THE FOREST ESTABLISHED
Proclamation-wise the present Nezperce National Forest developed as follows:
February 22, 1897. Bitterroot Forest Reserve. The west boundary then ran north between Ranges 5 and 6E from just below the mouth of Sheep Creek on Salmon River across the divide near the head of 10-Mile Creek and the South Fork about the mouth of 10-Mile Creek, over Corrall Hill and to the Middle Fork at about the present boundary.
November 14, 1902. Addition to Bitterroot Forest Reserve, This extended the boundary westward to its present location.
November 14, 1902. Little Salmon Forest Reserve.
February 1, 1904, Seven Devils Forest Reserve.
June 14, 1904, The Elk City Township and a smaller area around Buffalo Hump were eliminated from the forest.
May 10, 1906, Weiser National Forest.
July 1, 1908, The Nezperce National Forest was created.
July 9, 1921, The Buffalo Hump exclusion was again given national forest status.
April 7, 1931, The Salmon Mt. area was placed in the Bitterroot, although it had been administered by that forest since the season of 1917.
October 29, 1934. A portion of the Selway came to the Nezperce.
July 1, 1956, The Moose Creek District was added to the Nezperce, and the area north of the Middle Fork plus the Lochsa drainage went to the Clearwater.
Major F. A. Fenn stated that, between the Bitterroot and Nezperce stages, the area was a part of the Clearwater Forest. This is not in accord with the above, although there could be a missing link in the forest files.
The Little Salmon and Seven Devils Reserves were small and soon became a part of the Weiser. The portion of that forest which was made a part of the Nezperce lay between the Salmon and Snake Rivers. For years this was referred to as the "Weiser Division," but is now more commonly called the "Island Division."
The Leiberg report describes the Idaho portion of the Bitterroot Forest Reserve as follows:
Of the Salmon River slopes he says: "The summit of these spurs may fall but little below the general level of the main divide for a distance of two or three miles but where they eventually break away to the gorge below the descent is too steep for man or beast."
Except for limited airplane transportation and a few more trails, the Upper Selway area is about as remote today as it was when visited by Leiberg. The existence of the Selway Bitterroot Primitive Area insures that it will remain as one of the rapidly diminishing number of backcountry areas where only such developments as are needed for reasonable fire protection are permitted. It is true that relatively few people have the means or desire to visit such areas; however, it is a source of considerable satisfaction to know that a place does exist where one can get away from the pressures of modern "high speed" living.