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THE FOREST SITUATION
IN CALIFORNIA


REPORT TO THE LEGISLATURE

By

California Forestry Study Committee
Created by Senate Resolution No. 151
Statutes of 1945

 

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

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 support.

Respectfully,

GEORGE M. BIGGAR, Chairman

CONTENTS

 

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

FARM FORESTRY

Merchantable Timber Wasted

The Values Involved

The Need for Advisory Personnel

Farm Forestry in Other States

REFORESTATION

Forest Planting in California

Source of Planting Stock

Reforestation in Other States

State Board of Forestry's Recommendations

LAND CLASSIFICATION

The Area Requiring Attention

The Need for Land Classification

Objectives

THE FOREST SURVEY

The Preliminary Survey

California and the Nation-Wide Forest Survey

WHITE PINE BLISTER RUST CONTROL

Amount of Control Work Accomplished

Disease Advancing

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

Future Work

THE FIRE PROBLEM

Fire Losses

Causes of Fires

The Cost of Fire Control

Full Year Employment of Key Men

BRUSHLAND CLEARING

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

LITERATURE CITED

 

 

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 INVENTORIES

Forest owners and operators will be interested only in good forestry practices if they believe the various economic factors affecting future returns are favorable.

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

Use

Billion Board Feet

A million dwelling units

11.0

Non-farm building other than residential

2.5

Building repairs

2.8

Farm construction

6.7

Railroads

3.0

Public works and utilities

2.5

Other construction, including mining

1.5

Military construction

0.2

Boxes and shipping containers

5.5

Factory uses of lumber

4.1

The U. S. Forest Service, Division of Forest Economics makes the following prediction:

"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:

Year

California

United States

1942

2,330,041,000

36,332,24S,000

1943

2,352,592,000

34,288,757,000

1944

2,468,943,000

32,553,901,000

1945

2,260,769,000

27,951,081,000

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)

Species

Public

Private

Total

Ponderosa pine

17.2

11.2

28.4

Sugar pine

7.5

5.6

13.1

Redwood

1.0

29.2

30.2

Douglas fir

13.5

22.4

35.9

Fir

15.6

9.2

24.8

Incense cedar

2.4

1.7

4.1

All species

57.2

79.3

136.5

 

Available Young Growth and Young Growth-Old Growth Stands (billion board feet)

Species

Public

Private

Total

Ponderosa pine

5.2

6.9

12.1

Sugar pine

1.8

1.8

3.6

Redwood

--

1.8

1.8

Douglas fir

2.2

5.5

7.7

Fir

3.6

4.2

7.8

Incense cedar

.9

1.1

2.0

All species

13.7

21.3

35.0

 

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

Year

Exports

Imports

1923

2,465

1,971

1924

2,747

1,742

1925

2,611

1,846

1926

2,826

1,899

1927

3,063

1,744

1928

3,243

1,468

1929

3,197

1,542

1930

2,352

1,219

1931

1,701

748

1932

1,155

381

1933

1,281

359

1934

1,348

287

1935

1,313

438

1936

1,284

662

1937

1,443

688

1938

977

530

1939

1,104

718

1940

972

740

1941

696

1,360

1942

524

1,540

1943

310

855

1944

360

999

1945*

474

1,037

*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.

 

FARM FORESTRY

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 operators." 11

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 primarily advisory."

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 years."

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 forestry advice.

REFORESTATION

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

High site

Thousand acres

Medium Site

Thousand acres

Public

257

Public

930

Private

696

Private

1,158

Total

953

Total

2,088

Low Site

 

All Sites

 

Public

661

Public

1,848

Private

456

Private

2,310

Total

1,117

Total

4,158

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 timber cropland.

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."

 

LAND CLASSIFICATION

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

Major vegetation type

Millions acres and percent

Major Vegetation Type

Millions acres and percent

Timber forest

18

Grass

10

Other conifer forest

6

Desert

24

Woodland (hardwoods)

10

Cultivated urban and industrial

14

Chaparral

10

Barren

1

Sagebrush

7

All types

100

* The same figure expresses both millions of acres and percent because the total land area of California is approximately 100,000,000 acres.

 

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: 16

"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 grazing animals.

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.

