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REGION SEVEN

Although the major work of the Forest Service was in the West in the early years, by 1914 several National Forests had been established in the East. To administer these lands, the Eastern National Forest District was created in that year. For the next several years the Eastern District operated as little more than an adjunct to the Office of the Chief Forester in Washington, D.C.. The story of how District 7 became a full-fledged District and later a Region will be developed in this Chapter.


Early History

The first headquarters of District 7 were in the same building as the Office of the Chief Forester and his staff in Washington D.C.. Originally, the District included all East Coast states and the entire area west to Arkansas except in the Great Lakes area. The National Forests involved were the Arkansas, Ozark, and Florida National Forests, along with 15 purchase units.

The first District Forester was William L. Hall. He had a small staff made up of two Assistant District Foresters, Franklin W. Reed and H.O. Stabler, a Forest Inspector, K.W. Woodward, and a few clerks and secretaries. In 1918, Franklin Reed became District Forester, serving in that position until 1925. He was succeeded by Evan W. Kelley, who served until 1929 when Joseph C. Kircher became District Forester. In 1930, all Districts became Regions, and in 1934 Robie M. Evans became Regional Forester. In the same year Region 8, the Southern Region, was created out of Region 7. Evans remained as Regional Forester for the unusually long time of 16 years. In 1950 he was replaced by William S. Swingler, who was followed by Charles L. Tebbe in 1953. Hamilton K. Pyles in 1956, and Richard F. Droege in 1962. Droege served until 1966 when Region 7 was abolished and combined with Regions 9 and 8. [1] (See Appendix for complete list of Region 7 Regional Foresters.)

District 7 Goals

Franklin Reed, who was District Forester for seven years and who put his stamp of leadership on the District, explained to Chief Forester William B. Greeley in 1920 what the District was trying to accomplish. On the Florida National Forest and those of the southern Appalachians, the goal was "profitable forestry through intermediate yields." Intermediate type production was about all that was available in Region 7 at that time because the Region encompassed the eastern forests which had been recently cut-over and would not be productive for many years. Reed reasoned that the government owned forest lands of the East were ready to play an important part in furthering forestry in the entire country. These forests could provide valuable knowledge and experience in silviculture and forest management practices. Current policy in the Forest Service was that future supplies of timber would have to come largely from lands that were owned and operated by private capital. Reed contended that the eastern National Forests could become demonstrations of what was right and what was practical in forestry proving grounds where private forest owners could come and see the results of actual field tests.

Reed recognized that it would be many years before the eastern National Forests would produce significant amounts of sawlogs. In the meantime, private forestry needed to be shown how to make business profits out of intermediate yields. Already, the National Forests were demonstrating how this could be done: turpentine production in Florida, acidwood, pulpwood, and ties from thinning and improvement cutting in the southern Appalachians, and the sale of minor forest products to New England wood using industries. Throughout the region income was being obtained from grazing, fish and game, and recreation.

Reed was convinced that if the Forest Service could drive home "the lesson of early, frequent, and profitable cash return," it would convince private forest land owners that they should pay the taxes on their cut-over lands and keep them. Reed was interested in further acquisition of land in the East by the Forest Service in order to bring it under good management. He thought that the principal role to be played by the Forest Service in the East was to provide demonstration forests for forestry in much the same way that the U.S. Department of Agriculture in these years was beginning demonstration farms for agriculture. [2]

Administrative Problems in Washington

When District 7 had its headquarters in Washington, D.C., the District could never completely avoid getting its organization lines entangled with those of the Chief Forester's Office. In 1925, District Forester Evan Kelley felt the need to write a memorandum to the Chief Forester's Office stating his understanding of how the relationship should work: the Eastern District should be "held responsible for results, good or bad," but it should be allowed to operate as much as possible like western Districts—with "straight lines of administrative authority and responsibility." Kelley admitted that to a certain extent this would be impossible as long as the District headquarters remained in Washington, D.C.. [3]

