History & Culture

On December 20, 1892, the San Gabriel Timberland Reserve was created by President Harrison. The creation of the Reserve, which was the forerunner of the Angeles, was in response to public concern about watershed values as early as 1883. Floods resulting from fire denuded slopes were causing problems with the lowland populations. In 1905, the Reserves were transferred from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Agriculture, and renamed National Forest in 1907. The San Gabriel National Forest consisted of the southern section of the present day Angeles and portions of the San Bernardino Forest. In 1908, the name was changed to Angeles National Forest. In 1926, the eastern area was divided and San Bernardino National Forest recreated. At this time, the Saugus (now part of the Santa Clara-Mojave Rivers Ranger District) was detached from the Santa Barbara Reserve and joined with the Angeles.


Angeles National Forest Archaeology

 Your national forests hold the evidence of more than 10,000 years of human history.  Most people don’t realize that the history of 99% of human life in southern California was made during a time when there were no written records.  Follow this link for more information.

Angeles National Forest Cultural History

Early Native American cultural sites in the inland mountain regions corresponding with the Angeles National Forest are sparse, Radiocarbon dates of 7675 and 7600 years Before Present (BP), taken from a cooking feature in one of the northern drainages of the San Gabriel Mountains, are the oldest known from the central Transverse Ranges. Early material culture indicates extensive use of grinding implements to process small seeds, supplemented by hunting activities.


Forest Service History

National Forest History photo key

The founding of the National Forest System and the Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has its roots in the last quarter of the 19th century.