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FOREST FIRES AND BRUSH DISPOSAL,   149

employed for four months in the year would give very intensive patrol. Each guard would have only two and one-half sections to patrol and should be able to see every foot of the ground several times a day.

The following summary makes clear the relative cost of the two methods:

Plan Adopted

Area cut over, 3,300 acres.

Total amount cut, 52,600 thousand feet.

Cost of piling and burning at 46 cents per thousand    $24,000

Proposed Plan

Cost of piling and burning 10 per cent of brush for

fire lines    $2,400 Cost of lopping brush on balance of area at 10 cents

per thousand    4,700 Cost of patrol, two men, four months each year at $75

per month for five years    3,000

$10,100

Saving by proposed method    $13,900

 

It is believed that this system of partial piling and burning brush in the danger zones, supplemented by intensive patrol for a few years, can be applied successfully to most stands in the yellow pine, the fir-larch or Douglas fir types. Further advantages of leaving the brush unburned might be cited. Most of the yellow pine type in this locality occurs on dry south and west slopes. The brush and needle cover would help to retain moisture in these very dry situations and would probably be an aid to securing reproduction. In the fir-larch type there is very often an advance seedling growth, frequently eight or ten feet high, besides a large number of poles below merchantable size. Brush burning on an area of this sort must, of necessity, destroy a large amount of seedling and pole growth, besides being so expensive that it often deters a prospective purchaser from buying the timber.

The problem in white pine, spruce and cedar timber is somewhat different. The amount of brush in timber of this sort is so large, and the fire risk in the white pine belt is so great, that, in most cases,. extreme care must be taken to prevent fire in the slashings.

In the old, over-mature white pine stands, which are characteristic of the merchantable white pine type of the Lolo forest, the only feasible system which has been proposed for securing natural reproduction is the reservation from cutting of scattered groups, strips or single trees well distributed over the area, constituting 10 to 15 per cent of the total stand. If the brush is to be burned in a stand of this.


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