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FORESTS AND FORESTRY

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Originally appearing in Volume V10, Page 651 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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FORESTS AND FORESTRY. Although most people know what a forest (Lat. foris, " out of doors ") is, a definition of it which suits all cases is by no means easy to give. Manwood, in his treatise of the Lawes of the Forest (1598), defines a forest as "a certain territory of woody grounds, fruitful pastures, privileged for wild beasts and fowls of forest, chase and warren, to rest and abide in, in the safe protection of the king, for his princely delight and pleasure:" This primitive definition has, in modern times, when the economic aspect of forests came more into the foreground, given place to others, so that forest may, in a general way, now be described as " an area which is for the most part set aside for the production of timber and other forest produce, or which is expected to exercise certain climatic effects, or to protect the locality against injurious influences." As far. as conclusions can now be drawn, it is probable that the greater part of the dry land of the earth was, at some time, covered with forest, which consisted of a variety of trees and shrubs grouped according to climate, soil and configuration of the several localities. When the old trees reached their limit 2 Docum`nts Illustrative of English Historyals. 338. of life, they disappeared, and younger trees took their place. The conditions for an uninterrupted regeneration of the forest were favourable, and the result was vigorous production by the creative powers of soil and climate. Then came man, and by degrees interfered, until in most countries of the earth the area under forest has been considerably reduced. The first decided interference was probably due to the establishment of domestic animals; men burnt the forest to obtain pasture for their flocks. Subsequently similar measures on an ever-increasing scale were employed to prepare the land for agricultural purposes. More recently enormous areas of forests were destroyed by reckless cutting and subsequent firing in the extraction of timber for economic purposes. It will readily be understood that the distribution and character of the now remaining forests must differ enormously (see PLANTS: Distribution). Large portions of the earth are still covered with dense masses of tall trees, while others contain low scrub or grass land, or are desert. As a general rule, natural forests consist of a number of different species intermixed; but in some cases certain species, called gregarious, have succeeded in obtaining the upper hand, thus forming more or less pure forests of one species only. The number of species differs very much. In many tropical forests hundreds of species may be found on a comparatively small area, in other cases the number is limited. Burma has several thousand species of trees and shrubs, Sind has only ten species of trees. Central Europe has about forty species, and the greater part of northern Russia, Sweden and Norway contains forests consisting of about half a dozen species. Elevation above the sea acts similarly to rising latitude, but the effect is much more rapidly produced. Generally speaking, it may be said that the Tropics and adjoining parts of the earth, wherever the climate is not modified by considerable elevation, contain broad-leaved species, palms, bamboos, &c. Here most of the best and hardest timbers are found, such as teak, mahogany and ebony. The northern countries are rich in conifers. Taking a section from Central Africa to North Europe, it will be found that south and north of the equator there is a large belt of dense hardwood forest; then comes the Sahara, then the coast of the Mediterranean with forests of cork oak; then Italy with oak, olive, chestnut, gradually giving place to ash, sycamore, beech, birch and certain species of pine; in Switzerland and Germany silver fir and spruce gain ground. Silver fir disappears in central Germany, and the countries around the Baltic contain forests consisting chiefly of Scotch pine, spruce and birch, to which, in Siberia, larch must be added, while the lower parts of the ground are stocked with hornbeam, willow, alder and poplar. In North America the distribution is as follows: Tropical vegetation is found in south Florida, while in north Florida it changes into a subtropical vegetation consisting of evergreen broad-leaved species with pines on sandy soils. On going north in the Atlantic region, the forest becomes temperate, containing deciduous broad-leaved trees and pines, until Canada is reached, where larches, spruces and firs occupy the ground. Around the great lakes on sandy soils the broad-leaved forest gives way to pines. On proceeding west from the Atlantic region the forest changes into a shrubby vegetation, and this into the prairies. Farther west, towards the Pacific coast, extensive forests are found consisting, according to latitude and elevation above the sea, of pines, larches, fir, Thujas and Tsugas. In Japan a tropical vegetation is found in the south, comprising palms, figs, ebony, mangrove and others. This is followed on proceeding north by subtropical forests containing evergreen oaks, Podocar pus, tree-ferns, and, at higher elevations, Cryptomeria and Chamaecyparis. Then follow deciduous broad-leaved forests, and finally firs, spruces and larches. In India the character of the forests is governed chiefly by rainfall and elevation. Where the former is heavy evergreen forests of Guttiferae, Dipterocarpeae, Leguminosae, Euphorbias, figs, palms, ferns, bamboos and india-rubber trees are found. Under a less copious rainfall deciduous forests appear, containing teak and sal (Shored robusta) and a great variety of other valuable trees. Under a still .smaller rainfall the vegetation. becomes. sparse,containing acacias, Dalbergia sissoo and Tamarix. Where the rainfall is very light or nil, desert appears. In the Himalayas, subtropical to arctic conditions are found, the forests containing, according to elevation, pines, firs, deodars, oaks, chestnuts, magnolias, laurels, rhododendrons and bamboos. Australia, again, has its own particular flora of eucalypts, of which some two hundred species have been distinguished, as well as wattles. Some of the eucalypts attain an enormous height. Utility of Forests.