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Inventory of the Harold K. Steen Research Materials, 1790 - 1976

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Descriptive Summary

Abstract: Harold K. "Pete" Steen (born 1935) was a forest historian, author, and executive director of the Forest History Society.
The collection contains numerous materials that historian Harold K. "Pete" Steen collected while conducting research for his 1976 publication The U.S. Forest Service: A History (Seattle: University of Washington Press). Materials include copies of government reports; agendas and minutes of meetings of conservation organizations and forestry associations; and correspondence, memoranda, oral history interviews, and speeches by individuals involved with the U.S. Forest Service and/or forestry in the United States. Topics include natural resource management issues pertaining to the U.S. Forest Service, especially forest conservation, forest management, forest policy, forest taxation, land use policy, and the timber industry. Materials date from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries.
Title: Harold K. Steen Research Materials, 1790 - 1976
Creator: Steen, Harold K.
Repository: Forest History Society Library and Archives
Call Number: 6373
Language of Material: Material in English
Extent: 3.5 linear feet
(2 record cartons, 1 archival box)


Harold K. "Pete" Steen (born 1935) was a forest historian, author, and executive director of the Forest History Society.

Pete Steen earned a bachelor's degree in forestry from the University of Washington in 1957 and worked several years for the United States Forest Service before obtaining a Ph.D. in history from the University of Washington in 1969.

Steen joined the staff of the Forest History Society in 1969 as associate director for research and library services. In 1978, Steen became the Society's third executive director when Woody Maunder resigned. During his tenure as executive director, Steen conducted numerous oral history interviews for the Society, wrote and provided editorial direction for the Society's growing body of publications, and expanded the Society's archival holdings while building important ties with the United States Forest Service, forestry organizations, conservation groups, and corporations. Steen led the Society into the computer age, overseeing the conversion into database format the Society's two primary reference sources: its Bibliography and Guide to Archival Collections. He directed the Society's 1984 move to Durham, North Carolina, and established an affiliation with Duke University, where he served as an adjunct professor until 1999. Before retiring in 1997, Steen negotiated a partnership with the American Society for Environmental History, with whom FHS began co-publishing Environmental History in 1996. The Society's "Issues Series" publications and "If Trees Could Talk" middle school environmental education curriculum also began under Steen's direction.

In retirement, Steen continued to do work for hire for the Society while pursuing other projects and teaching at various universities. He has authored of numerous publications, has served on history-related focus groups for the Society of American Foresters and for the International Union of Forest Research Organizations, and is the recipient of several distinguished service awards, including the Society of American Foresters' 2000 Sir William Schlich Memorial Award.

Collection Overview

The collection contains numerous materials that historian Harold K. "Pete" Steen collected while conducting research for his 1976 publication The U.S. Forest Service: A History (Seattle: University of Washington Press). Materials include copies of government reports; agendas and minutes of meetings of conservation organizations and forestry associations; and correspondence, memoranda, oral history interviews, and speeches by individuals involved with the U.S. Forest Service and/or forestry in the United States. Topics include natural resource management issues pertaining to the U.S. Forest Service, especially forest conservation, forest management, forest policy, forest taxation, land use policy, and the timber industry. Materials date from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries.

Collection Arrangement

1. Research Materials for The U.S. Forest Service: A History, 1790-1976

Subject Headings

  • Forest conservation -- United States
  • Forest management -- United States
  • Forest policy -- United States
  • Forests and forestry -- Taxation
  • Land use -- United States
  • Lumber trade -- United States
  • Steen, Harold K.
  • United States. Forest Service -- History

