Midnight forests

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Midnight forests was a nickname given to the forests created by President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt near the end of his term as president.

"In 1891 the United States Congress passed a law allowing the president to place certain federally owned properties into 'forest reserves'".[1]

Theodore Roosevelt was the president who had preserved the most land for national parks. During his time in office, he had drawn aside over 150,000,000 acres (610,000 km2) of land into the reserve. Businesses that viewed Roosevelt's actions as intervening in the free market objected and, together with their political allies, they managed to get enough support in Congress by 1907 to change the 1891 law.

According to Ocala News, "Because Roosevelt created so many national forests, Congress tacked a rider onto a spending bill taking away a president's power to create national forests. Roosevelt had 10 days to sign it".[2] Roosevelt had no way of vetoing the Agriculture Bill of 1907 it was attached to without gaining more political enemies. The president spent the few days deciding with Gifford Pinchot, head of the U.S. Forest Service, the areas to mark as national forest reserves. He waited until the last minute, after he had proclaimed about 16,000,000 acres (65,000 km2), to sign the bill presented by the United States Congress.

These areas were called the midnight forests because they were created so quickly.


  1. ^ Brands, H. W. (1997c) "T. R.: the Last Romantic"
  2. ^ Latham Carr, Susan. 2007. 'Forest Service must allow for use of lands, but still preserve them for future'

Further reading[edit]

  • Hines, Gary. (2005). Midnight Forests: A Story Of Gifford Pinchot And Our National Forests. ISBN 1-56397-148-8