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THE FOREST SITUATION
REPORT TO THE LEGISLATURE
California Forestry Study Committee
Created by Senate Resolution No. 151
Statutes of 1945
SENATOR GEORGE M. BIGGAR, Chairman, Covelo
SENATOR OLIVER J. CARTER, Redding
SENATOR H. E. DILLINGER, Placerville
SENATOR ED FLETCHER, San Diego
SENATOR FRANK L. GORDON, Suisun
VOLUME II, 1947
GEORGE A. CRAIG, Investigator, Oakland, California
MRS. MAIIGUERITE BRIDGES, Secretary, State Capitol, Sacramento, California
California Forestry Study Committee
Sacramento, California, December 19, 1946
To Governor Earl Warren, and
Members of the California Senate
The California Forestry Study Committee authorized by Senate
Resolution No. 151, Statutes of 1945, has completed its duties and tenders this report of
its findings with recommendations.
The committee conducted field trips and held open hearings in its
pursuit of factual data pertaining to forestry and fire use and control.
A letter was addressed to each state in the Union requesting
information on how it was meeting problems on controlling fire and forest restoration and
preservation. Responses from the other states were generous and very informative.
Acknowledgment is made of the valuable assistance given the committee
by the State Division of Forestry, the United States Forestry Service, the School of
Forestry at the University of California and many kindly individuals who gave a helping
hand whenever asked.
The recommendations made in the report are borne out by supporting
evidence secured by the committee.
There remain many unanswered questions on forestry and the use and
control of fire, and it is to be hoped further study will be made through new legislative
GEORGE M. BIGGAR, Chairman
INTRODUCTION: THE FOREST PROBLEMS OF CALIFORNIA
THE FOREST PRACTICES PROBLEM
Lumber Demand, Production, Foreign Trade and Inventories
Regions and Equipment
The Personal Influence
The State Law
Merchantable Timber Wasted
The Values Involved
The Need for Advisory Personnel
Farm Forestry in Other States
Forest Planting in California
Source of Planting Stock
Reforestation in Other States
State Board of Forestry's Recommendations
The Area Requiring Attention
The Need for Land Classification
THE FOREST SURVEY
The Preliminary Survey
California and the Nation-Wide Forest Survey
WHITE PINE BLISTER RUST CONTROL
Amount of Control Work Accomplished
New Developments in Control
The Cost of Control
THE FOREST INSECT PROBLEM
The 1945 Insect Control Act
New Developments in Control Methods
Control Work by Private Industry
THE FIRE PROBLEM
Causes of Fires
The Cost of Fire Control
Full Year Employment of Key Men
Advisability of Land Clearing
The Use of Fire
Long Term Research
FEDERAL FOREST ACTIVITIES
Attempts at Expansion
Regulation on Private Lands
STATE FOREST ACQUISITION
Present State Forests
Areas Under Consideration
Additional Properties in the Future
State Forests, A Good Investment
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE
THE FOREST PROBLEMS OF CALIFORNIA
California has a variety of forest problems owing to its
large size, numerous vegetative cover types, widely different climatic conditions,
conflicting land uses and an ever-increasing demand for forest products, watershed
protection, erosion control and recreation facilities.
In 1945, the Legislature enacted some progressive forestry legislation.
Since that time much has been done under these laws. The terms of the members of the State
Board of Forestry have been arranged to permit a continuity of forest policy. The lumber
industry was empowered to prepare self-regulatory forest practice rules which would become
law when approved by the State Board of Forestry. A major bark beetle epidemic has been
effectively and efficiently suppressed, and five smaller outbreaks have been placed under
control. The Mountain Home Tract and the Latour Fourest have been acquired by the State as
state forests and, as this report is being written, negotiations are about concluded for
the purchase of the Caspar Lumber Company holdings in the redwood area. Specialists were
employed to study and report on the brushland clearing problem in tile State, and
technicians from the State Division of Forestry have been assigned to assist ranchers in
an advisory capacity.
There remain several facets to the forestry problem that require
attention. Most of them were mentioned in the committee's first report and have had some
work in the past. One of these is the FOREST PRACTICES PROBLEM, which is effected by
economic factors among other influences. Increased demands for forest products have
magnified the need for technical advice for small forestland owners to insure better FARM
FORESTRY. A shortage of planting stock is one of the difficulties in REFORESTATION. The
need for LAND CLASSIFICATION, for information purposes, has arisen from the greater
demands placed on the lands of California by an increased population and the ever-present
question of best land use. The demands for an inventory of the forestland timber and
forage resources of California will be satisfied by the FOREST SURVEY. A new, vigorous
attack on the WHITE PINE BLTSTER RUST, by the Federal Government, will require the
increased financial cooperation of the State. FOREST INSECTS continue to be important as
hundreds of millions of board feet of merchantable timber are killed annually in
California by these pests. An increased population, more highway travel and greater forest
use have combined with California's extremely dry summers to present the always important
FIRE PROBLEM. BRUSHLAND CLEARING is a complex problem, both social and economic. FEDERAL
FOREST ACTIVITY has been in tile direction of expansion. STATE FOREST ACQUISITION, in
accord with the policy established by the 1945 Legislature, is progressing slowly because
of the necessity for making detailed studies of suitable areas.
THE FOREST PRACTICES PROBLEM
Forest cutting practices vary with economic conditions, the region in which
the cutting takes place, destruction of timber by fire, insects and diseases, the
equipment used for logging and milling, the philosophy of the operator and regulations
imposed by law. The committee's first report gave much space to these. This section will
be devoted to bringing that discussion up to date.
LUMBER DEMAND, PRODUCTION, FOREIGN TRADE, AND
Forest owners and operators will be interested only in good
forestry practices if they believe the various economic factors affecting future returns
State demand for forest products is closely related to national demand,
however California uses more forest products than any other State in the Union. The
American Forestry Association estimates the annual postwar needs of the United
States are 35 to 40 billion feet of lumber, 12 to 15 billion feet of other sawtimber
products and possibly as much as 20 million cords of pulpwood.1 Another
estimate, by the United States Senate Special Committee to Study Problems of American
Small Business, shows hoiv the sawmill products will be used.2
Non-farm building other than residential
Public works and utilities
Other construction, including mining
Boxes and shipping containers
The U. S. Forest Service, Division of Forest Economics makes the
"In the period subsequent to 1946, during which a large expansion
of construction activity is anticipated, lumber requirements are expected to rise rapidly
to a maximum of about 40 billion feet annually, and be maintained at or near this rate for
several years. Moreover, requirements probably will continue at about this level even
beyond the first postwar decade unless there are significant decreases in employment
and national income. Should these events occur, construction activity will decline to a
rate of possibly 25 billion feet annually." 3 A fourth study indicates the
domestic demand for lumber will increase to 39.2 billion board feet per year in 1952 and
1953 and will then drop off to 14.6 billion feet in 1962 and 1963. 4
The Nation's lumber production from 1935 to 1939 averaged about
26 billion feet a year. It increased to 36.5 billion feet in 1941 and 1942. During the
four years the United States participated in the war a total of 131,125,987,000 board feet
of lumber were produced, an average of 32.8 billion feet a year. California produced
9,412,345,000 board feet during the same period for an average of 2.35 billion feet. The
United States census lumber production figures for the war years follows:
Owing to the reluctance of many operators to disclose their output, committee was
unable to get actual figures on the current production
The 1945 figures are preliminary and subject to adjustment. It was
estimated in July by the Civilian Production Administration that the total lumber
production for 1946 would be 32,000,000,000 board feet. This is 5,000,000,000 feet below
the 1946 requirements of the veteran's housing program. The Forest Service predicts the
annual production of lumber during the first 10 years after the war will not exceed
33,000,000,000 board feet. 3
Other forces that influenced the amount of lumber produced for
the wartime and early postwar sellers' market include:
1. Shortages of help, especially experienced labor. The higher paying
war industries and the armed services both drew heavily on the lumber industry's supply of
manpower. In 1945 it was estimated that labor shortages represented about one-half the
total lumber production problem.3 The California Department of Industrial
Relations estimated there were 26,400 employed in the lumber and timber industry in
California in August 1946. 5
2. Shortage of operating equipment, supplies and spare parts.
This condition still exists but should not be serious now that the war is over unless
there are new strikes in the truck and heavy equipment industries.
3. Shortages of easily accessible timber. "The greater distances
that operators had to go for stumpage, and the smaller size of timber in many cases, were
basic contributing factors to equipment breakdowns, difficulties in getting enough men and
keeping them on the job, and lack of logs in periods of bad weather." 3
The following is the estimated volumes of available timber by
species and ownership in California: 6
Available Old Growth Stands (billion board feet)
Available Young Growth and Young Growth-Old Growth Stands (billion
4. Cost-price relationships and the "black market. " The
United States Forest Service reported in the spring of 1946: "Increased costs of
lumber production during the past five years have been offset by increased ceiling prices
to the extent that, until recently, production has not been affected adversely and
compliance with price regulations has been generally satisfactory
"An indirect factor influencing production is the reportedly
increased volume of lumber being sold in violation of OPA price ceilings. This
practice is supposedly widespread throughout the East and has been reported less
frequently from the West. Many operators have stated their inability to compete with
'black market' producers for labor and stumpage, with the result that these legitimate
producers have little incentive to increase production." 3
5. Weather. The winter of 1945-46 was particularly severe in some
parts of the country and slowed production. This was not the case in California, which had
an early spring.
Another factor, effecting the lumber supply and thereby the amount of
domestic demand, is foreign trade. Listed below are the statistics covering the exports
and imports of lumber from and into the United States for the years 1923 to 1945 in
million board feet: 7
*The 1945 figures are preliminary and subject to adjustment.
Because of the demands of foreign reconstruction, exports will show an
increase.4 The removal, in October, 1946, of duty from lumber imported
into this country was expected to bring in about a billion feet in 1946 from Canada.8
In 1945, 90 percent of our imports were from Canada.3
"Lumber inventories at sawmills, concentration yards, and
wholesale and retail establishments totaled about 17 billion board feet in 1940-41. About
57 percent of this total was held at mills and concentration yards, and the balance in the
hands of distributors." At the end of 1945 there was only 4.6 billion board feet in
all inventories. This amount is materially less than the stock required for efficient
distribution and the condition is more serious because of an unbalanced distribution as to
lumber items, sizes, and grades.3 The Civilian Production Administration
estimated an increase of only 361 million board feet in the amount of lumber in the mill
and concentration yards of the Nation on July 30, 1946, as compared to December 31, 1945.
The lumber stocks in mill and concentration yards in California were estimated to be
403,920,000 board feet on June 30, 1946.9
With short inventories, foreign demands, and limited production
it is expected it will be several years before the domestic demand for forest products
drops to the same level as the industry's capacity to produce. Such a condition will
encourage the cutting of immature timber which produces a low quality product at higher
cost per thousand board feet, but which is acceptable in the present lumber market. It
also permits the production of salable lumber from the so-called inferior species.
