Pinchot on Forestry


Source: Frontispiece, The Training of a Forester
In 1914, Pinchot published The Training of a Forester (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1914) as a guide to young men thinking about a career in forestry.  Pinchot began this book with his definition of a forest, and of forestry as a field of endeavor.

"First, What is forestry? Forestry is the knowledge of the forest. In particular, it is the art of handling the forest so that it will render whatever service is required of it without being impoverished or destroyed. For example, a forest may be handled so as to produce saw logs, telegraph poles, barrel hoops, firewood, tan bark, or turpentine. The main purpose of its treatment may be to prevent the washing of soil, to regulate the flow of streams, to support cattle or sheep, or it may be handled so as to supply a wide range and combination of uses. Forestry is the art of producing from the forest whatever it can yield for the service of man." (page 13)

This statement shows clearly that Pinchot viewed forests as something to be used. Although preservation of pristine natural environments was within the scope of Pinchot's thinking, the emphasis was on the view of a forest as something that involved a "yield," as a source of a crop, in other words.