The items appearing here are condensed selections of news thought to be of interest to readers of UNASYLVA. They are grouped alphabetically by countries under headings currently used, by the Division of Forestry and Forest Products for reference purposes. The Editor will be glad to receive direct from readers authenticated items of interest and of news value for this part of the review.
Silviculture and management
Economics and statistics
Policy, legislation, and administration
· Albania is comparatively well supplied with forests. According to latest publications, the area classed as forest comprises 1,100,000 hectares or 41 percent of the entire land area, but the area actually covered with forest growth is nearer 992,000 hectares. Of this, 496,000 hectares (50 percent) are high forest; 179,000 hectares (18 percent) are coppice forests; and 317,000 hectares (32 percent) are brushwood, called "maguis." Among the hardwoods, oak (38 percent) and beech (32 percent) are the predominant species; other miscellaneous hardwoods form 6 percent and ash only 3 percent. Conifers constitute 21 percent of all the standing timber.
Albanian forests divide themselves into four altitudinal zones: (1) A lower vegetational zone extends to 200 to 350 meters above sea level. This is made up of low trees and woody shrubs like the stone oak, mastic tree, tree-like heather, etc., reaching a height up to 5 meters and interlaced with thorny lianas. They have hard evergreen leaves. The "maguis" occurs largely on the southern and western slopes of lower Albania, forming extensive stretches along the entire maritime belt of Epirus; (2) The lower forest zone extends up to 1,000 meters above sea level. This is a zone of sparse oak forests, often mixed with beech, walnut poplars, ash, etc; (3) The high mountainous forest zone extends from 1,000 to 1,700 and even 2,000 meters above sea level. This is the beech zone. On the highest points, beech is replaced by black pine and spruce; (4) The Alpine zone - 1,700 meters above sea level - with alpine meadows.
The most valuable forests are located in the northern and northeastern regions of the country to which access is difficult, all forests have suffered a great deal from reckless cutting in the past and especially during World War II. Annual growth is estimated at slightly over 3,500,000 m³, of this, one-third is usable only as fuelwood. The lumber industry in Albania before the war operated 13 sawmills, but most of these were destroyed during the war. During 1946-49, the old mills were repaired and some new mills constructed. In 1948, Albania had 24 steam and waterpowered sawmills turning out 54,000 m³ of sawn lumber annually. This volume is to be increased to 75,000 m³. In 1949, the lumber industry had increased its production over 16 percent above the prewar level. Before the war, Albania imported each year 10,000 m³ of timber, chiefly sawn lumber. It exported fuelwood (5,000 metric tons), charcoal (3,000 metric tons) and a few boards and logs; also 300 to 500 metric tons of oak acorn cups (valonia - used for tannin extraction). Present exports are said to comprise valuable oak and beech lumber, parquet flooring, veneer and veneer logs, charcoal, and valonia.
The administration of the forests is centered in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. In order to restore the productivity of the forests, the annual cut is deliberately kept below the annual growth, i.e., below 3,500,000 m³.
· The Forestry School at Canberra opened the 1950 session with 80 students representing all states in Australia, as well as students from Burma New Guinea, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Thailand.
· A report by the Head of the Forest Administration for Sicily gives details on the difficult reforestation problems encountered on the largest' island in the Mediterranean. Of the total area of 2,570,000 hectares 6.8 percent forms the coastal plain, 34.3 percent is low hills, 39,6 percent hills, from 300 to 700 meters in altitude, and 19.3 percent mountains over 700 meters. Rainfall is distributed unequally both between the mountain and plain areas and between the seasons. Average precipitation during winter and autumn amounts to 526 mm., while during summer and spring it amounts to 204 mm. One of the most densely populated parts of Italy, Sicily in 1936 had a population of 4 million inhabitants.
The present forested area may be estimated at approximately 105,000 hectares, or only 4.3 percent of the aggregate farm and forest land area of the island.
Reforestation was begun in 1878. However, even as late as, 1936, only 14,000 hectares (included in the above-quoted aggregate figure) had been reforested and this at a prohibitive cost. In the meantime, however, reforestation techniques have been perfected.
