Idaho is a state in the northwestern region of the United States. It borders the state of Montana to the east and northeast, Wyoming to the east and Utah to the south, Washington and Oregon to the west. To the north, it shares a small portion of the Canadian border with the province of British Columbia. With a population of 1.7 million and an area of 83,569 square miles, Idaho is the 14th largest, the 12th least populous and the 7th least densely populated of the 50 U. S. states. The state's capital and largest city is Boise. Idaho prior to European settlement was inhabited by Native American peoples, some of whom still live in the area. In the early 19th century, Idaho was considered part of the Oregon Country, an area disputed between the U. S. and the United Kingdom. It became U. S. territory with the signing of the Oregon Treaty of 1846, but a separate Idaho Territory was not organized until 1863, instead being included for periods in Oregon Territory and Washington Territory. Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, becoming the 43rd state.
Forming part of the Pacific Northwest, Idaho is divided into several distinct geographic and climatic regions. In the state's north, the isolated Idaho Panhandle is linked with Eastern Washington, with which it shares the Pacific Time Zone – the rest of the state uses the Mountain Time Zone; the state's south includes the Snake River Plain, while the south-east incorporates part of the Great Basin. Idaho is quite mountainous, contains several stretches of the Rocky Mountains; the United States Forest Service holds about 38 % of the most of any state. Industries significant for the state economy include manufacturing, mining and tourism. A number of science and technology firms are either headquartered in Idaho or have factories there, the state contains the Idaho National Laboratory, the country's largest Department of Energy facility. Idaho's agricultural sector supplies many products, but the state is best known for its potato crop, which comprises around one-third of the nationwide yield; the official state nickname is the "Gem State".
The name's origin remains a mystery. In the early 1860s, when the United States Congress was considering organizing a new territory in the Rocky Mountains, eccentric lobbyist George M. Willing suggested the name "Idaho", which he claimed was derived from a Shoshone language term meaning "the sun comes from the mountains" or "gem of the mountains". Willing claimed he had invented the name. Congress decided to name the area Colorado Territory when it was created in February 1861. Thinking they would get a jump on the name, locals named a community in Colorado "Idaho Springs". However, the name "Idaho" did not fall into obscurity; the same year Congress created Colorado Territory, a county called Idaho County was created in eastern Washington Territory. The county was named after a steamship named Idaho, launched on the Columbia River in 1860, it is unclear after Willing's claim was revealed. Regardless, part of Washington Territory, including Idaho County, was used to create Idaho Territory in 1863.
Despite this lack of evidence for the origin of the name, many textbooks well into the 20th century repeated as fact Willing's account the name "Idaho" derived from the Shoshone term "ee-da-how". A 1956 Idaho history textbook says:"Idaho" is a Shoshoni Indian exclamation; the word consists of three parts. The first is "Ee", which in English conveys the idea of "coming down"; the second is "dah", the Shoshoni stem or root for both "sun" and "mountain". The third syllable, "how", denotes the exclamation and stands for the same thing in Shoshoni that the exclamation mark does in the English language; the Shoshoni word is "Ee-dah-how", the Indian thought thus conveyed when translated into English means, "Behold! the sun coming down the mountain. An alternative etymology attributes the name to the Plains Apache word "ídaahę́", used in reference to The Comanche. Idaho borders six U. S. states and one Canadian province. The states of Washington and Oregon are to the west and Utah are to the south, Montana and Wyoming are to the east.
Idaho shares a short border with the Canadian province of British Columbia to the north. The landscape is rugged with some of the largest unspoiled natural areas in the United States. For example, at 2.3 million acres, the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area is the largest contiguous area of protected wilderness in the continental United States. Idaho is a Rocky Mountain state with scenic areas; the state has snow-capped mountain ranges, vast lakes and steep canyons. The waters of the Snake River rush through the deepest gorge in the United States. Shoshone Falls plunges down rugged cliffs from a height greater than Niagara Falls; the major rivers in Idaho are the Snake River, the Clark Fork/Pend Oreille River, the Clearwater River, the Salmon River. Other significant rivers include the Coeur d'Alene River, the Spokane River, the Boise River, the Payette River; the Salmon River empties into the Snake in Hells Canyon and forms the southern boundary of Nez Perce County on its north shore, of which Lewiston is the county seat.
