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Northrop, E. B.; Chittenden, H. A., Jr. (ed.) / The Wisconsin lumberman, devoted to the lumbering interests of the northwest
(August, 1874)

Little, J.
The timber supply,   pp. 491-493 PDF (1.1 MB)


Page 492


The Wisconsin Lumberman.
all grabbed up by Railway Corpora-
tions, speculators, &c.
I showed in those communications
what has not since been successfully
disputed in the discussion of the
question, that the United States
would use up all the pine timber they
have east of the Rocky Mountains
in from ten to twelve years, and that
all our pine and spruce would not
give them a full supply of their
annual consumption for three years
if called on to do so. And now, as
serving farther to draw attention to
the question in hope that our lumber-
men will take it into serious consider-
ation, and realize the necessity and
value of curtailing their operations,
I would ask them to reflect on the
position the United States would be
placed in, and wbat the price of
lumber must be in Canada when
it will require one-third more than the
tonnage of al the sailing vessels of
Europe and America combined to
freight the present consumption of pine
alone, and double the amount of ton-
nage of all Europe and America for
the transporsation of their present con-
sumptionl of commercial woods of al!
kindsfrom the Pacific coast if they be
found in that quarter.  Is it not
evident from this view of the
question, which is based on their
own Congressional returns of the
consumption, that the commercial
woods of Canada will in a few years
reach a value immensely beyond that
of any otherdescription of property
we possess? And is it not utter
folly for the owners of timber
property to be continually, as it
would appear, running a race with
each other to see who will soonest
come to the end of their supplies,-
wasting their time, working hard,
and sacrificing a material so valuable
and indispensable without any
advantage resulting to themselves or
the home community, when half the
labor and capital expended would
enrich them all and doubly prolong
the time of exhaustion of their stock
in trade, which no amount of capital
a
and labor could for generations
replace. So far as regards that in-
valuable wood, the white pine,-
every tree of which will be worth as
much within the next decade as
black walnut is to-day,-the Ottawa
lumbermen have the control in their
own hand, and are able to govern
the markets both of Britain and the
Middle and Eastern States of America
to their own advantage, if they will
make the effort. Let them curtail
the supplies by one-half, and they
will secure a return of ten dollars for
one of profit they now make, and
those who hold timber and are able
to preserve it from the axe will yet
do better.
The question of timber exhaustion
is met by some with the argument
that iron will take its place to an
extent sufficient to keep down its
price; but facts are against this view
of the question. Let any one travel
through Great Britain, and he will
neither see any room for improve-
ment, or improvements to any appre-
ciable extent going on; and yet that
old and long finished up country
consumes annually five millions of
loads,or over twice as much as Canada
consumes and transports to all coun-
tries-paying at the same time double
what it sold at here, notwithstanding
her abundance of coal, iron, and
cheap labor skilled andunskilled,and
she will continue to use timber as
long as it is to be had, no matter at
what cost; so far as regards the
United States it must reach four
times its present price before its
place is supplied to any great extent
by iron or any other product, for it
is to them a material absolutely in-
dispensable.
Sweden, which has hitherto been
the great timber-supplying coun-
try of the north of Europe, find-
ing the drain upon her resources so
exhausting, has also taken the alarm,
and within a few weeks back has
passed an edict prohibiting the cut-
ting of timber of smaller dimensions
than ten inches in diameter, on the
492


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