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Children's LiteratureAs 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.