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No less striking than the increase in output has been the shifting of the sources of supply, as one region has been cut out and another invaded. The percentage of the total lumber cut furnished by the principal regions since 1850, according to census figures, is as follows:
TABLE 3.-Geographical distribution of total lumber product.
The Northeastern States reached their relative maximum in 1870 and the Lake States in 1890. The Southern States are undoubtedly near their maximum today, with about 35 per cent. of the total lumber product, and the time of ascendancy of the Pacific States is rapidly approaching. Since the census of 1900 the product of the Pacific States has risen from less than 10 per cent. of the lumber output of the country to 20 per cent. There will be no more shifting after the Pacific States take first place, since there is no new region of virgin timber to turn to.
The shifting of the chief sources of supply has, of course, been accompanied by a change in the kinds of lumber produced. There was a time when white pine alone constituted one-half of the total quantity. In 1900 this species furnished but 21.5 per cent., and in 1904 only 15 per cent. of the lumber cut. On the other hand, Douglas fir is credited with 5 per cent. in 1900 and 13 per cent. in 1905.
The great demand made upon the forests naturally leads to the question: How much timber is now standing in the United States and how long will it last at the present rate of cutting?
The general distribution and character of the original forests of the United States are shown by fig. 1. A glance at this discloses that five groups of States embrace the naturally timbered areas of the country—the Northeastern States, the Southern States, the Lake States, the Rocky Mountain States, and the Pacific States. Of these, the two groups last mentioned are occupied by forests in which practically all the timber-producing trees are coniferous, the first three by both conifers and hardwoods. The earliest attack was upon the white pine of the Northeast, the original stand of which is almost entirely cut out. The present stand in the Northeastern States is mainly spruce, second-growth white pine, hemlock and hardwoods.
The Southern States produce essentially four types of forest, which may broadly be said to divide the land among them according to elevation above sea level. The swamp forests of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and the bottom lands of the rivers furnish cypress and hardwoods. The remainder of the coastal plain from Virginia to Texas was originally covered with "southern" or "yellow" pine --the trade name under which the lumber of several pines is now marketed. The plateau which encircles the Appalachian range and the lower parts of the mountain region itself support a pure hardwood forest, while the higher ridges are occupied by conifersmainly spruce, white pine, and hemlock.
The Lake States still contain much hardwood forest in their southern portions. In the north the coniferous forest includes, besides the rapidly dwindling pine, considerable tamarack, cedar, and hemlock.
The chief timber trees of the Rocky Mountain forest are western yellow and lodgepole pine, while the Pacific forest is rich in the possession of half a dozen leading species-Douglas fir, western hemlock, sugar and western yellow pine, redwood, and cedar.
When an attempt is made to estimate the amount of timber of these various species and regions, the deficiency of our knowledge becomes plain. Various estimates of the stumpage have been made, it is true, but it must be said at the outset that no authoritative estimate can be made at the present time, since the magnitude of the task and the many difficulties involved have hitherto prevented the gathering of the necessary data. Nevertheless, certain general conclusions can be established. In the interest both of the lumber trade and of the public an exact knowledge of the situation which confronts the country is called for, since the lack of such knowledge creates uncertain business conditions and prevents the framing of a rational and comprehensive plan for the best use of our forest
The principal estimates of the stumpage of the United States which have been made since 1880 are given in Table 4. The first is that presented by Sargent in Volume IX of the Tenth Census. This estimate, in addition to being too low for almost every species considered, with the possible exception of the hardwoods, is notable
for its omission of the timber which exists today in greater quantity than any other-Douglas fir—and also for the omission of western yellow pine, another important species. The next estimate is that of Hotchkiss, published in his “Lumber and Forest History of the Northwest” in 1898. He does not go into details, but simply estimates that the total stumpage is 1,400 billion feet, of which the Northern States have 100 billion, the Southern States 300 billion. and the Pacific States 1,000 billion feet. Next are the estimates prepared by Gannett and published by the Twelfth Census in Bulletin 203. These are the most carefully prepared estimates yet made and have been widely quoted. In addition to bringing the figures for several species up more nearly to the probable stand, these estimates also cover Douglas fir, western yellow pine, and sugar pine, which were omitted in the census of 1880. The next estimate is the one made by Fernow in 1902 and published in his "Economics of Forestry." Like that of Hotchkiss, this is also a regional estimate, the stumpage of the Northern States being placed at 500 billion feet, that of the Southern States at 700 billion, and that of the Western States at 800 billion, a total of 2,000 billion feet and the highest of any given in the table. It may be noted in passing that in a previous estimate published in 1896, in Circular No. 11 of the Division of Forestry, Fernow placed the total stumpage of the country at 2,300 billion feet, which, upon further consideration,
TABLE 4.-Estimate of stumpage of the United States.
he evidently considered too high. At the thirteenth annual meeting of the Southern Lumber Manufacturers' Association, in New Orleans, January, 1903, R. A. Long read a paper upon “Stumpage,” in which the figures given in the fifth column of Table 4 were presented. Long's estimate does not cover cypress, sugar pine, or hardwoods. Its principal point of interest is that it differs so radically-about 38 per cent.-from that of the census of 1900 upon the stumpage of southern yellow pine. The last estimate given in the table is that published in the American Lumberman September 23, 1905. It is based primarily upon census data, with the addition of some species and with increased figures for others.
The totals given by the American Lumberman and Fernow are nearly identical; those of Hotchkiss and the census of 1900 differ by 10 million only, and the totals of Long and the census of 1880 would be close together were the omissions in each supplied. It should be remembered, however, in comparing the estimates of 1880 with recent ones that the total cut since 1880 has been over 700 billion feet, of which at least 500 billion feet have been conifers, or 80 billion feet more than the total coniferous stumpage covered by the census of 1880.
The Pacific Lumber Trade Journal, in the issue of January, 1907, gave the following estimate of the stumpage of the Pacific coast, including Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia:
TABLE 5.--Estimated stumpage of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Mon
tana and British Columbia,