OCR Interpretation

The citizen. (Berea, Ky.) 1899-1958, September 02, 1909, Image 2

Image and text provided by University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052076/1909-09-02/ed-1/seq-2/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for

YV llllllll ult ll 1 J llllllll 1l lllL il 1 1111 1L
I m
N THE last anal
gals all material
wealth all the
comforts and ne
cessities of life
are tho product
of two elements
nature and la
bor It may be
truly dald that
nature or tho
earth Is the
mother of labor and tho father of all
products necessary to sustain human life
The richness and prosperity of a country
therefore depend on the presence of nat
ural resources within its borders such as
water minerals forests and cultivable soils
on the one hand and intelligent human en
ergy on the other to shape them into tho
forms necessary for Che needs of man Of
the two elements the natural resources are
indispensable for in a country like tho des
ert of Sahara all human effort would be
of but little avaiL Tho growth of a nation
depends therefore upon the extent of the
natural resources and upon the knowledge
u of how to use them with as little destruc
tlon as possible
The resources of a country fall natu
rally into three groups water minerals
and landwhich represent respectively re
sources which are inexhaustible resources
which are exhaustiblo and cannot bo re
newed and resources which arc exhaust
ible but can be renewed It may be ques
thing as an inexhaustible natural resource
Even water through tho denudation of tho
drainage basins may become Irregular in
its flow or through tho careless disposal
i of refuse may become polluted so that It
cannot be used Mines are Illustrations of
resources which are exhaustible and not
renewable Gas oil coal and iron onco
i 3
I JrJfY5oYNEATftt4
gone are gone forever
Of all tho natural resources the
only one which contains within Itself
the possibility of infinite renewal Is
land Tho nation should therefore be
most vitally concerned with the con
servatlon and improvement of this re
source Human control over such nat
ural resources as minerals is limited
The only possible means of conserva
their ultimate exhaustion Is unavoid
able With agricultural and forest
land however It is otherwise Land
can not only be conserved but con
stantly Improved and its yield in
creased While in England the Iron
ores and the coal
aro becoming con
stantly harder to get and tbelrex
haustlon is threatened the agricultural
land after a thousand years of cultiva
tion is now more productive than ever
Tho wheat fields of England under In
America on an average yield less than 13
If a farsighted national policy in the conservation of
natural resources is to make provision for an everln
creasing population then the greatest possibilities lie
in the direction of developing the land In all its forms
field forest and
all possible
economy In the use of the nonrenewable resources they
are bound to decrease
as time
goes on
One hundred years ago the United States east of the
Mississippi river was an almost unbroken forest com
prising something over 1000000 square miles or about
700000000 acres Now after about a century of settle
ment there are not more than 300000 square miles of
merchantable forest land in the eastern United States
About 330000 square miles have been cleared for farm
land The remainder has been culled of its valuable tim
ber and devastated by fire or else turned into useless
brush land With the growth of population and the
greater demand for agricultural land the ratio between
farm and forest land will chango still further The for
cats will be more and more crowded into the mountains
and upon soils too thin or too poor for agricultural pur
poses It may be safely assumed that in 60 or 100 years
the proportion of land devoted to the different purposes
will chango almost as much as It has during the past
century Theso changes will occur especially in the cast
ern part of tho United States because there the forest
is not confined as it is In the west to high altitudes
where agriculture is generally impracticable In the
west tho forests with a few exceptions as in the low
country around Puget sound are In tho mountains which
rise in tho midst of semiarid plains and their original
area of 150000 square miles half of which lies in the
f terra Nevada and in tho Cascades and half In tho Rock
lea has changed but very little since settlement In tho
west the increase ot agricultural land must be secured
chiefly through the irrigation of the semiarid land
If we take a long look ahead Into tho future and try
to picture to ourselves what will be tho ultimate propor
lion of farm forest range and desert In this country 50
years from now In the light of the increasing demand
for agricultural land and of an approximate knowledge
of the climatic conditions and the physical properties of
the different lands In this country we shall get some
thing like the condition shown In tho diagram
The area devoted to agriculture in a halt century
Instead of being 2l per cent of the total area as It Is
