Timber Culture Act

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TIMBER CULTURE ACT. An 1870s weather hypothesis suggested that growing timber increased humidity and perhaps rainfall. Plains country residents urged the Federal Government to encourage tree planting in that area, believing trees would improve the climate. Also, 1870 government land regulations dictated that home seekers in Kansas, Nebraska, and Dakota could acquire only 320 acres of land. To encourage tree planting and increase the acreage open to entry, Congress passed the Timber Culture Act in 1873, declaring that 160 acres of additional land could be entered by settlers who would devote forty acres to trees. Some 10 million acres were donated under this act, but fraud prevented substantive tree growth. The act was repealed in 1891.


Gates, Paul W. History of Public Land Law Development. Washington, D.C.: Public Land Law Review Commission, 1968.

Paul W.Gates/f. b.

See alsoForestry ; Great Plains ; Land Speculation .