« AnteriorContinuar »
commercially in one deposit, that of the Avery salt works, since 1862. This deposit is one of pure salt rock and at the present time nearly a thousand tons a day are being produced. This is only one of the several similar mines in Louisiana and I have no doubt that there are many very valuable deposits of salt yet undiscovered and undeveloped
REPORT FROM MASSACHUSETTS.
By ProF, FRANK WILLIAM Rane,
Complying with the request of the officials of this association in reporting herewith for the state of Masachusetts, I wish to say at the outset that I feel certainly incompetent to undertake the task and to point out the numerous activities that the good old Bay State is fostering. Being a Massachusetts citizen by adoption only, I feel privileged to express myself more frankly as otherwise my report might seem prejudiced.
We have in Massachusetts, in the first place, a conservation of the old time ancestry which is not only renowned for its brilliant deeds in the Nation's early history, but is still firm and abiding even after these many years. What state has a fairer reputation in its dissemination of its natural resources and still lives to enter more heartily into the conservation and restoration of those remaining.
The historic setting and general environment of Massachusetts in the early days of the Nation are natural resources that constitute an ever-bubbling fountain. Yearly the pilgrimage to the old Bay State of thousands upon thousands from throughout the Nation to visit Boston, Concord, Lexington, Arlington, Cambridge, Salem, Plymouth and a score of other cities and towns goes to show what the conservation oi high ideals and true patriotism mean.
The state has always been liberal, progressive and a natural leader in all that stands for education, advancement and enlightenment,
Many wonder at the splendid showing that Massachusetts always makes and seem confounded at her successful progress. The explanation is that as a state we do not confine our interests to state bounds, but our people are equally interested in promoting and developing copper and other mines or sheep ranches and other industries in the South or West, as much as they are at home. Succeeding elsewhere means also better opportunities for home development. In this way mutual associations and enteprises of a stalwart and permanent nature are established.
The old biblical saying that it is more blessed to give than receive is literally true of the old Bay State. While she has been generous in the Nation's life, yet there are few states that for their size have greater natural advantages and hold out better prospects for success in the future.
Contrary to the minds of many, Massachusetts has advantages that are hard to surpass. I wonder how many have read the article entitled “Golden New England," by Sylvester Baxter, which appeared in the Outlook in 1910. If not, you may be interested in doing so. The author therein portrays various rural industries and very entertainingly points out their success. One of our enterprising business houses, N. W. Harris & Co., bankers, Boston, very kindly has sent out excerpts to those desiring the same.
Massachusetts is a state with many manufacturing centers and, therefore, a great consumer of all kinds of resources, particularly in the raw material. This material is put through our factories and goes out as the manufactured article.
Our high standard of education in literature, science and art has evolved men of usefulness. In the modern or applied sciences we point with pride to our technical, agricultural and trade schools which are already accomplishing results toward conServation, restoration and economic utilization of natural resources.
Massachusetts people began to see the handwriting on the wall many years ago and even before this Congress was born they were agitating and accomplishing actual results. Our cities and towns are already well forearmed with generous water supplies. The great metropolitan water system of Boston and its suburbs, already a reality, is one of the greatest engineering feats yet accomplished in its line. Our metropolitan and municipal park systems are a credit to our people. The state highway system of Massachusetts needs no introduction to an intelligent audience like this, as its reputation has attracted road engineers from all over the world and
many states have come to the Massachusetts highway commission and induced our men away. Dr. Field of the fish and game commission is here at the convention; hence, he will inform you of this field of our activity. Simply let me say that our marine natural resources are far greater than most people realize. Massachusetts has a large and important coastal boundary and were I able to tell you of the great possible future we have in mind even for the old historic Cape Cod country, I know it would interest you. While the great fishing industries of Old Gloucester, Nantucket and New Bedford are not as thriving as in earlier times, nevertheless with the guidance of modern science to water farming, we have great promise of the restoration of these industries that will go far toward feeding the Nation in the future.
Speaking of fishing and game, forestry, natural history and Appalachian clubs, I am frank to say that I believe there are no people on earth who are more in love with Nature herself, heart and soul, than our Massachusetts people. We have organizations galore and they are not only organized but bubbling full of real activity and accomplishing things. Were you the state forester of Massachusetts, I can guarantee that you could spend your whole time simply lecturing on conservation or forestry, as the demands are so great and the work so popular.
