Forest Conservation


Forest resources were an important subject of the conservation movement during the Progressive Era. Gifford Pinchot, one of the nation's leading conservation advocates, promoted scientific forestry. The U.S. Forest Service, which Pinchot headed for many years, was part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and its purpose was to encourage the harvesting of the nation's wood resources in a planned fashion.

Scientific forestry received important political support from large lumber companies, whose executives saw the wisdom of cooperating with federal officials in long-term programs of renewing forest lands as they were harvested. Scientific forestry also received important publicity in the popular media of the day, as these pages illustrate.Everybody's Magazine, 18(May 1908): 579 presented an article titled "Slaughter of the Trees" by Emerson Hough that contrasted the traditional methods of forestry with modern scientific forestry that allowed for the renewal of timber resources.