From Interests to Agencies
When attempting to make a difference, one cannot predict the amplitude of the possible changes that can be made. This statement is also true for the United States agencies that contributed to managing natural resources and preserving the environment. Agencies such as the U.S. Forest service, The National Park Services (NPS), The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BuRec), and the U.S. army corps of engineers (The Corps) all started with smaller objectives of public interests and ended up leading the protection of environmental resources.
In 1876 congress called for a department to manage the forest in the United States. The Division of forestry was formed as a result to manage the proper use of American land. The development of this division leads to the establishment of the forest reserve act of 1891, authorizing the possession of land from the public to label as “forest reserve”. The group changed its name in 1901 to the Bureau of Forestry and then again in 1905 to its current name of the U.S. Forest service (USFS). The department was then given the authority over the management of the forest reserves, formerly managed by the Department of interiors general land office. The agency then managed the protection of forests all throughout the US from overgrazing, fire, excessive hunting, and public recreation. In 1911 the department then passed the weeks act, allowing the purchase of forest land east of the one hundredth meridian adding six million acres of land to be protected and used for the expansion of the United States national forest. The USFS has been the center of national forest preservation ever since by advocating forest fires, and endorsing the use of forest land as integrated systems instead of resources. In 2001 the agency created the National Fire Plan to manage the fule buildup in the forests caused by fire suppression and climate change.
With the increase of national parks in the US, management became a growing issue. Initially the US army was put in charge of the national parks, such as Yellowstone and Lake Huron, in an effort to reduce poaching and misuse of the park. The antiquities act of 1906 was passed giving the president the power to set aside and preserve national monuments, historic landmarks and objects of historic interest. A campaign was run for the department of interior praising the national parks and their educational and recreational benefits. The campaign raised preservation awareness and in 1916 president Woodrow Wilson and mandated the establishment of the National Park Service (NPS) to “leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” The NPS generated a mission statement to ensure that their goals were correctly accomplished. It stated that the national parks were to be mainly unimpaired for the present and future generations, the parks were to be set aside for the enjoyment of the people, and that the national interest must...