National Geographic : 1908 Jul
SCENES AND NOTES FROM KOREA 499 other sections the woods have been entirely cut away. In these sections, it is claimed, Korea suffers front disastrous floods as terrible in their rav ages as those in China. Coal mines are being hunted for and opened as rapidly as pos sible, which will also help preserve the forests. i It is not generally known that Japanese forests have been managed longer than any of those in Europe. They were controlled before the birth of Christ, and during the early Christian centuries for est planting on watersheds to prevent floods was enforced by freauent edicts, and the felling of trees was supervised by officers of the provinces. As a result, Japan alone among the nations began mod ern industrial progress with its forests not only unimpaired but improved after centuries of use. About 59 per cent of its total area is in forests of which the state owns consider ably more than one half. China, on the contrary, has persistently destroyed her for- Most of the carrying in Korea is done by men. Often 300 istt esut tha f and 350 pounds are thus borne. Mr E. D. Follwell, who ests, with the result that its sent this photograph, writes: "I have seen men, and once a hills have been largely stripped woman, carrying two pigs at a time on the back as they clean of vegetation and the went to market." soil is almost completely at the mercy of the floods. In the lower in autumn to secure winter supplies. mountains of northeastern China, where Grazing animals, searching every ledge the stripping process has reached its ex- and crevice, crop the remaining grass treme phase, there is no trace of anything down to the very roots. worthy of the name of forest. In the In western China, where forest destruc graveyards and courts of the temples a tion is not yet complete, enough vegeta few aged cedars have been preserved by tion covers the mountains to retard the the force of public opinion, and poplars run-off of the rains and return sufficient and fruit trees planted about dwellings moisture to lower levels, where it can be are protected as private property by the reached by the roots of crops. peasant owners. Mr Sammons says that the Koreans In the province of Shantung, where have been greatly impressed by the deforestation is practically complete, fuel American electrical machines, and that and fodder for cattle are' literally they are adopting all kinds of modern scratched from the hillsides by boys who electrical appliances, such as fans and go out from villages with their iron rakes motors and electrical fixtures.