In honor of the season, Peeling Back the Bark would like to feature a small selection of just a few of the holiday cards and greetings found in various Forest History Society archival collections. The following selected materials represent just a fraction of the many collections available in the FHS Archives. Below each image can be found some brief caption information and the collection name. Click on any of the images to view a larger version. Happy holidays!
Archive for December, 2008
The Forest History Society has appeared twice in the news recently! Staff historian Jamie Lewis was interviewed for a story about the drop in the number of visitors to national forests on an annual basis written by Associated Press reporter Jeff Barnard. “National Forest visitors down, no one knows why” appeared in newspapers around the country and online on November 29. Barnard, the 2006 Collier Award recipient, also spoke with FHS President Steve Anderson and Librarian Cheryl Oakes for background material for his article. This is the second time Jamie has been interviewed for an article on the Forest Service; the first was to comment on the resignation of former FS chief Dale Bosworth in January 2007.
FHS and its publication, Forest History Today, are mentioned in the University of St. Thomas (MN) “Bulletin News.” Recent contributor Mark Neuzil’s article was the focus of a short piece dated December 2:
Dr. Mark Neuzil, College of Arts and Sciences (Communication and Journalism Department), is the author of an article, “The Nature of Media Coverage: Two Minnesota Fires,” published in the fall 2008 issue of Forest History Today, a publication of the Forest History Society. The article examines the media coverage of the Great Hinckley Fire of 1894 and the Ham Lake Boundary Waters fire of 2007.
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On this day in 1874, Raphael Zon was born in Simbirsk, Russia. From Russian radical to New World immigrant, Zon achieved national and international influence as a forest researcher. Gifford Pinchot even proclaimed, “Mr. Zon is my old and valued friend. . . There is no higher authority in forestry in America.”
In Simbirsk, Zon studied at the classical gymnasium. At this school, Alexander Kerensky’s father acted as director and Lenin was an older classmate. Later, Zon pursued studies in medical and natural sciences at the University of Kazan, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in comparative embryology.
In his early life, Zon had a history of political agitation and subsequent imprisonment in his native land. While a student, Zon engaged in political activity, especially pressing for representative government in Russia, for which he was periodically arrested. Then briefly assigned to the international zoological station in Naples, he was investigated for helping to form the first trade union at Kazan in 1894. With the help of future Duma leader Alexis Aladin, Zon escaped his 11-year sentence of confinement.
Fleeing westward, Zon studied natural sciences, political economy, and philosophy at universities in Belgium and London. In 1897, Zon arrived in New York City with a mere fifteen cents to his name. Zon soon left his temporary job at a drugstore for Ithaca, New York, where he enrolled in the nascent New York State College of Forestry at Cornell University. Studying under Bernhard E. Fernow and Filibert Roth, Zon earned his degree of forest engineer in 1901, becoming a member of the school’s first graduating class.
On July 1, 1901, Zon entered the U. S. Forest Service as a student assistant assigned to forest investigations. Six years later, he was promoted to Chief of the Office of Silvics (later Forest Investigations). Zon made a persuasive and persistent case for separating research work from forest administration, achieved in 1915 with the establishment of the Branch of Research. Zon’s advocacy of research led to his organization of the first Federal Forest Experiment Stations and the Forest Products Laboratory. In order to advance the war effort, Woodrow Wilson appointed Zon to the National Research Council to study forest problems during World War I. In 1923, Zon left Washington, D.C., to accept appointment as director of the Lake States Forest Experiment Station at St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1923. In this position, Zon served with distinction until his retirement in 1944.
Presenting the inaugural Gifford Pinchot Medal to Raphael Zon, George L. Drake lauded Zon’s role in American forestry:
Throughout his official career, Raphael Zon exercised a national influence on the development of forest research not surpassed by any other American forester.