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

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)


Biographical Note

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
  • Box
    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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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.