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Book reviews

Road to Survival. William Vogt. Pp. 325. $4.00. William Sloan Associates, New York, 1948.

This book deals with the "relationships of man with his environment, that have powerfully shaped many of the dilemmas and quandaries of today and that, disregarded, will almost certainly smash our civilization." As readers of Mr. Vogt's earlier article in UNASYLVA, Vol. II, No. 1, would expect, the story is told vigorously, dramatically, forthrightly, and with brutal candor. Here is a powerful and comprehensive account of what man has done and is doing to himself, by continuing to damage or destroy his ultimate bases for survival-the land and its useful products.

The widespread and accumulative disruption of ecological balance has been brought about in many ways-through reckless cutting and burning of forests, through overgrazing and burning of ranges, through plowing of sloping lands, among others. Of vast effect is the belief and practice of using land for purposes to which it is not naturally fitted. Shifting cultivation, which clears forests from slopes for a short-lived agriculture, is still persistent and widespread. Such destructive and exploitative temporary uses have the effect of reducing the carrying capacity of land for man, and thereby increasing the environmental resistance of any unit of area to man. In a thinly-peopled habitat, lands damaged could be rested long enough to restore the soil. But in a world whose population has increased explosively during the past century, there are more and more countries in which time has run out; the maladjustment of man to his environment is already desperate, and prompt, heroic and drastic measures of conservation offer the only remedy. To the familiar examples of China and India, the author adds some of the lesser-known examples of equally critical countries of Latin America. Population growth, even and especially where the imbalance between growing numbers and shrinking resources is most severe, draws sharp attention. What is the reason for the continuance of practices which clearly are keeping in motion a descending spiral of self-extermination? The author seems to say that primarily the answer is wrong and selfish thinking about land as a source of exploitable wealth for individuals, rather than as the permanent source of real wealth for all. To the various groups which maintain this attitude the author offers hearty denunciation, and some fine invective.

Is there hope? Yes, though the way back to ecological health will be slow, hard, and costly. "The conservation program will have to rest on three legs: research education, and action on the land. These must function simultaneously." The content and method of these programs is barely suggested, either in terms of national or of international action. There are nations which have measurably solved the problem of man and land, notably France, and their example, the details of their accomplishment, is the other side of the shield. Much havoc and ruin exist, but the world needs too the stimulus that effective actual, national conservation programs can provide. It remains for another book to do as sound a job on the cure as the author has done on the diagnosis.

Foresters will find that the basic ideas and concepts by which they live underlie Mr. Vogt's thinking. Sustained yield, normal yield, carrying capacity, the protective values of forests in holding control of the environment, the sensitivity of natural types to drastic alteration, the stern reality of the basic biologic laws - some understanding of these is expected in the training of foresters, in particular the unity and indivisibility of land and its conservation. Neat, airtight compartments, labeled forest, range, or cropland almost surely lead to the trite but tragic situation of failing to see the woods for the trees. It is the author's hope that many other people, leaders, policymakers, legislators, educators, the people who exploit the land, and the people of cities who unknowingly depend on the land, will grasp such essential truths and see to it that they are applied while there is yet time.

This is, in short, a book with a mission -to arouse responsible people to thought, intelligent and knowledgeable recognition of a vast and urgent problem, and to effective action in their own self-interest.

Aerial Photographs in Forestry. Stephen H. Spurr. Pp. 327. $6.00. The Ronald Press Company, New York, 1948.

The author's stated aim is to bring together in one place existing information concerning the use of photographs in forest mapping, inventory, and other phases of forest management. Although the use of aerial photographs in forestry developed during the period between the two world wars, it is only during the last few years that the new technique of mapping and estimating timber has gained universal acceptance by the forestry profession in North America. Different types of aerial photographs are discussed, the kinds of films and filters which must be used to obtain pictures of the best types for forestry purposes, preferred seasons for photography, questions of scale and methods for actually taking photographs. Problems of aerial surveying and mapping from air photographs are then dealt with. The use of the stereoscope and of various instruments used when transferring planimetric and topographic data from photographs to the map are discussed in considerable detail. Techniques and principles of photointerpretation, and methods for the identification of various kinds of information of particular interest to foresters are outlined. Individual chapters deal with site, tree species, stand density and crown diameter, tree heights and areas.

The last part is concerned with forestry applications, including forest mapping and the estimation of timber volumes directly from photos, with discussion of the use of photographs and maps prepared from them for the control of forest inventory work on the ground.

Illustrations include many examples of different types of aerial photographs as well as illustrations of modern instruments and equipment. The book will serve as a valuable textbook for students of the subject, and contains much of interest to the experienced practitioner in this relatively new technique.

