Items of Interest

That five million acres of non-agricultural land should be secured by the federal government in the southern Appalachians and six hundred thousand acres in the White Mountain region of New England to form national forests for the protection of the watersheds of navigable streams in the East, is urged by the national forest reservation commission in its latest report. The commission has approved for purchases so far, 1,104,529 acres in New Hampshire, Virginia, West Virginia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia, in accordance with the Weeks law, which appropriated eleven million dollars for this work, though only about eight million will have been spent by July 1, when the appropriation will expire. A further appropriation, providing for continued purchases until 1920 at the current rate of two million dollars a year, is recommended by the commission. Under the terms of the Weeks law, passed March 1, 1911, one million dollars was made available for expenditure prior to July 1 of that year and two million annually thereafter for five years. Because of the time required to examine and survey the lands and negotiate with owners, the expenditures in the early years of the work were less than the amounts appropriated.

The lands thus far approved for purchase have been obtained on what are regarded as very reasonable terms. The average price is $5.03 the acre, involving a total expenditure of $5,560,202.21, exclusive of the cost of examination and survey. About one third of the area is virgin timber land, and while most of the remainder has been cut over or culled, much valuable timber is standing on it also. In 1914 the purchases approved comprised 391,114 acres at the relatively low price of $4.96 the acre. Areas in which land is to be purchased have been designated also in Alabama, Maine, and Maryland, but no purchases in these states have yet been approved by the commission.

Many of the tracts which are being acquired, says the report, present attractive scenery and afford delightful places in which to travel or rest. Some of the most attractive spots have been inaccessible, but the roads and trails which are being built by the forest service will make it easier to reach them. Persons who desire to occupy permanent camp sites, or places in which to erect resorts, may obtain them on payments of a moderate fee.

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Educated Narrow-mindedness
March 13, 1915

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