Scenic USA - Idaho
Each day Scenic USA presents a new and interesting photo feature from somewhere in the United States. Chosen from a wide variety
of historic sites, city scenes, backcountry byways, points of interest and America's best parklands, this site offers the viewer hundreds
of unique vacation destinations and photographic subjects. Each feature is coupled with a brief explanation. For further detailed
information, links to other sites are provided, but are never to be considered an endorsement.
Slate Creek Ranger Station Museum
As the U.S. Forest Service’s budget continues to tighten, program managers look for novel ways to trim expenses. One tried and true method is to trim the labor force, asking remaining personnel to be more flexible and work across district boundaries. Recently National Forest Service re-organization plans combined the Salmon River and Clearwater ranger districts into one office.
When communication methods paled over a century ago, Idaho established hundreds of Ranger Stations (large 5.31 MB file) to look after the state's 20 million acres of forestland. Admitted as a state in 1890, by 1915 the U.S. Forestry Bureau in Idaho was doling out 75,000 dollars a year to create forest infrastructure. At the time, only five percent of the state's forests were surveyed.
Still one of Idaho’s 16 national forests today, the Nez Perce National Forest was created in 1908. The traditional home of the Nimi'ipuu (Nez Perce) Indians, President Theodore Roosevelt added 2.2 million acres of forestland across the Idaho panhandle. During this time Senator W.B. Heyburn of Wallace led a nasty fight to restrict the fledgling Forest Service. His bill limited the expenses of any ranger station cabin to no more than 300 dollars. Known as contribution time, rangers would gather together after work hours to build a new station.
A historic remnant from the early 20th century, the Slate Creek Ranger Station cabin was used up until 1959. Built by a homesteader about five miles up Slate Creek around 1900, the cabin became headquarters of the Slate Creek Ranger District in 1908. By 1917, the district office was moved and the Slate Creek cabin housed work crews. The cabin was then dismantled piece by piece in 1975, and moved to the Slate Creek Ranger Station on U.S. Route 95 between White Bird and Lucile, creating this century old museum.
Copyright © 2012 Benjamin Prepelka
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