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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.
By B. E. FERNOW,
FORMERLY CHIEF OF THE DIVISION OF FORESTRY, U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.
[PREPARED IN ACCORDANCE WITH A PROVISION IN THE ACT MAKING
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.
To the Senate and House of Representatives:
In accordance with a provision in the act making appropriations for the Department of Agriculture for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1899, I transmit herewith a report of the Secretary of Agriculture "upon the forestry investigations and work of the Department of Agriculture.”
EXECUTIVE MANSION, January 27, 1899.
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY, Washington, D. C., January 21, 1899. Mr. PRESIDENT: In the act making appropriations for the Department of Agriculture for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1899, under the heading "Forestry investigations," the following provision occurs:
Provided, That the Secretary of Agriculture shall make a special and detailed report at the beginning of the next session of Congress upon the forestry investigations and work of the Department of Agriculture, showing the results obtained and the practical utility of the investigations.
In accordance with the above provision, which is mandatory in its character, I herewith submit for transmission to the Congress of the United States "a special and detailed report" "upon the forestry investigations and work of the Department of Agriculture, showing the results obtained and the practical utility of the investigations."
The extremely wide scope to be covered by the report, as indicated by the language of the provision, has necessitated a voluminous report, and this fact, together with the change in the Chief of the Forestry Division, which took place July 1, 1898, will explain why the report was not presented at the beginning of the present session of Congress.
The report was necessarily prepared by the former chief, Dr. B. E. Fernow, now of the New York State College of Forestry, and I desire, in submitting it as covering the past work of the Division of Forestry of this Department, to call special attention to the fact that since the appointment of Mr. Gifford Pinchot, the present Chief, the work of the Division has been directed in distinctly different channels, which may be briefly indicated by the following summary taken from Mr. Pinchot's annual report for 1898:
(1) To introduce in practice better methods of handling forest lands of private owners, including both wood lots and large areas chiefly held for lumber, and afterwards to spread a knowledge of what has been accomplished; (2) to assist the Western farmer to plant better trees in better ways; (3) to reduce the loss from forest fires, the reported amount of which reaches a yearly average of not less than $20,000,000; (4) and, if future appropriations will permit the necessary investigations, to inform our citizens regarding the extent and value of new opportunities for forest enterprises in Alaska, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. These objects can be pursued only so far as appropriations will permit. The present resources of the division are utterly inadequate to meet the pressing and steadily growing demands already made upon it.
These plans meet with my full approval.
I have the honor to be, Mr. President, very respectfully,
Secretary of Agriculture.