The Forest History Society is an American non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of forest and conservation history.〔"Forest History Society." Echo Project. Center for History and New Media, George Mason University. http://echo.gmu.edu/node/144〕 The society was established in 1946 and incorporated in 1955.〔
The Forest History Society headquarters in Durham, North Carolina, include the Alvin J. Huss Archives and the Carl A. Weyerhaeuser Library, which combine to provide a comprehensive compilation of materials related to the topic of forest history. The archives house large collections from several national organizations such as the Society of American Foresters, the American Forest and Paper Association, the American Forestry Association, and the American Tree Farm System, as well as many other smaller collections of national and international significance.〔"Changing Roles of the Forest History Society: New Approaches to Environmental History in North America." ''Methods and Approaches in Forest History''. Agnoletti, Mauro, et al., eds. Wallingford, England: CABI Publishing, 2000, p. 22.〕 Additionally, the Forest History Society maintains a publication program, publishing the ''Environmental History'' journal, ''Forest History Today'' magazine, an Issues Series, and environmental and conservation-focused monographs; an education program, to build understanding and appreciation of human interaction with the natural world; and a liaison function between scholars, policymakers, and landowners. The Society also works to promote and reward academic scholarship in the fields of forest, conservation, and environmental history.
In 1946, a small group of historians and forest industry executives came together to form an organization dedicated to preserving the documentary forest heritage of North America. The "Forest Products History Foundation" was founded, and began as a program of the Minnesota Historical Society.
Over the following decade, archival source materials were collected, an oral history interview program was created, and a scholarly quarterly journal began publication. In 1955, under second executive director Elwood Rondeau "Woody" Maunder, the Society incorporated as an independent nonprofit organization under the new name "Forest History Foundation." The name was changed to "Forest History Society" four years later in 1959.
The organization left Minnesota in 1964, moving first to the Yale University campus in 1964, and then to the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1969. In 1984 the Society was moved to its current home in Durham, North Carolina, establishing an affiliation with Duke University and the Nicholas School of the Environment.
In 1996, a partnership was formed between the Forest History Society and the American Society for Environmental History. This relationship helped widen the scope of the Society's mission beyond the boundaries of forest and conservation history to include subjects related to the broader field of environmental history.
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