The Lauretum level on the coastal plains and the interior up to an altitude of 800 to 900 meters comprise coastal Bands, calcareous and clayey-calcareous soils, and finally clays. Once the sand dunes have been fixed by graminaceous plants (Psamma arenaria) and reedlike grasses (Saccharum aegyptiacum, etc.) and later by plantations of Tamarix gallica, reforestation can be carried out with Pinus pinea, P. halepensis, Cupressus sempervirens, and Eucalyptus rostrata. On the calcareous or clayey-calcareous soils, best results are obtained with seedlings of Pinus pinea, P. halepensis, and plantations of Cupressus sempervirens. A mixture of seedlings of Pinus pinea and Quercus ilex has been used successfully in recent years. Finally, in clayey soils, best results are obtained with Eucalyptus rostrata, elm, and two types of oak, Quercus ilex and Q. sessiliflora. On the Castanetum level, where calcareous and clayey soils predominate use is made, depending on the nature of the terrain, of Quercus sessiliflora and Q. cerris or else of Castanea sativa and Pinus laricio. Finally, on the Fagetum level, Pinus laricio, Abies pectinata, and the European beech are grown. Reforestation of the volcanic lava and sands around Mount Etna is the most difficult problem because the high temperature of the soil due to its dark color causes the burning of the collar of the young plants.
As far as the future is concerned, it should be kept in mind that all of Sicily's 254 watercourses are torrential in flow 80 have already been classified as mountain watersheds. These classified watersheds alone cover a surface area of 1,154,000 hectares of which an estimated 732,000 hectares should be included in cropland and forest water supply regulation and pasture improvement work.
Unfortunately, the funds now available to the Forest, Administration will not allow reforestation of more than a thousand hectares per year, and at this rate over a century will be required to complete the work envisaged on the classified watersheds alone.
The eucalypt appears to be the most advisable species for reforestation purposes under the varying soil and climatic conditions of the island. Eucalyptus rostrata is planted most widely, although E. globulus is grown on deep wet soil and E. gomphocephala on arid soils. The Snia-Viscosa concern is now studying a large-scale reforestation project using eucalypt on 14,000 hectares of land around three of the main torrential watersheds of Sicily.
· In 1948, there were 7,000 students attending forest schools. There are seven technical forest schools with 3-year courses, and nine professional schools with 1½ year courses. Aside from these regular courses, there are special 2-year courses to prepare young men for entrance forest schools. In 1948, two such forest schools of professional level were created. The Bucharest Polytechnical Institute has a Department of Forestry well equipped with laboratories, and, besides teaching, also conducts forestry research.
United States of America
· The pulp and paper industries of the northeastern United States are sponsoring the Northeastern Pulpwood Research Center, at Gorham, New Hampshire, which will concentrate on the study of wood management, timber harvesting methods, and the testing of new equipment. Nine Maine companies, anxious to learn the best management methods for their forests, have also initiated an interesting research method. They have purchased 3,800 acres (1,540 ha.) of land near Bangor, Maine, including all-age stands of a wide variety of species, which will be administered by the United States Forest Service, or, more precisely, by the Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. This land has been leased to the Forest Service for 99 years. In this new forest called the Penobscot Experimental Forest, management methods applicable to spruce and eastern balsam fir particularly will be studied. These studies will also cover the marketing of forest products; the money realized from the sale thereof will he used to pay taxes and fire protection costs, any excess profit will be redistributed among the Maine companies which own the land. These companies will pay the cost of road construction, but all other costs will be borne by the U. S. Forest Service. There will be a permanent staff of four men doing forestry research.
· The Forest Farmers Association which groups the small forest owners of the southeastern United States, recently devoted an entire issue of its monthly magazine to the Forest Farmer Manual.
In an introduction to this Manual, the President of the Association states that the small forestland owner of the southeastern United States "has available to him a wealth of information which is scattered in publications of many kinds. The problem has been to be able to find the right information when needed.... In this Manual we have tried to bring together a part of the answers to some of the more common questions and problems."
