John Ray Bruckart (1887-1979) worked for the United States Forest Service, serving as supervisor of the Willamette National Forest in Oregon from 1938 to 1954. Bruckart was an expert on Douglas fir silviculture and management. Collection includes personal correspondence and general correspondence, including several letters from Oregon Senator Wayne Morse. Also included in the collection are Bruckart's writings on such topics as Douglas fir silviculture, "The Rise of Bureaucracy," and "The Taming of a Forest," in addition to his memoirs. Collection also includes materials on the Willamette National Forest and the Three Sisters Wilderness Area; and several editions of Forest Service alumni newsletters.
Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries
John Ray Bruckart dedicated forty-five years of his life to the United States Forest Service. He was born June 23, 1887, in Columbus, Pennsylvania, and attended public schools in Ohio. He came west when he was 12 and from 1905 to 1908 served with the U.S. Cavalry.
Bruckart's first position with the Forest Service was as fire guard in 1909. He then moved rapidly through the echelons, serving in various administrative positions in the Snoqualmie, Gifford Pinchot and Olympic National Forests in Washington and in the Portland regional office. In 1938, Bruckart was appointed supervisor of the Willamette National Forest, a position he held until his retirement in 1954.
Bruckart was an expert on Douglas fir silviculture and management. He was part of the pioneer group of foresters who came into the Northwest "with regulations affecting the cutting of timber, the burning of brush, the shooting and trapping of game and with ideas of forest management which were new and strange to people who had always figured that God's country was a place where you could do whatever you pleased." (
Eugene Register Guard, June 14; 1950, p. 12A) Over the years the sullen resistance of the natives was overcome by the tact, goodwill and patience of men like Bruckart, who labored diligently to produce the present-day public acceptance of the need for regulations and the controlled use of America's natural resources.
John Ray Bruckart died on November 11, 1979, in Eugene, Oregon. He was 92 years old.
The collection consists of an assortment of materials ranging from love letters written to his wife to materials on the art of Douglas fir silviculture. One folder of general correspondence, 1918-19 contains several letters from Oregon Senator Wayne Morse. Also included in the collection are Bruckart's writings on such topics as "The Rise of Bureaucracy" and "The Taming of a Forest," in addition to his memoirs; collected materials on the Willamette National Forest and the Three Sisters Wilderness Area; and several editions of Forest Service alumni newsletters. Two Forest Service diaries, 1930-1931, cover mostly mundane matters, such as the number of days in the wood versus office time. However, as the diaries are somewhat hard to decipher, and only a minimum amount of time was spent on trying to ascertain their content, they might very well contain more relevant information than that listed above.
The collection includes 22 images dated c. 1910-1973 related to Bruckhart's work as a forester: camps, gatherings, forests. There are two prints from 1931 showing Yakama tribal members in the huckleberry fields.
Use of the Collection
Restrictions on Access :
Collection is open to the public.
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Preferred Citation :
[Identification of item], John Ray Bruckart papers, Coll 059, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.
Processing Note :
Collection processed by John Minott, June 1983.
This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.