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Land Utilization in Minnesota

Land Utilization in Minnesota: A State Program for the Cut-Over Lands

COMMITTEE ON LAND UTILIZATION
Copyright Date: 1934
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 314
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.cttttpn3
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  • Book Info
    Land Utilization in Minnesota
    Book Description:

    Land Utilization in Minnesota was first published in 1934. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions. This volume constitutes the final report of the Minnesota Committee on Land Utilization. Appointed in 1932 by Governor Floyd B. Olson, the committee conducted an exhaustive, two-year study of land use in northern Minnesota, paying careful attention to the repopulation of the cut-over lands. Chaired by Lotus D. Coffman, president of the University of Minnesota, the Committee included twelve members representing different geographical locations of Minnesota. The report was prepared for publication by Professors William Anderson and Oscar B. Jesness of the University of Minnesota and Dr. Raphael Zon, director of the Lakes States Forest Experiment Station. Topics discussed include: physical and climatic features affecting land use; social and economic effects of past land development; population trends and land use; present and possible future need for agricultural and forest lands; the use of land for recreation; water and mineral resources as related to land use; taxation as it affects land use; and local government under changed land use conditions. In his foreword to the volume, Governor Olson remarks “The report discusses concretely the direction in which the commonwealth must move to bring our own house in order, and it lays a foundation for action by our state legislature. In my humble opinion, it is the most thorough and constructive research report outlining a land policy that has ever been brought together in this state.”

    eISBN: 978-1-4529-3768-7
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-xvi)
  3. LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
    (pp. 1-4)
    L. D. Coffman

    University of Minnesota, February 20, 1934

    The Honorable Floyd B. Olson, Governor of Minnesota State Capitol, St. Paul, Minnesota

    My dear Governor Olson: Your Committee on Land Utilization, appointed on August 4, 1932, to study and outline a plan for land use, particularly in the northern part of the state, where taxes are delinquent upon several million acres, herewith files its final report.

    In the preparation of this report the Committee has held public hearings at Bemidji, Grand Rapids, Duluth, St. Paul, and Minneapolis. The advice and aid of individuals and of representatives of interested groups residing within and outside...

  4. CHAPTER I SUMMARY OF FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
    (pp. 5-33)

    Minnesota has reached a stage in its development at which planning, conservation, and retrenchment would seem to be imperative. The era of rapid expansion, exploitation, and lavish destruction of resources is definitely at an end. A new age calls insistently for new policies and new measures.

    Land planning in its most inclusive sense is, for a commonwealth like ours, basic to all other planning. Broadly conceived, the “land” includes the land proper, the lakes, streams, and other waters, the forests and the fields, the mineral and other resources under the soil, and the conditions necessary for propagating and conserving the...

  5. CHAPTER II PHYSICAL AND CLIMATIC FEATURES AFFECTING LAND USE
    (pp. 34-48)

    Limitations on land use are imposed by the physical, economic, and social features associated with it. The most basic of these is the natural character of the land itself—the soil, topography, drainage, natural vegetation, and climate. Together with social and economic conditions, these physical factors determine the uses to which the land can be adapted. It may be of advantage, therefore, in a consideration of present and potential land use in Minnesota, to describe briefly certain of these physical characteristics of the state.

    Minnesota, which ranks eleventh in size among the states of the Union, embraces an area of...

  6. CHAPTER III LAND POLICIES IN MINNESOTA
    (pp. 49-55)

    Practically the entire area of Minnesota was once a part of the federal public domain. It was the conception of the federal government that the public domain was being held in trust for its citizens and that it should be passed on to them as rapidly as possible in a way that would stimulate settlement and development of the West.

    From the beginning public sale was a common method of disposing of land. Later, settlement alone came to be regarded as sufficient compensation for the award of land, and many of the land laws were intended to encourage rapid settlement....

  7. CHAPTER IV SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF PAST LAND DEVELOPMENT
    (pp. 56-73)

    Forest devastation.—The history of land development in northern Minnesota differs in many respects from that in the southern part of the state. While much of the land in the north was still public domain, national and state, most of that in the southern part of the state was already in individually owned farms. The original cover of trees and other vegetation was different in the two areas, land development proceeded under different economic conditions, and the land was frequently taken up for entirely different purposes. Whereas in the south it was from the start used almost exclusively for agriculture,...

  8. CHAPTER V POPULATION TRENDS AND LAND USE
    (pp. 74-97)

    In formulating a policy of land utilization it is important to consider the population of the area involved, for this population will constitute one of the major and enduring factors in any long-time program. On the whole, changes in population take place more slowly and are more stable than are the changes in other social conditions, and they may be predicted with somewhat greater reliability.

    The present study is limited to some general considerations of the population problem, the growth of population in Minnesota as a whole, and particularly the population changes in the tax-delinquent area in the northern part...

  9. CHAPTER VI PRESENT AND POSSIBLE FUTURE NEED FOR AGRICULTURAL LAND
    (pp. 98-111)

    As has been described in an earlier chapter, the northeastern part of Minnesota, including about nineteen million acres, was originally covered with forest. Lumbering operations got under way nearly a century ago, and a large share of the best timber has now been cut. As the timber has been removed, settlers have come into part of the area and have cleared the cut-over lands for farming purposes. Since this is the region in which the future of agriculture is most problematical, a rather detailed consideration of present conditions and observable trends seems desirable.

