Ironwood Daily Globe from Ironwood, Michigan on May 26, 1965 · Page 8
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Ironwood Daily Globe from Ironwood, Michigan · Page 8

Ironwood, Michigan
Issue Date:
Wednesday, May 26, 1965
Page 8
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IIGHT IRONWOOD DA11Y GLOW, 1RONWOOD, MICHIGAN WEDNESDAY, MAY 26, 1*65. Finding the right home without professional help can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. All odds are against you. Everybody has a tip or two on what to look for in a new house. A Realtor® has all the tips—on value, location, financing, the market. What makes a Realtor different? A Realtor is a professional in real estate who subscribes to a strict Code of Ethics as a member of the local board The point is, anc * °^ tne National Association of see • Realtor. Real Estate Boards. Looking for the right home on your own is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Looking for a Realtor is not. When you see this seal, you'll know that .you've found one. G. Connor Opposes Government Ownership of Sylvania Tract Area REALTORS are: JAMES J. CUDAHY Wokefield HOWARD HARDIE Hurley J. W. HUSS I ran wood VICTOR F. LEMMER Ironwood LOUIS J. LIEBERTHAL Ironwood THOMAS J. LILLIQUIST Ironwood EMU J. MASCOTTI Bessemer USE DAILY GLOBE WANT-ADS FOR QUICK RESULTS Opposition to the proposed, purchase of the Sylvania Tract in Gogebic County by the U. S. Forest Service was expressed by Gordon R. Connor, president of the Connor Lumber .and Land Co. of Wausau and Laona, Wis., at the recent Governor's C o n- ference on Forestry and Forest Recreation Land Use at Madison. i Following is the text of Con- i nor's speech. I "Mr. chairman, ladies and' gentlemen, it is with great pride and deep humility that I address you today, representing the forest industry, the State's oldest industry, and its third larg c st employer and taxpayer.. I am also proud to represent a company that is still sawing logs after 93 years of operation in the state. "Nothing is more vital to the forest products industry than our forested land. Land growing our raw material is the backbone of our industry Fortunately. Wisconsin is blessed with nearly 16 million acres of forest-covered land, the greatest natural resource the state enjoys. We are also fortunate that forests are a renewable, natural resource. * * * "In the 13 years since a conference of this type was held within our state, governm e n t attitudes toward the forests and the ownership of this resource have undergone deep changes "Governor Knowles is to be highly commended for recognizing these changes and the importance of our land problems to continuance of Wisconsin industry. "I am certain that for this audience, I need not further emphasize the importance of land to the forest products industry, an industry emp 1 o y i n g more than 60,000 people in this state, with payrolls pouring more than $325 million a year into the state's economy. "The desire to own land was the basic desire that drew our forefathers west in the development of our nation. They fought the elements and risked their lives, and the lives of their fam- ilies, to satisfy this desire for land. "This same desire has been the cause of all major explora- ti o n s, wars, and conq nests, throughout the history of the world. Oil lands, mineral lands, timber lands, and lands of strategic location have always presented desirable plums for ambitious individuals and governments. * * * "Government policies of land ownership have reversed during the short history of our country. A little over 100 years ago, our government was promot i n g and pushing the sale to private citizens of the land it owned. Prices were cut, when people were slow to buy it at one dollar an a c r c. 'B u y now — pay later' programs were instigated to transfer the lands from the public domain to private ownership as quickly as possible. Homestead laws, war veterans' grants, land grants to the railroads, and other give-away programs were inaugurated. The result was the most rapid development of a nation that the world had ever seen. Land changed from a government liability to an asset, in priv ate ownership, paying taxes and supporting our government in war and in peace. "Today the land-based industries, farmers, and other landowners view with alarm the reverse trend to government ownership. "Is the public aware that 39 agencies of the federal government with authority to'acq u i r e private lands have been so successful and so active that the federal government now owns an area equal to all of the states east of th Meississippi River, plus the states of Oklahoma and Texas? To this vast federal ownership must be added the millions of acres owned by the states, by the counties, and by the municipalities. In Wisconsin the counties own as much land as the state and federal governments combined. "To encourage still further state land, acquisition, the federal government has now made avail- i able matching funds under the! Land and Water Conservat ion! Fund. The states of New York, j California, Pennsylvania, Flori-1 da, Wisconsin and Kentu » k y , | alone, plan to spend a half billion dollars in matching the federal funds for the further ac-j quisltlon of land. The Forest I Service alone plans to purchase' about four million acres. The TVA plans to acquire over 100 thousand acres of forest and agricultural land to establish ai demonstration and recreat i o