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156   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

ever, if brush disposal has not been considered in the stumpage appraisal, they would, of course, not offset its cost.

It is our belief that the piling and burning of brush undoubtedly reduces the fire hazard and certainly lessens damage to which timber is liable through ground fires. However, under certain conditions in this district, piling and burning is impracticable, owing to the nature of the stand or ground conditions. In our spruce-fir type, for instance, there is so much advance reproduction on the ground as a rule and such a large amount of dead timber and other inflammable debris, that piling and burning would hardly be practicable, unless we required the purchaser to pile this other material in addition to the brush resulting from his cutting operations, and, in many cases, this would prove so expensive as to make the requirement impracticable of enforcement. In the yellow pine type we rarely pile and burn because the stands are generally very open and the ground rather bare; we have also felt that the slight addition to ground cover and soil moisture occasioned by scattering was very desirable from a standpoint of possible reproduction, and that the risk of fire was negligible. I believe that it is very generally conceded in most portions of the west and in the Lake states, to-day, that brush disposal does lessen the fire hazard, although I do not know of any tests having been recorded on this subject or any reports showing the comparative intensity of fires on cleared and uncleared cut-over land.

The effect of brush disposal on reproduction seems to be dependent on a number of factors, the most important of which are the weight of cutting in the stand, the tree species, and soil conditions. In our lodgepole type, brush burning is undoubtedly conducive to reproduction, and investigators of this office have reported that reproduction following the scattering of brush in the lodgepole type in Wyoming was very unsatisfactory in comparison with that following piling and burning. Based on cutting areas examined in the past several years and the general knowledge of conditions in the lodgepole type, it is my opinion that scattering would not give good reproduction in this type if applied as a general rule. I believe that piling and burning in the spruce-fir type might possibly result in better reproduction, but, as explained above, it is impracticable owing to the character of the stand usually encountered. Where the cutting in this type is rather heavy and the scattering is carried out with the idea of assisting reproduction as much as possible, I think we will obtain very fair results. In our open yellow pine stands, scattering is undoubtedly more favourable to reproduction than piling and burning. The greatest difficulty we encounter in securing reproduction in such stands is


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