Features appear in each issue of Pennsylvania Heritage showcasing a variety of subjects from various periods and geographic locations in Pennsylvania.

The lush, verdant woodlands characteristic of Pennsylvania’s landscape are almost entirely second-growth forests, in existence roughly for less than a century. Had it not been for the groundbreaking work of many conservationists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Keystone State’s present terrain would be dramatically different. One of the most important of those visionaries was Joseph Trimble Rothrock (1839–1922), who made enduring contributions to both forestry and botany and has been crowned the “Father of Forestry in Pennsylvania.” Public awareness of his contributions, however, has been eclipsed by that of such figures as Gifford Pinchot and Theodore Roosevelt. Nevertheless, it was Rothrock who organized the state public forestry agency in Pennsylvania and subsequently led the forestry movement. Although swiftly fading from the public consciousness with the unforgiving passage of time, Rothrock’s influence on Pennsylvania’s scientific and forestry history, as well as his countless contributions, accomplishments, relationships, leadership, public message, popular appeal, and the honors accorded him upon his death, rank him among the leaders in the conservation movement.

When European settlers arrived in America, they brought with them a distinct perception of the American wilderness. The European deep-seated Christian view equated wilderness with a fearful confusion, pithily described by Roderick Nash in his 1967 book entitled Wilderness and the American Mind. “The wilderness was conceived as a region where a person was likely to get into a disordered, confused, or ‘wild’ condition. In fact, ‘bewilder’ comes from ‘be’ attached to ‘wildern.’ The image is that of a man in an alien environment where the civilization that normally orders and controls his life is absent.” European settlers approached the thick and dense American wilderness not with any sense of awe or wonder, but with a will to tame it for the sake of civilization and progress. In fact, for a time, wrote Hans Huth, author of Nature and the American: Three Centuries of Changing Attitudes, “the axe was even accepted as the appropriate symbol of the early American attitude toward nature.” Simply put, wilderness was a bothersome and nearly all-encompassing part of the American landscape, removed for the building of settlements, and wood, an abundant resource, became a profitable commodity.

As the virgin wilderness began to disappear, the spirit of Romanticism that arose in urban areas in the early to mid-nineteenth century advanced a perception of forestlands not as obstacles but rather as unique assets for the young republic. This perspective is most vividly exemplified in Walden, or, Life in the Woods (1854) by Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), in which the author lovingly and eloquently expressed the American Transcendentalist view of nature. Such views conflicted, however, with early America’s dependence on wood products. “It was assumed this source of national wealth [wood] was inexhaustible. But after the [Civil] War’s end, the American Industrial Revolution began in earnest,” the National Association of State Foresters explains in its reference anthology entitled Forests and Forestry in the American States, published in 1968. “Rising tides of immigration and growth pushed wave after wave of settlement into and through the forest fastness . . . between 1860 and 1900, the face of the continent . . . was altered irretrievably . . . trees came down like match sticks.” Rothrock saw the arid plains of the American West during expeditions and noted the fallacy of the prevailing notion that timber was a sustainable resource. However, the continued harvesting of American forests proved extremely profitable.

During the era following the American Civil War, scientists throughout the United States began comprehending the effects of deforestation associated with industry. Pennsylvania was widely covered in old-growth forests at the time of the first European settlers’ arrival, hence the Commonwealth’s name Pennsylvania, meaning “Penn’s Woods.” Many areas were subsequently decimated to clear land for agriculture, produce charcoal for the early iron furnaces, and supply the voracious demand for timber. The result of this destruction was documented in photographs taken by Rothrock who, according to the National Association of State Foresters, became part of a small group “of a dozen or so who endowed America with a ‘conservation conscience’ at a time when its physical wealth had been sorely ravaged, first by the unbridled expansion of the frontier, then by the insatiable hunger of industrialism.”

Joseph Trimble Rothrock was born on April 9, 1839, in McVeytown, Mifflin County, to Abraham Rothrock (1806–1894), a physician, and Phoebe Brinton Trimble (1810–1894), who belonged to a venerable Quaker family. He attributed his love of botany to his mother, who was related to the noted Pennsylvania botanist William Darlington (1782–1863), a well known Chester County physician and politician. Rothrock recounted how his mother educated him about plants when he was young, fostering in him an abiding interest in botany. Nearly all accounts indicate that he was a sickly child; he wrote of this condition, noting “my education in early life was greatly interfered with by lack of vigorous health rather than by actual disease; open air was an absolute necessity to me, and throughout my entire life, I have sought the ‘out of doors’ as a refuge against impending physical ills.” Whether this sickliness, which manifested itself sporadically throughout Rothrock’s life, was the result of an underlying medical condition or simply represented an impulse to return to the outdoors is difficult to know with any certainty. It seems likely that his love for, and interest in, nature may have alleviated his moderate depression and stress.

