The Nezperce Story
A History of the Nezperce National Forest


The Nezperce Story is a general history of the exploration, development, and establishment of the Nezperce National Forest. The story begins with the Nez Perce Indians and touches on the early exploration by Lewis and Clark, the gold rush and later settlement of the area. The forest reserve was established by Presidential proclamation in 1897. Since that time the job of administration has changed gradually from protection to multiple use. Changes in personnel have been frequent and many oldtimers have passed on, making the past difficult to unravel.

To preserve this story, Albert N. Cochrell has written the account that follows. Born in Nebraska, Albert moved with his parents to Weippe, Idaho, for his early schooling. He grew up in the Nezperce and Clearwater area and started work for the Forest Service in 1913 as a smokechaser on the Clearwater National Forest. He worked in the regional office and on numerous other national forests in Region 1, including the Kootenai, Kaniksu, Pend Oreille, Gallatin, and Helena. In 1944, Albert became supervisor of the Nezperce National Forest and served in this position until his retirement in 1957, completing 40 years of service. With his experience and first hand knowledge of the area, we are fortunate to have him write The Nezperce Story.

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Last Updated: 11-Nov-2008