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The Chairman then read the following telegram:
Billings, Mont., August 27, 1909.
To the Chairman National Conservation Congress, Seattle, Wash.
Study of conservation of Nation's resources should go hand in hand with rational study of possibilities of development of national wealth. Dry farming most important economic problem before people of the arid States. Two hundred million acres land otherwise unproductive can produce feed stuffs enough for the Nation if developed under dry-farming methods. Fourth, dry-farming congress for study of this subject convenes Billings, Mont., October 26th, 27th and 28th; International DryFarming Exposition same week. Delegates to Conservation Congress cordially invited to attend and participate. Greeting from Dry-Farming Congress to Conservation Congress. (Signed) Edwin L. Norris, Governor of Montana. President Dry-Farming Congress.
The following paper was then read:
THE DESIRABILITY OF CONSERVING NATURAL
MR. LEONARD N. Solly, REPRESENTING THE ESQUIMAL AND NANAIMO RAILROAD CoMPANY, A SUBSIDIARY of THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY COMPANY.
The subject upon which I am called upon to address you is one that appeals most strongly to the commercial instinct of every thinking man, whether he be a railroad man or not. The conserving of natural resources, in the State of Washington, in British Columbia, and in fact all over the globe, is becoming one of the vital and leading questions of the day.
To many people a railroad is looked upon merely as a means of getting quickly and cheaply, or otherwise, from one point to another; to others a railroad is known to be a lifespring and main artery, giving life to the country through which it runs. As an illustration of this, no better example can be given than the cities of Seattle, Tacoma, and Vancouver at the present day. I knew Tacoma and Seattle twenty-five years ago, reaching the former from Portland, going by steamer up the Columbia River to Kalama, and thence by rail. Seattle was reached by a steamer, the old paddle-boat, “North Pacific.” I saw a small wharf and a few wooden houses, and then stretched away miles upon miles of hills covered with forest. What has brought about the marvellous change we See today? Railways and well-directed commercial enterprise. As the narrow steel bands circle the earth, new and previously inaccessible regions are opened up, and new industries established. But first and foremost amongst those industries which are thus affected in this part of the world Stands the lumber industry. To conserve our forests and timber areas while we still have the chance is now the cry that has been raised after years of futile warning. The prodigality with which timber has been cut, and the criminal negligence with which fires have been allowed to start and rage unchecked, have left their indelible mark, with the result that people have realized the fact that the supply in sight will not last forever. While much of the timber is tributary to the rivers and the Sea, yet much can be moved, whether as logs or as dressed lumber, only by rail, and the interests of the lumbermen and railroad men are identical. The company that I have the honor to represent are owners of very large tracts of timber lands, and the conserVation of these lands is now occupying their attention. Much valuable information has been lately gathered from the sessions of the British Columbia Forestry Commission, which will be published in due course. When we take into “onsideration that the larger trees which are cut in thousands daily, have taken four or five hundred years to mature, and that the smaller ones have taken at least one hundred and fifty years, we can see what will happen in the future if proper attention is not promptly given to this important question. Japan has been conserving her timber for thousands of years, Europe for hundreds, with the result that they are able to keep up a supply that meets their demands. The extinction of buffalo on the plains and prairies is a good illustration of the exhaustion of what was regarded as an inexhaustible supply. Thirty years ago there were herds of countless thousands (in less than five years they were reduced to a scattering of under a hundred). The wealth of the earth, no matter whether it be hidden in its bowels, or growing on its crust, or found in its rivers and seas, must be treated alike with the most economic and upto-date methods. Chemistry enables us to obtain the maximum returns from our ores, as well as largely increased crops from the soil, while irrigation is producing crops from land that hitherto has been barren. The harvest from the seas and rivers is renewed and assisted by the hatcheries, and the harvest from our forests must be assisted in the same manner. As long as the world lasts railways of some description will probably be operated, and they must have freight, for I do not look to that branch of the transportation business being carried on by airships; and freight must come from the farmers and lumbermen as well as from the mines and factories. A time will come, no doubt, when our coal measures will be worked out, and these we cannot replace, but our forests we can, and they should remain with us forever. Nature is a great healer and restorer, and in many cases our depleted forest lands will, in the course of ages, become retimbered by the wonderful process of natural selection, but this process should be aided and hastened by man with all his knowledge and skill.
The Government report on forest fires in Canada during the last year shows that enormous loss was sustained and that twenty-one lives were lost.
No country can allow itself to discount the future, lest it find itself, like the man who has been living on his capital, destitute and penniless in old age.
MR. PINCHOT : We are now to listen to an address on “Conservation in Japan.” Hon. Hajime Ota, Japanese Imperial Commissioner, has found it impossible to be present this afternoon, but Mr. Hashiguchi is with us and will speak for him. Japan is far ahead of the United States in the matter of forestry, and we shall be pleased to hear from Mr. Hashiguchi.
CONSERVATION IN JAPAN.
MR. HASHIGUCHI, IN BEHALF OF HON. HAJIME OTA, IMPERIAL COMMISSIONER of THE JAPANESE Govern MENT AT THE ALASKA-YUKON-PACIFIC ExPOSITION.
I came here to tell you that Mr. Ota, the Imperial Commissioner of the Japanese Government, has been detained this afternoon and cannot come here to address you, but he wished me to give you his greetings and the greetings of the Japanese Government which he represents here.
If you will allow me a few minutes I would like to speak to you on the subject which was assigned to Mr. Ota, Conservation in Japan.
Conservation in Japan is a very broad subject. I might speak upon it for a whole day and yet leave it unfinished. There are forces which must be conserved: natural and geographical resources, and moral, physical, and spiritual resources. As regards the moral and spiritual resources of Japan, I believe we are doing very well, and, with the help of Christianity, which has been introduced into Japan, I believe we can go ahead very fast. But this Congress is interested more in conserving the natural resources of this country, and I believe what you would like to hear about from me is the conservation of natural resources in Japan. My father was a forester. As a boy I would go to the forest and help to take care of it. In Japan we have a day which is set aside as a sort of Fire Day, on which special attention is paid to the protection of the forests from fire. We cut the grass around the forests and we have a man stationed round this line to burn the dry grass in season so that the fire will not reach the timber. Then again, we do not cut down our forests indiscriminately. Our Japanese Government has foresters all over the country looking after the interests of the forests. Before any private owner of his own forest can cut any of his timber he must apply for permission. I remember, when I was a boy, my father used to tell me that some man had applied for permission to cut down his trees and that he did not get permission for more than a year thereafter, and when that time came the price of lumber had come down so that he could not do any business. That is the situation in Japan. Now, of course, a private corporation would object to so much Government interference. From a private standpoint such an objection would be natural, but from the public standpoint, from the impartial standpoint, I think that the Government interference is very necessary and important, and if the Government did not interfere with private business in that manner I believe that Japan could not conserve her natural resources as she is doing today. There are so many things I could talk about in the way of the resources of the land. In Japan we have not enough area, enough land to go round for the farmers; we have