Spruce Knob, at 4,863 feet, is the highest point in the state of West Virginia and the summit of Spruce Mountain, the highest peak in the Allegheny Mountains. The summit of Spruce Knob has a definite alpine feel, much more so than most other mountains of the Southern Appalachians; the upper few hundred feet are covered in a dense spruce forest, a relic boreal forest environment similar to those found in northern New England and Canada. The summit is accessible both via trails and a paved Forest Service road, is crowned with a stone lookout tower amid a mixture of boulder fields and trees. A handicap-accessible nature trail. High west winds near the summit have gnarled the spruce there like Krummholz, flagged with limbs only on their leeward side; as is typical in the southern Appalachians, the highest point on a ridge is referred to as a knob or dome. Spruce Knob is the highest point along a ridge known as the Allegheny Front. Dropping steeply to the east, it offers views of the Germany North Fork Mountain.
It is the highest point in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Like the rest of this part of the Appalachian Mountains, Spruce Knob began to form with the breakup of Pangea I between 570 and 500 mya; the African Plate separated from the North American Plate opening the Proto-Atlantic Ocean. The North American Plate stretched and thinned, allowing it to backfill with a shallow inland sea. About 50 million years with the Taconic Orogeny, the two plates reversed course and began to move towards each other. Mid-ocean subduction created a volcanic arc which collided with the North American Plate; the arc fused onto the continent and the land to the west was uplifted. The accumulation of shells and other hard parts of marine organisms at the bottom of the shallow inland sea cemented into a layer of Greenbrier Limestone; the shallow inland sea began to retreat with the uplift. This caused fine grains of mud and silt to settle out and lithify into a layer of Mauch Chunk Shale on top of the Greenbrier Limestone.
As the Blue Ridge eroded, rivers carried sediment down to the low-lying areas that formed a layer of Pottsville Conglomerate on top of the shale. The large boulders on the summit are remnants of this layer, outcrops of both Mauch Chunk Shale and Greenbrier Limestone can be found lower on the mountain; when the North American and African Plates collided around 250 mya, it caused a massive uplift that folded and faulted these layers of sedimentary rock. Spruce Knob was in the bottom of one of these folds, but over time cracks in the Pottsville Conglomerate in the higher elevations allowed it to erode and the softer layers of shale and limestone were quick to follow; this left Spruce Knob as the highest point in the landscape. Spruce Knob is the westernmost extent of this intense faulting. To the west, the Allegheny Plateau is composed of more sloping hills and dendritic drainages. Spruce Knob's climate can be classified as cold highland. Summers are cool and damp, with thunderstorms common both in spring and summer.
Winters are cold and snowy, with an average of around 180 inches of annual snowfall leaving the summit access road impassible between October and April. Blizzard conditions can develop in minutes behind cold frontal passages and last days with upslope snowfall continuing with northwest winds, making travel on the mountain dangerous during the colder months; this mountain can receive high winds year-round. The summit was named for the spruce trees. Red spruce is the most common tree species on the summit; the lower altitudes are populated by oak, birch and maple. Bald eagles and peregrine falcons have been seen on the mountain. Mammals such as black bear, white-tailed deer, porcupine and rabbit are found. Spruce Knob is within the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area, which in turn is part of Monongahela National Forest. Established in 1965, it was the first National Recreation Area designated by the U. S. Forest Service and includes more than 100,000 acres. There are over 75 miles of hiking trails around the mountain and a small 25-acre lake well stocked with trout on the west side of the mountain.
Two campgrounds are on the mountain. Paved access is from U. S. Route 33/West Virginia Route 28 about 2 miles south of Riverton. Briery Gap Road, Forest Road 112 and Forest Road 104 have been reconstructed and paved to provide a hard-surfaced road to the summit. Forest Roads 104 and 112 are not maintained in the winter. Impassable conditions can be expected any time from mid-October to mid-April. List of mountain peaks of North America List of mountain peaks of the United States List of mountains of West Virginia List of U. S. states by elevation Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area Monongahela National Forest: Spruce Knob
A mortar is a simple, man portable, muzzle-loaded weapon, consisting of a smooth-bore metal tube fixed to a base plate with a lightweight bipod mount and a sight. They launch explosive shells in high-arcing ballistic trajectories. Mortars are used as indirect fire weapons for close fire support with a variety of ammunition. Mortars have been used for hundreds of years in siege warfare. Many historians consider the first mortars to have been used at the 1453 siege of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror. An Italian account of the 1456 siege of Belgrade by Giovanni da Tagliacozzo said that the Ottoman Turks used seven mortars that fired "stone shots one Italian mile high"; the time of flight of these was long enough that casualties could be avoided by posting observers to give warning of their trajectories. However, earlier mortars were used in Korea in a 1413 naval battle when Korean gunsmiths developed the Wan'gu; the earliest version of the Wan'gu dates back to 1407. Choi Hae-san, the son of Choe Mu-seon, is credited with inventing the first Wan'gu.