Detailed Description of the Collection

1. Research Materials for The U.S. Forest Service: A History, 1790-1976.

Box 1
United States Patent Office: Subject Matter Index of Patents, 1790-1873
Box 1
Miscellaneous: Notes on the Recknagel Papers and the Dan S. Pack Papers
Box 1
Ralph S. Hosmer: Papers and Notes
Box 1
Hoover Library: Wilbur Papers, Commerce Papers, Presidential Secretary's File
Box 1
Robert Y. Stuart
Box 1
Truman Library: Various, 1939-1951
Box 1
J. P. Kenney Papers, 1915-1938
Box 1
Papers: Walter L. Fischer, William Jardine, Henry A. Wallace, James A. Garfield, Julius King
Box 1
B. E. Fernow Papers
Box 1
Egleston Papers: American Forestry Congress, USDA Forestry Division, 1886
Box 1
Federal Timber Sales
W. B. Greeley, 1912-1913
Includes two essays regarding timber sales in National Forests, 1912 to 1913.
Press Releases: NLMA and U.S. Department of the Interior, 1956
Box 1
Government Reorganization of the U.S. Forest Service
Reports to Congress, 1949 and 1959
Department of Interior Bulletin
Forest Policy Memorandum, 1919
USDA Information Services, 1961
Conservation Congress, 1933
Box 1
Personnel: Junior Forester Exam, 1937
Box 1
State and Private Forestry, 1908-1974
Box 1
Regulation of Timber Cuts
Various Papers, 1920-1953
F. A. Silcox Address to the Western Forestry and Conservation Association
H.R. 6221, 1946
NLMA Bulletins, 1942, 1949, and 1952
S. 1820, and Comments by A. Z. Nelson, 1949
Clarke-McNary Act Revision Plans: U.S. Forest Service vs. West Coast Lumberman's Association
WFCA Bulletin Regarding "The Capper Report," 1920
E. T. Allen: Two Speeches, 1920
E. T. Allen to Jewett, 1939
H. H. Chapman Papers, 1940
NLMA: Forest Conservation Congress, Programs, Proceedings, Minutes, and Recommendations, 1936-1937
Conference of Lumber and Timber Products Industry with Public Agencies on Forest Conservation, 1933-1934
Box 1
Government Reorganization and Regulation, 1874-1974
Box 1
Timber Conservation Board
U.S. Forest Service Report on Cooperative Management of National Forest and Private Lands, 1931
Recommendations, 1932
Raphael Zon Letter, 1931
W. Compton Letter, 1932
Box 1
Loose Papers
Chronological List of Main Correspondence and Action on Forest Practice Rule Development, May 1944-August 1945
Pacific Reporter, pp. 906-916, 1949
U.S. Forest Service Memorandum, 1947
Earl Clapp: Notes Regarding Forest Resource Appraisal by the AFA
AFA Report of the Forest Resource Appraisal, 1947
Charles F. Brannan to Frederick J. Lawton, 1951
History of Management Plans in the Southwest, 1903-1918
Box 1
Senate Report: National Conference on Outdoor Recreation, 1928
Recreation Resources on Federal Lands, 1928
S. T. Dana: "Problem Analysis: Research in Forest Recreation," 1957
H. K. Steen: Notes
Sierra Club Newsletter, 1960
Letters from J. Horace McFarland (American Civic Association) to Henry S. Graves, 1911
William C. Gregg: Article in "Outlook", vol. 139
U.S. Park Service Memorandum, 1926
National Conference on Outdoor Recreation, 1928
National Park Standards: A Declaration of Policy - Campfire Club of America, 1945
U.S. Forest Service: Smith Riley (Denver, CO) to M.B. Tomblin, 1915
U.S. Forest Service: Policy letters from the Forester, 1911 and 1919
Title 36: Parks, Forests, and Memorials, 1966
Sierra Club: Letters and Minutes, 1967-1969
Letters between Lyle Watts and Newton B. Drury, 1944
Michael McCloskey: Address, "Wilderness at the Crossroads," 1970
Box 1
O & C
Senate Report, 1960
Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Forests of the Committee on Agriculture, House of Representatives, 1960
58th Congress, Session III, Regarding USDA, 1905
U.S. Forest Service: Policy Letters from the Forester, "Our Game Policy," 1918
C. E. Rachford: "Game Administration on the National Forests," 1928
Box 1
Natural Resources Defense Council, 1973
President Kennedy's Message on Conservation, 1962
White House Conference on Conservation, 1962
Box 1
Mining: Senate Hearings before the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, Multiple Surface Uses of the Public Domain, 1955
Box 1
Joint Congressional Committee: S.2043, "The Forestry Omnibus Bill: An Interpretive Synopsis" by Harris Collingwood (NLMA), 1941
U.S. Forest Service: Summary of Recommendations Presented on Feb. 16, 1940 to the Joint Congressional Committee on Forestry with Respect to A Forest Program for the United States
Paul H. Appleby, Undersecretary to Sen. John H. Bankhead, Regarding Public Control Over Private Forest Lands, 1941
