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Wisconsin. State Conservation Committee (1915-27) / Biennial report of the State Conservation Commission of Wisconsin for the years 1915 and 1916

Permanent improvement work,   pp. 85-86 PDF (435.6 KB)

Page 85

                 Distributed by Causes.
                   L ightning  ............ .............  4
                   R ailroads  ........ ...............  35
                   Lumbering ....    ..........  2
                   Brush  burning  ..........  ...........  56
                   Campers           ........... 1-1
                   Incendiary  ......  ..............  5
                   U nknow n........ ...............52
                   M iscellaneous.. .....6....._  6
                     Total number of fires.. .  171
  The total area burned over, including both timbered and open land,
was 46,511 acres, while the damage to timber and improvements amounted
to $28,132. This data is significant, since the season was a very wet one.
In spite of this fact, however, many fires were started and considerable
valuable property destroyed. In order that we may be prepared for the
real dry periods, which are bound to come in the near future, probably
within five years, it is hoped that a well organized scheme of forest fire
protection may be developed, and that individuals, corporations and other
landowners organize forest fire associations and make it possible to co-
operate to the fullest extent with the State throughout the wooded regions.
  In 1911 Congress approved an act (Weeks Law) authorizing the Secre-
tary of Agriculture to cooperate with states in the protection from fire
of forested areas at the headwaters of navigable streams, and an appropria-
tion was made available for such protection. Under the cooperative agree-
ment, States were obligated to spend an amount equal to the allotment
provided by the government. Wisconsin was one of the first states to
cooperate and has received an annual allotment of $4,500.00. Under the
agreement entered into in 1916, eight federal patrolmen were appointed
by the Conservation Commission for a period of six months and have
been given definite districts to patrol and are under the direct supervision
of the Head Ranger. During periods of no fire danger these patrolmen are
employed in permanent improvement work, such as building trails, fire
lanes, telephone lines, roads, etc. A close cooperation exists between the
Federal Patrolmen and the State force of eight forest rangers.
  In the development of the forestry work some 37 buildings have been
erected to shelter the ranger force at an approximate cost of $28,600.
Two forest nurseries have been established which have an output of 1,000,-
000 trees annually. Other improvement work includes the building of
about 250 miles of roads, 140 miles of fire lanes, and 80 miles of telephone

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