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FOREST FIRES AND BRUSH DISPOSAL   157.

the occurrence of grass and weeds and the dryness of the soil, and I feel that any method which assists in killing the grass or weed cover is more conducive to reproduction than a system which would not destroy this cover on portions of the area. I am sorry to state that we have as yet no information on file in this office as to the effect of brush disposal on reproduction in timber types found in the Lake states.

Brush disposal is now so firmly established in the sale policy of the Service that I can foresee no radical change in the near future. Changes may be made from time to time in the exact methods of disposal, either from silvicultural or administrative standpoints, but I do not believe the general principles we have been following will be relinquished.

STATE WORK IN BRUSH DISPOSAL—MINNESOTA*

By W. T. Cox, Minnesota State Forester

The control of fires and the handling of slash has been the body of the work of the Minnesota State Forest Service since its organization. A large number of people are vitally interested in the disposition of the logging slash, either because they have such to dispose of or are dangerously menaced by its existence. Since the slash disposal laws have been in effect, it has been the custom of many of the logging companies to leave the slash scattered and strewn all over the logged ground, and then make a grand clean-up in the spring with a general fire. This system has not worked out satisfactorily, not only because of the destruction of the remaining timber and reproduction, but because of the damage of resulting fires that escape control.

A study of the situation for the last few years has revealed a few new facts. Statistics show that 16.5 per cent of the total fires during the last year were fires escaping from slash burners, and that these fires caused 16 per cent of the total damage done.

All kinds of slash do not burn the same, nor does any one kind burn the same under different conditions. Green slash of pure cedar and spruce, for instance, is hard to burn, but, if a fire is started and the green slash piled on, it burns well. Pine slash burns well either in winter or summer. Where the timber is dense and the slash consider-able, the expense of burning at the time of logging is very nearly balanced or may even be more than offset by the increased convenience in skidding. Actual operations have shown that where timber is heavy

* Extracts reprinted from Fourth Annual Report of State Forester of Minne-.sota, for the year ending July 31, 1914, pp. 36-40.


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