Chittenden, Alfred K. (Alfred Knight), 1879-1930 / The taxation of forest lands in Wisconsin
General description, pp. 9-20 PDF (3.1 MB)
THE TAXATION OF FOREST LANDS IN WiscoNSIN. 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 suited. 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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