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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)

[Concurring opinion by Chief Justic Winslow],   pp. 73-74 PDF (566.1 KB)


[Statement of general fund indebtedness,   pp. 74-75 PDF (511.0 KB)


Page 74


74         W\ISCONSIN CONSERVATION COMMISSION
may be present, but, of course, not dominantly in illustrations of the other
class.
  "Now I affirm that it is not to be expected in the light of human
experi-
ence in this land at least, that the establishment and conservation of great
forest areas for the public good should be undertaken by private enter-
prise, and I also affirm my belief, as previously stated, that such work
is
preeminently a public work, and hence one of the essential functions of
government. It has not been recognized as such until recently perhaps, but
that is merelv because the conditionswhich make itsuch haveonlyrecently
arisen and become acute. So in my judgment every act which is neces-
sary to be done in successfully carrying on afforestation and reforestation,
including the purchasing of the necessary lands, may properly be done by
the state. My original opinion was that this might properly be done by
the state. My original opinion was that this might properly include the
erection of sawmills and the manufacture of lumber out of the timber
which under the rules of scientific forestry ought to be cut, but I yielded
my opinion on this point, and I stand by the concession. I do think,
however, that it covers every necessary and proper act up to and including
the sale to third persons of standing timber which ought to be cut.
  "I have not desired to argue out these propositions, but only to state
them." (Northwestern Iteporter, Vol. 151, No. 3, pp. 377-378, State
vs.
Donald.)
  Following out the decree of the Court, a special referee (Samuel D.
Hastings) was appointed to render the accounting ordered by the court
(see 11th item of the decree). Mr. Hastings, with reference to the newly
acquired lands, says in part:
  "The judgment is that they 'have the cast of the constitutional trust
fund lands and will be administered accordingly, until upon a full account-
ing, it shall be found what part, if any, will remain after fully restoring
the integrity of the trust fund lands and trust funds.' The accounting
shows a large indebtedness to each of the four constitutional trust funds.
The integrity of said funds will not be fully restored until all of said
in-
debtedness is paid. The reason for such lands having such cast is stated
in the opinion as follows: 'On account of the unwarranted confusion of
the different classes of trust fund lands with lands purchased by proceeds
of trust fund lands and other moneys, including money drawn from the
general fund, and income from trust funds and other confusions, all must
be regarded as having the cast of trust fund lands and money, so far as
necessary to the full restoration of such trust fund lands and property,
and identification of the amount belonging to each fund as to the date of
chapter 367, Laws of 1897, and further back if found practicable.' ' * *
*
  "I have construed the opinion and judgment of the court to be that
upon
the facts and conclusions pointed out in this report all the newly acquired
lands have the cast of Normal School lands, and are to be administered
as such until the entire debt of the General Fund as found in this report
is fully paid.
  "Following the interpretation of the Court's opinion and judgment,
and of the constitution and statutes, as above explained, I find and
report:
  1st. As to the Normal School Fund:
  (a) All of the lands conveyed to the State of Wisconsin pursuant to the
provisions of the Act of Congress approved September 28, 1850, and the
Act of Congress approved March 2, 1855, and known as swamp and in-
demnity lands, respectively, to which the state still holds title, belong
to the Normal School Fund.   * *
  "(in) The General Fund is indebted to the Normal School Fund in
the sum of One Million Five Hundred and Seventeen Thousand Five
Hundred and Fourteen Dollars and Twenty-three Cents. ($1,517,514.23),
which arose as follows:


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