Early mortars, such as the Pumhart von Steyr, were large and heavy, could not be transported. Made, these weapons were no more than iron bowls reminiscent of the kitchen and apothecary mortars whence they drew their name. An early transportable mortar was invented by Baron Menno van Coehoorn; this mortar fired an exploding shell. This innovation was taken up, necessitating a new form of naval ship, the bomb vessel. Mortars played a significant role in the Venetian conquest of Morea and in the course of this campaign an ammunition store in the Parthenon was blown up. An early use of these more mobile mortars as field weapons was by British forces in the suppression of the Jacobite rising of 1719 at the Battle of Glen Shiel. High angle trajectory mortars held a great advantage over standard field guns in the rough terrain of the West Highlands of Scotland; the mortar had fallen out of general use in Europe by the Napoleonic era and interest in the weapon was not revived until the beginning of the 20th century.
Mortars were used by both sides during the American Civil War. At the Siege of Vicksburg, General US Grant reported making coehorn mortars "by taking logs of the toughest wood that could be found, boring them out for six- or twelve-pound shells and binding them with strong iron bands; these answered as Coehorns, shells were thrown from them into the trenches of the enemy". During the Russo-Japanese War, Lieutenant-General Leonid Gobyato of the Imperial Russian Army applied the principles of indirect fire from closed firing positions in the field and, with the collaboration of General Roman Kondratenko, he designed the first mortar that fired navy shells; the German Army studied the Siege of Port Arthur, where heavy artillery had been unable to destroy defensive structures like barbed wire and bunkers. As a result, they developed. Used during World War I, they were made in three sizes. World War I saw the introduction of the Stokes mortar, it was the forerunner of all modern mortars in use today.
These modern weapons are light, easy to operate, yet possess enough accuracy and firepower to provide infantry with quality close fire support against soft and hard targets more than any other means. It was not until the Stokes Mortar was devised by Sir Wilfred Stokes in 1915 during the First World War that the modern mortar transportable by one person was born. In the conditions of trench warfare, there was a great need for a versatile and portable weapon that could be manned by troops undercover in the trenches. Stokes's design was rejected in June 1915 because it was unable to use existing stocks of British mortar ammunition, it took the intervention of David Lloyd George and Lieutenant-Colonel J. C. Matheson of the Trench Warfare Supply Department to expedite manufacture of the Stokes mortar; the weapon proved to be useful in the muddy trenches of the Western Front, as a mortar round could be aimed to fall directly into trenches, where artillery shells, due to their low angle of flight, could not go.
The Stokes mortar was a simple muzzle-loaded weapon, consisting of a smoothbore metal tube fixed to a base plate with a lightweight bipod mount. When a mortar bomb was dropped into the tube, an impact sensitive primer in the base of the bomb would make contact with a firing pin at the base of the tube, detonate, firing the bomb towards the target, it could fire as many as 25 bombs per minute and had a maximum range of 800 yards firing the original cylindrical unstabilised projectile. A modified version of the mortar, which fired a modern fin-stabilised streamlined projectile and had a booster charge for longer range, was developed after World War I. By World War II, it could fire as many as 30 bombs per minute, had a range of over 2,500 yards with some shell types; the French developed an improved version of the Stokes mortar as the Brandt Mle 27, further refined as the Brandt Mle 31. These weapons were the prototypes for all subsequent light mortar developments around the world. Mortar carriers are vehicles.
