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

Views of lumbermen on taxation,   pp. 44-49 PDF (1.6 MB)

Page 49

extensive areas of such wild cut-over and burned-over lands in north-
ern W~isconsin *ihich will continue unproductive of taxes or anything
else until young stands of valuable species are established on them.
Therefore, to materially reduce the taxes on growing timber and to
thus encourage a wise utilization and protection of such areas can
not he construed as a hardship to a town.
   In northern Wisconsin there is by no means a scarcity of fertile
 hardwood land which affords abundant and varied possibilities to the
 enterprising farmer. Yet lumbermen frequently emphasize the fact
 that under existing conditions considerable land has to be put on the
 market as agricultural land at $3 per acre which is unfit for agricul-
 tural purposes at any pr-ice. Almost every large timberland owner
 who expressed his views on the situation acknowledged that parts of
 his own holdings were of typical forest soil, and that it would be of
 material benefit to the communities in which such tracts were located
 if they could te permanently maintained for the production of timber.
 Possibly half of the large operators stated that under a favorable
 law they themselves would be influenced to maintain whatever lands
 of this nature they possessed for growing a second crop of timber.
 On the other hand there were not a few companies that advanced
 reasons why they could scarcely hope to hold any of their lands for
 future forest growth. For example, certain companies operating in
 the southern part of the region-as in Rusk county, where most ot
 the land is tillable-naturally argued that their wisest course would
 be to dispose of all of their holdings for agricultural purposes, in-
 cluding even the scattered non-agricultural areas which in most
 cases are not large enough to constitute lumbering units. Another
 company was utilizing even the smallest trees on its holdings for the
 manufacture of wood alcohol and acetate of lime; therefore, since
 nothing was left to form the basis of a second crop they did not
 intend to hold any land for this purpose. Several others possessed
 holdings of insufficient area to furnish a basis for continuous opera-
 tions. Many companies were opposed to long-time investments ex-
 ceeding in duration the average length of life and believed that all such
 undertakings to provide timber for future needs should be made by the
state or local government.

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