—In the economy of man and of nature forests are of direct and indirect value, the former chiefly through the produce which they yield, and the latter through the influence which they exercise upon climate, the regulation of moisture, the stability of the soil, the healthiness and beauty of a country and allied subjects. The indirect utility will be dealt with first. A piece of land bare of vegetation is, throughout the year, exposed to the full effect of sun and air currents, and the climatic conditions which are produced by these agencies. If, on the other hand, a piece of land is covered with a growth of plants, and especially with a dense crop of forest vegetation; it enjoys the benefit of certain agencies which modify the effect of sun and wind on the soil and the adjoining layers of air. These modifying agencies are as follows: (') The crowns of the trees intercept the rays of the sun and the falling rain; they obstruct the movement of air currents, and reduce radiation at night. (2) The leaves, flowers and fruits, augmented by certain plants which grow in the shade of the trees, form a layer of mould, or humus, which protects the soil against rapid changes of temperature, and greatly influences the movement of water in it. (3) The roots of the trees penetrate into the soil in all directions,' and bind it together. The effects of these agencies have been observed from ancient times, and widely differing views have been taken of them. Of late years, however, more careful observations have been made at so-called parallel stations, that is to say, one station in the middle of a forest, and another outside at some distance from its edge, but otherwise exposed to the same general conditions. In this way, the following results have been obtained: (I) Forests reduce the temperature of the air and soil to a moderate extent, and render the climate more equable. (2) They increase the relative humidity of the air, and reduce evaporation. (3) They tend to increase the precipitation of moisture. As regards the actual rainfall, their effect in low lands is nil or very small; in hilly countries it is probably greater, but definite results have not yet been obtained owing to the difficulty of separating the effect of forests from that of other factors. (4) They help to regulate the water supply, produce a more sustained feeding of springs, tend to reduce violent floods, and render the flow of water in rivers more continuous. (5) They assist in preventing denudation, erosion, landslips; avalanches, the silting up of rivers and low lands and the formation of sand dunes. (6) They reduce the velocity of air-currents, protect adjoining fields against cold or dry winds, and afford shelter to cattle, game and useful birds. (q) They may, under certain conditions, improve the healthiness of a country, and help in its defence. (8) They increase the beauty of a country, and produce a healthy aesthetic influence upon the people. The direct utility of forests is chiefly due to their produce, the capital which they represent, and the work which they pro-vide. The principal produce of forests consists of timber and firewood. Both are necessaries for the daily life of the people. Apart from a limited number of broad-leaved species, the conifers have become the most'important timber trees in the economy of man. They are found in greatest quantities in the countries around the Baltic and in North America. In modern times iron and other materials have, to a considerable extent, replaced timber, while coal, lignite, and peat compete with firewood; nevertheless wood is still indispensable, and likely to remain so. This is borne out by the statistics of the most civilized nations. Whereas the population of Great Britain and Ireland, during the period 88o– odd. increased by about 20%, the imports of timber, during the same period, increased by 45%; in other words; every head of population in 'goo used more timber than twenty years earlier. Germany produced in 188o about as much timber as she required; in 1899 she imported 4,600,000 tons, valued at £14,000,000, and her imports are rapidly increasing, although the yield capacity of her own forests is much higher now than it was formerly. Wood is now used for many purposes which formerly were not thought of. The manufacture of the wood pulp annually imported into Britain consumes at least 2,000,000 tons of timber. - A fabric closely resembling silk is now made of spruce wood. The variety of other, or minor, produce yielded by forests is very great, and much of it is essential for the well-being of the people and for various industries. The yield of fodder is of the utmost importance in countries subject to periodic droughts; in many places field crops could not be grown successfully without the leaf-mould and brushwood taken from the forests. As regards industries, attention need only be drawn to such articles as commercial fibre, tanning materials, dye-stuffs, lac, turpentine, resin, rubber, gutta-percha, &c. Great Britain and Ireland alone import every year such materials to the value of £12,000,000, half of this being represented by rubber. The capital employed in forests consists chiefly of the value of the soil and growing stock of timber. The latter is, ordinarily, of much greater value than the former wherever a sustained annual yield of timber is expected from a forest. In the case of a Scotch pine forest, for instance, the value of the growing stock is, under the above-mentioned condition, from three to five times that of the soil. The rate of interest yielded by capital invested in forests differs, of course, considerably according to circumstances, but on the whole it may, under proper management, be placed equal to that yielded by agricultural land; it is lower than the agricultural rate on the better classes of land, but higher on the inferior classes. Hence the latter are specially indicated for the forest industry, and the former for the production of agricultural crops. Forests require labour in a great variety of ways, such as (1) general administration, formation, tending and harvesting; (2) transport