Numerous vehicles have been used to mount morta
Blackwater River (West Virginia)
The Blackwater River is a 34.3-mile-long river in the Allegheny Mountains of eastern West Virginia, USA. Via the Black Fork, it is a principal tributary of the Cheat River. Via the Cheat, the Monongahela and the Ohio rivers, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River and drains an area of 142 square miles, it is a true blackwater stream, owing to spruce and hemlock trees in its watershed, the tannins of which impart a tea or amber color to its water. The entire course and drainage area of the Blackwater lie within Tucker County, it rises on Canaan Mountain at an elevation of 3,594 feet and meanders north-northeastwardly through the wetlands of Canaan Valley, passing through the Canaan Valley Resort State Park and the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, collecting two short tributaries known as the North Branch Blackwater River and the Little Blackwater River. Below the mouth of the latter, the Blackwater turns west-southwestwardly for the remainder of its course. After passing the town of Davis, it falls 62 feet over Blackwater Falls and enters the eight-mile long Blackwater Canyon in Blackwater Falls State Park.
Here it forms whitewater rapids of Class IV-V+ and collects the eight-mile long North Fork Blackwater River, which flows past the town of Thomas. The Blackwater joins the Dry Fork to form the Black Fork at the town of Hendricks, at an elevation of 1,690 feet; as with other blackwater rivers, the color of West Virginia's Blackwater River results from the leaching of tannins from the decaying leaves of vegetation adjoining the stream in its upper reaches, which are slow moving. Fallen needles from stands of eastern hemlock and red spruce contribute to this, although rhododendron, mountain laurel and the sphagnum bogs of Canaan Valley contribute; the Blackwater is typical in having transparent and oligotrophic water. Beginning in the 1880s, the Blackwater River watershed suffered extreme environmental degradation due to deep mining and coke production; this was exacerbated by the surface mining activities of the 1960s and'70s, which brought about a severe decline in water quality due to acid mine drainage.
In recent years, the limestone treatment of AMD in the Blackwater River has met with success with the effort receiving an award from the U. S. Office of Surface Mining. AMD is created when sulfite-bearing mineral strata are exposed to air and rainwater, such as when surface mining occurs; the sulfuric acid produced from the sulfite reaction can dissolve metals such as iron and magnesium. By 2004, the combination of acid and dissolved metals drainage had destroyed or damaged about 12,000 miles of streams in Appalachia, including the Blackwater River and streams in its watershed. Restoration of the Blackwater River watershed was a costly and complex task involving two large projects; the Douglas Highwall Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Project installed 16,000 tons of limestone in a "Wetland/Anoxic Limestone Drain system" on the North Fork Blackwater River downstream of Thomas. Although the experimental WALD system did not perform as intended, "has not generated measurable alkalinity" it did reduce the total acid and metal load in the water discharge from the abandoned mine into the river system.
More successful was a project just upstream of Davis, on Beaver Creek, a tributary of the Blackwater. A six-drum water-powered limestone grinding station adds limestone slurry to the water flowing down Beaver Creek. A Swedish-designed limestone powder dosing system was installed as backup to the drum system; the five mile stretch of the Blackwater between the limestone station and the confluence with the North Fork has now become one of West Virginia's premiere catch and release trout streams. Two real time water gauges are available from the United States Geological Survey: Blackwater River real time water gauge, 2.8 miles northeast of Davis, West Virginia Blackwater River real time water gauge, 0.4 miles southwest of Davis, West Virginia List of rivers of West Virginia Blackwater Falls State Park Canaan Valley Resort State Park Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge
Picea rubens known as red spruce, is a species of spruce native to eastern North America, ranging from eastern Quebec and Nova Scotia, west to the Adirondack Mountains and south through New England along the Appalachians to western North Carolina. This species is known as yellow spruce, West Virginia spruce, eastern spruce, he-balsam. Red spruce is a perennial, shade-tolerant, late successional coniferous tree that under optimal conditions grows to 18–40 m tall with a trunk diameter of about 60 cm, though exceptional specimens can reach 46 m tall and 100 cm in diameter, it has a narrow conical crown. The leaves are needle-like, yellow-green, 12–15 mm long, four-sided, with a sharp point, extend from all sides of the twig; the bark is gray-brown on the surface and red-brown on the inside and scaly. The wood is light, has narrow rings, has a slight red tinge; the cones are 3 -- 5 cm long, with a glossy red-brown color and stiff scales. The cones hang down from branches. Red spruce grows at a slow to moderate rate, lives for 250 to 450+ years, is shade-tolerant when young.
