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254   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

the slash resulting from logging operations. A forest when lumbered over is a forest littered with very combustible material; it remains in this condition, year after year, a veritable fire-trap, until the debris decays; this is a matter of at least a decade, and frequently two decades or more, except in warm, moist climates. In the past, so universally has fire followed a lumbering operation within a few years that it is generally looked upon as inevitable. In studying the reproduction on logged-over areas this summer (1913), the writer experienced difficulty in finding old cuttings which had not been burned. Since the next tree crop on the lumbered tract is dependent on the seedlings already started, and the trees left uncut, the outlook for this crop is a very uncertain one under present conditions.

There are various methods in use for disposing of lumbering slash, varying in cost and effectiveness. The one aim is, at the least expense, to get rid of the brush as often as needful, not allowing it to accumulate, and, of course, the sooner it is done after logging the better. No uniform system can be followed. The method used must take into consideration particularly the injury to the remaining trees, and whether the conditions following the manner of disposal are favour-able to the seedling crop desired. Methods involving more complete disposal should be adopted in the more dangerous situations, and these are the more costly. In each case, the method decided on should be the one which will eliminate the fire danger, or at least shorten its duration, with the smallest expense, and, at the same time not be detrimental to the next crop, since it is largely in the interests of this that the operation is being conducted.

The best results have been obtained by either burning the slash or lopping the tops. The burning may be done in piles or broadcast. When piled it may be burned as the logging proceeds, if in the winter; in the case of summer operations, the burning must be postponed till weather conditions allow. Burning broadcast is cheaper where the slash is heavy, but is harder to control, and is applicable only in clear cutting operations and where the growth conditions left behind are favourable to the tree species wanted.

Lopping the tops has in view the bringing of the material in con-tact with the soil to hasten decay, and thus shorten the danger period. In this respect, scattering the branches afterwards is an advantage. The pieces must be cut smaller than if burning is practised, and the whole operation is of little use unless done carefully, to get the material actually on the ground. The lopping method is cheaper, of course. than piling and burning, and in a given case the choice resolves itself into a question whether the fire risk is worth the increased outlay. Under certain conditions lopping and scattering is even the better


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