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Saudi Arabia
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A salutary feature of forest administration in the country has been the creation by Act of Parliament of the Forest Improvement Fund. The main feature of the Act is to relieve the Forestry Division of provision of funds by way of the annual consolidated fund estimates. The Government is subsidizing the fund by a grant-in-aid during the Second Development Plan period; in addition, a percentage (40-70 but most commonly 50 percent) of the royalty revenue from reserves, silvicultural fees statutorily imposed on exploiters working in reserves, and rents from concessions wholly overlying forest reserves, is to be paid into the fund.


· The Touring Club Italiano issued in 1960 a special number of its review Monti e boschi devoted to progress in research on quick-growing conifers. It follows the special edition of two years ago which gave descriptions of promising quick-growing conifers prepared under the direction of the late Professor Pavari. The prospects of the cultivation of such quick-growing species to the economic and social future of Italy is discussed.


· Liberia is the most heavily forested of any country in Africa and should in the future be one of the most important timber producing countries.

During 1947 to 1949 a forest survey was made. The results show that more than one third of the land area is covered by primary and secondary forests, while another third of the area can be classified as broken forest, meaning that the forest areas are interspersed with old farm areas. The broken forest is, however, of commercial importance since considerable volumes of commercial timber can still be found.

The first effort to establish forestry in Liberia was made through the enactment of a law by the Liberian legislature, An Act for the Conservation of the Forest of the Republic of Liberia which was signed by the President in 1953. This law established the Bureau of Forest Conservation under the Department of Agriculture and Commerce and made it a function of the bureau to create the National Forest System. Since 1953, the foresters of the bureau have been engaged in the mapping and surveying of national forests. The total area of these national forests will be 4.3 million acres (1.7 million hectares).

Besides the national forests, which are scattered throughout Liberia and have been demarcated in such a way that no villages or habitation are found inside the boundaries, there is a similarly large area of forest located outside the boundaries. These areas are made available for forest industries. In 1957, an Act was passed establishing cutting rules and regulations covering forest utilization. These rules and regulations are in effect both in the national forests and the forest areas granted to the forest industry.

The basic objective of the forest land-use policy in Liberia is the conversion of both accessible and inaccessible primary and secondary forests into forests-in-use. Within the national forests, forest products exploitation will be carried out by the forest service field organization with contractors. Outside the national forests, exploitation will be done by the industries, with the assistance and technical supervision of the forest service.


· In Western Nigeria, various forms of a tropical shelterwood system are being used to induce regeneration of valuable species in the high forest on a large scale. Treatment was begun during 195960 on approximately 34,000 acres (13,600 hectares) of natural forest. This is a formidable undertaking - larger than all other natural regeneration work in tropical Africa put together.

The criticism is sometimes heard that these operations do not induce much new regeneration. It is true that the advance growth is always stimulated by the operations, but regeneration counts in many areas prove that now regeneration is undoubtedly induced, sometimes in large quantities. Simple silvicultural treatments can be relied upon to produce at least 80 good samplings per acre and often to increase the stocking of valuable young trees at least tenfold.

Saudi Arabia

· Reporting on an official visit to this country, the FAO Regional Forestry Officer says that in the Azir mountains about 1 million feddans (1 million acres or 0.4 million hectares) of natural forests exist. The vegetation zones were marked by the following two main species:

1. Acacia sp. n. (Arabic "talh") which, according to the British Museum, is probably a new species. The tree occurs in a savanna-type, more or less scattered, but occasional dense patches indicate that it might grow in real forests if only properly protected. The wood is used for a variety of purposes for building, agricultural implements, fuel and others. Probably the bark could be used for tanning, pods for fodder. The tree can stand a heavy degree of grazing with its heavy armature of long straight, ivory-white spines even on the youngest twigs.

2. Juniperus macropoda (Arabic "arar"). This tree goes up to the highest elevations; particularly in the cloudy zone it is a substantial tree. It forms dense pure stands and takes over from "talh" which it surpasses in height and in numbers at higher altitudes. "Arar" wood is a most valuable timber which is used for window-shutters, doors, panelling, and all other sort of interior decoration. It is also suitable for pencil-making.

Unfortunately, any systematic attempt to introduce more tree species, especially the entirely missing conifers, is made difficult due to lack of meteorological data.

The Government could easily facilitate the matter by providing simple equipment (rain-gauges, thermometers, hydrometers, barometers) to the existing agricultural units, which could then keep current recordings of temperature, rainfall, distribution of rainfall, etc.

"From all my observations in the cities of Jeddah, Taif, El Riad and especially all over the Azir mountains, I got the impression that wood consumption in the country is relatively high, "the report says." Tremendous amounts of fuelwood are drawn from the forests and by interviewing local farmers I found out that a rural family in Azir consumes about 2.5 tons of fuelwood per year (1 ton = 60 rials). But also for all other purposes wood is used, quite often in a wasteful way.

Large amounts of charcoal are shipped to other countries. All this would be perfectly all right if the forests were properly managed. I was told by one of the officials in Biljurshi that a regulation exists which prohibits the cutting of green trees. This is certainly a wise order, but there is no control to enforce this law and the great piles of fuelwood, poles and logs which I saw on the markets and in village yards did not stem from dead trees.

The present state of the existing natural forests is altogether alarming. The greatest part of the original forest wealth has already disappeared and one can easily forecast that in about 50 years the last remnants of forests will have disappeared.

From all my discussions with officials, it appeared that nobody in Azir had ever planted a forest tree."

The fact that Saudi Arabia has developed, within a period of 28 years, from an almost unknown area of deserts and tribal conflicts to an influential member of the world family of nations, encourages the hope that forest protection can be instituted and a national forest service formed.


