Midnight Forests: The Story of Gifford Pinchot, Teddy Roosevelt, and Our National Forests

Overview

Our national forests are among the great natural treasures of the United States. In the national forests, wildlife can roam free. People may enjoy outdoor activities. The national forests are also a resource for timber. Today, we may take these forests for granted. But without Gifford Pinchot and other conservationists in the early twentieth century, the national forests would not exist today. Pinchot put a stop to the destruction of the nation's forests by introducing methods that would ensure healthy ...

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Overview

Our national forests are among the great natural treasures of the United States. In the national forests, wildlife can roam free. People may enjoy outdoor activities. The national forests are also a resource for timber. Today, we may take these forests for granted. But without Gifford Pinchot and other conservationists in the early twentieth century, the national forests would not exist today. Pinchot put a stop to the destruction of the nation's forests by introducing methods that would ensure healthy forests for years to come. He was helped by another man who loved the outdoors: President Theodore Roosevelt. Late one night in the White House, they set aside large areas and designated them public lands. They made many people happy. But they made others furious. Gary Hines's inspiring story, beautifully illustrated by Robert Casilla, shows how two remarkable individuals changed the landscape of the nation.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
As a young man in the 1880s, Gifford Pinchot made a decision that affected his destiny—and ours. Instead of joining his wealthy father's successful business, Gifford decided to study forestry. After graduating from Yale, he attended France's L'Ecole Nationale Forestiere. Europeans were bringing their forests back from the brink of destruction and taught surveying, mapping, silviculture, and the importance of forest habitat for wildlife. When Pinchot returned home, the U.S. was ravaging its forest capital. Pinchot's advice on conservation was unwelcome until he was hired by George Vanderbilt to husband the Biltmore Estate forest. Pinchot's success there garnered him an appointment to head the federal government's forestry department. But his career really took off when he decked New York's governor in a friendly boxing match. They became friends who shared a love and respect for the outdoors. And that friend, Teddy Roosevelt, was instrumental in establishing the Forest Service in 1905. The Roosevelt-Pinchot duo worked together to set aside and protect national forests. Then, Congress passed a bill to stop this conservation. But before that bill took effect, Roosevelt, Pinchot, and others worked feverishly to set aside an additional 16 million acres—the midnight forests. Subtitled A Story of Gifford Pinchot and Our National Forests, this book is laid out in spreads with text on one page and beautiful paintings on the other. Author Hines once worked for the Forest Service and occasionally performs a one-man show as Pinchot. My only disappointment with this book is the lack of a map or listing of the midnight forests. 2005, Boyds Mills Press, Ages 9 to 14.
—ChrisGill
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-When Pinchot entered Yale in 1885 with the intention of becoming a forester, few Americans had heard of the profession, and he had to pursue his practical training in Europe. After successfully demonstrating the benefits of tending forests by managing the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, Pinchot spread his message throughout the country. As head of the newly formed Forest Service, he trained others to tend public lands. However, his most enduring legacy came in collaboration with President Theodore Roosevelt when the two men carried out a plan to set aside huge forest reserves in the West. Without the work of this conservationist, the U.S. landscape today probably would include far fewer trees today. The full-color illustrations adequately portray the events described in the text. With ongoing debates about forest conservation and logging issues, this clearly written picture-book biography provides a timely introduction to the work of an important pioneer. Students who want to learn more might read Peter Anderson's Gifford Pinchot (Scholastic, 1996), which includes period photographs.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563971488
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2005
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1010L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.82 (w) x 11.24 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Hines grew up in the mountains of northern California and worked for the United States Forest Service. Gary lives with his wife, author and illustrator Anna Grossnickle Hines, in the coastal community of Gualala, California.

Robert Casilla works at home in his studio in Yonkers, New York. His books include The Dream on Blanca's Wall, by Jane Medina, and Daddy Poems, an anthology selected by John Micklos Jr.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2005

    A DREAM AND HARD WORK MADE IT HAPPEN

    Today, most of us take our National Forests for granted. We assume that these beautiful places where we can hike, climb and backpack have always been as they are today. Not at all so as we learn in this educational and entertaining biography of Gifford Pinchot. It was the year 1885 when young Gifford Pinchot set out for Yale University. His father had suggested that he might want to be a forester as the elder Pinchot had become concerned about the destruction of our forests. Well, Gifford only knew that he loved the woods. After his time at Yale he had learned a great deal about geology and biology but nothing about the management of trees. His next step was to study at a forestry school in France. At last, Gifford was the first American to ever be trained in forestry. He knew what he wanted to accomplish, but how to do it? Fortunately, he would eventually find a staunch ally in President Theodore Roosevelt. The two men had many common interests - the outdoors, hunting, fishing. Then, in 1905, with the aid of his friend the President Gifford took charge of all federal forests, and named his department the Forest Service. Thanks in large part to the dedication and determination of one man the National Forests exist today for all of us to enjoy. From this story youngsters will learn how much we owe to those who came before us, and what can be accomplished with a dream and hard work. - Gail Cooke

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