In 1926, although the District Office of District 7 was still located within the offices of the Forest Service in Washington, Forester William B. Greeley moved to separate some of the essential functions so that District 7 would be more autonomous. He notified all Branch Chiefs that effective May 1, 1925, all public relations activities, state cooperative work under the Weeks and Clarke-McNary acts, and forestry extension or educational work in the states of Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas were to be handled under the direction of the District Forester of District 7. [4]

Despite the Forester's desire for greater separation between the Washington Office and District 7 Headquarters, the unique relationship continued. Communication between the Forester and his staff and the Western Districts was by letter, telegraph, rare long-distance telephone calls, and even rarer visits. When the Forester or his assistants wanted to communicate with anyone in District 7, it was a simple matter of stepping down the hall or making a local call. At the top level the District Forester and often members of his staff met regularly with the Service Committee. Over the years, it became common practice for the Branch Chiefs, the Assistant Foresters, and the foresters of the Washington Office to get many of their impressions about what was going on in the field from the District 7 people who were present at the Service Committee meetings and readily available for other meetings and conferences in Washington, D.C.. [5]

In the 1920's, salaries of employees of District 7, having fallen far behind comparable pay in private industry, caused many employees to be dissatisfied and led some to leave. It was the same throughout the Forest Service, but it seems to have been a major problem in District 7. [6] However, the salary situation had improved somewhat by 1928. The Assistant Foresters made $3,200 to $4,600 per year, District Engineers $4,600 to $5,600, Logging Engineers $3,800 to $5,600, Forest Supervisors $3,500 to $5,600, Assistant Supervisors $2,600 to $3,700, conductors of fire prevention traveling projects $2,300 to $2,800, Road and Trail men $1,600 to $3,300, Draftsmen $1,800 to $4,000, Chiefs of Maintenance, $2,600 to $3,100, Assistant Rangers, $1,800 to $2,100, Game Wardens $1,620 to $1,920, Clerks $2,000 to $2,500, Executive Assistants and Top Clerks $1,800 to $3,100. [7]

Because of its location in the East, District 7 was required to deal with certain special situations not required of the other Districts. In 1929, the Forest Service received a request from the Secretary of Agriculture that he be provided a private camp for his own use on the North River on the Shenandoah National Forest. The matter was turned over to R. J. Paxton, who was District Forester of District 7 at that time. Paxton had the arrangements made. The Secretary was provided a camp site, cabin, telephone, toilet and water well at a cost of about $4,100. While these facilities were being built, a tent was provided for the Secretary's use. [8]

Perhaps because they were Washington, D.C.-based, District 7 officials were expected to spend as much time as possible in the field, especially in the warmer months. In the summer of 1916, District Forester Francis Kiefer went on a two month inspection trip through National Forests from North Carolina to New England. This illustrates Kiefer's affinity for the woods and his desire to get out of Washington and into the field that he spent his two week vacation that year in the Allegheny National Forest. That summer, most of the District Chiefs were engaged in field projects, and indeed field work was what the District expected. [9]

In 1930, District 7, like all other Districts, became a Region. At the end of the year, the Regional Forester, Joseph C. Kircher, sent a Christmas message to the Region's employees. He was not encouraged by the situation. It had been a difficult year for the Region because of too many forest fires, and he wanted improvement. Without being specific, he said, "Some of us have made costly mistakes," but he believed that the Region would continue to work until most of the mistakes were corrected. [10]

The Eastern District Digest and its successor, The Courier, were weekly newsletters of Region 7 published in Washington, D.C. and sent to all National Forest Headquarters and Stations. They contained the activities of the Regional Office, the National Forests of the Region, new assignments, deaths and promotions, Civil Service items, technical data, reports on forest fires, plantings, and a broad range of miscellaneous items. Often there were messages from the District Forester. The editorial stance of The Courier was strongly supportive of conservation and the goals of the Forest Service. It was obviously designed to give the Forest Service personnel of the Eastern Region a feeling of unity and of being part of a worthwhile effort. At times, there was an effort at folksiness with humorous cartoons and anecdotes, but generally the publication had a slightly formal tone. [11]

