185 area [of] available for agriculture at any cost is small [indeed] As far as I have seen along the coast. These disadvantages & wants of an agricultural kind seem to me the most effective in retarding the settlement of Alaska. As for the timber there is enough of it for all the [world] settlers for centuries to come the whole surface is covered with it densely save only the snowy mtn [mountain] summits. No rock is too bare on account of the constant moisture, mosses & lichens & bushes form a bed for the roots of the trees. Wh [which] growing up together lean against one another or at least save each other from the winds while they simply stand on the rock with roots interlocked
186 so that there is no danger of falling when the rock is fissured they of course have additional ancherage [anchorage], but this advantage is not necessary. After successive generations fall they form a rich humus on wh [which] the next grows & thrives with increasing vigor. Attaining on the bottomlands a height of 200 ft or nearly. But as to the availability of Alaska as a land for emigration it will be long before such advantages & inducements as it may offer will draw many homeseekers, for lumber trees of still better quality may be had nearer to the Markets of the world about Puget Sound & in Oregon & fish also. Though even of mines of a valuable [ ]
Original journal dimensions: 9 x 14.5 cm.
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist