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to explain these things, and to that end the writer visited headquarter's camp near Buna in Jasper county early in December and familiarized himself with the work there in progress.
In the first place, it should be explained that the Houston Oil Company owns a vast area of 1,250,000 acres of long leaf pine lands, embracing about 80 per cent of all the long leaf timber now standing in Texas. This land, known as the Kirby tract, lies in the counties along the Sabine, and those immediately west, especially in Houston, Jasper, Hardin, Tyler, Sabine, San Augustine, and Angelina.
The Kirby Lumber Company is the owner of the timber on this tract, and being at liberty to cut it at its pleasure, it occurred to the management that it would be a good business proposition (not to say a public benefaction) if the lumbering operations could be so conducted as to preserve the producing capacity of the forest, while at the same time marketing the mature timber profitably. Such a procedure seemed practicable in view of the limited areas of valuable pine timber, both in the North and the South, and in view of the history of lumber prices, which have been marked by a steady and natural growth during a course of many years. It was with some such ideas as these in mind that the Bureau of Forestry was consulted. The Bureau offers, under certain conditions, to submit what is called a forest working plan, and the presumption is that this plan is found to be practicable under existing conditions, the company will it and put it in operation, requiring the methods of lumbering to be pursued in accordance therewith.
The Bureau of Forestry is now engaged in making this working plan, and the field survey work was to have been completed by the first of March. For three months a party of nearly fifty men in charge of an expert forester, has been engaged in the survey. This force was divided into four camps, each originally located at one of the Kirby Lumber Company's cuttings or logging tracts. Headquarters' camp is four miles from Buna, a second near Silsbee, a third near Call station and a fourth a few miles from Kirbyville.
THE CAMP OUTFIT.
To outfit and maintain these four camps during the winter months is a matter of very considerable moment. The men must
be well sheltered and fed and their comforts otherwise seen to if they are to keep up a rapid pace in the work during the wet and cold of winter. The tents are ample in size, each provided with a fly, a tent heater, and a folding cot. Two men occupy a tent, and blankets are furnished by themselves. A large mess tent with dining compartment, kitchen and supply space is a part of the equipment of each camp. In addition to these features, a temporary office building (of lumber, canvas covered) has been erected at headquarters' camp. In this building the director has his office. The additional office force consists of two forest engineers engaged in preparing working maps and in executing the topographic map, of one clerk, who receives and compiles the daily and weekly reports of the stem analysis and valuation survey crews, and a stenographer.
PERSONNEL OF THE PARTY.
The personnel of the party is, in a way, unique, and would be a surprise to most of us who have not been especially interested in the development of forestry matters. The director of the field work is a young man whose college training was followed by technical study in forestry schools, and by much active field service. He is a thoroughly expert forester, whose work has given him wide experience in the most diverse types of North American forests in the Carolinas, the Adirondacks, Maine, and the Pacific Northwest.
There is an experienced lumberman and forester from the Maine woods-a delightfully genial, hearty forest companion and guide. There is a forest engineer of twenty years' experience in surveying and mapping railway routes and forests tracts, especially in the Adirondack forests. There are several graduates of schools of foresty who have in charge the subsidiary camps or the more technical matters of silviculture, stem analysis, and so forth.
The majority of the force are college men, generally recent graduates, who are taking up the profession of forester for their life work. Thus, for example, there are two Princeton men of last year's class; Sewanee, Butler, Union College, Iowa College, and University, Cornell, and a number of other institutions are represented, and the University of Texas has had one man on the force. Among those at the main camp is a Russian-a graduate
of Cornell school of forestry; a Frenchman, with de to his name and nobility in his pedigree; while the outfitting clerk is a stanch Briton.
One's first impression on beholding the personnel of the camp is that he has come upon an outing party of college men-earnest, quiet fellows, to be sure, who carry the dignity of culture even into the woods, but men of college spirit and sympathies, nevertheless.
The writer, in whom the campfire aroused the spirit of frolic, would fain have sung college songs the whole evening through, but the men had become more veteran than that, and took things more sedately, chatting and narrating in groups about the great log fire, or playing "high five" or whist by lantern or candle light in the tents, with a box or cot for a table. The climate must have had a subduing effect, for since their arrival the elements have turned themselves loose, at one time literally flooding the camp, making fires impossible, and leaving only wet tents and clothing to shiver out the night in. Despite this, however, even the new men, to whom winter camp life in any case would be a rough experience, have faced the situation squarely, and go about the work strongly and efficiently.
The personnel of the party has been thus dwelt upon in order to emphasize the significance of this new forestry work, which is attracting men of high training and promise.
FOREST WORKING PLAN.
Now as to the forest working plan which these foresters are to elaborate: "The main purpose of this working plan is to outline a method of management under which the merchantable timber may be cut in such a manner that successive crops may be obtained and the condition of the forest constantly improved."
"In order to decide how to make the first cutting so as to insure successive crops within a reasonable time and at a profit to the owner, it is necessary to know the present stand of timber and of immature trees, and what the rate of growth of the latter will be after the mature trees have been removed."
The survey work will include, then, the following chief di