On June 3, 1856, the U.S. Congress passed legislation that would lead to the clearing of many of Michigan’s trees. Under the so-called “land-grant law,” a company that built a railroad would be awarded land around the railroad from the federal government. This meant that a railroad line built from southern Michigan to the north didn’t necessarily need passengers and freight to make money as long as the line travelled through well-forested areas. The law spurred development in the state, but the leveling of the state’s forests that ensued was still evident in the middle of the 20th century.
Note : If you want to see the remains of a virgin forest in Michigan, visit Hartwick Pines State Park.
Source: Michigan Every Day
For a related article, see 1955 : White Pine Designated as Michigan’s State Tree