It is found in pure stands or forests mixed with eastern white pine, balsam fir, or black spruce. Along with Fraser fir, red spruce is one of two primary tree types in the southern Appalachian spruce-fir forest, a distinct ecosystem found only in the highest elevations of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, its habitat is moist but well-drained sandy loam at high altitudes. Red spruce can be damaged by windthrow and acid rain. Notable red spruce forests can be seen at Gaudineer Scenic Area, a virgin red spruce forest located in West Virginia, the Canaan Valley, Roaring Plains West Wilderness, Dolly Sods Wilderness, Spruce Mountain and Spruce Knob all in West Virginia and all sites of former extensive red spruce forest; some areas of this forest in Roaring Plains West Wilderness, Dolly Sods Wilderness as well as areas of Spruce Mountain are making a rather substantial recovery. It is related to black spruce, hybrids between the two are frequent where their ranges meet. Genetic data suggests that the red spruce peripatrically speciated from the black spruce during the Pleistocene due to glaciation.
Red spruce is an important wood used in making paper pulp. It is an excellent tonewood, is used in many higher-end acoustic guitars and violins, as well as musical soundboard; the sap can be used to make spruce gum. Leafy red spruce twigs are boiled as a part of making spruce beer, it can be made into spruce pudding. It can be used as construction lumber and is good for millwork and for crates. Red spruce is the provincial tree of Nova Scotia. Like most trees, red spruce is subject to insect parasitism, their insect enemy is the spruce budworm, although it is a bigger problem for white spruce and balsam fir. Other issues that have been damaging red spruce has been the increase in acid rain and current climate change; the Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative seeks to unite diverse partners with the goal of restoring historic red spruce ecosystems across the high-elevation landscapes of central Appalachians. The partners that make up this diverse group are Appalachian Mountain Joint Venture, Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Natural Resources Conservation Service, The Mountain Institute, The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, U.
S. Forest Service Northern Research Station, U. S. Forest Service Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, West Virginia Division of Forestry, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, West Virginia State Parks, West Virginia University. Prior to the late 1800s, 600,000 hectares of red spruce were in West Virginia. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, a vast amount of logging began in the state and the number of red spruce dwindled to 12,000 hectares. Silviculture is being used to help restore the population of the lost red spruce. Significant efforts have been made to increase the growth of red spruce trees in western North Carolina. Most notably by Molly Tartt on behalf of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Tartt, a resident of Brevard North Carolina, embarked on a mission to find the lost red spruce Pisgah Forest, planted by the DAR as a memorial to the lives lost during the American Revolution; the forest, consisting of 50,000 trees was dedicated in 1940 and had until been forgotten until Tartt located and identified the forest
Marlinton, West Virginia
Marlinton is a town in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, United States. The population was 1,054 at the 2010 census, it is the county seat of Pocahontas County, is known for its scenic beauty. Marlinton is named for Jacob Marlin, along with Stephen Sewell, became the first non-native settlers west of the Allegheny Mountains, in the Greenbrier Valley in 1749. New Englanders Marlin and Sewell built a cabin in what would become Marlinton, but after various religious disputes, Sewell moved into a nearby hollowed-out sycamore tree. In 1751, surveyor John Lewis discovered the pair. Sewell settled on the eastern side of Sewell Mountain, near present-day Rainelle, WV. Located at Marlinton and listed on the National Register of Historic Places are the Frank and Anna Hunter House, IOOF Lodge Building, Marlinton Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Station, Marlinton Opera House, Pocahontas County Courthouse and Jail, Pocahontas Times Print Shop. Located near Marlinton are Droop Mountain Battlefield and New Deal Resources in Watoga State Park Historic District.
As a result of its rural location and proximity to the facilities of the United States National Radio Quiet Zone, the town has been a late adopter of broadband Internet. A 2018 article in Motherboard explains that the nearby Snowshoe Mountain ski resort has been able to provide fast internet, WiFi, cell phone coverage by having a custom system built, specially designed so as not to interfere with radio telescopes. Marlinton is home to the Roadkill Cook-off; the first cook-off was in 1991, has become nationally known through television shows about food and travel. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.53 square miles, of which, 2.44 square miles is land and 0.09 square miles is water. The climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, there is adequate rainfall year-round. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Marlinton has a marine west coast climate, abbreviated "Cfb" on climate maps; as of the census of 2010, there were 1,054 people, 467 households, 247 families residing in the town.
