James Elliott Defebaugh.

History of the lumber industry of America online

. (page 47 of 65)
Online LibraryJames Elliott DefebaughHistory of the lumber industry of America → online text (page 47 of 65)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


James W. Pinchot and their sons, Gifford and Amos R. E. Pinchot, who
gave $150,000 in 1900 for the establishment of a department of forestry
at Yale University' and a summer school of forestry at Gray Towers,
the estate of J. W. Pinchot at Milford, Pike County, Pennsylvania. In
1903 Mr. and Mrs. Pinchot and their son. Professor Gifford Pinchot,
added $50,000 to the gift.

As it is now conducted. Marsh Hall is used as the central school
building and is equipped with lecture rooms, a library and reading
room, botanical and wood testing laboratories and drafting rooms.
There is conducted a large amount of field work in Maltby Park, a
forest of 400 acres, and at Gray Towers. At the latter place J. W.
Pinchot has erected a number of valuable buildings for the use of the
school. In addition, the students are given practical work in the lumber
camps of Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, the Caro-
linas, Michigan, Florida and Texas. The regular course embraces two
years study and is designed to give the students a complete knowledge
of American woods, as well as an understanding of forestry conditions
in the island possessions of the United States.

The University of Michigan Forest School is part of the general
department of literature, science and the arts. It has a two-year
graduate course, leading to the degree of master of science in forestry.
Professor Filibert Roth is the director.

Harvard University Forest School has a four-year undergraduate
course in connection with the Lawrence Scientific School. R. T. Fisher
is in charge of the curriculum.

The Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, Ames,
Iowa, has a four-year course in forestry and horticulture, in which
particular attention is paid to farm forestry, leading to the degree of
bachelor of science. A course is also given adapted to students in the
civil engineering department. H. P. Baker, assistant professor, is in
charge of forestry.

University of Maine, Department of Forestry, Orono, Maine, has a
four-year undergraduate course, leading to the degree of bachelor of
science of forestry. Professor S. N. Spring is in charge of the

The Michigan Agricultural College, Department of Forestry, has
a four-year undergraduate course, leading to the degree of bachelor of
science. E. E. Bogue is professor of forestry.

The University of Minnesota has a forest school with a four-year


undergraduate course, leading to the degree of bachelor of science in
forestry. Professor Samuel B. Green is in charge of the school.

The forest department of the University of Nebraska is connected
with the Industrial College, Lincoln, Nebraska, and offers a four-year
undergraduate course, leading to the degree of bachelor of science in
forestry. Frank G. Miller is professor of forestry.


The establishment of forest reserves as a settled policy of the
United States dates from the act of Congress, approved March 3, 1891,
which, in Section IV, granted the authority in these words :

The President of the United States may, from time to time, set apart and
reserve, in any state or territory having public lands bearing trees, any part of the
public lands wholly or in part covered with timber or undergrowth, whether of
commercial value or not, as public reserves, and the President shall, by public
proclamation, declare the establishments of such reserves and the limits thereof.

This, however, was not the first grant of authority for the establish-
ment of forest reserves, for as early as 1799 Congress appropriated
$200,000 for the purchase of timber, or of lands on which timber was
growing, suitable for the use of the navy, and for its preservation for
future use. This was in the days of wooden vessels, when the preser-
vation of timber suitable for vessel construction was considered essen-
tial, and in this step the young Republic but followed the example of
the mother country, which for nearly two centuries had placed the broad
arrow of the British admiralty upon pine suitable for masts and spars.
Some small purchases were made on the Georgia coast under the
provisions of this act, and on March 1, 1817, another act was passed
renewing the act of 1799 under the following terms :

The Secretary of the Navy is authorized, under the direction of the President,
to cause such vacant and unappropriated lands of the United States as produce the
live oak and cedar timbers to be explored, and selections to be made of such tracts,
or portions thereof, where the principal growth is of such timbers, as in his judg-
ment may be necessary to furnish for the navy a sufficient supply of the same.

