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Forests replenish our well-being

Even though there are scientific, logical reasons for preserving our forests, natural places also provide a setting for mental health through giving sanctuary for spiritual connection and rejuvenation, and physical health through recreational opportunities for families and groups, including observing and enjoying birds and animals of the forests.

“That each day I may walk unceasingly on the banks of my water, that my soul may repose on the branches of the trees which I planted, that I may refresh myself under the shadow of my sycamore.”

  ~Egyptian tomb inscription, circa 1400 BC

A long list of Americans who honored this wonderful continent "America" on planet Earth. They saw us as caregivers to preserve this legacy--not only for the scientific reasons for needing trees in our environment--but they beheld the beauty of nature and felt a difference in their attitude, spirit and well-being.

"I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in."  ~John Muir, 1913

A journal of living and loving in the East Texas Woods

Nature and trees nurture body, mind and soul. I was fortunate to have been able to enjoy a year in a National Forest setting. Memories of those days of peace and connection to delightful, non-judging, ever-changing nature sustain me in my daily challenges. That peace and joy is a part of my being.

You can find out more about my retreat and be inspired to take a retreat yourself!! It will make a difference in your life.

cover image showing trees, old barn and clouds

Purchase from Amazon.com ebooks for computer, Ipad, Ipod, Kindle; also vailable from Kindle library.
Welcome to the Woods

Roosevelt Legacy

How Theodore Roosevelt created and preserved the 
National Forests

Source: www.theodoreroosevelt.org

Under Roosevelt the forest reserves of the United States went from approximately 43,000,000 acres to about 194,000,000 acres under TR. This represents an increase of over 400%. The area of forest reserves established by TR is equal in acreage to all the states on the Atlantic coast from Maine to Virginia plus the states of Vermont, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. This is a greater area than France, Belgium, and The Netherlands combined.

On February 1, 1905, President Roosevelt transferred the Division of Forestry to the Department of Agriculture from the Department of the Interior. Gifford Pinchot was appointed as the first chief of the new agency, the United States Forest Service.

President Roosevelt’s policy of forest reserves was opposed by commercial and other interests favoring unrestricted exploitation of natural resources.

Theodore recorded in his Autobiography (1913):
”While the Agricultural Appropriation Bill was passing through the Senate, in 1907, Senator Fulton, of Oregon, secured an amendment providing that the President could not set aside any additional National Forests in the six Northwestern States. This meant some sixteen million of acres to be exploited by land grabbers and by the representatives of the great special interests, at the expense of the public interest.

“But for four years the Forest Service had been gathering field notes as to what forests ought to be set aside in these States, and so was prepared to act. It was equally undesirable to veto the whole agricultural bill, and to sign it with this amendment effective. Accordingly, a plan to create the necessary National Forest in these States before the Agricultural Bill could be passed and signed was laid before me by Mr. Pinchot. I approved it. The necessary papers were immediately prepared. I signed the last proclamation a couple of days before by my signature, the bill became law; and when the friends of the special interests in the Senate got their amendment through and woke up, they discovered that sixteen million acres of timberland had been saved for the people by putting them in the National Forests before the land grabbers could get at them.

“The opponents of the Forest Service turned handsprings in their wrath; and dire were their threats against the Executive; but the threats could not be carried out, and were really only a tribute to the efficiency of our action.”

The Medicine Bow Forest Reserve in Wyoming had some Colorado lands added to it by TR in 1905. This Colorado land was named the “Roosevelt National Forest” in 1932 as a tribute to TR.

“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.”
– Theodore Roosevelt, Seventh Annual Message to Congress, December 3, 1907.

