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wood, the balance being miscellaneous receipts from grazing, special use, and fire trespass.
The following table shows, by years, the acquired areas and the corresponding receipts from the acquired land.
The continued depression in the lumber industry, especially the hardwood industry, has been reflected in the sales of national-forest timber during the past fiscal year, and receipts have not returned to the high point reached in 1924. This is a temporary condition which is already changing to some extent and which will no doubt be evidenced by the close of the next fiscal year, and it is confidently expected that within a reasonable number of years the purchased forests will be self-supporting; i. e., cost of administration and receipts will balance.
While it is desirable from the financial standpoint to increase the receipts, especially since 25 per cent of the receipts is returned to the road and school fund of the States and an additional 10 per cent is spent on roads, nevertheless this is by no means the prime consideration. On the purchased lands there is estimated to be a stand of saw timber and other products of nearly 5,000,000,000 board feet. The chief object in selling timber is to improve the condition of the forest. To this end much time during the past and preceding years has been devoted to the preparation of cutting plans. Such plans outline how much timber may be cut, where sale areas may be located, which areas should be cut first, etc. In preparing these plans the needs of local industries dependent on the forests are always kept in mind, and it is the aim, as far as possible, consistent with the annual growth of a forest, to assure industries an annual supply of timber with a view to their permanent operation.
In the management of the forests there are many problems which require wise planning and good business judgment. The majority of the lands have been acquired in a cut-over condition or else have been culled of the choicest timber. It therefore becomes necessary to dispose of a large amount of comparatively low-grade old-growth timber in order to liberate the young timber replacement already established and permit its rapid development.
On White Mountain National Forest, in New Hampshire and Maine, for example, there is a stand of some 300,000,000 board feet of mature and overmature hardwoods, the permissible annual cut from which far exceeds the total requirements of existing wood-using plants tributary to the forest. A market must be developed for this material. In the southern Appalachian the situation is complicated by the presence of the chestnut-blight disease, which is rapidly eliminating chestnut from consideration as a timber-producing tree.
Large quantities of chestnut on the various national forests must be salvaged, if possible, before being completely killed, meanwhile providing for a future stand of the most valuable remaining species.
As a result of the policy followed, the condition of the purchased lands is continuously improving after cuttings designed to remove defective, mature, and overmature timber, thereby releasing thrifty young timber and by creating conditions favorable for restocking. As a result of preventing fires, the acquired lands are rapidly being stocked with seedlings, assuring not only a second crop of timber but a much more even run-off of water and reduced erosion.
Recreation on the eastern purchased national forests.-The extension of good roads built by Federal, State, and county funds through the eastern_national forests has actively stimulated their recreational uses. Each year virgin areas, hitherto inaccessible, are opened to automobile traffic and these roads are eagerly traversed by the vacationists from far and near. These tourists are thus brought into close contact with the national forests and the numerous activities which are conducted upon them. There are as a result of Government protection extensive areas of land which have not been burned for 10 years or more. The means of fire preparedness, such as telephone lines, fire observation towers and tool boxes may be seen from practically any road on the national forests. The methods of cutting under approved forestry principles may be seen, and the system of brush disposal designed to lessen the fire risk may be studied. The close observer will note the kind of trees which have been left for seed supply and will be able to contrast the improved close utilization of forest products with cuttings elsewhere. The eastern national forests will thus afford an object lesson to those who seek information as to the protection and management of woodlands. The use of national forest lands as sources from which domestic water supplies are drawn is a matter of some interest, and is, of course, a vital matter to the communities affected.
It is not necessary to open formally the national forests to recreational use. The public does not now look upon them as 'reservations" but as places where rest and recreation plus a feeling of ownership in the property may be enjoyed. In order to promote the use of the forests it has been necessary to further study the needs of the summer visitors from an aesthetic as well as a hygienic standpoint. During the summer of 1926 a competent landscape architect and a member of the Federal Public Health Service inspected the public camp grounds in the southern Appalachian forests and made many helpful suggestions in their reports. During the spring of 1927 an experienced recreation engineer made a detailed examination of the shady district of the Ouachita National Forest and submitted plans for the development of a number of camp grounds, resort sites, summer-home sites, and bathing pools. The complete execution of this plan will depend quite largely upon the amount of cooperation which can be had.
