EARLY U.S. FORESTRY LEADERS AND CHIEFS OF THE FOREST SERVICE
Franklin B. Hough (1822-85). First Federal official assigned by the Commissioner of Agriculture under a mandate from Congress to gather data and present reports on forestry in theUnited States (1876-83). A physician who served in the Civil War, he was superintendent of the New York State census and had a keen interest in nature, history, forest conservation, and statistics, and was a prolific writer of letters, speeches, and articles. His reports to Congress,based on his extensive trips around the country, had far-reaching effects in building public sentiment for forest conservation. His office was made a Division of Forestry in 1881.
Carl Schurz (1829-1906). German statesman, one of the earliest and most effective advocates of forestry in the United States. He served as Secretary of the Interior (1877-81), and organized a force of special timber agents to conduct a strong drive against widespread raiding and destruction of forests on public lands. Schurz tried hard to strengthen the Interior Department's control over disposition and management of public timber and timberlands. Although his efforts were not very successful at the time, he contributed greatly to changing the public attitude toward forest conservation.
Nathaniel H. Egleston (1822-1912). Became Chief of the Division of Forestry in U.S. Department of Agriculture after Mr. Hough (1883-86). A Congregational minister and teacher, he helped organize the American Forestry Association in 1882.
Bernhard E. Fernow (1851-1923). First professional forester in the United States. He was Chairman, American Forestry Association (1884-98), and Chief, USDA Division of Forestry(1886-98). He delivered the first course of forestry lectures in the United States, in 1894 at Massachusetts Agricultural College, and was Director and Dean of the first 4-year professional forestry school, at Cornell University, starting in 1898. Like Carl Schurz, he was a native of Germany. The two were most influential in passage of the Forest Reserve Act in 1891 which established the first forest reserves (later called National Forests).
Filibert Roth (1858-1925). One of the pioneer sin forestry teaching in America, he was an instructor under Mr. Fernowat Cornell (1898-1901), and started the Forestry Department at the University of Michigan in 1903, which he headed for 20 years until his retirement. He was the first forester to have charge of the Federal forest reserves, serving as Chief of the Forest Reserve Division in the old General Land Office (now the Bureau of Land Management), U.S.Department of the Interior, from 1901-03. Like Fernow and Schurz, he was a native of Germany. After 8 years of study at the University of Michigan he became a timber expert for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (1893-98). During this period and while Chief of the Forest Reserve Division, Mr. Roth wrote several booklets and bulletins on forestry and wood technology, including the first manual on managing the reserves.
Gifford Pinchot (1865-1946). One of America's most renowned conservation leaders. Chief, USDA Division of Forestry(1898-1901); Chief, USDA Bureau of Forestry (1901-05); first Chief, USDA Forest Service (1905-10). He was an organizer and first president of the Society of American Foresters (1900). All his life he was an outspoken crusader for Federal protection of forest lands. Mr. Pinchot was influential in persuading Congress to transfer the vast forest reserves from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Agriculture.
This was done Feb. 1, 1905, and the Bureau of Forestry was changed to the Forest Service on July 1 of that year. The forest reserves were renamed the National Forests in 1907. During his period in office, the Forest Service and the Forests grew spectacularly.In 1905 the forest reserves numbered 60 units covering 56 million acres;in 1910 there were 150 National Forests covering 172 million acres. The pattern of effective organization and management was set during Pinchot's administration, and "conservation" of natural resources in the broad sense of wise use became a widely known concept and an accepted national goal.
Henry S. Graves (1871-1951). Second Chief of the Forest Service (1910-20). In 1900 he was an organizer and the first vice-president of the Society of American Foresters, and in the same year he headed the newly established School of Forestry at Yale University, where he remained as Dean until called to head the Forest Service. During his tenure as Chief, the Forest Products Laboratory was established at Madison, Wis.; the Weeks Law was enacted (1911) allowing Federal purchase of forest lands necessary to protect the flow of navigable streams and providing for Federal-State cooperation in forest fire protection; and the Research Branch of the Forest Service was organized.
William B. Greeley (1879-1955). During his administration (1920-28) the Clarke-McNary Act became law, extending Federal authority to purchase forest lands necessary for timber production, and authorizing cooperative agreements with the various States to help protect State and private forests from wildfire. National Forest administration was further strengthened.