A subsequent act, in 1822, authorized the President to employ the
land and naval forces of the United States in the protection of reserved
timber or timber lands in Florida, and in 1831 penalties were provided
for trespass. Under an act dated 1817 19,000 acres of land were
reserved in Louisiana. There was a more general act, approved March
3, 1827,. by which the President was authorized to take proper measures
to preserve the live oak growing on the lands of the United States.

Under the various acts above mentioned nearly 25,000 acres of for-


est land were reserved in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and

Theoretically, the timber on all public lands was reserved, subject
to certain exceptions. Thus, in 1878 an act was passed authorizing the
citizens of Colorado, Nevada and the territories to fell and remove tim-
ber on the public domain for mining and domestic purposes, and another
allowed the settler to take the timber necessary "to support his improve-
ments." These were typical of numerous acts relating to this general
subject and which were further modified or broadened by court decisions.

In addition to the timber reservations made for specific purposes
prior to 1891, there are a number of national parks, the most important
of which are in a wooded country, and all of which serve as forest pre-
serves. The first great national park was the Yellowstone National
Park, located in Montana and Wyoming, chiefly in the latter, on the
headwaters of the Colorado River, established by act of March 1, 1872,
and containing at the present time 2,142,720 acres, or 3,504.25 square
miles. The act gave authority to the Secretary of the Interior to make
such regulations as "shall provide for the preservation from injury or
spoliation, of all timber, mineral deposits, natural curiosities or won-
ders, within the park and their retention in their natural condition."

Next in magnitude of the national parks is the Yosemite, which was
established by an act of October 1, 1890. It covers 682,480 acres and
includes the famous Yosemite Valley, of California. This park contains
a large amount of timber.

Another important park is the Sequoia, established by act of Sep-
tember 25, 1890, and containing 160,000 acres. Near to it is the Gen-
eral Grant National Park, established by the same act, and containing
2,560 acres.

Both the Sequoia and the General Grant parks were established to
preserve the bigtree groves within their boundaries.

Another national park which bears a large amount of timber is the
Mt. Rainier, in Washington, established March 2, 1899, and containing
11,520 acres. It is entirely included within the boundaries of the Mt.
Rainier Forest Reserve.

The Crater Lake National Park, established by act of May 22, 1902,
contains 149,360 acres. It is located in Oregon and contains Crater Lake.

Other national parks of small area and of little, if any, timber value,
are the Wind Cave National Park, established by act of January 9, 1903,
and containing 10,560 acres, in South Dakota, twelve miles east of the


town of Hot Springs ; SuUys Hill National Park, established by act of
June 2, 1904, and containing 960 acres, on the south shore of Devil's
Lake, South Dakota; Hot Springs Reserve, Arkansas, original act April
20, 1832, and containing 911.63 acres ; Casa Grande Ruin, established
act of March 2, 1899, executive order June 22, 1892, containing 480 acres,
in Penal County, Arizona.

In addition to these national parks, and not included within the list
of forest reserves, are numerous military reservations, some of consid-
erable size and in timbered sections. One of the most interesting is the
Mt. Whitney Military Reserve, in California. It contains about one
hundred and forty square miles and includes within it the summit of Mt.
Whitney, the highest peak in California.

The erection of forest reserves as a definite and permanent govern-
mental policy was not the result, however, of hurried consideration.

Perhaps the first suggestion of such a policy appeared in 1876 with
a bill (H. R. No. 2075) "for the preservation of the forests adjacent to
the sources of navigable rivers and other streams," which never pro-
gressed farther than the pigeonhole of the Public Lands Committee.

Similar bills, introduced from time to time, experienced the same
fate in the same or other committees, until more defined reservations
were called for. An act to establish forest reservation on the head-
waters of the Missouri and Columbia rivers passed the Senate in 1884,
and again in 1885, but died in the House Committee; in the same year
a general act providing for forest reservations was reported favorably
in the House. After this, hardly a year passed without a number of
legislative propositions to the same effect being introduced, the titles
of the bills filling several quarto pages of the above-cited documents.

