A forested landscape of western America, the Rocky Mountains.

National Forests were originally set aside in the end of the 1880s because of the efforts of foreign educated Americans who called on the post Civil War federal bureaucracy to protect the public domain from careless extraction of potentially renewable resources.

In 1890, Congress ceded power to the President for nearly 15 years to set aside timber in mostly western states for the protection of water. For this reason the landscape scene, pictured above is referred to as a watershed because forests give rise to a steady flow of both surface and ground water upon which cities, industry, mining and fishing depend.

Joseph Siry, 1994

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