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winter employment as logging jobbers or contractors. In other districts, as on the Deerlodge and Helena Forests, in central Montana, winter employment for ranchers and their teams is furnished in cutting and hauling cordwood for city yards, lagging and mine timbers for the copper and coal mines, converter poles for the smelters, and round house logs and other timbers for sale to their neighbors. The additional employment thus furnished through the National Forests is often of great assistance to homesteaders during the first hard years of developing their claims. Hundreds of western ranchers have found a profitable and practicable combination in farming during portions of the year and cutting timber under small sales on the National Forests during other portions. (See Pls. XLI and XLII.)
PURPOSE OF THE NATIONAL FOREST REGULATIONS.
The timber on the National Forests is put to use. It is not locked up. The aim of the Forest regulations is to permit such use with the greatest simplicity and dispatch consistent with regard for the public interests involved and with the least possible formality, "red tape," or inconvenience to the user. Sales under $100 in amount are made directly by the local rangers and supervisors on the Forests at the verbal or written request of the purchaser. According to law, sales for larger amounts must be advertised for 30 days in advance of sale. A minimum price is agreed upon with the applicant and published as the "upset" (lowest) price which the Government will accept. Bids are then submitted by the applicant and any others who may desire to bid. The timber is awarded to the highest bidder unless this would result in monopoly, as in cases where an independent operator owning no timber is outbid by an established lumber company with extensive holdings. Following the award of the timber a very simple contract is prepared, which states the price, the period within which the timber is to be removed, and the other conditions with which the purchaser must comply. As soon as this contract is executed cutting may begin.
HOW PRICES ARE FIXED.
In determining the upset price placed upon National Forest timber it is the purpose of the Government to arrive at the actual market value of the standing stumpage, considering its quality, its accessibility, the cost of logging and manufacture, and the market value of the final products. A careful estimate of all of these factors is made, including a profit to the purchaser of from 15 to 25 per cent of the amount invested in each thousand feet of timber in the process of taking it from the stump to the railroad or market. In sales to
small mills or loggers the price is based upon the methods of logging and manufacture which are practicable for the type of operation concerned. It is realized that a millman or logger who cuts but small quantities is often required unavoidably to use more costly and less efficient methods than a large, well-equipped plant which operates on a much larger scale. These factors are taken into account, the aim being to secure only a fair return to the United States based upon the methods which are actually possible for the purchaser in each instance, and allowing him in all cases a liberal profit for the effort and capital which he puts into the enterprise.
SALES UNDER THE NEW LAW.
In accordance with a recent act of Congress, National Forest timber will hereafter be sold to farmers and settlers for use on their own land at the actual cost of making the sale. This is a significant development of the policy of the Government to make the timber resources of the Forests available under the simplest and least burdensome conditions possible for the use and benefit of local residents and industries, and particularly of the small operator. In each instance the amount of timber sold is determined by the requirements of the purchaser and the rate of cutting which is practicable for him. Sales to small mills usually cover from two to five years. Where, however, the purchase of a larger quantity with a longer cutting period is necessary to justify the investment which must be made in mill, roads, or other improvements or equipment, the Forest Service is glad to contract the amount required and to make the contract cover a longer period. In sales recently under consideration, where a large investment was necessary and the local market to be supplied permitted a cut of but 3,000,000 or 4,000,000 feet a year, the sale in one contract of a sufficient amount to supply the mill for 10 years has been approved. In such contracts provision is made to readjust the stumpage price by three or five year periods, the new rates being based upon the current market value of the products cut under the sale. This principle of increasing the amount of timber sold where the investment and markets and organization of the business require it accords with the fixed policy of encouraging permanent industries built upon the utilization of Forest resources and of providing a permanent supply of timber for the communities which such industries serve.
SIMPLICITY OF REQUIREMENTS.