Hardly any kind of legislation which could be suggested was over-
looked, from the creation of forest commissions to investigate the sub-
ject to providing for fully organized forest administrations and the
establishment of forestry schools.

The American Forestry Association presented a comprehensive bill
drawn by the Chief of the Forestry Division in 1888, providing for the
withdrawal from entry or sale of all public timber lands not fit for agri-
cultural use, and for their proper administration under technical advice.
(S. 1476 and S. 1770, 60th Cong. 1st sess.)

Modifications of this bill were introduced from year to year, and
their enactment urged, but with small success.

Finally, in the Fifty-first Congress, through the earnest insistence


of Secretary of the Interior John W. Noble, who was fully imbued with
the necessity of some action such as was advocated by the Association,
the following section was added to the act entitled "An Act to Repeal
Timber Culture Laws, and for Other Purposes," approved March 3, 1891:

Sec. 24. That the President of the United States may, from time to time, set
apart and reserve, in any state or territory having public lands bearing forests, any
part of the public lands wholly or in part covered with timber or undergrowth,
whether of commercial value or not, as public reservations, and the President shall,
by public proclamation, declare the establishment of such reservations and the
limits thereof.

It is upon this feeble "rider," attached to a bill hardly germane to
the subject, that the forest reservation policy of the Federal government
is based, and that the federal land policy, which before considered
only disposal of the public domain, was changed, the Government be-
coming a land owner in perpetuity.

Acting upon this authority, the President established seventeen
forest reservations, with a total estimated area of 17,500,000 acres pre-
vious to 1894. These reservations were established usually upon the
petition of citizens residing in the respective states and after due
examination, the forestry association acting as intermediary.

Meanwhile, the legislation devised for the administration of the
forest reserves, existing or to be established (H. R. 119), specially
urged by Representative McRae, chairman of Public Lands Committee,
failed to be enacted, although in the Fifty-third Congress it was passed
by both houses, but failed in conference. Forest reservation without
forest administration threatened to make the whole policy unpopular.

Urged by the committee of the Forestry Association, which hoped
to secure thereby potent influence for the proposed legislation, Secre-
tary Hoke Smith, of the Department of the Interior, impressed with
the importance of devising some adequate system of protection and
management of the forests, both within the reserves and in the public
domain, under date of February 15, 1896, requested the National
Academy of Sciences, the legally constituted adviser of the Govern-
ment in scientific matters, to investigate and report "upon the inaug-
uration of a rational forest policy for the forested lands of the United

Under date of February 1, 1897, the academy submitted to Secretary
Francis a preliminary report recommending the creation of thirteen
additional forest reserves with a total area of 21,379,840 acres, the
avowed purpose being, by radical action, to bring the matter to a head.


These reserves were proclaimed as recommended, without examination,
by President Cleveland, February 22, 1897. On May 1, 1897, the presi-
dent of the academy submitted his complete report (Senate Doc. No.
105), recommending substantially the legislation so long urged by the
Forestry Association.

A storm of indignation broke out in Congress over the precipitate
action of the President, the repeal of the entire forest reservation
policy was demanded by the western senators and representatives, who
felt insulted by the lack of consideration, and the laboriously achieved
first step threatened to be lost. A compromise was, however, eflEected.