Throughout the 1920's District 7 continued to grow. The National Forest Reservation Commission, on December 12, 1928, authorized purchases in 10 different District 7 National Forests of a total of 37,467 acres at a price of $176,240. [12] In 1920 the Ouachita National Forest of District 7 bought some cut-over land for five dollars per acre and in the first year of government ownership the Forest was able to sell low value forest products for a yield of $40 to $50 per acre. A report of this remarkable business success was made to the Service Committee by the District Forester and the Forest Service leaders there were quite pleased. [13]

The Attempt to Promote Grazing

In 1918 when District 7 included all of the southern National Forests extending as far west as Oklahoma, there was an attempt within the Forest Service to make the "grazing business" pay on eastern National Forests as it had for years on western National Forests. District 7 Forester Franklin W. Reed, who had spent years in the West and was familiar with the grazing business, ordered a study of the potential for grazing in District 7 by W. F. Hill, National Forest Examiner. What Hill found was a situation radically different from that of grazing in the West. Livestock animals were grazing on all of the National Forests in District 7, but not in significant numbers. The smallest herd was about 20 horses and cattle on the Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia. The largest was 3,598 on the Ouachita National Forest, Arkansas.

One finding of Hill's survey was that there had been serious losses of horses and cattle from foraging on poisonous plants in the National Forests. There had also been considerable losses to predators. Hill also reported that the National Forest Supervisors gave little thought to grazing on their Forests and treated it as something which had to be done. Hill concluded that before there could be any significant improvement in grazing on the Forests of District 7, drastic changes would have to be made. Range improvements such as drift and pasture fences would have to be built. Hill was genuinely concerned about the ecological effects of grazing on southern hardwood forests in view of the fact that no studies had been made on what plants had poisoned the livestock in the eastern hardwood forests nor on what grazing might do to the forests.

District Forester Franklin W. Reed was surprised by much of Hill's report. It puzzled him that livestock were killed in the eastern National Forests by predators. He had assumed, like many others, that in the oldest settled part of the country, "one would expect that bears and similar wild beasts would have been eradicated long ago." [14] A second unexpected item in Hill's report was the death by poisoning of livestock grazing in the hardwood forests. Most surprising of all was the lack of knowledge about ecological effects of grazing. Reed decided that before anything else was done, there would have to be "more definite and practical knowledge on the relationship between grazing and silviculture in southern hardwood forests." [15]

District Forester Reed was clearly interested in promoting what he called the "grazing business," but he recognized the imposing obstacles to such a policy. He reported to Forester Henry S. Graves that District 7 was not ready for a full scale program of issuing grazing permits. [16] The Forest Service grazing regulations required the registration of all livestock owners who used the National Forests for grazing except for the National Forests in Arkansas. There, livestock owners were allowed to graze free and without permit 25 head of cattle, 50 hogs, or 75 sheep or goats on the condition that the livestock owners assist in fighting forest fires without charge to the government.

In 1919, Acting Forester Albert F. Potter wrote to Congressman Otis T. Wingo of Arkansas, explaining that the livestock owners of Arkansas had not held up their end of the bargain. Potter said, "This special provision was made in order to meet peculiar local conditions." Yet, the local people had often asked to be paid for fire fighting. The Forest Service then decided to put the Arkansas National Forests on the same basis as all others, and Potter wanted to explain to Wingo why it was being done. [17] A Florida real estate developer named Jonathan B. Perrine advertised in 1919 a development adjacent to the Ocala National Forest. The place was modestly called "Vale of Paradise," and featured stock farms where the buyer could easily run more livestock than his own land would warrant, by allowing them to graze on what he called "the wonderful government preserve." When Forest Service officials in Washington learned of this they were outraged. Acting Forester E. A. Sherman considered Perrine's advertising to be "cunningly worded" to give the impression that National Forest grazing land was free for the taking. He made sure that Perrine and the "Vale of Paradise" land owners received copies of the Forest Service grazing regulations. [18]

