Profile America — Friday, March 30th. The first national forest was established on this date in 1891 in northwest Wyoming — the Shoshone National Forest. The bill, passed by Congress, was signed into law by President Benjamin Harrison. It preserved some 2.5 million acres of pristine territory. The terrain ranges from sage bush plains to dense spruce and fir forest, and even craggy mountain peaks. Within the forest, there are designated wilderness areas, protecting more than half of the managed land area from development. Across the U.S., there are over 206 million acres of timberland in the national forest system. Alaska, California and Idaho have the largest amounts. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at www.census.gov.
Sources: Kane's Famous First Facts, 3727 www.fs.usda.gov/shoshone Statistical Abstract of the United States 2012, t. 885
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