The sundry civil appropriation bill passed June 4, 1897 (see Senate
Doc. No. 102), set aside the proclamations of February 22, 1897, sus-
pending the reservations which were made upon the recommendation
of the committee of the academy until March 1, 1898, ostensibly to
give time for the adjustment of private claims and more carefully to
delimit the reservations. For this purpose an appropriation of $150,000
to survey the reservations under the supervision of the Director of the
Geological Survey was made. The provisos attached to this appropri-
ation embody the most important forestry legislation thus far enacted
by Congress. These provisos had been in the main formulated in the
above-cited bill known as the McRae bill, which was passed by the
House of Representatives and the Senate of the Fifty-third Congress,
without, however, becoming a law ; and again had passed the House in
the Fifty-fourth Congress, it being the legislation advocated by the
American Forestry Association as a first step toward a more elaborate
forest administration of the public timber lands. Excluding minor
items, the law provides that :

All public lands heretofore designated or reserved by the President of the
United States under the provisions of the act approved March third, eighteen hun-
dred and ninety-one, the orders for which shall be and remain in force and effect,
unsuspended, and unrevoked, and all public lands that may hereafter be set aside
and reserved as public forest reserves under said act, shall be as far as practicable
controlled and administered in accordance with the following provisions :

No public forest reservation shall be established, except to improve and pro-
tect the forest within the reservation, or for the purpose of securing favorable
conditions of water flow, and to furnish a. continuous supply of timber for the use
and necessities of citizens of the United States ; but it is not the purpose or intent
of these provisions or of the act providing for such reservations to authorize the
inclusion therein of lands more valuable for the mineral therein or for agricultural
purposes than forest purposes.

For the purpose of preserving the living and growing timber and promoting


the younger growth on forest reservations, the Secretary of the Interior, under
such rules and regulations as he shall prescribe, may cause to be designated and
appraised so much of the dead, matured, or large growth of trees found on such
forest reservations as may be compatible with the proper utilization of the forests
thereon, and may sell the same for not less than the appraised value in such quan-
tities to each purchaser as he shall prescribe, to be used in the state or territory
in which such timber reservation may be situated, respectively, but not for export
therefrom. . . . Such timber, before being sold, shall be marked and desig-
nated, and shall be cut and removed under the supervision of some person ap-
pointed for that purpose by the Secretary of the Interior, not interested in the
purchase or removal of such timber, nor in the emplojrment of the purchaser
thereof. . . .

Upon the recommendation of the Secretary of the Interior, with the approval
of the President, . . . any public lands embraced within the limits of any
forest reservation which, after due examination by personal inspection of a compe-
tent person appointed for that purpose by the Secretary of the Interior, shall be
found better adapted for mining or for agricultural purposes than for forest usage,
may be restored to the public domain. And any mineral lands in any forest reser-
vation which have been or which may be shown to be such, and subject to entry
under the existing mining laws of the United States and the rules and regulations
applying thereto, shall continue to be subject to such location and entry, notwith-
standing any provisions herein contained.

The law authorized the Secretary of the Interior to permit the use
of timber and stone by bona fide settlers, miners, etc., for firewood,
fencing, buildings, mining, prospecting and other domestic purposes.
It protected the rights of actual settlers within the reservations, em-
powered them to build wagon-roads to their holdings, enabled them to
build schools and churches, and provided for the exchange of holdings
for allotments outside the reservation limits.

Under the above enactment the commissioner of the General Land
Office formulated rules and regulations for the forest reservations, and
a survey of the reserves was begun by the United States Geological
Survey, the appropriations for such a survey having been continued
from year to year, afid the date for the segregation of agricultural
lands and their return to the public domain open for entry having been

Under this reorganization of the management of forest reserves
rapid progress was made. Both President Cleveland and President
McKinley were ardent advocates of the reserve policy and set aside
large areas of public lands for this purpose.

With the purpose of the reserves clearly defined by statute and the
rights of settlers and the needs of growing communities being provided


for, the popular opposition rapidly subsided until, in 1905, practically
all opposition had ceased, complaints being confined almost entirely to
details, such as the inclusion within reserves of sections or townships
in regard to whose character some might differ from the conclusions of
the experts of the forest service. These complaints, however, covered
small areas and little, if at all, afEected the general policy and practice
of the Government.

