The Origins of the National Forests
A Centennial Symposium
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Wildlife, Conservation, and the First Forest Reserve
John F. Reiger
Ohio University, Chillicothe

In 1975 the writer published American Sportsmen and the Origins of Conservation, which argued that "sportsmen"—those who hunted and fished for pleasure rather than commerce or necessity—were the spearhead of a conservation movement originating in the 1870s. With the University of Oklahoma Press's publication of a revised, paperback edition in 1986, the book has become available to a new audience interested in the roots of environmental concern. This paper, "Wildlife, Conservation, and the First Forest Reserve," is an amended version of one small part of the thesis contained in that monograph.

Although their first concern was always wildlife, sportsmen-conservationists of the late nineteenth century quickly perceived that their many efforts in behalf of game mammals, birds, and fishes was a solution to only half the problem. It would do little good to conserve wildlife if its habitat continued to shrink, for eventually both would be gone. That part of the environment most immediately threatened was the forest.

Possessing an Old World code, [1] sportsmen saw forests not as a challenge to the American mission of progress, but as one of the essential settings for that important activity called sport. Free from the prejudices of the frontiersman, farmer, and logger, sportsmen viewed trees as something more than a hiding place for Indians, an obstacle to ploughing, or a source of financial gain. Woodlands were both the home of their quarry and the aesthetic backdrop for that avocation which many considered more rewarding—in a noneconomic sense—than their vocation.

As in the case of wildlife depletion, the appearance in the early 1870s of the first national sporting periodicals, American Sportsman, Forest and Stream, and Field and Stream, helped focus sportsmen's anger over woodland eradication and unite them against it. [2] When American Angler appeared early in the next decade, another voice for forest conservation was added to the sporting press. Like the other journals, American Angler endeavored to keep its readers informed of the most up-to-date information on "natural history," and that included the disastrous effects of unregulated logging and pulpmilll discharge on rivers and their inhabitants. In addition to attacks on water pollution, the paper also explained in detail how uncontrolled lumbering ruined fishing waters by causing such habitat changes as bank erosion and higher water temperatures. [3] Like the other periodicals, American Angler illustrated a remarkable understanding of ecological principles.

Of the four major papers, American Sportsman and Forest and Stream proved to be the most concerned with forest conservation. Founded in 1871, the former journal repeatedly lamented the extent and ramifications of woodland destruction, as a solution to the problem, it suggested that European forestry techniques be adapted to American timberlands. [4]

When Forest and Stream was founded in 1873, it quickly proved that it was even more dedicated to forest conservation than its predecessor. Editor Charles Hallock stated every week in Forest and Stream's subtitle that his paper was "Devoted to . . . Preservation of Forests," and he lived up to that claim by frequently calling attention to the depletion of timberlands and the need for their protection. [5] Hallock's interest in this issue may have been spawned, in part at least, by George Bird Grinnell. Although Grinnell did not join the paper's staff until 1876, he was associated closely with it from the beginning as a writer, financial supporter, and natural history adviser. Since his graduation from Yale in 1870, he had also kept in touch with scientific developments through his close association with Othniel C. Marsh, a sportsman and paleontologist who was then one of the university's most prominent faculty members. Grinnell assisted Marsh on his 1870 fossil-collecting expedition to the Far West, entered Yale's Sheffield Scientific School in early 1874, and received a Ph.D. under Marsh in 1880. [6]

Grinnell first concentrated on defining "sportsmanship" and conserving wildlife after becoming Forest and Stream's editor and owner in 1880. It did not take long, however, for him to understand that more was also needed on the subject of forest conservation. In April 1882, therefore, he began his editorial drive to transform the nation's orientation toward its woodlands. Years earlier, Hallock had pointed the way by drawing attention to how rapidly the timberlands were being depleted and by suggesting Europe's system of managed forests as an alternative to the wasteful methods of American lumbering. But Grinnell went far beyond his predecessor in publicizing the European science of forestry.

In "Spare the Trees," the opening editorial of his campaign in behalf of the forests, he manifested awareness of the interrelationship of all natural resources. "If we have the most perfect code of game and fish laws which it is possible to devise," he wrote, "and have them ever so thoroughly enforced, what will they avail if there is no cover for game nor water for fish?" Employing the ideology of the business-farm community, he called for Americans to use their "proverbial thriftiness and forecast" to achieve "the proper and sensible management of woodlands." The forests must be seen as a "crop . . . which is slow in coming to the harvest, but it is a sure one, and is every year becoming a more paying one." In addition, "it breaks the fierceness of the winds, and keeps the springs from drying up, and is a comfort to the eye. . . . Under its protecting arms live and breed the grouse, the quail and the hare, and in its shadowed riles swim the trout. . . ." Although the lesson was a simple one, it had not yet been learned by the American people: "No woods, no game; no woods, no water; and no water, no fish." [7]