REGIONS AND EQUIPMENT
The State has recognized four forest districts for California in
the Forest Practice Act. These are the Redwood, the Coast Range Pine and Fir, the North
Sierra Pine and the South Sierra Pine Districts. Each district embraces an area of more or
less one topographic, climatic and vegetative type; although this is not true of the
eastside in the two Sierra districts. Because there are common conditions in a district
which differ from those of other districts, the suitability of various forest practices
vary with the district. For example, the extremely steep ground in parts of the damp
Redwood and Coast Range Pine and Fir districts require the use of cable logging methods as
compared to the tractor logging on drier, less steep areas. Cable logging requires forest
practices entirely different from those best used on the dry, near-flat ground of much of
the eastside type, which would be conducive to selective logging with tractors.
Unfortunately the dry climate results in so slow a growth of the timber that it is not
economically feasible to cut on a sustained yield basis in most cases.
The equipment used by the operator affects the type of forestry he
practices. For example, one large company has a mill in the pine area which is cutting 10
times the annual growth of wood on the company's lands. As with many other lumber
companies this business was organized and financed to utilize all the timber in its
holdings as cheaply as possible. With a large investment in such equipment the company is
obligated to continue over cutting or go out of business. Such operators do leave seed
trees as required by the rules prepared under the Forest Practices Act.
The increased use of wood preservatives, small mills and California
species for pulp will all effect the type of forest practices used. The first Swedish log
gangsaw in California is about to go into operation. With this equipment small diameter
logs, that do not pay their way in conventional mills, can be cut into lumber at a profit.
Increased interest in California woods for pulping purposes is attracting eastern capital.
THE PERSONAL INFLUENCE
Economic conditions, the area of operation, and the equipment used
all help to determine the forest practice, but they usually leave some room for a choice
of policy. It is often because of this choice that good or poor forestry practices result.
The generally optomistic man who has a social conscience is more apt to practice good
forestry than the completely selfish individual, interested in getting all he can by any
means while the market remains good. The personal choice of policy is often poor because
of insufficient or incorrect information. Generally in the instance, of small ownership,
the decision is that timber for which there has been no market until recently can
be cut in any fashion as long as there is some return in dollars and cents. Many of the
larger owners, with a better sense of value, present and future, are striving for
sustained yield if it is at all possible. Many have used the present market, which
will take anything, to clean their holdings of low quality timber. All operators
considering sustained yield must decide the chances of their reserve timber being
destroyed by fire, insects or disease. One California operation is cutting 33,000,000 feet
a year. The management would like to reduce the cut to 20,000,000, but has not yet decided
it can afford to risk the values involved to the hazard of fire.
The United States Forest Service had the following to say about cutting
practices in the United States during the war:
"Most owners who practiced good management of their forest lands
before the war continued desirable cutting practices during the war. Some were even able
to practice more intensive management as a result of increased prices for stumpage and
products. However, the acreage handled under good management, which was mainly in large
ownerships, formed only about 14 percent of our 202,000,000 acres of privately owned
nonfarm forest land. Also, it should be remembered that 99.5 percent of the nonfarm forest
landowners are small owners with less than 5,000 acres each. This land, as well as most of
that possessed by the larger owners, is usually cut over without regard to residual
growing stock." 3
THE STATE LAW
Recognizing a public interest in the forest resources of California
the State Legislature enacted the committee-sponsored Forest Practices Act, Chapter 85 of
the 1945 Statutes. Under this act committees were appointed to prepare forest practice
regulations suitable for the four districts mentioned above. These regulations have been
prepared and are now in the process of being approved by the forest landowners and
the State Board of Forestry. "Briefly the rules provide for the leaving of seed trees
in the redwood district and the reserving of all sound, immature trees below a given
diameter limit in the other three districts. In harvesting or thinning young stands, not
over one-half of the trees from 12 to 18 inches d.b.h. shall be cut in any 10-year period.
The committee wishes to commend the forest district committees for the
work they have done. Besides including progressive requirements for better treatment of
the area logged, more care in fire prevention, and definite action for the
suppression of fire and attacks by insects and disease, the regulations prescribe certain
practices designed to leave more timber for future harvests and natural reforestation. In
the Coast Range Pine and Fir, the North Sierra Pine and the South Sierra Pine
Districts the minimum allowable cutting diameter limit has been raised from 18 inches 6
inches above the ground to 18 to 22 inches 4.5 feet above the ground, which is an increase
of approximately 6 inches in diameter. The committee in the Redwood District has
not seen fit to increase the minimum diameter limit except for the required seed trees. It
is the belief of this Senate Committee that the industry should be given full opportunity
to indicate its ability to regulate itself. If the attempt is unsuccessful the State
should take legislative action to establish statutory control.
Some portions of the act require clarification. The location of the
boundaries of the forest districts is not clear, particularly that between the North
Sierra Pine Forest District and the South Sierra Pine Forest District. Also, the southern
coastal area of the State is not included in a district. In Monterey County, which is in
no district, for example, there is 422,000,000 board feet of timber, some of which is
being cut. Because there are several commercial species in the pine districts it is
suggested that these districts have been improperly named. There has also been difficulty
with the voting procedure. In some instances the timber ownership is different from the
ownership of the land on which the timber is located. The present law is interpreted to
allow one vote for the total acreage in one ownership. It has been suggested that when
land ownership and timber ownership are different there should be two votes each with the
weight of one-half the total acreage involved.
With approximately 700 sawmills operating in California and
a continuous, large demand for lumber, the problem of the poor treatment of the forests of
the State has become an increasingly serious one. Not concerned with woods operations as
the main means of income and not fully aware of current markets and good forest practices,
many small timber owners are presently suffering losses both in money and in the manner in
which their wood crop is harvested.
Under the Forest Practice Act of 1945, certain regulations were set up
"to promote the maximum sustained productivity of the forests. " This act also
declared "the necessity of good forest practices in the process of harvesting"
forest resources. The primary concern of the lumbermen and timber owners preparing these
regulations has been the need of leaving the land in good condition to grow another crop.
These regulations should do much to correct the practice of mistreating the forest land,
but the problem of good utilization of the felled trees has not been solved.
MERCHANTABLE TIMBER WASTED
The practice of leaving high stumps, large tops, and sound logs in
the woods after logginc, results in an economic loss. Sixty percent of the average
tree cut is normally lost in waste in the form of sawdust, slabs, edgings, tops, and
stumps. The percentage of waste in many operations in California today is even greater
than 60 percent, in spite of the fact that current markets will accept material of the
lowest quality. Samples taken on four operations in El Dorado and Amador Counties showed
that more than 1,000 board feet of merchantable timber was left per acre. This means that
enough was left on each 10 acres to build one five-room house.
Poor utilization occurs chiefly on lands in small ownerships. These
smaller owners often sell their timber to small mills that pay for the stumpage according
to the mill tally or the scale of logs brought to the mill. No payment is made for
merchantable material left in the woods. As a result, the millman is interested in getting
the larger, better quality logs and leaves the smaller tops, which would produce
merchantable common lumber but would not give as great a margin of profit as the logs from
near the butt. Under OPA regulations the miller received more money for his lumber if it
is all 16 feet long than he would for random lengths. Some mill operators accept only
16-foot logs, nothing shorter. Because the timber falters are paid on a per thousand board
feet basis, they too are interested in cutting only the larger, limb-free logs. Many 10-,
12-, or 14-foot logs, 12 inches or more in diameter are left in unlimbed tops. Because of
irresponsibility and poor supervision, sound, limbed and bucked logs are also left on some
operations. The timber owner selling on a mill scale basis absorbs the loss.
Lands in large ownership usually have an administrator who requires a
written contract before permitting any cutting on the lands in his care. In this contract
he can specify what the stump height should be and to what top diameter the trees will be
cut into logs as well as other provisions for good treatment of the land. Small owners
frequently do not have written contracts with millmen. They require no guarantee that the
land will be properly treated or that they (and the people of the State) will receive the
benefits of the maximum utilization of the trees cut. "For the most part, farm owners
are not receiving prices for their stumpage commensurate with the profits made by mill
THE VALUES INVOLVED
In farm ownerships in California there is a total of 1,309,000
acres of commercial forest land supporting 15,348,000,000 board feet of timber. This is
enough timber to provide more than seven years cut at the State's annual production rate
of about 2,000,000,000 feet. This timber is located in the most accessible areas.
The committee's 1945 report pointed out: "The extent of this
ownership and its proximity to markets makes it a significant contributor to the State's
lumber requirements and should receive consideration in any state-wide forest plan. Being
secondary to ranch activities the owners ordinarily do not give it much attention.
However, such land offers opportunity for seasonal work and extra income, and if wisely
managed call be made a source of steady income, in most cases more than it would return if
cleared to put to another use."
The prospects of the establishment of a pulp industry in California in
the immediate future, the recent developments in hardwood milling in the State and an
increased demand for treated posts, poles and piling all indicate a profitable future for
the young growth timberland owner. So-called inferior species, such as white fir, have
produced treated poles and posts that are still sound after 10 years of use. Such material
is also usable for pulp production.
THE NEED FOR ADVISORY PERSONNEL
There are two important factors needed to bring about better care
and more complete use of the farm forests of California. The first of these is a good
prospect of future as well as present financial gain for the owner of such lands and the
second factor is a means of getting information to the owner on such matters as what and
where the markets are and how the products should be measured, prepared and sold.
Quoting from the Higgins Lake Proposals: "There should be
vigorous, nation-wide expansion of advice and technical assistance to the 4,000,000 owners
of small forest properties, of whom 3,300,000 are farmers. This group owns 57 percent of
the commercial forest area of the country."12
As shown above, the demand for the young growth timber in farm
ownership is increasing. Present economic conditions permit the operator to cut trees as
small as 16 inches at breast height.11 The future holds promise of annual
returns to owners of young growth timber if that timber is properly managed.
To advise the rancher of the possibilities of his forest land and to
assist him in determining how the land might be best managed there is need for " high
grade educational work by extension men. As soon as possible the State Forester should be
given authority and the means to carry on this kind of work."13
Mr. Woodbridge Metcalf, Extension Forester for the United States
Department of Agriculture and the University of California, and his one assistant have
done much by demonstrations and lectures but they are only two men assigned to work in all
of California, which has a greater variety of forest problems than any other State.
The United States Forest Service has two farm foresters at work in
California. One is assigned to El Dorado and Amador Counties and the other to Sonoma, Napa
and southern Mendocino Counties. These men assist farmers in finding markets for their
forest products, help prepare contracts, cruise and mark timber for cutting and generally
advise the owner on good forest management practice.
The acreage of large and small young growth timber, the area mostly in
small ownerships, in El Dorado and Amador Counties totals 114,000 acres. The one man
assigned to this area is reported to have done a good, if not extensive job. To handle the
problem at least as well in the remainder of the State would require another eight
foresters besides the man in Sonoma-Napa-Mendocino area, for there are 1,112,000 acres of
available, privately owned, large and small young growth in California.
