MESSRS. EDITORS—Impressed with the great importance of this subject, as the reader of your valuable paper may ah'eady be, it will be still more interesting to peruse the views of the author we have quoted in regard to the cultivation of timber in our country. He states a fact which is highly surprising, and that is, tht timber in this country of primitive forests costs at present in all the places where it is consumed two and a half times as much as in Bavaria. This may be the cause why wood gas has not made so much headway in the United States as on the European continent. Snch a great difference in the prices of timber is easily explained, if we take into consideration that the inhabitants of the 'United States have increased since the year 1776 to the present time to at least tenfold the "original numberj that consequently cities, towns and villages have sprung up in this period to an extent unparalleled in history, and that the same rapid growth has characterized the railroads and mercantile marine— all devouring an immense quantity of timber. To the8e is to be added the annual consumption of wood as fuel in the cold winters in the North, and all over the country, which is not always done in a very economical way. We say nothing of how the clearing of wood is viewed by the farmer, but it is known he considers its destruction a great gain, as it gives him more arable land for plowing. We thus understand why there is already a scarcity of timber in some parts of the Union. How is'it to be remedied? Our author suggests a somewhat similar plan in regard to timber as a Member of Congress (Mr. Morrel) lately suggested in regard to agriculture. But the growth of timber being very slow, he thinks that laws should be enacted in eaoh State to encourage the cultivation of trees particularly on ground which is not adapted for agricultural purposes. He thinks that in States where there are swamps the people or M their representatives should undertake the draining of them, and plant trees thereon, and these to.be the property of States, as canals were built, and are managed in our day. The federal government, too, he believes, ought to take such measures to have the forests or government lands systematically maintained, and they should employ for this purpose able officers, and make from the sale of wood a regular annual revenue. We leave, however, thee suggestions to be discussed in other quarters, having fairly presented them as the simple views of a professional forester. L. R. BREISACH.
This article was originally published with the title "Can there be a Great Scarcity of Timber in the United States" in Scientific American 13, 38, 302 (May 1858)