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Leslie J. Savage Library

Lois Borland Collection: Series 3: Gunnison National Forest Records 1904-1960's


Lois Borland Collection: Series 3

Collection Information

Collection 1, Series 3 1 records storage box, 1 document case, 3 card boxes, 21 atlases/ledgers (6.5 lin. ft.) Finding Aid Prepared By Abraham Clinger April 2005

Lois Borland (1877-1967) came to the Colorado State Normal School, Gunnison, Colorado in 1914 as the school’s first English professor. She retired in 1942 from Western State College of Colorado after a long career that included many interests. In addition to literature, she developed an interest in local history and was probably the first person in the area to appreciate the value of saving and preserving historical documents. She also was involved in dramatic productions at the college.

Historical Note

By the late nineteenth century, the issue of forest conservation was coming to the forefront of domestic politics. In 1891, the National Forest system was started, but was under the administration of the General Land Office in the Department of the Interior. Some conservation minded legislation had been passed prior to this time but was mostly at the state level. Within a few years, President Theodore Roosevelt, among others, began pressuring Congress to transfer control of the forest reserves to the Department of Agriculture. This was done in an effort to uphold the principles of preservation and management rather than simply preventing forest use. This transfer became a reality in 1905. Forest management was now under one entity, which came to be known as the Forest Service.1

The beginning of the Gunnison National Forest came in that same year. Originally known as the Cochetopa Forest Reserve, the Gunnison National Forest was set aside on June 13, 1905. Many citizens of the local area did not view this development with optimism. Public outcry was readily apparent as many misunderstood the aims of the new agency. Whether through grazing, timber or mining, many had come to depend on the land for their livelihood. William Kreutzer, the first Forest Ranger in the United States, was stationed in Gunnison and sought to reverse this negative image.2Although this transition must not have been easy, and may not be complete at present time, the Forest Service, to this day, abides by the ethos of Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief of the Forest Service. He sought to, “provide the greatest good for the greatest number for the longest time.”3

As the years pasted, the immediate strife associated with the Gunnison National Forest did not completely disappear. William Kreutzer was called to the area of Oh-Be-Joyful in 1918 after an incident in which several sheep died as they were run off a cliff and their shepherd was tied up and harassed. This is just one example of the ongoing conflict between sheep ranchers and cattle ranchers that seems to have plagued the area in the early days of the National Forest. While everyday Forest Service life may not have been as exciting as this, one can still imagine the challenges and conditions that faced those in charge of maintaining forest reserves.

The Great Depression was a hard time for most places in the U.S., but the Forest Service seems to have faired relatively well. The Civilian Conservation Corps was created in 1933 as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. This program put thousands of men and boys to work completing tasks ranging from road and trail construction to building campgrounds and ranger stations.4 The Forest Service also cooperated with other New Deal programs such as the WPA Writer’s Project, which worked with Forest Service personnel in compiling local history. Evidence of this is clearly seen within the Gunnison National Forest Records as local Forest employees provided information on such projects as origin of stream and mountain names.

The Gunnison National Forest changed in shape and size over the years as other reserves were added to it or combined with different reserves in the general area. This expansion lasted through the mid 1950’s and brought the total amount of land to around 1.7 million acres. In 1973, the administration of Gunnison National Forest was joined with Grand Mesa National Forest and Uncompahgre National Forest. The vast conglomerate of public lands consisted within the Gunnison National Forest amount to more than three million acres and make up 55% of Gunnison County.5

Today the Forest Service includes more than 190 million acres of land in 600 ranger districts with approximately 30,000 employees. Management and conservation are still the main goals of the Forest Service. These goals must be made compatible with the various needs of the people, ranging from grazing to research to recreation.6

1Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Highlights in the History of Forest Conservation(Washington, D.C.: 1948), 6-7.

2“Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests: A Brief History,” Forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture,

3Gunnison National Forest at 100 Years: Looking Back and Ahead – First and Second Centuries, Western State College of Colorado 9th Spring Environmental Symposium, April 2005.

4“Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests: A Brief History,” Forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture,

5Gunnison National Forest at 100 Years: Looking Back and Ahead – First and Second Centuries, Western State College of Colorado 9th Spring Environmental Symposium, April 2005.

6“About Us – Meet The Forest Service,” Forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture,

Provenance Note

While the Gunnison National Forest Records are considered part of the Lois Borland Collection, their origin is not definitely known. Lois Borland, previous professor of English at Western State College and notable author of local history, may have donated these records as part of a larger collection that bares her name. This is entirely possible as much of this larger collection deals with the Gunnison area. It is also possible that these records were grouped with other records of the Lois Borland Collection by happenstance or confusion. If this is the case, it is unclear when or how these records first came under the care of Leslie Savage Library.