Franklin D. Roosevelt to Secretary Wickard, 1941
Earle Clapp to Senator Bankhead, 1941
Letters between Earle Clapp and Lyle Watts, 1940
National Forestry Association Memorandum, 1938
Franklin D. Roosevelt to Secretary of Agriculture, 1938
Earle Clapp to Regional Foresters, 1938
Memorandum Regarding Report of Joint Congressional Committee, 1941
Earle Clapp: Memorandum Regarding Origins of Joint Congressional Committee, 1946
Earle Clapp: Memorandum Regarding Progress of Joint Congressional Committee, 1939
Box 1
Reappraisal: U.S. Forest Service Memorandums Regarding Reappraisal of U.S. Forests, 1944-1945
Box 1
Inspection: U.S. Forest Service Memorandums Regarding Supervisors and Local Relations, 1936 and 1939
Box 1
AFA: Henry S. Graves and Herman H. Chapman Letters, 1911
Box 1
Tax and Tariff
Senator Steiwer: Memorandum Regarding Tarriff on Lumber, 1930
Memorandum Regarding U.S. Tarriff Legislation on Forest Products, 1916
Professor Charles J. Bullock (Harvard): Suggestions for Forest Tax Study, 1924
Box 1
U.S. Forest Service: Burt P. Kirkland, District 6, Correspondence and Report, 1911
W.B. Greeley
"A Light Burning Policy for the South" and Response by R. E. Marsh, 1927
Box 1
Philip Wells, Law Office: Report on Work for the U.S. Forest Service, 1906-1913
Box 1
Loose Papers
History of Challis National Forest, 1891-1971
Yale Law Journal, "Management of Public Land Resources," vol. 60, no. 3, March 1951
Gifford Pinchot, "Forest Reserves of the United States,"National Geographic September 1900, 369-372
Senate Document No. 141, 59th Congress, Message from the President Relating to the Public Land Laws, December 17, 1906
Senate Report No. 3567, 58th Congress; Agricultural Appropriation Bill, February 1, 1905
Senate Report No. 811, 58th Congress; Appropriations for the Department of Agriculture for 1905
Miscellaneous Letters, July 1923
Northeastern Timber Manufacturing Association Booklet, 1939
B. E. Fernow, "What is Forestry?" USDA Forestry Division Bulletin No. 5, 1891
Aldo Leopold, "Wildlife Conservation on the Farm,"Wisconsin Agriculturalist and Farmer reprint, undated
NLMA Memorandum Regarding ABA study of U.S. Forest Service Procedures, July 29, 1957
Lowell Besley, Statement Before the Senate Subcommittee on Agricultural Appropriations Regarding U.S. Forest Service Budget, April 30, 1954
AFA Booklet, "A Program for American Forestry," 1950s
John B. Woods, AFA Booklet, "A Report of the Forest Resource Appraisal," 1947
Lowell Besley, ""Carrying Out the Program for American Forestry,"" Address to the Annual Meeting of the AFA, 1954
McArdle: Oral History Interview by Elwood Maunder, February 4, 1973
AFA: Address List for the Conference on Mining on Public Lands, Washington, D.C., 1955
Dewey Anderson, Executive Director of Public Affairs Institute: Letters Regarding Position on Conservation of Natural Resources, 1959
AFPI Public Relations Outline
NRCA Booklet, "A Policy for Renewable Resources," October 1, 1951
U.S. Forest Service Chief McGuire: Speeches, 1970s
Box 1
Grasslands Information from the U.S. Forest Service, 1973
Box 1
Criticisms of the U.S. Forest Service: W. B. Greeley and Sam T. Dana, 1925-1926
Box 1
Loose Papers
G.H. Collingwood, "Permanent Forestry and the Lumber Industry," NLMA Booklet, Delivered at 75th Anniversary of the University of New Hampshire
John J. Haggerty, "Local Effects of Federal Land Acquisition and Considerations of Policy," Confidential Report to the National Resources Board, June 1935
W.B. Greeley, "Industrial Forest Management in the Pacific Northwest as Influenced by Public Policies," Duke University School of Forestry Lectures Booklet, April 1948
Council of State Forestry Association Executives: Minutes, Fourth Annual Meeting, June 18-19, 1952
U.S. Forest Service Report on Senate Resolution 311, "Timber Depletion, Lumber Prices, Lumber Exports, and Concentrations of Lumber Ownership," June 1, 1920
Pinchot Collection, Library of Congress: Letters, 1896-1901
U.S. Forest Service Staff Meeting Notes (Cliff, Watts, McArdle, Harper, Loveridge), February 13, 1952
Secretary of Agriculture Wickard to FDR: Letter and Enclosures, October 23, 1942
History of H.R. 2296, October 20, 1949
A. C. Hall to Joseph F. Kaylor (Director, Deptartment of State Forests and Parks, Maryland) Regarding H.R. 7155 and S. 3399, April 26, 1950
Box 2
Loose Papers
McArdle: Record of Meeting with Congressman Granger Regarding H.R. 7155, February 21, 1950