FARM FORESTRY IN OTHER STATES
In 1937, Congress passed the Cooperative Farm Forestry Act
(Norris-Doxy Act) to provide assistance to and encouragement of farm forestry. Some
states, with this assistance, and others, entirely on their own, have done much to improve
farm forest conditions.
An excerpt from a letter from the State Forester of Tennessee discloses
the reasoning behind the policy of state-sponsored farm forestry assistance: "The
State Forestry division in cooperation with the United States Forest Service, functioning
under the Norris-Doxy Act, has made a beginning in offering assistance to both forest
landowners and timber operators in providing them with forestry advice. About 35 of our 95
counties receive assistance of this sort. Some assistance is given in other counties upon
request, but personnel is not available for intensive work in other counties. Our thinking
in regard to policy covering this type of assistance is based on the belief that forest
landowners should have assistance to encourage them to practice forestry in the same way
that farmers are given assistance in improving agricultural practices. We would like to be
able to provide a technical forester for such service in each county but do not think
funds will be made available for such a service in the near future. These services are
The State Forester of Missouri adds: "The reason for this policy
is that timber resources is a valuable asset to the state. Because of the long-time nature
of the timber crop farmers struggling to survive on poor land are apt to be much more
interested in extra areas than they are with a crop which takes several
The State of Michigan has "very definitely entered the field of
private forest cooperation. This involves consulting forestry advice to private timber
owners through six Norris-Doxy Farm Forest projects in the southern part of the state and
through a field organization in the northern two-thirds of the state composed of 22
technically trained and experienced foresters. At the present time we have only one man on
our Lansing staff assigned to the Supervision of private forestry cooperation but
beginning July 1, 1946, we will take on two more."
Pennsylvania has eight foresters assigned to this type of work. Georgia offers a free
marking and marketing service to landowners. West Virginia provides a forester to find
stumpage and develop markets. New York and New Jersey are among the other states that give
The rapidity with which our forests are being cut
accentuates the need for immediate action to insure reforestation. Difficulties in
planting, a limited source of planting stock and an absence of economic incentives resist
such an effort.
FOREST PLANTING IN CALIFORNIA
In 1945 the California Forestry Study Committee recommended that:
"The State should take action on a plan eventually to reforest a total of 1,000,000
acres of presently privately-owned lands over a period of years and as labor and finances
become available."13 These lands are largely cutover areas, not too
densely covered with brush and on good forest soil.
Recently published statistics6 show there is a total of
1,124,000 acres of timber cropland* of high quality which is less than 20 percent stocked
with timber. Of this, 805,000 acres are privately-owned. Some of this land is in areas
which, because of topography, accessibility and other factors, "are judged
unfavorable for economic operation within the next 30 or 40 years." The total very
poorly stocked (up to 20 percent of ground covered with timber growth) and unstocked
timber cropland which is so located as to be considered suitable for economic operation
within the next 30 to 40 years is given in the table below for all timber types by site
quality and ownership.
* Timber cropland as used here means "all areas,
regardless of present cover, that appear to possess the climate and soil qualities for the
production of commercial timber crops. Formerly timbered lands now cultivated for crops or
urbanized are excepted.
Site Quality and Ownership
Chaparral covers more than 52 percent of the total very poorly stocked
or unstocked timber cropland of high site quality listed in the above table. Eighty
percent of the total 4,158,000 acres of all site qualities is in the pine, fir and mixed
conifer types which lie east of the redwood and Douglas fir type of the moist coastal
area. The pine tree embraces 45 percent of the problem areas.
Unfortunately climatic and other conditions in a large part of the
forest area of the State do not favor reforestation by either planting or seeding. Show,14
in writing about planting in the California pine region, said " Of all the
factors which influence what can and cannot be done in reforestation, certainly none is
more dominant than climate, particularly moisture. A strongly marked dry summer is
characteristic of Northern California. This coupled with the high temperatures, makes the
establishment of forest stands unusually difficult." As shown above, a large part of
the land needing reforestation is brush covered. This condition further complicates the
problem by restricting the movement of workers and the offering of strong competition for
the small amount of soil moisture available during the summer months. Other handicaps to
forest planting include faulty planting technique and insect attacks. The latter have
become serious recently.
The biggest obstacle in successful reforestation by seeding is the
large rodent population which eats the seeds. Unsuccessful attempts have been made in the
past to clear areas of these pests by poison before seeding.
The California Forest and Range Experiment Station has been working on
these problems for several years.
SOURCE OF PLANTING STOCK
If California were to embark on a reforestation program by planting
it would have as its only local source of planting stock the State Nursery at Davis, which
was established under Sections 4351-4353 of the Public Resources Code.
Located in the hot Sacramento Valley the nursery is not only
handicapped by high temperatures but operates at further disadvantage because of poor
water supply. Because of greater demands the water table is being lowered in the Davis
area. As a result, there is a high salt concentration in the water that is pumped.
Included are salts of boron which are particularly harmful to coniferous stock. Such
conditions make it impossible to produce satisfactory planting stock of some of the more
important forest species, such as sugar pine and redwood. An attempt is being made to
solve the water problem, but no one has yet accepted Mark Twain's challenge to do
something about the weather. Because of the nursery's limitations it has been necessary in
some areas for individuals to purchase seedlings from forest nurseries in other states.
Only three men are employed at the nursery to do all the work, keep records, and meet the
public. The nursery's annual production averages 40,000 seedlings.
The demand for planting stock comes from varied sources. Section 4351
of the code states: "A State Nursery shall be maintained under the management of the
State Forester for the growing of stock for reforestation of public and private lands, the
planting of trees along public streets and highways and for the beautifying of parks and
school grounds." The number of requests for stock for planting, as called for by this
section, is small. The availability of the young trees at cost for reforestation, school
and park purposes is apparently not widely known. In 1944 it was necessary to burn
thousands of seedlings because they were not distributed. These young trees, including
elms and plane trees, were heeled-in awaiting distribution. They were never called for.
The State Division of Highways buys its roadside planting stock from
commercial nurseries as well as obtaining it from the State Nursery. It is explained that
some of the material used in Southern California can not be propagated under the Davis
climatic conditions, and on those projects let out to contact the cost of plant production
is comparable to the State Nursery cost.
The law further states: "The State Forester may purchase nursery
stock and seed, and may distribute stock or seed at cost for public planting or
reforestation of public lands, and of private lands for the purpose of soil erosion
control, watershed protection, farm windbreaks, the production of forest products and farm
wood-lots." The Soil Conservation Service is arranging with the State Forester for
the purchase of young trees from the State Nursery to be given to landowners on an
incentive basis. The landowner would be given 1,000 seedlings and told he should purchase
5,000 more from the State Nursery. The young trees would be planted as windbreaks or on
slopes to reduce erosion. There are no commercial nurseries that will do this type of
work. The landowner will have to water the plantation a few times the first year to insure
a good survival.
A portion of Section 4352 reads: "All trees, plants, nursery
stock, or seeds sold under this article shall be sold at a price not less than the actual
cost of production.
This restriction has made it impossible for the State to use federal
funds that are available to assist in the financing of state forest nurseries. Two federal
acts make provisions for financial assistance to state nurseries. They are the
Clarke-McNary Act and the Cooperative Farm Forestry Act (Norris-Doxy Act).15
Many other states have taken advantage of them to establish large nurseries which produce
planting stock for reforesting or afforesting both state and private lands at low cost.
Some far-seeing private concerns have arranged to pay the State for the
production and free distribution of certain trees with potential commercial importance.
REFORESTATION IN OTHER STATES
At least 22 states have forest nurseries and about half of these
are financed in part with federal funds. One of the latter, in Alabama, is now producing
2,000,000 seedlings annually that are sold to land owners at $1.50 per thousand F.O.B. the
nursery. Other states, such as New York and New Jersey, pride themselves on their
reforestation program being financed by direct state appropriations.
In New Hampshire trees are sold at cost and given away to public
agencies or boy's groups. The Mississippi Legislature recently authorized be State
Forestry Commission to produce and make available free commercial tree seedlings to farm
owners and to schools for forest education purposes.
Pennsylvania is one of the leaders in amount of work accomplished. Its
four forest tree nurseries have furnished 262,000,000 forest tree seedlings and
transplants of which approximate 170,000,000 have been distributed to private landowners.
Oregon is doing considerable work on lire denuded areas both by
planting and seeding. Washington has planted approximately 16,000,000 trees on 27,000
acres of state lands by state appropriation with no help from the Federal Government.
A report from Georgia states "While our production this year will
be only about 8,000,000, due to a shortage of seed, we expect to increase to 25,000,000
next year, and to 70,000,000 within five years." Georgia's 25,000,000 acres of forest
land is about equivalent in area to the forests of California (24,000,000 acres), if the
California woodland type (hardwoods), which total another 10,000,000 acres, are not
included. Only 17.1 million acres of California's forests are considered suitable for
THE STATE BOARD OF FORESTRY'S RECOMMENDATIONS
The following is quoted from a statement approved by the State
Board of Forestry on September 13, 1946:
"In view of the importance of California among the lumber
producing states of the Nation, We have a most discouraging record in the field of
reforestation. It must be immediately acknowledged that the greatest single cause for this
poor showing lies in the difficulty of successful planting of forest stock under adverse
climatic conditions. However, with the increasing demand for timber and the rapid
exploitation of our forests it is most important that we take all possible means to
reproduce California's idle forest lands by planting. Another reason for California's
failure to actively engage in reforestation is because of statutory controls established
to prevent state competition with commercial nurseries producing ornamental stock. This
legislation is so drawn that it practically prevents the State from producing 'forest
tree' stock for those who wish to reforest lands. Most other states of the Nation have
been free to cooperate in a generous manner with citizens genuinely interested in
reforestation. The Federal Government, through at least two acts, is ready to contribute
funds in cooperative projects with the states.
"It is high time that California approach the problem in a
businesslike manner and establish statutory authority for the State Forester to engage in
the reforestation of denuded lands in much the same manner that we now engage in insect
control projects with the owners of infested lands. We should also be free from the
necessity of supporting our small nursery by direct income from the sale of the few trees
we are allowed to place on the market under restricted circumstances.
"It is our hope that branch nurseries may be established in both
the redwood and pine areas of the State for this purpose during the coming biennium."
The question of to what use a given piece of land should be
put is often not easily or wisely answered. Recognizing this, the Forestry Study Committee
recommended in its report of 1945 that, "As early as possible the State should
undertake a study of land classification to determine factually which lands should be
dedicated to timber growing which to livestock raising, and which are too poor or
unsatisfactory for either pursuit." It has been suggested that such a classification
of probable best use should be extended to include other uses such as recreation and water
production, and that economic and social interests be considered before any
recommendations were made.
THE AREA REQUIRING ATTENTION
California's 100,000,000 acres are divided according to present
vegetative cover as follows: 6
Millions acres and percent
Millions acres and percent
Cultivated urban and industrial
* The same figure expresses both millions of acres and
percent because the total land area of California is approximately 100,000,000
THE NEED FOR LAND CLASSIFICATION
Stockmen, foresters, farm advisors, tax assessors, lumbermen and
others have expressed the need for a land classification of certain areas of the State
according to probable best use. The California State Chamber of Commerce 13 years ago,
made the following recommendations among others concerned with the State forest policy:
"The state and federal research agencies should as rapidly
as consistent with their financial pro-rams, develop full facts on the following problems,
which facts are necessary to the completion of a forest policy for this State.
