Section VI. List of Sources
This section serves as a gateway to the collection of primary documents. To view a document, simply click on its title (or on its number in the table, right). This section also lists the source of each document and provides background information and suggested discussion questions. The documents have been organized into six thematic sections:
Document 1: The Hudson's Bay Company Enters the Timber Trade, 1828-29
Frederick Merk, ed., Fur Trade and Empire: George Simpson's Journal, rev. ed. (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1968), p. 298, 309-10.
George Simpson, the governor of the North American operations of the Hudson's Bay Company, diversified the operation of the fur-trading posts under his command. In these letters, he described the vast profits the HBC could earn by logging the forests of the Northwest. Under Simpson's direction, the HBC built the first sawmill in the region in 1828.
Document 2: Charles Wilkes Explores the Pacific Northwest for the United States, 1841
Edmond S. Meany, ed., "Diary of Wilkes in the Northwest," Washington Historical Quarterly 16 (1925): 56-58, 140-45, 297-98.
In 1838 Congress authorized an expedition to explore the shores of the Pacific Ocean from Antarctica to Alaska. Charles Wilkes, a Navy officer, was chosen to lead the mission, which lasted nearly four years. The expedition traveled through the Pacific Northwest in 1841. These journal entries document Wilkes's impressions of the region's vast forests. His description of the profitability of HBC operations increased Americans' interest in this part of the continent. (In addition, one of the expedition's ships wrecked at the mouth of the Columbia River. This calamity, combined with Wilkes's description of the safety and excellence of the harbors in Puget Sound, solidified U.S. leaders' resolve to acquire the Puget Sound area.)
Document 3: James Swan Describes Northwest Indians' Methods of Building Canoes
James Swan, The Northwest Coast; or Three Years' Residence in Washington Territory (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1857), p. 78-82.
James Swan moved to San Francisco during the gold rush migration of 1849. The following year he moved again, settling near Shoalwater Bay (now called Willapa Bay) in Washington Territory. This selection from his memoir describes the process by which Indians carved canoes out of a cedar log. Swan spent a great deal of time learning about Native cultures and languages. He later became the first Indian agent and schoolteacher on the Makah Reservation on the Olympic Peninsula.
Document 4: James Swan Settles in Washington Territory and Comes to Terms with Its Forests
James Swan, The Northwest Coast; or Three Years' Residence in Washington Territory (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1857), p. 32, 49-55, 134, 397-99.
These selections reveal some of the white settlers' reactions to the region's forests. Swan described in vivid detail how difficult it was to clear a piece of land—to remove trees and burn the stumps. He also recalled a Fourth of July celebration in which the revelers made a bonfire that escaped their control. This fire burned the adjacent forest for several months. The casualness with which Swan and his companions set forest fires suggests that they perceived a nearly endless supply of trees. Indeed, Swan concluded that Washington Territory's abundance of "fine timber" would fuel substantial economic and population growth.
B. The Rise of the Lumber Industry
Document 5: Asa Mercer Promotes the Puget Sound Lumber Trade, 1865
Asa Mercer, Washington Territory: The Great Northwest, Her Material Resources and Claims to Emigration (Utica, N.Y.: L. C. Childs, 1865), p. 8, 17-18, 22-23.
Asa Mercer came to Seattle in 1861 to become the first president of the University of Washington. Mercer later went to Massachusetts in an effort to convince single young women to move to Seattle to become schoolteachers (and to increase the number of marriageable women in the overwhelmingly male city of Seattle). Mercer became a local hero after he returned with 11 "Mercer girls" in 1864 and 34 more in 1866. Voters later elected him to the senate of Washington Territory. In 1865 Mercer published this promotional guide to Washington Territory. He appealed to prospective emigrants by describing the territory's resources. These excerpts focus on Washington's supposedly "inexhaustible" timber resources.
Document 6: Ezra Meeker Forecasts a Bright Future for Washington's Lumber Business, 1870
Ezra Meeker, Washington Territory West of the Cascade Mountains: Containing a Description of Puget Sound, and Rivers Emptying into It, the Lower Columbia, Shoalwater Bay, Gray's Harbor; Timber, Lands, Climate, Fisheries, Ship Building, Coal Mines, Market Reports, Trade, Labor, Population, Wealth and Resources (Olympia: Washington State Transcript Office, 1870), p. 18-19.
