Weeks Act Resources


A full listing of the online Weeks Act resources provided by the Forest History Society.

View a short video clip examining the history of the Weeks Act, from the FHS YouTube Channel (the clip is a DVD extra from the documentary film The Greatest Good).

The Weeks Act Centennial Blog Series, from Peeling Back the Park written by Dr. Bob Healy of Duke University’s Nicholas School for the Environment.

A selected bibliography of sources on the history of the Weeks Act.

The Lands Nobody Wanted

Conrad, David E. The Land We Cared For...A History of the Forest Service's Eastern Region. [PDF] USFS, 1997. Chapter 3 looks at the history and legacy of the Weeks Act.

Shands, William E. "The Lands Nobody Wanted: The Legacy of the Eastern National Forests," a chapter from Origins of the National Forests: A Centennial Symposium. Steen, Harold K., ed. Durham, NC: Forest History Society, 1992. Looks at the history of the creation of the eastern national forests, and their importance to the nation.

Shands, William E. and Robert G. Healy. The Lands Nobody Wanted: A Conservation Foundation Report. Washington, DC: The Conservation Foundation, 1977. A comprehensive report on the fifty national forests east of the Rocky Mountains.

"The Beginnings of the National Forests in the South: Protection of Watersheds," an original essay by Gerald W. Williams, a former national historian of the Forest Service.

Passing the Act

Chronological List of Actions leading up to passage of the Weeks Act.

John Wingate Weeks (1860-1926), a brief biographical portrait.

"Appalachian Forest Bill Dead," from The Southern Lumberman, April 25, 1908: 28. Legislative bill to create Appalachian and White Mountain National Forests ruled unconstitutional by House Judiciary Committee in 1908.

The Weeks Bill, introduced July 23, 1909, in the House of Representatives, 61st Congress, First Session, H.R. 11798.

"Record of Votes on the Weeks Bill to Create National Forests," lists the March 1, 1909, voting record from the U.S. House of Representatives on the Weeks Bill, from American Forestry Association Bulletin, 1910.

"The Battle for the Weeks Bill," looks at the debates surrounding the proposed bill, from American Forestry, vol. 16 (March 1910):133-144.

"The Weeks Bill in Congress," a story of the bill's passage in the House and its failure in the Senate, from American Forestry, vol. 16 (August 1910):463-480.

"The Passage of the Appalachian Bill," a discussion of the bill's passage in the Senate, including the voting record and full text of the final version of the Act, from American Forestry, vol. 17 (March 1911):164-170.

"The Appalachian Forests: Putting the New Law into Operation," looks at the first few weeks of actions following the signing of the Act, from American Forestry, vol. 17 (May 1911):288-293.

"The John Weeks Story," a 1961 USFS pamphlet on John Weeks and his work surrounding the passage of the Weeks Act.

"Philip P. Wells in the Forest Service Law Office," from Forest History, vol. 16 (April 1972): 22-29. Article is an excerpt from memoirs of Philip P. Wells, USFS law officer from 1907-1910. Includes discussion of his role in passage of the Weeks Act.

Protection and Restoration

Weeks Law Purchase Units Maps, a series of maps depicting the expansion of Weeks Act forest purchase units over time.

Weeks Law Forest Creation, a chronological list of national forests created from Weeks Act lands.

Weeks Law Purchase Units, a chronological list of the Weeks Act purchase units created from 1911 to 1932.

U.S. Forest Service. "Final Report of the National Forest Reservation Commission, 1976," provides detailed data on lands purchased under the Weeks Act from 1911 through 1976.

Gross Acreage Approved for Purchase Under Weeks Law by Fiscal Year, 1912-1976, a table featuring the total acreage and average price for each year of the National Forest Reservation Commission.

National Forest Reservation Commission Members, 1911-1966, a chronological listing of all seven members of the Commission.

"Purchases Made Under Weeks Law," from The Southern Lumberman, December 16, 1911: 27. Approval by the National Forest Reservation Commission of the first purchases of land (in McDowell County, NC) under the Weeks Law.

Townsend, W.B. "The Appalachian National Forest," from The Southern Lumberman, December 23, 1911: 83. An article by the President of the Hardwood Manufacturers' Association, on the conservation of the Appalachian forests.

"Pisgah Forest Purchased," from American Forestry, vol. 20 (June 1914): 425-429. Discusses the purchase of lands from Edith Vanderbilt for Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina.

Graves, Henry S. "The New National Forests of the East," from The Southern Lumberman, December 18, 1915: 98-99. Chief Forester Henry S. Graves looks at what has been accomplished under the Weeks Law during the first four years of its existence.

Ayres, Philip. "Our Eastern National Forests: Record Steady Progress in Acquisition Under the Provisions of the Weeks Law," looks at lands purchased during the first 19 years of the Weeks Act, from American Forests and Forest Life, vol. 36 (July 1930): 438-9, 483.

"Cooperative Forest Fire Control: A History of its Origin and Development Under the Weeks and Clarke-McNary Acts," a 1964 USFS publication. This excerpt (pp. 1-27) details the history of the Weeks Act and its impact on early fire policy.

Impact and Legacy

Events program from the Weeks Law 50th Anniversary commemoration in Asheville, NC, September 26-27, 1961.

Speech notes from address given by USFS Chief Richard E. McArdle at observance of the Weeks Law 50th Anniversary, Asheville, NC, September 26, 1961.

Remarks of Secretary of Agriculture Orville L. Freeman at observance of the Weeks Law 50th Anniversary, Asheville, NC, September 26, 1961.

Program from Weeks Act 50th Anniversary Banquet, Crawford Notch, New Hampshire, October 6, 1961.

Address given by USFS Chief Richard E. McArdle at celebration of 50th anniversary of Weeks Act, Crawford House, New Hampshire, October 6, 1961.

A Report in Progress in Establishing National Forests, Published on the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Weeks Law. A 1961 report by the U.S. National Forest Reservation Commission on the first 50 years of national forests established under the Weeks Act (Source: U.S. Forest Service Lands and Realty Management Program).

Remarks of USFS Associate Chief F. Dale Robertson at the 75th Anniversary of the Weeks Act, White Mountain National Forest, June 19, 1986.

View across Mirror Lake in White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire, 1926.

External Sources:

Protecting the Forests: The Weeks Act of 1911, an exhibit at Plymouth State University.

Weeks Act and The Creation of the White Mountain National Forest, an online resource from WhiteMountainHistory.org.

Weeks Act Centennial Web Page from the U.S. Forest Service Lands and Realty Management Program.

Weeks Legacy, a site created by a diverse group of organizations celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Weeks Act and the United Nation’s International Year of the Forest.

For further information about the Weeks Act, please contact the Forest History Society staff.