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Title: History of the Blacks Mountain Experimental Forest, 1933 through 1981

Author: Gordon, Donald T.;

Date: 1981

Source: Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 209 p.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous


Before the telling of this tale could take place, there had to be an Experimental Forest and sorre events. Reasons for the establishment of the area will be covered later, but some of the records of establishment have been found.

Blacks Mountain Experimental Forest, about 10,000 acres in size, was withdrawn from lands of Lassen National Forest and designated as an experimental forest by F. A. Silcox, (Chief) Forester, United States Forest Service, on March 28, 1934. This action fallowed a search by an Experiment Station committee for a suitable experimental area east of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Range from about Lake Tahoe to the Oregon border. The report on the proposed area was signed in 1933 by C. E. Dunston (assistant toT. D. Woodbury, Assistant Regional Forester (Timber Management) for Region 5, U.S. Forest Service), and A. E. Wieslander (Associate Silviculturist in the California Forest Experiment Station). The report was approved in 1933 by Regional Forester S. B. Show (rhymes with "now"), and E. I. Kotok, Director, California Forest Experiment Station. An interesting feature of the document is that nowhere did it designate the Experiment Station as the agency to administer or operate the Experimental Forest.

Some controversy surrounded the establishment and location of the Experimental Forest. A. E. Wieslander (1) has indicated that he "carried the load" for the Station because Duncan Dunning (Chief of the Station's Division of Forest Management Research) was at variance with individuals on the Region's Timber Management Staff. Additionally, Wieslander was familiar with the area proposed. Memorandums in Station files in Berkeley show that some members of the Region's staff doubted the usefulness of an experimental forest, and especially one as large as proposed. But, probably most important in the Region's reckoning was the thought expressed by Woodbury in January, 1932, that the proposed location of the experimental forest might disrupt the management plan of the Eastern Lassen Working Circle of the Lassen National Forest. Particularly involved was possible violation of an existing Secretary of Agriculture agreement with The Fruit Growers Supply Company of Susanville which entitled it to bid on all timber in the working Circle. Reducing the area and timber available to it might result in a "bad faith" charge against the Forest Service. Woodbury made other suggestions and comments.

Keywords: Blacks Mountain, experimental forest, history

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Gordon, Donald T. 1981. History of the Blacks Mountain Experimental Forest, 1933 through 1981. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 209 p.


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