A. Determination of the conditions in California under which the
management of wild lands should be primarily for the conservation of water.
B. The conditions under which the management should be primarily for
erosion control. These two will necessarily be based on determination of the real facts as
to the relation of the forest and brush cover to water conservation and erosion.
C. The conditions under which the management should be primarily for
the production of timber and wood.
D. The conditions under which the management should be primarily for
E. The conditions under which the management should be primarily for
recreation or for the preservation of natural beauty and wild life, both animal and plant.
All of the above five points should be determined by detailed economic
studies. Then, when they are completed, there should be made:
F. A wildland use map of the State showing the localities which should
be devoted primarily to each of the above uses or combinations of those uses.
G. For the lands to be used primarily for timber production, economic
studies are needed to determine the localities in California in which private owners may
be able to raise timber crops profitably.
K. An inventory of the forest resources of the State, including timber
and wood, water, erosion control, grazing assets and recreational facilities."
The United States Department of Agriculture states: 17
"Misuse of Land Costs Money. If it makes the soil liable to
erosion by water or wind, the loss is immediate and permanent although sometimes so
gradual it is scarcely noticed. If the misuse is merely failure to grow crops on the most
suitable land, the farmer at the best obtains less than the maximum returns for his labor,
seed, and fertilizer. Such waste can be prevented by farming according to land capability,
using practices that have been tested and proved by practical farmers and by the
experiment stations. This amounts to a form of selective service for farm land whereby
each acre is put to the use for which it is best fitted. To carry out such a
selective-service plan, the farmer needs some help in classifying, his land and in putting
it to work for maximum production, protection and profit." These statements apply
also to noncultivated lands.
R.Earl Storie of the Agriculture Experiment Station reports:
"Before an adequate picture of the best land use of any area
can be secured, there must be available certain basic information regarding the physical
conditions such as soil, topography, elevation drainage, and climate. A classification of
the physical land features and a correlation of these features with the present
utilization of the land and its productivity, give fundamental information on which any
program of future land use can be based."
Much of this work has been done in the counties that are chiefly
devoted to the production of cultivated crops, but very little has been done in the
mountainous areas of the State. The University's Agricultural Experiment Station Soils
Division has been limited in the amount of this type of work that it could accomplish
because of a shortage of personnel and limited funds. In 1948 more trained men will be
available. Some of the station's work has been delayed years in publication because of the
great pressure of other work on the printing facilities that are available.
A description of the work being done in gathering information on the present use of
forest land and adjacent areas is included in this paper under the title of
"The Forest Survey."
THE FOREST SURVEY
Until March 1, 1946, the State, County, and Federal
officials and representatives of private industry concerned with administering or
assessing the forest lands of California had no inventory of the timber and timberlands of
the State available for reference. The only material available for the committee's use in
1944 came from estimates by the United States Forest Service. This condition has been
remedied to a limited extent. There is now an opportunity for California to obtain a
comprehensive inventory of its wild vegetation resources, including timber, forage plants,
woodland and brush cover on the forest lands of the State.
THE PRELIMINARY SURVEY
In March, 1944, the Forest Service (the California Forest and Range
Experiment Station and Region 5) started a study "to provide better forest resources
information for local use. This study was later merged into a national project and as
carried on in California was a three-way undertaking of the Forest Service, the State
Division of Forestry, and the American Forestry Association. In addition, the
Save-the-Redwoods League and the State Division of Beaches and Parks gave substantial
assistance because of their interest in the area and volume of redwood stands. This
pooling of effort was done to avoid duplication and to obtain the best possible figures
within financial and time limitations, each agency reserving the right to make its own
interpretation of the significance of the data."6 The report of the survey
was released in March, 1946. It showed that earlier estimates were more or less in error.
The 1946 release gives the following breakdown for the 17,000,000 acres
of timber cropland in California:
The areas of very openly stocked and unstocked timber cropland are
shown to be:
In addition to the 17.1 million acres of timber cropland it is
estimated there are 28.4 million acres of minor conifer, woodland, and chaparral types not
growing on timber croplands, 15.3 million acres of pasture and range and 27.6 million
acres of other wild lands in the State.
"The figures represent the situation as of January 1, 1945. They
are preliminary and will be replaced by those from the nationwide forest survey authorized
by Congress when that survey is completed for California. However, they are believed to be
as accurate as can be obtained by a carefully planned use of existing aerial photographs,
timber cruises, and sample plots."6
CALIFORNIA AND THE NATION-WIDE FOREST SURVEY
In 1928 Congress authorized the expenditure of $3,000,000 for a
nation-wide forest survey. Limited amounts of this were subsequently spent making
vegetative type maps in the Sierra Nevada from Calaveras County to Butte County and in the
Coast Range from San Francisco to the Mexican Border. The original authorization was
increased by 31 million dollars in 1946. Because California has about 17,000,000 acres of
timber cropland supporting an average of 14,000 board feet of timber per acre the amount
of the 1944 authorization to be spent in the State has been set at $600,000. Of this
$190,000 were designated for use in Fiscal Year 1946. All lands in the forest area will be
treated the same, regardless of ownership.
There are three steps to the survey. (1) About three years will be
spent collecting the basic information. Another two years will be devoted to (2) analyzing
and (3) publishing the data.
The preliminary survey indicates the commercial forest areas and
volumes are located as follows:
East side of Sierra Nevada
West side of Sierra Nevada
Seven hundred thousand acres of the 17.1 million acres of timber
cropland in California have been withdrawn from commercial use and are in parts and
The federal appropriation will permit a survey of the following
(1) Density and age class of timber down to 40 acre tracts.
(2) Species and site quality possible down to 160 acres.
(3) Hardwood areas will be outlined as to species on the timber
croplands possibly down to 160 acre areas.
(4) A maximum error of 1 percent for the total timber cropland area
will be permitted.
(5) A maximum error of 4.5 percent for the timber volumes. This will be
ascertained by one-fifth acre plots, on which measures will be made, in timber areas, of
growth, volume, log grades and height. In hardwood areas the number of sawlogs and amount
of cordwood will be determined.
The United States Forest Service will assign funds and personnel to
supplement the work of the California Forest and Range Experiment Station to intensify the
survey on national forest lands. As needed the basic area of 40 acres will be reduced to
10 acres or less, additional species classifications made and aerial photographs will be
taken of the federal lands not yet photographed.
DeWitt Nelson, State Forester, Stephen N. Wyckoff, Director of the
California Forest and Range Experiment Station, William S. Rosecrans, Chairman State Board
of Forestry and others have pointed out the advantages of a more intensive survey in the
areas of California outside the national forests. A survey as intense as that to be made
in the national forests would provide the State, with needed, valuable information which
could be used for assessment and administration purposes. To get a more intensive survey
on other than federal lands, and thus treat all the commercial forest lands of California
the same, will require an appropriation by the State. It is an opportunity for the
State to get, at a minimum cost, information it has long needed on both forest and grazing
lands. State personnel could be used to do much of the work.
The two areas with the biggest land use problems are the redwood
region and the foothill area of the Sierra Nevadas, for in these sections of the State
there is the grazing problem in brush lands and the small timber ownership problem (both
of which are covered elsewhere in this paper). Unfortunately both these areas need aerial
The cost for intensification of the survey in the areas of State and private ownership
will be $390,000. The following cost summary was prepared by Mr. A. Wieslander of the
California Forest and Range Experiment Station:
(1) Aerial photography -------------------------------------- $40,000
This figure is for the present standard United States Department of
Agriculture photography of scale 1:20,000 or about three inches equals one mile. An
estimate for the more useful larger scale of 1:15,000, or about four inches equals one
mile is about $60,00070,000.
(2) Intensification of the present Forest Survey classification by
mapping out the additional areas between the present 40-acre minimum and a lower minimum
of 10 acres; and by segregating the density classes of hardwoods and shrubs in nontimber
(3) Intensification of the present Forest Survey classification by the
additional mapping of species composition of hardwoods and shrubs to the present mapping
of timber; and by reducing the present minimum specie subdivision of the photo classes
from 160-320 acres to a lower minimum of 40 acres. This figure group two items-$25,000 for
areas previously mapped by ground techniques but now out-of-date, and $100,000 for areas
on which no work has yet been done ---------------------------- 125,000
(4) Compilation of quadrangle maps of the scale of two inches equals
one mile from acceptable 1-and 0.5-inch base maps now or to become available; and the
transfer of the vegetation classes to these maps for reproduction and distribution in
blue-line print form -------- 100,000
(5) Intensification of the present Forest Survey timber sampling to obtain better
volume estimates for such timber classes and small area units as may be desired by the
Board of Forestry ---------- 100,000
Total -------------------------------------------------- $390,000
The State Board of Forestry has recommended an appropriation of
$200,000 for the next biennium to be expended on the project at the rate of $100,000 per
year and that future Consideration be given to a $150,000 appropriation for the succeeding
WHITE PINE BLISTER RUST CONTROL
Since the committee's report in early 1945, there have been several new developments
in the white pine blister rust problem.
AMOUNT OF CONTROL WORK ACCOMPLISHED
During 1945 and 1946, a total of 2,901,938 ribes, the plants which
support the disease and enable it to spread to the five-needle pine, were eradicated from
66,995 acres of State and private lands (initial work and re-eradication) with the
expenditure of 51,759 man-days. The initial job of ribes eradication on State and private
lands was 42 percent complete as of December 31, 1946. These lands have a total of 876,735
acres in the control units. Of this, 513,380 acres remain to be worked. On federal lands,
34 percent of the area in control units has been worked once. Twenty percent of the
recoverage job is complete for the State as a whole.
Because the war did not end until the latter part of 1945, the program
for that year was much the same as it had been for other war years, namely to hold the
gains that had been made in past years by using the limited man-power available to work
the areas where the rust was present. A total of 23,003 acres received initial treatment
in 1945. Re-eradication work was done on 39,543 acres.
Most of the control work, accomplished in the past biennium, was done in 1946. With
increased funds appropriated and more help available it was possible to operate 40 camps,
totaling 2,000 men. Seventeen of the camps were in areas of private or State ownership and
23 were on federal lands. There were 33,761 acres covered for the first time, and
follow-up work was done on 44,527 acres.
During the war, the rust moved southward on the ribes 80
miles in the Sierra Nevada and 140 miles in the Coast Range. It made no southward gain on
the pine in the Sierra Nevada but did travel to trees 65 miles further below the Oregon
border in the Coast Range.
In 1945, climatic factors were unfavorable for the spread of the
disease. It did not extend its area of infection oil either host in either of the mountain
ranges. Unfortunately, conditions were different in 1946. The rust was found on sugar pine
in El Dorado County, 240 miles South of the Oregon line. This attack came from the ribes
that were infected in the same area in 1944.