Scope and Content Note

The Gunnison National Forest Records consist of two linear feet, plus maps, and date from 1904 through the late 1960’s. The records range greatly in subject and form. Many of the records focus on the responsibilities and workings of the Forest Service itself. This includes correspondence and reports on grazing, timber, mining, tourism, Indians, fire and history, among other topics. Many of these reports and correspondence are written by William Kreutzer. Other items contained in this series include pictures, maps and pamphlets. Some of these were produced by the Forest Service, while some of them seem to relate more to local tourism. The collection is an assortment of documents and should not be viewed as a complete record. Many segments of the local area are covered in detail while others are covered briefly or not at all.

The collection includes 3 linear ft of 5” x 7” cards documenting timber sales, ca. 1909 – 1950’s.

On the surface, these records would only appeal to those interested specifically in the Forest Service. But this is not the case. It is true that many of the records and reports would likely take specific need or interest to be useful, but others could be used in more general research. The records contain an abundance of information relating to a sheep and cattle conflict near the Oh-Be-Joyful area. Some sources paint a picture of the old mining town of Tin Cup. Some of the records even detail the work of a WPA writer’s project that sought to gain information for writing local history. These are only a few examples.

These records would likely be a useful source for those researching local history, specifically for the first half of the twentieth century. They would be particularly useful when researching a topic that was likely under the jurisdiction of the Forest Service. In fact, a large segment of the records focus on the efforts of the Forest Service to compile a local history for their own use. With a small amount of effort and research, these records could produce information that is not likely found elsewhere.


Box 1 

Folder 1-1 Settlement-Gunnison Rights of Way (1908); Field Notes (1917); Cement Creek Telephone Line (1920)
Folder 1-2 Correspondence [from Henry Graves, Forester, concerning cattle and sheep issues] (1910); memorandum [on same] (1940)
Folder 1-3 A Partial History of the Cattle Industry of Gunnison County, by C. T. Sills (1909)
Folder 1-4 Annual Report of Policy, Gunnison National Forest, by William R. Kreutzer, Forest Supervisor (1907)
Folder 1-5 Condition of Local Sentiment, with Recommendations for Forest Policy, Gunnison National Forest, by William R. Kreutzer, Forest Supervisor (1908)
Folder 1-6 Handwritten notes titled “Wildlife on the Gunnison,” (May 12, 1905) [added note: Notes worked up 4/65 for 60th anniversary news release]
Folder 1-7 [Notes and correspondence; Report for Forest Atlas, ca. 1915]
Folder 1-8 Division II Preliminary Plan, Gunnison National Forest [ca. 1912-1913]
Folder 1-9 Clippings [ca. 1928-1929]; “Establishment of District Headquarters of the Forest Service” (1908)
Folder 2-1 Correspondence [concerning cattle & sheep] (1917); “Clipping from Denver Record Stockman” (1909); Grazing Report (1906); [printed page-photos of USFS Chiefs] (no date)
Folder 2-2 [Relation of forests to water supply – request for information and report] (1908)
Folder 2-3 Battlement Mesa Forest Reserve, “Special Report” (July 27, 1904).
Folder 2-4 Packer the Man-Eater [author unknown] (no date)
Folder 2-5 History of Gunnison National Forest Land use [originally titled “Lumber, Mining, and Grazing Report”] (July 30, 1915)
Folder 2-6 Map of the Gunnison Country Featuring the Gunnison National Forest, Colorado. Information of General Interest and Value to the Public [ca. 1916]
Folder 3-1 [List of Colorado mountain passes and historical and present use] (1929); GNF Place Names (no date)
Folder 3-2 Land Classification
Folder 3-3 Stumpage Appraisal, Little Pass Creek Ridge Logging Unit (June 28, 1935); Slash Disposal Plan (1952-1953)
Folder 3-4 Report for Forest Atlas [part of an early but undated report, ca. 1915-16]
Folder 3-5 [Handwritten Notes] (no date); Forest Service Honor Roll (no date)


Gunnison Ranger [monthly newsletter]

