National Geographic : 1912 Jul
FOREST OFFICERS EQUIPPING THEMSELVES TO GO TO FOREST FIRE: COLORADO An important part of the equipment of the forest consists of the tool-boxes, located at strategic points Northwest several fire protective associa tions have been formed, through which the lands of the members are handled under a single protective organization. Their example has been followed by lumbermen in certain parts of the Lake States and in northern New England. Very little progress has, however, been made among the owners of large tracts in the South. Those States which have initiated a policy of State forests are protecting their public property from fire. These and other States have gone further and -are undertaking to aid the private owners in fire prevention. The individual owner is always at a disadvantage if his neigh bor is careless. A great many States have excellent laws for the punishment of carelessness in the use of fire, but only about 14 States have developed a system of protection based on the principle of patrolling the forests to prevent fires, just as is done on the national forests. Under the sys tem of State patrol the State does not bear the whole burden, but directs the work and contributes such an amount as will insure effective organization. The States which have inaugurated such a system are New York, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachu setts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Mary land, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Washington, and Oregon. Others will soon follow. Pennsylvania has a pro gressive policy of State forestry, but has not yet introduced a system of patrol on private lands under State direction. These various States have not yet per fected their organizations, nor have they covered the whole forest areas within their boundaries. They have inaugurated the right policy and need now only money enough to put it into full prac tice. The government extends a certain amount of direct aid to the States in protecting the forests on the watersheds of navigable streams. The Weeks law, passed in March, 1911, provided $200,000 for this purpose. The law requires, how ever, that no State shall receive more than it appropriates from its own treas ury for fire protection. In 1911 ten States received aid from the government under the Weeks law. In 1912 probably 12 will receive such aid.