In the development of a new nation it invariably follows that conditions are constantly changing, and as intercourse with other nations through trade and business relations progresses, the evils and blessings are shared. While we are greatly indebted to the various countries of the world for many an introduction, nevertheless now and then we unfortunately get an insect or fungus development that proves extremely disastrous.
It would not be fair to Massachusetts in reporting on her conservation policies did I not mention the great fight that the state has waged for years against the gypsy and brown-tail moths. These two insects are indigenous to Europe and while they have their natural enemies and are under subjection there, upon reaching this country they find an open field and with no enemies become a veritable pest.
Both species are destroyers of trees. The brown-tail moth devours the leaves of the deciduous, or hardwood trees only, while the gypsy is no respector of vegetation and will defoliate evergreens as well, if food is scarce, although it, too, preiers the deciduous. The brown-tail moths besides being tree destroyers, give off hairs from the larvae and moth, which, when brought in contact with the skin of human beings produce a rash that is extremely irritating. Of the two insects the gypsy moth is generally considered the worse. The fact that when the white pine, or our evergreens, are once stripped they die outright; and that the pine in particular is one of our most valuable species, both from the economic and aesthetic standpoint, make their protection from the gypsy moth important.
I will not take time to give you the life histories of these insects, for should anyone be interested this information can be had by applying to the State Forester, Boston, Mass. We have illustrated matter in natural colors showing these insects.
Practically all of our trees in the residential sections of the cities and towns, in the eastern part of the state, are sprayed annually. Our main travelled roadsides are sprayed each year. Individuals, municipalities and the state all co-operate in this work. The annual appropriation of the state is $315,000 a year. The total expenditure from all sources, within the state, up to the present time in this work is estimated at $6,000,000. Besides this the United States Government has spent in Massachusetts probably $700,000. We have had as high as 2,700 men at work at one time in the busiest season of the year. The renewed North Shore, our fashionable summer resort, spends practically $100,000 a year to protect the trees in this section alone.
The state forester's spraying apparatus is composed of an aggregation of 300 spraying outfits. We use in a single season over 400 tons of arsenate of lead, the state's contract alone being for 250 tons a year.
During the past two years the state forester's department has made great improvements in power spraying equipment, the cost of spraying woodlands having been reduced from $30.00, or more, per acre, down to as low as $6.00 in some instances. Instead of its being necessary to climb trees as heretofore, the modern power sprayer enables us to spray directly over the tops of tall trees from the ground. The whole spraying problem has been revolutionized. It is certainly to be hoped that these insects may not secure a foothold elsewhere. Surely Massachusetts is doing her part, and I cannot urge too strongly the necessity of other states and the Nation realizing the importance of this work. We have introduced parasites from all over the world, and they are showing great promise. The work with disease also seems very effective, and I feel optimistic. It is clear that the practice of modern forestry methods, and the employment of highly developed mechanical devices, are doing much, and we trust ere long the parasites and diseases will bring about the desired balance.
Massachusetts is enthusiastically interested in forestry and the state forester this past season was given an appropriation of $10,000 for forest fire work. We have appointed a state forest fire warden, who is organizing and perfecting a workable system. He is also establishing lookout stations, and patrol systems in different sections of the state.
Our forest management, reforestation and general forestry, educational and demonstration work are all 'well established and progressing. We have 3,000,000 trees in the state nursery for use another season. The state is planting 1,000 acres each year, and our lumbermen and people generally are showing interest, and doing more each season. Our appropriation, including that for forest fires this past year, was $40,000.
In Massachusetts the work of restoration is even of more importance than conservation when applied to forestry. The annual cut of our forest products at present amounts to only five per cent of that used each year throughout the commonwealth for manufacturing. building and other purposes. Surely we can and ought to supply a larger amount of our own home grown woods. Although the state has been well cut over, even now our wood harvests play an important factor in the industries of many of our rural sections. While we believe thoroughly in conservation where it will apply, still the more potent force begins farther back. We need to teach the A B C of restoration in forestry. When our work of reforestation shall have begun to demonstrate its value, it will be an object lesson, which will mean much toward perfecting a better state forest policy.
