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Copyright, 1918, Harper & Brothers,

"Four Years in the White North" The ring of rocks which held down Greely's tent in “Starvation Camp" on Cape Sabine, where the surviving seven of his party of twenty-five were finally rescued by Schley as they were at the verge of death.—Greely had established on Lady Franklin Bay one of the international circumpolar scientific stations planned by the United States Government. MacMillan, working from Cape Sabine, explored considerable stretches of hitherto unvisited shore line and interior on the large islands off the Greenland coast

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Copyright, 1918, Harper & Brothers,

"Four Years in the White North" Peary's old hut at Cape Sabine, huilt during the unsuccessful North Pole Expedition of 1900-1902, just across Smith Sound from Etah, where Peary and, later, MacMillan wintered. From Etah Peary sledged to Cape Sabine and established headquarters from which he could move north in the spring to Fort Conger, Greely's old headquarters, and then on to the polar ice. This is the so-called "American Route" by which attempts to reach the Pole have been made

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The New York State Forest Preserve in the Adirondacks and the Catskills is a glorious garden of nearly 2,000,000 acres in which every resident of New York State is part owner. The state

seeks to conserve this great area field and orest, mountain, lake, and stream to
safeguard New York's water supply, present and future, as a permanent protec-
tion to the sources of the state's greatest rivers. While doing this it leaves
the entire tract open to the people for sport, recreation, study, or camp
life-a playground for 10,000,000 people, and room for them all!
The state asks only their appreciation of what conservation of
the forests means, and that it can be done only through
the coöperation of all the people. It has taken na.
ture many lifetimes to grow the forests and set
the watercourses, and only the same slow
process can restore them if they

are destroyed

Forest Conservation in New York

THE FOREST PRESERVE IS OWNED COLLECTIVELY BY ALL THE

PEOPLE OF THE STATE

By GEORGE D. PRATT

New York State Conservation Commissioner

N

EW York State's Forest Pre

serve was created in 1885.1

Since that date the state-owned land in the Adirondack and Catskill mountains has been increased, until the preserve now includes a total of 1,838,322 acres, an

area greater than the small states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. Its administration is in the hands of the Conservation Commission-a big task when we consider that the state-owned land is bounded by more than 9000 miles of property lines. It involves many intricate questions of litigation, sociology, recreation, fire protection, and reforestation.

Much of the land comprising the Forest Preserve unfortunately consists of comparatively small parcels, intermixed with privately owned land; in fact only about 50 per cent of the vital forest land is owned by the state and the remaining 50 per cent is subject to the most uncontrolled exploitation. In order to consolidate the state holdings, the voters of New York State, in 1916, approved by a large majority a bond issue of $7,500,000 for the purchase by the state of lands in the Adirondack and Catskill regions to be added to that already owned by the

state, and, according to the state constitution, “to be forever kept as wild forest lands." 2

One of the greatest problems, therefore, now before the New York Conservation Commission is the wisest and most effective expenditure of the money authorized by this bond issue for additions to the Forest Preserve. Lands must be purchased for the state which will be most useful for Forest Preserve purposes and which will round out the state's holdings in its mountainous and natural forest regions.

The problem is not so simple a one of buying and selling as might at first

? The value of the Forest Preserve as a safe guard for New York's present and future water supply, and as a protection to the sources of New York's greatest rivers, is practically self-evident. But there are further economic advantages of great forested areas which are not generally appre. ciated They are not only conservers of water supply, but they are actual regulators of climate and inducers of rain. Regions of extensive tree growth are cooler in summer and warmer in win. ter, with smaller sudden fluctuations in temperature, than barren sections of similar location. Moisture laden winds from the ocean or from large inland bodies of water sweep onward over the land until they strike the cooler currents of wooded areas. This moisture is then precipitated as rain, which falls over wide areas of forest and farm land. In this respect New York is most fortunately situated, drawing rain from both the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes.

In conserving the rain that has fallen, the forests render a still further service. The ground under the trees is covered with the accumulated débris of years or even of centuries. This is the duff, the carpet of the forest floor. It serves two purposes, namely, preventing rapid evaporation of ground water when dry winds sweep over the land, and acting as a sponge to hold the rainfall and control the run-off. In the arid regions of the west the rain runs down the creek beds like water from a shingled roof, and soon after the rain has ceased the ground is as dry as before. The for ests thus equalize the flow of the streams and regulate the power they generate for industrial purposes, by reducing floods in the spring or after heavy rains, and providing a steadier flow in the summer. The deep snow of winter melts more slowly under the trees. and the run-off is more gradual.

1 As long ago as 1822, De Witt Clinton, then governor of New York, told the legislature that "Our forests are falling rapidly before the progress of settlement, and a scarcity of wood for fuel, ship and house building, and other useful pur. poses, is already felt in the increasing prices for that indispensable article. No system for plantation for the production of trees, and no system of economy for their preservation, has been adopted, and probably none will be until severe privations are experienced.” We have no record that any definite action followed this good advice, doubtless because the severe privations foreseen by De Witt Clinton were slow in arriving. It was not until 1885 that his wise suggestions regarding forest conservation began to be followed.

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Compiled in 1917 from maps and field notes on file in the State Department at Albany, New York, and from the topographic sheets of the United States Geological Survey.
The New York State Forest Preserve now includes a total of 1,838,322 acres, an area greater than the small states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. Much of the land
comprising the Forest Preserve unfortunately consists of comparatively small parcels, intermixed with privately owned land; in fact only about 50 per cent of the vital forest
land in the Adirondacks, as shown by the dark areas on the map, is state owned and the other 50 per cent is still subject to possible uncontrolled commercial exploitation

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