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mud and water and compelled to sit all day in the school room with wet feet and damp clothing—this may not apparently affect the children today, but for all the parents know it may be instrumental in undermining otherwise strong constitutions and laying up many aches and pains for future life. As someone has appropriately asked, “Why should a Christian people have heathen roads and a civilized people barbarous ones?” One thought which possibly you have heard brought out time and time again at these congresses for several years is that the trend of population has been from the farms to the cities and the towns. A large part of the best blood and sinew of the country has been trying to get away from the farm. If this continues, it is going to sap the farm industry of its best blood and its best energy. There is something wrong today with our country conditions, when so many of our best farmers leave the farms and seek homes elsewhere in order to give their families better social and educational advantages and when so many of the brightest youths from the country become discouraged with country life and endeavor to escape from the farm. A fair percentage of the men and women, boys and girls must be kept on the farm. This can be done by making farm life worth living. Good roads will help to do it. Will the best, most progressive farm ever be developed without these young men and women, boys and girls to grow into intelligent farmers? Will the increased yield per acre by means of better farming become fully effectual without bettering the means for marketing that yield? Can you incite better farming and maintain a higher order of intelligence and social conditions in country life without easy means of communication? Can country life be supplied with the necessary association and good fellowship, without good roads?
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, let me state that I do not contend that good roads is the whole solution for happiness and prosperity of country life, but I do contend that a very necessary and important part of it is the relation which our public roads bear to our social and moral and our educational life. The home and the school are the nucleus around which our social life exists, and this is especially true of country life.
Neglect your public road conditions and you will not only neglect your transportation facilities, but you will neglect your social and your educational environments.
The articles that we eat and wear must come from the farm, and the growth and the development of agriculture and the life connected there with, no matter how we may view this question of the development of the farm, the betterment of life and the development of the country community life, its transportation, exchange of commodities, the basis upon which it rests will be found a question of good roads. No proposition for the betterment of country conditions, no proposition for the good country life is an assured success until good roads are assured. It all rests upon the question of transportation, and communication, and the basis of transportation is the public wagon road. (Applause)
Professor CoNDRA—I beg leave to submit the report of the committee on credentials.
The Chair announces the appointment of the following committee
Prof. Geo. E. Condra, of Nebraska.
Dr. H. E. Barnard, of Indiana.
Mr. Ralph H. Faxon, of Kansas.
Mr. E. T. Allen, of Oregon.
Mr. W. E. Barns, of Missouri.
President WALLACE—If you want to get the proceedings of the Congress, which will be worth their weight in gold, give your name and a dollar to the secretary.
Professor CoNDRA—I move that the report be received and the committee discharged.
President WALLACE–We will now hear the Hon. J. B. White, of Kansas City, who will tell us what he knows about lumber in Europe.
MR. WHITE–In Europe the experience of more than a hundred years in forest management has resulted in a more or less scientific and practical policy, although it cannot be said that a well defined, universal policy has yet obtained. This is largely due to conditions of ownership, with consequent variance in ideas as applying to various local conditions, as well as the difference in necessities and financial ability of individual owners to carry out in successful practice the best approved methods. Hence there is a growing tendency towards greater governmental control, whereunder the most economic working system, suited to different conditions of soil, climate and kind of forestry, would be intelligently considered and properly installed.
In the German Empire 47 per cent of the entire forest area is privately owned, and 32 per cent by the state, 19 per cent by institutions, communities and associations, and 21 per cent by the crown. Thirtythree per cent is hardwood and 67 per cent conifers. They are now cutting about their annual growth, taking an average of hardwood and conifers.
Austria-Hungary exports more lumber than any other nation in the world. It covers 46,500,000 acres, or a little over 30 per cent of the total land area. In Austria the forests are composed principally of conifers, spruce, pine and fir, only 15 per cent of the acreage being of hardwood. Sixty-one per cent is in the hands of private owners, and onehalf of this, or 30 per cent of the entire forest, in the hands of small owners. The state owns less than 11 per cent of the forests; the balance belongs to churches and communities. The average yearly growth of all the Austrian forests is said to be about forty-two cubic feet per acre, or an annual growth of about 1,100,000,000 cubic feet. They are now cutting annually 250,000,000 cubic feet more than this, or 20 per cent faster than it is growing. This excess of cut, over the growth, will in
large measure regulate itself, as the increasing demand makes the indus- .
try more profitable and encourages the planting of greater forest area.
In Hungary about 75 per cent of the total forest area is oak, beech, maple and other hardwood species, and only 25 per cent of conifers. The annual yield of conifers is about fifty-eight cubic feet per acre, and that of oak about forty-one cubic feet per acre. Thus the conifers yield the largest percentage of commercial lumber and are most valuable as a crop because of more rapid growth, and because of their larger demand for building purposes. Sixty per cent of the total acreage in Hungary is private forests, about 18 per cent is state forest, and 22 per cent communal and church forests. The annual cut in Hungary is estimated to be less than the annual growth.
England has not until very recently deemed forestry profitable, preferring to buy her supply. Of her 3,000,000 acres of woodlands, mostly devoted to parks and the chase, the state only owns 2 per cent. France has 24,000,000 acres of forest, or 18 per cent of its land area, of which only 12 per cent of its wooded area belongs to the state.
Switzerland has about 25 per cent of her total area under forest. The Zurich forest, known as the Sihlwald, containing 2,760 acres, is 85 per cent hardwood, and is worked on a rotation period of 100 to 110 years. The forest director claims an annual growth for the Zurich forest of sixty-five cubic feet per acre, while the general average of all the forests is only fifty cubic feet per acre. This means the entire growth– wood, poles, limbs and all. Only 40 per cent of the total cut is saw timber for building purposes. The net income from this forest for the past twenty-five years has been from $4.00 to $7.00 per acre, not including interest charges. It was $4.40 in 1890 and $7.69 in 1907. This forest has its own mills and saves all profits.
