History of Natural Resources Management in the United States
The farmland that was left after deforestation wasn’t suited for long term farming. With that being said farmers had to continually cut forest down to have suitable farmland. At the time the idea was absurd that they could cut all the forest down, to them and their mind set, it was an inexhaustible resource. The American Revolution War (1775-1783) created a huge demand on the country resource of forest. During that time and after the forest of the Southern states, Eastern mountains, and Middle West were used for resources for the war and after for farmland.
Once again farmland that was to fertile and could not be used for very long and new fresh land had to be acquired by cutting more forest. It was not tell the Civil War (1861-1865) that anyone really questioned the gross exploitation of the nation’s forest and the possible wood famine. George Perkins Marsh published Man and Nature (1864). It is one of the first works to document the effects of human action on the environment and it helped to launch the modern conservation movement. Marsh argued that ancient Mediterranean civilizations collapsed through environmental degradation.
Deforestation led to eroded soils that led to decreased soil productivity. Additionally, the same trends could be found occurring in the United States. Politicians used some of Marshes writings and ideas to create Labor Day in 1872 with the idea that planting trees created more rain. Another mile stone for the U. S. Government this same year was the establishment of Yellowstone National Park, the first national park in the world. One year after Labor Day was established and Yellowstone the -newer Culture Act of 1 873 was created to add on to the Homestead Act of 1962.
The idea behind the Timber Culture Act was to promote the planting of tree on a set portion of the land that was given. Though the new Act was a Start in the right direction it was manipulated and exploited by cattle ranchers looking for cheap land for grazing animals. Its seems once Yellowstone was made the U. S. Government and the people spent the next 20 years trying to figure out the best way to protect the parks but still keep them open to the public for recreation, hunting, and lumber. During these years many new organizations were created along with many changes at the government level.
It wasn’t until 1891 the Forest Reserve Act was passed by Congress authorizing the president to set apart from the public domain reserves of forested land. This was the first big step to fixing and controlling the use of the country’s resources. It meant that the lands affected under this act would be protected and controlled for the good of the people. The Forest Reserve Organic Act of 1 897 was the first step toward legislation concerning the management, protection, and care of the nation’s forest reserves.
This act opened the way for Gifford Ponchos to start the process of forestry in the U. S. In 1905 an act of Congress, with strong encouragement from President Theodore Roosevelt, transferred the Bureau of Forestry from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Agriculture. Gifford Ponchos, who had been chief of the bureau, was made chief of the newly named Forest Since. Ponchos developed the U. S. Forest Service into a federal agency that today is recognized worldwide for its research, education, and land and forest management expertise.
I find it ironic with all the good Ponchos has done in forestry that his parents and grandparent made a fortune cutting trees down and exploiting forest in the Great lakes area, and if it were not for the financial support of his parents he would in no way have had the influence to accomplish what he did in forestry. One of the many hurdles for Ponchos to overcome was the fight over grazing right and how to best handle them. Cattle rancher felt it was their right to use public lands for grazing animals. Ponchos appointed Albert Potter to address this problem nil 906.
Potter was Inspector of Grazing with the newly formed Forest Service, and went on to become Assistant Forester in 1 907 and Associate Forester in 1910. He was the agency’s first Chief of Grazing. A close associate of Gifford Ponchos and later Henry Graves, he was the first westerner to hold a high post in the U. S. Forest Service. He organized the reverie’s grazing policies, regulations, and procedures. Seeking cooperation, he assured that the management of western ranges was shared with Stockton while still retaining the final decisions as to principles and details of operation in the hands of local Forest officers.
Many ranchers and other business were upset and gained enough support to reverse the 1891 Forest Reserve Act allowing the president to set aside public lands. The president was unable to veto it and he had 10 days before he had to sign it. The president spent the few days he had left deciding with Gifford Ponchos the areas to mark as national forest reserves. He waited until the last minute, after he had proclaimed about 1 6,000,000 acres, to sign the bill presented by the United States Congress. These areas were called the Midnight Forests because they were created so quickly.
Roosevelt first term he used the Forest Reserve Act to set aside 20,000,000 acres and in his second term acres were set aside. 1 906 was the start of the war, still going today, of Conservation Ponchos vs.. Preservation Mir. The battle field was the valley of Retch Hatchet. It was ignited by the San Francisco earthquake and the fires that resulted from it and the lack of water to put the fires out. The idea was to dam the valley to be a new major water supply for San Francisco. Ultimately preservation won and the dam was built but still to this day they want the dam torn down. Ponchos had a good run and got a lot done in such a short time.
