The Early Days:
A Sourcebook of Southwestern Region History — Book 1


In 1905 the Congress transferred the administration of the Forest Reserves to the Department of Agriculture. The Division of Forestry, which had been in existence in the Department of Agriculture since 1876, but only as an advisory agency, took over the administration under the name of "Forest Service."

Administration of the Southern District under the fledgling Forest Service was in a state of flux during the years 1905 - 06. Forest Inspectors, some technically trained and some politically appointed, were in charge. Some Forest Inspectors served for only short periods, and some served in charge of only one or more activities. By the end of 1906 the organization was beginning to "jell," but administration continued centralized in Washington.

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By Act of Congress approved March 4, 1907, "The Forest Reserves shall hereafter be known as National Forests."

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Forest Inspectors, Forest Assistants, and Forest Supervisors were detailed to the Washington Office to head up the Southern District. Those detailed and their dates of tenure were:

NameDates of Detail
Fred S. BreenDec. 1906 - Jan. 1907
George H. CecilFeb. 1907
Frank C. W. PoolerMar. 1907 - May 1907
H. A. E. MarshallJune 1907 - Aug. 1907
Ross McMillanOct. 1907 - Nov. 1907
R. C. McClureDec. 1907 - Jan. 1908
C. H. HindererFeb. 1908 - Mar. 1908
W. M. GoddardApr. 1908 - May 1908
T. T. SwiftJune 1908 - July 1908
Eugene WilliamsAug. 1908 - Sept. 1908
H. N. WheelerOct. 1908
A. O. WahaNov. 1908

While these men were detailed to the Washington Office. they served mostly in the field. in Albuquerque. With the help of other Fores Officers, many detailed from the National Forests, they evolved a district organization.

On December 1, 1908, the Southern District was reorganized into District 3 of the Forest Service. Authorities for administration were delegated from the Chief's Office in Washington to the Administrative Officers in the field. It is from this date that the Forest Service became a decentralized agency.

Many changes were proposed and discussed during the reorganization period; some were adopted, many discarded.

March 24, 1908


The changes recommended in the following table are recommended to take effect at the beginning of the fiscal year:

1. Ozark917,944 )

)— Fort Smith, Ark.S. J. Record
2. Arkansas1,073,965 )

3. Wichita60,800Cache, Okla.Frank Rush
4. Carson, Formerly Jemez (N.) and Taos1,091,000 Tres Piedras, N.M.Probably T. E. Stewart
5. Jemez, Formerly Jemez (S.)888,160 )

)— Santa Fe, N.M.Ross McMillan
6. Pecos931,693 )

7. Manzano, Formerly Manzano & Mt. Taylor550,251 Albuquerque, N.M.H. H. Harris
8. Lincoln, Formerly Lincoln and Gallinas596,955 Capital, N.M.J. M. Kinney
9. Sacramento, Formerly Sacramento and Guadalupe1,161,906 Alamogordo, N.M.A. M. Neal
10. Augustine, Formerly Gila N.1,095,040 )

)— Magdalena, N.M.John Kerr
11. Magdalena, Formerly Magdalena and San Mateo578,445 )

12. Gila, Formerly Gila S. and Big Burros1,885,640Silver City, N.M.W. H. Goddard
13. Coconino, Formerly Grand Canyon S. and San Francisco Mts.3,152,426 Flagstaff, Ariz.F.C.W. Pooler
14. Navaho, Formerly Black Mesa N.1,404,929Show Low, Ariz.A. J. Mackay
15. Apache, Formerly Black Mesa S.1,167,320Springerville, Ariz.D. C. Martin
16. Prescott, Formerly Prescott and Verdi1,418,960Prescott, Ariz.C. M. Hinderer
17. Tonto, Formerly Tonto N.1,712,080Roosevelt Ariz.W. H. Reed
18. Lawton, Formerly Tonto S. & Mt. Graham878,080Safford, Ariz.Theo. Swift
19. Pima, Formerly Santa Catalina, Santa Rita and Dragoon 966,368Benson, Ariz.R. J. Selkirk
20. Huachuca, Formerly Huachuca, Baboquivari and Tumacacori 644,395Nogales, Ariz.R. G. Willson
21. Chiricahua, Formerly Chiricahua and Peloncillo 475,257Douglas, Ariz.C. T. McGlone

In the reorganization of the Districts, District 3 became responsible for all of the National Forests in the States of Arizona, Arkansas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Florida was added to the District in 1909.

