Women in the Forest Service

Author: Forest Service
Source: Visit Site
Women in the Forest Service

Celebrating women

Women have been at the forefront of the Forest Service since its inception in 1905, serving in roles as advocates, foresters, rangers’ wives, clerks, information and education specialists, scientific researchers and lookouts. In these roles, they pioneered and supported the development of the agency’s forest management infrastructure, information base, conservation education, scientific research, and fixed-point fire detection system. Although women were not allowed in forestry schools or hired in professional or field positions during the first half of the 20th century, they found rewarding careers in the agency through alternative paths, studying environmental sciences or providing insight from the lens of daily administration.

After passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, women applied for professional and field positions and moved into jobs as foresters, firefighters and even district rangers and forest supervisors, leading to the first female Chief of the Forest Service in 2007. Women have had a profound impact on the Forest Service, working as a vital core from day one to help shape the agency’s information base and administrative infrastructure. Scroll down to learn more about women within the Forest Service through six biographical features, an interactive timeline, links to more information and photographs.

Women’s voices have long been part of the call for forest preservation and an ecological and moral approach to land management, but they have been overshadowed by those made by Henry D. Thoreau, George Perkins Marsh and Aldo Leopold. Beginning a century before Leopold published his essay, women were initiating calls for including ethical and cultural aspects of environmental management—two cornerstones of forest management today.

Click here to read more and watch a video from the US Forest Service.