After completing his education at Tuscarora Academy, a Presbyterian preparatory school in Juniata County, and the Freeland Seminary (now Ursinus College) in Collegeville, Montgomery County, he entered Harvard University’s Lawrence Scientific School under the direction of Asa Gray (1810–1888), considered one of the most important botanists of the nineteenth century. With the outbreak of the American Civil War, Rothrock was mustered in Company D, 131st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, on August 7, 1862, in Lewistown, Mifflin County, and approximately one year later at the age of twenty-four rose to the rank of captain of Company E (181st Regiment), Twentieth Cavalry, Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry. He fought in the Battle of Antietam and was wounded in the Battle of Fredericksburg. It was reported that “one day Abraham Lincoln came through the ward and shook hands with each of the injured soldiers. As he passed Rothrock’s cot, he lifted the young soldier’s hand and said, ‘God bless you, young man, the country needs men like you.’” On November 2, 1862, Rothrock’s father wrote to Governor Andrew Gregg Curtin (1817–1894) seeking a promotion for his son. “I would add that my son . . . has at all times so far as I could ascertain,” the senior Rothrock wrote, “taken a firm stance in favor of what he deemed the right, denouncing the wrong.” This characterization would also apply to Rothrock’s commitment later in life to what he determined to be “the right”: forestry and the conservation of the Keystone State’s endangered woodlands.

Rothrock returned to Harvard, earning his degree in 1864, and entered the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school the same year. Not long after, however, he was appointed a scientific explorer on a Smithsonian Institution survey of British Columbia and Alaska intended, in part, to determine the feasibility of installing a telegraph line to the Pacific Coast. Rothrock won widespread esteem for “Sketch on the Flora of Alaska,” which appeared in Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution (1868). Many historians believe the expedition played a significant role in the United States’ decision to purchase Alaska. Returning to the University of Pennsylvania in 1866, he was awarded his medical degree the following year. His dissertation detailed the conditions, diseases, and treatment methods of the Native peoples he had observed during the exploration.

Hired in 1867 as a professor of botany, human anatomy, and physiology at the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania (now the Pennsylvania State University), he married Martha E. May, daughter of Addison and Elizabeth Shafer May of West Chester, on May 27, 1869, after which the couple moved to the Luzerne County seat of Wilkes-Barre, where he established a medical practice and was involved in founding the Wilkes-Barre Hospital. When stress impaired his health, he sought to recover in the outdoors. For this reason, he served in 1873 as botanist and surgeon on the Geographical Survey West of the 100th Meridian (Wheeler Survey) with the Smithsonian and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Rothrock compiled an account of the botanical findings of the survey in volume six of the Report upon U.S. Geographical Surveys West of the 100th Meridian. George Montague Wheeler (1842–1905), expedition leader and pioneering explorer and cartographer, paid him a great compliment: “the zeal and fidelity displayed by Dr. J. T. Rothrock, not only in the field, but in the preparation of his report, and in superintending the collaboration of other reports, are worthy of all commendation.” Rothrock returned to Pennsylvania in 1875 and received an appointment to the University of Pennsylvania in 1877 as a professor of botany, a position he held until 1893.

In 1877, Rothrock was elected a member of the prestigious American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, the nation’s first learned society, for which he delivered the Michaux Lectures on Forestry that were held until 1894. The lectures were named in honor of French botanist Francois Andre Michaux (1770–1855), who left a bequest of $12,000 – the equivalent of $272,937 today – to nurture an understanding of forestry, especially in Pennsylvania. Designed for the benefit of the general public, each course consisted of seven lectures on the condition of the forests. At first, the sessions were poorly attended, perhaps the result of both a lack of scientific knowledge in the general community and awareness that the forests were threatened. Rothrock worked diligently to inform the public of the damage occurring to Pennsylvania’s forests and spoke eloquently of nature, evidenced by a passage from 1892. “This is a beautiful, bountiful earth; but because it is so, is no reason why we should squander its resources. Before mankind and the globe are done with each other the former will probably acquire all that the latter can produce. Economy in use of what we have is as much a duty as enjoyment is a privilege. The one is the counterpart of the other.”

