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The Influence of the Chippewa Forest Reserve

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The following article, which, by the way, was Professor Chapman's first public effort in behalf of forestry, would pass today as an entirely unnecessary statement of well known facts. But we can very well see how this same article delivered 37 years ago with out-thrust jaw and gleaming eye must have been received with horror and indignation. The logging industry had but just passed its peak of production and every logging company had as a part of its organization an auxiliary land company to dispose of its cutover lands to prospective settlers. Such sales were always looked upon as part of the pure velvet in every logging operation. Every logging town had a development association whose duty it was to boom the community by bringing settlers into the surrounding cutover lands. Each town could see itself as the center of a prosperous agricultural community. Cass Lake, Minn., especially, was dominated by such land companies. They even maintained a garden in the town for purely advertising purposes; a garden built high above the street with manure and sub-irrigated by means of perforated water pipes. The vegetables raised there were superb, and not even the tan bark in the street to prevent stray cars from getting stuck in the sand could dampen the spirits of the settlers who saw those crops, or could prevent them from going forth to buy a quarter section of jack pine sand. In fact, the feeling was so strong that the mere presence of a patch of timber was looked upon as a disgrace to a community because it might imply that the land would not produce crops. Every attempt to secure any tract of land, large or small, for forestry purposes was met with stubborn opposition. Far different from today when unwanted areas of hundreds of thousands of acres are turned over to forestry willy-nilly. Because this article is a splendid example of a true prophecy, and of an undaunted courage, the Editor feels that it is well worth publishing at this late date.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Yale University

Publication date: 01 November 1940

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