Browse and Search This Collection
Contributed by Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records: State Archives
The General Land Law Revision Act of 1891 allowed for setting aside forest reserves which later became the national forests. Presidential proclamations established the first forest reserves in Arizona and New Mexico in 1892. The earliest maps in this collection date back to 1907 with several of the first national forests in the state created by presidential proclamation. The presidential proclamations accompany the 1907-1910 maps.
The 1907-1910 maps are fairly simple, showing forest boundaries and townships and ranges. More features are shown on the 1910 maps such as roads, drainage and other selected natural and cultural features.
Forest boundaries changed throughout the 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s as surveys were completed. Boundaries also changed when a forest was enlarged or created by land appropriations, or when a smaller forest was incorporated into a larger one. Often the name of the smaller forest survives as the name of a ranger district of the larger forest into which it was transferred, i.e., part of Tusayan National Forest to Tusayan Ranger District in Kaibab National Forest.
Forest maps from the 1920s on are more detailed and show roads, trails, railroads, and telephone lines besides ranger stations and buildings. The later maps also include a wealth of place names for natural and cultural features.
Histories of the individual national forests in Arizona can be found in at Timeless Heritage: A History of the Forest Service in the Southwest.
To search for a specific forest, click on the forest name links below: