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Chittenden, Alfred K. (Alfred Knight), 1879-1930 / The taxation of forest lands in Wisconsin

General description,   pp. 9-20 PDF (3.1 MB)

Page 9

of soil too poor for farming. On such soil timber growth will always
be the best crop.
   For the purpose of this study ten counties considered typical of
 the northern part of the state were selected for detailed study. These
 were Bayfield, Douglas, Florence, Forest, Iron, Marinette, Price, Rusk,
 Sawyer, and Vilas counties. While all the information possible was
 collected in the other counties of the state, the principal work was
 confined to these ten counties.
                        GENERAL DESCRIPTION.
   A large portion of the land in every one of these counties is agri-
 cultural in character, and in time will doubtless be placed under cul-
 tivation. The fact that this report calls attention to the existence of
 non-agricultural lands in a county should not be considered as a re-
 flection upon the agricultural possibilities of such county as a whole.
 The only reason for doing so is to make plain the importance and ne-
 cessity of using these lands for the purpose for which they are best
   It is a first principle that all land should be put to its best and
most profitable use. Eliminating from consideration all land that is
non-agricultural there will remain an abundance of land in this region
not yet improved which is susceptible of cultivation. To illustrate,
the total area of these ten northern counties is 6,548,195 acres. In
1908 there were only 73,732 acres or a fraction more than 1.1 per
cent of the total area under cultivation. Assuming that fully 25 per
cent of the total area is non-agricultural in character, there would
still be left for agricultural development more than 73 per cent, or
approximately 4,800,000 acres.
Character of Land and Timber.
  Bayfield, the northernmost county, has large areas of poor sandy
soil not suitable for farming. A belt of red clay, 6 to 10 miles wide,
skirts Lake Superior. This belt contained originally good white pine,
with a light mixture of scrubby hardwoods and some hemlock. The
southeastern part of the county is mostly gravelly clay loam, and the
forest consists of mixed pine, hardwoods and hemlock. The central
and western part has a sandy soil covered with a forest growth of
jack and Norway pine, with considerable white pine in places, espe-
cially the town of Drummond. The county is very nearly cut over.

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