Practical forest restoration, therefore, is what Massachusetts needs most. If we will reconvert our hilly, rocky, mountainous, moist sandy and waste non-agricultural lands generally into productive forests the future financial success from rural sections of the commonwealth is assured. This is no idle dream; it can be accomplished. Massachusetts is a natural forest country and all that is needed is simply to assist nature, stop forest fires and formulate constructive policies. Then we can grow as fine forests as can be found anywhere. Germany and many of the countries of the old world have already demonstrated what can be done. Are we to be less thrifty and far-sighted? Americans do things, when they are once aroused, and it is believed that reforestation and the adopting of modern forestry management must be given its due consideration in this state from now on.
I have been delighted to follow the interest that has been aroused and the great tendency for all our people to not only welcome and appreciate the new idea of "conservation,” but to even credit the term or phrase, as covering every phase of new endeavor.
It is not my purpose to lessen the glory one whit or bedim a single gem in the crown of the national phrase, “Conservation of Natural Resources," nor could I were it to be tried, for the heralded motto has already stamped itself firmly upon the Nation.
As time goes on, however, it will be found that our popular phrase will not carry with it the whole panacea for overcoming our wasteful and depleting conditions, and that new and equally applicable terms, though perhaps never so popular, will come to express more aptly our real needs.
To my mind the phrase, “Restoration of Natural Resources," vies with that of "Conservation of Natural Resources," and expresses a force to be aroused in the Nation for good that in many ways surpasses the present popular one.
We have our forest reserves and minerals, what are left, and now to conserve them economically is a worthy undertaking, but in the older sections of the Nation to conserve what we have in depleted and worn out lands and forests is to pick the bones of the withered and shrunken carcass.
Let conservation apply where it may, but the force that is needed in Maconchusetts and all of New England, yea the South, extending even well into the middle of the Nation, following the great depleting agricultural cereal and cotton crops on the one hand, and the lumberman's axe and forest fires on the other, is greater than this term can begin to express.
The term, "Restoration of Natural Resources," I claim, meets our present needs far better and breathes greater hope and definite accomplishments
for our children's children in the future.
REPORT FROM MINNESOTA.
By D. M. Neill.
To undertake to tell you of the resources of the state of Minnesota would be to recapitulate nearly the resources of all the states of the union. But I don't understand that is what we are here for. When the governor of Minnesota asked me to come down here, I asked him what I was to say to the people who might be here at this time. He said, “You have been on the state conservation commission for two years, and you ought to know what to say," and in addition to that he said, "Go down and tell them what we are trying to do in Minnesota.” That is what I will try to tell you about. In the first place, the men who settled Minnesota looked far into the future. The state had an immense amount of what was called swamp lands donated by the government for educational purposes. These men of the early days, looking to the future, passed a law whereby these lands could not be disposed of except at a minimum price of what then seemed to be a ridiculous sum entirely beyond what these lands would probably then be worth. But these lands are found to be among the most valuable assets of the state of Minnesota, and have sold at double, triple, ten times, and some of them for more than a thousand times the minimum price. So that today the state of Minnesota is next to the state of Texas, has the largest school fund in the United States—something over $25,000,000-and with the resources on hand belonging to the fund, it probably, in the course of time, will amount to over $250,000,000. That looks like conservation of our school resources.
In our farm work, our agricultural college has been doing of late years a splendid work thoroughout the state. In connection with the commercial clubs it has established a considerable number of experimental farms in different localities, to give somewhat of a practical education to the farmers already tilling the soil. The leaders in this movement have felt that the ordinary processes of sending the children to school, giving them an agricultural education, trying to get them back to the farm again-to spread that education was too slow. It seemed necessary to do something with the parents that they may see the necessity for the children having an agricultural education, and for that reason the state agricultural college has been conducting this set of experiments through the experimental farm. The results are already beginning to show.
The state of Minnesota has succeeded in the last few years in raising the number of bushels of wheat alone 312 bushels to the acre. That is some of the practical conservation of the soil. Minnesota used to have the reputation of having the worst roads in the United States, and I think she fully lived up to her reputation. That condition is very rapidly being changed. The state wide campaign for good roads is being constantly conducted by the good roads commission. The last legislature, in fact the legislature of four years ago, took the matter in hand and levied a small tax for the betterment of the state roads. These roads were required to be built under the supervision of state engineers. If the roads were so built the state contributed one-third of their cost up to a certain maximum amount which to any one county did not exceed $2,000. That was the starting of the state movement. The last legislature provided for a tax that will raise something like $2,000,000 to be divided among the eighty counties of the state to aid in the work of good roads. A project is now on foot to build a state highway from the southern boundary to the northern boundary, and one across the state from the city of Duluth to the city of East Grand Forks. These to be great state highways, and all other highways radiating out from them. These experimental roads are built on scientific lines furnished by the state, and are conditioned according to the quality of the soil through which the road runs. The effort is first to get a system of good dirt roads. The state is not yet developed sufficiently to warrant us going in to macadamized roads at this time, except in the large cities.
