Article deals with Michigan, but applies to Wisconsin. "About 7,000 years ago, white and red pine replaces the spruce and fir. In more of the Lower Peninsula, oaks and northern hardwoods later replaced the pine. However, in a broad band across the northern part of the peninsula, pine remained dominant. These stands germinated and grew to maturity after which they were killed by bark beetles. Tremendous fires burned throught he resulting debris, thus preparing the soil for a new forest. In 1675, perhaps the greatest conflagration ever to occur on the continent burned from the northern half of the Lower Peninsula to Hudson Bay. In New England the sun did nto shine that whole summer. The pine forest that the lumberman found in 1850 was the result of this fire." "Most people think of the lumberman as being the great destroyer of our forest. As a matter of fact, he found a crop that was ripe and ready to harvest. Had he not cut it at that time, the beetles would have destroyed it."