The population density was 432.0 inhabitants per square mile. There were 658 housing units at an average density of 269.7 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 97.8% White, 1.4% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.1% from other races, 0.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.5% of the population. There were 467 households of which 24.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.7% were married couples living together, 16.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.7% had a male householder with no wife present, 47.1% were non-families. 40.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.2% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.12 and the average family size was 2.80. The median age in the town was 47.4 years. 18.2% of residents were under the age of 18. The gender makeup of the town was 45.6% male and 54.4% female. As of the census of 2000, there were 1,204 people, 552 households, 290 families residing in the town.
The population density was 539.8 inhabitants per square mile. There were 653 housing units at an average density of 292.8 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 97.92% White, 1.16% African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.08% from other races, 0.66% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.17% of the population. There were 552 households out of which 22.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.9% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 47.3% were non-families. 42.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.4% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.04 and the average family size was 2.80. In the town, the population was spread out with 19.6% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 22.8% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, 25.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females, there were 83.5 males.
For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.6 males. The median income for a household in the town was $21,293, the median income for a family was $33,125. Males had a median income of $26,500 versus $16,477 for females; the per capita income for the town was $14,957. About 17.5% of families and 24.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.0% of those under age 18 and 16.2% of those age 65 or over. Marlinton travel guide from Wikivoyage Traveling 219: Marlinton History
The white-tailed deer known as the whitetail or Virginia deer, is a medium-sized deer native to the United States, Mexico, Central America, South America as far south as Peru and Bolivia. It has been introduced to New Zealand, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, the Lesser Antilles, some countries in Europe, such as Finland, the Czech Republic and Serbia. In the Americas, it is the most distributed wild ungulate. In North America, the species is distributed east of the Rocky Mountains as well as in most of Mexico, aside from Lower California, in southwestern Arizona. IIt is replaced by the black-tailed or mule deer from that point west. However, it is found in mixed deciduous riparian corridors, river valley bottomlands, lower foothills of the northern Rocky Mountain region from South Dakota west to eastern Washington and eastern Oregon and north to northeastern British Columbia and southern Yukon, including in the Montana Valley and Foothill grasslands; the conversion of land adjacent to the Canadian Rockies into agriculture use and partial clear-cutting of coniferous trees has been favorable to the white-tailed deer and has pushed its distribution to as far north as Yukon.
Populations of deer around the Great Lakes have expanded their range northwards, due to conversion of land to agricultural uses favoring more deciduous vegetation, local caribou and moose populations. The westernmost population of the species, known as the Columbian white-tailed deer, once was widespread in the mixed forests along the Willamette and Cowlitz River valleys of western Oregon and southwestern Washington, but today its numbers have been reduced, it is classified as near-threatened; this population is separated from other white-tailed deer populations. Some taxonomists have attempted to separate white-tailed deer into a host of subspecies, based on morphological differences. Genetic studies, suggest fewer subspecies within the animal's range, as compared to the 30 to 40 subspecies that some scientists described in the last century; the Florida Key deer, O. v. clavium, the Columbian white-tailed deer, O. v. leucurus, are both listed as endangered under the U. S. Endangered Species Act.
In the United States, the Virginia white-tail, O. v. virginianus, is among the most widespread subspecies. The white-tailed deer species has tremendous genetic variation and is adaptable to several environments. Several local deer populations in the southern states, are descended from white-tailed deer transplanted from various localities east of the Continental Divide; some of these deer populations may have been from as far north as the Great Lakes region to as far west as Texas, yet are quite at home in the Appalachian and Piedmont regions of the south. These deer, over time, have intermixed with the local indigenous deer populations. Central and South America have a complex number of white-tailed deer subspecies that range from Guatemala to as far south as Peru; this list of subspecies of deer is more exhaustive than the list of North American subspecies, the number of subspecies is questionable. However, the white-tailed deer populations in these areas are difficult to study, due to overhunting in many parts and a lack of protection.
