Guide to the Forest Type Maps of Oregon
1900 - circa 1995

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: United States. Forest Service. Pacific Northwest Region.
Title: Forest Type Maps of Oregon
Dates: 1900 - circa 1995 ( inclusive )
1933-1957 ( bulk )
Quantity: 5 cubic feet, including 95 maps (8 map folders and 1 oversize box)
Collection Number: MAPS ForestType
Summary: The Forest Type Maps of Oregon document forest composition at the county, region, and statewide level in Oregon from 1900 to the mid-1950s. The maps were prepared by the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Geological Survey. The earliest maps (1900-1901) were published in color. The maps depict the type and quality of timber in a given area as well as non-forested and de-forested land.
Repository: Oregon State University Libraries, Special Collections & Archives Research Center
Contact Information: Special Collections & Archives Research Center
121 The Valley Library
Oregon State University
Corvallis OR
Telephone: 541-737-2075
Fax: 541-737-8674
Languages: Materials in English. 

Historical Note

Early in the United States' history there was a desire to record and track the natural resources that the nation maintained, with the initial primary focus on timber supply. The earliest recorded large scale survey happened in 1830 as a statewide forest inventory of Massachusetts, and after the Civil War, as the country faced potential forest supply shortages, there was increased concern for monitoring these assets nationally. This prompted the 1874 Congressional recommendation of forming a Commissionership of Forestry to compile data on the national forest holdings. However, this and following attempts to create such a program failed to meet approval until 1905 when the Forest Service was formed under the U. S. Department of Agricultural.

From 1879 until the Forest Service's establishment in 1905, the U. S. Geological Survey gathered much of the forest type data for the country, as they mapped their way across the western states. The Forest Service however gathered much more information than just timber type estimates, focusing on the quantities of timber suitable for various uses, the current consumption of forest products, and the production of forests. In 1928, Congress passed the McSweeney- McNary Act which specifically instructed the USDA through the Forest Service to maintain current and comprehensive surveys of timber and other forest products on Federal, State, and private forest lands, to be reported to Congress every decade. With this act's passage the Forest Service created the Forest Inventory and Analysis program to not only inventory the present forest data but also look out 10 to 50 years into what could likely appear as time progresses.

While the sampling and analyzing methods surrounding the data collection and compilation have changed throughout history, there continues to be a large desire for these national inventory services. The program has shifted from a periodic, primarily timber-based survey to an annual survey that now includes information on soil, vegetation, tree crown conditions and much more with the goal of providing information for the assessment of the U. S. forests.

Content Description

The Forest Type Maps of Oregon document forest composition at the county, region, and statewide level in Oregon from 1900 to the mid-1950s. The U.S. Geological Survey prepared the earliest maps at the beginning of the 20th century; the Pacific Northwest Forest Experiment Station and the Pacific Northwest Region of the U.S. Forest Services prepared the forest type maps for the 1930s-1950s. The collection includes maps prepared by E.D. Buell, Arthur Dodwell, H.D. Langille, J.B. Leiberg, F.G. Plummer, Theodore F. Rixon, and Gilbert Thompson.

The maps depict the type and quality of timber as well as areas of non-forested or de-forested land. Several of the maps in this collection indicate the amount of merchantable timber for a given area as board measure (B.M.) per acre. A board measure is the volume of timber contained in a piece measuring one foot by one foot by one inch thick.

Most of the maps in this collection were prepared in the 1930s-1950s for the Forest Service's Forest Inventory and Analysis Program and other programs focusing on large-scale forest health. The maps depict stand types by species composition, tree diameter, and age as well as noting non-forested lands and recently harvested areas. In addition to this primary information the maps also show the locations of main road systems, county and state boundaries, municipalities, rivers and streams, railroad lines, and note boundaries of townships and ranges.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation :  

Forest Type Maps of Oregon (MAPS ForestType), Oregon State University Special Collections & Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

The Forest Type Maps of Oregon are arranged into 5 series: I. Statewide Forest Type Maps, 1900-1937; II. County Forest Type Maps, 1933-1957; III. County Forest Site Maps, 1944; IV. County Forest Cover Type Maps, circa 1995; and V. U.S. Geological Survey Land Classification Maps, 1900-1901.

Acquisition Information :  

These materials were transferred from the Oregon State University Libraries' maps collection to the Special Collections & Archives Research Center in 2014.