Ezra Meeker moved to Washington Territory in the 1850s and became a farmer and booster. In 1870 the territorial government hired him to write a promotional booklet. This selection describes the increasing demand for lumber. Like Asa Mercer, Meeker believed that there was "no fear" that the timber supply would be exhausted. Meeker later became a real-estate developer in the Puyallup Valley and the first mayor of the city of Puyallup.
Document 7: Helen Hunt Jackson Visits Puget Sound and Worries about Its Future, 1883
H. H. [Helen Hunt Jackson], "Puget Sound," Atlantic Monthly 51 (February 1883): 218-31.
Helen Hunt Jackson, a writer and Indian rights advocate, sold several travel narratives to Atlantic Monthly in the late 19th century. Her article about the Puget Sound provides detailed descriptions of the timber operations at Port Gamble. Unlike most other writers who described Washington Territory at this time, Jackson expressed concern about how continued migration and economic growth would impact Native peoples and the future lumber supply.
Document 8: Washington Promotes Its Forests at the 1893 World's Fair
Edmund S. Meany, selected press releases, 1891-93, compiled under the title "Washington World's Fair Commission," Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries, Seattle [hereafter cited as SC-UW].
University of Washington professor Edmund Meany directed publicity efforts for Washington's exhibit at the Chicago World's Fair of 1893. The exhibit was designed to attract settlers and investors to the state. Many of Meany's press releases emphasized the potential of Washington's growing lumber industry.
Document 9: Logging Crew Falling a Tree Using Axes and Springboards
University of Washington negative #17617, Industries and Occupations Photo Collection, SC-UW.
The caption on this photograph reads, "Man lying in the completed under cut of a twelve-foot cedar, wagon load of chips lying on the ground." For decades, trees were felled by hand. This photo shows the use of springboards, which were tapered planks, about five feet long, with an angled iron bolted to the wide end. The iron fit into a horizontal slot cut in the tree. The springboard served as a sturdy platform from which the faller could swing his axe. It was also a shock absorber. On truly large trees like the one in this photo, fallers had to use springboards because the bottom few feet of the tree contained so much sap that fallers could not cut there. Although springboards were useful tools, they posed a safety hazard if they broke or if loggers fell off of them.
Document 10: Michael Luark's Diary Describes Life in the Lumber Industry
Michael Luark diaries, 1853, 1878, Michael Luark Papers, accession 309, SC-UW.
Michael Luark moved from Indiana to Olympia and began working for the Deschutes Mill Company in 1853. His diary entries from this period describe the vast forests of Washington Territory, the productivity of the early mills, and the demands of logging. After leaving the Deschutes Mill Company, Michael filed a claim on 320 acres under the Donation Land Act (a precursor to the Homestead Act). His life consisted of a mixture of subsistence farming on his own land and logging for wages in the Steilacoom area. In autumn of 1855, Luark returned to Indiana for his family. When the family went to Washington, they found that another settler had occupied Michael's farm. Michael arranged to sell his land and moved near his brother's farm by Grays Harbor. The Luarks once again combined farming with logging. In 1869 Michael built his own sawmill, the Sylva Mill Company, which he operated until October 1885. His diary entries from 1878 document the effort required to run a mill, and they describe the toll on his health. Washington's forests allowed settlers to build lives for themselves and their families, but Luark's diary shows that the pioneer lifestyle in Washington Territory was harsh and demanding.
Document 11: A Logger Writes Home, 1873
Rutherford Byrne to his brother, 19 October 1873, Rutherford Byrne Papers, accession 4628, SC-UW.
Written in Port Gamble, Rutherford Byrne's letter provides a glimpse into the life of a logger. Byrne described the vast supplies of high-quality timber in the territory and the "big pay" available for the men who worked in the woods. He also discussed the unpleasant working conditions in the mill towns.
C. Technology, Capital, and the Railroad
Document 12: Pope and Talbot Worry about Competition, 1888-1892
A. J. Pope and F. Talbot to Cyrus Walker, 10 December 1888, folder 133/12, and 5 September 1892, folder 137/4, Edwin G. Ames Papers, accession 3820-1, SC-UW.