The Pisgah Forest had been owned and managed by George W. Vanderbilt for over 20 years before it became a National Forest. The Pisgah National Forest, where Gifford Pinchot was once forester, operated as a forest and game reserve. Over 2,500 deer and bear occupied the Forest, along with an abundant supply of pheasants, wild turkeys, and various other small animals. In 1916, Senator Lee S. Overman of North Carolina inquired of the Forest Service why stock grazing was not being allowed on the Pisgah National Forest. Forester Graves replied that there was not room to allow to graze in the same areas as wild animals. He estimated that only about 100 cattle could safely graze on the Pisgah without damaging the environment, so he would continue to restrict grazing there. [19]

In 1918 on the National Forests of District 7, considerable losses of cattle were sustained from eating the buds of scrub oak trees, which contained excessive amounts of tannic acid. The oak poisoning occurred in a cool spring when grass was slow in coming and the cattle fed on the fresh oak buds. Some 200 cattle were lost on the Shenandoah National Forest alone in 1919. The only preventative measure was to remove the cattle. [20]

In early 1925, the Forester had sent a circular to all Districts stating his desire to "stabilize" the grazing industry throughout the Forest Service. Acting District Forester Clinton Smith of District 7 responded that grazing conditions in District 7 were radically different. Part of the problem was the fact that the eastern and southern forests were newer and, in fact, only about 38 percent of the land within their boundaries was government owned. In the Ozarks, Arkansas, and Florida, the Texas fever had infected cattle to the extent that the livestock business was at a low ebb, thus making it a poor time to impose grazing restrictions in those areas. Except in minor instances, there was no competition for the use of range on the National Forests of District 7, and the introduction of term permits in the area "would not be received favorably by local stockmen." The attitude in the southern and eastern states by stockmen was that permits, rather than being a privilege, as they were considered in the West, were a limitation on rights they had long held. [21]

On another occasion, Smith told the Forester that many parts of District 7 were not really grazing areas, particularly the White Mountain National Forest. Smith stated, "We must of necessity work out our own system of utilization and appraisal subject to the dominant use of the area for growing timber. [22]

Regional Headquarters Moved

By 1941 it had become clear that because of its close connection to the Washington Office, Region 7 needed to have its headquarters moved far enough from Washington, so it could operate as independently as all the other Regions. Accordingly, the Chief Forester obtained authorization from the Secretary of Agriculture to relocate the headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Originally, the new offices were located in a downtown building, which presented parking and transportation problems for employees. In addition, the City of Philadelphia collected an income tax on the employees. Because of these disadvantages, Regional Forester Robbie M. Evans moved the headquarters to the nearby town of Upper Darby, which was just outside of the area in which the City collected the income tax. The new location offered better parking and easier access to transportation facilities. [23] Apparently, the separation of the Regional Offices of Region 7 from the Washington scene achieved the desired result. In the 1940's and 1950's and down to the end of its existence in 1966, Region 7 seems to have operated as independently as the other Regions. Its records now in the Philadelphia Federal Records Center reflect little of the problems which had motivated the separation. [24]

National Forests of Region 7

As of 1932, the Eastern Region included the following National Forests in the locations indicated:

Alabama - Alabama
Allegheny - Northwestern Pennsylvania
Cherokee - Eastern Tennessee
Choctawhatchee - Florida (Transferred to Elgin Air Force Base)
George Washington - Western Virginia
Green Mountain - Vermont
Homochitto - Southwestern Mississippi
Kisatchie - North Central Louisiana
Monongahela - Eastern West Virginia
Nantahala - Southwestern North Carolina
Natural Bridge - Virginia
Ocala-Osceola - Northern Florida
Ouachita - Eastern Oklahoma and Western Arkansas
Ozark - Northwestern Arkansas
Pisgah - Western North Carolina
Shenandoah - Western Virginia (now the George Washington National Forest)
Unaka - North Carolina (transferred entirely to the Pisgah National Forest)
White Mountain - Northern New Hampshire

Many of these National Forests were transferred to other jurisdictions in subsequent reorganizations. Those which eventually came to be a part of the new Eastern Region, Region 9 in 1966, were the White Mountain, Green Mountain, Monongahela, and Allegheny. [25]


National Forest Histories

White Mountain National Forest

Individuals from New Hampshire were some of the earliest and strongest proponents of a National Forest System in the East. Before 1911, Philip Ayres, head of the Society For the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, advocated the creation of the White Mountain Forest Preserve along with the Appalachian Preserve. Congressmen John W. Weeks was another native of New Hampshire who supported the cause even though he made his political career in the neighboring state of Massachusetts.

