by the early 1900’s, much of the south’s forests had been destroyed for lumber, turpentine, land, and by fires. Little thought was given up to this point to reforestation and preservation, but seeing that the base of the south’s economic structure was facing complete destruction, reforestation efforts started to be made. One of the most significant efforts of the 1920’s was The Mississippi Federation of Women’s Clubs organized a crusade to promote fire control, conserve the last remaining “virgin” timber, and plant news trees in blackened, devastated forest land. Although modest, the efforts of the Women’s Club was remarkable, and through endorsements of political candidates and grassroots campaigning, in 1926 the Mississippi General Assembly created the states forestry commission and put forest conservation was finally put on the map.
Who knew women had such an impact on the early days of forestry and preservation? I’m learning very interesting stuff as I delve into the not-so-well talked about/ studied area of southern lumber industries, deforestation and preservation, and I’m excited to just keep going.