Forest History Society

I SUPPORT THE FOREST HISTORY SOCIETY.

The Forest History Society is the preeminent organization supporting research and understanding of how people used and interacted with the forested ecosystems of the planet over the long sweep of human history. Its archives, publications, and outreach programs are indispensable in advancing the knowledge of forest and conservation history worldwide. –William J. Cronon, professor of History, Geography and Environmental Studies, The University of Wisconsin

In the 5-minute video below, Char Miller, Director and W.M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis at Pomona College, talks about the importance of preserving forest history, the uniqueness of the Forest History Society, and his experiences using the Society’s rich library and archival collections.

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In this 6-minute video, Larry Tombaugh, longtime member and past Chairman of the Board, leads you on a guided tour through the facilities, programs, and collections of the Forest History Society.

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The Forest History Society (FHS) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational institution located in Durham, North Carolina, that links the past to the future by identifying, collecting, preserving, interpreting, and disseminating information on the history of interactions between people, forests, and their related resources — timber, water, soil, forage, fish and wildlife, recreation, and scenic or spiritual values. Through programs in research, publication, and education, the Society promotes and rewards scholarship in the fields of forest, conservation, and environmental history while reminding all of us about our important forest heritage.  –FHS website

Latest Peeling Back the Bark articles (RSS feed):

  • The Monongahela at 100: How Its Signature Event Changed American Forestry
    The Monongahela National Forest was established on April 28, 1920. Historian Char Miller has adapted a chapter from the book America’s Great National Forests, Wilderness & Grasslands, with photographs by Tim Palmer (Rizzoli, 2016), to mark the centennial.  The banner headline on the front page of the Elkins, West Virginia, newspaper for November 8, 1973,... The post The Monongahela at 100: How Its Signature Event Changed American Forestry appeared first on Forest History Society.
  • Carl Schenck and His Life in Lindenfels
    Historian Jameson Karns recently interviewed the two remaining “Schenck boys”—the young boys Carl Alwin Schenck taught and mentored in the aftermath of World War II. They have generously provided hours of interviews for FHS, as well as having donated some of Schenck’s lesson plans, correspondence, love letters, and photos. They provided an intimate look into... The post Carl Schenck and His Life in Lindenfels appeared first on Forest History Society.
  • President bans Christmas tree from White House!
    (First published in 2008, this blog posted was updated in 2012 and, after finding the letters to his sisters on the Theodore Roosevelt Center’s website, again in 2016 and 2019.) Around the internet, there are innumerable articles about how Theodore Roosevelt banned Christmas trees in the White House because of “environmental concerns” only to then... The post President bans Christmas tree from White House! appeared first on Forest History Society.
  • “Madam Secretary” and the Gifford Pinchot Connection
    I’d never seen the TV series Madam Secretary until this week. Now in its sixth season, former secretary of State Elizabeth McCord is president of the United States. The character’s concern about climate change makes it unsurprising to see landscape paintings throughout the offices and private family quarters in the White House. An early scene... The post “Madam Secretary” and the Gifford Pinchot Connection appeared first on Forest History Society.
  • The Night the Mountain Fell
    “The night the mountain fell” is how one of the strongest earthquakes to rock the United States was remembered by some survivors. It wasn’t in California, though. It hit Montana. An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 centered on the Gallatin National Forest—about 40 miles northwest of Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park—struck at... The post The Night the Mountain Fell appeared first on Forest History Society.
  • When Woodsmen Bested Spacemen
    Capitalizing on the excitement surrounding the Apollo space program and the first Moon landing on July 20, 1969, the Weyerhaeuser Company published an article in its company magazine that December. “Spacemen become Woodsmen” recounted the visit by four Apollo astronauts to its Millicoma Tree Farm property the previous year for an elk hunting trip. You... The post When Woodsmen Bested Spacemen appeared first on Forest History Society.
  • The Early Career of John S. Holmes, North Carolina’s First State Forester
    John Simcox Holmes—born on this day in 1868—was a pioneer of forestry work in the state of North Carolina. The state’s first professional forester, he was hired in 1909 to survey and protect North Carolina’s forests, though he had little funding or staff with which to do the job. In 1915 he was named as... The post The Early Career of John S. Holmes, North Carolina’s First State Forester appeared first on Forest History Society.
  • Forest History on the Move: Everett’s Wandering Weyerhaeuser Office
    Twenty-five miles north of Seattle, at the mouth of the Snohomish River, lies the city of Everett, Washington. Officially incorporated on May 4, 1893, the city has seen more than 126 years of growth and development, much of it bolstered by the area’s vast timber resources. In fact, it is impossible to separate Everett’s history... The post Forest History on the Move: Everett’s Wandering Weyerhaeuser Office appeared first on Forest History Society.
  • Remembering Jerry Williams (1945-2019), Forest Service Historian
    Gerald W. Williams, a former national historian with the U.S. Forest Service and a Fellow of the Forest History Society, passed away on January 3, 2019. Among the many reasons for naming Jerry a FHS Fellow was his many significant contributions to the U.S. Forest Service History Reference Collection. While government reports and manuals comprised the... The post Remembering Jerry Williams (1945-2019), Forest Service Historian appeared first on Forest History Society.
  • Dark Days, Then and Now
    In this guest post, renowned fire historian Stephen Pyne reviews the history of wildland fires in the United States and the policies and strategies various agencies continue operating under before offering some recommendations for dealing with the issue. On May 19, 1780, the skies over New England darkened ominously as an immense pall of smoke... The post Dark Days, Then and Now appeared first on Forest History Society.