He captured in photographs stark images of ravaged forests that vividly depicted erosion, flooding, and fire damage, using them during lectures and other educational activities. In “On the Growth of the Forestry Idea in Pennsylvania,” which appeared in 1894 in Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, he wrote that after two centuries of destroying trees and woodlands, “we furnish an illustration of a nation lapsing into the extravagance of barbarism because of the abundance of our supplies, so far at least as our use of the trees is concerned.” He warned, “we cut and kept on cutting and shut our eyes to the fact that the end was approaching.”

After a nine-month leave in 1880 to study advanced German forestry techniques under renowned botanist Heinrich Anton deBary (1831–1888) at the University of Strasbourg, he was contacted in 1886 by two prominent Philadelphians, Mary Scott Linton Lundy, wife of John P. Lundy, and Maria Middleton Fisher Coxe, wife of Brinton Coxe, who were concerned about the future of Pennsylvania’s forests. Together they formed the Pennsylvania Forestry Association to promote scientific forestry, with Rothrock serving as the group’s first president. Their objectives included advocating for the acquisition and preservation of forest lands, educating the public about forests and water supplies, and promoting legislation to protect forests. Unfortunately, early efforts to create forestry-related acts of legislation often were delayed or doomed by political maneuvering, lobbying, and partisan bickering. Rothrock personally drafted bills or spoke directly with politicians and governors, and grew increasingly adept at influencing the political process. In an autobiographical sketch he wrote he was “in religious faith an Episcopalian, and politically a Republican, when my conscience will endure it.” He wrote in a letter dated January 2, 1901, that he had begun forestry “agitation” twenty years earlier and would persist as long as he was able, but that legislation was imperative to help bring about change. “You have no idea of the amount of work it requires to change a generation from tree destroyers to tree restorers; it is something akin to a second birth,” he warned. His fortitude in this resistant environment is illustrated by a newspaper article that described his voice as “crying in the wilderness of indifference and ignorance for years, but all the time the seed which he sowed was falling upon soil where it sprouted and finally grew into a strong public sentiment in support of the trees.”

A bill establishing a Forestry Commission in Pennsylvania was finally passed by the General Assembly of Pennsylvania in 1893. According to Rothrock, passage represented “recognition of the broad fact that we as a young people have been wasteful in the use of all our resources.” Consisting of one botanist and one engineer, the commission was charged with investigating the condition of forests in Pennsylvania, searching for suitable land for the Commonwealth to acquire, and reporting its findings to the state legislature by March 15, 1895. Rothrock was appointed commission botanist, and left his professorship at the University of Pennsylvania. During the next two years, Rothrock and engineer William Findlay Shunk (1830–1907) surveyed Pennsylvania’s woodlands and returned with a report consisting of 361 pages containing 44 full-page illustrations. (Shunk, incidentally, was the son of Governor Francis Rawn Shunk and the grandson of Governor William Findlay.) The report, submitted by the pair on March 15, 1895, to the legislature, demonstrated that “the safety of the State and of its interests required a change in existing method.”

In his section of the report, Rothrock emphasized the need for the Commonwealth to provide for its continued existence, cautioning that “a primal, fundamental law is that the first duty of the State is to provide for its own prosperous perpetuity.” He identified several geographic sites he believed should be acquired by Pennsylvania and the need to secure areas important to watersheds. He explained the problems inherent in rapid deforestation; outlined forestry laws from 1700; and discussed timber production, land value, wastelands, taxation issues, ways to educate the public on the propagation of trees, and possible restorative measures. Recognizing the importance of the emerging movement, state lawmakers made permanent the position of commissioner of forestry in the Division of Forestry, which was placed under the auspices of the Department of Agriculture. Rothrock was appointed Pennsylvania’s first commissioner.