    In contrast with southern Minnesota, where in...

  10. CHAPTER VII FOREST LANDS : THEIR PRESENT CONDITION AND FUTURE DEVELOPMENT
    (pp. 112-135)

    The forests of Minnesota, because of their vastness, have always been an important factor in determining the character, extent, and trends of land use in Minnesota. A knowledge of the history of their use is, therefore, essential to an understanding of the present land use problems of the state.

    The original forests covered about thirty-eight million acres, over 70 per cent of the total land area of the state. There were two general types—the hardwood forests of the southern and western parts and the “North Woods” or “pineries” of the northern and northeastern parts. (See Figure 1.) The hardwood...

  11. CHAPTER VIII THE USE OF LAND FOR RECREATION
    (pp. 136-148)

    Outdoor recreation is rapidly winning a place as an important form of land use. This trend is largely due to the industrialization and urbanization of our economic life. Technological progress has accelerated the drift away from the simple life and its direct contacts with nature. It has caused the concentration of large masses of people in crowded centers, where the submerged individual must literally rub elbows with his fellows. In Minnesota, for example, the urban population increased 19.6 per cent in the decade 1920–30, whereas the rural population decreased 2.2 per cent.

    In the great cities active outdoor play...

  12. CHAPTER IX WATER AND MINERAL RESOURCES AS RELATED TO LAND USE
    (pp. 149-162)

    The water resources of Minnesota are definitely bound up with the problem of land use. A fifth of the land area being in swamp, it is only natural that one of the first “water” problems to receive official attention was that of draining swamps to create agricultural land. In 1893 a state commission called the Red River Valley Drainage Commission was created for the purpose of draining certain swamp lands in the northwestern part of the state. In 1907 this commission was replaced by the State Drainage Commission and in 1919 by the Department of Drainage and Waters. In the...

  13. CHAPTER X TAXATION AS IT AFFECTS LAND USE
    (pp. 163-182)

    As has already been suggested, one of the principal tasks of the Committee on Land Utilization has been to plan a state policy for the use of the extensive areas reverting to the state through tax delinquency. All over the state there are lands outside of cities and villages which, under the law of 1927, will in 1935 or soon after become the property of the state.

    In many counties the lands so reverting are small, scattered tracts most of which will some day be returned to private ownership or use through sale or lease. In certain northern counties, however,...

  14. CHAPTER XI LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNDER CHANGED LAND USE CONDITIONS
    (pp. 183-207)

    Local government should be studied in connection with land reversion and land utilization in northern Minnesota for several reasons. First, many persons believe that the inefficiency and extravagance of local government have served to bring about the high tax rates and heavy tax burdens. In this chapter we consider possible reductions in expenditure through improved organization methods.

    Secondly, there are those who feel that the present system of local government needs to be overhauled to accord with the new situation in the northern counties. If large areas are to remain in public ownership, if scattered settlers are to be brought...

  15. CHAPTER XII THE FINANCIAL RELATIONS OF STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
    (pp. 208-222)

    Years ago the state of Minnesota established the principle that certain functions of government are of such general importance that it should either perform these functions directly or should lend such aid to local communities as would enable them to do the task adequately. The state desires that all its people have the opportunity to obtain at least a certain minimum education. As to road and highway work, it is to the state’s interest to have a system of primary or trunk highways connecting all counties and major municipalities and such a system of secondary and minor roads as will...

  16. CHAPTER XIII FUTURE USE OF LAND IN MINNESOTA
    (pp. 223-240)

    Just what the future needs for Minnesota land will be no one can tell, but it seems desirable, nevertheless, to attempt a rough picture of probable future development in the light of physical and climatic factors, present social and economic forces, and population trends—in other words, a rough land classification.

    Other than purely physical factors are involved. Land with fair soil and topography in southern Minnesota, since it lies close to market, is suited to agriculture, whereas land with similar or even better soil in northern Minnesota, because it is remote from markets and from transportation facilities, may be...

  17. APPENDIX I LETTER OF THE GOVERNOR APPOINTING MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE ON LAND UTILIZATION
    (pp. 241-242)
    Floyd B. Olson
  18. APPENDIX II FIELD TO BE COVERED BY THE COMMITTEE ON LAND UTILIZATION AS OUTLINED BY THE GOVERNOR
    (pp. 243-246)
  19. APPENDIX III PROGRESS REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON LAND UTILIZATION
    (pp. 247-256)
    L. D. Coffman
  20. APPENDIX IV INTERIM REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON LAND UTILIZATION
    (pp. 257-259)
    L. D. Coffman
  21. APPENDIX V WISCONSIN ZONING LAW
    (pp. 260-262)
  22. APPENDIX VI A TYPICAL WISCONSIN COUNTY ZONING ORDINANCE
    (pp. 263-268)
    Gale W. Huber and John J. Verage
  23. ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 269-278)
  24. INDEX
    (pp. 279-289)