Ever since the early days of Forest and Stream, the weekly's editors had been interested in the possible applicability to American conditions of European developments in sport, natural history, and science. Particularly significant in this regard was the Europeans' attitude toward their woodlands. In an 1883 editorial, "Forestry," Grinnell reported: "In parts of Europe forestry is a science, and officers are appointed by the governments to supervise the forests; and only judicious thinning of young trees and cutting of those which [have] attained their growth is allowed. . . ." He pointed out that the system was used not only on government lands but on private holdings as well, "the theory being that the individual will pass away, but the forest must remain forever." He contrasted the continental emphasis on continuous resource management with the situation existing in America, where the sovereignty of private ownership allowed an individual to "buy a tract of land in the great water producing region of the state and for his own pecuniary benefit render it forever sterile." Grinnell suggested that laws regulating forest use, like those already existing in Europe, should be immediately passed in the United States. As in the case of game legislation, he believed that statutes protecting the forests would have democratic results and "work well for the people at large." [8]

In 1884 Forest and Stream stepped up its campaign to educate the American people in the principles and methods of forestry. In March Grinnell used the recent floods of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers as illustrations of "the terrible effects of our criminal waste of woodlands." He asked for massive reforestation along the rivers' banks and the creation of state and federal forestry commissions. Later that spring, he went further and demanded that the national government immediately appoint "A Competent Forestry Officer," a "trained professional" to lead in "the inauguration of a system of forest conservancy." In the five-part series, "Forests and Forestry" (1884-85), Grinnell consistently used almost the entire front page of his weekly to explain the fundamentals of the European science. He argued that forestry's concepts were applicable to every country. Although American trees and soils were not exactly like those in Germany and France, the continent's expert foresters were "capable of adapting general principles to changed conditions." And "pending the theoretical and practical training of young Americans," these foreign professionals should staff the forestry bureau. [9] Under their direction, it could become an animated, functioning department.

At the same time that Grinnell, through Forest and Stream, was beating the drum for general forest conservation, he was also leading a campaign that aimed, first, to define the meaning of Yellowstone Park for the American people and, second, to establish for it an effective administration. The 1872 act creating the reservation had for its object the protection of a natural "museum" of "wonders"—geysers, hot springs, and canyons. The park was not intentionally preserved either as a wilderness or a game refuge. The only concern of those few interested in the area was that the "curiosities" be made available to the public as soon as possible. [10] Instead of believing that the park should remain in a pristine state, most of these individuals assumed that it would soon be "improved" by a multitude of hotels, roads, and other conveniences.

During the rest of the 1870s and the very early '80s, most of Congress, as well as the general public, virtually forgot about the park. Because of its inaccessibility, there was at first little danger to it outside of the depredations of commercial hunters, who were killing all the reserve's big game for the money their hides would bring in markets to the east.

But by 1881, the tracks of the Northern Pacific Railroad had approached the vicinity of the reservation. "Soon after," Grinnell recalled in his autobiography, "its [the railroad's] President, . . . [Henry] Villard, took out a special train carrying a number of guests—railroad men, capitaists, and scientific men—to show the public the country traversed by his road." And "among those who then visited the Park were some . . . who saw its possibilities as a pleasure resort, and realized that the privileges offered to lessees through the Act establishing the Park would have a money value to those who might secure them." [11] Soon these men would begin their efforts to exploit the reserve, inspiring Grinnell to launch a campaign aimed at protecting the park by clarifying its status.

In large measure, Grinnell's crusade was the outgrowth of his experience in the West. Because the boundaries of Yellowstone Park were drawn with little real knowledge of the terrain, a number of expeditions were sent into the region to see exactly what Congress had, in fact, preserved. One of these was an 1875 reconnaissance led by engineer William Ludlow. As the expedition's official naturalist, Grinnell became thoroughly familiar with the park and its problems, the most obvious of which was hide hunting. [12]

Although all species of big game were being systematically slaughtered, he was most alarmed by the destruction of the buffalo, in this, their last stronghold. For seventy years, the dream of western expansion had fed on buffalo meat, and the animal had become the symbol of the new land, the game Old World aristocrats and New World patricians—Grinnell and Theodore Roosevelt among them—had to shoot, as a kind of initiation rite into frontier Americanism. Now, with the establishment of Yellowstone National Park, there appeared to be a possibility that the bison might be preserved, though the founders of the park had not conceived of it as a game refuge. [13]

Although Grinnell's conception of the national park as a wildlife preserve was articulated as early as 1877, [14] it took several years for him to realize that if his idea were to become a reality, something more was required than sporadic protests. On December 14, 1882, he provided that "something more" by launching a crusade in Forest and Stream to define the status of Yellowstone National Park and protect it from commercialization. Only after a continuous campaign of a dozen years would his goal be achieved.