Shortly after the commission filed its report, the Commonwealth purchased 415 acres in Beech Creek Township, Clinton County, for $30.70 under the provisions of “An Act for the purchase by the Commonwealth of unseated lands for the non-payment of taxes for the purpose of creating a State Forest Reservation,” signed into law on March 30, 1897, by Governor Daniel Hartman Hastings (1849–1903). This inaugural purchase initiated the process of land acquisition for forest reserves by state government. Rothrock believed forests could be restored only by state action, because of the resources required to do so, and because the Commonwealth had the impetus in assuring its perpetuity for the public good. He described this view in one of his brief articles. “In general it is unwise for the State to enter upon any business where it will compete with its citizens,” he wrote. “There are, however, conditions where the State is the only possible worker.” The principal reasons for the reserve purchases included worsening of the lumber industry, lack of clean and pure mountain water for municipal purposes, lack of water to produce electricity, erosion from the significant decrease of forest cover and the resultant vulnerability to floods, and the loss of revenue from the barren lands.

Rothrock maintained a unique perspective on taxation of forested areas, positing that taxes were one of the primary and earliest factors that encouraged landowners to strip the timber from their properties. He therefore sought to have timberlands freed of taxes, because they contributed to the public good; this economic freedom would thus encourage growth of forests by landowners. He believed that timber should be taxed, but not growing forests. However, because of Constitutional tax-law restrictions, Rothrock proposed that timberlands be classified as a separate class of land, for which the legislature could then alter specific taxes. His ideas on taxes were never fully accepted and often were stringently opposed, yet remained a focal point of his ideas on forestry. There remains today no resolution to the forest-taxation issue.

The work of the Division of Forestry had grown to the extent that remaining a division of another department was no longer feasible. On February 25, 1901, the legislature and Governor William Alexis Stone (1846–1920) approved a plan to create a Department of Forestry, separate from the Department of Agriculture, with Rothrock continuing as its commissioner. After Governor Stone assumed office in 1899, Rothrock calculated the Commonwealth owned 18,904 acres of land that had been purchased at tax sales for forestry reservations. By December 10, 1902, the reserves totaled 305,851 acres, in addition to 266,871 acres under consideration for title transfer,making a total of 572,722 acres. In a report at the time, Rothrock recommended that the Commonwealth survey the boundaries of all state lands as protection against trespassers and appoint additional wardens as well.

By 1903, under the leadership of Governor Samuel W. Pennypacker (1843–1916), Rothrock noted the Commonwealth “has purchased 622,576 acres of land. . . . There remain under consideration, 86,448 acres, making a total of 709,024. There is in sight and to be offered shortly, we think, that we now have intimation of, about 100,000 acres more.” In comparison to the holdings of just one year earlier, the Forestry Division was rapidly purchasing land for reserves under Rothrock’s leadership. Notably, from 1898 to 1910, 924,798 acres, nearly half of today’s state forest reserve acres, had been acquired by state government.

With this growing reserve, Rothrock realized there was a need for trained forest rangers and outlined an idea for a forestry school. Only recently, in fact, had a few forestry schools been established within the United States; there were roughly only twenty U.S. citizens with forestry training and two had obtained their education in Europe. In 1903, Rothrock charged his colleague George H. Wirt (1880–1961) with establishing the school; Wirt became the first director of the State Forest Academy at Mont Alto, Franklin County, serving until 1910. Rothrock wrote, “the Pennsylvania State Forest Academy is unique. It is the only institution of its kind in the western Hemisphere carried on by . . . Government. It is admitted by those who know to be the most promising institution of its kind in America.” Rothrock directed that the school teach practical skills, such as how to handle axes and saws, as well as academic subjects including chemistry, German, silviculture, and zoology. The academy eventually merged with the Department of Forestry in the School of Agriculture, established in 1907 at the Pennsylvania State College (the present- day Pennsylvania State University). Today, the institution is part of Penn State’s School of Forest Resources.

Rothrock served as commissioner of forestry until 1905, but he had appealed to Governor Pennypacker in 1903 to accept his resignation because of deteriorating health. His request, however, caused a stir. Many individuals and organizations besieged Pennypacker, asking that he find a way to persuade Rothrock to stay. “I regret to learn of any effort on the part of Dr. Rothrock to resign,” wrote one individual, “as he is so familiar with the large number of details in this work . . . it would be very difficult to find a man to replace him who could take up the work.” Another wrote, “I believe that when we have a man whose heart is in his work, it is always best to keep him.” The outpouring of sentiments underscored the esteem with which Rothrock was held in Pennsylvania.

