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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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).
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.
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.