National Forests created by Theodore Roosevelt

1. Yunque, Puerto Rico; January 17, 1903
2. Whiteriver, Colorado; May 21, 1904
3. Sevier, Utah; January 17, 1906
4. Wichita, Oklahoma; May 29, 1906
5. Helena, Montana; November 6, 1906
6. Caribou-Targhee, Idaho and Wyoming; January 15, 1907
7. Colville, Washington; March 1, 1907
8. Las Animas, Colorado and New Mexico; March 1, 1907
9. Umatilla, Oregon and Washington; March 1, 1907
10. Olympic, Washington; March 2, 1907
11. Mantilasal, Utah; April 25, 1907
12. Manzano, New Mexico; April 16, 1908
13. Kansas, Kansas; May 15, 1908
14. Minnesota, Minnesota; May 23, 1908
15. Pocatello, Idaho and Utah; July 1, 1908
16. Uinta-Wasatch-Cache, Idaho and Utah; July 1, 1908
17. Wallowa-Whitman, Oregon; July 1, 1908
18. Malheur, Oregon; July 1, 1908
19. Umatilla, Oregon; July 1, 1908
20. Columbia, Washington; July 1, 1908
21. Gifford Pinchot, Washington; July 1, 1908
22. Washington, Washington; July 1, 1908
23. Chelan, Washington; July 1, 1908
24. Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie, Washington; July 1, 1908
25. Wenatchee, Washington; July 1, 1908
26. Fillmore, Utah; July 1,1908
27. Nebo, Utah; July 1, 1908
28. Lewis and Clark, Montana; July I ,1908
29. Blackfeet, Montana; July 1, 1908
30. Flathead, Montana; July 1, 1908
31. Kootenai, Montana; July 1, 1908
32. Medicine Bow-Routt, Colorado; July 1, 1908
33. Cabinet, Montana; July 1,1908
34. Hayden, Colorado and Wyoming; July 1,1908
35. Salmon-Chalice, Idaho; July 1, 1908
36. Clearwater, Idaho; July 1, 1908
37. Idaho Panhandle, Idaho; July 1, 1908
38. Pend d’Orielle, Idaho; July 1, 1908
39. Idaho Panhandle,  Idaho and Washington; July 1, 1908
40. Angeles, California; July 1,1908
41. San Luis, California; July 1, 1908
42. Jemez, New Mexico; July 1, 1908
43. Black Hills, Wyoming; July 1, 1908
44. Santa Barbara, California; July 1,1908
45. Weiser, Idaho; July 1, 1908
46. Nez Perce, Idaho; July 1, 1908
47. Idaho Panhandle, Idaho; July 1, 1908
48. Payette, Idaho; July 1, 1908
49. Sawtooth, Idaho; July 1, 1908
50. Lemhi, Idaho; July 1, 1908
51. Siuslaw, Oregon; July 1, 1908
52. Cheyenne, Wyoming; July 1, 1908
53. Medicine Bow-Routt, Colorado; July 1, 1908
54. Cascade, Oregon; July 1, 1908
55. Oregon, Oregon; July 1,1908
56. Umpqua (Oregon; July 1,1908
57. Siskiyou, Oregon; July 1, 1908
58. Crater, California and Oregon; July 1, 1908
59. Beartooth, Montana; July 1, 1908
60. Holy Cross, Colorado; July 1, 1908
61. Kaniksu, Idaho and Wyoming; July 1, 1908
62. Bridger-Teton, Wyoming; July 1, 1908
63. Teton, Wyoming; July 1, 1908
64. Bonneville, Wyoming; July 1 ,1908
65. Absaroka, Montana; July 1, 1908
66. Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, Montana; July 1,1908
69. Madison, Montana; July 1, 1908
70. Gallatin, Montana; July 1, 1908
71. Helena, Montana; July 1, 1908
72. Missoula, Montana; July 1, 1908
73. Bitterroot, Idaho and Montana; July 1, 1908
74. Ashley, Utah and Wyoming; July 1, 1908
75. Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre & Gunnison, Colorado; July 1, 1908
76. Sanjuan, Colorado; July 1, 1908
77. Rio Grande, Colorado; July 1, 1908
78. Pike and San Isabel National Forest, Colorado; July 1, 1908
79. Montezuma, Colorado; July 1, 1908
80. Leadville, Colorado; July 1, 1908
81. Cochetopa, Colorado; July 1, 1908
82. Arapaho and Roosevelt, Colorado; July 1, 1908
83. Battlement, Colorado; July 1, 1908
84. Shoshone, Wyoming; July 1, 1908
85. Uinta, Utah; July 1, 1908
86. Crook, Arizona; July 1, 1908
87. Coconino, Arizona; July 1, 1908
88. Inyo, California; July 1, 1908
89. Stanislaus, California; July 1, 1908
90. Sierra, California; July 1, 1908
91. Chiricahua, Arizona and New Mexico; July 1, 1908
92. Coronado, Arizona; July 1, 1908
93. Garces, Arizona; July 1, 1908
94. Monterey, California; July 1, 1908
95. Minidoka, Idaho and Utah; July 1, 1908
96. Jefferson, Montana; July 1, 1908
97. Custer, Montana; July 1,1908
98. Nebraska, Nebraska; July 1, 1908
99. Wallowa-Whitman National, Oregon; July 1, 1908
100. Fishlake, Utah; July 1, 1908
101. La Salle, Utah; July 1, 1908
102. Wasatch-Cache, Utah; July 1, 1908
103. Powell, Utah; July 1, 1908
104. Bighorn, Wyoming; July 1, 1908
105. Kaibab, Arizona; July 1,1908
106. Deschutes, Oregon; July 14, 1908
107. Fremont, Oregon; July 14, 1908
108. Ocala, Florida; Nov. 24, 1908
109. Dakota, North Dakota; Nov. 24, 1908
110. Choctawhatchee, Florida; Nov. 27, 1908
111. Nevada; January 20, 1909
112. Moapa, Nevada; January 21, 1909
113. California (Mendocino); January 26, 1909
114. Pecos, New Mexico; January 28, 1909
115. Prescott, Arizona; February 1, 1909
116. Calaveras Bigtree, California; February 8, 1909
117. Tonto, Arizona; February 10, 1909
118. Marquette, Michigan; February 10, 1909
119. Nevada, Nevada; February 10, 1909
120. Dixie, Arizona and Utah; February 10, 1909
121. Michigan, Michigan; February 11, 1909
122. Klamath, California and Oregon; February 13, 1909
123. Superior, Minnesota; February 13, 1909
124. Gila, New Mexico; February 15, 1909
125. Black Hills, S. Dakota and Wyoming; February 15, 1909
126. Sioux, Montana and South Dakota; February 15, 1909
127. Tongass, Alaska; February 16, 1909
128. Humboldt-Toiyabe, Nevada; February 20, 1909
129. Datil, New Mexico; February 23, 1909
130. Chugach, Alaska; February 23, 1909
131. Modoc, California; February 25, 1909
132. Ozark, Arkansas; February 25, 1909
133. Arkansas, Arkansas; February 27, 1909
134. Mono, California and Nevada; March 2, 1909,
135. Apache-Sitgreaves, Arizona; March 2, 1909
136. Lincoln, New Mexico; March 2, 1909
137. Shasta-Trinity, California; March 2, 1909
138. Alamo, New Mexico; March 2, 1909
139. Carson, New Mexico; March 2, 1909
140. Zuni, Arizona and New Mexico; March 2, 1909
141. Lassen, California; March 2, 1909
142. Plumas, California; March 2, 1909
143. Tahoe, California; March 2, 1909
144. Sequoia, California; March 2, 1909