The Port of Lewiston, at the confluence of the Clearwater and the Snake Rivers is the farthest inland seaport on the West Coast at 465 river miles from the Pacific at Astoria, Oregon. Idaho's highest point is 12,662 ft, in the Lost River Range north of Mackay. Idaho's lowest poi
Boise National Forest
Boise National Forest is a National Forest covering 2,203,703 acres of the U. S. state of Idaho. Created on July 1, 1908, from part of Sawtooth National Forest, it is managed by the U. S. Forest Service as five units: the Cascade, Idaho City and Mountain Home ranger districts; the Idaho Batholith underlies most of Boise National Forest, forming the forest's Boise, Salmon River, West mountain ranges. Common land cover includes sagebrush spruce-fir forests. Boise National Forest contains 75 percent of the known populations of Sacajawea's bitterroot, a flowering plant endemic to Idaho; the Shoshone people occupied the forest before European settlers arrived in the early 19th century. Many of the early settlers were trappers and prospectors before gold was discovered in 1862. After the 1860s Boise Basin gold rush ended, mining of tungsten, silver and gold continued in the forest until the mid-twentieth century. Recreation facilities include over 70 campgrounds and flatwater boating, cabin rentals, 1,300 miles of trails for hiking, horseback riding, motorized off-road vehicle use.
The Forest Service has an objective to maintain timber, water and wildlife for multiple use and sustained yield of its resources. Archaeological evidence indicates that human habitation in Idaho began towards the end of the last ice age: bone fragments about 10,000 years old have been found in Wilson Butte Cave, an inflationary cave on the Snake River Plain believed to have been occupied by indigenous people until as as the 17th century. A change of climate around 7000 years ago dried up much of the Great Basin, forcing the Shoshone people northward into the mountainous areas of central Idaho. Most of what is now Boise National Forest was sparsely inhabited by Native Americans, several archaeological sites, including campsites, rock shelters, burial grounds, pictographs have been found along rivers in the area. Trappers and fur traders of European descent first arrived in the area in the early 1800s, starting with John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company in October 1811. Donald Mackenzie and Francois Payette trapped in the area of Boise National Forest in 1819.
By 1840, the fur trade was coming to an end, but the westward migration on the Oregon Trail, which passed south of the forest, was beginning. The first settlers moved into the mountains in the 1860s after gold was discovered in Idaho, which forced many of the Shoshone out and led to conflicts throughout the state, including the Bannock War in southern Idaho. Prospectors George Grimes and Moses Splawn were the first to discover gold in the forest at the eponymous Grimes Creek on August 2, 1862. Subsequent gold discoveries at Rocky Bar in 1863 and Atlanta in 1864 increased the rush of people to Idaho, in 1863 Idaho City, with a population of 6,267, surpassed Portland, Oregon as the largest city in the Pacific Northwest; the Idaho gold rush was over by 1870, the population of the Boise Basin fell from 16,000 to 3,500. In 1898 the forest's first gold dredge was followed by several others. By 1951, when the last dredges shut down, at least 2.3 million ounces of gold had been produced from the Boise Basin area.
Silver was mined along the Crooked River from 1882 until 1921, but a silver mine at Silver Mountain proved unsuccessful. Following a shortage of mercury during World War II, mines in the Stibnite area became the country's largest producer of tungsten and second largest source of mercury; the most important known placer deposit of niobium and tantalum in the United States is located in Bear Valley. From 1953 until 1959, dredges there produced $12.5 million in niobium and uranium. Other minerals mined in the forest include molybdenum. Boise National Forest was created on July 1, 1908, from part of Sawtooth National Forest, covered 1,147,360 acres. By the Forest Reserve Act of 1891, the U. S. Congress granted the U. S. President the authority to establish forest reserves out of Public Domain Lands that were subject to disposal administered by the General Land Office, placed under the authority of the U. S. Department of the Interior in 1849. With the passage of the Transfer Act of 1905, forest reserves were transferred to the U.
