OUR
NATIONAL FORESTS

A SHORT POPULAR ACCOUNT OF THE
WORK OF THE UNITED STATES FOREST
SERVICE ON THE NATIONAL FORESTS

BY
RICHARD H. DOUAI BOERKER, M.S.F., Ph.D.
Arboriculturist, Department of Parks, City of New York.

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PREFACE

Forestry is a vast subject. It has to do with farm and forest, soil and climate, man and beast. It affects hill and valley, mountain and plain. It influences the life of cities, states, and nations. It deals not only with the manifold problems of growing timber and forest by-products, such as forage, naval stores, tanbark, and maple sugar, but it is intimately related to the navigability of rivers and harbors, the flow of streams, the erosion of hillsides, the destruction of fertile farm lands, the devastation wrought by floods, the game and birds of the forest, the public health, and national prosperity.

The practice of forestry has, therefore, become an important part in the household economy of civilized nations. Every nation has learned, through the misuse of its forest resources, that forest destruction is followed by timber famines, floods, and erosion. Mills and factories depending upon a regular stream flow must close down, or use[viii] other means for securing their power, which usually are more expensive. Floods, besides doing enormous damage, cover fertile bottom-lands with gravel, bowlders, and débris, which ruins these lands beyond redemption. The birds, fish, and game, which dwell in the forests, disappear with them. Springs dry up and a luxurious, well-watered country becomes a veritable desert. In short, the disappearance of the forests means the disappearance of everything in civilization that is worth while.....................................

 

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