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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 during 1916 extinguished 5655 forest fires, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth 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

"Our National Forests": A Review


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 been in the Uni ed States Forest Service for fiv 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.


HIS new book on our National Forests does not attempt a general description of the National Forests in themselves. Such descriptions we already have from the pens of John Muir, Theodore

Roosevelt, and other lovers of our great West. Mr. Boerker gives us rather the human side of these forests as revealed in the work which the United States Forest Service is doing to administer them. He has given us the first

1 Boerker, R. H. D., Our National Forests-A short popular account Forest Service on the National Forests, pp. i-1; 238; 80 illustrations. 1918.

the work the United States The Macmillan Company, N. Y.


complete and faithful account we have of the activities of the Forest Service and of the relation of the National Forests to the welfare of the people. He sketches briefly the history of the establishment of the National Forests and the development of the Forest Service. He covers in detail the administration of the National Forests and the scientific work of the Service. His account of how forest fires are detected and fought is most interesting. We are told how the timber is sold and cut in such a way as to preserve the future of the forest; the value of the National Forests to the livestock industry, and how the forage is made available to this industry; lastly we are told of the other uses of the National Forests, such as water power and summer camp sites. This is but an outline of the main subjects treated; it would be impossible to summarize in small space all the interesting information contained in the book.

Mr. Boerker, I would say, is not quite fair to the lumbermen (Introduction, page xlii) when he says, "Lumbering has been and is today forest destruction." In the Northeast, particularly in Maine, lumbermen are awake to the evils of forest destruction and anxious to practice forestry. In fact they are practicing forestry, somewhat crudely perhaps, but as well as the present economic conditions permit. Such a statement as this tends to perpetuate unnecessarily the old animosity between lumbermen and foresters, which has died down as each has come to realize his dependence on the other.

In advocating Government control of cutting on private lands (page 1), Mr. Boerker goes somewhat farther than even many ardent advocates of forest conservation. In France, where forestry is well established, the owner can cut without consent of the Government and as he pleases, provided he does not reduce the area under forest.

In the historical part of the book (page 14), the author gives credit to President Harrison for creating the first Forest Reserve. This may be correct, but we have always understood that President Cleveland initiated the policy of setting aside public


land for Forest Reserves, and that President Roosevelt developed this wise policy to its present point.

The author gives the Forest Service great credit for its remarkable work and high ef ficiency, but does not sufficiently emphasize two of its most important accomplishments. When the Forest Service took over the National Forests under Roosevelt's administration, much of the grazing land on them was in bad condition through previous overgrazing and abuse. To restore this land by closing against grazing inflicted a great hardship on the stockmen. Accordingly the Forest Service undertook a thoroughgoing scientific study of the problem, and discovered a way by which the range can be fully restored without closing against grazing and without the expense of artificial reseeding. The practice of sheep grazing was revolutionized, much to the benefit of the industry, and the carrying capacity of the National Forests was greatly increased.

The Forest Service has greatly benefited the lumber industry also. A lumberman operating on private lands must buy up enough standing timber to supply his mill for a number of years ahead; often he buys enough for twenty years. Obviously this means an enormous initial investment on which he has to pay interest, taxes, and the cost of fire protection. In operating National Forest timber no such outlay is required. The lumberman simply pays as he cuts, and es the expense of interest, taxes, and fire protection.

The Forest Service is, as the author states, under Civil Service. It has always jealously guarded against political influence of any kind. We have here an example of the high accomplishment of which our Government is capable when politics are kept out.

Our National Forests should be widely read. It not only contains a rich fund of valuable information presented in a clear and interesting manner, but also represents the first opportunity the people of the United States have had of readily learning what the Government is doing with one of its greatest natural resources.

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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,
additional energy, protein, mineral salts, and vitamines.
milk, grain products, and vegetables, form the foundation of a diet, and the other groups, meat and fish, nut products, cheese, eggs, fruits, fats, and sugar, are used to give
(Photographed from the Food Exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History)


Food for a Family of Five1


Assistant in the Department of Public Health, American Museum

ECENTLY two investigators in nutrition undertook to find out whether laboratory rats could pick out an adequate diet for themselves if left to choose from a variety of food 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 adequate 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 tendency 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 foods 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 instinct 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 day,

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 statistics 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 becomes 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

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 five, 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.

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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 vegetables, 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

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 in 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.

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Per cent of total food values
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 sources of the fat-soluble vitamines considered essential in a healthful diet

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