The first editorial, "Their Last Refuge," covered the whole front page and was both a plea for the buffalo and a detailed analysis of the deficiencies in the act creating the reserve. He pointed out that the statute put the destiny of the reservation completely in the hands of the secretary of the interior. This official had the power to grant leases to private persons and corporations for the purpose of building roads, hotels, and other facilities, and to decide what regulations should be devised for the park. With regard to wildlife, only their "wanton destruction" with "the purpose of merchandise or profit" was specified as one of the offenses the secretary was to "provide against." [15]

Grinnell's editorial made it clear that the vagueness of the act subjected it to a number of interpretations and left huge loopholes for those who sought to use the reserve for their own profit. An example was the section on wildlife, which seemed to suggest that individuals or corporations could kill all the game they wished, just so long as they were not too "wanton." The greatest deficiency, of course, was that the act provided no machinery for carrying out any regulations the secretary of the interior might promulgate. As Grinnell later recalled, the secretary's rules "soon came to be regarded as a dead letter. Anyone was at liberty to cut down the forest, kill the game or carry away natural curiosities, and all these things were constantly done...." [16]

He cogently summed up the problem in the 1882 editorial: "This 'great and glorious government' has again stultified itself by enacting laws without supplying the means to enforce them. The Park is overrun by skin-hunters, who slaughter the game for the hides, and laugh defiance at the government. . . ." In fact, "the curse of politics has entered into the management of the reservation," with "the little money appropriated for its maintenance" being "wasted by incompetent and ignorant officials. It is leased to private parties, who desire to make a peep show of its wonders." [17]

Grinnell would soon have aid in his efforts in behalf of American forests in general and Yellowstone Park in particular. The establishment of the Boone and Crockett Club, named after two of America's most famous hunters, would be that help. After Grinnell became friends with Theodore Roosevelt in the mid-1880s, he emphasized to him the need for an effective sportsmen's society, to do for the larger mammals what the Audubon Society—founded by Grinnell in 1886—was doing for birds. Roosevelt agreed. Accordingly, in December 1887, the latter invited a number of his big-game hunting friends and relatives to a dinner party in Manhattan at which the Boone and Crockett Club was born. [18]

It was probably Grinnell who first pointed out that some provision should be made for club membership for those who were not big-game hunters but who had worked for wildlife preservation. Examples were his two friends, geologist Arnold Hague and Supreme Court lawyer William Hallett Phillips; the latter was also an enthusiastic angler. They had labored for Yellowstone Park, which entitled them to membership, even though neither man had killed any big game. [19]

After some consideration, it was decided that nonhunters could be elected to associate or honorary membership. [20] In time its members would include many of the most famous and respected men in America, individuals like Henry L. Stimson, Henry Cabot Lodge, Elihu Root, Owen Wister, Wade Hampton, Gifford Pinchot, and many others. As a result, the organization's influence would prove far in excess of any ordinary association of similar size. In fact, the Boone and Crockett Club—and not the Sierra Club—was the first private organization to deal effectively with conservation issues of national scope.

As is usually the case, the work of the organization was accomplished by only a small number of members, the rest being content merely to attend the annual dinner. Of these active members, Grinnell was the most influential. He formulated almost every idea the club came to stand for; he brought up most of the issues it became involved in; he did a great part of the work on the Boone and Crockett book series on hunting and conservation; and he effectively used Forest and Stream as the "natural mouthpiece of the club." [21] In 1896 George S. Anderson, then superintendent of Yellowstone National Park and a regular member of the Boone and Crockett Club, expressed the belief that without Grinnell, the club could not continue to exist. And in a letter to Grinnell a year later, Roosevelt acknowledged him as one of the two or three "leaders of our organization." [22]

A subsequent director of the society, the noted explorer and naturalist of Alaska, Charles Sheldon, went so far as to declare: "The Boone and Crockett Club . . . has been George Bird Grinnell from its founding. All its books, its work, its soundness, have been due to his unflagging work and interest and knowledge." Because the statement was substantially correct, its significance lies in the fact that some of the most important figures in the first conservation movement—including its two future leaders, Roosevelt and Pinchot—were members of the club. "When Theodore Roosevelt became president," former secretary of the interior Stewart Udall has pointed out, "the Boone and Crockett wildlife creed . . . became national policy." Forests and water could be included in that "creed," for in time the club took as its basic approach Grinnell's idea that all renewable resources benefited from continuous, efficient administration. [23]

The club's interest in the conservation of big game naturally turned it toward Yellowstone National Park. Describing his early relationship with Roosevelt, Grinnell later recalled that "the original attempt by a certain group of men to secure for their own profit control of all the important attractions of the park had been defeated before I knew him well, but as soon as he understood about the conditions in Yellowstone Park, he gave time and thought to considering its protection." [24] It would not be long before he joined Grinnell, Phillips, and Hague in actively working to establish a "government" for the park that would adequately protect its wildlife, especially the big game. With the arrival of 1891, the leaders of Boone and Crockett galvanized themselves for a new effort in behalf of the Yellowstone. The club's annual dinner was going to be held on January 14 at the Metropolitan Club in Washington, D.C., and Roosevelt wanted to use the occasion to emphasize to government officials the need for action. At the time, Grinnell was so busy with Forest and Stream matters that he thought he would be unable to attend. He changed his mind only after receiving an urgent plea from Roosevelt. The dinner was kept informal, [25] even though Roosevelt had invited a gallery of notables. As president of the Boone and Crockett, he presided over the table. On his left sat Secretary of War Redfield Proctor, and on his right, Speaker of the House Thomas B. Reed. Grinnell sat opposite Roosevelt, with Secretary of the Interior John W. Noble on one side and Samuel Pierpont Langley, physicist and secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, on the other. A few members of Congress, including Henry Cabot Lodge, as well as Arnold Hague, and William Hallett Phillips, also attended. [26]

