Tuesday, July 17, 2012

1897. Coville travel west to survey situation in Oregon and Washington Mountains.

Only the protests and reasoned arguments of Oregon sheepman John Minto helped prompt a reconsideration of the policy. In response Frederick V. Coville, a USDA botanist, travelled west in the summer of 1897 to survey the situation in the Oregon and Washington mountains. His subsequent report entitled Forest Growth and Sheep Grazing in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon in 1898 maintained that sheep grazing could be done safely in the Cascades. The report was a general endorsement of regulated grazing in the reserves. He outlined a program that would grant grazing permits, regulate the number of stock, and the season of grazing. The permits also obligated the graziers to protect against and fight fire in the forests. In other articles Coville noted that he was aware that the adoption of these policies was not in accord with the ideas of those whose conception of a forest reserve is identical with their conception of a national park. He wrote:

While it is feasible and proper that certain portions of the forest reserves should be maintained for such purposes, it is no less clear that the executive branch of the Government in setting aside such large and much used areas of the forest lands as reserves, and the legislative branch of the Government in specifying the principles under which these reserves should be managed, had chiefly in mind the preservation of these reserves for use, not from use. Rational regulation of all the resources in the reservations is their object. [4]


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