American Forests: A History of Resiliency and Recovery by Douglas W. McCleery

By Douglas W. McCleery

MacCleery recounts how settlers got rid of a lot of the yankee wooded area for agriculture and trade throughout the nineteenth century. before everything of the twentieth century, although, demographic adjustments and an rising conservation circulate helped decrease wildfire and inspire reforestation. this present day there's extra forestland within the U.S. than there has been seventy five years in the past.

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The 1924 Clarke-McNary Act further bolstered federal support of states through a major study of forestland taxation and assistance with tree nurseries. During the 1920s and 1930s many states reexamined their constitutions to see if property tax changes could be made that would give special consideration to forestlands. The tax problem for forest managers was that although landowners were taxed annually (often on the total value of land and timber), they produced income from timber harvesting only after long intervals.

The South escaped much of the destructive post-logging fires that occurred in the North, perhaps because many of the native southern pine stands were of a more open type that had been maintained by frequent natural or Indian-set fires. Southern farmers continued the native practice of burning the woods, which reduced undergrowth and fuel buildup necessary for large wildfires. DECLINES IN WILDLIFE The 19th century witnessed dramatic declines in a wide range of wildlife species. In the East, the once enormously abundant passenger pigeon was decimated by over hunting and loss of habitat.

These fires encouraged the forest industry to set up private fire protection associations. In 1910 devastating fires in northern Idaho and northwestern Montana, known as the “Big Burn,” left considerable property damage and the loss of 78 Forest Service firefighters. This event helped galvanize federal efforts in fire control. William B. Greeley, who was in charge of the Idaho and Montana region of the Forest Service at the time of the 1910 fires and later became Forest Service chief, campaigned vigorously for stronger fire suppression E M E R G E N C E O F A C A L L F O R C O N S E RVAT I O N E F F O RT S 35 programs.

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