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in 1903. Once a fire starts on cut-over lands, with wind and weather favorable to its spread, it is usually impossible to combat it with any success. Where the cut has been heavy and the resulting débris correspondingly large, all the difficulties of fire fighting are proportionately increased. All kinds of waste material left in the woods supply food for the flames, but the leaving of large, unlopped softwood tops on the ground adds enormously to the fury of a brush fire and greatly prolongs the length of time that a slash remains a menace to its own and surrounding areas. These large tops, propped up from the soil by their branches, are very slow to decay and become very dry. A large area in the Zealand Valley was burned over in 1903, eleven years after the last lumbering. This valley, which had been logged for spruce saw logs only, is an example of the great length of time that cut-over land must be specially protected against fire even when a very large proportion of the stand is left after logging.
Fires on cut-over land usually kill all standing timber left, as well as all the young growth. On the steep slopes, where they are particularly likely to spread, owing to the method of clear cutting on such slopes, the destruction of the soil is almost certain. On many slopes the presence of any forest growth whatever is due to the accumulation, through the ages, of a mass of organic matter which held the mineral particles of rock as they were gradually disintegrated, preventing their being washed to the bottom of the slope. The soil that obtains to-day on such areas is very largely organic matter, and when fire-swept, if dry, is so nearly consumed, especially by repeated fires, that the remaining mineral particles are easily washed away until nothing but bare rocks remain. A thousand
A years will not replace this soil and a growth of trees upon it.
On such areas the water run-off is much more rapid than on uncut or even on cut but unburned areas, as nothing remains to retard or hold the rain water on the slopes. There is little left but bare rocks, and the water runs off very rapidly, causing floods and freshets in the valleys below and extremely low water soon after, owing to the fact that little water is retained on the slopes to be given out later as on forested land.
VALUE FOR RECREATION.
The White Mountams are visited annually by thousands of people from every State in the Union, and from foreign countries as well. No other section of the country is so accessible to so many of the greater eastern cities. In consequence, it forms a great recreation ground for thousands of people. The very existence of the region as a summer resort depends directly upon the protection of the forest from fire and destructive lumbering, which absolutely destroy the beauty of the landscape. The virgin forest still remaining in the
. White Mountain region proper is practically confined to two localities-one on the northern slope of the Presidential Range, and the other that in Waterville. Clear cutting of this virgin growth will undoubtedly greatly detract from the value of these localities for summer resorts. The natural beauty of the mountains is enhanced by their forest covering. Without this they are bare and unattractive, and when fires occur after logging the landscape is rendered bleak and desolate.
AREAS OF ESPECIAL IMPORTANCE.
Owing to the high price that would have to be paid for virgin forest land, but little of such land can be bought. Certain small areas of virgin forest should, however, be preserved, surrounding places of particular importance, as recreation grounds. The destruction of the forest upon them would almost completely destroy their value. These places are frequented by thousands of people annually, and their preservation is of great importance. On invitation, representatives of the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Massachusetts Forestry Association, and the Society for the Protection of New IIampshire Forests cooperated with the Forest Service in locating five such areas. Their combined area will not exceed 5,000 acres.
One area is located on the north slope of the Presidential Range around the ravine of the Cascades and extends from an area that has been recently logged over up to the limit of merchantable timber at an elevation of 4,000 feet. It includes the slopes on both sides of and above the Cascade Falls. These falls are much frequented by campers and vacationists, and this would be the only area of virgin timberland left on the north slope of the Presidential Range. Another area is located around the Glen Ellis Falls and extends in a narrow strip from here, on both sides of the trail, up through Tuckermans ravine on the slopes of Mount Washington to an elevation of 4,000 feet, the limit of merchantable timber. Another area is situated on the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River, where Cedar and Shoal Pond brooks come in. This is a popular camping spot for parties crossing from the Crawford Notch region through the Pemigewasset Valley to North Woodstock, and is very much used for camping. Another tract is situated 7 miles west of North Woodstock on the Mousilauke Brook. At this point, about 1 mile from its source on Mount Mousilauke, the brook disappears underground and flows through a series of caverns for a distance of nearly half a mile, being here called “Lost River." This underground stream is one of the remarkable natural features in the White Mountains. Some twenty or more caverns make the whole place one of unusual interest. Still another area is Eagle Cliff, which is a combination of six mountains, ranging in height from 2,400 to 3,100 feet, all combined in one massive group, in the Franconia Notch. The south side of this cliff is very steep and overlooks the Profile House, but on the opposite (north) side it is more sloping in character, extending down to the wild bed of Lafayette Brook, and is covered with a forest growth, mixed spruce and hardwoods, of remarkable evenness and beauty. It is the most prominent forest on the Franconia Range and one of the most prominent to be found on any of the mountains.
AREA AND LOCATION OF LANDS NEEDING PROTECTION.
In order to determine the extent of the lands primarily available for forests in the Southern Appalachian and White Mountain regions, a reconnaissance survey has been made, as a result of which the accompanying maps have been prepared. Maps I and II show for the two regions the lands to be classed as distinctly mountainous and nonagricultural.