Although he was persuaded to stay on as commissioner, in February 1904 Rothrock wrote once more to the governor seeking acceptance of his retirement no later than June 1. Messages once again deluged the governor’s office, expressing dismay over Rothrock’s resignation. Some of the strongest words came from the State Forestry Reservation Commission, which stated that the organization was “affected with a keen sense of regret and deeply deplores the retirement of Dr. Rothrock from public service.” Its members added, “the creation of the Pennsylvania Department of Forestry and [its] successful conduct . . . are directly attributable to the untiring energy and labor of Dr. Rothrock.” Although Pennypacker reluctantly accepted the resignation, Rothrock was immediately appointed to the Forest Reservation Commission, on which he served on and off until his death in 1922.

Toward the end of his tenure as commissioner of forestry, Rothrock, an ardent believer in and proponent of open-air treatment for tuberculosis patients, founded White Pine Camp, later South Mountain Sanatorium, in the mountains of Mont Alto. Rothrock relayed to Governor Stone in 1902 that the plans for the camp had been “eminently successful and attracted wide attention, not only in this State, but in other States.” The camp was maintained solely on private funds until June 1, 1903, when the institution received $8,000 from the state legislature and another $15,000 for 1905 through 1907. Rothrock later reported that after June 1, 1903, sixty-one of the eighty-nine patients at the State Consumptive Camp at Mont Alto had been cured or greatly restored to health. (Many of those who did not survive were in the latter stages of the disease, and had little chance of recovery.) The camp remained part of the Department of Forestry until 1907, when it was transferred to the newly created Pennsylvania Department of Health. One of Rothrock’s sons, Addison M. Rothrock (1870– 1940), who also had attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, served as camp physician until the transfer of the facility to the state health department occurred. Rothrock’s devotion to nature, it seems, was linked to his views on healthful living as well as the benefits of living and exercising in the outdoors. When faced with health problems, Rothrock generally retreated to the outdoors to recuperate.

In 1909, Rothrock, at seventy years of age, sold his vast herbarium and library to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The collection reportedly contained 22,207 specimens and was said to be one of the most valuable collections of its kind in America, if not the world. Despite his age, Rothrock continued to contribute to Forest Leaves and serve on the Forest Reservation Committee, demonstrating the depth of his commitment to forestry. In 1914, a group of Rothrock’s friends presented him with a handsome loving cup. Two hundred fifty-three people donated to the fund. A bank draft of $1,100, representing funds collected beyond the costs of the loving cup and related expenses, was given to Rothrock for his “personal comfort, enjoyment, and benefit.” On April 11, 1919, Arbor Day, eighty white oak trees were planted in Caledonia State Park in Adams and Franklin Counties to celebrate Rothrock’s eightieth birthday. That same year, a bronze marker honoring Rothrock was placed at the Mont Alto Sanatorium. These honors, in addition to the earlier designation of Rothrock State Forest in Forest District 5, near Huntingdon, Huntingdon County, underscored the influence Rothrock exerted on forestry and its adherents.

On June 2, 1922, Rothrock died at the age of eighty- three at his residence in West Chester, Chester County. Despite his vast contributions to Pennsylvania’s history and the number of memorials celebrating his life, career, and accomplishments, his name has largely been forgotten. A contemporary of Rothrock’s wrote, “his was a wonderful life, full of experience and deeds, the latter of which will live long after him and be the best sort of a memorial.” That “best sort of a memorial” arises from the path he created for future generations to follow, through his organizational leadership, legislative advocacy, and drive to educate the public over the plight of the forests.

To commemorate his life, the state legislature passed Act 51-A on July 11, 1923, establishing the Joseph T. Rothrock Memorial Commission. The commission placed a boulder bearing a bronze tablet in Rothrock’s hometown of McVeytown on November 1, 1924. In an address at the dedication of the monument, Governor Gifford Pinchot praised Rothrock as one of the “greatest public servants in the history of our Commonwealth,” adding he was “wholly unselfish to the point of extreme self-sacrifice, capable to the level of the brilliant achievements which distinguished his career.”

