National Geographic : 1902 Sep
AMERICAN FORES timber-stealing as a crime. The reason was that the government's ownership of its forest lands was not based on labor and care expended on them, but merely appeared to withhold from the citizens that which nature had freely given to all. The remedy was to bring the pub lic forests under forestal management. When the money of the tax-payers was expended on their protection and im provement public sentiment would no TRY ASSOCIATION 357 longer countenance timber - stealing. Forestal management implied a force of men on the land to protect it. Among the practical measures advocated were a proper demarcation of the boundaries of forest reserves, their consolidation by acquiring title to private holdings within their limits, and the rapid disposal of all state lands to actual settlers, except those to be held permanently as forest reserves. THE FIRE PROBLEM, AND HOW TO SOLVE IT BY H B. AYRES, U. S. BUREAU OF FORESTRY At the outset Mr Ayres insisted that fire protection in Michigan depends upon Michigan people. The variety of forest conditions in the state, as influ enced by the Great Lakes on the one side and the Great Plains on the other, was noticed, and the constant danger of dis astrous fires pointed out, together with its unfavorable effect on timber-land values. Methods of providing against fires were discussed, and the experience of Minnesota, under conditions some- what similar to those in Michigan, was outlined. An awakened public senti ment, with a constant pressure for the enforcement of legally established meas ures of defense, is necessary. Mr Ayres summed up the duty of the community at large in a few words: "Let local societies be formed in every community, and let the subject be kept alive, studied, discussed, agitated. Get the people to act earnestly, systematically, persist ently, and the fires will be stopped." MINNESOTA'S SYSTEM OF PREVENTING FOREST FIRES BY GEN. C. C. ANDREWS, CHIEF FOREST FIRE WARDEN OF MINNESOTA General Andrews, who is now serv ing his eighth year as Chief Forest Fire Warden of Minnesota, described the system in force in that state against forest fires, which is mainly one of pre vention. Town supervisors are made fire wardens, who can summon males upward of eighteen years of age to help extinguish fires. A central officer en forces the law. County commissioners award the pay for local service, the state contributing one-third. Some counties are backward in paying, and uncertainty of pay is the weakness of the system. It would be more effective were the state to pay two-thirds and counties one-third. In General An drews' opinion a great forest fire can not be extinguished by human power, but can be prevented. The Minnesota system has helped to educate the public to better care of the forests.