of produce; and (3) industries which depend on forests for their prime material. The labour indicated under the first head differs considerably according to circumstances, but its amount is smaller than that required if the land is used for agriculture. Hence forests provide additional labour only if they are established on surplus lands. Owing to the bulky nature of forest produce its transport forms a business of considerable magnitude, the amount of labour being perhaps equal to half that employed under the first head. The greatest amount of labour is, however, required in the working up of the raw material yielded by forests. In this respect attention may be drawn to the chair industry in and around High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, where more than 20,000 workmen are employed in converting the beech, grown on the adjoining chalk hills, into chairs and tools of many patterns. Complete statistics for Great Britain are not available under this head, but it may be mentioned that in Germany the people employed in the forests amount to 2.3 % of the total population; those employed on transport of forest produce 1.1 %; labourers employed on the various wood industries, 8-6 %; or a total of 12 %. An important feature of the work connected with forests and their produce is that a great part of it can be made to fit in with the requirements of agriculture; that is to say, it can be done at seasons when field crops do not require attention. Thus the rural labourers or small farmers can earn some money at times when they have nothing else to do, and when they would probably sit idle if no forest work were obtainable. Whether, or how far, the utility of forests is brought out in a particular country depends on its special conditions, such as (r) the position of a country, its communications, and the control which it exercises over other countries, such as colonies; (2) the quantity and quality of substitutes for forest produce available in the country; (3) the value of land and labour, and the returns which land yields if used for other purposes; (4) the density of population; (5) the amount of capital available for investment; (6)"-the climate and configuration; especiallythe geographical position, whether inland or on the border of the sea, &c. No general rule can be laid down, showing whether forests are required in a country, or, if so, to what extent; that question must be answered according to the special circumstances of each case. The subjoined table shows the forests of various European states: Countries. Area of Per- Per- Forest Forests, in centage centage Area pea of Total of Forest Head of Area of Area be- Acres. Country longing Popula- under to the tion, in Forest. State. Acres. Sweden . . . . 49,000,000 48 33 9'5 Norway 17,000,000 21 28 7.6 Russia, including Fin- 518,000,000. 40 61 5.9 land . . . Bosnia and. Herze- 6,400,000 50 78 4.o govina . Bulgaria 7,600,000 30 30 2.3 Turkey 11,200,000 20 .. 1.7 Servia 3,900,000 32 37 1.5 Rumania 6,400,000 18 40 1.3 Spain 21,200,000 17 84 1.2 Hungary 22,500,000 28 15 1.2 Austria 24,000,000 32 7. '9 Greece 2,000,000 13 8o •85 Luxemburg 200,000 30 .. .82 Switzerland 2,100,000 20 5 •7 Germany 35,000,000 26 34 •6 France 24,000,000 18 12 •6 Italy 10,400,000 15 4 '3 Denmark 60o,000 6 24 .25 Belgium 1,300,000 18 5 •2 Portugal 770,000 3.5 8 .15 Holland 560,000 7 ? •1 Great Britain . 3,000,000 4 3 .07 These data exhibit considerable differences, since the percentage of the forest area varies from 3.5 to 50, and the area per head of population from •07 to 9.5 acres. Russia, Sweden and Norway may as yet have more forest than they require for their own population. On the other hand, Great Britain and Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Portugal, Holland, and even Belgium, France and Italy have not a sufficient forest area to meet their own requirements; at the same time, they are all sea-bound countries, and importation is easy, while most of them are under the influence of moist sea winds, which reduces to a subordinate position the importance of forests for climatic reasons. Intimately connected with the area of forests in a country is the state of ownership—whether they belong to the state, corporations or to private persons. Where, apart from the financial aspect and the supply of work, forests are not required for the sake of their indirect effects, and where importation from other countries is easy and assured, the government of the country need not, as a rule, trouble itself to maintain or acquire forests. Where the reverse conditions exist, and especially where the cost of transport over long distances becomes prohibitive, a wise administration will take measures to assure the maintenance of a suitable proportion of the country under forest. This can be done either by maintaining or constituting a suitable area of state forests, or by exercising a certain amount of control over corporation and even private forests. Such measures are more called for in continental countries than in those which are sea-bound, as is proved by the- above statistics. Supply of Timber — Imports and Exports.—The following table shows the net imports and exports of European countries (average data, calculated from the returns of recent years). The only timber-exporting countries of Europe are Russia, Sweden, Norway, Austria-Hungary and Rumania; all the others either have only enough for their own consumption, or import timber. Great Britain and Ireland import now upwards of 20,000,000 tons a year, -Germany about 4,600,000 tons, and Belgium about 1,300,000 tons. Holland, France, Portugal, Spain and Italy are all importing countries, as also are Asia Minor, Egypt and Algeria. The west coast of Africa exports hardwoods, and imports coniferous timber. The Cape and Natal import considerable quantities of pine and fir wood. Australasia Net Imports and Exports of European Countries. Countries. Quantities in Tons. Value in Sterling. Imports. Exports. Imports. Exports. United Kingdom . 10,004,000 .. 26,540,000 Germany . 4,600,000 .. 14,820,000 Belgium . . . I ,300,000 . . 5,040,000 France . . . . 1,230,000 . . 3050,000 Italy . . . . 620,000 .. 2,100,000 Spain . . . . 470,000 . 1,500,000 Denmark . . . 470,000 .. 1,250,000 Switzerland . . 204,000 .. 