Forest History

A great deal of the research done by SHRA revolves around questions of land use on National Forest land and requires a familiarity with forestry primary sources. As such, we offer expertise on the original intent and evolution of the nation’s forest policies, and have worked for more than 15 years on issues related to forests across the West, including mining, homesteading, access and right-of-ways, water use, and the timber industry. We have done extensive research on forests in multiple states, including Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Arizona, California, Oregon, New Mexico, and Washington.


Select Past Projects

Many of SHRA’s projects require the use of Forest Service records and an understanding of forest policy and land use. These summaries represent a small sample of the work we’ve done involving forests.

Client Confidential (2008-2013)

In 2008, SHRA was hired to provide research on the history of access points in a prominent national forest in Idaho. The results are being utilized to set policy and determine which routes should be maintained for public access. The research involved examining county, state, and federal records and reconstructing the mining and commercial history of the area as well as the historical travel routes.

Middle Fork Holding Company, Inc. v. United States, et al. (2010)

The Middle Fork Lodge is located on a private inholding surrounded by the Challis National Forest and the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in central Idaho. The property owners were preparing to make repairs on the property’s ditches, which watered the fruit orchard and hay that were grown on site. Because the ditch headed in a designated wilderness area, however, the United States felt that the repairs triggered the requirements of the National Environmental Protection Act. SHRA was hired to determine whether the ditch existed prior to the creation of the National Forest Reserve and therefore would be exempt from NEPA due to its R.S. 2339 right of way granted under the Mining Act of 1866. Dr. Stevens provided an expert rebuttal report, pursuant to which the case was settled by the parties involved.