Folder 4-1 (September – December 1909)
Folder 4-2 (January – May 1910)
Folder 4-3 (July – November 1911)
Folder 4-4 (February – April 1912)
Folder 5-1 Problems in History- HIST 370, “Death on the Oh-Be-Joyful” by T.C. Streff (March 1968)
Folder 5-2 [Correspondence (official letters and memos) on the Oh-Be-Joyful sheep killing] (1918)
Folder 5-3 [Correspondence (official letters and memos) on the Oh-Be-Joyful sheep killing] (1919-1920)
Folder 6-1 The Leadville National Forest- Its Resources & Relations to Other Industries by A. L. Stroup, Forest Supervisor (no date)
Folder 6-2 The proposed Leadville Forest Reserve Colorado- Examination, Report and Recommendations by Smith Riley, Bureau of Forestry U.S. Department of Agriculture (1904)


Cochetopa Forest [all seem to be part of a larger report or collection, dates unclear]

Folder 6-3 [Cochetopa Forest contains papers on chronological history;important events, and establishment of]
Folder 6-4.1 History of Cochetopa National Forest
Folder 6-4.2 Cochetopa National Forest History - Grazing
Folder 6-5.1 Leadville National Forest History - Fire
Folder 6-5.2 Cochetopa National Forest History – Indians [various statements and history]
Folder 6-6 Leadville National Forest History Mining; Report submitted by J. E. Martin, acting supvr. Leadville N. Forest Lands; National Forests of the Rocky Mountain Region
Folder 6-7 Leadville Forest History - Newspapers; Cochetopa National Forest History; “Miscellaneous”
Folder 7-1 [Correspondence from General Land Office Commission to Superintendent May, ca. 1900]
Folder 7-2 Slate River Sheep Incident [Memos for Supervisor’s Files] (September
Folder 7-3 A Tenderfoot’s Story of Pioneer Days in Colorado, by W. W. Woll [ca. 1880]; [also referred to as a history of Tin Cup, Colorado. Note on document: Tin Cup was the original headquarters of the Gunnison National Forest.]; Letter referencing article (1932)
Folder 7-4 List of Gunnison National Forest employees
Folder 7-5 Highlights in the History of Forest Conservation (1941); Correspondence [referencing “Highlights in the History of Forest Conservation] (May 17, 1941); Highlights in the History of Forest Conservation (January 1948)
Folder 8-1 The Proposed Gunnison Forest Reserve, Colorado -Examination, Reports and Recommendations by Smith Riley- Bureau of Forestry U. S. Department of Agriculture (1904)
Folder 8-2 Changes in Boundaries of the Gunnison National Forest, Colorado by William R. Kreutzer, Forest Supervisor (1908); Condition of Local Sentiment -With Recommendations for Forest Policy (Nov. 25, 1908)
Folder 8-3 Gunnison Forest Reserve [Letter to Forester in Washington D. C. from A. R. Craig Forest Supervisor] (June 28, 1905)
Folder 8-4 Correspondence [between Forest Supervisor Kreutzer and the Department of Agriculture] (1910)
Folder 8-5 Memorandum [concerning the naming of Union Park] (1923); Supervisor’s Files for Gunnison National Forest- Reports for Forest Atlas by William T. Kreutzer (January 1909);
Folder 8-6 Division I Preliminary Plan General Description – Gunnison National Forest by WM. R. Kreutzer [ca. 1913-1914]
Folder 8-7 Qualifications of a Forest Ranger signed by Kreutzer (No Date)
Folder 8-8 Land Classification of the Gunnison National Forest