480,000 Holland 18o,000 720,000 Servia . . 110,000 .. 16o,000 Portugal . . . 6o,00o 200,000 Greece . 35,000 I 130,000 Rumania . . . . 400,000 .. 840,000 .. Norway 1,300,000 , .. 2,200,000 Austria - Hungary 3,996,000 .. 11,400,000 with Bosnia and Herzegovina Sweden .. 4,460,000 7,930,000 Russia with Fin- .. 6,89o,000 .. 10:440,000 land . . . 'Fatal 19,283,000 17,046,000 56,890,000 32,810,000 . . nee_ Net Imports 2,237,000 24,080,000 These net imports are received from non-European countries. They consist chiefly of valuable hardwoods, like teak, mahogany, eucalypts and others. exports hardwoods and some Kauri pine from New Zealand, but imports larger quantities of light pine and fir timber. British India and Siam export teak and small quantities of fancy woods. The West Indies and South America export hardwoods, and import pine and fir wood. The United States of America will not much longer be a genuine exporting country, since they import already almost as much timber from Canada as they export. Canada exports considerable quantities of timber. The Dominion has still a forest area of 1,250,000 sq, m., equal to 38 % ',of the total area, and giving 165 acres of forest for every inhabitant. Although only about one-third of the forest area can be called regular timber land, Canada possesses an enormous forest wealth, with which she might supply permanently nearly all other countries deficient in material, if the governing bodies in the several provinces would only determine to stop the present fearful waste caused by axe and fire, and to introduce a regular system of management. As matters stand, the supplies of the most valuable timber of Canada, the white or Weymouth pine (Pious strobus), arc nearly exhausted, the great stores of spruce in the eastern- provinces are being rapidly destroyed, and the forests of Douglas fir in the western provinces have been attacked for export to the United States and to other countries. Taking the remaining stocks of the whole earth together, it may be said that a sufficient quantity of hardwoods is available, but the only countries which are able to supply coniferous timber for export on a considerable scale are Russia, Sweden, Norway, Austria and Canada. As these countries have practically, to supply the rest of the world, and as the management of their forests is far from satisfactory, the question of supplying light pine and fir timber, which forms the very staff of life of the wood industries, must become a very serious matter before many years have passed. Unmistakable signs of the coming crisis are every-where visible to all who wish to see, and it is difficult to over-state the gravity of the problem, when it is remembered, for instance, that 87 % of all the timber imported into Great Britain consists of light pine and fir, and that most of the other importing countries are similarly situated. In some of these countries little or no room exists for the extension of woodland, but this statement does not apply to Great Britain and Ireland, whichcontain upwards-of 12;000,000 acres of waste land, and s a, 500,00o acres of mountain and heath land used for light grazing. One-fourth of that area, if put under forest, would produce all the timber now imported which can be. grown in Britain, that is to say, about 95 % of the total. The subjoined table shows the movements of timber within the greater part of the•' British empire: Net Imports and Exports into and from the British Empire. Annual Average Annual Average during the Years during the Years 1884–1888. 1900-1903. Countries. Net Net Net Net Imports. Exports. Imports. Exports. United Kingdom . 15,000,000 .. 26,540,000 Australasia . 1,284,000 .. 568,000 Africa . 72,000 737,000 West Indies, .. 207,000 .. 71,000 Honduran and Guiana India, Ceylon and .. 528,000 580,000 Mauritius . Dominion of 4,025,000 4,789,000 Canada Total 16,356,000 4,760,000 27,845,000 5,440,000 Net Imports . 11,596,000 • . 22,405,000 Total increase in io,8o9,000 16 years Average annual 675,562 increase of net imports . Forest Management.—In early times there was practically no forest management. As long as the forests occupied considerable areas, their produce was looked upon as the free gift of nature, like air and water; men took it, used it, and even destroyed it without let or hindrance. With the gradual increase of population and the consequent reduction of the forest area, proprietary ideas developed; people claimed the ownership of certain forests, and proceeded to protect them against outsiders. Subsequently the law of the country was called in to help in protection, leading to the promulgation of special forest laws. By degrees it was found that mere protection was not sufficient, and that steps must be taken to enforce a more judicious treatment,as well as to limit the removal of timber to what the forests were capablenf producing permanently. ' The teaching of natural science and of political economy was brought 'to bear upon the subject, so that now forestry has become a special science. This is recognized in many countries, amongst which Germany stands first, closely followed by France, Austria, Denmark and Belgium. Of non-European countries the palm belongs to British India, and then follow Ceylon, the Malay States, the Cape of Good Hope and Japan. The United States of America have also turned their attention to the subject. Most of the British colonies are, in this respect, as yet in a backward state, and the matter has still to be fought out in Great Britain and Ireland, though many writers have urged the importance of the question upon the public and the government. There can be no doubt that all civilized countries must, sooner or later, adopt a rational and systematic treatment of their forests. For details as to the separate countries, see the articles under the country headings; in this article only some of the more important countries are dealt with, in so far as the history of their forestry is important. A few notes on Germany and France will be given, because in these countries forest management has been brought to highest perfection; Italy is mentioned, because she has allowed her forests to be destroyed; and a short description of forestry in the United Kingdom and in India follows. A separate section is devoted to the United States. Germany