At a business meeting beforehand, Grinnell and Roosevelt drew up a series of resolutions that were read at the dinner: "Resolved, That the Boone and Crockett Club, speaking for itself and hundreds of [sportsmen's] clubs and associations throughout the country, urges the immediate passage by the House of Representatives of the Senate bill for protection and maintenance of the Yellowstone National Park. Resolved, That this club declares itself emphatically opposed to the granting of a right of way to the Montana Mineral Railroad or to any other railroad through the Yellowstone National Park." [27]

After Roosevelt and Phillips made short speeches on the requirements of the reservation, one of the congressmen asked a number of questions that were answered by Hague and Roosevelt. "We then got to the subject of . . . large game," Grinnell reported to his friend Archibald Rogers, "and Langley, in response to a request from Roosevelt, said that he believed from what he had heard, that the large game of the Continent would be practically exterminated except in such preserves as the Yellowstone National Park, within the life of the present generation of men." The secretary had probably obtained this viewpoint from Grinnell. The two had been in communication on wildlife matters for some time, and Langley had already incorporated at least one of Grinnell's suggestions. This was his idea for having the National Zoological Park, which the Smithsonian controlled, acquire the Yellowstone reserve's surplus bears and other unwanted predators, rather than destroying them as formerly. [28]

After the secretary had made his comment, "Roosevelt . . . asked me to say something of the way in which game had disappeared in my time," Grinnell continued in his letter to Rogers, "and I told them a few 'lies' about buffalo, elk, and other large game in the old days." Clearly, Grinnell's long and varied experience in the primitive West had entitled him to Roosevelt's esteem. [29] When he finished his description of "the old days," a general conversation followed until about eleven o'clock, when the group broke up. [30]

Grinnell felt that the dinner had been a success, because "we excited a real interest," and he was now "more hopeful than . . . for two or three years." Despite his optimism, the railroad lobby proved successful in keeping the House from considering the Senate bill before the end of the session. [31]

In A Brief History of the Boone and Crockett Club (1910), Grinnell explains that "the attempt to exploit the Yellowstone National Park for private gain in a way led up to the United States forest reserve system as it stands to-day," because "as a natural sequence to the work that they [the club's leaders] had been doing" in regard to Yellowstone Park "came the impulse to attempt to preserve western forests generally." Since their original concern had been the park, it might seem odd that concrete results on the forestry question were obtained three years before the passage of the 1894 Yellowstone Park Protection Act. The reason for this was simply that the battle over the park took place in a public arena against determined western opposition, while the results in forestry were achieved by circumventing the popular forum. Nevertheless, the interrelationship between the two issues is shown by the fact that the first forest reserve President Harrison chose to set aside in 1891 was the Yellowstone National Park Timberland Reserve adjacent to the national preserve. "In essence," says one observer, "the Yellowstone became the birthplace for both the national parks and national forests." [32] He might have added that the systems for managing both were created largely by members of the Boone and Crockett Club.

As in the case of Yellowstone National Park, Grinnell led the club on the forestry issue. The editorial effort he began in 1882 to transform the nation's orientation toward its woodlands continued unabated through the decade. [33] The central thrust of these sophisticated but simply stated expositions was that "the Federal government must husband its resources and place them under systematic management," the purpose of which was exploitation without waste. Grinnell emphasized, in fact, that not to use resources was in itself wasteful: "The proposal to lock up the forests and prevent all further utilization of their products is one that cannot be entertained." [34] The latter statement was made in 1888 and matches exactly the policy that would be established in future years by two other Boone and Crockett members, Gifford Pinchot and Theodore Roosevelt.

While Grinnell was acting in his usual capacity as the instigator of public opinion, the Supreme Court lawyer, William Hallett Phillips, was busy in his customary role as a behind-the-scenes negotiator. Like others in the Boone and Crockett Club, he had arrived at his interest in forestry via his involvement in the crusade over the Yellowstone. "In 1887 Phillips . . . had succeeded in interesting Mr. [Lucius Q. C.] Lamar, Secretary of the Interior, and a number of Congressmen, in the forests, and gradually all these persons began to work together. At the close of the first Cleveland Administration, while no legislation had been secured looking toward forest protection, a number of men in Washington had come to feel an interest in the subject." [35]

In 1889 President Benjamin Harrison appointed John W. Noble of Missouri secretary of the interior. As in the case of his predecessors, Noble received the "treatment" from the directors of the Boone and Crockett as soon as he entered office. This consisted of personal visits from Phillips, Hague, and Roosevelt, and invitations to the club's dinners. But the one all-important difference was that Noble, unlike his forerunners, was highly receptive to the organization's expression of concern for the forests.

