Gifford Pinchot

Gifford Pinchot was the fourth Chief of the Division of Forestry under presidents Mckinley and Theodore Roosevelt. He became the first Chief of the United States forest service and is considered a father of United States Conservation.

In 1885, After Pinchot’s graduation from Yale University, his father, James W. Pinchot, famously asked him “How would you like to become a Forester”.  Pinchot decided to study in France at the French National School of Forestry in Nancy for a year. Upon his return, his family worked on National Forestry policy for the United States. Pinchot and his father endowed the Yale School of Forestry in 1900 and turned their estate in Milford Pennsylvania into a nursery for the forestry movement; as well as, establishing the society of American Foresters.

Before this in 1897, he joined Theodore Roosevelt’s Boone and Crockett club which had been one of the first Conservation organizations in America. He succeeded as the 4th Chief of the Division of forestry in 1898 which was later turned into the The United States Forest Service in 1905, under Roosevelt.

Unlike famous conservationists such as John Muir, Pinchot took a stance on preserving resources and not protecting wilderness for wilderness sake. He saw an economic and fundamental importance in conserving natural resources.

President Taft ejected Pinchot in 1908 over a controversy regarding Pinchot’s disagreements with the secretary of the interior Richard Ballinger, however he later became the governor of Pennsylvania in 1923 to 1927 and again in 1931 to 1935. As governor we worked closely with the National Park service and helped establish state parks across Pennsylvania. 

To this day is remembered as a man who gave his property, money, and time to the conservation of natural forests in America. He died at the age of 81 of Leukemia and his legacy has lived on to this day in the National Forests Service and his family.