President Roosevelt established 15 National Forests in Oregon by executive order between March 1, 1907 and February 13, 1909. The Siuslaw combined the Tillamook Forest Reserve and acreage from the Umpqua Forest Reserve. Today, the U.S. Forest Service manages 15,658,000 acres in 13 Oregon National Forests.  One of his first executive orders established Crater Lake National Park in 1902.
USGS Digital Line Graph 1:2,000,000
Alderman Library - University of Virginia

State by State Government Land Ownership by the National Wilderness Institute

USFS Region 6
Deschutes National Forest
Fremont National Forest
Malheur National Forest
Mount Hood National Forest
Ochoco National Forest
Rogue River National Forest
Siskiyou National Forest
Siuslaw National Forest
Umatilla National Forest
Umpqua National Forest
Wallowa-Whitman National Forest
Willamette National Forest
Winema National Forest

President William Howard Taft visited Salem in October 1911.  He is standing in a touring car in downtown Salem with Secret Service agents and police patiently listening to the music the band conductor is leading.

Photographer unknown.  From the Ben Maxwell Collection, Salem Public Library.  IMAGE FILECODE: B705154B.JPG
President William Howard Taft visited Salem in October 1911. He is standing in a touring car in downtown Salem with Secret Service agents and police patiently listening to the music the band conductor is leading. His Presidential proclamation of June 30, 1911 modified the boundaries of what is now the Siuslaw National Forest.
Photographer Unknown, Ben Maxwell Collection
Salem Public Library Historic Photograph Collections

US Forest Service
Atlas of Oregon Forests
Oregon Department of Forestry
Oregon Forest Resources Institute

USFS NW Research Station
USFS Recreation Agenda
USFS Roadless Areas Site
USFS Wilderness Agenda

Forest Primeval: The Natural History of an Ancient Forest
by Chris Maser

In this classic work of ecology, Chris Maser traces the growth of an ancient forest in Oregon's Cascade mountains from its fiery birth in the year 987 to present. A unique biography of an ecosystem, Forest Primeval portrays a diverse fabric of plants, animals, and microorganisms working in unison. 

Maser offers precise yet evocative accounts of the lives and events within the burgeoning forest: the habits of deer mice who help reseed the burned earth, the seemingly accidental but vitally necessary symbiotic associations between fungus and tree root tips that stimulate growth, the constant predation amoung wildlife. He revels how over the course of a millennium, microbes and fungi change a forest just as surely as a raging fire, only inconspicuously and more slowly. 

As the life cycles of the forest progress, Maser's minute scientific observations unfold against the backdrop of history, a chronology of humans struggle and suffering that is paralleled in the life of a single 1000-year-old Douglas fir. In taking this millennial view, Maser shows how the forest represents our spiritual and historical roots as human beings. Arguing that our survival is as intertwined with the forests as are the myriad interlocking life cycles that created them, Maser makes a plea for the immediate global implementation of restoration forestry. 

6 x 9 inches. 320 pages. Illustrations. Glossary. Bibliography. Index.

Oregon State University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-87071-529-1. Paperback, $19.95

The Tillamook: A Created Forest Comes of Age
by Gail Wells 

For decades, debates over the fate of ancient forests have been commonplace in the Pacific West. The Tillamook takes up the question of younger forests. It explores the creation of a managed forest and what its story reveals about the historic and future role of second-growth forests in the West.

Oregon State University Press.  March 1999. 6 x 9 inches. 256 pages. ISBN 0-87071-460-0. Paperback, $19.95

Last Stands: A Journey Through North America's Vanishing Ancient Rainforests
by Larry Pynn 
The remarkable Pacific temperate rainforest has become an endangered landscape, rarer than even the embattled tropical rainforest. In Last Stands, award-winning environmental writer Larry Pynn plunges into coastal forests from California to Alaska to explore this unique ecosystem and the complex factors that threaten it. 

Whether standing with new-age loggers as they toil beneath the churning blades of a heli-logging operation, witnessing the wolverine's legendary ferocity, bounding along in the back of a pickup with a couple of bear hunters, or embarking on a week-long solo hike through an uncharted wilderness, Pynn's approach to understanding north America's temperate rainforest--and the creatures and people connected to it--is as diverse and unconventional as the forest itself. The result is a fascinating book, one part impassioned travelogue and one part natural history. 

Cathedral, cash crop, the Earth's respiratory system: the rainforest is all this and more. The incalculable wealth and magnificence of these last stands spring forth in this savvy, down-to-earth chronicle.

