Previous Forest Protection in Canada 1913-1914 Next

 

EFFECT OF REPEATED FOREST FIRES   167

same rate as the areas burned once, then it will be seen that the second burning reduced the then existing potential stumpage and dues values of the pine by more than $1,500,000.

Under like assumptions, we find the financial loss on the much smaller total area burned three times to be $646,000, and that on the areas burned many times to be $891,000. Thus, as already stated, the repeated fires represent a loss already incurred, in previously existing potential values of pine, of approximately $3.000,000 (see p. 199).

The greater portion of the poplar on the area is less than 25 years old, consequently the amount of material now suitable for pulpwood is very small, being one'cord per acre on the area burned once; one-fifth cord per acre on the area burned twice; one-eighteenth cord per acre on the area burned three times, and only one-forty-fifth cord per acre on the area burned many times (see p. 190).

According to the calculations given in table, p. 200, it is estimated that the area burned once will yield nine cords of pulpwood per acre in 30 years from the present date; the area burned twice five cords per acre; those burned three times 2.5 cords per acre, and the area burned many times will yield less than one-third cord per acre at the end of the next 30 years. The repeated fires have therefore occasioned a loss of nearly $200,000 in pulpwood.

Notwithstanding the tremendous loss already incurred, however, the investigation shows that the potential stumpage value of the remaining stock of pine is $1,563,540, and the potential value of the dues $446,718, or a total of over $2,000,000 potential value of existing pine (see p. 199). The potential value of the existing stand of poplar is $265,325 (see p. 200). Thus, with proper methods for the prevention of further fire damage, the existing young growth of pine and poplar is capable of producing a future value of more than $2,275,000. That it is worth while to make this saving should scarcely need argument.

The rate of occurrence of forest fires on the area under consideration has increased 300 per cent in the past eight years. More efficient fire protection is recommended. It is shown that the cost of adequate protection for the next 50 years would be less than $5 per acre, while the value of the crop at that time would be $33 per acre, a saving that would certainly justify the cost of protection (see p. 204).

The report concludes with the recommendation that the cut-over and burned-over lands in the region under discussion be turned over to the county of Peterborough under the Counties Reforestation Act, unless the wiser or the more practicable plan be adopted, viz., placing these areas under the administration of the Dominion Government. This latter action would be fully justified by the importance of the


Previous Forest Protection in Canada 1913-1914 Next