Of all the camp grounds, the Dolly Copp on the White Mountain is the most popular and fortunately there is ample area for the physical expansion of the facilities. The provision of adequate sanitary conveniences is a severe tax on our limited funds for the purpose. Beyond certain limits simple toilet facilities are impracticable, and the spring, a splendid source of water supply for nearby campers, is at
an inconvenient location for the more distant occupants of the grounds. As the use of this and other popular camp grounds increases it is imperative for the sake of health and safety to provide complete water and sewage systems.
The lack of commercialization of these camp grounds is an attractive feature to many visitors. They seek relief from the ordinary type of private camp and welcome a policy which is aimed to provide rest and recreation on the national forest devoid of the catchpenny devices encountered elsewhere.
The demand for summer-home sites on the national forests has not developed so rapidly as was expected. It is desired to place congenial groups in the same unit as far as possible, and this involves some delay in the program. It is believed that the term "permitees" will be a staunch advocate of fire prevention and will be a positive asset in the make-up of users of the forest. Summer-home sites are now available in one unit on the Cherokee, two in the Nantahala, two on the Pisgah, two on the Natural Bridge, one on the Shenandoah, and two on the Ouachita. Land may be leased for a period of 15 years or more if the character of the building to be erected seems to justify a longer term. It is natural that to the public mind the sort of recreation to be supplied varies with individuals. To some, intensive city park developments seem suitable and on the other hand there are those who seek solitude and would keep the improvements down to a minimum, and not destroy the last vestiges of primitive conditions. They would travel by trail, or in the Superior Forest in Minnesota by canoe. The Forest Service recognizes the so-called "wilderness idea" and is striving to retain primitive conditions and is refraining from building roads on certain areas where the economics of the situation make the adoption of such a policy tenable.
The Forest Service must in the administration of the forests have a well-balanced program to provide for the needs and so far as possible meet the ideals of those who seek the national forests for rest, recreation, and the development of sturdy qualities of citizenship.
Fish and game on the eastern purchased national forests.-There is a keen realization that the abundant wild-life resources of by-gone days can be replaced in the southern mountain regions only by persistent cooperative effort. Private fish and game clubs, some national in scope, the general State game departments, and the various Federal bureaus are stressing earnestly to restock the woodlands with game and the streams with fish. There is being driven home to the local population the facts that forest fires, indiscriminate hunting, and the use of dogs for running deer, means the decimation of game, that annual burning of the woods destroys the nests of wild turkey and other game birds and hastens erosion to the detriment of trout and other fish.
All this augurs for vastly improved conditions as to wild life in the forests. With self-restraint, obedience to the laws, the public may again enjoy an abundance of game as did the pioneers, and this despite the improved firearms and the ever-present automobile.
On the Pisgah National Game Refuge, the deer population has now reached approximately 3,200 and is equal if not in excess of the number for an equal area of the Kaibab National Forest in northern Arizona, where it is considered that an unmanageable surplus exists. The local situation is being carefully studied and
the surplus is being made available for the stocking of game refuges on other national forests in cooperation with the States. During the past season a dozen fawns were captured, reared, and sent to two national game refuges on the Ozark National Forest. The preceding year four fawns were reared and sent to the Cherokee National Game Refuge No. 2. This work should be stimulated. The surplus deer can serve no higher use than forming the nucleus of herds elsewhere. Wild turkey from the Wichita have been successfully transplanted to the Ozark.
The State game departments are becoming aggressive in dealing with game problems. On the White Mountain, two State game refuges have been established in cooperation with the Secretary of Agriculture during the past year. In Alabama, the absence of necessary State legislation still prevents the creation of State game refuges but the State game officials have purchased and liberated 107 deer on the Alabama National Forest. The State Game Department of North Carolina will create an extensive refuge on South Toe River. The game departments of Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina are seeking suitable sites for game refuges on the national forests.