S. Department of Agriculture in the newly created U. S. Forest Service. Present-day Boise National Forest was first protected as part of two forest reserves by proclamations issued by President Theodore Roosevelt: Sawtooth Forest Reserve and Payette Forest Reserve. After forest reserves were renamed national forests in 1908, Boise National Forest was split from Sawtooth National Forest into an independent national forest. On April 1, 1944, the entirety of what was Payette National Forest was transferred to Boise National Forest, Weiser and Idaho national forests were combined to reestablish the present-day Payette National Forest, to the north of Boise National Forest. In 1933 the Boise Basin Experimental Forest was created on 8,740 acres of the forest near Idaho City to study the management of ponderosa pine; the Lucky Peak Nursery was established in 1959 to produce trees for planting on burned or logged lands on the national forests of the Intermountain region. After the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933, nine camps and eight subcamps were set up in Boise National Forest, but the number of camps was reduc
Apalachicola National Forest
The Apalachicola National Forest is the largest U. S. National Forest in the state of Florida, it is the only national forest located in the Florida Panhandle. The National Forest provides water and land-based outdoors activities such as off-road biking, swimming, hunting, horse-back riding, off-road ATV usage. Apalachicola National Forest contains two Wilderness Areas: Bradwell Bay Wilderness and Mud Swamp/New River Wilderness. There are several special purpose areas: Camel Lake Recreation Area, Fort Gadsden Historical Site, Leon Sinks Geological Area, Silver Lake Recreation Area, Trout Pond Recreation Area, Wright Lake Recreation Area. In descending order of forest land area it is located in parts of Liberty, Wakulla and Franklin counties; the forest is headquartered in Tallahassee, as are all three National Forests in Florida, but there are local Forest ranger district offices located in Bristol and Crawfordville. Hunting and fishing are monitored and governed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The national forest itself is a wildlife management area. The FWC divides the management area into sections that allow dog hunting, still hunting, private property. Modern gun season for large game ends in January; the Apalachicola National Forest is in the southeastern conifer forests ecoregion. Areas of the national forest with dry, sandy soils support Florida longleaf pine sandhills and east Gulf coastal plain near-coast pine flatwoods. Sandhills are woodlands dominated by longleaf pine. Pine flatwoods are woodlands on broad, sandy flatlands. Both of these pine communities are sustained by frequent fires. Near the floodplains of spring-fed rivers grow southern coastal plain hydric hammocks, dense forests of evergreen and deciduous hardwood trees. Blackwater rivers support southern coastal plain blackwater river floodplain forests of baldcypress along their banks. Major rivers support diverse east Gulf coastal plain large river floodplain forests. Notable animals that inhabit this forest are red-cockaded woodpecker, fox squirrel, red fox, gray fox, coyote, black bear, wild turkey and alligator.
It is home to several wetland plant communities. Southern coastal plain nonriverine basin swamps are large, seasonally flooded depressions of baldcypress and swamp tupelo. East Gulf coastal plain savannas and wet prairies are low, flat plains covered in grasses and sedges, which are seasonally flooded and maintained by frequent fires. Southern coastal plain nonriverine cypress domes are small wetlands of pond cypress notable for their dome-shaped appearance; the Forest contains. In addition, Bradwell Bay Wilderness contains about 100 acres of old-growth Slash Pine - Swamp Tupelo swamps. Allen Nease Ocala National Forest Osceola National Forest Apalachicola National Forest travel guide from Wikivoyage Official website The Florida Trail in the Apalachicola National Forest Field Guide to Flora in Apalachicola National Forest
Conecuh National Forest
The Conecuh National Forest in southern Alabama covers 83,000 acres, along the Alabama - Florida line in Covington and Escambia counties. Topography is level to moderately broad ridges with stream terraces and broad floodplains; the Conecuh Trail winds 20 miles through Alabama's coastal plain. The trail was built by the Youth Conservation Corps; each year, beginning in 1976, the young people of the Corps extend the trail through park-like longleaf pine stands, hardwood bottomlands, other plant communities of the Conecuh National Forest. The name Conecuh is believed to be of Muskogee origin, it means "land of cane,", appropriate because the trail runs through canebrakes in several sections. Situated just above the Florida panhandle, the forest has a distinct southern flavor of mist-laden hardwood swamps, pitcher plant bogs, southern coastal plain pine forest; these hilly coastal plains are home to longleaf pine, upland scrub oak, dogwood, as well as an aquatic labyrinth of winding creeks and cypress ponds.