Oregon State University Press.
January 2000. 6 x 9 inches. 224 pages. Map. Index. 
ISBN 0-87071-027-3. Paperback, $17.95

Atlas of the Pacific Northwest, Eighth Edition 
edited by Philip L. Jackson and A. Jon Kimerling

The standard reference book on Oregon, Washington, and Idaho--and our all-time bestseller. 200 maps, graphs, and tables, plus 18 essays on regional topics. No Northwest library, classroom, business, or household should be without it.

Oregon State University Press 
Published 1993. 160 pages. Illus. Maps. Biblio. Hardcover ISBN 0-87071-416.3. $35.95 Paperback ISBN 0-87071-415-5. $23.95

The Climate of Oregon From Rain Forest to Desert
by George H. Taylor and Chris Hannan

Weather is best understood as the state of the atmosphere on a given day or at a given time. Climate, on the other hand, looks at long-term averages of weather conditions. Or, as one seven-year-old explained to State Climatologist George Taylor, weather is what you get and climate is what you're supposed to get. 

The Climate of Oregon gathers into a single volume a range of fascinating and useful climate information. Using state-of-the-art two-color maps and detailed tables, the authors describe various climate elements, including precipitation, temperature, winds, humidity, snow, clouds, and the growing season. Monthly maps for precipitation, snow, and temperature reveal how Oregon's climate changes throughout the year. The book defines the nine distinct Oregon Climate Zones, examines the role of climate stations in reporting weather, and provides rich data from the state's most representative stations. 

Several years of unusual weather in the Pacific Northwest have generated great interest in large-scale climate change. Chapters on global warming and its impact on Oregon, El Niņo and La Niņa, climate changes and salmon populations, and long-term wet and dry cycles offer the latest findings on these topics. 

About the Authors
George H. Taylor is the State Climatologist for Oregon. A faculty member of Oregon State University's College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Science, he is Director of the Oregon Climate Service, the state's official repository for weather and climate information. He lives in Corvallis. Chris Hannan is a Research Assistant and Manager of Data Services at Oregon Climate Service. She lives in Wilsonville. 

Oregon State University Press 
September 1999. 7 x 10 inches. 224 pages. Illustrations. Two-color Maps. Glossary. Index.
ISBN 0-87071-468-6. Paperback $21.95

Oregon State University Press
101 Waldo Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331-6407
PHONE: (541) 737-3166

Theodore Roosevelt
& the Siuslaw National Forest

The Conservation of Natural Resources

From President Theodore Roosevelt's
Seventh Annual Message to Congress,
December 3, 1907

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

". . . The conservation of our natural resources and their proper use constitute the fundamental problem which underlies almost every other problem of our national life . . .

"As a nation we not only enjoy a wonderful measure of present prosperity but if this prosperity is used aright it is an earnest of future success such as no other nation will have. The reward of foresight for this nation is great and easily foretold. But there must be the look ahead, there must be a realization of the fact that to waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed. For the last few years, through several agencies, the government has been endeavoring to get our people to look ahead and to substitute a planned and orderly development of our resources in place of a haphazard striving for immediate profit . . .

"Optimism is a good characteristic,
but if carried to an excess, it becomes foolishness. We are prone to speak
of the resources of this country as inexhaustible; this is not so."

"Optimism is a good characteristic, but if carried to an excess it becomes foolishness. We are prone to speak of the resources of this country as inexhaustible; this is not so. The mineral wealth of the country, the coal, iron, oil, gas, and the like, does not reproduce itself, and therefore is certain to be exhausted ultimately; and wastefulness in dealing with it today means that our descendants will feel the exhaustion a generation or two before they otherwise would.

"But there are certain other forms of waste which could be entirely stopped-the waste of soil by washing, for instance, which is among the most dangerous of all wastes now in progress in the United States, is easily preventible, so that this present enormous loss of fertility is entirely unnecessary. The preservation or replacement of the forests is one of the most important means of preventing this loss. We have made a beginning in forest preservation, but . . . so rapid has been the rate of exhaustion of timber in the United States in the past, and so rapidly is the remainder being exhausted, that the country is unquestionably on the verge of a timber famine which will be felt in every household in the land . . .

"The present annual consumption of lumber is certainly three times as great as the annual growth; and if the consumption and growth continue unchanged, practically all our lumber will be exhausted in another generation, while long before the limit to complete exhaustion is reached the growing scarcity will make itself felt in many blighting ways upon our national welfare. About twenty percent of our forested territory is now reserved in national forests, but these do not include the most valuable timberlands, and in any event the proportion is too small to expect that the reserves can accomplish more than a mitigation of the trouble which is ahead for the nation . . .