OBJECTIVES

R.Earl Storie of the Agriculture Experiment Station reports: 18

"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:

Timber Cropland

Type

Million Acres

Percent

Pine

4.4

26

Redwood

1.9

11

Douglas fir

2.6

15

Fir

1.2

7

Pine, Douglas fir, fir

7.0

41

All types

17.1

100

Age class

 

 

Old growth

9.5

56

Young growth, old growth

3.8

22

Young growth

1.7

10

Unstocked areas

2.1

12

All classes

17.1

100

Stand density

 

 

Dense and semidense

4.4

26

Open

7.3

43

Very open

3.3

19

Unstocked areas

2.1

12

All densities

17.1

100

Site quality

 

 

High

4.3

25

Medium

9.2

54

Low

3.6

21

All site qualities

17.1

100

Ownership

 

 

Public

8.8

51

Private

8.3

49

All ownership

17.1

100

Availability class

 

 

Available

13.0

76

Unavailable (inaccessible)

2.1

12

Recreation

1.3

8

Withdrawn

.7

4

All classes

17.1

100

The areas of very openly stocked and unstocked timber cropland are shown to be:

Potential timber type

Million acres

Percent

Pine

2.0

37

Redwood

.6

11

Douglas fir

.8

15

Fir

.2

4

Pine, Douglas fir, fir

1.8

33

All types

5.4

100

Present vegetation type

Woodland

2.2

41

Chaparral

2.5

46

Other

.7

13

All types

5.4

100

Site quality

High

1.1

20

Medium

2.9

54

Low

1.4

26

All site qualities

5.4

100

 

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:

Commercial

Area

Million acres

Billion board feet

East side of Sierra Nevada

3.5

32.0

West side of Sierra Nevada

5.5

77.8

Coast Range pine

3.0

29.4

Redwood and Douglas fir

4.1

85.8

Southern Coast Range

0.3

2.6

 

16.4

227.6

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 primitive areas.

The federal appropriation will permit a survey of the following intensity:

(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 photographic work.

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 types ----------------------------25,000

(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 biennium.

 

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.

DISEASE ADVANCING

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 realities.

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 amount.

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

 

$1,687,000

 

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 area."

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: 

Timbered acres treated

26,760

Total volume treated by direct and salvage control

4,647,300 bd. ft.

Total number of trees and poles treated

14,376

Volume of timber salvaged

3,512,600 bd. ft.

Value of timber salvaged at $5.50 per M

$19,320

Estimated reduction in loss or timber saved by control on

 

treated areas

4,500,000 bd. ft.

Value of timber saved by control at $5.50 per M

$24,750

Total volume of timber salvaged or saved

8,012,600 bd. ft.

Total stumpage value saved or salvaged

$44,070

Total cost of project.-all agencies

$37,800

 

"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 future.

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.

FUTURE WORK

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.

FIRE LOSSES

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 season.

To show the values involved, the following figures are summarized from the State Division of Forestry's records for 1945:21

 

Zone I

Zone II

Zone III

State total

No. of fires

1,874

720

4,153

6,747*

Total area burned

428,142

81,856

75,540

585,538

Area merchantable timber

34,454

613

1

35,068

Area young growth

39,832

469

7

40,308

Area brush

264,829

30,152

17,373

312,354

Area grass (stubble)

88,604

50,405

52,738

191,747

Area hay and grain

423

217

5,421

6,061

Total damage

$1,632,637

$453,347

$428,816

$2,514,800

Merchantable timber damage

160,496

8,285

10

168,791

Young growth damage

114,709

319

27

115,055

Grass damage

66,687

33,823

38,062

138,572

Hay and grain damage

11,021

4,353

167,437

182,991

Improvements damage

925,948

325,997

223,280

1,475,225

Watershed damage

353,596

80,570

--------

434,166

* 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:

 

Cause

Zone I

Zone II

Zone III

Total

Railroad

86

30

187

303

Brush burning

321

167

1,136

1,624

Camper

35

9

33

77

Lumbering

58

3

4

65

Incendiary

241

49

122

412

Smoker

637

268

1,675

2,580

Lightening

143

18

26

187

Miscellaneous

353

176

970

1,499

Total

1,874

720

4,153

6,747

 

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 recommendations:

" 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 the biennium."

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 be mandatory.

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:

 

 

Man Months

Maintenance work on roads, trails and telephone lines

1,350

Fire hazard reduction

215

Cleaning, painting equipment

160

Forest insect control

100

Engineering--Three man party in each of six districts, clearing brush, etc.

90

Supplemental overhead of C.Y.A. projects

60

Repair and reconditioning fire tools

33

Miscellaneous odd jobs

131

 

2,139

 

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.

 

BRUSHLAND CLEARING

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 problem.

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:

 

1945

1946

Applications for control burn permits

----

235

Number of control burns

253

184

Acreage control burned

81,913

41,303

Acreage in escape area

16,012

8,911

Total acreage burned under permit

97,925

50,214

 

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 lines, etc.

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 experimental areas.

"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 brush types.

"c. Cattle, sheep, and goats should be placed on separate units of the area.

"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 brushlands."

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 FUTURE

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 fund."

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 them.

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 of Forestry.

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.

LITERATURE CITED

 

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, No. 7.

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 1945.

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 "1945 Activities."

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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