Andrew Jackson Pope and Frederic Talbot were both sons of sawmill owners in East Machias, Maine. During the 1849 Gold Rush, they left Maine for San Francisco, where they founded their own lumber company. They originally wanted to sell timber that was cut on the East Coast and shipped around Cape Horn to California. When this strategy proved infeasible, the partners opened a sawmill at Port Gamble in 1853. They then established the Puget Mill Company to run the mill. Cyrus Walker was appointed general manager of the company in 1861. Walker ensured that the Puget Mill Company retained its position as one of the largest lumber operations on Puget Sound. In these two letters, Pope and Talbot discussed the growing competition in the lumber industry with Walker. In their first letter, Pope and Talbot stated that competition would not be a problem because growing markets across the Pacific would buy all the lumber that they and their competitors could produce. Pope and Talbot were not so optimistic when they wrote the second letter. They were definitely worried by their competitors' actions, but they hoped that the arrival of the railroads would bring better times. Reduced freight rates would give other mills an incentive to ship their lumber to the growing Eastern market. Thus, competitors would no longer disturb Pope and Talbot's markets in San Francisco and other Pacific ports.
Document 13: Oxen Hauling Logs in a Washington Forest
UW negative 1683, Industries and Occupations Photo Collection, SC-UW.
Until the invention of the donkey engine in 1881, loggers used oxen to haul logs over skid roads to the water, where they were formed into rafts and floated or barged to the mills. Using oxen was difficult because the animals were slow and the chains attached to the logs frequently became tangled or broken.
Document 14: Mason County Lumber Company Logging Crew and Horses
UW negative 11937, Industries and Occupations Photo Collection, SC-UW.
In addition to oxen, loggers also used horses to haul logs. This photo shows how logging was conducted in close proximity to the skid roads, as human and animal power could not haul logs over long distances. The use of animal power confined logging to areas that were less than a mile or two from shore.
Document 15: Two Donkey Engines and Their Crews
UW negative 114 and IND negative 0209, Industries and Occupations Photo Collection, SC-UW.
After the invention of the donkey engine in 1881, oxen and horses were no longer needed to haul logs. The steam-powered donkey engine made logging operations quicker and more efficient, but it also made them more dangerous. The wire cables attached to donkey engines occasionally snapped and killed or injured workers. The back of the first photo is labeled, "Early donkey engine, Grays Harbor." The caption on the reverse of the second snapshot reads, "A donkey crew pauses while a wire splice is made."
Document 16: Snoqualmie Mill Company Railroad, circa 1895
UW negative 1863, Industries and Occupations Photo Collection, SC-UW.
Like the donkey engine, logging railroads transformed the lumber industry in the late 19th century. These railroads facilitated the transport of logs and allowed logging operations to move inland and reach previously inaccessible stands of timber.
Document 17: A Magazine Depicts Logging in Washington, 1892
F. I. Vassault, "Lumbering in Washington," Overland Monthly 20 (July 1892): 23-32.
This article furnishes a basic overview of the late-19th-century lumber industry in Washington. It provides descriptions of technologies that were transforming the industry—the logging railroad, steam-powered mills, and the mechanized "steam nigger" that manipulated the saws in such mills. Like many observers before him, F. I. Vassault held a very optimistic assessment of Washington's timber supply.
Document 18: High-Lead Logging, 1918
Negative IND0549, Industries and Occupations Photo Collection, SC-UW.
This photograph, which was taken just outside of Aberdeen, Washington, depicts a new method of yarding trees developed sometime after 1905. Instead of using a donkey engine to drag logs across the ground, workers could haul logs through the air by suspending cables and pulleys from the top of a tall tree called a spar tree. This technique was known as high-lead logging. It made yarding more efficient and allowed harvesting on steep slopes and in narrow valleys that used to be unreachable. Not surprisingly, the process of moving large logs through the air above workers' heads resulted in many industrial accidents.
Document 19: Rigger Climbing Tree, circa 1920
UW negative 12153, Industries and Occupations Photo Collection, SC-UW.
Riggers had one of the most dangerous jobs in the timber industry. They were essential to the process of high-lead logging. Using a climbing belt and spikes, riggers climbed up a spar tree and cut off its top and branches. They then attached the pulleys and cables that were needed to yard the logs to the loading site.
D. Government and Unions Enter the Woods
Document 20: Lumber Managers Fret about Striking Millworkers, 1907
Edwin G. Ames to R. H. Alexander, 15 March 1907, folder 6/28, Edwin G. Ames Papers, accession 3820-1, SC-UW.
