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FOREST FIRES AND BRUSH DISPOSAL,   141

quent destruction of the trees left and of the future crop. Cut-over areas with large tops left on them are very difficult for surveyors, cruisers and fire-rangers to travel over and the cost of such work is increased by this condition.

The second growth on cut-over lands is hindered to some extent by the presence of large tops, which shut out the light, cover the ground with decaying needles and make the young trees, which have to grow up through the old tops, crooked.

The fire risk is increased fully one hundred per cent after lumbering, but, if the tops are properly lopped, this is much reduced.

In discussing this matter, there are two fundamental questions to be considered, the cost of logging and the cost of fire protection, the first of which is increased and the second decreased by top-lopping. Do these two items balance, and if not, do the advantages obtained by top-lopping compensate for the added cost? The present prices of lumber and pulpwood do not permit of any extra expenditure for logging, and unless top-lopping is made compulsory by law, so as to place all operators on the same basis, few of them would be willing to undertake it. Then too, it is a question which concerns the lumber-man more than the pulpwood man, as the latter takes out all logs down to three and a half inches in diameter, and all crooked and forked trees, as well as many logs which are partly unsound. When tops are taken to such a small diameter they lie close to the ground and rot fairly quickly. On the other hand, where trees are cut for lumber, all tops over eight inches in diameter, all forked and many crooked trees and all unsound ones are left in the woods, making the very worst possible conditions, from the standpoint of danger from fire. The amount and character of the material left in the woods are also dependent on the distance from the point of utilization and the difficulty and cost of transportation. It is axiomatic that material which would cost more to remove from the woods than the price which could be obtained for it must be left to decay.

From the standpoint of the good of the forest and its better protection from fire there is no question but that top-lopping is beneficial, and one might almost say necessary, and, if made compulsory by a regulation binding on all timber operators in a province, so that the added charge would fall on all, and, if uniformly enforced so that there would be no favoritism or discrimination, it would be a wise measure.

The cost of top-lopping is influenced by the following factors : Whether logging is done by company camps or jobbers, attitude of foremen and inspectors, character of labour, nature of the ground


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