In this connection, it is essential that the creation of game refuges be coordinated with the acquisition policy as it has been found that where a game refuge is successfully stocked that the adjoining privately owned lands are difficult to acquire.
Game and wild life generally will be an important by-product of our purchased forests and will do much to promote their popularity. Other uses of the eastern purchased national forests.-There is a widespread demand for legitimate uses of the purchased lands, besides timber production, recreation, hunting, and fishing. The grazing of livestock is a small but still an important use of lands to local residents. There are many small isolated areas of cultivated land which are acquired with the larger tracts. Often these agricultural units have houses fit for habitation and the lands are in demand for farming purposes. Since some of these fields will not restock to trees of valuable timber species until planted, it seems a wise policy to continue these areas in cultivation until they may be planted. A forest is not necessarily a large depopulated area and the presence of people on the forest is an advantage in work of controlling forest fires and as a source of nearby labor. As the timber resources of the forest become more important larger numbers of woods workers should be provided for on the forests.
A cycle of dry years has brought to many communities the realization that their water supplies were inadequate to meet the growing demands for domestic supplies. It has happened in two instances that rivalry has developed between communities for the same sources on the national forest and in each case appeal has been made to the Secretary of Agriculture for settlement of the controversy.
This competition for water from the national forests reflects the good opinion of the petitioners of the sources involved. The Forest Service now studiously avoids removing the lands involved in watershed agreements from the principal types of forest use. Timber sales of mature and decadent timber will be made as on other lands. It is a fallacy to consider that a virgin forest cover is essential to a pure and safe water supply, as the virgin forest will in the absence of fire become a jungle, subject to windfall, insect and fungus attack,
and exceedingly high fire risk. Moderate grazing may be permitted on city watersheds and such units form ideal game refuges. The use of such area for recreation except in a limited way and at points distant from the intake is not advisable.
From time to time applications are made for prospecting and mining purposes on the acquired lands. As yet no important mineral developments are being made on the acquired lands but a quantity of minerals exist on these lands. The economic conditions, however, do not favor development at present. Other forms of use are rights of way for railroads, highways, toll roads, telephone lines, sawmills, manufacturing plants, gravel pits, etc.
APPROPRIATIONS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT
The appropriation of $1,000,000 for the fiscal year 1927 brings the total amount which has been appropriated and made available for use to $17,335,860.76, the appropriations being as follows: Act of March 1, 1911, $11,000,000, of which $2,982,679.24 reverted to the Treasury on account of the fact that $1,000,000 was for the fiscal year 1910 and did not become available, while of the $2,000,000 appropriated for the fiscal year 1911 only $17,320.76 could be economically expended.
The Agricultural appropriation bill of June 11, 1916, made $3,000,000 available. The act of July 24, 1919, provided $600,000, and that of March 3, 1921, added $1,000,000 for the fiscal year 1922. The act of May 11, 1922, carried $450,000 for the fiscal year 1923. By the act of February 26, 1923, $450,000 became available for the fiscal year 1924, and an appropriation of $818,540 was made for the fiscal year 1925 and $1,000,000 for 1926. For the year 1927 an appropriation of $1,000,000 was made, while the appropriation for 1928 was for the same amount. The tables which follow show the financial situation at the close of the fiscal year 1927.
Expenses, National Forest Reservation Commission, 1927 Appropriation, "National Forest Reservation Commission,
Expenses for fiscal year ended June 30, 1927, stationery and printing--
Unexpended balance June 30, 1927.
Outstanding obligations June 30, 1927--
Balance to revert to Treasury..........
EXPENDITURES FOR PURCHASE OF LANDS
Appropriation, "Acquisition of lands for protection of watersheds of navigable streams, 1925"; balance obligated but unexpended at close of fiscal year 1926 (see report of National Forest Reservation Commission for fiscal year 1926, S. Doc. No. 171, 69th Cong., 2d sess.)
Repayments to credit of this appropriation during fiscal year 1927.
Total available during fiscal year 1927.
Expenditures during fiscal year 1927.
Unexpended balance to revert to Treasury-
$25, 000. 00
24, 632. 06
24, 632. 06
447, 175. 35 4,807. 54
451, 982. 89 451, 978. 79