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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 18

tlement is very backward at present, and prospects for improvement
are not very encouraging. While there is a considerable amount of land
in the county, whiei could be adapted to agricultural use, it is at
present so inaccessible that settlers can not come in and clear and farm
it with profit.
  Probably the greatest deterrent to the settlement and development
of these counties is the cost of clearing the land of stumps whieh
ranges from $15 to $100 per acre. This expense, added to the purchase
price of the land makes it a pretty expensive proposition, especially for
those with limited funds. In many instances the settler is compelled to
abandon his land, for the reason that be has not sufficient money to
supply himn with the ordinary necessities of life until enough clearing
has been done to make the land productive.
Annual Cut and Importanice of Lumober Indiustry.
  From year to year as the amount of standing timber is reduced, the
annual cut is being lessened. This reduction is slowly but surely wiping
out the most important industry in these northern counties.   The
material welfare of many communities in this region has already suf-
fered from the loss of wood-working industries, and as the forest is
further depleted. others must likewise suffer. The present importance
of this industry in the ten counties is shown by the 750,000,000 board
feet of lumber cut during the year 1908. In addition to this, a large
amount of timber was cut in these counties for transportation to mills
outside. For instance the mills in Marathon county, where more than
143,000.000 feet were sawn in 1908, depend in a large measure on the
more northern counties for their timber supply.
  If this important industry is to l e even partially perpetuated it will
he necessary in some way to encourage the growing of new forests, and a
reform in the method of taxing forest land should play an important
part in making it profitable for private owners to take -up the work of
reforesting their cut-over lands.
Jefferson County.
  Although the study of the tax question in its relation to forests and
forestry in Wisconsin is of chief importance only in the northern half
of the state, where practically all of the remaining saw-timber is found,
it was nevertheless deemed advisable to make a brief investigation of
the conditions in one of the typical southern counties, in order to
ascertain if possible whether any beneficial results in the way of timber

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