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204   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

this figure of 70,000 acres, then, as a basis, the potential value of the existing young growth is approximately $33 per acre. If the period of maturity be taken as 50 years hence, then three cents per acre per year, at 4 per cent interest, compounded annually, becomes $4.58 at the end of 50 years. Therefore, after a total of less than $5 per acre had been spent, including interest, distributed over a period of 50 years, the province would have a property of 70,000 acres, worth $33 per acre, a clear profit of more than $28 an acre.

Fire Pre-   Turning now to the second phase of efficient fire pro-

vention and   tection, namely, the actual prevention of the occurrence

Education of fires, we come to the greatest need of fire protection propaganda, that is, a campaign of education and publicity. There is already considerable public sentiment in favour of fire protection, but it is mostly subconscious and non-expressive. It must be aroused and made virile and aggressive. This could be best accomplished by accentuating the financial results following fire protection. The common tendency is to think of the benefits resulting from fire protection as something remote—a sort of entailment in favour of future generations. But it should be emphasized that the present generation would` reap the benefits of protection even on cut-over lands. While the value of the yields forecasted on page 199 would hardly be attained in one generation, yet in 30 to 50 years, at the present rate of growth, if protected from fire, the area under consideration will yield over $2,000,000 worth of pine lumber and $265,000 worth of poplar for pulpwood. The harvesting of this would give employment to many members of the community in which it is located, and, if the area were large enough, the employment would be permanent.

Permanent   This, then, is the argument from the business stand-

Benefits to   point: Effective fire protection leads to a stable and

be Derived permanent lumber industry in the community, with consequent permanent employment of its members. Those who would not benefit directly by securing employment would serve or supply those who would so benefit. Contrast this with the present system, in which the lumberman removes all of the trees, and is steadily forced farther and farther from the markets in order to obtain merchantable timber, with the consequent increase in cost of production and transportation and, therefore, increased cost to the consumer. The present system leaves former timber lands open to recurring fires, greatly retarding or, in some cases, completely preventing the natural restocking of the area by commercial trees. It also results in increased taxation, abandoned farms, and a stranded population, often compelled: to eke out a mere existence by hunting and fishing.


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