Related Materials :  

The Special Collections & Archives Research Center houses numerous extensive collections documenting forests and forestry in Oregon, including the Gerald W. Williams Collection (MSS WilliamsG) and College of Forestry Records (RG 139). Other forestry maps are available in the Bureau of Land Management Maps of Oregon (MAPS BLM), National Forests in Oregon Maps (MAPS USFS), and the Donald B. Zobel Collection of Historic Forestry and Vegetation Maps (MAPS ZobelMaps).

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I:  Statewide Forest Type Maps, 1900-1937
13 maps

Series I consists of a 1900 forest type map for the full state of Oregon and 3 complete 4-map sets of forest type maps for Oregon prepared in 1936-1937. The Map of the State of Oregon Showing the Classification of Lands and Forests was published in 1900 by the U.S. Geological Survey as part of USGS Professional Paper no. 4 (plate 1). The Forest Type Map, State of Oregon provides forest type information for all of Oregon and was published in 4 quadrants for northeast, northwest, southeast, and southwest Oregon. These were prepared by the Pacific Northwest Forest Experiment Station. The northeast quadrant was published in 1937; the other 3 quadrants were published in 1936.

9 Map of the State of Oregon showing the classification of lands and forests, 1900
Prepared by Gilbert Thompson from information obtained by A.J. Johnson. This map also accompanied The Forests of Oregon (1909) by Henry Gannett (5th Congress, 2nd Session, Doc. 212). The scale is 1:1,000,000 (1 inch = 10 miles). The color map depicts timberless areas, woodlands, barren or burnt lands, cut timber (restocking and not restocking), the northern limit of redwoods, and areas of merchantable timber ranging from less than 5000 to more than 50,000 B.M. (board measure) per acre.
1 Forest type map, state of Oregon, 1936-1937
12 sheets
Four quadrants for northwest, northeast, southwest, and southeast Oregon. Three complete sets are part of this series. The northeast quadrant was published in 1937; the other 3 quadrants were issued in 1936. The scale is 1:250,000 (1 inch = 4 miles). The color maps show 27 forest cover types including non-forest lands (e.g. agricultural zones), non-commercial forest types, and timberland types. One of the sets of 4 maps is mounted on linen. More details about forest types are provided on the county forest type maps that comprise Series II.

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Series II:  County Forest Type Maps, 1933-1957
65 maps

Series II consists of one or more maps for 33 Oregon counties denoting forest types for the county. The maps show non-forest land types (such as cultivated for agriculture), woodland types, and timberland types. The forest types are differentiated by species composition, age, and size (tree diameter). The maps also indicate areas that have been recently logged and/or replanted as well as areas deforested by fire. All of these maps are diazo blueline prints at 1:62,500 scale (1 inch = 1 mile). Legends for the symbols and codes on the maps are also available in this series.

7 Legends, 1947-1958
6 sheets
These legends provide interpretation of the map symbols as well as details for the different forest type classifications. They are keyed to specific county maps based on the publication date.
2 Baker, 1957
2 sheets
2 Benton, 1933-1950
3 sheets
2 Clackamas, 1944
2 Clatsop, 1933-1952
2 sheets
The 1933 map has been hand colored.
2 Columbia, 1954
2 Coos, 1949
2 Crook, 1952
2 sheets
2 Curry, 1948
2 Deschutes, 1947
2 sheets
2 Douglas, 1948
3 sheets
2 Grant, 1936
2 sheets
3 Harney, 1953
3 Hood River, 1954
3 Jackson, 1947
2 sheets
3 Jefferson, 1953
3 Josephine, 1948
2 sheets
3 Klamath, 1946
3 sheets
4 Lake, 1947
4 sheets
4 Lane, 1942-1956
8 sheets
5 Lincoln, 1942-1955
2 sheets
5 Linn, 1944
5 Malheur, 1957
5 Marion, 1944
5 Morrow, 1954
5 Multnomah, 1946
5 Polk, 1940
6 Tillamook, 1955
6 Umatilla, 1936
2 sheets
6 Union, 1936
2 sheets
6 Wasco, 1954
6 Washington, 1940
6 Wheeler, 1953
6 Yamhill, 1942

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Series III:  County Forest Site Maps, 1944
3 maps

Series III consists of diazo blueline prints of forest site maps for Clackamas and Lane Counties. The series includes a sheet for the northern portion of Lane County and one for the southern portion. The Lane County maps were prepared by E.D. Buell. The maps are at a scale of 1 inch = 1 mile (1:62,500). The maps depict the growth potential of each forest site and distinguish between species classifications and field-determined site classes. The maps indicate the Douglas fir classification (D-III thru D-V), spruce-hemlock classification (H-III thru H-V), and non-forest or unclassified forest types (N).