The Executive Order as issued in July, 1908 followed fairly closely the District's recommendations, but some changes were made. The following is a news release covering the signing of this Executive Order by President Theodore Roosevelt.

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Washington, July 1908 — The President has just signed executive orders making important changes in the boundaries of practically all of the National Forests in the Territory of New Mexico. This is another step in the comprehensive plan of redistricting the National Forests in all of the western states.

No addition in Forest area is involved in the redistricting plan. The object of the work is to equalize the area of administrative units and to arrange their boundaries in such a manner as to promote the most practical and efficient administration of the Forests. It will enable officers of the Forest Service to give prompt attention to all Forest business and further the interests and add to the convenience of stockmen, lumbermen, miners, and other users or settlers in the National Forests. The New Mexico National Forests which will be affected by this rearrangement are as follows:

The Alamo National Forest, comprising an area of 1,164,906 acres, is under the supervision of Acting Supervisor Arthur M. Neal, with headquarters at Alamogordo. This Forest is a consolidation of the old Sacramento and Guadalupe National Forests.

What was formerly known as the Gila (N) National Forest is now the Datil National Forest, with an area of 1,848,915 acres. Supervisor John Kerr is in charge, with headquarters at Magdalena.

The Gila (S) and Big Burros National Forests have been made one Forest and will be known as the Gila National Forest, with an area of 1,762,621 acres. Acting Supervisor W. M. Goddard will be retained in charge, with headquarters at Silver City.

By the consolidation of the Lincoln and Gallinas National Forests, covering an area of 596,603 acres, has been created what will be known as the Lincoln National Forest. Supervisor J. M. Kinney. with headquarters at Magdalena, is in charge.

The Magdalena National Forest is a consolidation of the Magdalena and San Mateo National Forests. This Forest is in charge of Supervisor John Kerr, with headquarters at Magdalena.

The name of the Manzano National Forest is unchanged. Its area is 587,110 acres. Acting Supervisor A.D. Read, with headquarters at Albuquerque, is in charge.

The Pecos River National Forest is now known as the Pecos National Forest, and has an area of 430,880 acres. Supervisor Ross McMillan, with headquarters at Santa Fe, is in charge.

The Carson National Forest includes the Taos and that portion of the Jemez north of the Chains River, and is administered by Supervisor Ross McMillan, with headquarters at Santa Fe. The area of this Forest is 966,000 acres.

The Jemez National Forest consists of that portion of the old Jemez National Forest south of the Chama River. This Forest, together with the Pecos, will be administered by Supervisor Ross McMillan, with headquarters at Santa Fe. The area of the New Jemez is 978,720 acres.

The Arizona National Forests which will be affected by this rearrangement are as follows:

The Apache National Forest comprises the territory formerly known as the Black Mesa (S), and is administered by Supervisor D. C. Martin, with headquarters at Springerville. The area of this Forest is 1,304,320 acres.

The Chiricahua National Forest, which is a consolidation of the Chiricahua and Peloncillo National Forests, is in charge of Acting Supervisor Arthur H. Zachau, with headquarters at Douglas. There are 466,497 acres in this Forest.

The San Francisco Mountains, Grand Canyon (S), and a part of the Black Mesa and Tonto National Forests, are now consolidated under one name — Coconino National Forests — with an area of 3,601,390 acres. Supervisor F. C. W. Pooler, with headquarters at Flagstaff, has charge.

The Crook National Forest, which has an area of 789,340 acres, is administered by Supervisor Theodore T. Swift, with headquarters at Safford. This Forest is composed of what was formerly known as the Mt. Graham and Tonto (S) National Forests.

The Garces National Forest, with an area of 644,395 acres, comprises the old Baboquivari, Tumacacori, and Huachuca Forests. Supervisor Roscoe G. Willson, with headquarters at Nogales, is in charge.

Supervisor Alex. J. Mackay is in charge of the Sitgreaves National Forest, with headquarters at Snowflake. This Forest covers an area of 851,840 acres, and is composed of the old Black Mesa (N), and a part of the Tonto National Forests.

The Santa Catalina, Santa Rita, and Dragoon National Forests, covering an area of 966,368 acres, will hereafter be known as the Coronado National Forest, and is in charge of Supervisor R. J. Selkirk, with headquarters at Benson.