Individual Fire Reports

Folder 9-1 (1950-1951)
Folder 9-2 (1952-1958)
Folder 9-3 (1960-1962)
Folder 10-1 [Photos of various objects in the Gunnison Nation Forest: photo of Kreutzer, photo of Taylor Park Dam and Reservoir, photo of fireplace in Chief Ouray’s cabin, photo of Old Alpine Station and more, ca. 1909-1955]
Folder 10-2 [Photo of] Quartz Creek, 4 miles above Pitkin, Gunnison, Co., Colorado-Sowing Engelmann Spruce seed over an old burn (June 7, 1911)
Folder 11-1 Construction and Maintenance Handbook (4/1/44, superseded 4/1/39)
Folder 12-1 File cards [on details of investigation of the Oh-Be Joyful sheep killing incident in crested butte area on July 4th, 1918. This file closes with no resolution on January 1920. (no date)
Folder 13-1 Timber Sale Agreement – Red Creek Unit (1948); Memos and correspondence [largely relating to timber agreement] (1947-1948)
Folder 13-2 News clipping – There Were Bison in the Hill (ca. 1950); brief report [about presence of bison around Taylor Reservoir] (1949)
Folder 13-3 Plans- Gunnison- Timber Management Sapinero Working Circle (March 1, 1949); Sapinero Working Circle- Policy Statement [with a map] (March 1948)
Folder 13-4 “National Forest Timber for Sale” [ca. 1948]; Public Voucher for Advertising (1/10/40) [National Forest Timber for Sale, voucher is for News-Champion]; Timber Sale Report
Folder 13-5 Estimate Sheet
Folder 13-6 Prospectus [for the sale of the Curecanti Unit] (January 5, 1945)
Folder 13-7 Correspondence [to the Forest Supervisor with a financial statement showing assets and liabilities from Charles H. Ross] (August 23, 1948)
Folder 13-8 Correspondence and memo [about Gunnison, Holy Cross, Montezuma, San Juan, Uncompahgre and White River and how permits and leases properly fall under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior] (November 1944)
Folder 14-1 Price Creek
Folder 14-2 Appraisal Summary Form – Price Creek Unit (1950)
Folder 14-3 Little Pass Creek Timber Survey (1935)
Folder 14-4 Logging Unit Summary – Little Pass Creek Ridge Unit (no date); Estimate Sheet– Little Pass Creek Ridge Unit (no date)
Folder 14-5 Red Creek Unit
Folder 14-6 Sapinero Working Circle- Cumulative Summary of Cut by Calendar Years [ca. 1941-1960]; Memos [about the Sapinero Working Circle] (1950)
Folder 14-7 Estimate Sheet – Mesa Creek Unit (1940)
Folder 14-8 Baldwin Working Circle- Cumulative Summary of Cut by Calendar Years (1940-1960)
Folder 14-9 Stand Records- Boldurin Working Circle (no date)
Folder 14-10 Gunnison National Forest- Timber Surveys- Timber Estimates (May 15, 1944); notes (May 15, 1944)
Folder 15.1-1 “Historical” [Informational and Reference correspondence files asking for history on the forest and the progress of the forest history with reference to WPA writer’s project] (1938-1949)
Folder 15.1-2 Correspondence- Reference File- Gunnison- Historical (1950-1951)
Folder 15.1-3 Correspondence– Settlement, Gunnison (1932); Correspondence- Settlement, Cochetopa (October 19, 1918)
Folder 15.1-4 Correspondence –Timber Surveys [for the San Juan and Curecanti Project] (1950-1951)
Folder 15.1-5 Correspondence [for the sales of different units: Price Creek, Red Creek and Coal Creek] (1948-1952)
Folder 15.1-6 Correspondence
Folder 15.1-7 Correspondence - Maps (1926-1932)
Folder 15.1-8 Correspondence - Atlas-Gunnison - Early History (1923-1925)
Folder 15.1-9 Correspondence
Folder 15.1-10 Correspondence [various topics] (1915-1951)
Folder 15.2-1 Timber Management – Policy Statement – Sapinero Working Circle (1949); Memo’s [from timber management in the Sapinero Working Circle] (1948-1952)
Folder 15.2-2 Brochure – Gunnison National Forest (1939)
Folder 15.2-3 Correspondence [about the Colorado Mountain Club and how they are gathering historical information] (February 26, 1921)
Folder 15.2-4 Memo’s [on historical information] (1945-1950)
Folder 15.2-5 Correspondence and notes [various topics, ca. 1905-1935]
Folder 16-1 Forest Management - Policy Statement - Baldwin Working Circle by Theodore Krueger, Forest Supervisor (January 29, 1930)
Folder 16-2 Gunnison Range Inventory 1931-1934 (1935); Surveys – Progress Report - 1932 (February 4, 1933); Surveys – Progress Report - 1933 (March 13, 1934); Special – Range Report (October 25, 1935)
Folder 16-3 Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument (November1937)
Folder 16-4 Historical Information (1935-1938)
Folder 16-5 Timber Sale Report – Little Pass Creek Unit (June 20, 1935); Stumpage Appraisal – Little Pass Creek Logging Unit (1935); Stumpage Appraisal – Little Pass Creek Logging Unit (1935)
Folder 16-6 Timber Sale Report- Price Creek (January 1931)
Folder 16-7 Sales- Red Creek Unit (1939)
Folder 16-8 Correspondence - Boundaries- Cochetopa (June 11 – September 25, 1934)
Folder 16-9 Grazing Reconnaissance- Summarized Cost Sheet (1931)
Folder 17-1 Atlas [Historical information and correspondence about historical information] (1922-1929)
Folder 17-2 Pamphlets - “Facts about Gunnison, Colorado” [Two pamphlets were found in the attic owned by Dr. John C. Johnson on July 29, 1955. Pamphlets were put out in 1922]
Folder 17-3 Correspondence [about different Mountains in Gunnison County and information on them such as how to approach building a railroad, the elevation, cost of trip, and the sights a person would see] (1921-1923)
Folder 17-4 Correspondence and Information [on Cochetopa, ca. 1924]; “Some Cochetopa History” by E.A. Johnson (no date)
Folder 17-5 Correspondence – Sapinero Working Circle – Soap Unit – Coal Creek Sub-unit (1952); Timber Sale Agreement – Van Berg Bros (1927); Timber Sale Agreement – Coal Creek Unit (1925); Authority to Publish Advertisement – Coal Creek Unit (May 18, 1925); Appraisal – General Notice – Coal Creek Unit (April 22, 1925); Administrative Plan – Coal Creek Unit (April 22, 1925)
Folder 17-6 Timber Survey Report - Curecanti project (summer 1927); Correspondence and Memo’s – Timber Surveys- [sic] Curicanti Project (1925-1927); Project Instructions – Curicanti Timber Survey Project (1926)
Folder 17-7 Correspondence and Memo’s – Boundaries (1924-1929)
Folder 18-1 Information and Correspondence - Sales – Red Creek Unit [ca. 1951-1953]; Timber Sales Agreement – Sapinero Working Circle – Red Creek Unit (1952); Information and Correspondence – Roads and Trails- Red Creek Road (1953)
Folder 18-2 History – Muddy District [ca. 1962-1963]; Memo [relating to this history] (1963)
Folder 18-3 Atlas [Historical information and reference file] (1950-1961)
Folder 18-4 Historical List of National Forest Names (1957); Correspondence – Statistics [referring to list of names] (1957)
Folder 18-5 Map and brochure – Gunnison National Forest of Colorado (1951)
Folder 18-6 Correspondence [various topics] (1952-1953)
Folder 19-1 [Historical information from various sources and people most seem to be in a written history paper form] (dates unclear)
Folder 19-2 Correspondence – Status and Classification - Cochetopa (1920-1921)
Folder 19-3 Permit for the Free Use of Timber (September 10, 1903)
Folder 19-4 Correspondence – Information [about different Mountains in Gunnison County and information on them such as how to approach building a railroad, the elevation, cost of trip, and the sights a person would see] (1917-1920)
Folder 19-5 Gunnison- Reconnaissance (September 16, 1910)
Folder 19-6 Correspondence [various topics] (1916-1920)
Folder 20-1 Series of articles on the Gunnison National Forest [Done by National Forest employees] (no clear dates or order)
Folder 20-2 Well-Known and Little Known Facts about the Gunnison Country and Surrounding Area [ca. 1964]; [Historical Information] (no clear dates)