Thanks to the collaboration of the United States Forest Service and of many experts in this field, this program has been realized remarkably well. The various sections deal with the following topics: trees and forests in general, management of southern forests, reforestation, forest protection, harvesting, measuring, marketing of lumber, wood preservation, naval stores, other uses of forests, and home forest industries. Finally, the last section gives a list of official or private, Federal or State organizations, which are in a position to furnish technical advice or to conduct research along these lines, and which are ready to assist small forestland owners in the South in the management of their resources for their benefit and in the best public interest
The Forest Farmer Manual will doubtless be of invaluable assistance to the small timberland owners of the southeastern portion of the United States. In any ease, it is a model which should be imitated for forests throughout the world wherever private ownership raises similar problems.
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
· The Karelo-Finnish Republic is one of the most densely forested republics of the U.S.S.R. Forests occupy nearly 60 percent of its area, and the timber industry forms its main economic activity. The forests of the northern and central parts are chiefly pine forests (pine accounts for 60 percent of all timber stands in the country); in southern Karelia spruce predominates (33 percent of the volume) with some broadleaf species (7 percent). Over 80 percent of all the forests are mature and overmature. Pine trees 450 years old are not uncommon. These forests need to be cut over, and at an early date, so as to make possible a growth per hectare of 2 3/5 m³ a year instead of the present 1 m³. One of the methods advocated is to undertake immediate large-scale mechanized clear-cut logging in the pine forests. Such concentrated clear cuttings, it is claimed, facilitate the natural reproduction of pine which is an intolerant species. On account of thinness of the soil, however, skidding operations should be spread over a wide area so as not to tear up the fertile top soil layer which takes thousands of years to form. On the other hand, northern pine, for successful natural regeneration, requires that the ground be stirred up. That can be accomplished either by properly organized logging operations in summer or by harrowing or by piling and burning the slash resulting from logging. No broadcast burning of the stash should be permitted. On very poor soil, the slash after logging should be scattered and allowed to rot on the ground so as to enrich the soil. When the debris is left on the ground, every 50 to 100 hectares of the cut-over land must be broken up by areas from which all the inflammable material is removed as a fire protection measure.
In spruce forests, concentrated clear cuttings are often followed by birch and aspen taking the place of spruce. This is not such a great disadvantage now as it would have been 25 years ago, since birch and aspen have now become very valuable species, but it is essential that the spruce forests should be maintained. Clear cutting in spruce, if practiced at all, should therefore be accompanied by careful saving of the spruce undergrowth and by leaving a large number of spruce seed trees, as well as by early releasing (five to eight years after cutting) of the young spruce seedlings from suppression by birch and aspen. Since the climatic conditions are on the whole favorable to tree growth, reliance for the perpetuation of the forests should be on natural regeneration and not on artificial sowing and planting. Extensive forest fires are still prevalent. The abundance of water everywhere from the 40,000 lakes should, however, provide an effective means of fighting forest fires. Similarly, the creation of watershed protective forests along the White Sea - Baltic Canal, as well as around a number of lakes of importance as water reservoirs and for fishing, must be undertaken.
· Agathis loranthifolia, introduced in West Java from Ambon a century ago, is one of the most promising timbers. Investigation of plots in plantations made in wet mountain climate and on young volcanic soils from 550 to 1,100 meters above sea level have now made it possible to prepare yield expectancy tables. Mean annual growth appears to culminate at about 25 m³ per hectare at an age of 35 years, but it is probable that, depending on the aim of production, a longer rotation may be desirable. Natural regeneration is relatively simple, and probably the selection system would be more desirable than the uniform shelter wood system, since it will better conserve the soil on the mountain sites. Information on the yield as controlled by density of the stand has indicated the thinning schedule which will be most likely to produce high quality trees.
· A new horse-draw-e implement has been devised in England for the specific purpose of dealing with the ordinary bracken which is a pest in potential planting areas or on those which are being replanted after clear-cutting. In tests, the new implement has been more effective in suppressing bracken than the usual practice of cutting with scythes. Operation is also cheaper, the cost of machine bruising being somewhat less than half that of handwork.
