« PreviousContinue »
Courtesy of the MacMillan Company Watching for the first sign of a forest fire.—To protect the vast resources of our National Forests an extensive patrol is maintained. Mr. Boerker tells of the vigilant work of this army of rangers who dur. ing 1916 extinguished 5655 forest fires, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars'
timber and perhaps many lives. Lookout men are posted in small cabins on prominent mountain peaks or on high hills where they can observe wide areas and watch for fires day and night during the danger season. Telephone lines connect the posts with central stations so that information can travel quickly and the fire fighters be rapidly mobilized
By BARRINGTON MOORE Research Associate in Forestry, American Museum; formerly in the United States Forest Service;
Major of Engineers, American Expeditionary Force
"Our National Forests" is a book by Mr. R. H. D. Boerker, Arboriculturist, Department of Parks, New York City, a man who was with the United States Forest Service from 1910 to 1917. The book should be considered from two distinct points of view: (1) that of the professional forester familiar with the National Forests and their administration by the United States Forest Service; and (2) that of the general public. The first point of view requires an accurate statement of facts, the second requires that the facts be interestingly presented. It is difficult for any one reviewer to take both points of view at once. If he is a professional forester he will judge the book on the accuracy of its facts, and he cannot avoid having interests which may not have a lively appeal to the general reader. If, on the other hand, he is not a forester, he will know whether or not the book is interesting, but not if it is accurate. The reviewer in this case, having bee in the United States Forest Service for five years-on the National Forests, in the District Office and lastly in the central office at Washington-must confess to belonging in the first category, and will judge the book by its accuracy-although it seems to him to be also very interesting in the manner of presentation of its facts.-B. MOORE.
National Roosevelt, and other lovers of our great West. Forests does not attempt a general Mr. Boerker gives us rather the human side I description of the National Forests of these forests as revealed in the work which in themselves. Such descriptions we already the United States Forest Service is doing to have from the pens of John Muir, Theodore administer them. He has given us the first
1 Boerker, R. H. D., Our National Forests-A ort popular account of the work of the United States Forest Service on the National Forests, pp. i-1; 238; 80 illustrations. The Macmillan Company, N. Y. 1918.
"O'R NATIONAL FORESTS"
complete and faithful account we have of land for Forest Reserves, and that President the activities of the Forest Service and of Roosevelt developed this wise policy to its the relation of the National Forests to present point. the welfare of the people. He sketches The author gives the Forest Service great briefly the history of the establishment of credit for its remarkable work and high efthe National Forests and the development of ficiency, but does not sufficiently emphasize the Forest Service. He covers in detail the two of its most important accomplishments. administration of the National Forests and When the Forest Service took over the the scientific work of the Service. His ac- National Forests under Roosevelt's admincount of how forest fires are detected and istration, much of the grazing land on them fought is most interesting. We are told how was in bad condition through previous overthe timber is sold and cut in such a way as grazing and abuse. To restore this land by to preserve the future of the forest; the closing against grazing inflicted a great value of the National Forests to the live- hardship on the stockmen. Accordingly the stock industry, and how the forage is made Forest Service undertook a thoroughgoing available to this industry; lastly we are told scientific study of the problem, and disof the other uses of the National Forests, covered a way by which the range can be such as water power and summer camp sites. fully restored without closing against grazThis is but an outline of the main subjects ing and without the expense of artificial treated; it would be impossible to summarize reseeding. The practice of sheep grazing in small space all the interesting informa- was revolutionized, much to the benefit of tion contained in the book.
the industry, and the carrying capacity of Mr. Boerker, I would say, is not quite fair the National Forests was greatly increased. to the lumbermen (Introduction, page xlii) The Forest Service has greatly benefited when he says, “Lumbering has been and is the lumber industry also. A lumberman today forest destruction.” In the Northeast, operating on private lands must buy up particularly in Maine, lumbermen are awake enough standing timber to supply his mill to the evils of forest destruction and anx- for a number of years ahead; often he buys ious to practice forestry. In fact they are enough for twenty years. Obviously this practicing forestry, somewhat crudely per
enormous initial investment on haps, but as well as the present economic which he has to pay interest, taxes, and conditions permit. Such a statement as this the cost of fire protection. In operating tends to perpetuate unnecessarily the old National Forest timber no such outlay is animosity between lumbermen and foresters, required. The lumberman simply pays as which has died down as each has come to he cuts, and saves the expense of interest, realize his dependence on the other.
taxes, and fire protection. In advocating Government control of cut- The Forest Service is, as the author states, ting on private lands (page 1), Mr. Boerker under Civil Service. It has always jealously goes somewhat farther than
many guarded against political influence of any ardent advocates of forest conservation. In kind. We have here an example of the high France, where forestry is well established, accomplishment of which our Government is the owner can cut without consent of the capable when polities are kept out. Government and as he pleases, provided he Our National Forests should be widely does not reduce the area under forest.
read. It not only contains a rich fund of In the historical part of the book (page valuable information presented in a clear and 14), the author gives credit to President interesting manner, but also represents the Harrison for creating the first Forest Re- first opportunity the people of the United
This may be correct, but we have States have had of readily learning what the always understood that President ('leveland Government is doing with one of its greatest initiated the policy of setting aside public natural resources.
FOR A FAMILY OF FIVE FOR ONE WEEK The one hundred and twelve pounds of foods shown will supply a family of five with an adequate and well-balanced diet for a week, It is not feasible to remember the merits and deficiencies of each separate food, but foods naturally fall into about ten groups and the characteristics of these can be easily carried in mind.