is in general well-wooded. The winters being long and severe, an abundant supply of fuel is almost as essential as a sufficient supply of food. This necessity has led, along with a passion for the chase, to the preservation of forests, and to the establishment of an admirable system of forest cultivation, almost as carefully conducted as field tillage. The Black Forest stretches the whole length of the grand-duchy of Baden and part of the kingdom of Wtirttemberg, from the Neckar to Basel and the Lakeof Constance. The vegetation resembles that of the Vosges; forests of spruce, silver fir, Scotch pine, and, mingled with birches, beech and oak, are the chief woods met with. Until comparatively recent times large quantities of timber derived from these forests were floated down the Rhine to Holland and also shipped to England. Now the greater part of it is used locally for construction, or it is converted into paper pulp. In the grand-duchy of Hesse the Odenwald range of mountains, stretching between the Main and the Neckar, contains the chief supply of timber. In the province of Nassau there are the large wooded tracts of the Taunus mountain range and the Westerwald. In Rhenish Prussia valuable forests lie partly in the Eifel, on the borders of Belgium, and on the mountains overhanging the Upper Moselle, but they do not furnish such stately trees as the Black Forest and the Odenwald. The Spessart, near Aschaffenburg in Bavaria, is one of the most extensive forests of middle Germany, containing large masses of fine oak and beech, with plantations of coniferous trees, such as spruce, Scotch pine and silver fir. Bavaria possesses other fine forest tracts, such as the Baierischewald on the Bohemian frontier, the Kranzberg near Munich, and the Frankenwald in the north of the kingdom. North Germany has extensive forests on the Hare and Thuringian Mountains, while in East Prussia large tracts of flat ground are covered with Scotch pine, spruce, oak and beech. Every German state has its forest organization. In Prussia the department is presided over by the Oberland Forstmeister at Berlin, while each province, or part of a province, has an Oberforstmeister, under whom a number of OberfSrsters administrate the state and communal forests. These, again, are assisted by a lower class of officials called Forsters. The Oberforsters throughout Germany are educated at special schools of forestry, of which in r9o9 the following nine existed: In Prussia: at Eberswalde and Miinden. In Bavaria: at Munich and Aschaffenburg. In Saxony: at Tharand. In Wurttemberg: at Tubingen. In Baden: at Carlsruhe. In Hesse: at Giessen. In the grand-duchy of Saxony: at Eisenach. The schools at Munich, Tubingen and Giessen form part of the universities at these places; that at Carlsruhe is attached to the technical high school; the others are academies for the study of forestry only, but there is a tendency to transfer them all to the universities. The subordinate staff are trained for their work in so-called silvicultural schools, of which a large number exist. In this way the German forests have been brought to a high degree of productiveness, but the material derived from them falls far short of the requirements, although the forests occupy 26 % of the total area of the couptry; hence the net imports of timber amount already to 4,600,000 tons a year, and they are Steadily rising. France.-The principal timber tree of France is the oak. The cork oak is grown extensively in the south and in Corsica. The beech, ash, elm, maple, birch, walnut, chestnut and poplar are all important trees, while the silver fir and spruce form magnificent forests in the Vosges and Jura Mountains, and the Aleppo and maritime pines are cultivated in the south and south-west. About one-seventh of the entire territory is still covered with wood. Forest legislation took its rise in France about the middle of the 16th century, and the great minister Sully urged the enforcement of restrictive forest laws. In '669 a fixed treatment of state forests was enacted. Duhamel in 1755 published his famous work on forest trees. Reckless destruction of the forests, however, was in progress, and the Revolution of 1789 gave a fresh stimulus to the work of devastation. The usual results have followed in the frequency agd destructiveness of floods, which have washed away the soil from the hillsides and valleys of many districts,especially in the south, and the frequent inundations of the last fifty years are no doubt caused by the deforesting of the sources of the Rhone and Saone. Laws were passed in 186o and 1864, providing for the reforesting, " reboisement," of the slopes of mountains, and these laws take effect on private as well as state property. Thousands of acres are annually planted in the departments of Hautes and Basses Alpes; and during the summer of 1875, when much injury was done by floods in the south of France, the Durance, formerly the most dangerous in this respect of French rivers, gave little cause for anxiety, as it is round the head waters of this river that the chief plantations have been formed. While tracts formerly covered with wood have been replanted, plantations have been formed on the shifting sands or dunes along the coast of Gascony. A forest of Pinus pinaster, 150 M. in length, now stretches from Bayonne to the mouth of the Gironde, raised by means of sowing steadily continued since 1789; the cultivation of the pine, along with draining, has transformed low marshy grounds into productive soil extending over an area of about two million acres. The forests thus created provide annually some 600,000 tons of pit timber for the Welsh coal mines. The state forest department is administered by the director-general, who has his headquarters at Paris, assisted by a board of administration, charged with the working of the forests, questions of rights and law, finance and plantation works. The department is supplied with officers from the forest school at Nancy. This institution was founded in 1824, when M. Lorentz, who had studied forestry in Germany, was appointed its first director. Italy.