Clear-cut in the 1930s, the Conecuh was reforested with slash pine that reduced the number of nesting trees for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. The forest is undergoing a reforestation from slash pine to the native longleaf. In time, this should increase the number of red-cockaded woodpeckers; the forest is headquartered in Montgomery. The other National Forests in this state are Talladega and William B. Bankhead. There are local ranger district offices located in Andalusia. There are two developed National Forest recreation areas in Conecuh National Forest. Both are located along Alabama State Road 137 north of the community of Wing. Open Pond Recreation Area is a 450 acre area set aside for hiking, fishing and camping, it is located about eight miles north of the Alabama/Florida State line along Alabama State Road 137. At the center of the recreation area is Open Pond, a natural sinkhole lake. Several other lakes are in the immediate vicinity of the facilities and can be reached by trail or on unpaved roads.
Open Pond itself is available for freshwater fishing. Two piers are available, non-motorized or electric motorized boats are permitted on the lake. An Alabama fishing license is required. Available is a large picnic shelter for group gatherings; this shelter was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1938, according to a plaque in the log and stone structure. No swimming is allowed at Open Pond. Day use fees at Open Pond are US$5 per vehicle; this allows for all recreational uses. These fees may be waived if someone in the vehicle possesses a valid Federal Interagency Recreation Pass. Camping fees for non-electric sites are US$6, US$12 for electric/water sites. Discounts are available for camping fees when using the senior citizen Federal Interagency Recreation Passes. With the senior Interagency Recreation Pass, camping fees are US$3 for non-electric sites, US$8 for electric/water sites; those paying for campsites do not have to pay day use fees. Day use fees paid at Open Pond may be used to enter the Blue Lake Recreation Area two miles north of Open Pond.
Seventy-five campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Open Pond Campground. Campsites are found on the waterfront as well as in woodlands. There are four campground loops. Roadways along all loops are paved; the "A Loop" is for tent camping, water is available at spigots in the loop. There are no electric hookups in the A Loop. Restrooms and showers are available within the "A Loop". There are ten campsites available; the "B Loop" is a group camping area. There are no hookups, restrooms, or showers in the "B Loop"; the group camping area consists of a large field surrounded by woodlands separated from the developed camping loops. A trail connects to water supplies in the "A Loop". Restrooms and showers are a short hike away in the "C Loop"; the "C and D Loops" are both similar in that they provide recreational vehicles water electric hookups. 15, 30, 50 Amp receptacles are available. Each site consists of a fine gravel pad for an RV, a pad for a tent, picnic table, lantern hangar.