United States of America
· Ponderosa pine silviculture to date has been limited to harvesting mature and: overmature stands in virgin forests, to leaving adequate reserve stands of lower risk individuals, to protecting advance reproduction, to encouraging reproduction after logging, together with protection of the stands against fire. The very success in obtaining and protecting reproduction has now given rise to certain difficulties. Over vast areas, exceedingly dense sapling and pole stands have developed. These are giving excellent growth on the superior sites, but on very extensive areas the growth is poor because the stands are too dense and only a small fraction of the growth which would be obtained by more open stands is taking place. Moreover, due to the effectiveness of fire control, associated species such as Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga taxifolia), white fir (Abies concolor), and incense cedar (Libocedrus decurrens) are reinvading and recapturing the ground under an overstory of ponderosa pine. The density of the young growth stands is having an adverse effect on the overstory of old trees, making them abnormally susceptible to insect attack and disease. Moreover, the forego produced under the more open stands of ponderosa pine, and available for both domestic stock and' wild game, has been reduced to the vanishing point. Fire: hazards are increasing rapidly as more and more debris piles up under the stance.
Thinning of these overdense stands on economically remunerative basis is remunerative basis is possible only on limited areas, and the problem of utilizing the: material which should be removed by thinning has not been solved as yet. There is a question whether the cost of removing the associated species, in order to maintain the pure ponderosa pine type, is justified. Intensive silviculture is in general still far in the future. Work is under way on an experimental basis to determine whether it is feasible to control density of growth stands by carefully controlled burning and, although results are not conclusive, there does appear to be some chance that this technique may help solve some of the problems.
· The Forest Genetics Institute of Placerville, California, which hitherto has been working with pine, recently began research on the breeding of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga taxifolia) through hybridization.
The techniques already worked out for pine were used, but with rather extensive adaptations. These changes in methods of procedure were necessary because of tile difficulty of collecting a sufficient quantity of pollen from the male catkins and of accurately determining the period of receptivity of the female flowers. In particular, mention should be made of a new type of pollination syringe which projects a cloud, instead of a simple spray, of pollen upon the cones to be fertilized, thus economizing on the quantity of pollen necessary.
At the same time experiments were conducted on self-pollination, intraspecies crossing and interspecies crossing between Pseudotsuga taxifolia and P. macrocarpa. The number of experiments underway since 1947 are still too few to reach any definitive conclusions concerning them. However, experiments on the comparative rates of seed germination obtained by artificial pollination prove that an affective control over the rate of germination is possible by this method.
Trees which were self-pollinated produced no sound seeds, this result was expected. An artificial cross between individual Douglas fir trees yielded seed, the great majority of which were sound, whereas wind-pollinated trees produced only a very small number of sound seed proportionally. A cross between a male (P. macrocarpa) and a female (P. taxifolia), produced only three apparently sound seeds out of 438, but even these three seeds did not germinate.
The method of interspecies crossing does not seem to offer as many chances of success with Douglas fir as with pine, because there is a much smaller number of species of fir. However, the possibility that an epidemic may occur and that the main method of combating it would be interspecies hybridization must always be kept in mind. On the other hand, the wide' variation in the geographical area of distribution of the Douglas fir means that it will probably be possible to cultivate varieties which are both rapid, in growth and easily adaptable to the conditions of any specific site.
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
· Experiments in stimulating root production of aspen cuttings by chemicals have been conducted in one of the forests, of the Far Eastern Region. The chemicals used were heteroauxin and naphthalene acetic acid. Cuttings of the fragrant aspen in winter condition were kept in a water solution of these chemicals for 24 hours before planting. The concentration of the solution was 200 m³. per liter of water. One gram of these chemicals is sufficient to treat 4,000 cuttings. By 15 August 1949 it was calculated that 34.6 percent more cuttings had established roots when treated with heteroauxin and 21 percent more when treated with naphthalene acetic acid, than untreated cuttings.
Union of South Africa
· An uncommon and interesting use of television in fighting forest fires appears to have been applied for the first time in Bechuanaland. In April 1949 two planes, one equipped with a television camera and the other used as a relay, were down along the front of a vast forest fire stretching for about 20 kilometers. The pictures broadcast gave the Forest Inspector in his office a general view of the advance of the fire and of the various phases of the struggle against it conducted several kilometers away by the forest rangers, farmers and firemen who had been called to the area; this first-hand information" allowed for effective command decisions in fighting the fire.