· The publication Principales insectos que atacan a las frondosas en España (Ministerio de Agricultura, Dirección general de Montes, Casa y Pesca fluvial, Madrid, 1960), is an excellent and clearly presented study dealing with the principal insects which cause severe damage to forest trees in Spain. Drawings and photographs illustrate the different stages of the insects' evolution as well as the damage caused, thus permitting ready identification in the field. The volume should be most useful for foresters of the Mediterranean countries.

United Kingdom

· The International Society of Photogrammetry held its Ninth Congress in London during September 1960.

Because this period clashed with the Fifth World Forestry Congress, the forestry delegation to the Commission on Photo-Interpretation was appreciably smaller than at the previous ISP Congress in Stockholm in 1956.

Perhaps the greatest advance of interest to foresters requiring accurate topographic maps of mountainous forest areas is the use of electronics for height control by means of the airborne profile recorder (APR), which has been under development for a number of years and which has now emerged from the experimental stage to productive use. A paper presented at the congress described experience with this instrument for the contour mapping of a large reservoir site in the tropics, and indicated how APR control was later used to eliminate the tedious and expensive work of aerotriangulation on photogrammetric plotting instruments. Some ground control is still needed even with this apparatus but it can be greatly reduced compared with normal methods, and it can also be confined to the more accessible sites, thereby appreciably speeding up the field work.

The full proceedings and copies of the papers presented to the International Society for Photogrammetry axe being published and will be available from the Secretary-General, International Society for Photogrammetry, 25 Bruton Street, London W.l.

· Science and the Forester (by Leslie Wolff, senior lecturer in biology, Newton Park College, Bath), is an interesting example of a book designed to appeal to young students who aspire to a career that is not confined to the four walls of a laboratory or office. The forests can offer them the wide horizons that they seek-. The forester's intervention in the forests entrusted to his care can be an exciting adventure that requires a great deal of knowledge and understanding of natural laws. The author reveals the. secrets with simplicity without giving the impression that all enigmas have been solved; on the contrary, he shows that there is a vast field still open to those who wish to devote their lives to this career.

· By selection and hybridization, plant brooders have introduced increasingly productive varieties of farm and garden crops. The process is being extended to forestry in an effort to produce trees which will grow faster, provide better timber, and quicken the economic rehabilitation of poor upland soil. Experience in these directions will be a British contribution to the seed year which FAO is now beginning.

Time is the handicap to all tree research. In forestry, men create values for the future. If trees were planted which grew to full profit in 15 or 20 years less than is now normal, such value would be realized sooner and be enhanced. The Forestry Commission and private owners axe combining to bring this about by raising trees from better seed and by study of tree genetics.

First, the country was surveyed to find "plus trees" (superior examples of all useful species) to serve as seed sources. Seed from these is certified, and young trees in future will be raised from it.

In time, as characteristics emerge such as suitability for varying soils and climates, it is likely that separate varieties will be evolved in each species by selective breeding, as happened long ago with fruit trees. In speeding up the evolution of useful varieties in forest trees, orchard techniques are being used.

Grafting is much used in research. Conifer seed from grafted scions is available for testing in five years instead of the 15 which nature demands. Production of seed for sowing in small quantities can be similarly accelerated.

Performance testing of young trees is also used as a guide to the future. By this, the growth in height and cubic capacity is measured over a period, as is the live-weight gain of young cattle, and deductions are drawn. As a result information is now available in two years which would previously have taken 15 years to obtain.

United States of America

· Many difficulties arise in basing projections into the future on past, trends in land use. Land for the future (by Marion Clawson, R. Burnell Held and Charles H. Stoddard and published for Resources for the Future Inc. by the Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, $ 8.50), is therefore of interest primarily for the methodology adopted by its authors, which is appropriate also for countries other than the United States. An interesting subchapter, unfortunately too short, is devoted to a subject of great import to foresters and one that was discussed at length at the Fifth World Forestry Congress, namely multiple land use.

· The forest ranger: a study in administrative behavior (by Herbert Kaufman, published for Resources for the Future Inc. by Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, $ 5.00), shows how the Forest Service of the United
States, despite the diversity of its tasks, can claim not only to have a highly qualified technical staff but also to constitute a perfect entity, a corps whose members are a combination of executive and operator and through which orders and directives are carried out to the letter and in the proper spirit.

The originality of this work is that it considers the structure of an administrative agency in the light of the tasks it must fulfil, not from the top to the bottom but from the bottom up.

· A third edition has appeared of Diseases and pests of ornamental plants (by Pascal P. Pirone, Bernard O. Dodge and Harold W. Rickett, and published by the Ronald Press Co., Now York, $10).

An official publication of the New York Botanical Garden to the staff of which the authors belong, the book, as did its predecessors (1943, 1948), will help amateur and professional gardeners combat the manifold diseases and pests of ornamental plants. As such, it has become a standard reference guide in respect of ornamental plants of the United States, and this new edition incorporates up-to-date information on control measures.

· The progress of forestry and related natural resource management in the United States since 1900 is chronicled in a 320-page book published by the Society of American Foresters. Edited by Henry Clepper, executive secretary of the Society, and Arthur B. Meyer, editor of the Journal of forestry, American forestry: six decades of growth is the only comprehensive history available of the 60 years that span professional forestry in America. It provides, moreover, an insight into the interrelationship of all forest values and the multiplicity of modem demands upon those resources. Preparation and publication of the book commemorated the sixtieth anniversary of the society, formed in 1900.

· Another sixtieth anniversary celebrated in 1960 was that of the Yale University School of Forestry, whose alumni are deans and heads of half of the nation's forestry schools. The program of the celebration highlighted worldwide scientific forestry developments during the last ten years.

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