Several sites are concrete and are for, but not limited to, use as handicapped accessible. These loops contain modern restrooms and bath houses with private hot showers. Forty campsites are located in the "C Loop", while twenty-five sites are in the "D Loop". An RV dump station is located at the entrance to the Open Pond Recreation Area. Trails connect the "D Loop" of the campground to additional small sinkhole ponds and the day-use picnic areas. By using the roadway that begins at the picnic areas and bicycling around Open Pond is possible; the trail is blazed with small white diamond reflective signs attached to posts. The Open Pond Fire Tower is located on the north side of the Open Pond Recreation Area. According to a plaque at the bottom of the tower, the tower was built in 1938; the plaque indicates the tower is registered as U. S. Tower #97 on the National Historic Lookout Register. According to the Register, the tower was constructed between 1938 and 1939 by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
The tower is one of two such towers in Conecuh National Forest. Blue Lake Recreation Area is located about nine miles north of the Alabama/Florida State line off of Alabama State Road 137; this day use area, located along the north shore of Blue Lake, provides the only official location in Conecuh National Forest where swimming is permitted. A bath house is provided, along with a small sandy beach. Lim
Croatan National Forest
The Croatan National Forest is a U. S. National Forest, was established on July 29, 1936, is located on the Atlantic coast of North Carolina, it is administered by the United States Forest Service, a part of the United States Department of Agriculture. The forest is managed together with the other three North Carolina National Forests from common headquarters in Asheville, North Carolina. However, Croatan has a local ranger district office in New Bern; the forest covers 159,885 acres of coastal land. It is bordered on three sides by the Neuse River, the Bogue Sound, the White Oak River; the Croatan Forest is characteristic of its pine forests, salt estuaries and pocosins. The forest is suitable for hiking, hunting, trail biking, all-terrain vehicles; the surrounding rivers, inland lakes, creeks allow for swimming, fishing and canoeing. The forest is close to the cities of New Bern, NC and Morehead City, NC, it surrounds the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. Many hiking trails can be found throughout the Croatan Forest such as the Neusiok Trail which offers 21 miles of trail through swamps and pine forests.
Other trails include the Cedar Point Tideland Trail which traverses through a salt marsh and along the White Oak River, the Island Creek Forest Walk featuring a forest of hardwoods, the Black Swamp OHV Trail which offers eight miles for off-road vehicles and bikes. The 13 mile long Catfish Lake Rd. provides many trails for you to explore. In addition there is a 14.1 mile trail, called the Weetock trail starting at the entrance to Long point landing road along NC Hwy 58 and continuing through the woods towards the Whiteoak river and turning around to end back on Hwy 58 a quarter mile from the start point. The Croatan National Forest lies within the Middle Atlantic coastal forests ecoregion, it is home to a huge variety of terrestrial animals. Some of the wildlife that can be found include black bear, squirrel, river otter, mink, a wide variety of reptiles and amphibians, as well as osprey, peregrine falcon, various species of owls, bald eagle, wild turkey, alligator; the forest is abundant with pine trees including virgin longleaf pine stands that remain untouched to this date.
There are many hardwood areas including the cypress trees of the swamps. Carnivorous plants such as Venus flytraps and pitcher plants may be found. There are a few sandy areas within the forest that provide pristine habitat for the eastern diamondback rattlesnakes; the tannic-stained blackwater present throughout the forest gives habitat to several unique species of fish who thrive in the forest's unique riverine conditions. Species such as bluespotted sunfish, mud sunfish, banded sunfish, eastern mudminnow, warmouth, redfin pickerel and yellow bullhead, among many others, are some of the most encountered fish; the elusive swampfish, a species of cavefish, can be found in several creeks and canals throughout the forest. The Croatan National Forest offers a variety of habitats that provide excellent homes and safe havens for wildlife. There are many longleaf pine savannas that are vital to the red-cockaded woodpecker which can be found in abundance within these forests. Crotan is the site of many nearly-impenetrable pocosin pine savannas, old growth beech and oak forests, saltwater estuaries, bogs.
Wetland swamps called. There are four designated wilderness areas lying within Croatan National Forest that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Catfish Lake South Wilderness Pocosin Wilderness Pond Pine Wilderness Sheep Ridge Wilderness List of U. S. National Forests Croatan National Forest - USFS: National Forests in North Carolina U. S. Parks at About.com
Fremont–Winema National Forest
The Fremont–Winema National Forest is a United States National Forest formed from the 2002 merger of the Fremont and Winema National Forests. They cover territory in southern Oregon from the crest of the Cascade Range on the west past the city of Lakeview to the east; the northern end of the forests is bounded by U. S. Route 97 on the west and Oregon Route 31 on the east. To the south, the state border with California forms the boundary of the forests. Klamath Falls is the only city of significant size in the vicinity; the forests are managed by the United States Forest Service, the national forest headquarters are located in Lakeview. The Fremont National Forest was named after John C. Frémont, who explored the area for the United States Army Corps of Engineers in 1843, it is located in western Lake and eastern Klamath counties in Oregon and has a land area of 1,207,039 acres. There are local ranger district offices located in Bly, Lakeview and Silver Lake; the Warner Canyon Ski Area was part of Fremont until a land swap transferred ownership to Lake County.