The Grand Canyon (N) National Forest, covering an area of 965,760 acres, will hereafter be known as the Kaibab National Forest. Mr. John H. Clark will be retained as Acting Forest Supervisor, with headquarters at Kanab, Utah.

The Prescott and Verde National Forests are now known as the Prescott National Forest, covering an area of 1,465,268 acres. Supervisor C. H. Hinderer, with headquarters at Prescott, is in charge.

The Tonto National Forest, which was heretofore known as the Tonto (N) National Forest, covers known as the Tonto (N) National Forest, covers an area of 2,039,040 acres. Supervisor W.H. Reed is in charge, with headquarters at Roosevelt.

* * * * * * * * * *

Mr. Arthur C. Ringland was appointed District Forester of District 3, effective December 1, 1908. His office was in the Strickler-Luna Building, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mr. E. H. Clapp was the Assistant District Forester, and Mr. M. B. Jamison was District Law Officer.

The District Office Staff:

  A. O. Waha,Chief
  R. G. Willson,Assistant Chief
  E. H. Jones,Engineering
  H. H. Harris,Occupancy
  J. J. Duffy,District Fiscal Agent
  W. B. Bunton,Maintenance
  T. S. Woolsey,Chief
  A. B. Brecknagle,Assistant Chief
  A. S. Peck,Planting
  G. A. Pearson,Silvics
  J. K. Campbell,Chief
  John Kerr,Assistant Chief
  O. T. Swan.Chief.

The National Forests as of December 1, 1908, with their headquarters and Forest Supervisors are shown in Table 1:

Table 1
National Forests in District 3 in 1908


AlamoAlamogordo, N. Mex.A. M. Neal
ApacheSpringerville, Ariz.C. D. Martin
ArkansasMena, Ark.S. J. Record
CarsonTres Piedras, N. Mex.Ross McMillan
ChiricahuaDouglas, Ariz.A. M. Zachua
CoconinoFlagstaff, Ariz.F. C. W. Pooler
CoronadoRincon, Ariz.R. J. Selkirk
CrookSafford, Ariz.T. T. Swift
DatilMagdalena, N. Mex.John Kerr
GarcesNogales, Ariz.R. G. Willson
GilaSilver City, N. Mex.W. M. Goddard
JemezSanta Fe, N, Mex.Ross McMillan
LincolnCapitan, N. Mex.J. H. Kinney
MagdalenaMagdalena, N. Mex.John Kerr
ManzanoAlbuquerque, N. Mex.A. D. Read
OzarkFt. Smith, Ark.E. E. Fitton
PecosSanta Fe, N. Mex.Ross McMillan
PrescottPrescott, Ariz.C. H. Hinderer
SitgreavesSnowflake, Ariz.A. J. Mackay
TontoRoosevelt, Ariz.W. H. Read
WichitaCache, Okla.Frank Rush

From The Weekly Herald, Prescott, Arizona.

August 1905:

Headline: Stock Men are Fighting Hot. Subhead: Express Themselves Strongly Against Order Charging for Reserve Grazing. Subhead: Several Stock Raisers with Interests in Yavapai County Interviewed While Here to Attend Equalization Board Meeting.

Stockraisers in Yavapai county are being drawn closely together by the recent order promulgated by the forestry bureau of the department of agriculture, wherein after January 1, 1906, charges are to be made for grazing cattle, horses, sheep and goats on all the forest reserves in the west.

Since the Herald first conveyed the news of this new order to the stock owners, they have been discussing it almost constantly, and always to condemn the order and the unjust burden it will place upon them.

During the past week a large number of cattle owners have been in the city to attend the meeting of the county board of equalization. As many of them as could be seen have been asked for their opinions regarding the order that says from 8 to 10 cents per head must be charged for goats and sheep and from 30 to 50 cents per head for cattle and horses for the season.

Those seen have without exception denounced the order, and some of them in terms that would not sound good to those responsible for the order.

The stock men have about reached the point where they are ready to take some sort of concerted action to word a remonstrance that will be sent to Washington, D. C., where it will do the most good.

Some seen are in favor of calling a convention of the cattle interests in northern Arizona in the near future to be held in Prescott. which would frame a set of resolutions and appoint delegates.

To get at the exact feeling of the cattle men statements are printed from some of them who have been in the city from outside points during the past week. They are as follows:

R. B, Houghton, Hassayampa - "This looks like a pretty hard game for the cattle men to me. There is little but oak brush on the reserves and to make us pay 35 cents a head for running our cattle there will be a pretty big burden. If the range on the reserves was good it would be different. We are taxed enough now without this extra burden from the government."

