copyright (c) 1997, Electric Nevada
|Gifford Pinchot, historical figure for American conservation and 'wise use' had a point of view that would reduce modern-day Sierra Clubbers to spittle-sputtering apoplexy.|
| Pinchot also had a streak of
patronizing "big man, little man" socialism
wide enough to turn the stomachs of many modern
In fact, any modern American
From the book:
What happens to the home seeker? When a National Forest is created the home maker is not interfered with in the least. In the first place, before the Forest is created, agricultural lands are carefully excluded from the boundaries. It often happens, however, that there are little patches of agricultural land so located within the boundaries that it is impossible to cut them out. Such lands are open to settlement... The home seeker can travel all through a Forest, pick out the agricultural land he wants for a home, apply for it, have it listed, settle upon
it when listed, enter it, build his home, cultivate his fields, patent it, and cultivate his fields, patent it, and spend the rest of his days there... A National Forest, then, does not in the least shut out real settlement. It encourages it. The more settlers, the more men on hand to fight fires, the better protection the Forest will get, and the better and fuller will be the use of all its resources.
TO THE PROSPECTOR AND MINER
What happens to prospecting and mining? They go on just as if there were no National Forest there. The prospector is absolutely free to travel about and explore just as much as he pleases and wherever he pleases, without asking anybody's permission. When he strikes mineral he can stake out, locate, record, and develop just as many claims as he thinks are worth while, precisely as he would on the public domain. If he wants to get patent to any of them, he can do so. The only thing he must be careful about is to obey the law and not take up claims merely for the timber on them ... Claims can be developed and turned into paying mines just as anywhere else. A National Forest does not affect this work in the least, except that it keeps timer in the country for the use of the mines when they need
TO THE USER OF TIMBER
What happens to the timber and wood? ...are the
timber and wood locked up? Very far from it. The timber
is there to be used, now and in the future. It is given
away, for domestic use, to the man with a home and to the
prospector developing his claim. They get it for the
asking, free of charge. When wanted for commercial
purposes, timber is sold to the small man and to the big
man---sold promptly and at a reasonable cost. The small
man can buy a few thousand feet; the big man can buy many
million feet, provide it is a good thing for all the
people to let him purchase a large amount, but not
and hold it, because he is shoved aside by the big timber corporations with which he can not compete. On National Forests the Government holds the timber with a special view to its use by the small user...
TO THE USER OF THE RANGE
What happens to the range?Most of the timber land in
the West is good range for live stock. This range has to
be included in the National Forests, because it goes with
the timber and can not be separated from it.
... In the use of the range National Forests work first to protect the settler and home builder. They make sure, before everything else, that he
TO USE WELL ALL THE LAND.
There are many other incidental uses which National Forests help to bring about and greatly assist. Of course the land itself should be put to the best use. As already mentioned, it is used as sites for all kinds of commercial enterprises, and is open to improvements such as the construction of railroads, wagon roads, trails, canals, reservoirs, and telephone and power lines. All kinds of development work are benefited by National
Forests, because they make sure, so far as can be, that
timber and wood are keep on hand ready for use instead of
being burned up or shipped out of the
country, and that the flow of water is kept even and
steady for power and other purposes. The conservation
(which means simply the wise use) of all the various
resources of the Forests, especially of the water, means
a great gain in dollars and cents to many commercial
enterprises, the water-power companies in particular. The
protection of the forest at the heads of streams means a
prosperous life to such companies, for it assures them a
steady and clear flow of water. The destruction or misuse
of the Forest means failure, for it carries with it
flood, silt, and drought....
MANAGEMENT BY THE PEOPLE
National Forests are made for and
owned by the people. They should also be managed by the people. They are made, not to give the officers in charge of them a chance to work out theories, but to give the people who use them, and those who are affected by their use, a chance to work out their best profit...
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