In the matter of our mineral wealth the state long ago provided that the people at large shall receive the benefit of it. No state land is now sold except where the mineral rights are retained and the mines already opened and in operation pay very large taxes toward the maintenance of the state government, thus contributing to the welfare of the whole people. These are some of the things that the state of Minnesota is trying to do and is doing. I do not feel that I can take the time to go into detail of many other things that we are just starting, the prevention of disease-already one or two tuberculosis institutions have been started in the pine woods of Minnesota-and a general campaign against the great white plague is constantly in progress. My time is up. I thank you. (Applause)
REPORT FOR NEBRASKA.
BY GEORGE COUPLAND.
I have been very strongly reminded today in these remarks that I have heard made that the state that I represent is purely an agricultural state. That is about all the industries that we have. I thought perhaps of one manufacturing interest that we were trying to develop, that of furnishing presidential timber, but we had to give that up, and the factory is in the hands of the repairers today. (Applause.) I think that perhaps there is no more important factor in the development of a sentiment that means what it says, than such a gathering as this. I notice in the paper that I just picked up it is, "Back to the Land"--yes, I am glad that that is the storyfor it is out of the land that this country has to maintain its position as a nation.
The state that I represent, I am glad to say, recognizes the importance of perhaps its only industry, and how much its future was tied up in its development. It has had in motion for quite a number of years agencies that are looking forward to the betterment of life upon the land and the development of the natural resources, the only natural resources perhaps that we have. And I am glad to say that this movement had its inception in the hearts and minds of the men who lived upon the land in Nebraska. I am also glad to say that the men who lived in the cities, the business men, have responded in splendid manner to this idea. My mind runs back to that fine pioneer of my state, J. Sterling Morton, and the idea that he had in mind, and I want, Mr. President, to impress the thought that you so beautifully expressed today, that it is not the giving of more expert ability to exploit the soil, but it is the building up within the heart of the man and the boy and the woman and the girl who live upon the land a love for the place where they live; to love the tree that father planted; to love the home that father built, to love the farm that father homesteaded. That is what we want to cultivate. If along with these other agencies that we have in motion, we will see to it that this is emphasized in our educational system, then we will have a better conception of what real country life means. I like to think of my ancestral home, the generations that were born and died on the land. I was born on the land and I hope to die on the land. My children were born there, and I hope that they will have the same sentiment, and be willing and glad to die upon the land. Our state has in motion today-I will hurriedly tell you—I do not want to take any more of your time than necessary-I will tell you the agencies that we have at work. We have a farmers' congress; we have a conservation congress; we have a rural life commission that was authorized by our last legislature, which I consider one of the most potent agencies for the betterment of rural conditions in the state of Nebraska; an affiliated agricultural society which takes in all the agricultural organizations. Every year our state university is their host, and nearly every year we have two thousand representative farmers of Nebraska gathered in our capital city to discuss questions pertaining to agriculture. Then we also have a conservation soil survey which is doing splendid work.
There is one feature to which I want to draw your attention, that I think is very important, and that is the question of sanitation upon the farm, sanitation in the small town. And this has been taken up by our conservation congress. We have different divisions of this congress, and we have splendid men at the head of these divisions, who during the year take pains with the particular work that has been assigned them, and then each year we meet and hear their reports. We have a lot of splendid things that are going forward in our state, and I am sure what we have heard today is inspirational, and that we will go home vowed to do better things. I do not want to boast, but I just thought as I listened to what every man who has spoken for his state had to say, I must tell you this story.
I live on a little farm in eastern Nebraska, which is typical of a large area of our state. If I had to go to the commercial fertilizer man and buy the fertilizing matter, the lime, the phosphorus, the potash, and nitrogen that are wrapped up in the first four feet of the soil that I till it would cost me $7.000 per acre. If I had to buy the same kind of fertilizing matter that is wrapped up in the first ten feet of the soil that I till, and which my alfalfa fields, when they are planted, supplied, it would cost me $28.000 per acre. I feel that we own pretty good land in Nebraska, and for that reason we are anxious to take good care of it. (Applause.)