Within a month of the passage of the Weeks Law in 1911, Congress approved the White Mountain purchase area. A year later, Congress approved another area in Maine and New Hampshire, the Wild River Section. These areas adequately fit the requirements of the Weeks Law, situated as they were at the heads of the Saco and Merrimack Rivers and at the sources of several major tributaries of the Androscoggin and Connecticut Rivers.

The land acquired for the White Mountain National Forest lies in four large counties. Nearly one half of the entire Forest is situated in Grafton County, New Hampshire. The rest is located in Coos and Carroll Counties, New Hampshire, and Oxford County, Maine. The tracts of land purchased varied greatly in size, from a few acres to several thousand, and extended far across a mountain range.

Like nearly all the land in the East which was purchased by the Forest Service, the White Mountain areas were burned-over or cut-over timber lands. At the end of the 19th century, logging camps flourished in the White Mountains. Nearly all the major stream valleys were penetrated by logging railroads that brought timber out of the valleys: the Wild River, the Zealand, the Swift River, the Dry River, the Rocky Branch and the East Branch.

The timber was harvested ruthlessly, with no regard for waste or succeeding Forest regeneration. Slash areas were vast and numerous. According to one local historian and District Ranger Al E. Eckes, "Loggers and local citizenry were not forest fire conscious, the techniques of forest fire suppression were almost unknown, and equipment was not available." To make matters worse, little tax money was being used for the protection of the forest resources at local levels. Any fire that started was likely to become a roaring inferno. [26]

The Kilkenny Fire of 1903 destroyed more than 25,000 acres of spruce-fir before it burned itself out. This fire began in the town of Stark and spread to the towns of Milan, Berlin, Randolph, and Kilkenny. Within a few years, several other large fires had burned additional areas of the White Mountain: the Wild River drainage, Zealand Valley, Rocky Branch Valley, Mt. Lafayette, Baldface Mountain, and others. Such large fires have not occurred since public ownership began in 1911. Some areas of the Kilkenny Fire are still in the "recovery stage" and succession to a hardwood forest type.

As early as 1916, some foresters anticipated the recreational potential of White Mountain Purchase Units for the growing New England population. [27] One of the choice areas was a 4,500 acre tract of land purchased in 1915 from E. Libby and Sons Co. of Gorham, New Hampshire. This tract included mostly cleared parcels making them immediately suitable for buildings and recreation. Another adjoining tract was 30,000 acres purchased from the Berlin Timber-Land Company. These acres lie on the sides of Mt. Madison, Mt. Adams, Mt. Jefferson, and Mt. Martha—the Presidential Range.

Early officials of the White Mountain Purchase Units realized that the Martins Location, with clear openings close to the scenic Presidential Range and a good water supply, would be well suited for recreational development. In 1916 E. D. Fletcher, the Forest Examiner in charge of land purchasing for the White Mountain, surveyed the land. He prepared a map of the Dolly Copp farmstead and adjacent farmsteads on and near Martins Location with a view to their future development as a summer home colony. The farms were divided into about 89 one-acre lots and advertised the next year for $18.00-$25.00 for a one year lease. Long-term leases were also to be made available for 10 or 30 years. Any buildings by the proposed owners would require Forest Service approval. Although similar plans proved successful in other parts of the country, lots on the "Dolly Copp farms" were not sought after. In 1921, the summer home idea was abandoned; the area was opened for tent and trailer camping and has remained in popular use by visitors ever since. [28]

