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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 16

66 per cent, of this population is reported as living in the various
cities and villages, leaving a little more than 48,000 for the rural dis-
tricts. While many farmers doubtless live in these villages, especially
the smaller ones, it is pretty safe to say that, in the aggregate, the
greater part of the city and village population is not engaged in
agricultural pursuits. Probably most of the male population is em-
ployed in sawmills and other wood-working industries. Nor would
it be fair to say that the entire rural population is engaged in agri-
culture. Many of the rural residents work in the woods for the
lumber companies.   It is probable, however, that that part of the
rural population not engaged in agricultural pursuits is about equal
to the number of village residents who are so engaged, and this gives
an agricultural population of approximately 50,000 for the ten counties.
On the basis of five persons to a family, this would give an average of
about one family to each section of land. Assuming that these figures
are approximately correct it is evident that thus far there has been
no great amount of agricultural settlement, nor has agricultural de-
velopment gone far, since only 77,262 acres, or a fraction over one
per cent of the total area, is improved farm land; this would give an
average of less than eight acres of improved land to each family.
  In Bayfield county, where the total area of all the towns is 900,857
acres, only 4,796 acres is improved farm land. Most of this improved
land is used in the production of bay, oats and potatoes. It is probable
that this county will never be a foremost agricultural county. There
are parts of it that may be adapted to dairying, and still smaller areas
where profitable farms will be developed, but a good share of it is a
forest soil and should be kept under forest growth. It is the opinion of
some that   this county should make a good strawberry district.
Situated as it is on Lake Superior, the waters of the lake keep the
surrounding country very cool until early summer, make a late spring,
and, therefore, make possible the raising of strawberries after they
are gone in other districts. This industry, however, can never occupy
a very large part of the county, and at present but 15 acres are so
utilized. Many of the settlers are dissatisfied and would be glad to
sell out. This, however, is equally true of many of the other counties.
  Although Douglas county is more completely cut over than any of
the other northern counties, yet it has only 6,904 acres of improved
farm land.   With the total area of the several towns aggregating
782,395 acres it is apparent that agriculture is not much developed.
The predominant crops are the same as those in Bayfield county. In

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