We chose byways, and only crossed the macadamized highroad, that haunt of automobiles, once, and after an hour's sauntering crossed the river and drove into the woodlots to the north of it, now the property of the water company, who have already posted warning to trespassers. We straightway began to trespass, seeing The Man from Everywhere on horseback coming down to meet us.
In some States the waterpower question falls within the sphere of the State Forester, as well as other similar Conservation matters, while it has usually been made his duty to assist private timberland owners in the handling of their holdings, whether these be the larger holdings of lumber companies or the farmers' woodlots.
They would amount to an area almost eight times as large as the combined forests of France which furnished the bulk of the timber used by the Allies during the World War. In the North, the farm woodlands compose two-fifths of all the forests. Altogether there are approximately 53,000,000 acres of farm woodlots which yield a gross income of about $162,000,000 annually to their owners.
About this same time, the wife of Squire Williams noted with pleasure that Gracie, her youngest daughter a girl of sixteen with golden hair and eyes that mirror the blue of the sky went willingly to the woodlots for the cows. When she returned with them she was singing, and this, too, pleased Mrs. Williams.
The complete removal of the forest is now accomplished only in fertile farming regions, where the agricultural value of the land is too high to permit it to remain longer in forest cover. Even in the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes belts there are still large areas of forest land. Most of the farms have woodlots which provide fuel, fencing, and some lumber.
From this situation arises one of the characteristic features of Ann Arbor; the ever-present glimpses of distant hills covered with rolling farm lands and woodlots, toward which almost any of the longer streets lead the eye. At the time the University was established the flow of immigration from the East was at high tide.
The Government reports that where the farm woodlots are fully stocked with trees and well-cared for, an acre of hardwoods will produce from one-half to one cord of wood a cord of wood is equal to about 500 board feet of lumber. A pine forest will produce from one to two cords of wood an acre.
For the most part, these farm woodlots are abused. They have not been managed correctly. Fortunately, a change for the better is now evident. The farm woodlot owners are coming to appreciate the importance of protecting the trees for future use. In some cases, they are even replanting areas that have been cut over.
Even under these conditions of extensive cordwood use, our farm woodlots are producing only about one-third to one-half of the wood supplies which they could grow if they were properly managed. The farmer who appreciates the importance of caring for his home forests is always interested in knowing how much timber will grow on an acre during a period of twelve months.
She heard him ask his mother, "Frank Warner been here?" And Mother Powers say, "Yes, he come in to ask if we could loan him our compass. He's going to go up tomorrow in the Eagle Rock woods to run out the line between the Warner and the Benson woodlots. The Warners have sold the popple on theirs to the Crittenden mill, and Frank says the blazes are all barked over, they're so old."