Out of the White Mountain Purchase Unit (1911), the Androscoggin Purchase Unit (1913), and the Kilkenny Purchase Unit (1913), the White Mountain National Forest was established on May 16, 1918, with a total of 950,114 acres. A little over 10,000 acres were dropped from the National Forest System by 1924, and the entire Androscoggen Purchase Unit was dropped in 1928. In 1929, the National Forest Reservation Commission report showed 801,900 acres in New Hampshire and 53,300 in Maine constituting the White National Forest. [29]

Monongahela National Forest

The area which is now the Monongahela National Forest was first settled by whites, mostly Scottish-Irish, in the 1730's. The local Indians, principally the Shawnee, fought back until a final battle in 1774 at Point Pleasant where they were decisively defeated. After this, settlements grew in size, causing more roads to be built. A railroad finally connected West Virginia to the East in 1853.

The natural resources of West Virginia in the 19th century were invaluable. The hills there had produced the greatest stands of hardwood timber in the world. By 1900, as was the case throughout the Appalachians and the Midwest, almost all the valuable timber had been cut.

The widespread denuding of the forest resulted in ecological chaos. In 1907, spring rains caused devastating flooding of the Monongahela River. The rich agricultural land in the river basin was swept downstream, causing an estimated $100 million in damage, an incredible sum for that time. Much of Pittsburgh was flooded, people were killed and homes destroyed. The public and the politicians of the Allegheny region began to realize that the excessive cutting and burning of the forests within the watersheds of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers directly caused the disaster. [30]

At a 1908 Congressional hearing, the State Geologist of West Virginia and members of the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce testified to the need for a National Forest at the headwaters of the Monongahela River in West Virginia. They pointed to the damages caused by the filling and pollution of streams used for water supplies. During the years of Congressional debate, the state legislature of West Virginia passed an Act on February 26, 1909, consenting to the purchase of state lands by the federal government. [31] In 1911 the Weeks Law was passed and land could be purchased. The first land acquired was 7,200 acres in Tucker County, West Virginia, bought from Thomas J. Arnold. [32]

In 1915, the National Forest Reservation Commission reported the following regarding the Monongahela purchase area:

"This area, which lies on the extreme headwater basins of the Monongahela River in the great timber region of the State of West Virginia, contains 682,316 acres, of which 52,610 acres have been approved for purchase. To a large extent the most valuable timber has been removed, and that which remains is held by lumber companies and is not generally available to the Government at present. Lying as it does within the Allegheny Mountains, the area is characterized by broad, rolling plateaus, deeply trenched by valleys. The soil on both ridges and slopes is well adapted to timber production, and once supported a heavy growth of valuable timber. While farming and grazing have been carried on for upwards of 100 years, the land which can be used for these purposes is limited and confined largely to the limestone valleys. Lumber operations have in most cases been followed by severe fires, which have greatly damaged the remaining forest and soil, and on some of the lands protection through many years will be required to produce another stand of timber. The presence of many mills and wood-using plants together with favorable freight rates to the chief markets, gives timber of all classes an excellent value. The forest will be of especial value in its protective influence on the Monongahela River, and the purchases that have been made should be considered as only a start on this important area." [33]

W. A. Hopson, Forest Examiner, was the first to supervise the purchasing of lands in West Virginia from 1916 to 1920. Organized fire protection began in 1916. [34] On April 28, 1920, the Monongahela Purchase Unit was proclaimed the Monongahela National Forest by President Woodrow Wilson. The first Ranger District was the Cheat River District. A second Ranger District, the Greenbriar, was established in June 1922, increasing the total acreage to 166,000 acres. [35]

The passage of the Clarke-McNary Act in 1924 had profound effects on the Monongahela National Forest. Extension of the boundaries was approved by the National Forest Reservation Commission in 1927. Within the new boundaries were the impressive Seneca Rocks, the famous Smoke Holes on the South Branch, and the North Fork of the Potomac River. The second boundary extension was in 1933, bringing the total acreage of the Forest to 261,968, acquired at an average price of $3.43 per acre.

