Timber Culture Act

This act was designed to promote tree-planting in the treeless areas of the West.

The Timber Culture Act (1873) granted homesteaders and other entrants an additional 160 acres of land if they planted and cultivated at least 40 acres of trees within 10 years. If a settler planted 40 acres of timber (reduced to 10 acres in 1878) and fostered their growth for 10 years, the individual was entitled to that quarter section of land.

The purpose of this act according to historian Paul Gates was threefold: "to get groves of trees growing in the hope that they would affect the weather and bring more rainfall, to provide a source of fencing, fuel wood, and building materials in the future, and to provide another method by which land could be acquired in areas where larger units than the usual 160 acres seemed necessary." Many who obtained land under this act later sold the claim as a relinquishment. Selling a relinquishment may have been contrary to the law, but it was a common practice that earned early comers the funds to make a better start on other claims. Critics pointed to the ease with which speculators used the Timber Culture Act to acquire land as a major deficiency, and the act was later repealed in 1891.

http://content.lib.washington.edu/curriculumpackets/homesteaders/amended.html

ARIES is continuing a field study of the extant groves of trees from the Timber Culture Act. The field study began at the University of North Dakota with a series of foundation grants to an ARIES staff, who was the Director of the project. ARIES has agreed to continue this project.

ARIES staff began site visits to these extant groves in Nebraska in summer, 2008. This project continues as more funding becomes available. With funding, students at University of North Dakota will participate in the field visits and research through distance learning.

ARIES Official Business Address: 1042 Maple Avenue, Suite 106, Lisle, Illinois 60532

Nebraska
Nebraska
Summer 2008
Summer 2008
Timber Culture Groves, Nebraska, Summer 2008
Timber Culture Groves, Nebraska, Summer 2008
Tree Groves
Tree Groves

DHS Home
dotProject Access
CREATE Home
Site Design and Webmasters: Spencer Garland and Alexander Nwala

All photography is copyrighted and to be used with permission only. Contact ariesnonprofit@yahoo.com for permission
© 2008-2018 All Rights Reserved, ARIES