American Indians and National Forests tells the story of how the U.S. Forest Service and tribal nations dealt with sweeping changes in forest use, ownership, and management over the last century and a half. Indians and U.S. foresters came together over a shared conservation ethic on many cooperative endeavors; yet, they often clashed over how the nation's forests ought to be valued and cared for on matters ranging from huckleberry picking and vision quests to road building and recreation development. Marginalized in American society and long denied a seat at the table of public land stewardship, American Indian tribes have at last taken their rightful place and are making themselves heard. Weighing indigenous perspectives on the environment is an emerging trend in public land management in the United States and around the world. The Forest Service has been a strong partner in that movement over the past quarter century.
Theodore Catton is a historian and co-proprietor of Environmental History Workshop in Missoula, Montana. He is an associate research professor of history at the University of Montana. He is the author of Inhabited Wilderness: Indians, Eskimos, and National Parks in Alaska and National Park, City Playground: Mount Rainier in the Twentieth Century.