Why this should be true is not entirely clear. Although Noble was later an associate member of the Boone and Crockett Club, it is not known whether he ever hunted for recreation or accepted the environmental obligation inherent in the code of the sportsman. But it is known that he believed field sports helped individuals who pursued them to make a success of their lives, [36] and this, of course, is one of the basic themes of the sporting tradition.

Regardless of whether Noble was a sportsman himself, he seemed to enjoy the attentions of the prestigious Boone and Crockett Club, and he was in close touch with at least two of its members, Phillips and Grinnell, by 1889. In fact, the latter believed that it was Phillips, who was already a good friend of the secretary of the interior, who was most responsible for involving Noble in the effort to preserve western forests. [37] It would seem that Forest and Stream's editor knew what he was taking about, as he worked with both men in behalf of the same end.

Grinnell's relationship with Noble began in the spring of 1889. In addition to his conservation work, Grinnell was also a dedicated champion of the Native American. After trying for months to oust an Indian agent who was exploiting the Blackfeet of northwestern Montana, he suddenly achieved success when the new secretary of the interior interceded personally in the affair after being alerted by Phillips. [38] From that time to the end of Noble's term in office, the secretary and Forest and Stream's editor were in frequent communication on conservation matters and Indian affairs.

Following the position advocated earlier by Forest and Stream, Noble came to agree that in order to save the timberlands, they would have to be withdrawn from the public domain. The means for accomplishing this end were provided on March 3, 1891, when "An Act to Repeal Timber Culture Laws and for other Purposes . . ." was signed by President Harrison. Pushed through at the close of the Fifty-First Congress, the legislation was an effort to revise the land laws of the United States. Those who worked hardest among the members of Congress to have the bill approved were Bernhard Fernow, chief of the Division of Forestry, and to a lesser degree, Hague and Phillips. [39]

The granting of power to the president to set aside timberlands was not an obvious part of the act, but the last of twenty-four sections, being "inserted in [the] Conference Committee in the last hour of Congress by the insistence of Mr. Noble, that he would not allow the bill to be signed by the President unless the clause was added." Grinnell later recalled that it "had little or nothing to do with the title, or indeed the purpose of the bill...." [40]

Soon after the passage of the bill, Hague "saw Secretary Noble and [suggested] . . the setting aside of the Yellowstone Park Forest Reserve adjoining the Park. . . ." His aim, as Grinnell explained at the time, was "protection for the territory south and east of the Park, which it has so long been hoped might be added to the reservation." Noble liked Hague's idea, but before acting, he wanted to be sure there were no hidden pitfalls of a legal nature. To resolve this question, Hague returned the next day with William Hallett Phillips, Noble's friend and adviser, and all three discussed the legal question. After dismissing all doubts, Noble carried the project to the president, who promised to give the order. The dimensions of the proposed tract were discussed in several conferences between Noble and Hague and, finally, on March 30, 1891, President Harrison issued the proclamation setting aside the first forest reserve. Calling the tract the Yellowstone National Park Timberland Reserve, Harrison defined its boundaries in exactly the same language Hague had used in his proposal to Noble. [41]

Though this land would be administered differently than the national park, it eventually obtained real protection when the Forest Service eliminated wasteful logging and uncontrolled fires, the two factors which had previously threatened its existence. In one sense, therefore, Harrison's proclamation was the culmination of the effort Grinnell had begun in 1882 to have Yellowstone Park extended on the east and south, an effort which Phillips and Hague had later taken up.

The Yellowstone reserve contained 1,239,040 acres, all in Wyoming, and was the inauguration of the national forest system, totaling today about 191 million acres. Shortly after its announcement, Roosevelt, representing the Boone and Crockett Club, endorsed the action and commended Harrison and Noble. Grinnell did the same in Forest and Stream and urged the public to accept the reserve and the policy it represented. Some years later, Noble would gratefully acknowledge the aid Grinnell and "his very popular and influential paper" had given him, before and after the forest reserve system was initiated. [42]

Though historians have only recently begun to pay attention to the role of sportsmen and their allies in the making of the original conservation movement, the members of the Boone and Crockett Club were central to the establishment of the first forest reserve. And the goal of conserving wildlife, especially big game, proved to be at least as important an objective as watershed protection.


1. John F. Reiger, American Sportsmen and the Origins of Conservation (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986), chapter 1.

2. The interest shown in this subject by American Sportsman, Forest and Stream, and American Angler will be documented shortly. For Field and Stream, see, for example, "Game—Its Extinction: The Cause, and the Remedy," Chicago Field (later name of Field and Stream), August 3, 1878, IX, 392; "Why the Prairies are Treeless," Ibid., January 29, 1881, XIV, 394; "Tree Planting," American Field (later name of Field and Stream), July 21, 1883, XX, 49; "A Public Park," Ibid., December 22, 1883, XX, 577; "State School of Forestry," Ibid., July 16, 1884, XXII, 49; and "Nurseries for Game," Ibid., October 24, 1885, XXIV, 385.