The Klamath National Forest is the only place in the State at present
where the disease is killing pine trees in large numbers. The rust was first discovered on
both the ribes and pine in this area in 1936. Young sugar pine, an important part of the
State's future supply of lumber, are now being killed by the hundreds.
NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN CONTROL
In the past two years there have been two encouraging
discoveries effecting the control job.
The first is that a means of ribes eradication, which appears to be
faster and less costly than the hand-grubbing method, has been found for work on areas of
high ribes concentration.
During 1944-45 laboratory and greenhouse tests* and small-scale field
plots showed that the new herbicide 2,4-dieliloropheiloxvacetic acid (2,4-D), was fully
effective on certain species of ribes. One of the most susceptible ribes proved to be Ribes
roezli, the Sierra gooseberry. Extensive tests conducted in 1946 by the Bureau of
Entomology and Plant Quarantine in the Stanislaus National Forest indicate that, with
spray equipment heavy stands of the Sierra gooseberry can be eradicated in better than
one-quarter the time and at about one-third the cost of the presently used hand-digging
methods. In the central and southern Sierra Nevadas this gooseberry is the most common of
the ribes. The regional leader of the blister rust control work says the -use of 2,4-D is
definitely still in the experimental state and that work is being done to determine the
best dosage, concentration, markers, spreaders, time for application, equipment, crew
organization, and comparative costs with hand-grubbing methods.
*Facilities used by the Bureau of Entomology and Plant
Quarantine at Berkeley, California, are maintained in cooperation with the College
of Agriculture, University of California, through the School of Forestry.
The heaviest concentrations of the ribes occur in logged areas where
the disturbance of the soil encourages the germination of the seeds of the current and
gooseberry plants. Fortunately, much of these areas can be entered with truck-mounted
spraying equipment by means of logging roads and skid trails.
The second source of encouragement is the discovery that climatic conditions in the
Sierra Nevadas appear to be less favorable for the development of the rust than is
the case elsewhere in the west. The observations of the disease in these mountains by
personnel of the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine indicate that the long, dry
summers of that region do not regularly provide enough moisture for the development of the
rust. Just what effect, if any, this apparent adverse climatic factor may have on rust
development and upon modification in control procedure will not be known for several
years. There is the possibility that for some pine areas it may be possible to relax
somewhat the normal standards of ribes suppression. If this should turn out to be the case
it will mean significant savings in control work. These men caution that there is not
enough known yet to say the problem of control will be effected in this region. It should
for the present only be viewed as an encouraging possibility.
Because, as yet, neither of these new developments has been
conclusively demonstrated as a practicable means of reducing the amount of hand-grubbing
required to control the disease, no reduction has been made in the estimated total cost of
control. Such reduction will be made if and when these hopeful possibilities become
THE COST OF CONTROL
The men charged with control of the disease are not trying to
remove every ribes bush from the forest. Surveys have been made and a priority system has
been set up. The areas of higher site and greatest sugar pine concentration are treated
first. Low site areas with few five-needle pines will not be treated. Under the priority
system, control units had been outlined which total 2,004,527 acres and support a total of
17,000,000,000 board feet of sugar pine. Forty-three percent, 877,000 acres, of this land
is in State or private ownership. No area is put in a control unit that does not have at
least 3,000 board feet of sugar pine per acre or sufficient young growth to produce that
Of the 2,000,000 acres that required ribes eradication 762,809 acres
were worked by December 31, 1946, leaving 62 percent of the job to be completed.
At the end of 1944 it was the plan of the Bureau of Entomology and
Plant Quarantine to complete the initial control work in nine years after the end of the
war. Since then the plan has been modified to call for the completion of all initial
control work within the five years period ending in 1950.
All re-eradication work is to be done as it comes due, usually three to
six years after the initial working.
"The cooperative project during the war has not been able to keep
pace with the needs of the control program. The limited wartime program combined with the
accelerated rate of logging have made it impossible to complete even the most essential
work on those areas given first priority. The spot-working program has been one of
expediency (aimed at retarding rust build-up) and does not give complete protection to
sugar pine stands.
"Progress on the re-eradication program has not been adequate to
complete the work when needed on many areas. Any further delay may increase the number of
workings necessary to secure permanent ribes suppression.
"The urgency of the work is great, and unless the rate of progress oil the
over-all control program is stepped up serious losses will result."19 Leaders
in the control work say the disease is here to stay, but it can be controlled. If losses
are to be kept to a minimum prompt action is essential.
"For control work done to date, the cost of an effective
eight-hour man day of work has averaged $7.57. Because of the rise in wages, the generally
higher price level of 1945, and the short work season over which to prorate camp operating
costs, the cost per man day has arisen above the average. In 1945 it was $13.68.
"The cost of ribes eradication work to date has averaged $4.87 per
acre. In 1945 the per acre cost was $11.29."19
In two years there has been an increase of $2.59 in the coast per
man day. It is expected that the ending of the war will provide a more productive type of
labor and thereby reduce the cost per acre of the control work.
The California Legislature of 1941 and 1943 each made biennial
appropriations of $100,000. In 1945 the appropriation was increased to $150,000. Since the
initiation of the accelerated pro-ram of control in 1946, the Federal Government has
increased its appropriation greatly. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1947, the
following federal funds have been assigned for control work in California:
For national forests -------------------------------------- $820,000
For national parks ---------------------------------------- 300,000
For work on state and private lands in cooperation with the
State and with private interests, under the terms of the
Federal Lea Act ------------------------------------------ 567,000
For the same period, the State has contributed $75,000 by appropriation and $41,000
in the capitalization of two CYA camps, making a total of $116,000. Three lumber companies
* appropriated $5,000.
* The Diamond Match Company, the Michigan-California
Lumber Company, and the Winton Lumber Company.
Not included as an appropriation for control work is the $111,000 provided by the
Federal Government for maintenance of the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine's
Pacific Coast Regional Office and its staff of technicians who are responsible for the
technical direction and coordination of the program.
The Lea Act, passed in 1940, defined the state and private owner's
financial responsibility as half the cost of control on state and private lands outside
the boundaries of federally-owned lands. Until 1946, only 28 per cent of the money spent
in control work on state and private lands has been provided by the state or private
owner. It is reported that it is the Federal Government's intent to shift more financial
responsibility to the State and private owner, because the feeling in Washington is that
the State and private individual is in a stronger financial condition than the Federal
Government. Therefore, in the future, the latter will only match the State and private
contributions for work on State and private lands.
Warren T. Benedict, Regional Leader, Bureau of Entomology and Plant
Quarantine, reports that approximately 21 million dollars will be required annually to
complete the initial eradication work on all the control units in the State in the planned
five-year period. If the work on State and private lands is to keep apace with that on
federal lands, one-fifth of the total cost for the control of the disease in all control
units, that is $500,000, must be appropriated annually.
FOREST INSECT PROBLEM
There have been some important developments in the forest insect control
problem in California since January, 1945, when the committee made its first report on
forest depletion by insects.
THE 1945 FOREST INSECT CONTROL ACT
The committee's report13 told of the tremendous losses the
forests of the State are suffering because of bark beetles. It gave a United States Forest
Service estimate of 620,000,000 board feet as the average annual loss, six times the loss
by fire. (This timber could furnish enough lumber to build 62,000 five-room houses
annually.) It pointed out the necessity for legislation to enable the State to take
necessary action to hold the bark beetle infestations under control. It recommended an
immediate appropriation of $10,000 to check the spread of a then current insect outbreak
and an appropriation of $50,000 for additional work during the biennium. Chapter 25 of the
1945 Statutes was enacted and the recommended appropriations were made.
The emergency appropriation was for a "control program in the
Burney-McCloud area for the purpose of reducing insects caused losses from Ips and western
pine beetle, Dendroctonus brevicomis, in epidemic proportions in parts of this
The United States Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine reports:
"The control job was carried out on a cooperative basis of federal, state and
private participation, starting about February 15th and terminating April 15, 1945. As a
result of this work the following was accomplished:
Total volume treated by direct and salvage control
Total number of trees and poles treated
Volume of timber salvaged
Value of timber salvaged at $5.50 per M
Estimated reduction in loss or timber saved by control on
Value of timber saved by control at $5.50 per M
Total volume of timber salvaged or saved
Total stumpage value saved or salvaged
Total cost of project.-all agencies
"As a result of the control work, the large concentrations of the Ips have been
effectively broken up in the treated areas and the Ips infestations are now conspicuous
only in a few localities outside the areas treated. It is estimated that on the
treated area losses, primarily from Ips, were reduced from about 196 board feet per acre
in 1944, prior to control, to about 35 board feet per acre in 1945 following control, or
an average decrease of 82 percent. In contrast, losses, mostly from western pine beetle,
increased on the untreated areas from about 73 board feet per acre in 1944 to about 104
board feet per acre in 1945, or an increase of about 42 percent.
"Although the over-all results achieved in the Burney-McCloud job
have been satisfactory, the bug problem is by no means permanently solved * * *"20
In addition to the Burney-McCloud project, five other, smaller
control projects have been undertaken in the past two years. Four of these were
cooperative programs involving the State, private landowners and the United States Forest
Service. This work was done in the Bass Lake area, the Arrowhead Flood Control District in
the San Bernardino Mountains, the Idyllwild area in the San Jacinto district, and the
Slate Mountain area in the El Dorado National Forest. The fifth project was financed by
the State and private landowners in the Cob Mountain area of Lake County.
The latter enterprise suffered, as do most new undertakings, from the
delays involved in establishing a program and training personnel. It was further
handicapped by delays in getting the permission of small absentee owners to do the work
and a failure on the part of some of the private landowners to peel and burn the felled
bug trees as they had agreed. The down, unpeeled trees were a haven for the insects. This
lack of cooperation was in strong contrast to the situation in the Burney-McCloud
project which "was set up on a closely knit cooperative basis with all agencies doing
their utmost to assure the success of the project."20
NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN CONTROL METHODS
In the committee's first report, Mr. F. P. Keen, Entomologist-in-Charge of the
Western Forest Insect Laboratory in the United States Bureau of Entomology and Plant
Quarantine, described the two methods of bark beetle control generally used: felling,
peeling and burning, and advance sanitation-salvage logging of susceptible trees. These
methods are best -used for western pine beetle control.
Recent work by entomologists of the Western Forest Insect Laboratory
show there are two other methods that may prove effective in the control of Ips, the
engraver beetles, the insects that were so destructive in the Burney-McCloud area. One of
these is the lopping and scattering of logging slash, which increases the exposure to the
sun and thus reduces the attraction for the engraver beetles, which prefer green material.
The second method is the spraying of slash or felled infested material with a solution of
DDT in kerosene or stove oil. The chemicals penetrate the bark and kill the beetles under
it. Both of these methods are still in the experimental stage but they offer hope for the
Dr. Ralph Hall, entomologist, reports that it costs about $6 per M
board feet to fell and treat by the burning method, about $18 per M to get salvageable
material to mill, and about $2 per M to treat with DDT solution.