Edwin Ames was the manager of Pope & Talbot interests in the Puget Sound region during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. R. H. Alexander was the general manager of the B.C. Mills, Timber, and Trading Company. In this letter, the two lumbermen discussed the recent Industrial Workers of the World strike in Portland, Oregon, and the possibility of the strikes moving north. Ames clearly feared the I.W.W.
Document 21: Executives Confer about the I.W.W., 1911
Mark Reed to Edwin G. Ames, 1 December 1911, folder 4/2, Edwin G. Ames Papers, accession 3820-1, SC-UW.
Mark Reed was a state legislator and the general manager of the Simpson Logging Company, based in Shelton, Washington. In this letter, Reed informed Ames of the problems with the I.W.W. that he had encountered in the mills. Like Ames, Reed was deeply worried about the Wobblies.
Document 22: Lumber Companies Fight the Wobblies, 1912
E. G. Griggs to Edwin G. Ames, 12 April 1912, folder 4/11, Edwin G. Ames Papers, accession 3820-1, SC-UW.
This document is a letter sent by E. G. Griggs, president of the St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Company, to inform Ames of his successful fight against the I.W.W. Note that Griggs defeated the Wobblies by enlisting the aid of the government. Police departments and other governmental agencies often helped lumber companies break streaks and evict union organizers, especially Wobblies.
Document 23: Lumberman Paul Page Testifies about the Timber Industry, 1914
U.S. Senate, Commission on Industrial Relations, Industrial Relations: Final Report and Testimony, 64th cong., 1st sess. (1916), senate document 415, vol. 5, p. 4249-4260.
Congress created the Industrial Relations Commission to investigate the causes of labor unrest and recommend remedies for these problems. In 1914 the commission held hearings in Seattle. Paul Page, owner of Page Lumber Company, provided revealing testimony about wages in the lumber industry, labor unrest, living conditions in mill towns and logging camps, and the origins of workers' compensation measures. Page blamed labor unrest on outside agitators, not on the working conditions in the woods. He, like most lumber executives, used many stereotypes when discussing his employees: he preferred to believe that most loggers were "rovers," who did not really want family life or improved working conditions.
Document 24: Injuries in the Lumber Industry
State of Washington Bureau of Labor, Eleventh Biennial Report, 1917-1918, p. 184-89.
This report describes some of the accidents that often occurred in the lumber industry. Andrew Mason Prouty's study, More Deadly than War! Pacific Coast Logging, used statistics published in reports like this one to document the incredibly dangerous nature of these occupations. Prouty found that during the early 20th century, 1 in 150 loggers in Washington died every year. This fatality rate meant that one-third of all 18-year-old loggers would not live to become 65-year-old loggers. Furthermore, every year roughly one in five loggers (and one in eight millworkers) was injured on the job.
Document 25: Professor William Ogburn Analyzes Labor Unrest in the Timber Industry, 1918
William F. Ogburn, "Causes and Remedies of Labor Unrest in the Lumber Industry," University of Washington Forest Club Annual 6 (1918): 11-14.
After a series of strikes in 1917, President Wilson authorized the U.S. Department of Labor to investigate the causes of labor unrest across the country. The department hired William Ogburn, a University of Washington sociology professor, to study the timber industry. Ogburn spent several weeks in Washington logging camps and mill towns. He discovered that long hours, low wages, unsanitary conditions, and lack of family life were the primary causes of workers' dissatisfaction. He argued that increased family and community life and recreation would ameliorate labor problems in the industry.
Document 26: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Examines the West Coast Lumber Industry, 1924
Cloice R. Howd, Industrial Relations in the West Coast Lumber Industry, Bulletin of the United Stated Bureau of Labor Statistics 349 (1924), p. 38-54.
This document contains two chapters from a bulletin prepared by Cloice Howd, an economist for the U.S. Department of Labor. Chapter 5 analyzes working conditions in the lumber industry and reaches much the same conclusions as Ogburn's report (document 25). Chapter 6 examines the individuals who work in the lumber industry, characterizing workers based on their particular occupation. Even though he was much more sympathetic to loggers and millworkers than Paul Page had been (see document 23), Howd did make abundant use of stereotypes to describe workers.
Document 27: I.W.W. Cartoons
Unlabeled cartoons in Industries and Occupations Photo Collection and Everett Massacre Collection, SC-UW.
The I.W.W. published several tracts designed to convince workers to join the Wobblies. However, many lumber workers did not read well, so I.W.W. activists also used songs and drawings in their organizing efforts. Northwest Wobblies produced all four of these cartoons during the 1910s.