Allegheny National Forest

Most of the land that now comprises the Allegheny National Forest was of little agricultural value. Its greatest resource was its timber, particularly the eastern white pine. As early as 1801, pine timbers were being rafted in huge numbers down the Allegheny River. By 1820, Tionesta Creek, which drains the heartland of the Allegheny National Forest, had 21 sawmills along its banks. Immense rafts of lumber were a common sight each spring on the larger streams. On the Allegheny, rafts were sometimes 70 feet wide and 300 feet long. Often 30 such rafts made up a fleet. [36]

Until 1850, white pine continued to be the leading species produced in the area. Then hemlock began to be cut for its bark, which was used in tanning leather. The hemlock logs were left to rot in the woods. The great exploitation of timber did not really begin until after 1885, when the logging companies and railroads made even the most remote areas accessible and assured a year-round supply of logs for the many new sawmills. The biggest lumber companies during the logging railroad era were Central Pennsylvania Lumber Company, Wheeler and Dusenbury Lumber Company, and T. D. Collins Lumber Company.

Intensive logging left Pennsylvania's forests devastated and the land susceptible to further destruction by fire during the dry seasons and erosion during the rainy months. The "cut-out and get-out" era created the mangled landscape out of which the eastern National Forests were created. Once the Monongahela National Forest was established in 1920, attention was turned to the land at the headwaters of the Allegheny River. The editors of the Pittsburgh Post were early proponents of National Forests in the East. In 1921, the Allegheny River drainage land was surveyed, and the boundary was settled on for the Allegheny Purchase Unit.

Loren L. Bishop transferred from his job as Supervisor of the Choctawhatchee National Forest in Florida to secure land proposals from his new office at the Allegheny Purchase Unit's headquarters in Warren, Pennsylvania. The largest land sales were made with Central Pennsylvania Lumber Company of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, South Penn Oil Co., Wheeler and Dusenbury Lumber Co., T. D. Collins Lumber Co., McCean Chemical Co., Day Chemical Co., Armstrong Forest Co., M. W. Jamison, and Elisha Kane. When Bishop had secured offers on over 200,000 acres, he reported to District Forester Reed that examination and appraisal of the offered land could begin. E. V. Stone, Jr. and Phillip Hodgkins were hired to assist Bishop with this work. [37]

The crew of land examiners toured various lots of stumps and scrub, much of it damaged by recent fires. They chose some sample lots for young tree growth studies. [38] By September 24, 1923, when the Allegheny National Forest was formally established, 739,277 acres had been surveyed and purchased. Ray Conarro was the first District Ranger. In July 1927, the Forest was reorganized into a two Ranger District unit.

The early history of the Allegheny National Forest is marked, as most of the National Forest histories are, by the varied but continuous battle against fire. After a few dry weeks in May 1924, a fire at Loleta was swept out of control by high winds, burning over 10,000 acres in two days. Concurrently, a second fire was spotted at Owls Nest along the Bear Creek. An estimated 2,000 men worked constantly on both fires. Although entire towns were emptied of the food in their stores, lumber camp cooks managed to turn out three meals a day plus a midnight meal for the night shift. The Bear Creek Fire burned over 18,000 acres and had cost more than $1.5 million to control. There were heavy losses of timber, and the Pennsylvania Gas Company suffered extensive damage to gas wells and pipelines. [39]

Green Mountain National Forest

While the Green Mountain National Forest was created on April 25, 1932, it consisted of only about 32,000 acres and shared headquarters with the White Mountain National Forest in Laconia, New Hampshire. It will be described in more detail in Chapter VI.

The following National Forests were created for a short time and then abolished:

Pine Plains National Forest (1925). Located in New York, it was converted from the Pine Plains Military Reservation into a National Forest. In 1927 it was abolished and reverted to National Guard use. It is now known as Fort Drum.

Tobyhanna National Forest (1925). Established from part of the Tobyhanna Military Reservation in Pennsylvania, and rescinded three years later.

Upton National Forest (1925). Also in New York, it was converted from the Upton Military Reservation for two years and then rescinded.

Dix National Forest (1925). Located in New Jersey and made from the Dix Military Reservation, it was returned to the military in 1928 and became Fort Dix.