James Page, Cornville - "The cattle men can't pay 35 or 50 cents a head for grazing their stock on the reserve and make any money out of it. There is little feed on the reserves, but most of the water is on them. To get the water we must pay an outrageous price for the grazing. I have talked with fifty cattle men in my section, and they are all against the order."

James Cameron, Walnut Grove - "I can see where the cattle men are going to be done great damage by this order. The sheep owners will not go on the reserve, but will run them on the vacant government land. When they do this the cattle men might as well quit business. Cattle will not feed where sheep have been. This will force us to pay for grazing on the reserve and go broke, or allow our stock to die outside of them."

T. Akard, Peeple's Valley - "It has been bad enough to deny us the unrestricted use of the forest reserves for grazing, and to put on this extra burden is entirely wrong. It will go a long way toward putting all the cattle men completely out of business. The price they propose to charge us is out of reach when compared with the benefits. It will work a great injury to the cattle interests."

August 3, 1905.

Headline: Stock Men Must Act to Protect Their Rights.

The stock men of Arizona should lose no time in forming some kind of a protest against the charges to be made for grazing on the forest reserves," said J. C. Stephens this morning.

Stephens has been in Yavapai county longer than most people here now, and through experience in raising cattle here for over twenty years, has learned enough to know that the new forestry regulations will work a hardship on the stock interests.

If necessary," said he, "the stock men of northern Arizona should call a meeting to be held in the near future in Prescott and then take a stand against the imposition, if necessary arranging to send a delegation to Washington, D. C., to make a protest there."

The suggestion that a convention of stock men be held in Prescott to join in voicing their feelings in the matter is an excellent one and should not be allowed to pass unheeded.

Those people back in Washington can't understand the conditions here, or they would never make an order that we must pay for grazing our stock on the reserves," continued Stephens.

All the cattle men know that the feed on the Prescott reserve is practically nothing. But many of us must run our stock there because of water. For the feed alone it is not worth from thirty-five to fifty cents a season for each head of horses or cattle. To charge us for watering our stock would hardly be fair.

We have seasons in Arizona when stock cannot be fattened for the market or put in shape good enough to ship. During those seasons the cattle men suffer and to ask them to pay thirty-five or fifty cents a head for grazing stock on the reserve would bankrupt many of them."

That the time for the stock men to act has come goes without saying. It is now a matter of protecting vital interests.

September 8, 1905.

Headline: Get at the Truth.

In the Journal-Miner of last week appeared an interview with Inspector Benedict, in which that gentleman attempts to justify the agricultural department's position in promulgating a regulation to charge for grazing of stock on the forest reserves after January first on the ground that the reserves are to be made self supporting.

Mr. Benedict does not deceive any one by this announcement, for the reason that the revenue derived from the source would not pay even the expenses of the great army of experts now running over the country in an attempt to convince the people that they are the conservators of their interests, and the protectors of their rights — whereas it simply means the support of a still greater number of experts to travel around the country in Pullman Palace cars — living in opulence and luxury at government expense, while the poor stockman or ranchman is struggling for existence and to make both ends meet.

We know nothing of Mr. Benedict or of what his recommendations may be to his superior officers after studying the conditions here, but enough is known of his predecessor, a man by the name of Charleton who visited this country last spring to furnish an interesting chapter on the immorality of at least one of these scientific theoretical experts who spent his time while here (inspecting the Prescott reserve) toying with the festive tiger and deporting himself in such a manner as is calculated to bring reproach and criticism upon the methods employed by the government and for which the hard-toiling citizen must pay homage to support.

We are aware of the fact that the government must depend upon the officers in the field to get the facts as they exist and it is important that they be clean, honest and reliable though it sometimes happens that men like the one referred to creep into responsible positions, and the facts many times are distorted and misrepresented more from a careless, indifferent attitude than from a desire to obtain the truth.

What we need is less science and theory and more practicability.

Our citizens are all law-abiding peaceful people, but they have undoubtedly been misrepresented in this latest move to stifle and throttle their little industries by imposing a tax on them that they are unable to bear, and if the matter is brought to the attention of the secretary of agriculture there is little doubt but than an investigation will be ordered that will result in relieving our stockmen from compliance with the regulations of the forestry department and the Herald suggests that some organized concerted action be taken and that at once.

