Peeling Back The Bark

  • How Forest History Can Be Like A Beethoven Symphony

    By James Lewis on January 16, 2021

    This post is adapted from the Editor’s Note in the Spring/Fall 2020 issue of Forest History Today.

    As I sit here in a medical facility in December, waiting to be called, surrounded by people wearing masks because of the global …

  • The Continuing Odyssey of “The Forest Fire” Painting

    By James Lewis on September 13, 2017

    The saga of how one of the most famous paintings of a forest fire was created and what happened to it resembles at times an international spy thriller. An article in Forest History Today (“Untamed Art,” Fall 2008) by

  • Forest History Today issue on the Weeks Act now available

    By James Lewis on March 1, 2012

    The new issue of Forest History Today is now available. It’s all about the Weeks Act, which turns 101 years old today. Forest History Society members have received a copy as a benefit of their membership. If you’re …

  • Have a Wildfire? Call a Historian

    By James Lewis on June 27, 2011

    In her article, “Fire Alarm: Historians, and Thorstein Veblen, to the Rescue,” Patricia Limerick asked why is it that, when a wildfire breaks out, no one calls a historian? After all, she writes, “what is needed are the ‘skills, talents, …

  • Coming to a Mailbox Near You: Forest History Today

    By James Lewis on March 14, 2011

    If you’re a member of the Forest History Society, the latest issue of Forest History Today will be hitting your mailbox this week. If you join now, you can still get this highly sought-after, limited print edition of the …

  • Helping Preserve Canada’s Forest History

    By James Lewis on February 10, 2011

    Last week I traveled to Alliston, Ontario, to meet with the Forest History Society of Ontario and to address the Ontario Forestry Association at their 62nd annual meeting. I went in part to present the FHS Fellow Award to both …

  • Celebrate "National Parks and Recreation Month" by reading about both

    By James Lewis on July 7, 2010

    July is National Parks and Recreation Month in the United States. First designated in 1984, Congress did not intend it to celebrate national parks, as some websites would have you believe. Rather, the purpose is to celebrate parks at all …

  • New issue of Forest History Today makes history

    By James Lewis on April 29, 2010

    The latest issue of Forest History Today is now available online!  Feature articles include two pieces on the Bitterroot National Forest controversy in the 1960s, one by Fred Swanson on G.M. Brandborg, who started the controversy, and another by Lou …

  • Feb. 24, 1889: Herbert Stoddard Sr., “Father” of Wildlife Management, is Born

    By James Lewis on February 24, 2010

    Happy birthday to Herbert Stoddard Sr.! Raised in a working-class family, he had no formal education beyond primary school. Yet he went on to become recognized as the “father” of wildlife management and a pioneer in the emerging field of …

  • February 18, 1909: North American Conservation Conference is held

    By James Lewis on February 18, 2010

    In one of his last acts as president, Theodore Roosevelt convened the North American Conservation Conference on this date 101 years ago. This event might ring a bell for faithful followers of the blog. The conference and its legacy were …

  • Gifford Pinchot and the Search for "Permanent Peace"

    By James Lewis on January 11, 2010

    The following is an op-ed piece that appeared in the Raleigh News and Observer on January 3, 2010. It was co-authored by FHS staff historian James G. Lewis and FHS member and professor of environmental history Char Miller.

    Getting together…
  • FHS in the News!

    By James Lewis on December 11, 2008

    The Forest History Society has appeared twice in the news recently! Staff historian Jamie Lewis was interviewed for a story about the drop in the number of visitors to national forests on an annual basis written by Associated Press reporter …

  • Hot off the Press: Forest History Today fire issue

    By James Lewis on November 20, 2008

    With the forest fires still burning in southern California and some suggesting that fire season there is now a year-round event, the publication of the Fall 2008 issue of Forest History Today is rather timely, to say the least. The …

  • October 27, 1858: Happy Birthday, Teddy Roosevelt!

    By James Lewis on October 27, 2008

    Today marks the 150th birthday of Theodore Roosevelt.  Considered one of our greatest presidents, it’s not for nothing that he’s on Mount Rushmore and still widely admired around the world.  He packed a lot of living into his sixty years.  …

  • China's Syndrome

    By James Lewis on October 8, 2008

    A recent article in The New Yorker investigated where China gets its wood from now that logging has been widely banned in the country.  “The Stolen Forests: Inside the Covert War on Illegal Logging” states that the ban …

  • Moved by History

    By James Lewis on September 16, 2008

    Our recent Forest History Today article, “Timber for the Comstock,” told the history of lumbering around the eastern Sierra and Lake Tahoe area of Nevada. It centered on a set of eight historical markers that tell a forest …

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