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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/196

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

all our crops of grain and large fruits is destroyed by violent winds, which such a system of protection, or its equivalent in groves, would so far check as to prevent the destruction." Another, whose words are quoted in the "Iowa Horticultural Report" for 1875, speaking of the wintry storms of the Northwest, sometimes known as "blizzards," says, "More people have been frozen within the last year in northwest Iowa and west Minnesota than were ever murdered by the Indians in those counties since their settlement." And he says, in regard to a remedy: "I see none that would do but timber-planting. It alone would stop these terrible winds, modify the climate, and furnish landmarks for the traveler." So Professor Lacy, of the State University, in an address to the Minnesota State Forestry Association, says: "The Minnesota State Forestry Association was organized to meet and deal with the stern realities of facts. It was organized to meet the fact that over more than one third of the great State of Minnesota the winds rush with a howling fury and with a bitter cold that neither beast nor fruit-tree can resist or withstand, and for miles not a single forest-tree rears its head in protest. It was organized to meet the fact that, in a climate which affords six months of winter, much of it fearfully severe, there are thousands of farms on which there does not grow one particle of fuel, and on which it can not be obtained without the expenditure of both money and labor by a people often destitute of means. It was organized to meet the fact that for miles and miles there is not a single landmark to guide the benumbed and benighted traveler. It was organized to meet the fact that to induce human beings to make their houses on such farms is downright inhumanity.... The force of the winds on our Western prairies can not be conceived of by you who have always lived within the area of forests. They are simply terrible to endure and appalling to contemplate. They carry death alike to the unprotected beast and the more tender forms of arboreal life."

It is not surprising that people living amid such exposures of life and property, and seeing so manifestly as they do that these are attributable to the absence of trees, should bestir themselves in seeking the appropriate remedy, that they should organize, as they have done, forestry associations, appoint arbor-days, and engage the aid of the State itself in offering bounties for tree-planting, and in exempting forest plantations for a time from taxation. The latter has been done in several of the Western States, and already the work of tree planting has wrought a perceptible change on many a farm, as to appearance, comfort of living, and productiveness. But the work that is needed is a great one, a work not to be accomplished by planting in a few States or portions of States lines of quick-growing, soft-wooded trees, which may make tolerable wind-breaks in five or six years. This is hardly more than a makeshift at the best. The work is broader and more comprehensive than that, and one which for its due accomplishment needs an intelligent comprehension of the facts