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154   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

winter we have cut nearly fifty million and the brush will all be cleaned up within two weeks, and for the last month we have had nearly three feet of snow."

Generally, we feel that burning should not be attempted on an extensive scale in less than six inches of snow. It can be done with safety, however, on a small scale after rains and on damp days.

The cost of brush disposal naturally varies very much with the timber and ground conditions. Twenty-five cents per thousand should cover scattering in western yellow pine stands, unless the timber is unusually limby. The cost of scattering properly in spruce should rarely exceed 40 cents per thousand, and piling can be properly done in the lodgepole type for 30 to 45 cents per thousand, depending on the quality and density of the timber, and these piles can later be burned for three to ten cents per thousand, if weather conditions are just right. If the snow is too deep, however, or the piling has been poor, the cost of burning can go as high as 20 cents per thousand. These figures assume an average cost of $2.50 per day and meals for temporary labour and the cost of at least one forest officer at an average of $1,100 per annum, supervising the work. Aside from the piling and burning costs there appear to be no additional costs to operators from this source, and in many cases I believe skidding is facilitated by piling and burning, and the cost thereof lowered a few cents per thousand, offsetting a portion of the direct brush disposal cost. Following are figures on burning cost furnished from the Medicine Bow forest:

Average depth of snow, 6 inches.

Acreage burned    

514

Average cut per acre    

5,000

Average piles burned per man per day    

451

Brush had been piled one year.

" Tepee " and low, flat piles.

 

COSTS

Oil and matches    

$4

05

Teaming    

9

00

Temporary labour at $2.50    

72

00

Forest officers' time    

56

39

 

$141

44

Cost per acre    

$0.275

Cost per thousand cut    

0.0542

The costs of burning with a large crew in the Bighorn forest in the season of 1911, were as follows :


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