Founded in 1908, the Fremont National Forest was protected as the Goose Lake Forest Reserve in 1906. The name was soon changed to Fremont National Forest, it absorbed part of Paulina National Forest on July 19, 1915. In 2002, it was administratively combined with the Winema National Forest as the Fremont–Winema National Forests. A 1993 Forest Service study estimated that the extent of old growth in the forest was 549,800 acres, 113,800 acres of which were lodgepole pine forests; the sites of two former uranium mines, the White King and Lucky Lass mines, are within the Fremont National Forest. They are now Superfund sites. Common recreational activities in the Fremont National Forest include hiking, boating, horseback riding, mountain biking, skiing and fishing; the 50-mile Fremont National Recreation Trail runs northwest–southeast between Government Harvey Pass and Cox Pass in the forest. The Winema National Forest is a national forest in Klamath County on the eastern slopes of the Cascades in south-central Oregon and covers 1,045,548 acres.
The forest borders Crater Lake National Park near the crest of the Cascades and stretches eastward into the Klamath Basin. Near the floor of the basin the forest gives way to vast marshes and meadows associated with Upper Klamath Lake and the Williamson River drainage. To the north and east, extensive stands of ponderosa and lodgepole pine grow on deep pumice and ash that blanketed the area during the eruption of Mount Mazama nearly 7,000 years ago. A 1993 Forest Service study estimated. There are local ranger district offices located in Chemult and Klamath Falls; the forest is named after Toby Riddle, a Modoc woman known as "Winema". Founded in 1961, the Winema National Forest was protected as the Cascade Range Forest Reserve from 1893 to 1907, when it became the Cascade National Forest. In 1908, it changed to the Mazama National Forest and Crater Lake National Forest until 1932; the land was part of the Rogue River National Forest from 1932 to 1961, when it was designated the Winema National Forest.
In 2002, it was administratively combined with the Fremont National Forest. The Winema National Forest separately is the third-largest national forest, contained within one county. More than 50 percent of the forest is former Klamath Indian Reservation land; as part of the Indian Termination Policy that began in the 1950s, the United States Congress enacted a few termination acts directed at specific tribes that included the Klamath Tribe. The Klamath Tribe was vulnerable to government termination due to factionalism within the tribe that resulted from cultural assimilation effects of the previous decades. On the date of the act, a roll was taken of the tribe, locking in those eligible for property rights to tribal land. After this process, the collective land was divided among each individual on the roll and a vote was conducted on whether to withdraw from the tribe, those that remained would have their portion put back into a collective of land. Given that estimates suggest seventy percent of tribal members would withdraw, selling their land for commercial use, the government and lumber industry became concerned with how the increase in Klamath Forest timber would saturate the industry.
The act was amended to put commercial sales into the hands of the Forest Service, who implemented a sustainable-yield policy in regards to the former Klamath Forest. In the end, seventy-seven percent of the tribe voted to withdraw, shrinking the reservation down from 762,000 acres to 145,000 acres. Two purchases by the US government - the first in 1963 of about 500,000 acres and the second in 1973 of about 135,000 acres - were combined with portions of three other national forests to form the Winema National Forest. Members of the Klamath tribe reserve specific rights of hunting, fishing and gathering of forest materials on former reservation land within the Winema National Forest. There are over 300 species of fish that occur in this region. There are about 925 species of documented vascular plants in the Fremont National Forest; the vascular plants provide food and habitat for mammals, fish and mankind. Management to ensure that all native species maintain healthy populations is a focus of the Forest Service.
