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198   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

first one kills not only a large number of seedlings and young trees, but also many of the seed trees. Every severe fire reduces the number of seed trees, and so reduces by so much the reproductive capacity of the area. This process goes on until, with the death of seed trees, the remaining trees become so scattered that it would take several hundred years for them to bring the area back to its original stand of pine. As an example of this, the area burned many times, as indicated on the accompanying map, facing page 166, where there is only one seed tree to each five acres, may be cited. This does not mean that each five-acre plot actually has a seed tree on it. As a matter of fact, in the area under discussion, there are probably several hundred acres without any seed trees. It is merely a statement of the average condition.

Future   It will then be readily seen that successive fires result

Production   in a progressive diminution of the future yield of pine.

of Pine From the data on the preceding pages of this report, it will be seen what is the numerical diminution of the future yield of pine on the areas under consideration, namely, 110, 14, 7, and 3 trees per acre on the areas burned once, twice, thrice and many times,

respectively. It should be emphasized that the data have been obtained by actual measurement. Knowing, in this wax, the number of pine trees per acre in relation to the number of times burned, knowing also, at least, their minimum value at maturity, in terms of stumpage values and of timber clues, we may compute with reason-able accuracy the money losses involved in the progressive diminution of future yield owing to successive fires. This computation is presented in the table below. The figures are derived from the assumption that each tree now present will grow to maturity and at maturity will yield 100 feet board measure. This is the yield of an ordinary pine tree from 12 inches to 13 inches in diameter, according to the Scribner rule. The stumpage value is placed at seven dollars per thousand, the present average value, and the dues at two dollars per thousand feet board measure, the present rate, although the price of the former at least will undoubtedly be much higher by the time these young trees produce saw logs.


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