Minnesota

feet, timber, lumber, found, pine, forestry and white

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Minnesota also quarries its valuable build ing stone. Mankato and Saint Peter limestone and Kettle River sandstone are prized. In 1916 stone worth $1,492,341 was produced. Clay, sand and gravel for tile and brick making and for concrete work and road building are found in large quantities.

Flora and Fauna.— In Minnesota are found all of the plants and animals of the north tem perate zone. Along the streams of the south ern part thickets of oak, elm, ash, maple, pop lar, basswood, plum and cherry trees in great variety are found festooned with grape-vines and sheltering the small fruits and other shrubs, especially the hazel-bush. Scattered over the prairies are strawberries and the northern woods produce blueberries for many markets. These woods, after more than 50 years of arduous lumbering, contain more white pine than is found elsewhere in the Union, besides other varieties of pine, balsam and spruce and hemlock. The State flower is the dainty lady-slipper found along the marshes that also shelter the fringed gentian, and glow with marigolds and golden-rod in 36 va rieties. The snow no sooner leaves the prai ries than the pasque-flower appears and the anemone shows through the leaves soon after. Violets, columbines, bloodroots, geraniums, buffalo-beans, roses, tiger and pond lilies and sun-flowers follow through the summer until the aster succumbs to the September frost. Clovers, especially persistent, have invited ex tensive dairying and many varieties of grasses have been introduced to supplement them. In fact the climate and soil of Minnesota have made possible the introduction of many plants once looked upon as exotic but now showing everywhere on the lawns and farms of the State without being protected against the win ter.

The French explorers found the beaver working along every stream, and they, with succeeding trappers, almost exterminated this animal; but of late years under the protection of the State the beaver is multiplying rapidly. Marten, otter, mink, muskrat and other fur bearers have always been numerous. In the wilder parts of the State coyotes and timber wolves, black bears, foxes, lynx and various rodents, including, the gopher, for which Min nesota has been called "The Gopher State,* are prevalent, except where care has been taken to prevent their becoming a nuisance to stock or to crops. Deer and moose attract hunters

to the northern part of the State. The streams and lakes are well stocked with pickerel, pike, bass, crappies and sunfish and some trout are caught.

Forestry.— The pine of Minnesota seemed inexhaustible to the pioneers. It stretched from the Rum River, 20 miles north of Minneapolis, to the international boundary and covered two thirds of the State in width. Mills at Minne apolis, in one year cutting 500,000,000 feet of lumber, made that city the first lumber centre of the world. Gradually the lumbering opera tions have moved northward, following the di minishing timber, until they are confined to a comparatively small area. Within this area, however, mills, notably at Virginia, are prom ised logs for 20 years; that is regardless of fresh supplies guaranteed by scientific forestry. In 1917 the total lumber cut in the State was 1,500,000,000 feet. Beside this, 800,000,000 feet of pulp-wood, 425,000,000 feet of ties, posts, poles and mining timber, and 225,000,000 feet of box-lumber were cut. Balsam, hemlock, spruce and even the once despised jack-pine are used for the coarse grades of lumber as well as for these other purposes. Of white pine 20,000,000 000 feet remain, of other woods, 70,000,000,000.

Minnesota, through its forestry commission which employs the State forester and his ran• gers, is taking steps to protect the timber that remains and to replant large areas unfit for ag riculture that will grow merchantable white pine in 40 years. It has passed laws. to con trol the operations of lumbermen, so as to pre vent fires from accumulations of waste, to safe guard timber from locomotive and camp fires, to assist lumbermen through laboratory experi ments and to ensure to the State a permanent supply of lumber. The State owns 400,000 acres in forest reserves; and the United States gov ernment 1,000,000. To patrol this territory and to carry on the other work of the forestry com mission 50 men are employed. It is estimated that 15,000,000 acres can profitably remain in forest, or about half of the original timber area. With the development of the plans outlined by the commission Minnesota will he able to pro duce 4,000,000,000 feet of lumber annually.

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8