In Switzerland one pays taxes when the crop is harvested. In Germany and Austria the method of taxation varies in different states, but laws are always favorable to encourage private forestry. In some cases one pays no taxes for twenty years. Then one begins to thin out the poles for use of telegraph and telephone companies, etc., and get a revenue, and leaving a stand in destructive forestry which, when sixty years old, will yield in many cases 20,000 feet of lumber, board measure, per acre. In fact, the average is 4,190 cubic feet per acre of timber and fuel, which, according to values prevailing in England and Germany, amounts to about $200.00 per acre.
CUTTING METHODS IN EUROPE.
It was pointed out to us that mixed growth or conservative forestry
is expensive. The most economical and profitable plan is the destructive method. That is, a forest is planted and grown like any other crop, and whenever interest, carrying charges and total cost meet the market value at age and time of greatest profit, then trees are cut and they are all about of a size. The entire acreage is cut clean and the cost of logging is cheap. Trees are again planted and another crop grown. Under the old plan of conservation of mixed growth and mixed sizes, or the shelterwood system, not as much can be grown per acre, and the cost of logging out the large trees is vastly more expensive, and damage is done to other timber in falling them, while in the destructive method all is taken and a large crop harvested. It is nice to view these stands of timber in strips, side by side, ranging in years from baby trees to stands of ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty and up to sixty and eighty years of age, when they are ready to be harvested. In growing forests in Europe, lands that are better adapted for agriculture are not used. The degree of utility is considered. And in determining the value of a forest property, one has to figure compound interest, as the crop may not be harvested and the capital returned for sixty or eighty years. Because of absolute protection from forest fires, capital is regarded as safe, and investors in forests are satisfied with a low rate. As an investment, forests require less labor than other crops, if one practices the most economical method of what is called destructive forestry. In times of temporary high prices, one can take advantage of the situation and harvest more than the annual growth, and can then wait and let the trees grow when prices are low, and this is the usual practice. The rate of interest generally charged to the forests, and compounded, is sometimes determined by rate yielded by government securities, which is usually about 2% per cent.
THE ROTATION METHOD.
It has been ascertained by careful observations that Scotch pine (which grows rapidly, like our short leaf yellow pine) yields, on medium soil in every sixty-year rotation in best quality of location, 5,255 cubic feet per acre, of which an average of 565 cubic feet have been removed in thinning as the forest has been growing, figuring the thinning out being done on an average of about every ten years, leaving at the end of sixty years an average of 4,690 cubic feet per acre. If allowed to remain, this has increased in ten years to 5,250 cubic feet per acre, besides 536 cubic feet that have been profitably taken out in thinning in the last ten years, leaving at seventy years 5,250 cubic feet. Now in the next ten years there will profitably be taken an average of 493 cubic feet in thinning as against the 536 cubic feet taken out the ten years before, leaving at the end of eighty years standing on each acre an average amount of 5,720 cubic feet per acre.
These interesting results follow: With average values of lumber products as in the year 1910, an eighty-year rotation period with Scotch pine would pay 2% per cent compound interest on soil value of $97.00 per acre. With a ninety-year rotation period it would pay this interest rate on land worth only $94.00 per acre. On a seventy-year rotation period it would pay such interest rate on land worth $94.60 per acre, and on sixty-year rotation it would pay such rate of interest on land worth $85.00 per acre. This shows that the maximum profits at this low rate of interest come from cutting the forests at eight years' growth. The greater the variation from this eighty-year period the less favorable the financial results. The maximum age for hardwood trees for best profit is said to be rotation periods of about 100 years with a low rate of interest suited to the safety of the investment. These statistics were prepared by Sir William Schlich, professor of forestry at the University of Oxford, and published by him this year, and are undoubtedly reliable. But it is safer to figure at a compound interest rate of 4 per cent. A high rate of interest demands a low value of soil, and vice versa. And as Sir William points out, the value is, however, not in inverse proportion to the rate of interest, as the value of the soil rises more rapidly than the interest falls. Under a low rate of interest, the expectation value of soil culminates later than under a high rate of interest. So that under a 2% per cent interest rate, the timber could stand about eighty years; under a 3 per cent rate, about seventy years, and under a 4 per cent rate it should be cut every sixty years. Or, to further illustrate, if a party is satisfied with 2% per cent compound interest on his investment in European forestry, he could pay $97.00 per acre for his land, and must cut it at eighty years of age. If he desires 3 per cent interest he must not pay over $55.50 per acre, and must cut his timber when seventy years of age. And if he demands 4 per cent interest rate he cannot pay quite $15.00 per acre for his soil, and must cut his trees when sixty years old.
PERIODS OF PIN E TREE GROWTH.
Now this is the best than can be done in Europe (which, according to statistics, is 37 per cent above the average yield), with the best results as to soil and favorable location, with low priced labor, with most favorable consideration by the government as to taxation, and with the most approved economical methods, where the limbs and twigs are sold for fuel, and forest products are fully 50 per cent higher than they are in the United States. So it is fairly well established that from sixty to eighty years is the most profitable rotation period for growing Scotch pine forests in Europe. The higher the rate of interest demanded, the shorter the rotation.
With advancing age the value of the stumpage increases so that the value of the soil for forestry becomes nearly positive. But in time a maximum is reached, and it falls again. This maximum, with 2% per cent money, is eighty years growth, and with 4 per cent money only sixty years growth. The value of the soil under a very brief rotation would be negative, so that the yield might not even cover the cost of