Document 28: The I.W.W. Explains Its Goals, 1920
James Rowan, The I.W.W. in the Lumber Industry, pamphlet no. 500 (Seattle: Lumber Workers Industrial Union, no date [circa 1920]), p. 3, 5-9, 14-20, 26, 39-40, 54-59.
James Rowan was a Wobbly organizer who came to help recruit Everett's striking shingle weavers into the I.W.W. in 1916. He arrived just a few months before the Everett Massacre and spent the next several years in Washington State. In this pamphlet, Rowan described the aims of the I.W.W. and its desire to break up the "Lumber Trust." In addition, he recounted the recent experiences of the I.W.W.—including the Everett Massacre, the strikes of 1917-18, the struggle with the Spruce Production Division and the Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen, and the persecution of Wobblies during wartime.
Document 29: Objects of the Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen, 1918
Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen bulletin no. 3 (1918), folder 3/9, Brice P. Disque Papers, accession 316, SC-UW.
Colonel Brice Disque, head of the Army's Spruce Production Division, created the Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen (4L) as part of an effort to defeat the I.W.W. and increase spruce harvests. Disque required all loggers and millworkers to join the 4L, but the 4L did not admit suspected Wobblies. This document is a bulletin presenting the objectives of the 4L. The 4L emphasized patriotism and condemned anyone who idled or put his interests above the nation's war effort—a not-so-subtle jab at I.W.W. members.
Document 30: A Ranger Reminisces about the First Years of the Mt. Baker National Forest
Memoirs of C. C. McGuire, accession 1573, SC-UW.
C. C. McGuire was a ranger in the Mt. Baker National Forest from 1909 to 1930. His reflections depict some of the challenges that the Forest Service faced in its early years. He had to survey his district because the agency had no idea precisely how much and what kind of timber that part of the forest contained. He assisted in one of the first timber sales that the Forest Service made in Washington State. He also helped fight several forest fires. As his memoirs make clear, the Forest Service had a great deal of trouble containing fires during this era when the national forests contained virtually no roads and few trails.
Document 31: The Wilderness Society Advocates Creating a Large Olympic National Park, 1936
Statement of Robert Marshall in Mount Olympus National Park: Hearings before the Committee on the Public Lands, House of Representatives, Seventy-Fourth Congress, Second Session, on H. R. 7086, A Bill to Establish the Mount Olympus National Park in the State of Washington (1936), p. 274-76.
The author of this letter, Robert Marshall, had gained public recognition for exploring northern Alaska during the early 1930s. He went on to become the principal founder of the Wilderness Society, an organization dedicated to preserving large roadless tracts of land as an "antidote to mechanized civilization." The Wilderness Society wanted to create a large Olympic National Park in order to safeguard what Marshall called "the most gorgeous forest in the whole country."
Document 32: Ashael Curtis Supports a Small Olympic National Park, 1938
Statement of Ashael Curtis and F. W. Mathias in To Establish the Olympic National Park in the State of Washington: Hearings before the Committee on the Public Lands, House of Representatives, Seventy-Fifth Congress, Third Session, on H.R. 10024, a Bill to Establish the Olympic National Park in the State of Washington (1938), p. 30-31.
The controversy surrounding the creation of Olympic National Park focused on the question of how much timber would be included within the park's boundaries. Ashael Curtis, a noted photographer and a member of the Washington State Planning Council, argued that Olympic National Park should be relatively small. He claimed that the boundaries proposed by the National Park Service would lock up valuable timber, as well as other natural resources.
Document 33: Thomas Aldwell Opposes the Expansion of Olympic National Park, 1939
Thomas T. Aldwell and Chris Morgenroth to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 4 August 1939, folder 3/13, Thomas Aldwell Papers, accession 4082, SC-UW.
Thomas Aldwell was a member of the Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce and a spokesman for the logging industry. In this letter, he argued against proposals to extend the boundaries of Olympic National Park. His protest failed: President Roosevelt did indeed enlarge the park in 1939. Nonetheless, Aldwell continued his efforts on behalf of the timber industry on the Olympic Peninsula. He urged local residents to protest the expansion of the park, claiming, "One cannot enjoy scenery on an empty stomach." During the Second World War, Aldwell urged Congress to reduce the size of the park in order "to assist materially in the war production of our industries which are now operating only on a part-time basis in Port Angeles." However, his arguments were not persuasive because wooden ships and airplanes were essentially obsolete by the time of the Second World War. Although they did not succeed in reducing the size of Olympic National Park, local loggers continued to press for permission to cut at least some of the huge trees in the park. Document 48 describes a controversy over salvage logging within the park during the 1950s.