There are rare species of plants found in the forest. Game animals include elk and mule deer. There are several types of trout in the
Allegheny National Forest
The Allegheny National Forest is a National Forest in northwestern Pennsylvania, about 100 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. The forest covers 513,175 acres of land. Within the forest is Kinzua Dam, which impounds the Allegheny River to form Allegheny Reservoir; the administrative headquarters for the Allegheny National Forest is in Warren. The Allegheny National Forest has two ranger stations, one in Marienville, Forest County, the other in Bradford, McKean County; the Allegheny National Forest lies in the heart of Pennsylvania's gas region. It is only 40 miles from the site of the first commercial oil well in the United States at Titusville, Pennsylvania. In 1981, about 17 percent of the state's crude oil production came from mineral rights owned by private individuals within the Forest boundary. Oil and natural gas are being extracted from parts of the forest. Today the Allegheny Plateau is known for black cherry and other hardwoods, but two hundred years ago these species were less numerous. Today's forest is the result of two things: the exploitation of timber at the turn of the 20th century and being managed by the Forest Service since 1923.
In the 18th century, the forest in northwest Pennsylvania was Eastern Hemlock and American beech. Sugar maple, chestnut, white pine, white oak and red maple were common. White pine occurred in the original forest in small, well-defined areas where it was accompanied by chestnut and to a lesser degree oak. Black cherry accounted for less than one percent of the plateau's trees; this old-growth forest contained rich, vibrant biodiversity, was characterized by large trees, fallen logs, a multi-layered forest canopy. Predation by the native wolf and cougar kept deer populations at regulated low levels, estimated at ten deer per square mile; the understory vegetation was richly diverse. Disturbances such as tornado and ice storms were common events that created a random mosaic of small openings in the forest canopy across the landscape before human beings arrived to the North American continent. Native Americans burned small areas of the understory of the forest in locations to improve berry and oak mast production and ease of travel.
European settlers reached this area in the early 19th century. At first, trees were cut to clear land for agriculture and provide timber for cabins and barns. Soon, the first commercial water-powered mills cut small amounts of lumber from selected pine and large hardwoods. By 1840, portable steam engines made circular sawmills practical, mills that could process 10,000 board feet of lumber per day were common. Tanneries that used hemlock bark as their source of tannin for curing leather began to appear in the late 1850s; this infant industry received a great boost by the Civil War demand for harness, military equipment and industrial belting. By the end of the century, the tanning industry was a major forest industry in Pennsylvania that used huge quantities of hemlock bark; the logs were removed and sawn into lumber products. Between 1850 and 1900, American society and technology changed in dramatic ways. People, moving West and in the growing cities in the East, demanded lumber to build homes and furniture.
Demand for paper and other wood pulp products increased. An eightyfold increase in coal production led to the need for more lumber for mine props and planks. Band saws came into use after 1880, making possible the construction of huge mills capable of sawing 100,000 feet or more of lumber per day. Railroads provided convenient transportation to markets, they opened up extensive and inaccessible areas of timber with specialized locomotives such as the Shay which could traverse steep hillsides, uneven tracks and sharp curves. All of these factors supported large tannery industries. By 1900, deer and their predators were eliminated due to overhunting; the Pennsylvania Game Commission began to restore the deer herd by importing deer from other states. A new enterprise, the wood chemical industry, changed the course of forest development. Between 1890 and 1930, wood chemical plants produced charcoal, acetic acid, acetate of lime and similar products, provided a market for every size and quality of tree growing on the Allegheny Plateau.
Harvests during this era were the most complete made in the area, clearing nearly every accessible tree of every size. The once vast forest of the Allegheny Plateau was completely removed, leaving barren hillsides as far as the eye could see. Many large forest landowners in Pennsylvania and other northeastern states abandoned the land and moved West in search of new forests; the land left behind ended up on delinquent tax rolls, prompting a financial crisis for rural counties. The bare soil and logging slash wildfires a constant danger. In 1911, the United States Congress passed the Weeks Act, allowing the federal government to buy land in eastern states for the establishment of National Forests; the Allegheny National Forest was established in 1923. The land was so depleted that many residents jokingly called it the "Allegheny Brush-patch"; some worried. But with low deer populations, a new forest grew; this forest was different from the previous one. Shade-tolerant, long-lived trees like hemlock and beech gave way to sun-loving, shorter-lived species like black cherry, which germinated on the bare sunny ground.
Cherry, red maple, black birch, sugar maple became common species in the understory. Today many of the Eastern National Fores