Robert Y. Stuart (1883-1933). While he was Chief of the Forest Service (1928-33), the McSweeney-McNary Act to promote forest research, and the Knutson-Vandenberg Act to expand tree planting on National Forests became law. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) began its valuable work in forestry and conservation, enrolling 2 million young unemployed men in the 9 years of its existence.
Ferdinand A. Silcox (1882-1939). While he was Chief (1933-39), the Forest Service made a study of western range use,recommending methods for improvement, and surveyed forested watersheds for flood control through restoration and proper management of forests.Under the Prairie States Forestry Project, 217 million acres were planted by 33,000 plains farmers. The CCC grew to full size. Mr. Silcox renewed the fight Mr. Pinchot had started to bring about public regulation of timber cutting on private forest lands.
Earle H. Clapp (1887-1970). During his tenure as "Acting Chief" (1939-43), the Forest Service helped to mobilize the Nation's forest resources behind the war effort (World War II). Cutting of National Forest timber was stepped up, including a special project in Alaska to provide spruce for military aircraft; extensive surveys were made of production, supplies, and needs for wood products; special studies and tests were made for the armed forces, and forest look outstations were manned along both East and West Coasts as part of the year-round aircraft warning system.
Lyle F. Watts (1890-1962). During his period as Chief (1943-52) the Forest Service wound up its expanded wartime activities and undertook a planned effort to shift administration of the National Forests from a custodial to a managed-property basis. There was also considerable expansion of the Federal role of cooperator with the various States and with private industry—in the fields of forest fire protection, pest control, tree planting, woodland management and harvesting, wood-product marketing and processing, grazing, etc.,through various acts and amendments, including the Cooperative Forest Management Act of 1950.
Richard E. McArdle (1899- ). As 8th Chief(1952-62) he helped set up a Forest Research Advisory Committee. The"Timber Resource Review," a comprehensive report on timber resources in the United States, was published. The landmark Multiple Use-Sustained Yield Act was passed by Congress, confirming long-established policy for broad development and administration of National Forests in the public interest. The Forest Service was assigned management of 7 million acres of western plains lands acquired by the Federal Government in the Depression years. The Forest Service organized these lands as National Grasslands.
Edward P. Cliff (1909- ). While serving as the 9th Chief (1962-1972), he devoted much time to promoting better understanding of public forest management problems with stockmen, timbermen, and the general public. Recreation became the major use in many National Forest areas, and facilities were expanded to take care of the greatly increased public demand. The Forest Service undertook a role in the Job Corps to operate nearly 50 rurally located camps which gave thousands of deprived youth a new start and accomplished much important conservation work throughout the country. The Forest Service actively participated in the nationwide Natural Beauty campaign, Rural Areas Development, and the War on Poverty. With enactment of the National Wilderness Preservation System law in 1964, 9.1 million acres of National Forest areas previously designated as "Wild" or "Wilderness"became the core of the new System. Additional National Forest acreage has been added to the System since then.
John R. McGuire (1916- ). As present Chief of the Forest Service, he has strengthened the Forest Service's relationship with the Senate and House in dealings concerning the growing national environmental issues. Early in his tenure the study,selection, and management of Wilderness Areas were expanded, and in this and all issues of major impact public comment and public involvement were invited in an unprecedented degree. This included public review and comment on the Forest Service's "Environmental Program for the Future,"and The Forest and Range-land Renewable Resources Planning Act. Under Mr. McGuire's guidance the agency made organizational changes designed to strengthen the roles of State and Private Forestry and Research,particularly as these functions help implement the new forestry incentives program.
ABOUT THE FOREST SERVICE
As our Nation grows, people expect and need more from their forests—more wood; more water, fish and wildlife; more recreation and natural beauty; more special forest products and forage.The Forest Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture helps to fulfill these expectations and needs through three major activities.
Conducting forest and range research at over 75 locations ranging from Puerto Rico to Alaska to Hawaii.
Participating with all State forestry agencies in cooperative programs to protect, improve, and wisely use our Country's 395 million acres of State, local, and private forest lands.
Managing and protecting the 187-million acre National Forest System.
The Forest Service does this by encouraging use of the new knowledge that research scientists develop; by setting an example in managing, under sustained yield, the National Forests and Grasslands for multiple use purposes; and by cooperating with all States and with private citizens in their efforts to achieve better management,protection, and use of forest resources.
For more than 70 years, the Forest Service has been serving the Nation as a leading natural resource conservation agency.