Scope and Content
Related Collections at the California State Archives
Title: Board of Forestry Records
Collection numbers: R161; F3849
Board of Forestry
1001 file folders and 4 volumes
California State Archives
Abstract: The records of the Board of Forestry cover 1885-2002, with the bulk of the material concentrated in the period from the late
1970s through the 1990s. There are fourteen series including Minutes, W.S. Rosecrans Papers, Organization and Policy Files,
Miscellaneous Files, Meeting Files, Chronological Correspondence, Rulemaking Files, Committee Files, Meeting Agendas, Board
Meeting Monthly Binders, Permail Files, District Techinical Advisory Committee Files, Mass Mailings, and Publication Notice
Physical location: California State Archives
Languages represented in the collection:
Collection is open for research.
For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication
is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility
for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives
[Identification of item], Board of Forestry Records, [Collection Number].[Series Number], [box and folder number], California
State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.
Acquisition and Custodial History
The California State Archives acquired the Board of Forestry Records according to state law.
A State Board of Forestry was first created in 1885 (chapter 11) consisting of three persons appointed to four-year terms
by the Governor. The Board was authorized to collect and disseminate statistics in regard to forestry and tree culture, to
make investigations, enforce and carry out national and state forestry laws, and other responsibilities. The first Board
was legislated out of existence in 1893 (chapter 187) and its property turned over to the Agricultural Department of the University
of California. Maintenance of established forestry experimental stations was also transferred to the University's Agricultural
A new State Board of Forestry was created in 1905 (chapter 264) consisting of the Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General,
and State Forester, to supervise all matters of state forest policy and management. The office of the State Forester, created
by the same act, was to serve as Executive Officer of the board. In 1919 the membership of the board was changed to five
persons, the State Forester and four others with specific qualifications in the areas of timber, livestock, grain and hay
industries, and one at large (chapter 544).
With the creation of a Department of Natural Resources, the State Board of Forestry became the policy making body for the
Statutes 1927, Chapter 128). Each member represented one of the following industries: pine-producing, redwood producing, forest land
ownership, range livestock, agriculture and water, and one member from the general public at large (
Statutes 1945, Chapter 316). The State Board nominated the State Forester, who was appointed by the director as Chief of the Division
On January 1, 1998 the Board of Forestry became the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection through an amendment to the Public
Resources Code. Chapter 2.5, Article 2, Statute 730 states "on and after January 1, 1998, wherever any reference is made in
any law to the State Board of Forestry in the department, the reference shall be deemed to be a reference to, and to mean,
the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection."
The Board remained responsible for developing the general forest policy for the state, aiding in the development of the guiding
policies of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and for representing the state's interest in federal forestland
In its current manifestation, all members of the board are appointed by the Governor based on their professional and educational
qualifications and general interest in problems relating to watershed management, forest management, fish and wildlife, range
improvement, forest economics, and/or land use policy. The Board's mission is to lead California in developing policies and
programs that serve the public interest in environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable management of forest and
rangelands, and a fire protection system that protects and serves the people of the state.
Scope and Content
The records of the Board of Forestry cover the majority of the twentieth century, with the bulk of the material concentrated
in the period from the late 1970s through the 1990s. The Board of Forestry records illustrate the changes in the forestry
industry over time, timber policy, fire prevention, pest and disease prevention and logging areas.
The first and largest series, Meeting Files, begins in 1919. These files contain some of the earliest Board of Forestry meeting
agendas, board information, policies and rosters. The Meeting Files relate to the monthly board meetings from August 1919
to November 1989. The most complete files are those for the 1970s and 1980s. Most of the meeting files from 1973 onward
contain a discussion of the Forest Practice Act. This act, passed in 1973, gave the Board of Forestry the authority to regulate
logging on privately owned land in the state and the ability to enforce forest protection policies. The Forest Practice Act
formed the basis for the board's policy decisions. In the late 1980s, specifically 1987, the Board of Forestry spent several
board meetings discussing different tree diseases and pest infestations.
The Board Meeting Monthly Binders series span from January 1993 to May 2002 and contain articles, statements, agendas and
correspondence relating to the monthly board meetings. There are several articles about forest fires throughout California
and the growing problem of marijuana cultivation in the north coast of the state.
Throughout the Board of Forestry records there is information specific to Lake Tahoe including fire prevention, bark beetle
infestation, and efforts to preserve the area. There is also information in several different series specific to logging
in Mendocino and Humboldt counties.
The Board of Forestry became the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection on January 1, 1998 through an amendment to the Public
Resources Code. All the records created when the board was known as the Board of Forestry have an R161 number while the records
created after the January 1, 1998 name change have an R162 number. Some series, like the Premail Files series, have two different
Related Collections at the California State Archives
Board of Forestry and Fire Protection
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
California. State Board of Forestry
California. Board of Forestry and Fire Protection
Forests and forestry Fire management