CONTROL WORK BY PRIVATE INDUSTRY
Several lumber companies have cooperated with the state and federal
agencies in the control work. An outstanding example is the McCloud River Lumber Company
which has spent $119,269 on control work since 1925. This figure does not include the
expenses of salvage operations which are charged to logging expenses. This company feels
that the insect attacks should be treated as is fire. That is, any attack, no matter how
small, should be treated as soon as it develops. By this approach it is hoped major losses
will be prevented.
Mr. Keen reports there is a second approach to the problem, which is
doing control work only when there is, or is a threat of, a beetle epidemic. Those who
advocate this approach reason that the beetles serve a normal function in the forest. They
remove overage and weakened trees. It is only when there are abnormal conditions (wind
throw, fire, logging slash, etc.) that there are abnormal infestations. The beetles have
been in the forests a long time. It would be hard to eliminate them. When there is more
intensive management of timber lands the weakened trees will be removed and the problem
will be greatly reduced in importance.
The losses of merchantable pine timber suffered from insect attack
in the California region is on a downward trend at present. In 1942, 1943, and 1944 about
160 million board feet were lost annually as compared to the 11 billion feet lost in 1932.
By December, 1946, the United States Bureau of Entomology, the State
Division of Forestry and the United States Forest Service had completed the annual forest
insect survey of the State, and the bureau reported the state-wide situation as relatively
good. Losses of timber in 1946, due to insect attack, were the lowest on record. The State
Forester recommended, and the State Board of Forestry approved, six minor control
projects, one in each of the following areas: Shasta County, Siskiyou County, Trinity
County, Lake and Napa Counties, San Bernardino County and Riverside County.
One of the problems of the past has been a shortage of experienced
insect control personnel. To overcome this disadvantage the Division of Forestry is
proposing that some of its fire control personnel be employed during the winter months, as
described under The Fire Problem. Mr. Keen says that six three-men crews would be a good
nucleus from which a much larger group could be formed for emergency work.
THE FIRE PROBLEM
Fire protection on 39 percent of the area of California is the
responsibility of the State Division of Forestry. A total of 16.5 million acres of forest
and primary watershed lands and 7.5 million acres secondary watershed and range lands are
directly protected by the State with General Fund moneys. An additional 15 million rural
acres of county interest lands are protected by the State on a reimbursement basis.
Since the committee's first report there have been certain
recommendations made for reducing the annually great fire losses and costs of control.
Because reports on the 1946 fire season have not been
completed it is necessary to use the figures for 1945 to indicate the size of the fire
problem in California. Preliminary reports indicate that in 1946 there were almost as many
fires as in 1945 but there was much less area burned (less than 300,000 acres as compared
to 585,538 acres). Favorable climatic conditions, the availability of better quality help
and an accelerated program of fire prevention all contributed to make it a near average
To show the values involved, the following figures are summarized from
the State Division of Forestry's records for 1945:21
Merchantable timber damage
* In addition there were 1,302 false alarms, 2,654 structure fires, 81
fires in United States Forest Service area, 265 in city limits, and seven miscellaneous.
"Zone I is termed Clarke-McNary lands and is so called because of
the federal interest in their primary timber and watershed values. The State receives a
reimbursement from the Federal Government on a percentage of State expenditures for
protection of these lands.
"Zone II includes those lands of both primary and secondary
timber and watershed values as well as range values and erosion resistant values. Zone IIa
protection was established as State responsibility by legislative action in 1945.
"Zone III is a local responsibility area where protection must be
furnished by local agencies."21
The above figures show that a total of 75,376 acres of timberland
were burned over in 1945 and a total damage of $283,846 was done in this area. This
only presents part of the picture. It does not include the statistics for the timber areas
burned in 1945 in the six counties that have their own forest protection organization and
in the United States Forest Service zone of responsibility. The Kimshew fire was in this
zone. It covered 11,500 acres and killed 70,000,000 board feet of timber. The United
States Forest Service report for 1945 shows a total of 1,818 fires which burned 96,138
acres in areas not protected by the State or counties.
The committee's first reportl3 recognized the need for some
action on this problem of timber loss from fire. It stated: "Forest fire losses have
been greatly decreased because of the improvement in the State and federal protection
effort, but they still exceed an attainable minimum. Every thousand feet of timber
destroyed by fire, is that much removed from useful conversion. Forest fires are an
important factor in depletion. A loss that averages above 110,000,000 feet per year for
1935 to 1940 alone is not to be taken lightly."
Professor Emanuel Fritz has suggested that the State assist,
particularly in areas with several small owners, in the directing of cooperative efforts
and finances in the construction of access roads and other facilities to get damaged
timber to sawmills from recently burned areas. Delay in salvage operations gives insects
and fungi time to ruin what could be useable material.
CAUSES OF FIRE
The 1945 statistics for fires in the state areas of responsibility show the
following numbers of fires by causes:
It will be noted that smokers are the biggest problem. In an attempt to
reduce the number of fires from this cause in 1946 the State Division of Highways did
hazard reduction work along 2,700 miles of State Highway System and an additional 3,000
miles of secondary roads were treated by the Division of Forestry, and efforts were
increased to educate the general public in the use of fire. Unfortunately the Division of
Forestry has been handicapped in its fire prevention program by a shortage of funds.
Section 511 of the Public Resources Code states in part: "For the purpose of
disseminating information relating to the activities, powers, duties, or functions of the
Department of Natural Resources, the department, with the approval of the Department of
Finance, may issue publications, construct and maintain exhibits, and perform such acts
and carry on such functions as in the opinion of the Director of Natural Resources will
best tend to disseminate such information."
Further evidence of the need for disseminating information on the use
of fire was the above mentioned Kimshew fire which started September 16, 1945, from an
unattended campfire left by two deer hunters. The fire killed $500,000 worth of standing
timber, and cost $130,000 to put out. The hunters were convicted and fined $300 each, part
of which was suspended.
The State Board of Forestry has approved the following statement and
" Throughout the past years, direct and planned fire prevention
effort has been without financial aid. Adequate fire prevention involves education through
the media of publications, cautionary signs, moving pictures, organization and training of
local volunteer fire crews, exhibits at fairs, etc. Concurrently with such a program must
go the physical reduction of known 'high risk' hazards such as roadside, railroad and dump
grounds areas by burning or chemical treatment.
"Considerable was accomplished in the field during 1946 but such
worl@ requires certain tools and equipment such as money for printing, exhibits, sound
picture projectors, suitable films, etc.
"To meet this need so that California's new as well as her
old population may be properly informed the board is specifically requesting $50,000 for
A coincidence of the deer season with the time of greatest fire hazard has resulted in
costly fires in areas difficult to reach quickly by suppression crews. The deer season in
the Sierra Nevadas in 1946 was from September 23rd to October 21st. A study of
weather records by foresters has shown that during a 16-year period the woods were
generally unsafe for hunter use before October 16th. The records revealed that:
During 9 of the 16 years, the woods were unsafe the entire period.
During 2 of the 16 years, the woods were unsafe up to October 10th.
During 2 of the 16 years, the woods were unsafe up to October 5th.
During 3 of the 16 years, the woods were safe on September 16th.
To minimize this threat to the forests, ranges and watersheds of
California, it has been recommended that: (1) A part of the charge for a deer tag be
assigned to fire prevention and suppression. (2) The deer season in the Sierra Nevadas be
started as late as is possible, with due consideration of the biological principle
involved. (3) That the Governor be granted emergency powers to provide for deferment of
the opening of the season in drought years on the advice of the State Board of Forestry.
THE COST OF FIRE CONTROL
It has cost the State of California nearly $3,000,000
annually for fire control.
A total of 207,241 man-hours were spent on fires in 1945 by State
Division of Forestry fire suppression crewmen. The major part of this time, 143,611
man-hours, were expended on Zone I fires. In that year the Federal Government recognized a
total state expenditure of $2,267,620.52 for fire control in Zone I areas and paid
$925,736.87 in reimbursements as arranged under the Clarke-McNary Act. This amount is
equivalent to 70 percent of one-half the total cost. Thus the net cost of fire control for
the state in Zone I was $1,341,883.65.
A survey of California in 1945 by representatives of the United States
Forest Service and the State Division of Forestry brought about substantial reductions in
Clarke-McNary area (Zone I and II) and a resulting loss of Federal funds. Before the
survey, 25,706,819 acres of the State were classed as Clarke-McNary land. Of this
21,554,481 acres were considered the primary responsibility of the state, the remainder
the responsibility of the United States Forest Service. A stricter interpretation of the
terms "primary timber and watershed" and the elimination of public domain lands
has brought about a reduction of 6,088,424 acres in the total Clarke-McNary areas. Of this
total 6,045,681 acres of state responsibility were taken from the area of Clarke-McNary
support. The change was effective on July 1, 1946. Another survey and reclassification
will be made in five years.
In addition to the reductions in fire control costs expected to be
brought about by the prevention work suggested above, a further reduction would result if
the State Division of Forestry were financed to do research work on fire fighting
equipment, materials and techniques. On this subject the State Board of Forestry has made
the following recommendations:
"In the field of fire fighting equipment and techniques
advancement has been relatively slow. Much of our major advancement in this line has been
accomplished by using county funds. The war has brought forth new units and ideas that may
be adapted to fire fighting ranging from four-wheel drive trucks with special pump
equipment to the application for fire-retarding chemicals by the use of airplanes. The
United States Forest Service is, at the present time, doing some work in the field.
However, if the Division of Forestry was financed to cooperate with them as well as carry
on independent and correlated work in this field, it is anticipated that we could reduce
our fire control costs as well as the annual acreage burned. In this program the board has
requested the allocation of $50,000 for the biennium."
Several modifications of the state fire laws have been included in
bills sponsored by the Forestry Study Committee.
In spite of the tremendous annual cost of forest fires in lives,
damage, and cost of control, some locally elected justices have condoned the wilful
breaking of the law by local people by refusing to fine or otherwise penalize them when
they are found guilty of such infractions. Fires started by incendiaries in 1945 burned
80,559 acres of primary timber and watershed land in the state zone of responsibility and
caused a total of $314,708 worth of damage in the State's Zones I, II, and III. To
alleviate this situation it is recommended that the penalties for breaking the fire laws
FULL-YEAR EMPLOYMENT OF KEY MEN
Most fire suppression crews' personnel is employed seven
months of the year by the State. From the foreman grade and down, they are released
during the winter months, except one-half the foremen and all the bulldozer operators. As
a result, many of the better men permanently leave state employment to seek permanent work
elsewhere, and there is a large training job each spring for new men. To keep experienced
men on the job and to do several tasks that require attention each winter, it has been
proposed that 233 foremen, 93 truck drivers (50 percent of the total employed in the
summer), 77 equipment (bulldozer) operators and 36 cooks be employed throughout the year.
This would mean a total of 2,139 man months for this group for the fire months at five
days per week.
This labor would be employed about as follows:
Maintenance work on roads, trails and telephone lines
Cleaning, painting equipment
Engineering--Three man party in each of six districts, clearing brush, etc.
