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CUTTING UP THE FALLEN GIANT.

them where thousands of logs are kept cause it is tiresome to wield the axe with sometimes for a year or more before being a foothold on the ground. When a tree taken out of the water to be run through is marked out for felling by the foreman the saws, yet this exposure does not of the gang, the first thing done is to cut affect their quality in the least. If a notches a few feet above the roots. Into man wishes to build a frame house of these are driven what are called spring first-class material, he buys fir lumber boards. Upon them stand the axemen, and covers the building with cedar and as they give with every move of the shingles, which are considered as among body, the axe can be swung back and the best for roofs because they will last forth with less fatigue, so these destroyfor a quarter of a century without de- ers of the forest waste the timber merely caying. The railroad builders are after because it is easier for them to cut into the long square fir timbers because they the trunks above the ground than at the are so strong and durable. In the days roots. A word about the decayed spots. of wooden ships enormous quantities of The fir is such a vigorous and hardy tree fir went into the framework and spars of that seldom is the heart rotten except vessels, and today cargoes containing possibly a few inches in the very center. masts of Oregon pine are sent from the If it is decayed in any way a few minPacific country clear around Cape Horn utes' boring with a small auger will to New England, where the spars are quickly determine this fact, but the tree placed in coasting vessels.

cutters will not even take the trouble to To the eastern man, trees such as grow

do this. Within the last few years small in the pineries of the Carolinas, Georgia, shingle mills have been put lip on what and other states are considered big be- the man of the Northwest calls the cause they sometimes reach 150 feet "logged-off lands," for so much good above the ground and may measure

lumber can be obtained from the stumps three or four feet through at the butt. where trees have recently been cut that Stand one of the largest Georgia pines a mill may be kept running in a neighbeside a big fir on the shores of Puget borhood for a year or so before it is Sound, and it would look like a little necessary to move the machinery to some sapling, for some of these giants of the other place. The shingle bolts, as they Northwest rise a hundred feet before are called, can be sawed out of the they put out even the first branch, and stumps and carried to the mill in Alumes most of what the lumberman calls the which are merely long troughs filled with larger growth average at least eight feet water. In this way the stumpage of a through at the butt. Right here is one tract of logged-off land for a distance reason why there is such a great waste of eight or ten miles around the mill in logging in the Pacific Northwest. The can be converted into shingles. timber cutter usually drives his axe into This industry alone shows how the the trunk so high from the ground that present methods of timber cutting in the as we have already stated, the stump Pacific Northwest have been wasteful, which is left may be ten or twelve feet but the destruction of young trees is far above the roots. Seldom does he make a more serious. When a piece of forest cut less than six feet above the ground. is to be invaded, the first man to go Ask him why, and he will tell you that through it is the "timber cruiser." He he wants to avoid any rotten spot which is such an expert in forestry that he can may be in the heart. Instead of taking estimate closely the number of board feet the trouble to bore a small hole in the which a fir will yield after he has merely center to find out if any part of the measured its length with his eye and run heart is decayed, he simply cuts it from his tape around its base at two or three where he thinks the trunk is sound and places. He is looking especially for the often leaves as much good wood in the trees which will cut into timbers one stump as can be sawed out of one of the hundred feet and over because these long smaller pines which are continually being timbers are in such demand among railcut for lumber in the southern forests. road and bridge builders that a tree of

Another reason why these huge scars this sort will bring double the price of are left on the face of the earth is be- another which may cut into almost as

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much board and planking. It is no it comes down it may destroy several small task to fell one of the larger firs, small specimens which if allowed to which may be two hundred and fifty or grow would perhaps have been of the three hundred feet from root to top, be- same size. With their branches bent and cause it is not only so long but so heavy. crushed, their trunks sometimes torn A single one may be sawed into logs apart half way up from the roots, they which weigh in all from one hundred and present a sorry spectacle in a forest, and fifty to two hundred tons, and some of if later the tract is swept by a conflagrathe twenty-four-foot logs will weigh tion from some fire accidentally or purforty tons each. To get one of these posely kindled, the scene of ruin is truly giants down without splitting the trunk pathetic to the lover of Nature. As a or breaking it off requires some skillful rule the men who do the felling are so work on the part of the felling gang.

skilled in their work that the tree comes First the foreman examines the ground down in the place and is uninjured, but on all sides and chooses the spot for the sometimes a strong wind or a cut too bed where there may be a swampy spot

much on

one side causes it to be a "side or the underbrush is thicker than in other winder," as the lumberman says, and it places, but usually a "bed" is made con- falls in the wrong place, perhaps rent sisting of small branches which are asunder by the tremendous force of the heaped in piles. These piles are, of

These piles are, of blow and bringing down a dozen or more course, in a straight line a few feet apart, trees with it. Many an unlucky timber the idea being to cut the tree so it will jack has been caught under one of these fall on the series of piles to keep it from "side winders," and either maimed for striking the ground too hard. If there life or crushed to death. are some small trees in the line of the Only those who have journeyed along fall which may help break the force of the railroads of the Pacific Northwest the shock the fir is felled if possible so can appreciate the ravages of fire. We as to strike them. Consequently when speak about the destruction by fire on the

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A LOGGING TRAIN.

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FIR LOG ESTIMATED TO BE A CENTURY OLDER THAN METHUSELAH.

prairie, sometimes of farm houses, when go through the leafy aisles and only see the prairie grass becomes so dry that it by chance the sky. The logged-off lands ignites. Occasionally fire sweeps through form one of the principal sources of the the so-called forests of the East, but forest fires. After the trees have been these are merely bonfires compared with cut down, the sap in the stumps dries out the work of the flames in the great wood- rapidly and they begin to decay in a short lands on the slopes of the Rockies and time. Then they are literally masses of the Cascades. The fir forests are notable tinder which may take fire even from for their dense growth, the trees being the match carelessly dropped after a so near together that sometimes one can settler has lighted his pipe. In getting rid of the stumps fire is often used. As of a fire which ravaged a part of the many of the smaller clearings are sur- Puget Sound country in 1906 was so rounded by forests of second growth, if dense and in such quantity that a west not first growth trees, if the wind drives wind actually blew it as far as the city the flames into the forests or the fire of Spokane on the other side of the Casgets beyond control of the farmer it may cade Mountains, in eastern Washington, start a conflagration which will burn for a distance of three hundred miles. weeks and turn mile after mile of wood- This is why the states of both Washland into a smoking and blackened ruin. ington and Oregon have adopted very The heat of these fires is so intense that rigid fire laws. These laws make it a no one can go near enough to the burn- criminal offense for any one to kindle a

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ing area to throw water upon the flames fire for cooking or heating even in the even if enough water could be secured to open field without extinguishing it before extinguish them. Nor can they turn up he goes away. If a lumberman, settler the earth in furrows as the men of the or a prospector should forget to put out prairies do in fighting the grass fire and even the embers of his camp fire and is thus stopping it for want of fuel to feed caught afterwards he stands the chance upon. The people can only hope and of spending a half year in prison. In pray for rain or a change of wind. An fact, the forest fires have done so much idea of what these forest fires mean in damage that the farmers look upon an the destruction of our timber can be offender of this sort very much as the gained when it is stated that there are people of the plains regard the horse places on the Northern Pacific Railroaď thief. The timber cutters themselves where the track has literally been de- are largely responsible for starting many stroyed for stretches of twenty-five or of the big fires because they seem to care thirty miles—ties turned to ashes nothing for the enormous waste in the rails twisted and warped so that they are industry. Talk with any of them and fit only for the scrap heap. The smoke the man thinks that there is no limit to

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