To the Speaker of the House;
Sir: I herewith return, without approval, House bill No. 334 (file No. 143), enrolled No. 135.
"A bill to amend sections one, six and twelve of act one hundred thirty-five of the Public Acts of nineteen hundred eleven, entitled 'An act to encourage private forestry, the care and management thereof, and to provide for the exemption from taxation of such private forest reserve,' approved April twenty-five, nineteen hundred eleven."
I disapprove House enrolled bill No. 135 (H.B. No. 334, file No. 143), because of the insertion in section 1, these words: "and any tract of land which is an original forest of standing white pine and Norway pine may be selected by the owner or owners therefore, as a private forest reservation, upon filing a description thereof in the same manner."
This amendment would create private forest reservations of an entirely different character, having no relation to agriculture and without limit as to size. It would, as I take it, enable the owners of every tract of forest reservation and have it placed upon the assessment roll at the nominal assessment of $1.00 per acre, regardless of value. The original forests of pine still remaining in Ontonagon and Houghton counties contain more than 100,000,000 feet. There are tracts of considerable size in other Upper Peninsula counties. In the Southern Peninsula also there are a number of tracts of original pine forests. I have in mind one township in Lake county where the assessed valuation of such tracts exceeds $40,000. The removal of these tracts from assessment at true cash value and the placing them upon the rolls at the nominal value of $1.00 per acre would seriously affect the tax rolls of many districts.
I therefore, decline to sign this bill.
Yours very truly,
Woodbridge N. Ferris