History & Culture

Timeline Through the Decades

Decades of Change











1908 – 1918

  • Siuslaw National Forest is established which includes Headquarters and Ranger Districts – Florence, Waldport, Hebo, Gardiner

  • Land Classification – 1912

  • World War I begins

  • Spruce Division Corporation is established to harvest wood for military airplane construction

  • Twenty five percent of Forest receipts identified for roads and schools.

  • Homesteading on national forest lands begins

  • Shore Pine is used to begin stabilizing sand dunes




1919 - 1928

  • Homesteading continues on national forest land

  • Corvallis, Philomath and Dallas watersheds are added to the Siuslaw National Forest

  • Roads, bridges and fire tower lookout construction occurs





1929 – 1938

  • Elliot State Forest is created with Siuslaw forest land

  • Collapse of stock market; start of The Great Depression

  • Creation of Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and other Depression-era work relief programs. Camps located within the Siuslaw National Forest include Mapleton, Nestucca, Clarence Creek, Reeedsport, Honeyman, Cape Creek

  • Construction of Forest campgrounds begin to occur

  • Major forest fires include Tillamook and Alsea burns

  • Highway 101 opens

  • Cascade Head Experimental forest is set aside for research purposes

  • Siuslaw National Forest expanded to include Marys Peak Unit

  • Camp Cleawox Girl Scout camp established on Cleawox Lake

  • U.S. Government bought out homesteaders and available land went back under Siuslaw National Forest management.



historic photo of Civilian Conservation Corps camp
Civilian Conservation Corps Camp ~ 1935
historic photo of man looking southward along the Pacific Ocean from Cape Perpetua
Along Pacfic Ocean at Cape Perpetua ~ 1931


1939 – 1948

  • Siuslaw Headquarters moves from Eugene to Corvallis

  • World War II begins

  • Blodgett tract comes to the forest as the Yachats Purchase Unit

  • Cascade Experimental Forest created

  • Forest management begins to include herbicide use

  • Sand stabilization continues on coastal dunes

  • Marys Peak road constructed for lookout, planting and recreation access



photo of Corvallis Lumber Company log pond and bull  chain
Corvallis Lumber Company log pond and bull chain ~ 1943


1949 – 1958

  • Smith River Ranger District and Alsea Ranger District created

  • Large scale timber harvest begins; For the first time Siuslaw National Forest timber harvest receipts exceed $1million

  • Harvest operations changed from hand operated to mechanical with the use of chainsaws, log trucks

  • Agency employs new specialists such as landscape architects, engineers and silviculturists





1959 – 1968

  • Cape Perpetua Scenic Area is established

  • Alsea Ranger District is created

  • Columbus Day Storm

  • Wilderness Act is passed

  • National Environmental Policy Act is enacted

  • Job Corps program is created

  • Beaver Creek seed orchard begins operation

  • Air Force radar station established on Mt. Hebo



Cape Perptua Visitor Center showing entrance sign with Cape in background
Cape Perptua Visitor Center ~ 1968


1969 – 1978

  • Creation of Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

  • Creation of Cascade Head Scenic Research Area

  • Proposal for nuclear power plant at Big Creek

  • Endangered Species Act is enacted

  • Creation of Youth Conservation Corps and Young Adult Conservation Corps



Stand of young Dougas-fir after commercial thinning
Stand of young Dougas-fir after commercial thinning ~ 1970



1979 – 1988

  • Establishment of Siuslaw Wilderness Areas - Rock Creek, Drift Creek and Cummins Creek

  • Former Siuslaw National Forest Supervisor F. Dale Robertson becomes Chief of the Forest Service.

  • Alsea and Mapleton Ranger District law suit decisions have national significance on herbicide use and road management

  • Whale exploded at South Jetty





1989 – 1998

  • Completion of Siuslaw Forest Plan, providing direction for management of the Forest

  • Spotted Owl listed as a threatened and endangered species

  • Northwest Forest Plan provides management direction for Oregon, Washington and Northern California forests

  • Province Advisory Committees are created as a citizen participation tool of the Northwest Forest Plan

  • Ecosystem Management on national forests is embraced

  • Timber harvest on the Siuslaw National Forest changes from clear cutting to commercial thinning

  • Watershed analysis begins

  • Mapleton Ranger District moves to Florence

  • Rural Community Assistance program provides economic support to rural timber communities

  • Watershed councils established through the State of Oregon

  • Timber harvest levels went from 382 mmbf in 1990 to 12.4 mmbf in 1992; Forest employees downsized from approximately 440 in 1990 to 200 in 1998





1999 – 2008

  • Central Coast Ranger District – Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area created

  • Watershed Restoration in the upper and lower reaches of watershed basins

  • Stewardship contracting begins, allowing goods for services

  • New Carissa ship wreck off the Oregon Coast near Coos Bay

  • Secure Rural Schools legislation is authorized

  • Employee downsizing continues with approximately 125 employees in 2005

  • Siuslaw National Forest turns 100 years old!