List of Current National Forests

National Forests are threatened!

By non-sustainable hard-rock mining

Trees of our forests are the Earth’s sentinels protecting and insuring the continuation of life. Trees provide clean water, clean air, clean soil, shade and habitat. We must protect them; they must flourish for life on the Earth to continue.

Forests sustain life from two streams. First, there are scientific reasons. Trees produce oxygen necessary for human and animal life. Trees hold the soil, prevent erosion and filter air and rainwater. The National Forest (FS) mission statement “caring for the land and serving the people” and FS management Acts emphasize securing and protecting of watershed. Second and equally important--trees provide opportunities for humans to enjoy healthy exercise, recreation and contemplation in shady, quiet, natural places to rejuvenate their body, mind and spirit.

Urgency of Mining Law Reform

Oak Flat Land Exchange

Elias Butler video on protecting Oak Flat in Tonto National Forest

Creation of National Forest Reserves

The National Forest System was created to protect our forests from destruction by grazing, mining and unregulated cutting, which were already deemed a problem in the late 1800’s. In 1882, the U.S. President, Chester A. Arthur, stated: "The conditions of the forests and the wasteful manner in which their destruction is taking place give cause for serious apprehension."

The Forest Reserve Act of 1891 authorized the Presidents of the United States to set aside forest reserves from the lands in the Public Domain. The Act was passed under Benjamin Harrison’s administration (1889-1893). He responded by putting 13 million acres of land into National Forests. The succeeding presidents, Grover Cleveland (1893-1897) put in 25 million acres and William McKinley (1897-1901) put in 7 million acres. However, the champion of the forest preservation was Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909). Under Roosevelt's pen the forest reserves went from approximately 43,000,000 acres to about 194,000,000 acres, an increase of over 400%.

Over 100 years ago, four U.S. Presidents knew that trees of the forest sustained health and well-being for humans and wildlife. However, we of the "scientific age" aren't able to figure it out.