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Photograph by Edward A. Mellhenry
AT THE SOUTH IN WINTER TIME-OUR AMERICAN ROBIN
"We never know the precise time the birds leave us in the fall: they do not go suddenly; their departure is like that of an army of occupation in no hurry to be off; they keep going and going, and we hardly know when the last straggler is gone." (From Pepacton.) A few individual robins remain in sheltered spots in the North.
In comparison with English song birds it is said that ours are fewer in number and less famous as sicians. Burroughs says: "Our birds are more withdrawn than the English," with "notes more plaintive and intermittent." The robin comes very near the head of the list of well-known American bird musicians, in the family with the thrushes and bluebird, and sharing the honors with the family of mocking bird, brown thrasher, and catbird. He is one of the greatest sources of cheer and companionship in city or country. It is therefore all the more pity that spring after spring the number returning to the North has been smaller and smaller, owing to destruction of the migrating flocks at the South,-robins shot in thousands for food
At the North in winter time, just chickadee.-A view within the window
Photograph by Ernest Harold Baynes you can bring them to your own little waifs from the winter The woods and groves seem
A view without.-"If you would study the winter birds door-chickadees, nuthatches, downy woodpeckers, brown creepers woods that daily or hourly seek the bounty you prepare for them as barren as deserts, the earth is piled with snow, the trees snap with the coid . . . the wonder is that... these little adventurers can subsist at all... How much company they are to me! What thoughts and associations they bring!"-From Field and Study
Freeman Art Co., Eureka, Humboldt County, California The contrast!-Hundreds of thousands of acres of redwoods in California have been cut in the last sixty years. Each sawmill is a center of incalculable loss not only through the timber removed but especially through waste and fire
By HENRY FAIRFIELD OSBORN
President of the American Museum of Natural History, Member of the
T was said pithily by John Muir that any fool can destroy trees; they cannot run away from him, and if they could they would still be chased and hunted to their death-as long as fun or a dollar could be got out of them. Speaking of the Sequoias, he contrasted the ability of the Creator to protect their race, as he has done, through millions of years from drought, disease, avalanches, tempests, and floods, with the inability of that same divine power to protect them even for a generation from fools-"only Uncle Sam can do that."
If the American Museum, by some magic of power, could hope for large influence in conservation matters, it would vote to save these Sequoia woodlands. Their venerable and colossal splendor is a heritage for the future America. Many of these trees have lifted their heads to the sunshine of more than a thousand summers, and the largest of them have outlived the passing of four thousand generations. of men. Mere matter-of-fact and commercial consideration, moreover, entirely apart from any sentiment regarding their beauty or their age,
should save them: "in the name of thrift, and foresight, and love of country". -as Roosevelt would have said.
The destruction has progressed far, and has been especially augmented of late. The most majestic among the manifestations of life on the globe are being cut for-breathe not aloud the uses to which they are being put, lest the recorders of human history laugh! Sequoias towering more than three hundred feet into the sky are being brought to the ground for grape stakes for the vineyards of California; for shingles and railroad ties for the temporary convenience of a mankind which is slow to evolve beyond aims of immediate personal gain.
Do we ask why the burden of saving the redwood forests falls so immediately on the shoulders of the state and national governments-outside of the general reason that state and national governments should look out for the welfare of the people? Uncle Sam owned all this western timber country-yet Uncle Sam was so desirous of giving every man in the free United States his chance, that millions of acres of timber land were sold at two and one half dollars an acre when just one individual tree of the wide-stretching forests was worth at the lowest figure one hundred dollars. Thus the timber went into the hands of private and corporation capital-and "nothing could be done about the crazy bargain!"—at least the sales could not be undone.
This was the condition when Muir wrote these words in 1900, and the twenty years since that time have seen the ranks of the redwoods pushed farther and farther back from the sea, by lumbering methods involving frightful waste. Some solution of the problem must now be sought which will return to the government as large a part of the redwood lands left as money for purchase can be found, to remain permanent possessions of the American people. One of two courses we shall follow.
Either we shall now, at a goodly expenditure of money, save the redwood forests as they stand, or we shall lose them, and after a few years, at an exceedingly greater expenditure of money, try to save a few small mutilated tracts which may be left, knowing that we have doomed the redwood as a race to an eternal extinction. We recognize the second course as that usually consummated in the forest policy of any new community. Have we not learned the lesson of loss, especially in the East, so that we can apply the principle to the redwood? We all realize that we long ago passed the day when we could afford to look upon trees as giant weeds to be got rid of by any method, as our forefathers in America looked upon them, or even as inexhaustible gifts of Heaven to be managed wastefully. They are one of the few vital assets of the country. If we have not learned the lesson, we shall in this particular instance not merely burden our children with the bond issues of an attempted restoration of what we have destroyed, we shall lose the redwoods beyond all possibility of restoration. For in the case of trees such as white pine, black walnut, and others now nearly exterminated, we have not been dealing with species that take half a thousand years to reach maturity and two or three times that to attain their greatest nobility of size. One hundred years has been more nearly the maximum-and that has seemed too long to the man who lives for himself only and for today.
The species of Sequoias are only two, the big tree (Sequoia gigantea) and the redwood (Sequoia sempervi
The genus Sequoia is not closely related to any other living group of trees, but in former geological times, reaching back as far as the Jurassic and Trias, near relatives of our Sequoias were common, with many species scattered widely over the northern lands of the globe. Their fossil remains have been discovered in Europe and in various lands bordering the Arctic seas-Siberia, Spitzbergen, Greenland, Canada, and Alaska. The big tree and the redwood are therefore representatives of a family whose existence with small variation must be measured in millions of years-they are the auld lang syne of trees."