by Gordon Small, FS Retiree


A century ago, people of vision, conviction and courage made conservation history. They overcame entrenched self-interest and destructive practices that had laid waste to much of the land of the east and south.  The outcome was an initiative that focused on the greatest good for the greatest number in the long run.  Their actions created treasures from abandoned lands – long term public benefit in lieu of short term gain.

We will never know all their names, but their success in establishing the eastern National Forests (those Forests east of the 100th meridian), will stand as monuments to their foresight, initiative, and lives well lived. These Forests are truly the peoples Forests, created with the consent of States and local governments,  and restored thru generations of cooperative effort and consistent caring for the land.

The high water mark of their achievements was passed by Congress on March 1, 1911.  The Weeks Act as it is known today was a new concept in this country.  It was administered by a fledgling Agency, and supported by individuals, conservation organizations, States and local governments. These eastern National Forests continue to grow in significance ...

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A Tribute to
Forest Service Retirees

Welcome, retirees, to the Weeks Act Centennial Celebration Center!

In 2011, the Forest Service is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Weeks Act. No single law has been more important to the return of forested lands to the eastern United States than this revolutionary legislation.

Want to Help?

Contact the Public Affairs Officer from the forest from which you retired, and we'll put you to work!


Do you have some good stories, anecdotes, or photos you want to share? Send us your ideas and we'll put them to use!

As a Forest Service retiree, you are among those who have helped guide our agency’s mission and shape its core values in conservation land management. You are part of the Forest Service legacy, and your dedicated service to the agency is especially recognized during this important time in our history.

During the centennial celebration, we'll be taking the time to look back on the successes that you and other Forest Service employees accomplished during the last 100 years. We'll also be looking to the future as we continue to restore forests, protect clean water and reduce catastrophic wildfires.

We are planning several events across the region to celebrate the Weeks Act. And we know that you and other Forest Service retirees have many wonderful stories to tell and pictures to share. We hope that you will take the time to contact the public affairs officer on the forest where you retired. They will give you information about local Weeks Act celebrations, and help you find the best way you can get involved and share your treasured memories. You will find the most recent list of scheduled events and more information about the Weeks Act as your browse the Centennial Celebration Center.

Gifford Pinchot believed in a duty to provide “the greatest good for the greatest number in the long run.” You, as a Forest Service employee, have shared in Pinchot’s philosophy and worked among people with a common goal…to restore America’s national forests and grasslands for the benefit of future generations.

Thank you for your longtime commitment to “caring for the land and serving people.” Your local Forest Service offices are looking forward to hearing from you.