now will be nearer 50 per cent That this Is hot an
overestimate Is indicated by the fact that during the
list 60 years the improved farm land In this country
ofllTlre3t rllce
9ya Abiouff fores Lanct
2 Inr lnJf ole ptIWttnlgrJ
cali raand r Jf Land
SIc ESS dorcitfara Land
26 Grafnff load
2 CJ Barren Land
United States through
tho growth of cities tho
building of railroads and
the general development
of commerce and non
agricultural Industry Tho
possibilities for increas
ing the productiveness of
the 300000000 acres of
our public grazing land
are very great
About two per cent of
the total land area will
forever remain desert
There are but few areas
within tho United States
which on account of tho
Intense heat very low
temperatures alkali or
lack of rainfall aro unfit
for the use of man and
may be truly considered
desert land Such land is
found in
L the South
kvU West about
21the Gulf of
0 allfornla
atmopMT opWATRPO S9
bus advanced from 113000000 acres to 415000000 acres
an Increase of nearly 370 per cent
With more Intensive methods of cultivation larger
yields will undoubtedly be obtained from the same area
yet tho area itself under agricultural crops will have to
be increased especially if wo are to remain an export
total land area in Denmark 68 In Franco 48 and in
are not exporters of cere
als although their methods of cultivation are highly de
veloped Franco Is especially interesting as a criterion
because its methods are most Intensive and It is the
only country that Is selfsustaining it produces 98 per
little doubt that our population in the next 50 years will
reach 50000000 or about 60 persons per square mile
Whether tho acreage of improved farm land will In
crease at a much faster rate than the population as has
the same or even a slower rate than the population the
future alone can tell but increase It must
In mountainous Switzerland only 17 per cent of the
land Is cultivated and In Sweden and Norway situated
In an unfavorable climate and with a scanty population
29 and 18 persons per square mile respectively tho
proportion of arable land is 87 per cent and 13 per
cent respectively
Land chiefly valuable for grazing will form about one
fifth of the extent of the United States proper This
land originally lay west of the one hundredth meridian
in the plains and mountain valleys but with the advance
of dry farming Its eastern boundary has been shifted
farther west to about tho one hundred and third mend
ian This land receives but a scanty rainfall and can
produce neither forest nor field crop but supports a
vegetation of hardy grasses It was formerly the natu
ral range of millions of buffalo and is now the grazing
ground of herds of cattle and sheep This land will re
main largely a natural range since the area which can
be irrigated and thus reclaimed for agricultural pur
poses or which can be used for dry farming Is com
paratively small
According to government estimates tho available wa
ter will be sufficient to Irrigate 71000000 acres or one
acre in ni of the whole region The reclamation ser
vice However docs not expect to reclaim more than five
per cent of all the arid land This area together with
that used for dry farming will barely suffice to counter
balance the reduction of the productive area in the
11 Tit HIRTnWJJ1qo
in Nevada in Utah and in Oregon in the form of arid
basins Icebound deserts aro found In Alaska and on
the glaciercovered mountains This land must so long
as the climatic conditions of the country conUnue at
they are remain unproductive
The land chiefly valuable for growing forests will
shrink to about 360000000 acre less than onefifth of
tho extent of tho United States proper Together with
the wood lots which will continue to form part of tho
farm land the total forest area will amount to approxi
mately 450000000 acres or a fourth of the total land
Will this area be sufficient to provide a population
of 150000000 people with nil tho timber needed for con
struction tics poles pulp and all the various uses for
which wood seems to be the only suitable material and
to protect the soil from erosion regulate the stream
flow and exert its wholesome influence upon the lives
of the people
With tho exception of thoso countries which have
naturally a humid climate like Great Britain or tho
Netherlands the countries with a forest area of only
20 per cent or less show usually to a marked degree bad
climatic conditions with prolonged droughts frosts and
alternating floods and low water as a result of the 10
dnced forest area Portugal with a forest area of only
3 ½ per cent of thin total Spain with 10 per cent
Greece with 13 per cent Turkey with 20 per cent and
Italy with 14 per cent are good examples
While the area absolu tely necessary for tho regula
tion of streams and tho protection of soils can be deter
mined only approximately and Indirectly the area nec
essary to make a country selfsustaining as regards the
production of timber can bo found with greater accu
racy If wo compare the exports of tho different coun
tries with the forest area for every 100 Inhabitants we
