History & Culture


A History of the Lands and USDA Forest Service Tenure


This brief history of the Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forests shows that many factors influenced the land, vegetation, wildlife, and other resources that have been under USDA Forest Service administration for almost 90 years. These two national forests are somewhat unique because they were created from land in the public domain, as were the western forests, but also contain land purchased under the Weeks Law and Clarke-McNary Act, as do all eastern national forests. This history also shows that laws, acts, and regulations not only created the national forests in Arkansas and Oklahoma, but continue to give more and more specific direction for their use and management. The effects of political and judicial decisions on these forests have been tremendous.