2005 marks the Centennial of the U.S. Forest Service. In honor of this landmark, Rick McClure, archaeologist/heritage program manager for the Gifford Pinchot National Forest/Mt. Hood National Forest, will provide an overview of the important role the USFS has played in the political, economic and social fabric of Skamania County.
This overview will be presented at the 46th annual general membership meeting of the Skamania County Historical Society.
The public is invited to attend on May 8 at 3 p.m. in the Creation Theatre of the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum in Stevenson.
This presentation will explore the formative years of the Forest Service when Gifford Pinchot, the first chief forester, left an indelible impression upon the agency that remains to this day.
The years from 1905 through 1910 saw the emergence of the Columbia National Forest, now named Gifford Pinchot National Forest in honor of the agency's first chief.
McClure will provide a glimpse of these early years through the experiences, records and observations of the first forest rangers stationed at Hemlock Ranger Station in the Wind River Valley.
The program is a portrait of the men who, in describing their work, said you had to be "a bit of a woodsman, stockman, lawyer and fighter."
Through men like Elias Wigal, Harvey Lickel, Fritz Sethe and H.O. "Hoss" Stabler, attendees will learn of the day-to-day work of these horseback rangers and understand how, in the early decades of the 20th Century, they were popularized as a kind of new western hero.
The business of the Society will include the election of new members of the Board of Directors for the 2005-06 fiscal year. Those nominated are Frank Casarez, Merna DeBolt, Karin Ditzler, Penny Guest and Les Hastings.
Light refreshments will be offered.