• picture
  • picture
PRI's Environmental News Magazine

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of June 13, 1997

Facts about... forest reserves.


CURWOOD: Back in 1891 President Benjamin Harrison set aside about a million acres of land as the nation's first forest reserve. The move was prompted by concerns over diminishing natural resources. But no one could decide how to manage all that space, so it was left untouched. By 1897, the reserve had grown to nearly 40 million acres, and furious farmers and miners wanted the land reopened to resource extraction. They pushed through Congress what was called The Organic Act, which for the first time allowed logging in US forests. A New York Times editorial called for a Presidential veto, and naturalist John Muir wrote of "Goths of the wilderness." But the Act survived, and by the mid-1960s logging reached a peak of about 12 billion board feet harvested per year. That's enough wood to build one million single family homes. Environmental regulations enacted during the 1980s reduced timber harvests on public lands down to 3 billion board feet a year. But some say that the Organic Act should be repealed and that no logging should be permitted on public lands. And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.



Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

P.O. Box 990007
Prudential Station
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Telephone: 1-617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.

Creating positive outcomes for future generations.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary hummingbird photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.