history of forestry 1921-1935



November 9, Federal Highway Act. Funds appropriated specifically for forest development roads and forest highways.


Forest Service dedicates the Missoula, Montana headquarters of the Priest River Forest Experiment station to fire research.


March 22, General Exchange Act. Secretary of agriculture authorized to exchange land in the national forest for private land of equal value within national forest boundaries.

4Under the law, nonmineral lands or timberlands on public domain could be exchanged for private or state-owned land within national forest boundaries. No money would exchange hands.


Willamette Steel (later named Willamette Iron and Steel) begins building geared locomotives, similar in design to the Shay design, but different enough to not warrant patent infringement litigation. Only 33 were made until 1929.


Izaak Walton League of America is formed. [and immediately filed their first lawsuit]



February, President Warren G. Harding approved Patent No. 132 granting approximately 131,970 acres of the Lochsa domain to the Northern Pacific Railway Company (formerly Northern Pacific Railroad Company)

4In 1945, the US Forest Service bought 89,989.74 acres of the primary grant lands and paid for them with equal value of timber from the Nez Perce, Clearwater, and St. Joe National Forests.


June 20, Willamette Iron and Steel delivered Locomotive #3 to the Western Lumber Company. This locomotive was leased to Heron Lumber Company and later sold to Anaconda Copper Mining Company, Lumber Department and renumbered #7. It is now displayed at the SAF’s Forestry Interpretive Area at Fort Missoula.


Gifford Pinchot becomes Governor of Pennsylvania from 1923-27 and again from 1931-35.



June 7, Clarke-McNary Act.

Authorized appropriations for cooperation with state agencies for fire control and other cooperative programs: purchase of forestlands no longer restricted to the watershed of navigable streams.  

4This bill along with the Weeks law of 1922, more than 18 million acres were purchased for National Forest use by 1960.


The first Wilderness area was “administratively reserved” in the Gila National Forest, New Mexico. June 3, District 3 Forester Frank C. W. Pooler designated 574,000 acres with in New Mexico as the Gila Wilderness, to be use primarily for wilderness recreation.

4It stated: “that access should be only by foot, horse or canoe.


In January alone, the Anaconda Company produces 13,800,000 bf of logs.



April, C.L. Best Company merges with Holt Tractor to become Caterpillar Tractor Company


First blade added to a tractor to create the “Bulldozer.” The term “Bulldozer” came from adding a blade in front of a team instead of dragging a blade behind.



June 15, Forbade further creation of or additions to national forests in Arizona and New Mexico, except by act of congress.


Anaconda Company moves its railroad logging operations from 9-mile to Greenough. It operates in this area until 1934.



March 4, National Arboretum established.


March 1, 20,000,000 board feet of timber is sent down the Blackfoot River from Greenough/Elk Creek to the Bonner mill, 30 miles away.


Andreas Stihl of Stuttgart Germany develops a portable gasoline powered chain saw.



April 30, McNary-Woodruff Act. Authorized funds for purchase of land under the Weeks Act and the Clarke-McNary Act.


May 21, Standard Baskets and Containers Act. Substantially reduced number of basket styles.


Anaconda Company buys Western Lumber at Milltown. This mill was only one mile from their Bonner mill. The Western Lumber mill was shut down in 1932.

Road completed from Lolo Hot Springs to the Powell Ranger Station.



The Forest Service announced two new administrative designations:

4Research Reserves would be preserved for scientific and educational purpose

4Primitive Area (a.k.a. L-20 and L-29 regulations) would provide the “nature lover and student of history a representation of conditions typical of the pioneer period”.


Forest Service hires first Wildlife Biologist, Barry Locke, stationed in the Intermountain Region.



June 9, Knutson-Vanderberg Act (K-V) Authorizes funds for reforestation of national forests and the creation of a revolving fund for reforestation or timber stand improvements on national forests.


July 10, Shipstead-Nolan Act. Withdrew from entry all public lands north of Township 60 in Minnesota: required the Forest Service to conserve for recreation use the lakes and streams of the region.



March 2, Authorized a ten-year cooperative program for control of predatory and other wild animals on national forests and other areas of the public domain.


Senate passes a resolution calling on the Secretary of Agriculture to report on a coordinated federal and state program for the utilization of forestlands. The resulting report, A National Plan for American Forestry, known as the “Copeland Report,” is issued the following year.

4It made specific proposals for action by public and private agencies, including a large extension of public ownership of forestlands and more intensive management of all timberlands.



First documented Bulldozer use on a fire: Horse Mountain Fire, Shasta N.F. (Northern California) and Matilija Fire, Santa Barbra N.F. (now Los Padres) (Year ???) Earl Hall, a creative Forest Service road construction supervisor from California invents the first angle bulldozer.


Going to the Sun Road is completed in Glacier National Park after 11 years of construction.



June 16, National Industrial Recovery Act. Authorized the National Recovery Administration, the Public Works Administration and other measures to promote economic recovery. Later known as the CCC. First camp was Camp Roosevelt on Virginia’s George Washington National Forest.


August 25, Soil Erosion Service established in the Department of Interior.




March 10, Fish and Game Sanctuary Act. Authorized president to establish refuges on national forests.


March 10, Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act. Authorized the secretary of agriculture and the secretary of commerce to cooperate with federal, state, and other agencies to develop nationwide program of wildlife conservation, study effect of water pollution on wildlife, and consult with construction agencies for effects of development on wildlife and fish.


March 16, Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act. Duck Stamp Act. Required duck hunters to purchase a federal hunting stamp: proceeds to be made available for acquisition and development of land for refuges.


June 28, Taylor Grazing Act. Grazing districts to be established on unreserved public domain by secretary of agriculture. The act authorized creation of 80 million acres of grazing districts, soon enlarged to 142 million acres.


August 16, Bulldozers used on McClendon Butte (Pete King) Fire, 250,000 acres. (Selway/Lochsa area)


The Anaconda Company moves its Railroad logging operations from Greenough to Woodworth. It operates in this area until August of 1949.


American Pulpwood Association is formed.


Fire burns 252,250 acres in the Lochsa and Selway drainages



April 27, Soil Conservation Act. Congress to provide permanently for the control and prevention of soil erosion. Soil Conservation Service established in Department of agriculture succeeding the Soil Erosion Service.


January, Wilderness Society is established. Started by Aldo Leopold, Bob Marshall, Benton Mackaye, Harvey Broome, Barnard Frank, Harold Anderson, Ernest Oberholter, Sterling Yard.


American Wildlife Foundation is established.


August 14, Social Security Act


August 21, Historic Sites and Buildings Act. Historic Sites Act. Transferred to the National Park Service the administration of historic sites, cemeteries, monuments and other historical areas.


First Forestry Schools Accredited by the SAF: UC Berkley, University of Idaho, Iowa State, Michigan State, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Montana, SUNY ESF, Oregon State University, Penn State, University of Washington.


Spring, the new 10:00 AM Forest Service Fire Policy is enacted, which said all fires need to be out by 10:00 am the next day. This is one outcome of a review of the Pete King Fire.