—The kingdom of Italy comprises such different climates that within its limits we find the birch and pines of northern Europe, and the olive, fig, manna-ash, and palm of more southern latitudes. By the republic of Venice and the duchy of Genoa forestal legislation was attempted at various periods from the 15th century downwards. These efforts were not successful, as the governments were lax in enforcing the laws. In 1789 Pius VI. issued regulations prohibiting felling without licence; and later orders were published by his successors in the pontifical states. In Lombardy the woods, which in 183o reached nearly down to Milan, have almost disappeared. The province of Como contains only a remnant of the primitive forests, and the same may also be said of the southern slopes of Tirol. At Ravenna there is still a large forest of stone pine, Pinus pitied, though it has been much reduced. The plains of Tuscany are adorned with planted trees, the olive, mulberry, fig and almond. Sardinia is rich in woods, which cover one-fifth of the area, and contain a large amount of oak, Quercus sober, robur and cerris. In Sicily the forests have long been felled, save the zone at the base of Mount Etna. The destruction of woods has been gradual but persistent; at the end of the 17th century the effects of denudation were first felt in the destructive force given to mountain torrents by the deforesting of the Apennines. The work of devastation continued until a comparatively recent time. In 1867 the monastic property of Vallombrosa, Tuscany, 3o m. from Florence, was purchased by government for the purposes of a forest academy, which was opened in 1869. As only 4% of the total forest area belongs to the state, it is doubtful whether much good can now be done. Great Britain and Ireland.—The British Isles were formerly much more extensively wooded than at present. The rapid increase of population led to the disforesting of woodland; the climate required the maintenance of household fires during a great part of the year, and the increasing demand for arable land and the extension of manufacturing industries combined to cause the diminution of woodland. The proportion of forest is now very small, and yields but a fraction of the required annual supply of timber which is imported with facility from America, northern Europe and the numerous British colonies. Owing to the nature of the climate of the British Islands, with its abundance of atmospheric moisture and freedom from such extremes of heat and cold as are prevalent in continental Europe, a great variety of trees are successfully cultivated. In England and Ireland oak and beech are on the whole the most plentiful trees in the low and fertile parts; in the south of Scotland the beech and ash are perhaps most common, while the Scotch fir and birch are characteristic of the arboreous vegetation in the Highlands. Although few extensive forests now exist, woods of small area, belts of planting, chimps of trees, coppice and hedgerows, are generally distributed over the country, constituting a mass of wood of considerable importance, giving a clothed appearance in many parts, and affording illustrations of skilled arboriculture not to be found in any other country. The principal state forests in England are Windsor Park, 14,000 acres; the New Forest, &c., in Hampshire, 70,000 acres; and the Dean Forest in Gloucestershire, 22,500 acres. The total extent of crown forests is about 125,000 acres. A large pro-portion of the crown forests, having been formed with the object of supplying timber for the navy, consists of oak. The largest forests in Scotland are in Perthshire, Inverness-shire and Aberdeenshire. Of these the most notable are the earl of Mansfield's near Scone (8000 acres), the duke of Atholl's larch plantations near Dunkeld (1o,000 acres), and in Strathspey a large extent of Scotch pine, partly native, partly planted, be-longing to the earl of Seafield. In the forests of Mar and Invercauld, the native pine attains a great size, and there are also large tracts of indigenous birch in various districts. Ireland was at one time richly clothed with wood; this is proved by the abundant remains of fallen trees in the bogs which occupy a large surface of the island. In addition to the causes above alluded to as tending to disforest England, the long unsettled state of the country also conduced to the diminishing of the woodlands. The forests of Great Britain and Ireland, in spite of the large imports of timber, have not been appreciably extended up to the present time because (z) the rate at which foreign timber has been laid down in Britain is very low, thus keeping down the price of home-grown timber; (2) foreign timber is preferred to home-grown material, because it is in many cases of superior quality, while the latter comes into the market in an irregular and intermittent manner; (3) nearly the whole of the waste lands is private property. As regards prices, it can be shown ' that the lowest point was reached about the year 1888, in con-sequence of the remarkable development of means of communication, that prices then remained fairly stationary for some years, and that about 1894 a slow but steady rise set in, showing during the years 1894-1904 an increase of about 20 % all round. This was due to the gradual approach of the coming crisis in the supply of coniferous timber to the world. It can be shown that even with present prices the growing of timber can be made to pay, provided it is carried on in a rational and economic manner. Improved silvicultural methods must be applied, so as to produce a better class of timber, and the forests must be managed according to well-arranged working plans, which provide for a regular and sustained out-turn of timber year by year, so as to develop a healthy and steady market for locally-grown material. Unfortunately the private proprietors of the waste lands are in many cases not in a financial position to plant. Starting forests demands a certain outlay in cash, and the proprietor must forgo the income, however small, hitherto derived from the land until the plantations begin to yield a return. In these circumstances the state may well be expected to help in one or all of the following ways: (r) The equipment of forest schools, where economic forestry, as elaborated by research, is taught; (2) the management of the crown forests on economic principles, so as to serve as patterns to private proprietors; (3) advances should be