Forest Protection. Ralph C. Hawley and others. Pp. 355. $4.00. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York.

The second edition of this book, by Ralph C. Hawley, Morris K. Jesup, Professor of Silviculture, Yale University, and Paul W. Stickel, Assistant Professor of Forestry, University of Massachusetts, has just been published. It is a good standard textbook.

Soil and Water Conservation in the Punjab. R. Maclagan Gorrie, D.S.C., F.R.S.E., Indian Forest Service. Pp. 290. 7 s. 6 d. Published by the author, 1946.

This book, by an author whose previous works on the same subject are well-known, is more than a study confined to certain problems in such a region of India. It is an account of the different methods man has devised for the maximum use of and benefit from the, water that falls on his land, and of the steps taken to repair the damage done by this same water in carrying away the soil itself. Though the author's experiences in the Punjab, where these problems, together with that of wind erosion, are vital, furnish the principal sources of his information, he has also drawn largely from American literature on this subject, as well as from experience gathered during study tours in the United States.

After a brief account of the general characteristics of erosion and a summary classification of methods of control, the first chapters of the book are devoted to describing contour culture and terracing, to the application of these methods to wooded and pastoral lands, and to the management of pasture lands to protect them from erosion. A remarkable chapter follows in which the author studies the natural cycle of the evolution of water in the soil, in the air, and on the ground surface, giving particular attention to snow. There is a short clear chapter with useful information on costs, material on modern mechanical equipment for work in restoring the soil, and a detailed study of different methods, useful in and regions, of obtaining the maximum efficacity from water, either by storing it or by turning it from its natural course for the purposes of irrigation.

In the first pages the reader is disappointed that the author does not take a firmer stand on the priority that should be accorded to works of restoration and stabilization of the upper reaches of streams. In the mountainous regions of Europe, such as Switzerland, Italy, Austria, and France, where that question is often pressing, opinion is almost unanimous that works undertaken in the lower reaches of torrents and rivers, because of the necessity of protecting highways, railroads, communities, or large cultivated areas, are a waste of money as long as the cause is not controlled at its source, in the watersheds.

However, in the final chapter, which he has aptly titled "Co-ordination," and which is really the key to the whole 'book, Mr. Gorrie corrects this impression and fits all the elements of the book into their proper perspective. He advocates logical plans based on detailed and accurate knowledge, assuring the co-ordination of all efforts which tend to conserve these two essential resources of mansoil and water-which so often work in opposition to each other. It is essential to make basic plans for complete drainage area. This would be difficult to accomplish in countries that have both a dense population and an advanced civilization, circumstances which without doubt would necessitate that plans of this nature be limited to smaller reservoirs, tributary or sub-tributary to major valleys. But this again is difficult to realize when these major valleys lie astride several countries, and here international organizations have perhaps a role to play, as the author remarks in alluding to the FAO. Nevertheless the principle that he advocates is undoubtedly sound and the, only one by which any advance can be made in the vital problems treated in this book.

Circumstances have obliged foresters in India to become directly interested in these problems, and even in many cases to become the working core of pastoral and agricultural as well as of silvicultural rehabilitation, but many forestry technicians in other regions and countries still fail to recognize the role of forests in the general economy. At a time when the development of tropical countries and the economic transformations of other countries are accentuating the importance of studying land utilization, it is essential that foresters become aware of this and do not allow themselves to be limited by the boundaries of their forests.

Instability of Forest Land Ownership in Western Oregon and Washington, 1932-41. Sinclair A. Wilson and Paul E. Malone. Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Portland, Oregon.

Good forest management by private forest owners is greatly affected, among other things, by continuity of ownership. In this report the authors document the reversion of private forest land to public ownership through failure to pay taxes, especially in the 1930's, in an important forest region of the United 'States. Among the factors analyzed by the investigators as having an important bearing on instability of ownership during the economic depression in the periods up to World War II and after 1941 are (a) intent of ownership (including an analysis of the Tree-Farm campaign) (b) lack of conservative cutting; (c) fire and fire hazard; (d) smallness of holding (more unstable in holdings under 2,000 ha. (5,000 acres); (e) degree of industrial development (large-scale development came after 1940) (f) overassessment for taxes (the principal cause) (g) unduly heavy tax-load to support local government services; (h) differences between state and county government financing; (i) faulty collection practices.

Action proposed includes more and better land-use planning, improvement in cutting practice, more effective fire control, reduction of waste, simplification of local government structure, modification of local revenue systems, better administration of property tax, development of forest credit facilities, provision for insurance of standing timber, and extension of technical aid by government to woodland owners and operators.

