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146   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

TABLE NO. 4—IDEAL CREW FOR TOP-LOPPING

Four men—men do cooking; pay, $52 per month.

One horse—125 logs per day.

Two fellers—fell, buck up, make bark marks and do branching up to top. One swamper—lop the tops and assist skidder in making trails. One skidder—skid logs, roll logs, make skidways and make trails. Ration estimate before Christmas, averaging in Sundays, 70 cents. Two-fifths swamper's time to lop the tops, at $2.00 per day.

Log average, 27 board feet skidded per day—3,375.

Cost of lopping per day, $1.08.

Cost of lopping per M. feet, 32 cents.

Top-lopping, except under proper supervision, is only a waste of time, as the men, especially under the jobbing system, will try to. evade the work, often piling brush on tops to conceal them.

The holders of timber lands are disposed to look upon top-lopping as a matter for careful investigation, and are willing to approach the subject with open minds. As has been said before, it is not likely that anyone would lop tops unless all his neighbours did the same. Some are disposed to use the following argument, which can be illustrated by the experiment described above. The cost of lopping per acre was found to be $1.63; the benefits from the standpoint of fire protection, reduced cost of cruising, etc., could under no circumstances extend over fifteen years, which would make the cost per acre per year eleven cents. As limit-holders in this section are now getting good fire protection for one-quarter cent per acre per annum, and for two or three cents practically perfect protection could be had by more numerous patrols, would it not be better therefore to spend the additional money in fire protection rather than in top-lopping? This, of course, applies only to lumbermen, for the pulp operators, by taking trees down to three and one-half inches in the tops, are practically leaving small enough tops; in fact, that is within one-half inch of the limit prescribed by the top-lopping law in New York state.

To sum up, the authors agree that top-lopping is well worth while from the standpoint of the good of the forests, but can only be a practical measure when compelled by a general regulation well enforced.


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