7 Clackamas, 1944
7 Lane, 1944
2 sheets

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Series IV:  Plots of Forest Cover Types for Counties, circa 1995
4 sheets

Series IV consists of maps of forest cover types for four Oregon counties produced on a pen plotter. The maps depict data from forest surveys conducted in the 1940s-1950s; they do not include an index or legend for the codes printed on the maps. The creator of the plots is not known; they may have been created as part of a research or demonstration project to incorporate historic forest survey data into computerized mapping tools. The maps are for Clatsop, Tillamook, Washington, and Yamhill Counties.

7 Clatsop
Data from 1952 forest survey.
7 Tillamook
Data from 1955 forest survey.
7 Washington
Data from 1940 forest survey.
7 Yamhill
Data from 1942 forest survey.

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Series V:  U.S. Geological Survey Land Classification Maps, 1900-1901
10 maps

Series V consists of color maps prepared and published by the U.S. Geological Survey depicting land classification and timber density for the Cascade Range Forest Reserve and several quadrangles in southern Oregon and on the Oregon coast. These maps show merchantable timber in BM/acre; non-forested and de-forested lands; logging streams; and the extent of glaciers. Most of the maps are at 1:250,000 with several at 1:125,000.

Cascade Range Forest Reserve, 1901
5 maps
Published as plates in USGS Professional Paper no. 9. The maps cover the areas that now comprise the Mt. Hood, Willamette, Deschutes, and Umpqua National Forests. They are at a scale of approximately 1:250,000.
8 Northern Portion
2 photocopies
Prepared by H.D. Langille. Both of these are color photocopies.
8 Central Portion
Prepared by F.G. Plummer.
8 Southern Portion
Prepared by Arthur Dodwell and Theodore F. Rixon.
8 Southern Point
Prepared by J.B. Leiberg.
Land Classification and Density of Standing Timber of Oregon Quadrangles, 1900
5 maps
These maps were published as plates in the 21st Annual Report of the U.S. Geological Survey, Part 5 Forest Reserves.
8 Ashland
Scale 1:250,000.
8 Coos Bay
Scale 1:125,000.
8 Klamath
Scale 1:250,000.
8 Port Orford
Scale 1:125,000.
8 Roseburg
Scale 1:125,000.

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      • Subject Terms :
      • Forest reserves--Oregon.
      • Forest site quality--Oregon--Clackamas County.
      • Forest site quality--Oregon--Lane County.
      • Forest type groups--Oregon.
      • Forests and forestry--Oregon--Maps.
      • Land use--Classification--Maps.
      • Timber--Oregon--Maps.
      • Geographical Names :
      • Baker County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Benton County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Clackamas County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Clatsop County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Columbia County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Coos County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Crook County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Curry County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Deschutes County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Deschutes National Forest (Or.)--Maps.
      • Douglas County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Grant County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Harney County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Hood River County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Jackson County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Jefferson County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Josephine County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Klamath County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Lake County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Lane County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Lincoln County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Linn County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Malheur County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Marion County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Morrow County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Mount Hood National Forest (Or.)--Maps.
      • Multnomah County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Polk County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Tillamook County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Umatilla County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Umpqua National Forest (Or.)--Maps.
      • Union County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Wasco County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Washington County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Wheeler County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Willamette National Forest (Or.)--Maps.
      • Yamhill County (Or.)--Maps.
      • Form or Genre Terms :
      • Blueline prints.
      • Forestry maps.
      • Maps.
      • Plots (computer drawings)
        • Other Creators :
        • Buell, Edward D.
        • Dodwell, Arthur.
        • Langille, H. D. (Harold Douglas), 1874-1954.
        • Leiberg, John B. (John Bernhard), 1853-1913.
        • Plummer, Fred G. (Fred Gordon), 1864-1913.
        • Rixon, Theodore F.
        • Thompson, Gilbert, 1839-1909.
        • Geological Survey (U.S.)
        • Pacific Northwest Forest Experiment Station (Portland, Or.)

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