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Since this agreement went into force the efforts of the department to defeat fraudulent and unwarranted claims to lands have been crowned with conspicuous success.
LEGAL BUSINESS FOR THE FOREST SERVICE.
A record of the legal business for the Forest Service has been preserved since February, 1910, and some estimate of the extent and scope of this work may be gathered from the following brief summary of cases handled during that time:
The Solicitor of the department has rendered 2,627 written opinions to the Forest Service on legal questions arising in the administration of the National Forests; upward of 3,000 cases involving claims to lands under public-land laws have been handled, of which fully twothirds have been decided in favor of the Government; 73 cases of illegal occupancy of lands in the National Forests have been reported to the Attorney General; 193 grazing trespass cases have been similarly reported, resulting in the recovery of damages to the amount of $5,890 actual and $1,525 punitive and fines to the extent of $1,173; 98 fire trespass cases have been reported, resulting in the imposition of fines amounting to $1,178 and the collection of damages to the amount of $61,427, and in addition 62 prosecutions have been maintained under State laws, resulting in 52 convictions; 122 timber trespass cases have been reported to the Attorney General, resulting in the recovery of damages to the extent of $316,862 and the imposition of fines amounting to upward of $500, together with several jail sentences. Besides cases reported to the Attorney General, administrative settlements for trespasses on the forests have been made in 224 cases, resulting in the payment to the Government of $31,643.
WEEKS FORESTRY LAW.
The maintenance and administration of the National Forests in the West having demonstrated the importance of protection of forest lands as a means of conserving and promoting water flow, the department for a number of years past urged upon Congress the advisability of the acquisition of timbered lands in the East as a means of conserving and promoting the navigability of navigable streams in the Eastern States where the Government has never owned lands. Especial attention was called to the rapid disappearance under wasteful methods of large areas of timber on the watersheds of important navigable streams in and contiguous to the Appalachian Mountain Range. The recommendations of the department culminated in the act of March 1, 1911, commonly known as the Weeks Forestry Law, under which the Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to examine, locate, and recommend for purchase such lands as, in his judgment,
may be necessary for the regulation of the flow of navigable streams, and to report the results of such examinations to a commission created by the act and designated the National Forest Reservation Commission.
Upon the approval of the purchase by the commission the Secretary is authorized to purchase the lands for the United States and thereafter to organize them into National Forests, to be administered, with certain limitations, as other National Forests are administered. An appropriation of $13,000,000 was made for purposes of the act, and active operations were commenced immediately upon its approval.
There are at present 45 contracts with owners of lands to convey to the Government lands aggregating 268,627 acres, situated in New Hampshire, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia. Negotiations are being conducted for the purchase of additional areas in these States and others where the control of forests is essential to a conservation of the water flow in navigable rivers. One tract of 8,213 acres in North Carolina has already been acquired by the Government, and another tract of 32,000 acres in Georgia will be acquired as soon as adjustment can be had in the condemnation proceedings pending. The department's record examiners attached to the Office of the Solicitor have already examined the titles to a large portion of the lands embraced within the contracts for conveyance to the United States, and in several cases their reports have been submitted to the Attorney General.
The record of 16 years has been written. It begins with a yearly farm production worth $4,000,000,000 and ends with $9,532,000,000. Then, farmers were loaded with debts that were a painful burden; prosperity followed and grew with unexampled speed. Then, the farmer was a joke of the caricaturist; now he is like the stone that was rejected by the builder and has become the head stone of the corner. Beginnings have been made in a production per acre increasing faster than the natural increase of population. There has been an uplift of agriculture and of country life.
In this movement the department has been gradually equipped to occupy a foremost place. It came to learn and it remained to teach. Its influence penetrates the remotest neighborhood. It performs a mission of welfare and happiness to farmers and to the whole Nation. The millions of dollars that it costs are returned in tens of millions of wealth saved and wealth produced.
The department is prepared to continue and increase its public service. During 16 years it has progressed from the kindergarten through the primary, middle, and upper grades of development until now it has a thousand tongues that speak with authority. Its teach
ings, its discoveries, and its improvements are permeating the national agricultural life. The forces that are at work must cause ever-increasing results.
The great and growing movement carried on by the department for agricultural betterment has not been sustained solely by one man, nor by a few men. A choice corps of scholarly experts in their special lines of endeavor has been growing in membership, in breadth of view, and in the practical application of their efforts. They have been and are men both good and true, men with high ideals, often sacrificing greater remuneration in private employment for love of the great results of their public service. No great work can be begun, nor sustained, by this department without such men.
Men grow old in service and in years, and cease their labor, but the results of their labor and the children of their brains will live on; and may whatever of worth that is in these be everblooming.
WASHINGTON, D. C., November 27, 1912.
Secretary of Agriculture.
PROMISING NEW FRUITS.
By WILLIAM A. TAYLOR, Pomologist and Chief, and H. P. GOULD, Pomologist in Charge of Fruit District Investigations, Bureau of Plant Industry.
This paper is the twelfth in a series which was begun in the Yearbook for 1901. The primary object throughout the series has been to discuss fruit varieties that are little known among fruit growers, but which are believed to possess qualities that make them inherently valuable in their places of origin and worthy of testing elsewhere.
The "variety problem" is one that is ever before the grower who views the fruit industry either from the standpoint of the student or that of the business man. In the last analysis commercial fruit growing, to be permanently successful, must be considered from both of these standpoints. In one form or another the variety question has long been prominent in the minds of those interested in the production of fruit in the United States and Canada. Reference to the earlier proceedings of the American Pomological Society discloses the fact that for many years its meetings were devoted largely to discussion of the relative merit of different varieties for the various sections of the country. The "fruit lists" of varieties recommended for planting which resulted from these discussions and the work of committees appointed to give the matter more systematic consideration have been a potent influence for good in the development of the fruit industry of the country.
As the business aspects of fruit growing receive more definite recognition varieties will be planted more and more to meet particular conditions and for special rather than for general purposes. For instance, under present conditions one of the most important requirements of a winter apple in many sections is that it have good cold-storage qualities, and a variety may be selected for commercial planting or discarded on account of its behavior in this one particular. Again, summer apples were, for a considerable period, a very minor consideration commercially, but within the past 10 or 15 years there has developed an important demand in the eastern markets for this class of fruit. This has greatly stimulated the planting of early apple varieties in many sections where formerly they were little valued.