The WMNF was formally established by President Woodrow Wilson in 1918. The authorizing legislation was the Weeks Act of March 1, 1911. As a result of the Weeks Act, a National Forest Reservation Commission (NFRC) was created in 1911 to determine the acquisition boundaries. This boundary is called the Proclamation Boundary and specifies where land can be acquired without special rules. The Proclamation Boundary has changed several times over the years including the elimination of the Mahoosuc Range Purchase Unit in New Hampshire and Maine in 1928.
Approval of the Proclamation Boundary allowed the US Forest Service to begin acquiring land in 1914, even before the
The first WMNF map for the public was issued in 1914 with a title of White Mountain Region. The maps were then free for the asking. The 1914 map showed the first three large acquisitions including the two previously mentioned and a large tract of land in
Over 30 WMNF maps have been produced by the US Forest Service since the first map came out in 1914. In the early years, maps were updated annually to reflect the rapid changes in public ownership brought about by the Weeks Act. Recreational opportunities such as trails and campgrounds were featured in early editions. After the Great Hurricane of 1938, the maps in 1939-1942 denoted areas closed to the public because of the high fire danger posed by the hurricane ravaged forest. Later years brought less frequent map products including a large gap from 1942 to 1963. The last WMNF map produced was in 1993.
David Govatski worked on several national forests including 22 years on the
The first public map of the WMNF was issued in 1914 and showed the first land acquisitions and the proclamation boundary. It was free to the public and printed on one side. The Forest Supervisor’s Office was in Gorham.
The second WMNF map was issued in May 1915 in time for the recreation season and included a message to the public about the WMNF area. Information about preventing forest fires was also included. The map showed lands being acquired by the United States in green.
The Zealand Valley was acquired from the J.E. Henry Estate. Crawford Notch State Park was established and shown on the map. Additional lands in Maine had been included in the expanded Proclamation Boundary. 305,000 acres had already been purchased.
The fourth WMNF map uses White Mountain National Forest for the first time. The Mahoosuc Purchase unit is established. Some trails are now shown. This map lacks the green overprint .
The Proclamation was issued with both late 1917 and 1918 issues of the map.
The southern boundary around Ellsworth and
The 1920 map showed more land having been acquired in the last two years. The area around the Mount Washington Hotel at Bretton Woods is now out of the Proclamation Boundary.
By 1924 the WMNF had acquired most of the land in the Presidential and
Three state game refuges managed by the WMNF are shown. They are the Hubbard Brook,
A double sided map with a picture of the Presidential Range from
· Planimetric Map: A map accurately representing only the horizontal position of features such as buildings, campgrounds, roads, rivers, trails and other cultural features. Terrain or topography is omitted.
· Thematic Map: A map designed to show a particular theme connected with a specific geographic area such as high fire danger from hurricane damage on the 1939 map.
· Topographic Map: A map characterized by large-scale detail and quantitative representation of relief, usually using contour lines as in the 1967 WMNF map. Earlier WMNF maps often used hachure lines to denote mountains and ridges.
“Purchase of Land Under the Weeks Law in the Southern Appalachian and White Mountains. “
“Weeks Law Purchase Units.” http://www.foresthistory.org/ASPNET/Policy/WeeksAct/WeeksPurchaseUnits_Map.htm