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State Forester, Fire Warden

Black and white image of Zephyr fire lookout

Zephyr Lookout
Photo from the Department of Forestry, State Archives Collection

This collection (NvSA-000161) contains the records of the State Forester, Fire Warden from 1930-1950. The 3 c.f. of materials consist of correspondence, reports, inspection forms, memorandums, and invoices.

To learn more about the agency, download the history here:

Contents Dates Extent

General Files:

Arrangement: mostly by subject and there-under chronologically.

Evidently these files came from those of the Extension Forester of the University of Nevada's Agricultural Extension Division. From 1942 to 1957 the Extension Forester was designated as Assistant State Forester Fire Warden. This is confusing because it was not until 1945 that the Legislature created the position of State Forester Fire Warden. The Surveyor General of Nevada served in this capacity ex officio until the creation of the Division of Forestry in 1957.

Much of the correspondence is to and from the men who held the post of Extension Forester/Assistant State Forester Fire Warden. These and other materials reflect the wartime concerns of state and federal forestry and fire control. For example, there is information on the threat posed by Japanese incendiary balloon bombs. Other files relate to the Forester's civil defense obligations, such as overseeing the work of the Forest and Range Fire Fighters Service, which was a division of the federal Office of Civil Defense and, in Nevada, a component of the Nevada Council of Defense.

Several files explicate the Forester's role in implementing the Clarke-McNary Act of 1924, which provided federal aid to states for the prevention and suppression of forest fires. There is correspondence (arranged by county) regarding various Clarke-McNary matters, such as the Nevada Emergency Rural Fire Protection Project, Rural Fire Board, and Area and Cost reports. Other correspondence is with county extension agents and Extension Service personnel of neighboring states.

Besides correspondence, there are annual reports of the Extension Forester, fire reports, inspection forms, memorandums, land use planning reports and agreements, invoices, [press releases, and statistics. Printed material includes articles, pamphlets, Forest Service publications, and newsletters.

Other subjects covered include: tree planting; windbreaks, shelterbelts, and woodlots; seed distribution; Arbor Day; 4-H Club forestry projects; the fire prevention campaign of 1947; fire control equipment; legislation; training; the President's Fire Prevention Conference of 1947; and the Nevada Transient Relief Camp at Zephyr Cove, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, 1933-1934.

The records of the Surveyor General of Nevada document some of the state's involvement with forestry and fire control before 1941 and after the end of World War II. From 1957 onward records of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' Division of Forestry contain material about these activities.

Activities documented in these files show the cooperative relationship in the areas of forestry and fire control between Nevada and various federal agencies. The latter include the Forest, Grazing, Fish and Wildlife, and Soil Conservation Services. The National Archives and Records Administration--Pacific Sierra Region, San Bruno, California, houses regional records of these agencies.

1930-1950 3 cu. ft.

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