find that countries with 92 acres or moro per 100 Inbabl
tants have a surplus of exports over imports while those
with 85 acres or less have a surplus of imports over ex
ports Apparent exceptions to this rule appear In the
cases of Bulgaria and Servla These countries while at
present importing moro wood than they export possess
considerable areas ot forest now Inaccessible and with
the development of means of exploitation and the in
creased demand for lumber they will In time become ox
porting countriesa1
From this wo may Infer that a cou try In order to be
selfsustaining as regards Its timber upply must have
nn area of about 100 acres of forest land for every 100
Inhabitants The area necessary to supply all the wood
needed for homo consumption will vary of courso with
tho per capita consumption and tho 100 acres per 100
Inhabitants must be considered the minimum area be
cause it Is based upon a moderate per capita consump
lion such as Is found in densely populated countries of
Europe like Germany orv Franco 1
The same minimum area for every 100 Inhabitants
necessary to make a country selfsustaining can also bo
deduced In another way At present Germany Imports
353000000 cubic feet of wood from abroad To produce
this amount of timber Germany would bavo to possess n
forest area of 17000000 acres In addition to the 35000
000 now available In other words she would need
53000000 acres of forest In order to meet her own tim
ber requirements or 932 acres for every 100 Inhabi
tants Germany Is an extremely good example with
which tho productivity of the forests of all other coun
tries can bo compared because her
forests can bo taken as a standard of
a 1 productiveness
productivenessA I
A RfvwoovCur
l I
In this country where the per cap
ita consumption Is sIxTlmca as groat
as that In Germany or France and cnpoj
annual growth per aero may bo estl
mated roughly na onethird of that
those countries tho forest area would
have to be 1600 acres for each 100 IDJ
habitants or moro than twlco tho pros
oat area In order to maintain tho pres
ent cut The present area of 775 ncron
for every 100 Inhabitants at tho pres
consumption and annual
eat per capita
nual growth per aero would be BUm
clent to meet our own needs If them
wore not present a supply of virgin
timber the accumulated capital of
centuries to meet tho deficiency With
the exhaustion of this remaining
gin supply which can last only about
30 yearn more there must coml a time
when not only nil our exports of Um
bel must cease but there will not be
enough wood for bomo consumption
EVdn as It is the total export of
wood from this country amount to only
five per cent of tho lumber cut while
tho surplus of exports ever Imports Is
only 18 per contnn insignificant
amount This shown clearly that we
have practically ceased to ho an en
porting country and tho tendency will
be moro nud moro toward becoming a
woodImporting country 1
How shall this shortage be melt
With an Increasing demand for land
for agricultural crops there Is little
hope of Increasing the extent of forestr
land As wo havo seen tbo area neet
essary for this purpose would have 0It
be more than double the present area and this Is en
tlrelr out of the question Much of the land now under
producing crops will havo to be
forest but capable of pr
cleared and tilled to provide for an Increased popula
the land un
ion All the evidence therefore Is that
der forest will during tho next 60 years bo reduced to
450000000 acres and this reduced area wll have to I
provide for a population almott twice as largo as tho
present Nor will there bo much hope for covering the
shortage of our home production by importations from
abroad The demand for timber is constantly crowing all overi
tho world It Increases at the rate of five per cent
annually If we compare tho total excess of Imports
over exports of all woodImporting countries of Europe
with tho total excess of exports over Imports of all
woodexporting countries we shall find that there is a
deficit for Europe of 141000000 cubic feet which la
met at present by Imports from North America Swe
den Norway and Austria liungary have already touched
the highest point in their exports Russia could prob
ably Increase to some extent its exports from the north
where there are still largo areas of virgin forest but
tho growing scarcity of timber In the other parts of the
empire make It very unlikely that larger supplies of
timber for export will be available Canada Is still able
to increase Its exports but the drain upon the Canadian
forests Is growing every year and they will remain the
only source ot supply to satisfy the urgent needs of tho
rest of tho world for coniferous Umber after Austria
Hungary and Russia cease to be exporting countries
The growing demand for wood material must bo met
then not by nn Increase of tho forest land nor by de
pending on Imports from abroad but by an increase In
the productiveness of the forest and a decrease in tho
waste to which chiefly Is duo the fact that the United
States has the greatest per capita consumption In iho

xml | txt