An archive of six extremely rare circulars printing proclamations by President Roosevelt establishing and expanding Utah National Forests. The circulars address the creation of the Beaver, La Sal, Vernon and Wasatch Forest Reserves (all in 1906), and the 1907 expansion of the Aquarius and Monticello National Forests in 1907.
Each circular includes the text of the proclamation, signed in type by Roosevelt and his Secretary of State, along with a tipped-in map of the affected area based on the work of the U.S. Geological Survey. Such circulars, sometimes (though not here) accompanied by a cover letter from the Secretary of State, were the State Department’s standard format for distributing presidential proclamations to elected leaders and the diplomatic corps. As such they appear to represent the first printings for distribution of these important presidential actions, preceding any appearance in registers compiling the actions of the Federal Government.
An ardent conservationist, Roosevelt left behind an extraordinary legacy of public lands protected under his authority, including 150 national forests encompassing some 150 million acres. In doing so he acted under the authority of the Forest Reserves Act of 1891 and the Forest Service Organic Administration Act of June 4, 1897. The former gave the President authority to designate forested areas as “public reservations,” while the latter which created the legal framework and funding for their ongoing administration and management. In 1905 Roosevelt transferred authority over these reserves from the Department of the Interior to the National Forest Service, a new agency within the Department of Agriculture.
In this circular format these proclamations are extremely rare. OCLC records only the Monticello National Forest proclamation (one copy, at Brigham Young) and one copy each of the Monticello National Forest and La Sal Forest Reserve maps, both at the University of Chicago.
For a brief history of the early years of the National Forest system, see Lands and Realty Management Staff, United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, “Establishment and Modification of National Forest Boundaries and National Grasslands: A Chronological Record, 1891-2012, pp. ii-iv.
All with light toning and a small penciled annotation to first page, two lacking the integral blank, but generally very good to excellent.