Thursday, Apr 24, 2014
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Organic Act Of 1897


This law was the first step toward legislation concerning the management, protection and care of the nation's forest reserves. Its features include:


  • It specified the purpose for establishing reserves as well as the administration and protection.
  • It granted the Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior the authority in rule-making and regulations of reserves.
  • It allowed the General Land Office GLO to hire employees for the necessary administrative tasks and opened the reserves for public use.
  • It specifically stated the criteria for new forest reserve designations, which were timber production, watershed protection and forest protection.
  • It gave the United States Geological Survey USGS the responsibility for mapping the reserves.
  • This last item gave two separate branches of the Department of Interior responsibility-The GLO for the sale, claims and administration of the reserves and the USGS for the drawing of boundaries and land maps.

According to the Organic Act, the intention of the forest reservations was "to improve and protect the forest within the reservation,... securing favorable conditions of water flows, and to furnish a continuous supply of timber for the use and necessities of citizens of the United States."


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