Environmental History Seminar “Wealth and Beauty in Trees”: State Forestry and the Rehabilitation of Massachusetts’s Economy, Landscape, and Culture, 1898-1919 14 January 2020.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Aaron Ahlstrom, Boston University Comment: Brian Donahue, Brandeis University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/ehs_banner.jpg

Massachusetts currently stewards 311,000 acres of state forests and parks. This public land system originated in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century efforts to strengthen the Commonwealth’s economy, rehabilitate its unproductive landscapes, and revitalize its rural communities through scientific forestry. This paper offers new perspectives on Progressive Era conservation by analyzing how state foresters sought to improve rural landscapes’ profitability and aesthetics by educating private woodlot owners, suppressing forest fires and pests, and reforesting newly-acquired public lands.