3. American Angler, May 17, 1884, V, 310; Ibid., May 24, 1884, V, 328; Ibid., December 20, 1884, VI, 386; "Destruction of the Trout and Trout Streams of Central New York," Ibid., January 1, 1887, XI, 8-9; "How Shall We Preserve Our Water Supply?" Ibid., March 5, 1887, XI, 145-46.

4. "Forest Legislation," American Sportsman, October 25, 1873, III, 56; "Foreign Sporting Notes," Ibid., March 7, 1874, III, 361; "Wood and Forest," Ibid., November 21, 1874, V, 120; Ibid., March 13, 1875, V, 377; "Our Trees," Ibid., March 20, 1875, V, 392; "Forest Preservation in Europe," The Rod and the Gun (later name of American Sportsman), July 10, 1875, VI, 231; A. S. Collins, "Decrease of Brook Trout in the United States," Ibid., August 7, 1875, VI, 280; "Waste Land and Forest Culture," Ibid., March 18, 1876, VII, 390; "Are We Drying Up?" Ibid., January 20, 1877, IX, 246.

5. The very first issue of the paper (August 14, 1873) stated: "For the preservation of our rapidly diminishing forests we shall continually do battle. Our great interests are in jeopardy . . . from the depletion of our timber lands by fire and axe." For some other examples of Hallock's interest in the subject, see "Woodman Spare that Tree," Forest and Stream, August 21, 1873, I, 26; "The Preservation of Our Forests," Ibid., September 4, 1873, I, 56; "The Adirondack Park," Ibid., September 11, 1873, I, 73; "What the Germans Say About Wood Cutting," Ibid., September 18, 1873, I, 89; Ibid., September 25, 1873, I, 101; "The Waste of Timber," October 2, 1873, I, 121; "The State Park," Ibid., October 9, 1873, I, 136-37; Ibid., October 16, 1873, I, 149; Ibid., November 27, 1873, I, 244; "The Forests and their Effects on Man," Ibid., December 25, 1873, I, 321; "Adirondack Park and the Preservation of Our Forests," Ibid., March 19, 1874, II, 88.

6. Grinnell became natural history editor in 1876. For a detailed discussion of his early career, see John F. Reiger, ed., The Passing of the Great West: Selected Papers of George Bird Grinnell (Norman, OK: 1985); first published in 1972. Based on Grinnell's previously unpublished "Memoirs," which trace his life from 1849 to 1883, this work blends his words with the editor's commentary to paint a picture of the virgin West's last years.

7. Forest and Stream, April 13, 1882, XVIII, 204.

8. Ibid., July 19, 1883, XX, 481.

9. "Unheeded Lessons," Ibid., March 27, 1884, XXII, 161; May 15, 1884, XXII, 301; "Forests and Forestry V," Ibid., January 22, 1885, XXIII, 502.

10. Roderick Nash, Wilderness and the American Mind (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982), 108-13; "The Yellowstone National Park," Scribner's Monthly, IV (May, 1872), 121, cited in Nash, 113.

11. Grinnell, "Memoirs," 94, George Bird Grinnell Papers, Yale University.

12. John Ise, Our National Park Policy: A Critical History (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1961), 21-22; Reiger, ed., The Passing of the Great West, 117-19.

13. For Grinnell's buffalo hunting, see Ibid., 58-72; also, see Grinnell's "Last of the Buffalo," Scribner's Magazine, XII (September, 1892), 267-86, for his poetic tribute to the vanished multitudes. The weathered skulls of the bull and cow bison he describes picking up on the prairie, "to keep as mementoes of the past," are on exhibit in the Birdcraft Museum of the Connecticut Audubon Society, Fairfield; Roosevelt first went west to shoot a trophy buffalo; James B. Trefethen, Crusade for Wildlife: Highlights in Conservation Progress (Harrisburg, PA: 1961), 2.

14. Reiger, American Sportsmen, 99-100.

15. Forest and Stream, XIX, 382.

16. Ibid., 382-83; Grinnell, "Memoirs," 95.

17. Forest and Stream, XIX, 382-83.

18. Grinnell to T. E. Hofer, January 15, 1919, Letter Book, 269, Grinnell Papers, Yale University; Reiger, American Sportsmen, 118-20.

19. Grinnell to W. H. Phillips, June 5, 1889, Letter Book, 354; Grinnell to Arnold Hague, February 22, 1888, Ibid., 297; Hague, however, applauded the "healthy, manly sport" of hunting and relished eating the game others killed! see Hague, "The Yellowstone Park as a Game Reservation," in Theodore Roosevelt and George Bird Grinnell, eds., American Big-Game Hunting (New York, 1901), 257; and Joseph P. Iddings, "Memorial of Arnold Hague," Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, XXIX (1918), 45. The former work first appeared in 1893.

Phillips was "a resident of Washington [DC], a Supreme Court lawyer, with a large acquaintance there." Because of this position, and the fact that he was a member of "one of the oldest and best-known Washington families," he was "tuned in" to all the latest legislative and political developments; Forest and Stream, May 15, 1897, XLVIII, 381; and Grinnell to N. P. Langford, July 25, 1905, Letter Book, 742-43. Besides being Grinnell's close friend, he was also his lawyer; Grinnell to W. H. Phillips, September 3, 1888, Ibid., 476-77.