Savanna National Forest (1925). In Illinois, this Forest became the Bellevue-Savanna National Forest in 1926 and was abolished in 1954.

The permanent effects of the creation of the temporary National Forests in the 1920's were probably not great. Those areas seem to have been military reservations which were tried as National Forests but returned to the military. Mostly, these were lands that had never been in civilian hands.

Reference Notes

1. Fact Sheet prepared by the Office of the Forest Service Historian, Washington, D.C.

2. Franklin W. Reed to the Forester, December 22, 1920, Records of the Division of Engineering, Item 60, NA RG 95.

3. Evan Kelley, "Memorandum for Mr. Kneipp," March 6, 1925, loc. cit.

4. William B. Greeley, "Memorandum to Branch Chiefs," April 25, 1925, Records of the Office of the Chief, Region 7 File, NA RG 95.

5. "Minutes of the Service Committee," 1919-1930, passim, Minutes of the Service Committee, NA, RG 95.

6. Ibid., 1927.

7. Eastern District Digest (District 7 Newsletter), December 1928, Regional Publications File, 1910-41, Region 7 File, NA RG 95.

8. R. J. Paxton to The Forester, June 17, 1929, Records of the Office of the Chief, Region 7 File, NA RG 95.

9. Monthly Report, District Forester, District 7, October 14, 1916, loc. cit., NA RG 95.

10. Eastern District Digest, December 20, 1930, Regional Publications, 1910-41, R7 File, NA RG 95.

11. The Courier, Region 7 Newsletter, 1932 passim, loc. cit.

12. Eastern District Digest, December 1928, loc. cit.

13. "Minutes of the Service Committee", 1920.

14. Franklin W. Reed, Memorandum For Mr. Barnes," n.d., Box 249, NA RG 95.

15. Ibid.

16. Franklin W. Reed to the Forester, December 11, 1918, loc. cit.

17. Albert. F. Potter to Otis Wingo, February 25, 1919, loc. cit.

18. Ed A. Sherman to Addison T. Smith, January 8, 1919, and accompanying documents, loc. cit.

19. Henry S. Graves to Lee S. Overman, December 18, 1916, loc. cit.

20. Will C. Barnes to District Forester, June 28, 1918, loc. cit.

21. Clinton Smith to the Forester, January 31, 1925, loc. cit.

22. Clinton Smith to the Forester, May 7, 1924, loc. cit.

23. Gordon Marshall, Interview, December 13, 1986.

24. General impression of researcher, RG 95, PRC.

25. The Courier, February 6, 1932, NA RG 95.

26. Al E. Eckes, "The White Mountain National Forest - Creation and Operation" (White Mountain National Forest, n.d), pp. 23-24.

27. Chronology, p. 44.

28. Al E. Eckes, "White Mountain National Forest," 1953, pp. 40-4 l.

29. Harold P. McConnell, "Historical Summary of Land Adjustment Service Land Adjustment and Classification, Region 9, 1929-1962" (Eastern Region, ca. 1962), Regional Office Files.

30. Fifty Year History of the Monongahela National Forest, Bi-Centennial History, 1970, (Monongahela National Forest, n.d), pp. 1-3.

31. Ibid., p. 4.

32. Ibid., p. 7.

33 Ibid., p. 6.

34. Ibid., p. 7.

35. Ibid., p. 10.

36. Larry Stotz, "Cut Out and Get Out! The Story of Early Logging on Allegheny National Forest," Special Fiftieth Anniversary Series, Article #4 (Allegheny National Forest, 1973).

37. Raymond Conarro, "Birth of a National Forest: The Labor That Produced the Allegheny," Special Fiftieth Anniversary Series, loc. cit.

38. Raymond Conarro, "You Can't Help But Miss It! Early Land Acquisition on Allegheny National Forest," Special Fiftieth Anniversary Series, loc. cit. p. 1 .

39. Roy A. Marker, "Wildfire! A Saga of Early Fire Control Methods and Communications Systems on the Allegheny National Forest," Special Fiftieth Anniversary Series, Article #5, loc. cit.



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