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Black Hills Forestry

A History

by John F. Freeman

Hardcover Price $34.95
Ebook Price $27.95
30-day ebook rental price $9.99

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"The history of this one national forest is the history of the entire National Forest System in microcosm."

—James Lewis, Forest History Society

"One of those rare books that brings 125 years of complexity into focus with sharp and insightful clarity. It's a page turner. . . . Freeman sorts out the forest industry and environmental movements with skill and grace, giving each its due, forming the many parts into a readable whole."
Rapid City Journal

 "Black Hills Forestry should find a significant and diverse readership and serve as an essential reference for any subsequent histories of the Black Hills National Forest. It should also be important reading for scholars interested in the history of the region and forest management in the United States."
South Dakota History
"Black Hills Forestry is well researched, thoroughly detailed, and will long serve as a key resource for those interested in the management history of the Black Hills National Forest."
Agricultural History
"In a long overdue study, John F. Freeman brings a passion for Ponderosa pine and a close analysis of policy to bear in a chronological narrative of the Black Hills National Forest from the 1870s to the present. . . . this volume succeeds as a history of the national forest and adds a revealing case study to the debate about privatizing federal lands."
Annals of Wyoming


The first study focused on the history of the Black Hills National Forest, its centrality to life in the region, and its preeminence within the National Forest System, Black Hills Forestry is a cultural history of the most commercialized national forest in the nation.

One of the first forests actively managed by the federal government and the site of the first sale of federally owned timber to a private party, the Black Hills National Forest has served as a management model for all national forests. Its many uses, activities, and issues—recreation, timber, mining, grazing, tourism, First American cultural usage, and the intermingling of public and private lands—expose the ongoing tensions between private landowners and public land managers. Freeman shows how forest management in the Black Hills encapsulates the Forest Service's failures to keep up with changes in the public's view of forest values until compelled to do so by federal legislation and the courts. In addition, he explores how more recent events in the region like catastrophic wildfires and mountain pine beetle epidemics have provided forest managers with the chance to realign their efforts to create and maintain a biologically diverse forest that can better resist natural and human disturbances.

This study of the Black Hills offers an excellent prism through which to view the history of the US Forest Service's land management policies. Foresters, land managers, and regional historians will find Black Hills Forestry a valuable resource.


Wyoming Public Radio Interview
Rapid City Journal



Western Historical Quarterly


John F. Freeman is the founder and president emeritus of the Wyoming Community Foundation. He has a PhD in early modern European history from the University of Michigan and is the author of Adapting to the Land, High Plains Horticulture: A HistoryBlack Hills Forestry: A History, and Persistent Progressives.

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  • Hardcover Price: $34.95
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-60732-298-6
  • Ebook Price: $27.95
  • 30-day ebook rental price: $9.99
  • EISBN: 978-1-60732-299-3
  • Publication Month: February
  • Publication Year: 2015
  • Pages: 336
  • Illustrations: 45 figures
  • Discount Type: Short
  • Author: by John F. Freeman
  • ECommerce Code: 978-1-60732-298-6
  • Get Permissions: Get Permission

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