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chaparral? Richard, Nancy Langston's book FOREST DREAMS, FOREST NIGHTMARES (University of Washington, 1995) will certainly be helpful to you since she carefully examines the perspectives of foresters as they tried to understand and manage the largely unmanaged national forests of the Inland Northwest in the first half of the 20th century. Her coverage of the post-WWII era is much less detailed. I believe she does identify the ideology of "decadence" in forestry in the pre-WWII period, but you'll have to check. (I am 300 miles from my library.) My book, A CONSPIRACY OF OPTIMISM (Nebraska, 1994) also covers this topic but focused on the post-WWII era. See chapter 6 "Getting Out the Cut." I think I also discussed it in ch. 2 "Two Views of the Forest." For a good primary source from the 1950s, you should definitely look at the Proceedings of the Society of American Foresters annual convention of 1955. The theme of the convention was "Converting the Old Growth Forest." There were dozens of scientific and policy presentations on the topic from foresters, conservationists, and industry reps. Of course, the near unanimous opinion at the convention was that old growth was decadent, diseased, undesirable, and needed to be "converted" to young "thrifty" plantations as soon as possible to help maximize timber productivity in the US. Even Forest Service representatives advocated this viewpoint. So, by the 1950s, the ideology of old-growth decadence was firmly and hegemonically entrenched. Any good university with a forestry school will have the SAF Proceedings on their library shelves. Another good primary source are old forestry textbooks. I found them highly illuminating in researching for an essay I wrote on changing forestry orthodoxy regarding clearcutting vs. selective harvesting. You can go all the way back to Pinchot's 1899 PRIMER OF SILVICULTURE, Bernhard Fernow's 1902 textbook THE ECONOMICS OF FORESTRY, and other early textbooks by Henry Graves (Yale School of Forestry's first dean), and Ralph Hawley. I am a little doubtful that you'll find the decadence theme in the earliest texts, but you might. I certainly think it will be present by the 1920s. You might also look for texts or articles written by William B. Greeley and Herman H. Chapman, both advocated industrial forestry designed for maximizing timber productivity and were highly outspoken about the necessity and desirability of converting natural forests into productive timber plantations. Greeley was once the Chief of the US Forest Service a few years after Pinchot was sacked. He and Pinchot did not get along because Pinchot felt Greeley was a bit too cozy with the timber industry; indeed, Greeley immediately went to work as a full-time lobbyist for the West Coast lumber industry after he left the USFS. Chapman was a Yale Professor of Forestry who became a staunch critic of anyone or anything that got in the way of production forestry. He thoroughly believed that forests had to be harvested to survive; there was no role whatsoever for old growth or wilderness preservation in his mid-century vision. I hope this helps. Paul -- Paul Hirt Department of History Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85287-4302 ph: 480-727-9084 E-mail: email@example.com