· A new order, effective 15 October 1949, has modified the rules regarding the import of forest trees into the united Kingdom, import of the principal coniferous genera is prohibited because of the risk of introduction of diseases and pests from which the country is as yet free. The genus Castanea has been added to the list in view or the danger of introducing chestnut blight (Endothia parasitica). The genus Ulmus, or at least disease-resistant species and strains, may now be imported. The genus Populus has been included in the order, but it will still be possible to obtain a license to import very small quantities of species and strains unless they are known to be highly susceptible to disease or pests.
United States of America
· A survey of 151 representative water-supply reservoirs throughout the United States made prior to the war showed that one-third of them were losing their storage capacity at a rate of more than 1 percent annually, and more recent surveys indicate that this loss rate is probably conservative, particularly for reservoirs between the Appalachian and the Rocky Mountains. It was originally estimated that 21 percent of all the water-supply reservoirs would have, a useful life of less than 50 years, but it now appears that no less than 33 percent will have to be supplemented or replaced within the 60-year period. These facts are alarming because many cities have already used the most economical reservoir sites; replacement will involve an exceedingly heavy cost because, in many areas, ground water supplies have been overdeveloped and surface water will have to be used to supply the growing population's increasing per caput consumption and increased industrial needs for water. Moreover, erosion rates increased markedly during the war because of more intensive and sometimes ill-advised use of the land. The cost of storage losses now amounts to about one-tenth of the water bill and is likely to grow relatively more important.
Although there are various methods of directly controlling reservoir silting, all are very costly whatever their technical advisability. Thus, for most reservoirs, the only practical solution to the sediment problem is the protection of watershed lands and water courses against preventable erosion and sediment production.
· Visitors from all parts of the world to the 1951 Festival of Britain Exhibition in London are to pass through a specially erected entrance designed to "strike a blow for timber." The roof of the entrance building will be supported by five parabolic-shaped, glued laminated arches of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga taxifolia), each 62 feet (19 m.) at its apex and with a span of 101 feet (31 m.). The timber industry of British Columbia, Canada, has made a gift of 14 standards of selected common grade Douglas fir from which the arches are being constructed.
· Five design sheets issued by the Timber Development Association Ltd. deal with a system of construction suitable for different spans up to 26' 0" (7.92 m.) between walls and for 2 main pitches, i.e., 40 degrees for plain tiling and 35 degrees for interlocking tiling. The self-explantory designs, with full legends, satisfy the following main requirements: (1) to secure over-all economy in timber consumption; (2) to reduce the demand for lengths in standard sizes and to enable random lengths to be used; (3) to enable timber in available qualities to be used with safety; (4) to avoid the necessity for load-bearing partitions on the first floor; (5) to encourage prefabrication and modern assembly methods; (6) to reduce the time taken on site between the completion of the walling and the covering of the roof.
These constructions are based on the use of timber of a grade not lower than' that described as 800-pound "f quality" in British Standard 940, parts 1 and 2, which in general may be drawn readily from the unsorted and 5th qualities of European redwood and whitewood, or marketable qualities of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga taxifolia), Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), and Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis).
United States of America
· Recently a study was made to investigate possibilities for profitable utilization of thinning from a 32-year old stand of white spruce (Picea glauca) in New York State. By special cutting of the very small logs it was possible to produce slab siding which was in demand for construction of log cabins, as well as lumber which came from the center of the logs. It is believed that this special form of utilization offers great possibilities for profits from thinnings, especially where no ready market for the material as pulpwood is available.
· The wood-using industries in and near the city of Spokane, Washington, have recently combined in a program of integrated utilization of wood leftovers from various manufacturing operations. First, an organized system of fuel segregation, storage, and distribution was established. Contractual agreements with 30 wood-using plants were made and over 200,000 cords (420,000 m³) of wood were handled, principally as fuel. Facilities for storage permit the collection and segregation of material to assure wood-users a year-round supply. Since fuel is a relatively low value utilization, steps have been taken to increase the return from the leftover products. A wood flour mill with a daily capacity of 40 short tons (36 m.t.) utilizes white pine shavings. A Pres-to-log briquetting plant of 7,000 short tons (6,400 m.t.) per year capacity is in operation. Dry resaw sawdust is segregated and sold for the manufacture of floor-sweeping compounds. Other uses are under investigation, including manufacture of a fiberboard combining gypsum and wood, fiberboard of carbonized wood, and use of bark of ponderosa and white pines as a filler in plastic product manufacture.
· About US$ 1,600,000 worth of American machinery and other equipment has gone into a sawmill and logging camp now being established by a French firm at Eseka in the jungles of the French Cameroons. The Economic Cooperation Administration supplied $400,000 worth of aid, and the U.S. Export-Import Bank $1,200,000.
Union of South Africa
· Before the war, the Union of South Africa imported few tropical hardwoods from Portuguese East Africa and other adjacent territories. Small amounts of Okoumé and some of the African mahoganies were taken, but most of the 3 million cubic feet (85,000 m³) of hardwoods came from Europe, North America or the Far East. Then, these sources of supply were shut off. Moreover, alternatives for the coniferous timbers had to be found, since hardly more than one-fifth of the normal requirements of 30 million cubic feet (850,000 m³) could be supplied from government and private plantations in the Union. Thus greater interest was aroused in the African hardwoods, both those to supplement former hardwood imports and those which could be used to some degree as substitutes for the softwoods. At the present time, about 45 species from Portuguese East Africa alone enter the markets of the Union, and, for these, very satisfactory data hare been systematically complied by the Forest Products Institute of Pretoria and the Forest Products Research Laboratory in the United Kingdom. The data available for each species include the scientific name, standard and other common names, general character of the tree and the forest in which it occurs, sawing, seasoning techniques, description and characteristics of the wood including the usual weight, strength, shrinkage, structure, and preservative treatment required, working properties, and the uses to which it is best adapted. The total number of species imported into the Union from African suppliers numbers over 130.
· Since on most private woodlands in Great Britain the operation must be profitable or forestry will not be undertaken, a study has been made of the probable returns for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), European larch (Larix decidua), Norway spruce (Picea abies), and Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga taxifolia). In all eases, the assumption was made that the average yield would be 80 percent of the volumes in British yield tables, that an average of 90 percent of the maximum control price was to be expected, and that normal forests worked on a sustained yield basis would be those considered. The calculations show that Douglas fir was the most profitable species on all sites from best to poorest, that European larch would show a net profit on all but the poorest sites, that Norway spruce would show a moderate profit on the two better sites and a loss on the two poorer sites, and that Scots pine would show a loss on all sites. The best possibility for profitable management of Scots pine is to use natural regeneration with a consequent reduction in cash outlays.
· Annual precipitation over the southern portions of the prairie provinces is very slight, varying from 11 to 20 inches (28 to 51 cm.). Losses from surface evaporation and transpiration of plants are on the whole higher than the amount of rainfall received, so that the economy of those provinces depends primarily upon the run-off from the Saskatchewan River watershed on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta. The summer flow of the Saskatchewan is derived in great part from melting Rockies' glaciers, but many of these glaciers are disappearing, so that the flow of water to the river is expected to be seriously diminished in a matter of decades. Consideration has been given to the best way of meeting this situation.; Since the Saskatchewan drainage basin is located in Alberta, the vast forests that the Alberta Government owns in that area were placed under the administration of a Board consisting of three members, two of whom were appointed by the Dominion and one by the Province of Alberta under an agreement reached in 1947 between the Province and the Dominion.
The Dominion Government has provided Can $6,300,000 for capital investment over the first five years of the life of the agreement for road construction, buildings, equipment, and forestry and water control research projects. The Province defrays the cost of maintenance and administration up to a minimum of $125,000 and a maximum of $300,000, depending on the revenue it derives from the forests managed by the Board. The Dominion Government pays the difference between the actual cost and the contribution of the Alberta Government. The Board has been mainly concerned so far with research work (vegetation, soil and range surveys, establishment of meteorological stations and stations for the metering of the stream flow), fire prevention and fighting (development of a system of roads and trails), and the co-ordination of the activities of various agencies interested in the development of the resources of the Saskatchewan basin (irrigation projects, erection of hydroelectric plants). The Board has a staff of its own, but co-operates fully with the Provincial Forest Service of Alberta. This is an original pattern of collaboration between the Dominion and the Provinces, being applied to the most extensive program of conservation and management of natural resources in Canada.