September 8, 1905.

Headline: Ranger Neill Shoots to Kill.

Subheads: Mexican Resists Arrest at Williams and Pays Penalty Immediately. Sheriff and District Attorney of Coconino County Telegraph Governor that Killing, Though to be Deplored, was Justified.

From Williams now comes a tale of shooting and blood shed, and one of Uncle Sam's forest rangers was behind the gun.

Neill and a civil peace officer were attempting to arrest the Mexican when without warning, he pulled his gun and opened fire. Neill then drew his pistol and killed the Mexican.

Word was wired to Phoenix of the killing, and Lieutenant Wheeler of the rangers was sent up to Williams to inquire into the circumstances leading up to the affair. Ranger Neill will more than likely be exonerated.

September 11, 1905.

(Special to The New York Times) Headline: Wilson to Reorganize the Forest Service.

Subheads: Finds $500,000 or More a Year in Hands of Unbonded Agents. Uniforms for Rangers. To place Care of 60,000,000 Acres of Reserve on Efficient Bases-Federal Lumber Business.

Washington, Sept. 11.

Congress will be asked this Fall to organize on a permanent basis the Forest Service, which has taken charge of the numerous reservations that heretofore have been controlled by the Secretary of the Interior. On July 1, the forest reservations passed over to the Department of Agriculture.

One of the first steps in a systematic direction of the large force of forest rangers and supervisors is to order that they wear a uniform, to be provided at their own expense. Bids will be invited for a supply for the whole force, so that the cost may be reduced.

The cloth is of the same quality as that used by the army in the field but the color is a neutral or drab green. A special button design has been adopted, an embossed fir tree in the centre, between the words "Forest" and "Service." Flannel shirts of gray have been chosen, and the hat will be of gray felt, with a three-inch brim. Black riding boots, similar to those worn by the cavalry, and a double-breasted overcoat to match the uniform, have been specified.

The next step will involve bonding the entire force. There are now more than 800 rangers and supervisors, who are authorized to take deposits from bidders for "down" timber, diseased trees, or even for ripe timber. There are under the reservation system 60,000,000 acres, and within a year there will be fully 50,000,000 more added to the Government forest.

In the control and management of this area, the United States, to quote Secretary Wilson, "has gone into the lumber business." If there should be an average of three or four deposits a month with each ranger, the amount in the hands of the force would run up to $500,000 every season.

The smallest amount that is accepted as a deposit is $20,000, and this is forwarded by the supervisors to Washington. Even here there has been no provision for a bonded custodian. No trouble has occurred so far, owing to the sharp inspection of the service ordered by Secretary Wilson. He is preparing a plan for reorganization of the whole system of forest service, with a view to securing from Congress suitable legislation.

It is the expectation that within a few years the Government will control the sale of from $2,000,000 to $12,000,000 worth of lumber from reservations annually. Under systematic management of these forests, the prevention of fires and of wholesale cutting, the new growth will more than replace the annual cut.

November 11, 1905. (Editorial)

Former Ruling Modified.

It will be pleasing to the cattle men of this section to know that the department has modified the former ruling, which was to go into effect on the first of the coming January, providing that stock men would be compelled to pay from 20 to 35 cents per head per year on all cattle grazing within the bounds of the forest reserves, and that the change reduces the fee per year from the above sum to 10 cents per head, with the privilege allowed each stock man to graze 100 head free.

When the order was announced the Herald took up the matter vigorously and urged the cattle men to unite in an effort to have the obnoxious ruling set aside. We followed the matter closely and published several editorials showing the evil of the new regulation which was about to be forced upon us. The words of the Herald partly started the crusade that caused the change in the ruling.

Eugene Grubb, of the Colorado board of agriculture, took the matter up with Secretary Wilson, of the board of agriculture, and Gifford Pinchot, of the bureau of forestry, and the result was that the changes referred to above were made.

The stock men of the west will be greatly benefited by the change in the new ruling. The order, if carried out, would have worked great hardship on the small cattle owner. As it is now the small owner will be benefited as he will be allowed to have 100 head of cattle on the reserve free from pasturage charges. The other ten cents ought to now be knocked off also. Perhaps if the stock men will get together and protest that, the order will be rescinded entirely. Let the stock men and the miners alone, and finally Arizona will come out on top. Throttle them and we are the losers, and heavy losers, too.

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