McArdle: Record of Staff Meeting Regarding Legislation for U.S. Forest Service Assistance in Private Forest Management, November 17, 1979
True D. Morse to Senator James E. Murray Regarding Federal Timber Sales Policy, May 29, 1957
Charles L. Tebbe: Record of Task Force Meeting with BLM in Portland, Oregon, August 23, 1950
Lowell Besley: Statement to the Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs for S. 1713 (Mining Law), May 18, 1955
McArdle: Statement to Senate subcommittee, "National Forest Timber Sale Problems," February 21, 1956
George F. Burls and James C. Rettie to Edward C. Crafts, Assistant Chief Regarding Recreation, May 7, 1958
J. C. Rettie and John R. McGuire, Record Article Regarding National Forest Recreation Resources Review, October 3, 1958
Statement for Staff Consideration: National Forest Recreation Resources Review, July 11, 1958
Tentative General Outline for a National Forest Recreation Resource Survey, undated
Edward C. Crafts to Edward P. Cliff: Memorandum on Recreation
AFPI Memorandum to Trustees: Report of Meeting with Sierra Club Representatives, May 18 and 26, 2006
Box 2
History of the Norris-Doxey Act, 1936-1937
Box 2
McArdle: Legislative Notes, 1944-1948
Box 2
Loose Papers
Letters Regarding Conservation Advisory Council, 1952
Earle H. Clapp and Lyle F. Watts: Letters Regarding Legislation, 1940
Memorandum: Report on U.S. Forest Service Functioning, May 17, 1939
L. F. Kneipp: Reprint (Journal of Forestry?) of Open Letter to SAF for Petition to Change Editorial Policy
Lyle F. Watts to the President Regarding the Role of Forestry in Postwar Work Programs, January 5, 1944
R. E. Marsh: Postwar Planning, February 26, 1944
Lyle Watts and L. F. Kneipp to R. E. Marsh Regarding S.250, July 21, 1944
Policy and Instructions Governing the Establishment of Sustained Yield Units Under the Provisions of Public Law 273 (S.250), July 2, 1944
Outline: Questions and Answers about the Forest Situation in the United States, undated
Charles Evans, "Federal-State Cooperation in Forestry Work," Duke University School of Forestry Lecture Series No. 9, June 1950
Forest Industries Conference, Minutes, February 10, 1943
U.S. Forest Service Memorandum: Forest Practice Cutting Guides, March 16, 1945
Booklet: "Our Renewable Resources Can be Sustained: A Symposium," May 4, 1949
Plan for Enactment of the Omnibus Forestry Bill, November 20, 1935
Box 2
Raphael Zon Letters (Loose Papers)
Major George P. Ahern Regarding Ahern's Book, 1932
Robert Y. Stuart, Chief Forester, U.S Forest Service, 1928-1929
Arthur N. Pack, Charles Lathrop Pack Forest Education Board, 1933
Major George P. Ahern Regarding U.S. Forest Service, 1929
Robert Marshall, undated
Letters Regarding the Lumber Code, 1933
Gifford Pinchot Regarding U.S. Forest Service, 1933
Robert Marshall Regarding AFA and Journal Policy, 1932
Ed Munns, 1933
Box 2
Loose Papers
Senator Joseph C. O'Mahoney to Manville Kendrick, Kendrick Cattle Co., Sheridan WY, Regarding U.S. Forest Service Grazing Policies
J. Girvin Peters, "The Possibilities and the Limitations of Government Cooperative Work with Private Owners (Divisions of Management and Products)," Address to SAF, December 22, 1904
Index of Forestry Work Done by Federal Agencies, January 21, 1941
G. A. Pearson to Dr. V. E. Shelford, Urbana, IL Regarding Forest Preservation, March 30, 1920
E. A. Sterling, "What the Forest Service Is Doing to Perpetuate Our Forests," Address to the Westminster Club, Buffalo, New York, February 12, 1907
Policy Letters from the Forester, no. 3, "The Forest Service and Reconstruction," November 23, 1918
Joint Report of the Committees on Forestry and on Taxation on Referendum no. 42 of the United States Chamber of Commerce on a National Forest Policy, November 7, 1923
Weekly Bulletin: Forest Service, Washington, D.C. Office Regarding Resignations of Henry S. Graves and Albert F. Potter, April 19, 1920
E. A. Silcox: Memorandum to the Secretary of Agriculture Against the Taylor Grazing Bill, June 21, 1934
Report of the President's Advisory Panel on Timber and the Environment (Excerpts), April 1973
Policy Declarations in Natural Resources (Natural Resources Department, U.S. Chamber of Commerce), 1952-1953
Forestry Manual for Use by Chambers of Commerce (Natural Resources Department, U.S. Chamber of Commerce), 1949
"Americans at Work: The Forest Ranger" Radio Script, 1939
Honorable John P. Saylor (PA), "Saving America's Wilderness, "House of Representatives, Congressional Record, 1956