· The government took measures to alleviate unemployment in Finland during the winter 1949/50 by appropriating considerable sums for various work projects, such as forest improvement work on private estates. This work, principally consisting of removal of timber and waste from cutting areas cleaning of seedling stands, and thinning of young stands was directed by the district forestry boards appointed under the Private Forest Law. The total area of private forests worked over is estimated at about 14,000 hectares. Moreover, subsidies have been granted for similar work in state forests.
Improvement of floatways had been undertaken with previous appropriations of this type.
· Hungary is recognizing the vital importance of forests in its national economy by planning long-term restoration of its forests in the interests both of protection and of self-sufficiency in timber production. A recent bulletin has announced that a Five-Year Plan was initiated on 1 January 1950, as the first part of a long-term program involving both the restoration of its existing badly depleted forests and the afforestation of vast areas. This program, which is to remedy the effects of-decades of neglect and overexploitation of the forests of Hungary, has, it is stated, received great impetus from the large-scale afforestation plan now being excluded by the U.S.S.R., and which stresses the great economic importance of establishing forests on prairies and sandy areas.
The present annual timber cut is estimated at about 1.2 million m³ as against requirements estimated at 6 to 7 million m³, while the existing forests now cover only 12.6 percent of the total area of the country; it is estimated that to afford adequate protection against the increase of barren, water-eroded lands now estimated at 30,000 to 35,000 hectares and to meet production requirements, an area of between 20 and 22 percent should be under forests properly conserved and efficiently managed.
The new Five-Year Plan provides for reforestation of approximately 65,000 hectares of land already cut-over or to be cut-over during the period; afforestation of approximately 28,500 hectares primarily on loose sandy soil and on certain alkaline areas on the great plains (one main feature of this afforestation will be the provision of windbreaks and shelterbelts for the protection of agricultural lands, crops, and stock); and the establishment of experimental stations totaling 8,500 hectares for research into silvicultural techniques.
Long-term plans aim at rehabilitating existing forests and establishing new forests to the extent that in 40 years Hungary should be self-sufficient in forest products and should have adequate protection for its agricultural economy.
· The government has reconstituted the Forest Advisory Board. It will advise on priority of research at the Forest Research Institute in Dehra Dun, co-ordinate forest research needs with those of agriculture and industry, and will link research with needs of producers and consumers.
United States of America
· In January 1946 the State of Washington made the enforcement of its Forest Practice Act compulsory. This Act provides that the regeneration of cut over timberlands must be assured by the owner of such land. It requires the maintenance of seed blocks equal to at least 5 percent of the harvested area under the clearcut system, or of all trees below a specified diameter in a selective system of cutting. In the event that neither of these systems is applicable the owner concerned may file a prior cutting plan for natural restocking or else post a bond guaranteeing such natural regeneration within five years. If by the end of that time the area has not been completely restocked, the bond is called and the Washington State Forest Service plants the area.
The constitutionality of this Act was contested by a group of timberland owners whose claim was supported by the local courts; however, the decision of these lower courts was reversed by the Supreme Court of Washington State.
The U.S. Supreme Court, in a decision handed down on 7 November 1949, upheld the finding of the Supreme Court of the State of Washington, definitely confirming the constitutionality of the Forest Practice Act, and establishing the prerogative of the states to control the use of this natural resource for the benefit of the states themselves and of the nation as a whole, a The President has established the Water Resources Policy Commission, composed of a chairman and six other members all of them men of outstanding qualifications and repute. - The Commission will deal in particular with: (a) the extent and character of federal government participation in major water-resources programs; (b) an appraisal of the priority of water-resources programs from the standpoint of economic and social needs; (c) criteria and standards for evaluating the feasibility of water-resources projects; and (d) desirable legislation or changes in existing legislation relating to the development utilization, and conservation of water resources. All executive departments and agencies of the federal government are directed to co-operate with the Commission. The U.S. Forest Service and other bureaus may be affected by the Commission's work. The Commission will not be concerned with organizational arrangements or the allocation of agency functions.