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    During the first decade of the twentieth century, Maryland began in earnest to deal with a problem that government officials and conservationists were increasingly coming to view as a serious one. For more than 250 years, changes brought about by settlement, agricultural expansion, and industrialization had reduced forest cover across the state dramatically, altering forest composition and depleting the supply of important commercial species. In 1906 the State Board of Forestry was established and Fred Wilson Besley-an early graduate of the Yale School of Forestry and a protege of Gifford Pinchot's-was appointed Maryland's first state forester. Over the next few decades, Besley and his staff worked assiduously to introduce professional forestry to the state, to establish a system of multi-purpose forest reserves, and to educate the general public, especially the private landowner, on the benefits of conservative forest management.

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    Grove, J. Morgan; Buckley, Geoffrey L. 2001. Sowing the seeds of forest conservation: Fred Besley and the Maryland Story, 1906-1923. Maryland Historical Magazine. 96(3): 303-327.

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