Lowell Besley (AFA) to Honorable Wayne N. Aspinall (Colorado) Against Echo Dam, March 22, 1955
"Proposed National Wilderness Preservation System," Congressional Record, 1957
Honorable John P. Saylor: Open Letter Regarding the Wilderness Bill, November 1, 1956
"Recommendations to the President of the United States by the Forest Industries Council for Appointment to the National Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission," undated
"A Proposed Program for American Forestry," Reprint from American Forestry, August 1953
Minutes: Industry, Forest Service Policy Conference, Washington, D.C., July 8, 1954
AFPI Memorandum to Public Relations Consultant Committee and Report "A Survey of Public Attitudes," May 29, 1958
Proceedings National Farm Woodlot Conference, Chicago, Illinois, June 25-26, 1953
USDA Forest Service, "Review of the McKinsey and Company Report on Timber Sale Activities," November 1, 1955
American Pulpwood Association, "Programs of the USDA for Small Woodland Owners," May 1959
Proceedings Natural Resources Council of America Conference with the USDA, Washington, D.C., December 1-2, 1948
Sierra Club, Fifth Biennial Wilderness Conference, Summary of Proceedings, San Francisco, March 15-16, 1957
Forest Industries Council, "More Timber Today - and Tomorrow: A Resume of Conclusions reached by Dr. John A. Zivnuska, Noted Forest Economist, From His Analysis of the Preliminary Draft of the U.S. Forest Service Timber Resource Review," undated
J. C. Rettie, "Rejoinder to Some of Zivnuska's Criticism of the Timber Resource Review," April 6, 1956
National Forest Advisory Council, "Report on the Problem of Mining Claims on the National Forests," January 1953
Forest Service Report on Mining Claims on National Forests, October 18, 1951
Mining Law Revision, April 19, 1955
Lowell Besley, AFA, "Statement before the Mines and Mining Subcommittee of the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs," Regarding Mining Law Revision, May 20, 1955
Box 2
Dwight D. Eisenhower Library Materials
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Memorandum: Coordinating BLM and U.S. Forest Service Activities, September 3, 1957
Arthur A. Kimball to Nelson A. Rockefeller: Transfer of BLM Functions, December 12, 1953
Edward Woolsey to Arthur A. Kimball: BLM and U.S. Forest Service, May 22, 1957
McArdle to Arthur A. Kimball: BLM and U.S. Forest Service, May 16, 1957
Box 2
Loose Papers
Gifford Pinchot to Franklin D. Roosevelt: Keeping the U.S. Forest Service in the USDA, Not the Department of the Interior, April 18, 1933
Franklin D. Roosevelt to Gifford Pinchot: Reply, April 21, 1933
"History of Efforts to Secure a Federal-State Cooperative Program for Assisting Industrial Forest Land Owners," Manuscript, undated
Booklet, "Important Facts About the National Forests in California," U.S. Forest Service, 1969
Notecard: Pinchot Papers
Manuscript Materials for The U.S. Forest Service: A History
Comments on Forest Service History: Reviews and Comments
Forest Service: Correspondence, 1972-1976
Washington University Press: Correspondence, 1973-1980
Doig Edit: Edited Manuscript and Correspondence with Ivan Doig, 1975-1976
Manuscript Revisions
Chapters: Editorial Comments, 1974-1976
Washington Press: Correspondence and Revisions, 1975
Outline for The U.S. Forest Service: A History and Comments/Correspondence, 1973-1974
Appendices and Dust Jacket Material
Chapter II
Chapter III
Box 3
Manuscript Materials for The U.S. Forest Service: A History
Manuscript Chapters
Photographs to University of Washington Press: Photocopied Photographs and Correspondence, 1976
Preface and Acknowledgements
Notes on Sources and Chronology of Administrations
Spiral Notebook: Proofreading Notes
Author's copy: Typeset Proofs

Administrative Information

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The nature of the Forest History Society's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Forest History Society claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

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Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Harold K. Steen Research Materials, Library and Archives, Forest History Society, Durham, NC, USA.

Processing Information

Processed by Staff,

Encoded by Amanda Ross, January 2009

Funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission supported the encoding of this finding aid. Support for digitization and outreach provided by the Alvin J. Huss Endowment.