The Rural Economy of New England: A Regional Study

By John Donald Black | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 12
Management of the Lands

The problem we have set for ourselves in this book goes far beyond the inventory and description of the last chapter. It has to do with the use of all the different kinds of land described, both present use and potential use -- in short, with the management of the lands of New England. Most of the analysis of land management will be undertaken in separate chapters dealing with particular types of farming or of other land use. This chapter deals only with some general or over-all aspects of such managment.

The actual management of land, it should be borne in mind, may be public as well as private; the public part of it may include measures of aid and control of privately operated land as well as actual operation of public lands. The land-use planning which has been discussed so much in recent years is in part one phase of public land management. The private management of land must be considered from the point of view of larger social units -- the community and the state -- as well as from the standpoint of the individual.


THE SOIL SURVEYS AND LAND MANAGEMENT

The subject that naturally comes to mind at this point is the use in such land management of the soil surveys summarized in the last chapter. No doubt, the early soil surveys were projected with the idea in mind that they would contribute in an important measure directly to the management of the land surveyed, even including the management of individual farms. It has since become apparent that the surveys alone and by themselves and as originally conceived can hardly suffice in areas with such varied landscapes as those of New England. This is particularly true of their use in farm management. The most obvious reason for this is that the maps in the county surveys are not sufficiently detailed to furnish a good soils basis for individual farm plans. An 80-acre farm, occupying an area of one-eighth of a square inch on the

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