Box 2

Maps, ca. 1910’s - 1940’s Blueprints and copies of blueprints indicating timber units and sales, vegetation, plantings, grazing plans.
Newspaper Clippings, 1922 - 1965 SEE: “Novak Collection” inventory for list of newspaper clippings by date and subject.
Subjects include Gunnison National Forest operations, administration, and history; grazing issues; camping fees; Blue Mesa.


Boxes 3-5

Timber sales records on 5 x 7” cards.Atlases/Ledgers

23 volumes

A-1 Easements ca. 1910-1940
A-2 Land Ownership Within Forest No Dates
A-3 Fire Atlas ca. 1921-1959
A-4 Permit Work Sheets ca. 1944-1948
A-5 Vol. 1 Cumulative Fish and Game ca. 1920-1937
A-5 Vol. 2 Fish & Game Maps ca. 1936-1938
A-6 Fiscal Year Records ca. 1932-1957
A-7 Vol. 1 Grazing Reports ca. 1924-1929
A-7 Vol. 2 Permit Allotment Sheets ca. 1924-1949
A-7 Vol. 3 Grazing Records ca. 1933-1948
A-7 Vol. 4 Grazing Reports ca. 1930-1939
A-7 Vol. 5 Grazing Atlas ca. 1926-1948
A-8 Timber Management Plan Maps ca. 1930-1960
A-9 Grazing Maps ca. 1922-1940
A-10 Land Classification ca. 1916-1933
A-11 Range Appraisal Unit Maps Gunnison County ca. 1913-1930
A-12 Vol. 1 Permit Allotment Sheets ca. 1928-1935
A-12 Vol. 2 Permit Allotment Sheets ca. 1936-1938
A-12 Vol. 3 Permit Work Sheets ca. 1939-1943
A-13 Statistical Reports ca. 1910-1939
A-14 Work Plans ca. 1938-1955
A-15 Working Circle Maps ca. 1950-1952
A-16 [untitled] ca. 1952-1957

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