Chap. 288, p. 628. "An Act Providing for the transfer of forest reserves from the Department of Interior to the Department of Agriculture." H.R. 8460, Public Resolution No. 34
The Transfer Act - An explanation of what the Act did.
At Roosevelt’s urging, Congress in 1905 passed the act transferring the forest reserves from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Agriculture (33 Stat. 628). The same year the Bureau of Forestry became the Forest Service and Pinchot the Chief Forester. A letter from Secretary of Agriculture James Wilson to Pinchot outlined the President’s directives and called for the Forest Service to bear in mind that all land must be devoted to its “most productive use for the permanent good of the whole people,” and not for individuals or special interests. The resources should be “wisely used” for the “greatest good of the greatest number” in the long run. Thus began the professional management of the Nation’s forests.
Among Pinchot’s first appointments to the Southwest was Arthur C. Ringland, who had worked for Pinchot as a student assistant in 1900 and absorbed some of his chief’s enthusiasm and ardor for forest conservation. He entered Yale Forestry School in 1903 and graduated with a master’s degree in forestry in 1905. Pinchot assigned him to the Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico. The two men frequently consulted concerning forestry needs in the Southwest, and Ringland assisted Pinchot in drafting the details of President Roosevelt’s famous “midnight proclamations” (1907), which reserved some 100 million acres of additional forest land in the West, including some in Arizona and New Mexico, before, under duress, Roosevelt signed into law a bill prohibiting further forest reserves in six western States except by an act of Congress.