In the act of March 3, 1901, it was provided that forest agents, super-
intendents and supervisors and other persons employed under the
appropriation made upon that date in execution of the provisions of
the act of June 4, 1897, should be selected by the Secretary of the In-
terior only with reference to their fitness and without regard to their
political aflSliations; it also provided that such employees of the de-
partment should aid in the enforcement of the game and fish laws of
the state in which the reserves were located.

As time went on it became more plainly evident that so immense a
business enterprise as the administration of the forest reserves should
be more centralized than had been the case. The reserves had been,
until 1905, under the exclusive control of the Department of the Inter-
ior, notwithstanding that there existed in the Department of Agriculture
a bureau of forestry whose province was to make a special study of all
such subjects as would arise in connection with the administration of
the forest service. The interior department had the forests and the
agricultural department the foresters. The American Forest Congress,
held at Washington, District of Columbia, January 2 to 6, 1905, under
the auspices of the American Forestry Association, recognized the
anomalous conditions and one of the most important acts was the adop-
tion of the following resolution :

Resolved, That we heartily approve the movement for the unification of all the
forest work of the Government, including the administration of the national forest
reserves, in the Department of Agriculture, and urge upon Congress the necessity
for immediate action to that end.

It also adopted resolutions recommending the repeal of the Timber
and Stone Act and the passage of an act as a substitute therefor which
should confer authority to sell timber growing on the public lands when
such sale should be for the public welfare, and also an amendment or
repeal of the lieu land law, so that lieu selections should be confined to
lands of equivalent value and similar conditions as regards forest growth;
also that the law which prohibited the export of forest reserve timber


from the state in which it was grown should be repealed so far as con-
cerned the states in which the export of such timber would be to the
public interest; also the passage of a law which would authorize the
sale of all nonmineral products of the forest reserves, all proceeds of
such sales to be applied to the maintenance of the reserves.

These recommendations bore some immediate fruit, the principal
one, recommending the unification of the forest work of the Govern-
ment, being passed by Congress and signed by President Roosevelt,
February 1, 1905. It was in the following terms:

The Secretary of the Department of Agriculture shall, from and after the pas-
sage of this act, execute, or cause to be executed, all laws affecting the public lands
heretofore or hereafter reserved under the provisions of Section' XXIV of the act
entitled "An Act to Repeal the Timber Culture Laws and for Other Purposes,"
approved March 3, 1901, and an act supplementary thereto and amendatory there-
of, after such lands had been so reserved, respecting such laws as afiEected the sur-
veying, locating, appropriating, entering, relinquishing, conveying, or patenting
of any such lands.

Thus, while title and all necessary duties and rights relating thereto
remained with the interior department, the management of the forest
reserves, as such, was concentrated in the Department of Agriculture as
represented by the Bureau of Forestry,which, after July l,was, by the agri-
cultural appropriation act of March 3, 1905, for the fiscal year ended June
30, 1906, erected into the "Forest Service," to begin with July 1, 1905.

This act provided for the general expenses of the forest service —
"the expenses necessary to protect, administer, improve and extend the
national forest reserves." It gave police power to all persons em-
ployed in the forest reserves and national park service in support of the
laws and regulations relating to them and, further, granted power to
the Department of Agriculture in the following terms :

And the Secretary of Agriculture may, in his discretion, permit timber and
other forest products cut or removed from the forest reserves of the United States,
except the Black Hills Forest Reserve, in South Dakota, and the forest reserves in
Idaho, to be exported from the state, territory, or the District of Alaska, in which
such reserves are respectively situated — for the employment of local and special fis-
cal and other agents, clerks, assistants and other labor required in practical forestry,
in the administration of forest reserves, and in conducting experiments and investi-
gations in the city of Washington and elsewhere ; and he may dispose of photo-
graphic prints at cost and ten per centum additional, and other property or
materials under his charge in the same manner as provided by law for other
bureaus ; for collating, digesting, reporting, illustrating and printing the results of

Online LibraryJames Elliott DefebaughHistory of the lumber industry of America → online text (page 47 of 65)