n i area. In Maine the Department of Interior seeks to take over 190 thousand acres of well managed, privately owned, productive forest land in the Allagash Region, plus a suggested ten-year pro-j gram of land acquisition to pre-; serve the 'essential habitat of rare and endangered spec! e s of American wildlife.' California, which is now 47 per cent government owned, has underway a huge land acquisition program In the Redwood Region, ev e n though over 260 thousand acres of this area is already government owned. * * * "All of these government 'land grabs' are in addition to the plans for the expansion of wilderness areas, wild river reserves, and many other plans for government land acquisition. There is a frantic scramble to meet! an imagined recreation crisis: "The Michigan State Chamber of Commerce in reviewing '.the creeping crisis of governm e n t land acquisition,' states as follows: " 'What these carefree people are not fully aware of is that there is today a creeping crisis taking all of us closer and closer to the brink of complete subjugation by all-powerful gov e r n- ment ownership, and eroding, gradually, the foundation of all competitive enterprise, the land itself. " 'The Michigan State Chamber of Commerce agrees that there is a need for outdoor recreational :acilities but it has been the free enterprise system that has p- Hted leisure time to travel; to enjoy scenery; to renew spiritual values in close contact with creation; and to enjoy the fruit of competitive enterprise, " 'The free enterprise system should be encouraged to expand, rather than be stifled by the intrusion of the federal government into every walk of life, and into every phase of physical endeavor, Including having fun in the Dut-of-doors.' ' * * * "The U. S. Forest Service must be commended for the aid that they have been to industry in the Lake States during the past 30 years. Their encouragement of the selective cutting of j privately owned lands has beeni a great help to our industry. The work carried on by the Forest Products Laboratory, the outstanding institution of its kind in the world, has been notable in its achievements. However, it Is' an abuse of our democratic Ide- j als for any agency of our fed-1 eral government tc be promot-! ing the Idea that everyone Isj better off with government, own- j ership of the land This attitude | and the belittling of the ability j of private enterprise was ex-1 pounded by the Forest Service' in a very expensive progaganda booklet recently published in their attempts to grab the Sylvania timber from private enterprise, in Michigan. "In this publication they imply that only the Forest Service knows anything about forestry, sound forest practices, and the development of that area for sound multiple use. All the developments or manage m e n t plans they advocate could be carried out better by private taxpaying owners. They disregard entirely the fact that under private ownership, the development of summer homes in the area would add at least 20 million dollars to the tax base of that community. "I am enlarging this particular situation as a prime current example of the pressure govern- ment agencies can bring to bear in the acquisition of private lands needed by industry "In this particular case, there was never a public hearing held on the proposed acquisition. Industry was given no opportunity to present its views prior to the movement of the governm e n t propaganda machine. "The public was not informed that government ownership In the area now amounts to almost one million acres. "The public was not told that within 25 miles of Sylvania the State of Michigan now owns 43 thousand acres of virgin timber containing rivers and stre a m s with over 20 miles of lake frontage, which has been left dormant since 1944 The public was not told that the attendance at the state park has dropped 97 per cent since 1953. * * * "They did not tell the taxpayer that the federal government now owns there an additional 860 thousand acres of fore s t e d land with undeveloped lakes, streams and camp sites. "They did not tell the public that the lands they now operate in the area return less than 10 cents per acre to the support of the local schools and government. "Neither did they disci o s e the fact that the Watersm e e t, Michigan Township Board and its Planning Committee in it» publication regarding government acquisition of Sylvania devoted one chapter to 'The Fallacy Within the Tax Concept as presented by the Department of Agriculture.' In further ref e r- ence to this chapter, I quote from this township's statement regarding the Sylvania tax situations, the following: " Even in the cure for these fiscal dislocations, there is used as a base a present day tax revenue of 30 thousand dollars rather than its potential base of $190,800. In other words, in each future projection for the solution to our tax loss they use as a criterion of appraisal the tax base as it is now, thus disregarding entirely the fact of development under private ownership, a development that through a 20 year period would increase taxes $165,800 under present tax conditions. " 'It will be noted that in every instance where the Department of Agriculture presents comparative figures, this fact is not taken into consideration. Its approach to the problem is therefore neither realistic, nor appropriate to the facts of the situation.' 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