Some areas no longer carry deer, so assessing the genetic difference of these animals is difficult. Some subspecies names, ordered alphabetically: O. v. acapulcensis – Acapulco white-tailed deer O. v. borealis – northern white-tailed deer O. v. carminis – Carmen Mountains white-tailed deer O. v. clavium – Key deer or Florida Keys white-tailed deer O. v. chiriquensis – Chiriqui white-tailed deer O. v. couesi – Coues' white-tailed deer, Arizona white-tailed deer, or fantail deer O. v. dakotensis – Dakota white-tailed deer or northern plains white-tailed deer O. v. hiltonensis – Hilton Head Island white-tailed deer O. v. idahoensis – white-tailed deer O. v. leucurus – Columbian white-tailed deer O. v. macrourus – Kansas white-tailed deer O. v. mcilhennyi – Avery Island white-tailed deer O. v. mexicanus – Mexican white-tailed deer O. v. miquihuanensis – Miquihuan white-tailed deer O. v. nelsoni – Chiapas white-tailed deer O. v. nigribarbis – Blackbeard Island white-tailed deer O. v. oaxacensis – Oaxaca white-tailed deer O. v. ochrourus – northwestern white-tailed deer or northern Rocky Mountains white-tailed deer O. v. osceola – Florida coastal white-tailed deer O. v. rothschildi – Coiba Island white-tailed deer O. v. seminolus – Florida white-tailed deer O. v. sinaloae – Sinaloa white-tailed deer O. v. taurinsulae – Bulls Island white-tailed deer O. v. texanus – Texas white-tailed deer O. v. thomasi – Mexican lowland white-tailed deer O. v. toltecus – rain forest white-tailed deer O. v. truei – Central American white-tailed deer O. v. venatorius – Hunting Island white-tailed deer O. v. veraecrucis – northern Veracruz white-tailed deer O. v. virginianus – Virginia white-tailed deer or southern white-tailed deer O. v. yucatanensis – Yucatán white-tailed deer O. v. cariacou – O. v. curassavicus
United States National Forest
National Forest is a classification of protected and managed federal lands in the United States. National Forests are forest and woodland areas owned collectively by the American people through the federal government, managed by the United States Forest Service, a division of the United States Department of Agriculture; the National Forest System was created by the Land Revision Act of 1891, signed under the presidency of Benjamin Harrison. It was the result of concerted action by Los Angeles-area businessmen and property owners who were concerned by the harm being done to the watershed of the San Gabriel Mountains by ranchers and miners. Abbot Kinney and forester Theodore Lukens were key spokesmen for the effort. In the United States there are 155 National Forests containing 190 million acres of land; these lands comprise 8.5 percent of the total land area of the United States, an area about the size of Texas. Some 87 percent of National Forest land lies west of the Mississippi River in the mountain ranges of the Western United States.
Alaska has 12 percent of all National Forest lands. The U. S. Forest Service manages all of the United States National Grasslands, around half of the United States National Recreation Areas. There are two distinctly different types of forests within the National Forest system; those east of the Great Plains in the Midwestern and Eastern United States were acquired by the federal government since 1891, may be second growth forests. The land had long been in the private domain and sometimes logged since colonial times, but was purchased by the United States government in order to create new National Forests; those west of the Great Plains in the Western United States, though established since 1891, are on lands with ownership maintained by the federal government since the U. S. acquisition and settling of the American West. These are lands that were kept in the public domain, with the exception of inholdings and donated or exchanged private forest lands. Land management of these areas focuses on conservation, timber harvesting, livestock grazing, watershed protection and recreation.
Unlike national parks and other federal lands managed by the National Park Service, extraction of natural resources from national forests is permitted, in many cases encouraged. However, the first-designated wilderness areas, some of the largest, are on National Forest lands. There are management decision conflicts between conservationists and environmentalists, natural resource extraction companies and lobbies, over the protection and/or use of National Forest lands; these conflicts center on endangered species protection, logging of old-growth forests, intensive clear cut logging, undervalued stumpage fees, mining operations and mining claim laws, logging/mining access road-building within National Forests. Additional conflicts arise from concerns that the grasslands and forest understory are grazed by sheep, and, more rising numbers of elk and mule deer due to loss of predators. Many ski resorts and summer resorts operate on leased land in National Forests. List of U. S. National Forests United States National Grassland National Forests of the United States topics State forest National Forest Management Act of 1976 Protected areas of the United States USDA Forest Service USDA Forest Service - The First Century 100 Years of Federal Forestry