Despite his significant accomplishments, Rothrock remained modest. “I often wonder why I have received so much consideration,” he wrote. “I am not conscious of having done any thing remarkable. I simply have had an honest desire to be of some use in this big world of ours.” Rothrock received several posthumous recognitions. A plaque was erected at West Chester and two memorials established in Harrisburg. His name was emblazoned on the frieze of the Forum Building along with other notable Pennsylvanians and a plaque was placed in the Capitol. Arranged by the Pennsylvania State Forest Commission and funded by Rothrock’s friends and admirers, the plaque, unveiled on October 29, 1923, lists the titles he held and his accomplishments. In addition, the alumni of the Pennsylvania State Forest Academy erected a stone monument at the camp in Mont Alto honoring him as founder of the academy.

A highly unusual memorial to Rothrock was established by Governor David L. Lawrence (1889–1966) in 1961. A proclamation amended the existing act of June 19, 1941, to pay homage to Rothrock’s contributions to Pennsylvania forestry by changing one of the days designated as Arbor Day to April 9, Rothrock’s birthday. In addition, a week designated as Dr. J. T. Rothrock Memorial Conservation Week was established in April. Sadly, however, as Rothrock and his colleagues and acquaintances began to pass away, his name and contributions began fading from public memory.

The creation of an organized Forestry Department was a momentous achievement, equaled only by Rothrock’s botanical, medical, and legislative accomplishments. While, as a contemporary noted, the forests gracing Pennsylvania are a better memorial to him than any plaque or monument, it is important that he be remembered for his dedication to conserving the Commonwealth’s precious natural resources. Rothrock embraced the preservation of forests as integral to the well-being and survival of Pennsylvania’s citizens. In the age of lumbering, during which timber barons cared little for preserving the Commonwealth’s beautiful forests, his foresight recovered and ensured Pennsylvania’s prosperity. It is to Joseph Trimble Rothrock and like-minded individuals that Pennsylvanians owe great gratitude for the tree-covered hills and mountains they call home.


For Further Reading

DeCoster, Lester A. The Legacy of Penn’s Woods: A History of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry, 1895 to 1995. Harrisburg, Pa.: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1995.

Fergus, Charles. Natural Pennsylvania: Exploring the State Forest Natural Areas. Mechanicsburg, Pa.: Stackpole Books, 2002.

Gerhold, Henry D. A Century of Forest Resources Education at Penn State: Serving the Forests, Waters, Wildlife, and Wood Industries. University Park, Pa.: Penn State University Press, 2007.

Huth, Hans. Nature and the American: Three Centuries of Changing Attitudes. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1957.

Maass, Eleanor A. Forestry Pioneer: The Life of Joseph Trimble Rothrock. Harrisburg, Pa.: Pennsylvania Forestry Association, 2003.

Nash, Roderick. Wilderness and the American Mind. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1967.

Thomas, Elizabeth H. A History of the Pennsylvania State Forest School, 1903–1929. Mont Alto, Pa.: Pennsylvania State Forest Academy and the School Founders Society, 1985.

Thorpe, Richard R. The Crown Jewel of Pennsylvania: The State Forest System. Harrisburg, Pa.: Pennsylvania Forestry Association, 1997.

Wirt, George H. Joseph Trimble Rothrock, Father of Forestry in Pennsylvania. Lewisburg, Pa.: Mifflin County Historical Society, 1956.


The author thanks the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), the Pennsylvania State Archives, and the Pennsylvania Heritage Society for the opportunity to research and write this article. She especially acknowledges PHMC staff members Willis L. Shirk, Beth A. Hager, Sharon R. Nelson, Paula Heiman, and Brett M. Reigh for their assistance.

The editor gratefully acknowledges and thanks Seth P. Cassell, Chief, Communications and Interpretation Section, Bureau of Forestry, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, for graciously providing contemporary color photographs of state forests illustrating this article.


Rebecca Diane Swanger is a first-year doctoral student in history at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. She is a 2010 magna cum laude and department honors graduate of Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, with an emphasis on European history and minors in political science and Spanish. She wrote this article as part of an environmental internship at the Pennsylvania State Archives, funded by the Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Professionals (PAEP), McCormick Taylor Engineers and Planners, Gannett Fleming Inc., and Cultural Heritage Research Services. Headquartered in Bellefonte, Centre County, PAEP is a nonpolitical interdisciplinary organization of individuals working in environmental management, planning, impact assessment, environmental protection, compliance, research, engineering, design, and education. The internship helped solidify her desire to become an environmental historian. She intends to continue researching environmental history, concentrating on transnational environmental history, specifically in the regions of southwestern Europe and South America.