the plain, while the river graduates and friends of Princeton University. cañons, to judge from the photographs, are not Mr. J. B. Hatcher led the three Princeton expe less interesting than those of our own Southditions to southern Patagonia during the years west, and the glaciers rival those of Alaska in 1896–99. His purposes were puiely scientific. grandeur. Still, it must be confessed that the Rumors of sensational discoveries in that part impressions of solitude and utter desolation that of the world had roused the interest of geologists so powerfully colored Darwin's description of in Patagonian paleontology, and it was primarily the country have enough to justify them in the as a paleontologist that Mr. Hatcher made his marked characteristics of the Patagonian landexplorations.

scape as set forth by subsequent observers, Mr. Fortunately, this intrepid explorer was in Hatcher included. Much of the region immeterested in the life of to-day as well as in pre diately north of Punta Arenas, in southern

Patagonia, is described by the 'ast-named writer * Reports of the Princeton University Expeditions to as resembling the sand-hills of western Nebraska. Patagonia, 1896-1899. J. B. Hatcher in charge. Edited by - The trail winds in and out among low, rounded William B. Scott. Volume I. Narrative and Geography (J. Pierpont Morgan Publication Fund). Princeton, N. J.:

hills, separated by small ponds and broad The University.

stretches of meadow lands."

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

one hundred miles long, but none of which has been thoroughly explored. Sev. eral of the mountain lakes

are described as very beauY

tiful. Concerning the nuE RRITOR

merous salt lakes which abound on the plains, Mr.

Hatcher holds the “resid. R 10 NEGRO

ual" theory, -i.e., that the salt water remained after the subsidence of the sea, or, rather, after the elevation of

the land,—while by others T o Ry

the view is maintained that these were originally freshwater lakes, that their outlets were gradually cut off, and that the salt resulted from evaporation.

In more aspects than one, this southern extremity of our hemisphere, as pictured by Mr. Hatcher and other travelers, reminds us of South Africa, a land with which we can all claim acquaintance since the Boer war made its features known to the uttermost parts of the · earth. The seasons, for one thing, correspond very closely in

the two countries. ng

Winter in Patagonia and South Africa falls in our summer months, and vice

There is some overlapping of vegetation, how.

Thus, Mr. Hatcher found a flower in bloom near ('ape Fairweather (Lat. 51° 30') on July 4-a date corresponding to January 4 in the northern continent. But for the most part, the months of May-October are wintry enough, and the wind-swept Patagonian plains, always desolate, must

be more forbidding than PATAGONIA

ever when covered with TIERRA DEL FUEGO

snow; yet it was under just these conditions that Mr. Hatcher, with a single human companion, passed

many dreary months. Mr. Hatcher made a special study of the Pata Other seasons bring compensations to the gonian lakes, some of which are from fifty to traveler who can live the year through in those

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

l'ersal.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ever.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors]
« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »