EFFECT OF REPEATED FOREST FIRES 209
Re-Planting On the greater portion of the 9,000 acres burned many
of Pine times, there are not enough pine seed trees to insure
Necessary a restocking of the area by natural processes. Under forest management this would eventually require planting, but it would be a waste of money to do so until fire protection had been demonstrated to be effective. There is no doubt that, where fire risk is reduced to the minimum, forest planting would be profitable for a long-lived institution, but, if this area were placed in the hands of the county, planting could be delayed until the harvesting of the crop was assured, and other conditions justified it.
«'bile then, theoretically, county management would recommend itself on account of the local interest which it would create, practically, it is open to question whether the counties are financially able to burden themselves with the responsibility of caring for such lands, especially for the poorer ones, which do not promise early returns. It is doubtful, also, whether they could be expected to employ the technical advice which is needful, to make a success of forest management. This is a new business and requires careful planning and circumspect detail attention, which only a specially fitted manager can give.
There are other practical difficulties and objections to the transfer of these lands to the counties, which, however, do not preclude the participation of the counties in the benefits, indirect as well as direct, which would come from a provincial or federal management.
The next logical proposition is for the province to place these lands under management for continuity. The only objection to this is the financial one.
It is realized that the province, because of more insistent demands for public expenditure in other directions, absence of sufficient public interest, or because of other reasons, may not be in a position to under-take a management which cannot furnish returns for a series of years.
Luckily, the interest of the Dominion in this watershed is paramount and, having in her Forestry Branch a technical bureau which could take charge at once and efficiently, no practical difficulty would be experienced in inaugurating a broad, comprehensive policy of management for the entire watershed.
Since the province is already receiving no rent for nearly one-half of the Burleigh-Methuen area under consideration, it being abandoned timber limits, and is receiving only ground rent—less than one cent an acre yearly, for the other half, the commercial timber being all cut off—the province might without serious financial loss, when the licenses on the latter are cancelled, turn the area over to the Dominion gratis.
This could be effected under a condition that the Provincial government and the counties receive a stated proportion of the net or