"We should acquire in the Appalachian and White Mountain regions all the forest-lands that it is possible to acquire for the use of the nation. These lands, because they form a national asset, are as emphatically national as the rivers which they feed, and which flow through so many States before they reach the ocean . . ."

Read the complete message.

Congressional Research Service Report for Congress

Major Federal Land Management Agencies:
Management of Our Nation's Lands and Resources

Betsy A. Cody, Coordinator
Environment and Natural Resources Policy Division
May 15, 1995

95-599 ENR


Of the nearly 2.3 billion acres of land in the United States, approximately 650 million acres, or 28 percent, are owned by the Federal Government. Four agencies administer 96 percent of this Federal land for conservation, preservation, and/or development of natural resources. These four agencies are the Forest Service in the Department of Agriculture, and the Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service in the Department of the Interior. The majority of these lands are in the West, a result of early treaties and land settlement patterns. Early in the history of the United States, the Federal Government owned as much as 80 percent of the total land area, but has disposed of more than 1.1 billion acres to States and to the private sector.

Each of the four primary Federal land management agencies has its own unique mission and special responsibilities for the lands and resources under its jurisdiction. The National Park Service, although the smallest with 78 million acres, is probably the best known to the public for preserving, protecting and interpreting the natural, cultural, and historic lands and resources of the Nation. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages 87.5 million acres for the conservation and protection of fish and wildlife, allowing economic developments that are compatible with the purposes for which conservation measures were established. Both the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service support a variety of uses on the lands which they administer, including recreation, timber harvesting, livestock grazing, fish and wildlife habitat, and wilderness. Most of the 266 million acres of BLM lands are rangelands, and more than half of the 191 million acres of Forest Service lands are forested.

This report provides a background of current Federal land and resource ownership, a sense of the historical development of the Nation's land and settlement laws, and a basic understanding of each of the natural resource agency's missions and management. For discussions of natural resources management issues, such as timber harvesting, grazing, mining, fisheries and wildlife management, threatened and endangered species, private property rights, wetlands, and coastal issues, see CRS Report 95-92 ENR, An Introduction to Major Natural Resource Issues in the 104th Congress. Each section of this report is followed by a list of references, which includes various CRS publications on issues related to Federal lands and management systems.


In 1891, Congress granted the President the authority (now repealed) to establish forest reserves from the public domain. Six years later, in 1897, Congress stated that the forest reserves were:
. . . to improve and protect the forest within the reservation, or for the purpose of securing favorable conditions of water flows, and to furnish a continuous supply of timber for the use and necessities of the citizens of the United States.
Initially, the administration of the forest reserves lay with the Division of Forestry in the General Land Office of the U.S. Department of the Interior. In 1905, this division was combined with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Bureau of Forestry, renamed the Forest Service, and the administration of the 56 million acres of forest reserves (later renamed "national forests") was transferred to the new agency. (8) In 1906 and 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt more than doubled the acreage of the forest reserves. As a result, Congress at various times limited the authority of the President to add to the system. However, in 1911 Congress passed the Weeks Act, authorizing additions to the National Forest System through the purchase of private lands. Under this authority and other specific Acts, the National Forest System has continued to grow slowly, from 154 million acres in 1919 to 192 million acres in 1993. This growth has resulted from purchases and donations of private land and from land transfers primarily from the BLM. Management of the system is one of the four principal programs of the Forest Service. (9)

The management goals for the National Forest System were further articulated in the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960, which states:
It is the policy of the Congress that the national forests are established and shall be administered for outdoor recreation, range, timber, watershed, and wildlife and fish purposes. The purposes of this Act are declared to be supplemental to, but not in derogation of, the purposes for which the national forests were established as set forth in the Act of June 4, 1897. . . The establishment and maintenance of areas as wilderness are consistent with the purposes and provisions of this Act.
The Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act directs resource management of the national forests for the combination of uses that best meets the needs of the American people. Management of the resources was to be coordinated for "multiple use"--considering the relative values of the various resources, though not necessarily maximizing dollar returns, nor requiring that any one particular area be managed for all or even most uses. The Act also calls for "sustained yield" -- a high level of resource outputs maintained in perpetuity but without impairing the productivity of the land.

Read the complete report.

Note: The Congressional Research Service (CRS), part of the Library of Congress, prepares its reports for the U.S. Congress. CRS products undergo review for accuracy and objectivity and contain nontechnical information that can be very useful to people interested in environmental policy. CRS does not itself provide these documents to the general public.

Although CRS documents are prepared specifically for Congress and not widely distributed, their distribution is not protected by law or copyright. NCSE is committed to expanding, maintaining and updating its database of reports, making them available and searchable for the public.

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