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152   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

SITUATION IN NATIONAL FORESTS IN MINNESOTA, MICHIGAN,
SOUTH DAKOTA, COLORADO AND WYOMING

The following statement is furnished by the District Forester at Denver, Colorado, in charge of U. S. Forest Service District No. 2.

Heretofore our methods of brush disposal have differed, of course, with the various timber types and ground conditions in each case. In the lodgepole type, we have resorted to piling and burning entirely. In the open yellow pine type in Colorado, scattering has been our usual method, and this method has also been used almost exclusively in our rather dense stands of spruce and alpine fir in mixture. In the Black hills, and in Colorado, where fire danger is great, yellow pine brush has been piled and burned as a strictly protective measure. In comparison with other districts more heavily timbered, and not subject to a fair amount of precipitation during the summer months because situated at lower altitudes, the fire risk in this district is not great and our reasons for piling and burning in lodgepole have taken reproduction into consideration as well as to present a clearer surface to possible ground fires. With the exception of the Minnesota and Michigan forests now in this district, piling has generally been done by the operator as cutting progressed, and the burning has been carried out by the Forest Service later, when light snow or other conditions made it least dangerous. Lately, we have been using a clause in our contracts, however, which requires the purchaser to furnish a sufficient number of men to properly burn the brush, under the supervision of the Forest officer in charge, at any time the latter may order such men. On the Minnesota forests, and in Michigan, piling and burning are carried on simultaneously as the cutting progresses, and we are giving this method a thorough trial in the lodgepole type in Colorado and Wyoming, with a view to determining its feasibility in these regions.

The following is an extract from a letter submitted to this office last winter by Supervisor Marshall of the Minnesota Forest, describing methods of brush disposal in that region :

"Brush piling and burning costs vary so much according to conditions that it is impossible to give any figures which will govern all cases, but I will give you such data as I have and you can fit them to local conditions.

"For an open stand of Norway, running from five hundred thous-and to a million to the forty, brush burning should cost nothing if properly handled. By this I mean, that, if as soon as the trees are felled, the brush is piled and burned, the extra amount of logs that the teams will skid on cleared ground will offset the cost of brush disposal. This may be considered one extreme.


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