Supplemental overhead of C.Y.A. projects
Repair and reconditioning fire tools
For the Ninety-ninth Fiscal Year the Division of Forestry reports a
need for 17,235.6 man-months, including the above described winter work. For the One
Hundredth Fiscal Year the total need is 17,262.2 man-months. Assuming the present six-day
week for the fire season and a five-day week in the winter, the total cost for fire
suppression crews will be $6,529,967.20 for the biennium, if the 34,497.8 man-months are
approved and sufficient manpower is available.
As reported by the committee in 1945, the brushland clearing problem is a
complex one involving many variables. The question briefly is: Which brushlands should be
cleared? How? By whom? There is strong differences of opinion on each phase of the
ADVISABILITY OF LAND CLEARING
All concerned agree that there are areas of brushland that
can be profitably cleared. There is disagreement as to the amount of the chaparral,
woodland and sagebrush that is suitable for clearing.
Decisions must be made by those concerned as to the economic
advisability of each proposed clearing, taking into account the present and future returns
or losses on the invested effort and money. In predetermining returns the rancher should
have some idea of the productivity of the soil, the amount of maintenance work needed to
keep the area clear, any losses that will be sustained in erosion or other damage to the
soil, or soil water, in the clearing operations, and how the land should be treated after
clearing because of the possibility of silting reservoirs, effecting water flow, etc. The
public welfare is an important factor.
To assist the rancher determine the answers to these questions, it has
been proposed that specialists in soils, livestock raising, agriculture, forestry,
economics and other fields prepare a land classification of the state according to
probable best use. This proposal is discussed under "Land Classification."
The treatment of the land after clearing includes seeding and
protection from overgrazing. Suitable seed has not been found for use, in the drier areas
of the state. Only 35 to 40 percent of the control burn area of 1946, suitable for
seeding, was seeded. This was partially attributed to a shortage of seed.
THE USE OF FIRE
In California brush is usually removed by one or more
of these methods:
1. The mechanical method of brush removal involves the use of
bulldozers, rollers, discs, or other equipment. It is usually the most thorough method and
is used where the owner has lands he feels warrant the expenditure of large sums of money
to obtain satisfactory clearing. Fire is usually used to consume the material after
windrowing, piling or rolling.
2. The use of goats to overgraze and keep down sprouts from partially
burned or chopped brush is a method used to a limited extent. It too involves a definite
plan of management and invariably is used with one or both of the other methods.
3. The method most used is burning and is often used alone. It has
given rise to great controversy as to where, when and bow it should be used. Some advocate
extensive use of fire; others believe there should be no -use of fire. Generally, informed
opinion lays somewhere between these extremes. The United States Forest Service is the
prime objector to the present use of controlled burning, because of a belief that there is
not enough known about burning and its results, and the public interests involved are too
great to be risked to mistreatment. Its use without further land treatment is also
questioned because many of the shrubs have the capacity to sprout from their roots and to
germinate from seed in the burn. This persistence often results in more dense stands of
brush a few years after the fire than there were prior to it.
A big problem in the use of fire is confining it to the area to be
cleared. The figures indicate its importance:
Applications for control burn permits
Total acreage burned under permit
Of the 1946 escape acreage, 6,800 acres were burned in 11 escape fires in Mendocino
County. The State Forester has reported:22 "The problem in Mendocino
County is of state-wide significance due to the prevalent attitude of public opinion in
regard to fire and the over-all drain on the State's resources in men, equipment and
money. For example in 1944 Mendocino County, which has 8 percent of the State's protection
area, burned 24 percent of the total acreage destroyed at a cost of 30 percent of the
State's suppression expenses. Over 20 percent of the State's burned area in 1945 was in
Mendocino County and 41 percent of the State's suppression costs were spent therein."
Precautions are usually taken to prevent the escape of the fire. Under the law the
control burner is liable for damage to his neighbor's property. Where needed, lines are
often cleared around the area by spring burning or by bulldozing. Of the 11 escape fires
in Mendocino County last year four had bulldozed control lines.
Attempts have been made to have the State Division of Forestry fire
suppression crews put in lines around areas to be burned or actually do the control
burning work. Other ranchers have insisted that any land improvement project to be done on
private lands for private profit must be done at private cost. Employees of the division
do inspect areas to be burned and recommend procedure. The State Forester is asking for
authorization to employ a technician, four assistant technicians and an assistant ranger
to working with ranchers in determining areas to be cleared, the locating of control
Because there is usually a high incident of fire occurance during the
deer season, which comes at the time of greatest fire hazard, it has been suggested by a
member of the State Board of Forestry that all control burning be prohibited on week-ends
during the deer season.
In the spring of 1945 the State Division of Forestry set up a
special program in Mendocino County in cooperation with the Mendocino County Control
Burning Committee. Under this program "200 ranchers were contacted and their
particular problems worked out on the ground. Of those contacted the majority cooperated
completely but due to many critical fires from several critical causes division assistance
was limited during the burning period.
"From this cooperative program several lessons were learned as (1)
The problem includes both hunting and livestock raising; (2) the desire to burn is not
limited in many cases to the individual's own lands; (3) the north coast area
(particularly the redwood belt) is probably the State's most difficult area to reclaim
from heavy brush cover; (4) the physical and financial impossibility to work directly with
even a fair percentage of the 1,800 ranchers of the county on this program; (5) the
physical and financial impossibility of doing an all-out control burning job and at the
same time coping with the large volume of wild fire business; and (6) the difficulty of
controlling fires in much of that area to the predetermined limits due to the nature of
the cover, topography and climatic conditions."22
In general there is better cooperation now between ranchers and
the Division of Forestry than at any time in the past several years. This is partially the
result of the 1945 legislation dealing with the land clearing problem. It is now
understood that a rancher may legally burn his brush, that he can get assistance of an
advisory nature from the State Division of Forestry, when possible, and that lie must keep
his fire on his own lands. This improved relationship has brought about a reduction in
incendiary fires which are still an important problem. In 1944 incendiary fires did damage
totaling $595,447. In 1945 the total was 8314.708.
LONG TERM RESEARCH
In addition to the recommended land classification according to probable best use
there are other measures which will assist in relieving this problem. One of these is the
recommendation of Professor B. A. Madson, Chairman of the University of California's
Experiment Station Committee on Range Land Utilization, and Dr. A.W. Sampson, Professor of
Forestry and Plant Ecologist in the Experiment Station, and others, that there be a long
time experimental program of investigation on an economic unit of brushland of about 5,000
acres. Past studies have been of limited scope, often unrelated and sometimes of no
significance. Areas available in the past have been too small or otherwise unsuitable, and
state agencies have been precluded from any active participation in the management of
selected areas. The following program has been suggested by Dr. Sampson:
"To facilitate investigation of economic and other pleases of the
brushland burnin-grazing problem it would be desirable for the State to acquire
"1. Including one strategically located area of sufficient size to
serve as a livestock unit, probably 4,000 or 5,000 acres.
"a. Area must have water and a variety of topography.
"b. It should include, if possible, the more common and extensive
"c. Cattle, sheep, and goats should be placed on separate units of
"d. Five technicians should be permanently engaged in work on the
area. They should include: A superintendent to be in charge of administration and to make
contacts with ranchers regarding their problems: a plant ecologist; an animal
husbandryman; an hydrologist; and a wildlife specialist.
"e. The University should participate actively in the work
"2. Additional small areas would be necessary to evaluate local
variations in climate, soil, and vegetation, and the -use of the land.
"Stockmen and others would benefit most, in the long run, if the
work were entered into thoroughly and on a long-time basis. Little in the way of practical
results should be expected in the immediate future. The project should probably be
continued for at least 20 years. The problems should be investigated according to (a) the
more immediate practical needs, and (b) long-time future needs. The following are some of
the problems meriting investigation:
"1. The economic benefits, as well as the losses, if any, from
brushburning under widely different conditions of soil, vegetation, and topography.
"2. The effect of burning on erosion and on the hydrology of
various brush areas.
"3. The economics involved in permanently removing the brush, as
by mechanical means. Quality of soil should be critically studied in this connection.
"4. The class of stock to which various brush areas are best
suited, and determination of their grazing capacity.
"5. The proper season of grazing of the brush types.
"6. Brushland values for game production, and the value of burning
in favoring food for game.
"7. The long-term social problems involved in the use of
It has also been recommended that the research work of the Division of
Forestry be continued. Besides its cooperative work with the ranchers of Mendocino County
the division has used part of the $40,000 appropriated in 1945, to employ the services of
specialists to gather information on the subject of brushland clearing. One of these is
Dr. Homer L. Shantz, who has prepared a "Report on Use of Fire As a Tool in Range
Improvement." Mr. Paul A. Ewing, Professor Emeritus Frank Adams and Dr. Martin R.
Huberty have written a report on the "Hydrologic Aspects of Control
Burning." The recommendation for the continuance of this work came from the State
Board of Forestry which stated:
"During the current biennium under Chapter 1420, Statutes of 1945,
$40,000 was appropriated for the purpose of conducting an experimental and research
program in the use of fire as a tool in land clearance. During the current biennium
considerable research in this field has been accomplished as well as an action program in
the field of land clearance with fire in cooperation with the university, grazing,
interests and landowners. Unless this program is continued and enlarged to include proper
reseeding of the burned areas and the subsequent live stock management in cooperation with
the University and Extension Service, this will be another 'flash in the pan' program with
much money and work wasted. In order that this present program may be adequately carried
on, for the improvement of range lands and the public benefit in the reduction of
incendiary fires, the board recommends an annual appropriation of $40,000."
FEDERAL FOREST ACTIVITIES
The establishment of the United States Forest Service marked the first
nation-wide effort to restore and preserve the forest resources of the country. It has
done a magnificent job and future generations will reap the harvest of its pioneer work.
Not only has it created a reserve of forests from which to draw upon in times of need such
as we are experiencing today, but it also has stimulated action on the part of
states and local communities to appreciate the value of forests to the social and economic
wellbeing of the people.
ATTEMPTS AT EXPANSION
But like all good things, when carried to extremes
they become a menace. Over-expansion of the United States Forest Service can well undo all
the good it has accomplished. It being a proprietary organization it owns, on behalf of
the United States Government, the lands under its jurisdiction. And since the lands are
owned by the Federal Government they are governed from Washington and all local and state
government ceases. Thus people living within the United States National Forests and
communities adjacent to and dependent upon the resources of the national forests are
beholden to the United States Government for their economic existence. When people become
beholden to the United States Government instead of local and state government, it is a
complete breakdown of Democracy.
Therefore, the California Forestry Study Committee desires to call the
attention of the Legislature to the threat to the well-being of the State of California
contained in the proposal of Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas to acquire as a memorial
grove to the memory of Franklin D. Roosevelt, practically all of the redwood forest area
from Marin County to the Oregon boundary.
Should this proposal be carried out, this vast area would become
subject to federal control.
The Counties of Sonoma, Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte would be
deprived of revenues to support their governments, and the entire economic life of those
counties would be completely disrupted.
