“The Forest Service and the Preservation of Natural Beauty”

In this April 1916 article in the journal Landscape Ecology, assistant forester E.A. Sherman expressed that recreation and the “preservation of natural beauty” deserved priority consideration in various places on the national forest system. Sherman envisioned recreation as a major player on national forest lands and that his agency might accommodate certain preservation objectives with its management.

Among other points raised in his April 1916 article, Sherman stated:

“…in administering the National Forests the interest of the public in the recreation resource involved — already of large importance, and destined to be of steadily increasing importance — must be taken account of and intelligently provided for.”

“In providing for recreation use of the National Forests and the protection of notable scenic features, the Forest Service approaches the field of work of the Department of the Interior, in its National Park administration.”

“Great as is the economic importance of the National Forests as sources of timber supply, water supply, and forage production, it is not improbable that their value as playgrounds for the public will in time come to rank as one of the major resources. The Forest Service is giving due consideration to this fact. It has definitely aimed to foresee what the public needs in this respect will require, and to plan accordingly…”

“In some cases (on the National Forests), already it has been found that the local importance of recreation use of limited areas was so great that it should be recognized as paramount, and that economic use of the land for timber production, grazing, or even agriculture, should be excluded or subordinated. Wherever it appears that productive use for the supply of strictly economic needs will conflict with recreation use, and that recreation use is the highest use for the particular area involved, the Forest Service plans accordingly.”


Sherman, E.A. April 1916. “The Forest Service and the Preservation of Natural Beauty,”Landscape Architecture, vol. 6: 115-119.