The three groups, milk, grain products, and vegetables, form the foundation of a diet, and the other grous, meat and fish, nut products, cheese, eggs, fruits, fats, and sugar, are used to give additional energy, protein, mineral salts, and vitamines. (Photographed from the Food Exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History)
ECENTLY two investigators in nutrition undertook to find out whether
laboratory rats could pick out a lequate diet for themselves if left to choose from a variety of fooil set before them "cafeteria" fashion. The rats selected a pretty good diet, although perhaps not quite as good a one as the nutrition experts could have chosen for them.
Studies of diets from all parts of the world have shown that human beings, too, tend to choose a lequate diets when food stuffs are abundant and varied. But, as a matter of fact, most of us do not have great enough variety in our diet to give this tendeney room to work in.
A woman stood looking at the food exhibit in the American Museum. She turned“Huh, I know how to buy the right fools all right-I guess every mother does, but the prices is so high.” The critic partly answered her own criticism. It is just because the prices are so high that instincts do not find opportunity to work themselves out. Science must come to the aid of instinet under the conditions of modern civilized life. Already in one country even the law questions whether parents feed their children correctly just because they are parents: in England in 1906 an act of Parliament was passed to the effect that although a man may think he provides his children with food sufficient for their needs, if a school committee think otherwise, he may be forced to pay for other meals provided by the committee and charged to him.
Probably the other chief reason that we do not choose perfect diets is our individual "likes" and "dislikes.” An extreme case will show how this works. A workingman came from a grocery store, eating a bunch of celery. I went in and inquired the price of celery. It was fifteen cents a bunch. At present food prices the lowest sum that will buy adequate food for one grown person for a day is about forty-two cents. This man would need from 3000 to 4000 calories a dav,
the celery would furnish about 30 calories. The man had spent one third of his money and he had received only ?100 of his energy. (The mineral salts in celery can be bought more cheaply in other foods.) If we see a girl shivering in a thin coat and wearing silk stockings and fancy shoes we smile, but we live in a glass house if we buy a “nice thick steak" or a "few lamb chops" before we have told the milkman to leave at our house every morning a quart of milk for every child and a pint for each grown-up. L. B. Mendel, of Yale, has said, “No one should buy tomatoes and lettuce unless he can afford an automobile"-although, as they are both valuable foods, we might buy them occasionally-as we would call a taxi.
Does it “matter" whether we know food values or not? Evidence is accumulating every day that it does. Recent study of life insurance statisties shows that when people are overweight they decrease their “expectancy of life." "After the age of thirty-five, overweight is associated with increasingly high death-rate, and at middle life it be. comes a real menace to health."
It is estimated that at least 10 per cent of our school children are undernourished. This condition is not confined to the children of the poor; in a study of more than 5000 children in Boston some of the undernourished children came from well-to-do homes.
A Phipps Institute study of the garment trade shows that “malnutrition is one of the most potent causes of tuberculosis among the working classes." A
recent study of ninety-two family diets in New York City might be summed up as follows: Food deficiencies were frequent where the amount of money spent for food was enough to supply sufficient nourishment had it been spent wisely. The money was spent in such a way as to give high amounts of protein at a sacrifice of energy—59 per cent of the families were getting less than the standard 3000 calories and only twelve families too little protein. One half the families were spending more than one third of the food money for meat and fish. It was also found that one group of families which spent forty-six cents was getting no more food value than a group that was spending twenty-five cents.
1 The department of public health of the American Museum has installed in the forestry hall of the Museum an exhibit showing, among other things in wax reproductions of actual foodstuffs, an ideally proportioned diet for a family of based on the food needs of the body. The exhibit shows a week's food supply bought for $12 at prices prevailing in New York about December 1, 1918. This selected diet furnishes energy at the rate of fifteen cents a thousand calories, which is about as cheap as energy can be bought now in a diet adequate in other essentials.
The amount of money spent annually for food in the United States is somewhere around $7,000,000,000.
Intensive investigations made in the last few years to learn how families actually spent their food money, have resulted in the discovery that the average American family spends too much of its food money for meat, poultry, and fish, spends in fact one third when it should spend only one tenth; that it spends not nearly enough for milk and cheese, too much for sugar, and too little for vegetables and fruit.
When the National War Labor Board was chosen to look into labor difficulties during the war it became necessary for them to know how much it costs to live. The estimates of the experts whom they called iņ ranged from $1100 to $1500 a year for a subsistence minimum in a large eastern city for a family of five. If $1500 is selected as the yearly income of such a family, then the amount it may legitimately spend for food will be from 40 to 50 per cent of this, which comes to about from $11 to $13 a week.
The body has need of many more things in its food than the six that we hear so much talk about, namely, calories, protein, calcium, iron, phosphorus and vitamines, but, if we make sure that these are supplied in correct amounts, all the other needed materials will be included.
Per cent of total food values
obtained from vegetables No one group of foods furnishes a complete diet because each is lacking in some essentials and abundant in others. The accompanying three diagrams represent the figures given for vege. tables, milk, and grain products, respectively, in the "Percentage of the total diet" table. The total heights of the columns indicate 100 per cent, while the shaded part of the columns marks the actual percentage of the total supplied by the vegetables, milk, or grain products. For example, 11.9 per cent of the total cost of the sample diet was expended on vegetables from which was derived 32.4 per cent of the iron found in the diet
obtained from milk Milk is the cheapest of our common sources of calcium and a fairly cheap source of protein. It is, however, much more expensive as a source of iron than are vegetables, On the whole we spend relatively too little for milk and cheese and too much for eggs and meat. A quart of milk a day for a child is considered as a fair standard for the calcium and protein found in milk make it particularly important in the diet of growing children. Milk is also one of the chief source of the fat-soluble vitamines considered essential in a healthful diet