Annual Report for 1947 of the Pacific Forest and Range Experiment Station. U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.

Against a background of the status of forest management in the states of Oregon and Washington, the work and accomplishments of the Experiment Station are so outlined as to emphasize their potential contribution to the improvement of forest industries and the proper management of forests, range land, and watersheds., In a region containing considerable areas of virgin timber in need of access roads, there are also outstanding examples of wood-using centers where the sawmill capacity has been greatly in excess of not only the timber growth but of the accessible volume. In the words of the report "the timber account of western Washington and northwest Oregon has been overdrawn for years. This overdraft is now being partially replaced by overdrawing southwest Oregon. [It is alarming to note] the migratory and transitory nature of a large part of the presently installed mill capacity."

The increase in the number of consulting foresters and of foresters in the employ of private companies is heartening, and it is to be hoped that "this movement toward good management will survive beyond the present high levels of prosperity in forest industries." As an aid in this direction, the station has carried on studies which showed the importance of stability of ownership of forest land and financial stability in utilization operations as well as timber management policies to promote the permanence of integrated utilization enterprises.

Considerable emphasis has been placed on studies of: cost of truck and trailer hauling of logs; kiln-dried lumber; shipping containers for fruit; the expansion of the softwood plywood industry through the use of veneer from lowgrade logs; the development of a cutstock industry based on salvage of mill waste; the fabrication of wood products of glued-laminated construction; the use of local hardwoods for pulp, lumber and veneer stock; the expanded use of sawmill waste, logging waste, and second-growth thinnings for pulp; the utilization of so-called waste wood for insulated and hardboard plant; the production of alcohol, molasses, and yeast from wood waste; and the testing of wood molasses and yeast for stock feeding at Agricultural Experiment Stations in Washington and Oregon.

The forest survey is continuing with its gathering of statistical information needed by the wood-using industries.

Forest-management research continues on partial cutting in old-growth Douglas fir, management of second-growth Douglas fir, and silviculture of ponderosa pine. A new line of work in this field aimed at translating small-plot results into practical woods operation has been set up to test silvicultural, mensurational, fire, and economic study results on commercial-sized logging operations. This work has been carried out in four experimental forests, and arrangements have been completed for two additional centers for this type of study demonstration.

Notre Forêt (Our Forest). Frank Aubert and Robert-Ch. Gut. Pp. 156. 6 Swiss francs. La Librairie Payot, Lausanne, Switzerland.

In this condensed treatise on basic forestry, the authors give a brief historical survey of the relations of mankind to forests and outline the effects of forests upon climatic and economic conditions, the principles of tree cultivation, the basic elements of forest protection, management, and exploitation. One chapter is devoted to forest technology, but the chapters on forest policies and trade associations deserve special attention. In the former, the authors try to show what methods are best suited to Switzerland for rational forest management, economic development of production, rational and full utilization of all products obtained from the forest. The noteworthy part played by the Swiss Forest Economy Association is also indicated. The brief chapter on the trade associations refers to the Swiss co-operative movement, with regret that this movement has not yet found its place in the country's forest economy. The authors believe that the near future will inevitably bring about the setting up of cooperatives, grouping forest owners, technical and administrative staffs, forest laborers, and transportation and factory workers in forest enterprises, and they believe that these co-operatives will exert a powerful influence for the protection of Swiss forests.

Tree Management and Marking Rules - Second-Growth Douglas Fir. William A. Tinney and Donald B. Malmberg.

The conclusions the authors have reached and published under the auspices of the College of Forestry, University of Washington, and the Skagit Forest Council are based on research made in ten separate experimental plots scattered over Snohomish and Skagit counties in the state of Washington. The rules applied to thinning these growths deserve particular attention from a practical standpoint. It is obvious that, with the rapid exhaustion of the virgin stands of Douglas firs, the industries of the western United States must rely more and more on second-growth stands. Numerous farm-woodlands, which are often situated on excellent soil, have very rich stands of this type. Owners and foresters in charge of larger areas will benefit from the clear directions given in this book.

THE Nations accepting this Constitution, being determined to promote the common welfare by furthering separate and collective action on their part for the purposes of

raising levels of nutrition and standards of living of the peoples under their respective jurisdictions,
securing improvements in the efficiency of the production and distribution of all food and agricultural products,

bettering the condition of rural populations,

and thus contributing toward an expanding world economy,

hereby establish the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations... through which the Members will report to one another on the measures taken and the progress achieved in the fields of action set forth above.

- Preamble to the Constitution of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

FAO Member Nations


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