made to landed proprietors who desire to plant land, but are short of funds, just as is done in the case of improvements of agricultural holdings; and (4) the state might acquire surplus lands in certain parts of the country, such as congested districts, and convert them into forests. Action in these directions would soon lead to substantial benefits. The income of landed proprietors would rise, a considerable sum of money now sent abroad would remain in the country, and forest industries would spring up, thus helping to counteractthe ever-increasing flow of people from the country into the large towns, where only too many must join the army of the unemployed. Even within a radius of 50 M. of London 700,000 acres of land are unaccounted for in the official agricultural returns. In Ireland more than 3,000,000 acres are waiting to be utilized, and it is well worth the consideration of the Irish Land Commissioners whether the lands remaining on their hands, when buying and breaking up large estates, should not be converted into state forests. Such a measure might become. a useful auxiliary in the peaceful' settlement of the Irish land question. No doubt success depends upon the probable financial results. There are at present no British statistics to prove such success; hence, by way of illustration, it may be stated what the results have been in the kingdom of Saxony, which, from an industrial point of view, is comparable with England. That country has 432,085 acres of state forests, of which about one-eighth are stocked with broad-leaved species, and seven-eighths with conifers. Some of the forests are situated on low lands, but the bulk of the area is found in the hilly parts of the country up to an elevation of 3000 ft. above the sea. The average price realized of late years per cubic foot of wood amounts to 5d., and yet to such perfection has the management been brought by a well-trained staff, that the mean annual net revenue, after meeting all expenses, comes to 21S. an acre all round. , There can be no doubt that, under the more favourable climate of Great Britain, even better results can be obtained, especially if. it is remembered that foreign supplies of coniferous timber must fall off, or, at any rate, the price per cubic foot rise considerably. These things have been recognized, to some extent, and a movement has been set on foot to improve matters. The Commissioners of Woods and a number of private proprietors had rational working plans prepared for their forests, and instruction in forestry has been developed. There is now a well-equipped school of forestry connected with the university of Oxford, while Cambridge is following on similar lines; instruction in forestry is given at the university of Edinburgh, the Durham College of Science, at Bangor, Cirencester and other places. The Commissioners of Woods have purchased an estate of 12,500 acres in Scotland, which will be converted into a crown forest, so as to serve as an example. The experience thus gained will prove valuable should action ever be taken on the lines suggested by a Royal Commission on Coast Erosion, Reclamation of Tidal Lands and Afforestation, which reported on the last subject in 1oo9. India.-The history of forest administration in India is exceedingly instructive to all who take an interest in the welfare of the British Empire, because it places before the reader an account of the gradual destruction of the greater part of the natural forests, a process through which most other British colonies are now passing, and then it shows how India emerged triumphantly from the self-inflicted calamity. As far as information goes, India was, in the early times, for the most part covered with forest. Subsequently settlers opened out the country along fertile valleys and streams, while nomadic tribes, moving from pasture to pasture, fired alike hills and plains. This process went on for centuries. With the advent of British rule forest destruction became more rapid than ever, owing to the increase of population, extension of cultivation, the multiplication of herds of cattle, and the universal firing of the forests to produce fresh crops of grass. Then railways came, and with their ex-tension the forests suffered anew, partly on account of the increased demand for timber and firewood, and partly on account of the fresh impetus given to cultivation along their routes. Ultimately, when failure to meet the requirements of public works was brought to notice, it was recognized that a grievous mistake had been made in allowing the forests to be recklessly destroyed. Already in the early part of the 19th century sporadic efforts were made to protect the forests in various parts of the country, and these continued intermittently; but the first organized steps were taken about the year 1855, when Lord Dalhousie was governor-general. At that time conservators of forests existed in Bombay, Madras and Burma. Soon afterwards other appointments followed, and in 1864 an organized state department, presided over by the inspector-general of forests, was established. Since then the Indian Forest Department has steadily grown, so that it has now become of considerable importance for the welfare of the people, as well as for the Indian exchequer. The first duty of the department was to ascertain the position and extent of the remaining forests, and more particularly of that portion which still belonged to the state. Then a special forest law was passed, which was superseded in 1878 by an improved act, providing for the legal formation of permanent state forests; the determination, regulation, and, if necessary, commutation of forest rights; the protection of the forests against unlawful acts and the punishment of forest offences; the protection of forest produce in transit; the constitution of a staff of forest officers, provision to invest them with suitable legal powers, and the determination of their duties and liabilities. The officers who administered the department in its infancy were mostly botanists and military officers. Some of these became excellent foresters. In order to provide a technically trained staff arrangements were made in 1866 by Sir Dietrich Brandis, the first inspector-general of forests, for the training of young Englishmen at the French