A Brief History of the Early Years On the Lincoln National Forest

Author(s): Patricia M. Spoerl

Year: 1981


During the 1800s many people moved westward and settled areas which had previously been occupied only by Indians or Spanish colonists. Because of this settlement, significant changes began to occur in the landscape of the West. Millions of acres of forested land were cleared for agriculture. Millions more acres were damaged due to wasteful logging operations, fires, overgrazing and subsequent erosion. A concern for this destruction of our nation's natural resources led to passage of the Land Law Revision Act of 1891 which authorized the President to set aside lands as forest reserves. These lands were to be managed by the General Land Office of the Department of Interior. The Organic Act of 1897 established the basic purpose of these reserves and formed the basis of later multiple-use management of national forests. In 1905, management of the forest reserves was transferred to the Department of Agriculture and the Forest Service was created.

The mountainous areas of south-central New Mexico lying between the Tula- rosa Basin and the Pecos River drainage were first considered for withdrawal as forest reserves during the late 1800s. What is now the Lincoln National Forest was originally part of five forest reserves or national forests (Figure 1). The Lincoln Forest Reserve was created by the Proclamation of July 26, 1902, and included the Capitan and White Mountains in Lincoln County. Additions made to this reserve in 1905, 1906 and 1907 created a forest area similar to that included today in the Smokey Bear Ranger District.

The Proclamation of April 19, 1907, created the Guadalupe National Forest, and a few days later, on April 24, the Sacramento National Forest was created. A year later, on July 2, 1908, the Sacramento and Guadalupe forests were consolidated as the Alamo National Forest. Additional land on the west side of the Guadalupes and along the western escarpment of the Sacramentos was included in the forest by two proclamations in 1910. In 1917, the Alamo National Forest was transferred to the Lincoln National Forest and the entire area became known as the Lincoln National Forest. An additional area has played a role in the Lincoln's history. The Gallinas Forest Reserve west of Corona was created in 1907- It was later included in the Lincoln National Forest and was not transferred to the Cibola National Forest until 1958.

Originally the information in this record was migrated into tDAR from the National Archaeological Database Reports Module (NADB-R) and updated. In 2014, as part of its effort to improve tDAR content, the Center for Digital Antiquity uploaded a copy of the document and further improved the record metadata.

Cite this Record

A Brief History of the Early Years On the Lincoln National Forest. Patricia M. Spoerl. In Cultural Resources on the Lincoln National Forest. Albuquerque, New Mexico: USDA Forest Service, Southwest Region. 1981 ( tDAR id: 37118) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8GB2514

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1900 to 1924

Spatial Coverage

min long: -106.378; min lat: 32 ; max long: -103.51; max lat: 34.347 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Sponsor(s): USDA, FS, Southwestern Region, Albuquerque, NM

Prepared By(s): USDA, FS, Southwestern Region, Albuquerque, NM

Record Identifiers

NADB document id number(s): 921729

NADB citation id number(s): 000000120224


General Note: Sent from: USDA, FS, Southwestern Region, Albuquerque, NM

General Note: Submitted to: USDA, FS, Southwestern Region, Albuquerque, NM. Originally this record was automatically added to tDAR from NADB. In 2014, a copy of the document was added and the record metadata was updated.

Administration Note: This report is also contained in the document with tDAR Record #393944.

File Information

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