20. Because of Grinnell's influence, Hague and Phillips in fact became regular members, but they seem to have been the only nonhunters to receive that honor. And despite the rule that [...missing text...]

21. Grinnell, ed., A Brief History of the Boone and Crockett Club With Officers, Constitution and List of Members for the Year 1910 (New York, 1910), 20. After talking with Grinnell's co workers in the Boone and Crockett, a later member claimed: "His [Grinnell's] sane judgement guided the [Boone and Crockett] Executive Committee" and "in facing every problem that confronted the Club throughout its entire life, the court of last resort always seemed to rest within the mind of this one man. No course of action was determined until his judgment had been sought and no conclusions reached until his opinion had been given"; John P. Holman, "A Tribute to George Bird Grinnell," in "Boone and Crockett Club Officers, By-Laws, Treasurer's Report and List of Members for the Years 1938-1939" (July 1939), 29-30, Boone and Crockett Club Papers, Club Headquarters, Dumfries, Virginia.

22. Anderson to Grinnell, January 29, 1896, Boone and Crockett Club Papers; Roosevelt to Grinnell, November 30, 1897, Theodore Roosevelt Papers, Library of Congress, Series 2. Also, see Roosevelt to William Austin Wadsworth, February 4, 1898, in Elting E. Morison and John M. Blum, eds., The Letters of Theodore Roosevelt (Cambridge, MA: Oxford University Press, 1951-1954), I, 768.

23. Sheldon to W. Redmond Cross, May 3, 1926, Boone and Crockett Club Papers; emphasis in the original; Udall, The Quiet Crisis (New York publisher, 1967), 161.

24. Grinnell, "Introduction," The Works of Theodore Roosevelt, National Edition (New York, 1926), I, xxiii.

25. Grinnell to Arnold Hague, January 13, 1891, Letter Book, 183; Grinnell to Archibald Rogers, January 17, 1891, Ibid., 186-88.

26. Since the summer of 1886, the park had been under the control of the army; Grinnell, ed., A Brief History of the Boone and Crockett Club, 16-17; "Boone and Crockett Club Meeting," Forest and Stream, January 22, 1891, XXXVI, 3.

27. Ibid.; a third resolution endorsed "the efforts now being made to preserve the groves of big trees [giant sequoias] in California" and thanked "the Secretary of the Interior for his interest in this matter."

28. Grinnell to Archibald Rogers, January 17, 1891, Letter Book, 186-87; "Cages in Place of Bullets," Forest and Stream, August 21, 1890, XXXV, 85; Ibid., January 8, 1891, XXXV, 489.

29. An important manifestation of the regard Roosevelt had for Forest and Stream's editor is the fact that he very much wanted Grinnell to be his hunting partner, which for Roosevelt was the ultimate compliment. See Grinnell to James Willard Schultz, May 24, 1888, Letter Book, 361; and Grinnell to Archibald Rogers, August 8, 1888, Ibid., 444.

Another example of Roosevelt's admiration for Grinnell is an 1894 letter of his to their mutual friend, Madison Grant. In it, he urges Grant to send Grinnell some photographs of Roosevelt, apparently showing the big-game animals the future president had just bagged in the West; Roosevelt to Grant, October 10, 1894, in Morison and Blum, eds., The Letters of Theodore Roosevelt, I, 401.

30. Grinnell to Archibald Rogers, January 17, 1891, Letter Book, 187.

31. Ibid; "The National Park Bill," Forest and Stream, March 12, 1891, XXXVI, 145.

32. Grinnell, Boone and Crockett Club, 21, 23; Ernest F. Swift, The Public's Land: Our Heritage and Opportunity (Washington DC: 1963), 7.

33. "Utilize the Streams," Forest and Stream, August 11, 1887, XXIX, 41; "Forests of the Rocky Mountains I," Ibid., October25, 1888, XXXI, 261-62; "Forests of the Rocky Mountains II," Ibid., November 1, 1888, XXXI, 282-83; "Forests of the Rocky Mountains III," Ibid., November 8, 1888, XXXI, 301-02; "Popular Forestry Instruction," Ibid., December 6, 1888, XXXI, 381; "Practical Forest Restoration I," Ibid., February 28, 1889, XXXII, 105; "Practical Forestry Restoration II," Ibid., March 14, 1889, XXXII, 149; "Practical Forest Restoration III," Ibid., March 21, 1889, XXXII, 169; "Practical Forest Restoration IV," Ibid., March 28, 1889, XXXII, 189.

34. "Forests of the Rocky Mountains I," Ibid., October 25, 1888, XXXI, 261-62.

35. Grinnell, Boone and Crockett Club, 23.

36. Reiger, American Sportsmen, 45.

37. Grinnell went so far as to claim that it was "through the influence of William Hallett Phillips [that] . . . a few lines inserted in an act passed by Congress March 3, 1891, permitted the establishment of forest reserves . . ."; Grinnell, "Big-Game Refuges," in Grinnell, ed., American Big Game in Its Haunts (New York publisher, 1904), 443. Although Noble is generally credited with having actually obtained the insertion of those all-important lines, Grinnell was probably correct in believing that the "influence" of Phillips—a friend of the secretary and an active worker for forest preservation since the mid-'80s—played a key role in the evolution of Noble's commitment to the woodlands.

For an example of Phillips' early dedication to the forests of the Yellowstone, see Forest and Stream, February 11, 1886, XXVI, 41. In "Secretary Noble's Monument," Forest and Stream, March 9, 1893, XL, 203, Grinnell wrote: "It will be remembered that beginning [my emphasis] with the Yellowstone National Park, which was brought to the notice of Mr. Noble early in his administration, he has given much attention to the question of our parks and timber reservation[s]"; this statement undoubtedly refers mainly to Phillips.

For examples of the close working relationship between Phillips and Noble, see Grinnell to Phillips, May 25, 1889, Letter Book, 322; Grinnell to Noble, May 25, 1889, Ibid., 321 [letter crossed out and apparently never sent]; Grinnell to Phillips, May 28, 1889, Ibid., 329; Grinnell to Phillips, June 5, 1889, Ibid., 354; Grinnell to Phillips, November 7, 1889, Ibid., 453-55; Grinnell to Phillips, December 4, 1889, Ibid., 16; and Grinnell to Phillips, April 24, 1891, Ibid., 383.

For the fact that Noble is usually credited with obtaining the insertion of the important lines in the 1891 act, see John Ise, The United States Forest Policy (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1920), 115. Although he admits that the history of this issue is extremely vague, Ise nevertheless accepts Bernhard E. Fernow's later claim that he and Edward A. Bowers, of the American Forestry Association, "had educated Noble up to the point" of demanding the insertion of the forest-reserve clause. While Fernow and Bowers deserve credit for exerting some influence, Phillips was probably easily as important—despite the fact that, unlike Fernow, he left no readily accessible documentation of his role. (For an alternative view, see Harold K. Steen, The Beginning of the National Forest System, USDA Forest Service, 1991). Like many other patrician pioneers of conservation, "he . . . labored long and earnestly for the public good [but] . . . preferred that his efforts should not be known, and that others should receive the credit for what he did"; "William Hallett Phillips," Forest and Stream, May 15, 1897, XLVIII, 381. This citation refers to an unsigned obituary of Phillips written by Grinnell; the former had drowned near Washington, D.C., on May 9, at about the age of forty-five.

38. From the late 1880s on, Forest and Stream and Grinnell's Letter Books are replete with examples of his efforts in behalf of Native Americans; Grinnell to Phillips, May 25, 1889, Letter Book, 322; Grinnell to Noble, May 25, 1889, Ibid., 321 [letter crossed out and apparently never sent]; Grinnell to Phillips, May 28, 1889, Ibid., 329; "Secretary Noble and the Indians," Forest and Stream, May 30, 1889, XXXII, 373; Grinnell to Phillips, June 5, 1889, Letter Book, 354; and Grinnell to Noble, June 19, 1889, Ibid., 380-81.

For some examples of Grinnell's efforts to get the Indian agent removed, see Grinnell to Commissioner of Indian Affairs, November 20, 1888, Ibid., 497-502; Grinnell to Commissioner of Indian Affairs, November 30, 1888, Ibid., 39-66; Grinnell to J. W. Schultz, December 4, 1888, Ibid., 7-9; Grinnell to L. H. North, December 13, 1888, Ibid., 34-35; Grinnell to Joseph Kipp, December 20, 1888, Ibid., 86-87; Grinnell to George Gould, December 26, 1888, Ibid., 96-97; Grinnell to H. H. Garr, January 3, 1889, Ibid., 180; Grinnell to Garr, January 7, 1889, Ibid., 128-29; Grinnell to William Russell, February 13, 1889, Ibid., 212; Grinnell to Gould, April 26, 1889, Ibid., 267-68; Grinnell to Garr, May 11, 1889, Ibid., 282; and Grinnell to J. B. Monroe, April 29, 1913, Ibid., 27-28.

39. Arnold Hague to Grinnell, April 11, 1910, Grinnell Papers, Yale University.

40. Bernhard E. Fernow to Grinnell, April 12, 1910, Ibid; Grinnell to John W. Noble, February 28, 1910, Letter Book, 910.

41. Arnold Hague to Grinnell, April 11, 1910, Grinnell Papers; Forest and Stream, April 9, 1891, XXXVI, 225; Arnold Hague to Grinnell, April 11, 1910, Grinnell Papers.

42. A copy of this resolution, dated April 8, 1891, is in the Boone and Crockett Club Papers; Forest and Stream, April 9, 1891, XXXVI, 225; Ibid., October 22, 1891, XXXVII, 265; Ibid., December 3, 1891, XXXVII, 385; Noble to Grinnell, March 11, 1910, Boone and Crockett Club Papers; Noble to Grinnell, March 15, 1910, Grinnell Papers.

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