The requirements imposed in sale contracts on the National Forests, while departing radically from the methods ordinarily followed in logging private lands, are exceedingly simple and always
enforced with regard to the practical requirements of the operator. Their object is solely to leave the cut-over land safe from fire and in such a condition that it will promptly produce a new crop of timber. The trees to be cut are always marked in advance by Forest officers. From one-fourth to one-third of the timber is reserved from cutting, consisting of young, thrifty trees wherever possible, as a nucleus for a second cut on the area and to insure its restocking. The operator is required to utilize the timber cleanly and to pile the slash for subsequent burning, in order that an otherwise serious fire danger will be eliminated. He must also handle his teams. and trucks and logs so as not to destroy any more than is necessary of the young timber and seedling and sapling growth.
NECESSITY FOR CONTINUED NATIONAL CONTROL.
The opportunity of the small operator and the security of his business rest absolutely upon continued public control of the National Forests. If such control is abandoned, the future history of these areas will be one with that of similar timberlands which were not placed in National Forests. First comes entry under the timber and stone or homestead law; next, transfer of title to lumber corporations as soon as patent issues; and lastly, the locking up of the lands, in large holdings, from any form of development or use except as the business interests of a few powerful lumber companies may dictate. This is the unvarying story of unreserved timberlands all over the West. It has been repeated in every elimination of heavily timbered lands from the National Forests forced by local or political pressures. Heavily timbered land is not entered for farming. It is entered for the speculative value of its timber. It is often entered fraudulently by dummy claimants who are agents of lumber companies. Subsequently it is thrown together in larger and larger holdings. The timber corporation possesses the land. The independent operator disappears or becomes an employee.
If public control were withdrawn from the National Forests, the number of timber operators maintained in business on these areas would steadily diminish. As the land passed through the inevitable circuit, ending in a comparatively few large holdings, the independent operators, large and small-the men who own no timber and compete with the vested lumber interests-would disappear. No other course would so certainly eliminate the small operator from the lumbering industry. No other course would so surely restrict the possibility of competition or so surely extend the control of a few large corporations over the production of lumber in the United States.
On the other hand, nothing can so effectively conserve the opportunity of the small lumberman as public control of the Forests.
With such control there will always be a place for the small logger and manufacturer, and for more of them, not less, every year. Public control does not mean locking up, but using these resources; thousands of timbermen are using them now; and wherever he can be found, the independent operator is the agent sought by the Government for their use.
Finally, no form of public control can be so effective as that of the Federal Government. It is not so likely to be influenced by vested interests, which would do away with all public control and break up the Forests if they could. It is better able to meet the necessary cost of protection and administration to avoid sacrificing the permanency of these resources for immediate returns. It is more stable in its policies. Its purpose and methods are tried and known. No such uniform or certain results could be obtained under 20 separate State administrations or any other form of local control. It is to the Federal Government that the small timber operator should look for the sure and enduring protection of his interests in the National Forests.
TRUCK SOILS OF THE ATLANTIC COAST REGION.
By JAY A. BONSTEEL,
THE TRUCKING DISTRICT.
The great winter garden which supplies the cities of the northeastern States with the fresh vegetables demanded for consumption during the latter months of winter and those of early spring stretches in a narrow belt along the Atlantic coast from the vicinity of Savannah, Ga., to the southern portion of New Jersey. (Fig. 18.)
The existence of this particular belt of territory, favorably situated with respect to intensive vegetable production, is the result of the concurrent existence of a number of favoring factors. In the first place, the climatic conditions within this belt render its successive portions from south to north earlier in the date of maturity for the different crops than any other regions in the eastern States which are located in the same latitudes. This arises from the fact that the land area of the region lies at low altitudes. From Savannah, Ga., to Camden, N. J., along the Atlantic coast there are no high lands. The coastal land areas rise from sea level with gentle slopes, and the vast Coastal Plain presents a low, nearly level, and unrelieved surface throughout what is known as the "flatwoods" section.
The streams of the region consist chiefly of narrow, tortuous tidewater embayments, in whose channels the tide rises to points removed 40 to 75 miles from the actual coast. The interstream land areas rise abruptly from these estuaries, either in the form of successive low river terraces, lying at altitudes of 10 to 35 feet above stream level, or in a single low bluff not more than 20 feet in altitude. These lower lands constitute narrow bands along one or both banks of the streamways. The more extensive upland areas, between streams, are monotonously level, or only slightly relieved by low, rolling swells and narrow sandy ridges. The entire coastal