The committee feels that the United States Forest Service can better
perform duty to the nation by ceasing to expand territorily and give more attention to
developing better forestry practices on the lands already under its control.
REGULATION ON PRIVATE LANDS
Attention is also called to a publication of the Federal
Forest Service put out under date of April 1, 1946, and titled "K (1) Personnel
Training," and written by Lyle F. Watts, Chief.24 This publication
indicates a trend in the plans of the Federal Forest Service to expand into the field of
regulating forestry practices on privately-owned lands. This is a direct invasion of the
function of State Government and should be vigorously opposed on that ground.
The State is confronted with a challenge to do a better job of
reforestation and preservation of forest resources or the Federal Government will step in
and do the job for us.
STATE FOREST ACQUISITION
Legislation passed in 1945 declares that the holding and reforestation
of timber lands is in the interest of the State and that such lands should be acquired f
or reforestation and demonstration purposes. Two million dollars were appropriated for
such purchases. To date no properties have been acquired although negotiations are under
way. It is recommended there be an appropriation of additional funds for future purchases.
PRESENT STATE FORESTS
The committee's first report described Mt. Zion State Forest, Las Posades
State Forest and Ellen Pickett State Forest, the three small properties that comprised the
entire State Forest System, a total of 1,104 acres. By legislative action in 1945 there
were two other tracts added to these:
1. The Latour State Forest, 9,170 acres in Shasta County, was
transferred from the control of the State Lands Commission to the Division of Forestry. It
contains approximately 100,000,000 feet of ponderosa pine, sugar pine, white fir and
incense cedar. A total of 4,600 Christmas trees were sold from this property on a lineal
foot basis for $3,365 in 1946. The Division of Forestry expects to sell 60,000,000 feet of
timber from this area, but no contracts have been made as yet.
2. The Mountain Home Tract, 4,562 acres in Tulare County, was purchased
by direct legislative appropriation with the provision that it "shall be preserved as
nearly as possible in a virgin state."
After checking with the sponsors of this legislation the State Division
of Forestry is selling some material from the area for sanitation and salvage purposes.
Approximately $3,500 has been realized to date from the salvage of down material. Another
2,424,000 board feet of salvage and sanitation material are to be cut under present
contracts in 1947 and 1948 and will return $9,994.50 to the State. Eighty-two percent of
this volume is white fir.
AREAS UNDER CONSIDERATION
Two parcels of timberland have been appraised by the
division for the consideration of the Board of Forestry and the State Forest Purchase
Committee. Action is expected on these proposals in January, 1947.
1. The Caspar Lumber Companv's property in Mendocino County, comprising
46,878 acres supporting 250,000,000 feet of old growth timber and 236,132,000 feet of
young growth, is offered with improvements including some buildings for approximately
$1,500,000. The committee made a personal inspection of this tract and was very much
impressed with its desirability as a state forest. The area is ideal for the demonstration
of forestry practices and meets all of the qualifications set up in the Forest Acquisition
Act of 194,5. It has sufficient old growth timber on it to conduct selective logging
practices to demonstrate how a virgin forest may be managed on a continuous production
basis. The committee strongly urges the acquisition of this tract.
2. The Banner Mountain tract in Nevada County, totaling 880 acres of
cutover land supporting approximately 9,000,000 board feet of mixed conifer timber, is
offered for $11,440.
ADDITIONAL PROPERTIES IN THE
The State Board of Forestry has made the following recommendation:
"At the special session of the Legislature in the Spring of 1945,
$2,000,000 was appropriated for the acquisition of state forests as provided in Chapter
317, Statutes of 1945. By the end of this biennium approximately $1,600,000 of this
appropriation will probably be obligated and the State will have acquired one large state
forest property capable of being placed on sustained yield basis as well as several small
units for demonstrational purposes. Several other parcels for future acquisition are under
consideration. With the exception of a few known properties the present economic
conditions indicate that it is a poor time to buy large forest areas because of inflated
prices. This condition may change within a few years and a good potential state forest
property will probably be available at a favorable buying level. The Division of
Forestry should, however, be in a position to take advantage of good purchase
opportunities which will not be properly managed under private ownership. In order to
avail ourselves to these opportunities, we should have a continuing appropriation which we
can use for this purpose during the next six to eight-year period."
"The board therefore recommends the appropriation of $5,000,000 for the purchase
of state forests as provided for under Chapter 317, Statutes of 1945, as a continuing
STATE FORESTS, A GOOD INVESTMENT
"California's attempt to perpetuate its $177,000,000 lumber industry and
insure its people of a continuous forest crop"25 by the establishment of
state forests is based on a widely recognized premise. The United States Forest Service
reports: "Thirty-nine states have an aggregate area of approximately 13,400,000 acres
in state forests in 723 units."26
Four states, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Minnesota, have state forest
areas in excess of 1,000,000 acres. Minnesota, with a little over one-half the area of
California has 5,338,238 acres in state forests.
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE
Based upon the studies made by the committee the following recommendations
are respectfully offered to the Legislature for its consideration and guidance:
1. We recommend that provision be made, both by statute and budgetary
support for carrying on a long-time experiment in brushland clearing and the use of fire
in rangeland improvement to determine the best method of range land management.
2. We recommend that the Division of Forestry be enabled to employ
forest advisors "to give advice and guidance in farm forest management to the end
that the owners of small timber tracts may derive the maximum returns and benefits from
3. We recommend that courses of forestry be established in the primary
and secondary schools of the State, and that further education of the young people in
forestry be carried on through the establishment of an organization similar to the Future
Farmers of America and to be known as the "Future Foresters of America." The
State of Mississippi is promoting such an organization with marked success.
4. We recommend the completion of the Forest Products Laboratory at the
University of California at the earliest possible moment. Rapid depletion of the remaining
timber supply makes it urgent that use be made of the larger part of trees being
harvested. At present scarcely more than 40 percent of a tree is being utilized. The
Forest Products Laboratory should discover methods for profitable utilization of much
larger portions of the tree.
5. We recommend that the acquisition of lands for state forests be
continued and that $5,000,000 be set aside as a continuing appropriation for the purchase
of lands by the Forest Purchase Committee as provided by the Statutes of 1945.
6.We recommend that the law governing the State Nursery be amended to
enable the State Forester to grow seedlings of commercial lumber type trees which may be
sold at a nominal fee, to be fixed by the State Board of Forestry.
7. We recommend that the diameter limit established by law, as a
minimum for cutting trees for lumber purposes, be increased to meet the conditions in the
respective areas of the State in order to insure a future supply of timber. The
accelerated cutting of the forests induced by a strong demand and high prices is resulting
in cutting both young and old growth trees down to the 18-inch limit now specified in the
law. The whole future of the forest resources of the State is at stake and immediate
action is necessary to preserve the young trees now if we hope to have any lumber in the
future. We must not sacrifice future well-being for immediate profits.
8. We recommend continuation of the insect and disease program
initiated in 1945. Forest devastation by insects and disease now constitute a serious
threat to a continued timber supply. Results obtained during the past two years indicate
that the pine beetle can be brought under control. With increased control effort, white
pine blister rust can be reduced to a threat of minor importance,
9. We recommend to your favorable consideration the bills dealing with
forestry and fire control sponsored by the Committee and supported by the State Division
10. We recommend that laws dealing with forestry and fire control be
brought into a Forestry and Fire Control Code at an early date.
11. We recommend that budgetary aid be given the Division of Forestry
to assist in carrying to completion a forest survey of the State, through means of aerial
maping and other methods necessary to acquire more accurate estimate of the forest
resources than is now available.
12. We recommend full-year employment for suppression crews foremen and equipment men.
These men can render valuable service in keeping equipment in order and in doing much
needed fire prevention work and insect control during the winter season.
1 Society of American Foresters, Forestry News, Vol. 1, No. 5.
2 Editorial : "Prospective Lumber Requirements," The Timberman,
July, 1946, Vol. XLVII, -No. 9.
3 "Present Lumber Situation in the United States and Possible Measures
to Increase Supply," May, 1946, Journal of Forestry, Vol. 44, No. 5.
4 Lee M. Shames, Economist, Appalachian Forest Experiment Station, Ashville,
.N. C., "A Forecast of Lumber Demand," July, 1946, Journal of Forestry, Vol. 44,
5California Labor Statistics Bulletin, August, 1946, No. 265.
6 Weislander, A. E. and Herbert A. Jensen, 1946, Forest Areas, Timber
Volumes and Vegetation Types in California, Forest Survey Release No. 4, California Forest
and Range Experiment Station, Berkeley.
7 The Timberman, May, 1946, compiled as testimony before a hearing of a
subcommittee of the U. S. Senate.
8Associited Press news release, datelined Washington, October 26, 1946.
9 Civilian Production Administration, Facts for Industry, Series, 16-5-18,
September 13, 1946.
10 DeWitt Nelson, State Forester, in an address to the Western Forestry and
Conservation Association, Portland, Ore., December 12, 1946.
11 Jack Reveal and A. F. Wallen in Pi arm Forestry Report, North Coast
District, State Division of Forestry, May 22, 1946.
12 Proposals formulated in July, 1946, at Higgins Like, Michigan, by 19
national leaders in the field of conservation, government and industry.
13 Califoriaia Forestry Study Committee, The Forest Situation in California,
1945 Report to the Legislature.
14 S. B. Show, District Forester, California District, Forest
Service, in U. S. D. A. Circular No. 92, Forest Nursery and Planting Practice in the
California Pine Region, January, 1930.
15Act of June 7, 1924 (43 Stats. 653); Sees. 563 f fl, title 16, U. S. C.
and Act of May 18, 1937, Public No. 95 (50 Stats. 188).
16 Forestry Study Committee, California State Chamber of Commerce, A Partial
Forest Policy for California, September, 1933.
17 U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Farmer's Bulletin No. 1853, Classifying Land
for Conservation Farming.
18 R. Earl Storie, Natural Land Divisions of Santa Cruz County, California:
Their Utilization and Adaptation, Bulletin 638, July, 1940, U. C. College of Agriculture,
Agriculture Experiment Station.
19 U. S. D. A., Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine, Annual Report on
the Control of White Pine Blister Rust in the Pacific Coast Region for the Calendar Year
20 Dr. R. C. Hall, Accomplishments on the Burney-McCloud Insect Control
Project, during 1945, February 25, 1946.
21 DeWitt Nelson, State Forester, Supplement of Fire Statistics to
22 DeWitt Nelson, State Forester, in an address to the Eighty-fifth Annual
Wool Growers' Convention, San Francisco, November 15, 1945.
23 Dr. A.W. Sampson, in a paper prepared for Forestry Study
Committee, Berkeley, California, February 21, 1946.
24 Lyle P. Watts, Chief Forest Service, Questions on Forest Regulation,
April 1, 1946.
25 DeWitt Nelson, State Forester, in California Appropriates $2,000,000 for
State Forests, Journal of Forestry, July, 1946.
26U. S. D. A. Forest Service, Misc. Pub. No. 373, State Forests for Public
Use, May, 1940.
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