E. Working in the Twentieth-Century Lumber Industry
Document 34: Inside a Bunkhouse at a Logging Camp, circa 1900
UW negative 9282, Industries and Occupations Photo Collection, SC-UW.
The caption on the reverse side of this print indicates that it was probably taken in the Bordeaux Brothers Logging Company camp near Shelton, Washington. As this photo shows, the conditions inside a bunkhouse in a logging camp were usually crowded and dirty. Notice the hanging clothes and the logs for the wood-burning stove.
Document 35: Loggers Standing Outside Bunkhouses, circa 1905
UW negative 6198, Industries and Occupations Photo Collection, SC-UW.
As you can see in this photograph, the buildings at logging camps were quite rudimentary because the camps moved from location to location with great frequency. Nonetheless, the loggers had probably cleaned up and put on their best clothes for this picture.
Document 36: An Immigrant Boy Enters the Logging Industry, 1905-08
Torger Birkeland, Echoes of Puget Sound: Forty Years of Logging and Steamboating (Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton Printers, 1960), p. 19-29.
A Norwegian immigrant, Torger Birkeland started working in the lumber industry when he was 11 years old. This selection from his memoirs recounts his work as a whistle punk (signalman) in a Hood Canal logging camp in 1905. It also describes logging camp conditions and some of Birkeland's other logging jobs.
Document 37: Emil Engstrom Depicts Life as a Bucker and a Faller, 1903-13
Emil Engstrom, The Vanishing Logger (New York: Vantage Press, 1956), p. 8-9, 22-24, 64-65.
Emil Engstrom worked as a bucker and a faller in Oregon and Washington during the early 20th century. This document details the arduous labor involved in falling a tree and cutting it into logs. This work could be dangerous, and Engstrom realized he was lucky to have survived the accident recounted at the end of this selection.
Document 38: Boom Man Sorting Logs, circa 1920
UW negative 6560, Industries and Occupations Photo Collection, SC-UW.
After the donkey engine or logging railroad deposited logs into the water, a boom man used a pole to sort the logs into rafts by type of tree—fir, spruce, or cedar. The rafts of logs were then towed to the mill. It was not uncommon for men to drown or get crushed doing this job. Workers often fell off the logs, got tangled in weeds, and sank because of the weight of their heavy boots. There were no flotation devices, and many men in the early 20th century could not swim. This photograph probably depicts a boom man working for the Puget Mill Company near Port Ludlow, Washington.
Document 39: Bloedel-Donovan Mill, Skykomish, 1937
Negative 1012B, Lee Pickett Photo Collection, SC-UW.
This photograph illustrates a typical lumber milling operation. Logs were piled up in the pond near the mill, where they would be processed into different sizes of lumber.
Document 40: Lavina Hartsuck Describes Life in a Family of Millworkers
Reminisces of Mrs. Ben [Lavina] Hartsuck, accession 4749, SC-UW.
Lavina Hartsuck's husband worked in a lumber mill near Olympia during the early 20th century. Her reminisces describe the long hours and difficult work he endured in the mills, and they narrate how his work affected her life. Hartsuck's writings also recall I.W.W. agitation and its impact on her husband, who had become a foreman at the mill.
Document 41: R. J. O'Farrell Looks Back at the Evolution of Logging in the Northwest
R. J. O'Farrell, "The Evolution of Logging—Some Personal Glimpses," University of Washington Forest Club Quarterly 8:4 (Autumn 1929): 10-17.
R. J. O'Farrell worked as a faller and a logging foreman before he became a Forest Service ranger. In this article, he detailed many of the changes in logging technology adopted during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. O'Farrell was a keen observer of the impact of this technology: he noted that "the output per man has been increased, but the initial expenditure for equipment has also been increased many fold. It is now impossible for the little fellow to get into the game." He concluded his essay by discussing the goals of Forest Service management during the 1920s.
Document 42: Logging with Caterpillar Tractors, 1937
Negative 194x, Darius Kinsey Photo Collection, SC-UW.
