Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 52.djvu/478

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Provision is also made for the cutting and sale of the timber and the carrying on of mining and irrigation enterprises within the reserves, under permits to be granted and regulations to be established by the Secretary of the Interior. Essentially all the authority recommended in the final report of the Forestry Commission of the National Academy of Sciences is given by this legislation, with the exception of authority to employ troops in policing the reserves. The wording of the amendment is broad, and leaves the manner of establishing the administration and protection of the reserves in the control of the Secretary of the Interior. As soon as the surveys are completed, and the boundaries of the reserves determined, the final establishment of a rational forestry policy can be entered upon. Meantime, a beginning has been made through the authority granted by the act appropriating money for the protection of timber on public lands.

Surveys.—The forest-reserve legislation was enacted June 4, 1897, and arrangements were at once made for the topographic and subdivisional surveys of those portions of the suspended reserves in which there are large interests that may be injuriously affected if those areas are included within the reserves; for instance, the agricultural and mining interests of portions of the Black Hills Reserve of South Dakota, the mining interests of the southwestern portion of the Washington Reserve of Washington, and the timber interests of the eastern portion of the Bitter Root Reserve in Montana.

The topographic surveying parties were organized and left Washington the latter part of June. The purposes of the topographic surveys are (a) the preparation of topographic maps, on a scale of two miles to the inch, with contour intervals of one hundred feet, as base maps for the representation of forestry details, agricultural and mineral lands, and future geologic surveys; (b) the establishment of bench marks indicating elevation above sea level, for vertical control in topographic mapping, and for all mining, engineering, and geologic work; (c) the subdivision of reserves, where necessary, by running township lines for the purpose of designating tracts of land; (d) the demarcation by means of section lines of tracts which are more valuable as agricultural and mineral lands than for timber; and (e) the mapping by the topographer in charge of each party of the outlines of all wooded and forest areas.

Early in July the forestry survey was organized, and soon thereafter the special forest experts began the study of the distribution of the forests and woodlands, the size and density of the timber, the distribution of the leading economic species, the effect of the ravages of forest fires and the amount of damage inflicted by them, the amount of dead timber, the extent to which the forests are pastured,