Forest School at Nancy and at similar institutions in Germany. In 1876 the students were concentrated at Nancy, and in 1885 an English forest school for India was organized in connexion with the Royal Indian Engineering College. at Cooper's Hill. In 1905 the school was transferred to the university of Oxford. The imperial forest staff of India consisted in 1909 of—officers not specially trained before entering the department, 17; officers trained in France and Germany, 23; officers trained at Cooper's Hill, 143—total 184. In 1878 a forest school was started at Dehra Dun, United Provinces, for the training of natives of India as executive officers on the provincial staff. Since then a similar school, though on a smaller scale, has been established at Tharrawaddy in Burma. About 500 officers of this class have been appointed. In addition, there are about 11,000 subordinates, foresters and forest guards, who form the protective staff. The school at Dehra Dun has lately been converted into the Imperial Forest College. The progress made since 1864 is really astonishing. According to the latest available returns, the areas taken under the management of the department are—reserved state forests, or permanent forest estates, 91,272 sq. m.; other state forests, 141,669 sq. m.; or a total of 232,941 sq. m., equal to 24 % of the area over which they are scattered. At present, therefore, the average charge of each member of the controlling staff comprises 1266 sq. m.; that of each executive officer, 446 sq. m.; and that of each protective official, 21 sq. m. It is the intention to increase the executive and protective staff considerably, in the same degree as the management of the forests becomes more detailed. Of the above-mentioned area the Forest Survey Branch, established in 1872, has up to date surveyed and mapped about 65,000 sq. m. From 1864 onwards efforts were made to introduce systematic management into the forests, based upon working plans, but, as the management had been provincialized, there was no central or continuous control. This was remedied in 1884, when a central Working Plans Office, under the inspector-general of forests, was established. This officer has since then controlled the preparation and execution of the plans, a procedure which has led to most beneficial results. Plans referring to about 38,000 sq. m. are now (1909) in operation, and after a reasonable lapse of time there should not be a single forest of importance which is not worked on a well-regulated plan, and on the principle of a sustained yield. While the danger of overworking the forests is thus being gradually eliminated, their yield capacity is in-creased by suitable silvicultural treatment and by-fire protection. Formerly most of the important forests were annually or periodically devastated by jungle fires, sometimes lighted accidentally, in other cases purposely. Now 38,000 sq. m. of forest are actually protected against fire by the efforts of the department, and it is the intention gradually to extend protection to all permanentstate forests. Grazing of cattle is of great importance in India; at the same time it is liable to interfere seriously with the reproduction of the forests. To meet both requirements careful and minute arrangements have been made, according to which at present 38,000 sq. m. are dosed to grazing; 19,000 sq. m. are closed only against the grazing of goats, sheep and camels; while 176,000 sq. m. are open to the grazing of all kinds of cattle. The areas closed in ordinary years form a reserve of fodder in years of drought and scarcity. During famine years they are either opened to grazing, or grass is cut in them and transported to districts where the cattle are in danger of starvation. The service rendered in this way by a wise forest administration should not be underrated, since one of the most serious calamities of a famine—the want of cattle to cultivate the land—is thus, if not avoided, at any rate considerably reduced. During 1907 the government of India established a Research Institute, with six members engaged in collecting data regarding silviculture, forest botany, forest zoology, forest economics, working plans, and chemistry in connexion with forest produce and production. The institute is likely to lead to further substantial progress in the management of the forests. The financial results of forest administration in India for the years 1865 to 1905 show the progress made: Period Mean Annual Percentage of . Net Revenue. Annual Increase during Period. Rupees. 1865-1870 . . . 1,372, 733 187o-1875 . . . 1,783,248 30 1875-188o . . 2,224,687 25 1880-1885 . . . 3,385,745 52 1885-1890 . . 5,066,671 50 1890-1895 . 7,370,572 44 1895-1900 • • 7,923,484 7 1900-1905 . 9,004,367 12 The highest percentage of increase occurred in the period 188o-1885. The revenue since 1886 has been considerably increased by the annexation of Upper Burma. Apart from the net revenue, large quantities of produce are given free of charge, or at reduced rates, to the people of the country. Thus, in 1904-1905, the net revenue amounted to Rs. 11,062,094, while the produce given free or at reduced rates was valued at Rs. 3,500,661, making a total net benefit derived from the state forests during that year of Rs. 14,562,755, or in round figures one million pounds sterling. The out-turn during the same year amounted to 252 million cub. ft. of timber and fuel and 215 million bamboos. The receipts from the sale of other forest produce came to 9 million rupees, out of a total gross revenue of 24 million rupees. These results are highly creditable to the government of India, which has led the way towards the introduction of rational forest management into the British empire, thus setting an example which has been followed more or less by various colonies. Even the movement in the United Kingdom during late years is due to it. Apart from India, substantial progress has been made in Cape Colony, Ceylon, the Straits Settlements and the Federated Malay States. Other British colonies are more backward in this respect. Energetic action is urgently wanted, especially in Canada and Australasia, where an enormous state property is threatened by destruction.
End of Article: FORESTS AND FORESTRY
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