This photograph displays the operations of the Sauk River Lumber Company near Darrington, Washington, in 1937. The introduction of the caterpillar tractor gave impetus to the idea of selective logging. The tractors enabled loggers to choose the trees they wanted to cut, and they could then leave the remaining trees for future use.
F. Intensive Logging, Environmentalism, and Owls: Washington's Forests after 1940
Document 43: Two Loggers with Chainsaw, circa 1945
UW negative 11927, Industries and Occupations Photo Collection, SC-UW.
The introduction of the chainsaw enabled loggers to fell trees with greater efficiency. It made the crosscut saw obsolete, and it dramatically reduced the size of logging crews. Some men even began to work alone—this was called single jacking. A single faller with a chainsaw could do the work of over a dozen fallers with crosscut saws.
Document 44: Log Trucks at an Olympic Peninsula Timber Festival, circa 1947
UW negative 12157, Industries and Occupations Photo Collection, SC-UW.
Logging trucks accelerated the transport of trees from the woods to the mills. They also prompted the construction of thousands of miles of roads into and out of national forests and private timberlands, and these logging roads often caused soil erosion on steep slopes. This particular photograph was probably taken at a timber festival in Port Angeles or Shelton during the late 1940s. After the Second World War, many small towns established timber festivals that celebrated their connection to the logging industry.
Document 45: Pamphlet for the Green Guard, circa 1947
Green Guard pamphlet, box 3, Arthur Roberts Papers, accession 1098, SC-UW.
The Green Guard was a forestry organization for older boys in Washington. It was sponsored by the Keep Washington Green Committee and the Washington State Division of Forestry. The formation of the Green Guard demonstrated the timber industry's concern with encouraging reforestation and preventing forest fires in order to ensure a steady supply of timber. The organization was also designed to encourage boys to take up careers in forestry.
Document 46: Northwest Forestry Statistics, 1949
Forestry statistics, box 3, Arthur Roberts Papers, accession 1098, SC-UW.
This table provides statistics about forestry in Oregon and Washington in 1949, when the lumber industry was thriving. Postwar prosperity and the suburban construction boom fueled a tremendous demand for wood products. These statistics, compiled by the Forest Service, show that about 70 percent of the old-growth forests in Washington had been cut down by 1949.
Document 47: Invitation to a Tree Farm Tour, 1951
"Tree Farm Field Day" brochure, box 6, Arthur Roberts Papers, accession 1098, SC-UW.
During the 1940s and 1950s, the lumber industry and the Forest Service became more interested in tree farming because of the dwindling supply of mature timber. This pamphlet illustrates the various techniques utilized at a tree farm in Arlington, Washington.
Document 48: Preservationists Criticize Salvage Logging, 1956
"Joint Committee Report #1 on Salvage Logging in Olympic National Park," 1956, folder 2/51, Philip Zalesky Papers, accession 3773, SC-UW.
During the 1940s the National Park Service instituted a program that allowed the salvage logging of downed trees, as well as trees with insect infestation or disease, in Olympic National Park. After discovering that healthy trees were being cut, a coalition of environmental organizations formed a committee to investigate the situation in 1956. Representing the Sierra Club, the Mountaineers, the Seattle Audubon Society, the Olympic Park Associates, and the Federation of Western Outdoor Clubs, the group made field trips to logging sites in the park and took extensive photographs. After the committee presented its findings to high-level Park Service officials, salvage logging in the park ended in 1958.
Document 49: Lumber Companies Oppose the Establishment of North Cascades National Park, 1966
Statement of Douglas Mavor in U.S. Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, North Cascades—Olympic National Park: Hearings, Eighty-Ninth Congress, Second Session, on the Study Team Report of the Recreational Opportunities in the State of Washington, February 11 and 12, 1966, p. 143-146.
At this public hearing, concerned citizens expressed their opinions about creating North Cascades National Park and reducing the size of Olympic National Park. Douglas Mavor, the logging manager for Anacortes Veneer Company, appeared on behalf of lumber companies that wanted to scale back Olympic National Park. These firms also opposed plans to withdraw forestlands from Forest Service control in order to create a North Cascades National Park. Mavor argued that establishing a park would waste a precious natural resource and hurt communities dependent on the logging industry.
Document 50: Charles Ehlert Supports the Creation of North Cascades National Park and Other Wilderness Areas, 1966
Statement of Charles Ehlert in U.S. Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, North Cascades—Olympic National Park: Hearings, Eighty-Ninth Congress, Second Session, on the Study Team Report of the Recreational Opportunities in the State of Washington, February 11 and 12, 1966, p. 155-58.
