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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
(1916)

Extent-value and use of Wisconsin woodlots,   pp. 117-120 PDF (926.9 KB)


Page 118


WISCONSIN CONSERVATION COMMISSION
769,280 acres, and one of the most highly developed agricultural regions
of the State, we find 95,976 acres in woodlots, whereas, in Iron county con-
taining 506,880 acres, most of which is still in the wild state, we find
only
4,662 acres in farm woodlots. Their extent depends entirely upon the
agricultural development of a region. Using this classification the State
may be divided into three main divisions as follows:
  1. The southern counties such as Rock, Green, Walworth, Dane or
Dodge, in which agriculture is of major importance, and where the wild
lands are very limited. In counties of this type, the woodlots are small
on the average, but they have a definite place in the management of each
farm. An interest is usually taken in their development, and a plan for
intensive encouragement is feasible and practical.
  2. Counties in the central portion of the state, such as Clark, Waupaca,
Chippewa or Langlade, where agricultural development is far advanced,
but in which the cut over or forested lands are still of great extent. In
these counties the woodlots are just beginning to receive some considera-
tion from farm owners, but very little is done in the way of definite im-
provements. The woodlot is not as yet recognized as an essential part of
the general farm, because of the vast amount of wood material which is
still found in all parts of these counties.
  3. Counties in the northern part of the state such as Iron, Forest, Vilas,
Sawyer or Marinette, which contain a vast acreage of cut over or timbered
lands, and in which agricultural development is still in its infancy. In
these counties the woodlot is of minor importance at present, although
plans for its proper development can be reasonably considered at the
present time.
  The value of the wood material on the five and one-third million acres
of woodlots in Wisconsin would exceed fifty million dollars at the very
conservative estimate of ten dollars per acre. Each year hundreds of
thousands of cords of firewood and millions of feet ofsaw logs are hauled
from these woodlots, besides great quantities of poles, posts and ties. The
value of these products is difficult to approximate, but it is of great im-
portance to the rural communities. But this does not limit the value of
the farm woodlot. The birds and small animals are man's best aids in
controlling the insect world, and consequently their depredations, on crops,
cattle and even mankind, and these are always harbored and encouraged
in woodlands. In mitigating the severities of the winds, small stands of
timber are of the utmost importance. The woodlot affords those beauties
to the landscape of a farming community, the lack of which makes prairie
regions so desolate. As a means of preventing severe gullying on steep
hillsides or on very light soils, tree growth cannot be excelled. Practically
every farm in the state has some land on which a woodlot could be profit-
ably located. In the southwestern portion of the state, where the lands
are rough and hilly, the woodlots are best located on the steep slopes, the
narrow ridges, or the rock strewn hillsides.
  In the central and eastern counties the woodlots should be so located
as to give protection from the prevailing winds, or on a lean, stony or
eroded portion of the farm. In all parts of the state there are lands un-
suited for cultivation, and on such sites quick growing tree species should
be planted. It requires very little effort after a woodlot is once started,
118


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