With all his success came many enemy and he was fired by President Taft in 1910. That same year of 1 910 was The Great Fire, also commonly referred to as the Big Blowup or the Big Burn, was a wildfire which burned about three million acres in northeast Washington, northern Idaho, and western Montana. The firestorm burned over two days (August 20-?21, 91 0), and killed 87 people, including 78 firefighters. Before the event, there were many debates on how to handle forest fires; whether to let them burn because they were a part of nature and were expensive to fight, or to fight them in order to protect the forests.
After the devastation of the Big Blowup, it was decided that the U. S. Forest Service was to prevent and battle against every wildfire. In deciding this they now needed men to fight these fires and be at the ready to fight them and people to be on the lookout for fires full time during fire season. 1911 the Weeks Act permitted the federal overspent to purchase private land in order to protect the headwaters of rivers and watersheds in the eastern United States and called for fire protection efforts through federal, state, and private cooperation.
Aledo Leopold worked in the in the Forest service and was of the same mind as Ponchos, but after about 10 years’ experience changed his views. Leopold had concluded that a particular kind of preservation should be embraced in the national forests. He was prompted to this by the rampant building of roads to accommodate the “proliferation of the automobile” and the related increasingly heavy recreational demands placed on public lands. He was the first to employ the term wilderness to describe such preservation.
His ideas helped establish the first wilderness area in New Mexico in 1924. The Great Depression of the 1 sass created the atmosphere and desperation to create the New Deal. The New Deal consisted of many new programs to help people out of work. One of the more influential programs to forestry was the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933. The ICC was designed to provide employment for young men who had difficulty finding jobs while at the same time implementing a general natural resource conservation program in every state and territory.
Maximum enrollment at any one time was 300,000; in nine years 2. 5 million young men participated. During the time of the ICC, volunteers planted nearly 3 billion trees to help reforest America, constructed more than 800 parks nationwide and upgraded most State parks, updated forest fire fighting methods, and built a network of service buildings and public roadways in remote areas. 1 935 Robert Marshall and Aledo Leopold created the Wilderness Society in concern of what impact the new Deal was having on the land escape.
In 1949 Aledo Leopold published A Sand County Almanac. One of the lines in the book that has had a great amount of influence even today was “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise. ” The book and its affects didn’t really take hold tell the sass. World War II and the building boom that followed tested the many new policies of conservation. In 1946 the demand for lumber was so great at one point they needed enough to build up to 3 million houses.
Most of the private lands commercial land had been used up and they now were turning to the National Forest to supply the booming market The Multiple Use Sustained Yield (MUSM) Act of 1 960 was a high point of the influence of the CUFFS. The Act classified what the USES was doing navy and named a set of multiple uses: recreation, range, timber watershed, wildlife, and fish. The Act stated that no specific use could predominate and that a high level of annual output should be maintained without impairment of the productivity of the land.
This was Very broad guidance, and it gave the Agency a considerable amount of freedom. The USES could operate, more or less, as it wished under MUSM of 1960. During this time the Forest service embraced the practice of Lear cutting which created a lot of public disapproval. The Forest Service was doing a great job of meeting the demands of the country and maybe too good of a job that it made some people nervous. In 1964 the Wilderness Act It created the legal definition of wilderness in the United States, and protected some 9 million acres of federal land.
The result of a long effort to protect federal wilderness, the Wilderness Act was signed into law by President yond B. Johnson on September 3, 1964. The Wilderness Act is well known for its succinct and poetic definition of wilderness: “A wilderness, in contrast tit those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and community of life are untrimmed by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain. ” The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (SEA) is one of the united States environmental laws passed in the 1 sass.
Signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 28, 1973, it was designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction. The preservationist (Earth First) used this Act to combat the conservationist to shut down logging in the northwest due to the potted owl. The SEA has had a major effect on how we log or forest and what affect it will have on the species that live in them. During the 1 980-current scientist are just starting to understand ecosystems management and fire management.
Ecosystem management is a process that aims to conserve major ecological essence and restore natural resources while meeting the socioeconomic, political and cultural needs Of current and future generations. The principal objective of ecosystem management is the efficient maintenance, and ethical use of natural resources. Ecosystem management acknowledges that the interrelation of socio-cultural, economic and ecological systems is paramount to understanding the circumstances that affect environmental goals and outcomes.
It is a multifaceted and holistic approach which requires a significant change in how the natural and human environments are identified. Several approaches to effective ecosystem management engage conservation efforts at both a local or landscape level and involve: adaptive management, natural resource management, strategic management, and command and control management. Controlled or prescribed burning, also known as hazard reduction burning or Swilling is a quinine sometimes used in forest management, farming, prairie restoration or greenhouse gas abatement.