Charles Ehlert, who lived on Mercer Island, expressed a desire to protect wilderness areas in the Olympics and Cascades. His statement claims that the value of wilderness cannot be quantified; wilderness instead has spiritual and aesthetic value. His testimony illustrates the types of arguments used by the environmental movement, which was gaining considerable influence during the 1960s.
Document 51: An Environmentalist Criticizes Logging Practices, 1967
Brock Evans to Mike Quigley, 30 November 1967, box 45, Brock Evans Papers, accession 1776-5, SC-UW.
Brock Evans was active in several environmental organizations. From 1967 to 1973, he worked in the Seattle offices of the Sierra Club and the Federation of Western Outdoor Clubs. In this letter, Evans explains environmentalists' reasons for objecting to intensive forestry.
Document 52: An Environmentalist Evaluates the Clinton Forest Summit, 1993
Memorandum, Brock Evans to Audubon Society ancient forest activists, 14 April 1993, box 8, Brock Evans Papers, accession 1776-17, SC-UW.
Brock Evans went on to serve as the director of the national office of the Sierra Club from 1973 to 1981. In 1981 the National Audubon Society hired Evans as its vice-president for national issues. From 1988 to 1994, he was the Audubon Society's representative to the Ancient Forest Alliance, a coalition of environmental groups committed to the protection of the Pacific Northwest's old-growth forests. After Congress increased timber harvests on public lands during the late 1980s, the members of the Ancient Forest Alliance launched a series of lawsuits claiming that federal timber sales harmed spotted owls and thus violated the Endangered Species Act. In 1991 the courts agreed and halted most logging in Northwest national forests. Soon after he took office in 1993, President Clinton tried to resolve the political and legal deadlock by holding a meeting in Portland, Oregon, to listen to environmentalists, timber workers, and others concerned about the future of federal forest policy in the Northwest. In this memorandum, Evans explained his impressions of Clinton's Forest Summit and presented his strategies for the next stage of the ancient forest campaign. Evans stated that environmental groups were gaining influence and power, but he thought that much remained to be done.
Document 53:Symbolism and the Spotted Owl Controversy, Part I
Logger's World 25:3 (June 1989): 43.
This is an advertisement for a t-shirt with the slogan "Save A Logger, Eat an Owl." This t-shirt demonstrates how the old-growth controversy became simplified into a jobs-versus-owls battle. In addition, the popularity of t-shirts and bumper stickers similar to this one showed timber-dependent communities' anger at environmental regulations that threatened their livelihoods.
Document 54: Symbolism and the Spotted Owl Controversy, Part II
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 2 July 1993, p. B5.
In this cartoon, a spotted owl holds up a sign that states "Don't Blame Me . . . I Just Live Here." The cartoonist pointed out how the owl was seen a scapegoat for the woes of many logging communities. The cartoon also suggests that the spotted owl came to represent the endangered status of the Pacific Northwest's old-growth forests.
Document 55: A Summary of Clinton's Northwest Forest Plan, 1993
Ross W. Gorte, "The Clinton Administration's Forest Plan for the Pacific Northwest," report 93-664 ENR, 16 July 1993, Major Studies and Issue Briefs of the Congressional Research Service, 1993 supplement, microfilm reel 13, frame 130.
The mission of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) is to provide members of Congress with nonpartisan research, analysis, and statistics about legislative issues. The CRS produced this summary and evaluation of President Clinton's Northwest Forest Plan in 1993. Clinton's plan included an annual harvest of 1.2 billion board feet of timber in the national forests in western Washington, western Oregon, and northern California; the establishment of old-growth reserves and conservation areas to protect threatened species; some salvage logging and thinning; and funds to aid timber workers and timber-dependent towns with job retraining and economic development.
Other groups produced their own assessments of Clinton's plan. Loggers complained that 1.2 billion board feet per year was too little; environmentalists, on the other hand, claimed that it was too much. The White House's revised plan reduced annual timber harvests to 1.1 billion board feet, placed approximately 70 percent of the Forest Service's old-growth forests into protected reserves, widened the no-logging buffer zones along streams from 50 to 100 feet, and increased the economic aid for timber-dependent communities. Federal agencies began implementing the revised policy in 1994, and the courts approved it that same year. The adoption of the revised Northwest Forest Plan was a substantial victory for environmentalists.
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