OBJECT OF THE FOREST RESERVES.
The object of these reserves is to maintain forests on lands where they are needed for two principal reasons:
1. To furnish timber a valuable and much needed product, from lands which are unfit to produce a more valuable crop, such as corn or wheat.
2. To regulate the flow of the water. This they do--
(a) By shading the ground and snow and affording protection against the melting and drying action of the sun.
(b) By acting as wind-breaks, and thus protecting the ground and snow against the drying action of the wind.
(c) By protecting the earth from washing away, and thus maintaining a "storage layer," into which rain and snow water soak and are stored for the dry seasons, when snow and rain are wanting.
(d) By keeping the soil more previous, so that water soaks in more readily and more of it is thereby prevented from running off in time of rain or when the snow is melting.
From this it follows that the more extensive the forest and the better its condition, the better it will serve its purpose. It is evident that an open park, an old "burn," an extensive "slash," or an open stand of scattering trees or chaparral does not serve this purpose of the forest as well as a close, thrifty stand of young timber.
Keeping in mind the object and purpose of the reserves and their forests, it is clear that the first and foremost duty of every forest officer is to care for the forest, and every act, every decision he is called upon to make should be guided by the thought, will it improve and extend the forest?