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From the crest of the High Cascades eastward to the High Desert, the Deschutes National Forest is one of America's great national treasures. Timber, water, and forage were plentiful in Central Oregon and provided the building blocks for the region. Today, the national forest's scenery and year-round outdoor recreational resources play major roles in sustaining a vibrant and diverse modern economy and a unique way of life. Since 1905, these resources have been administered by the US Forest Service, fulfilling its mission to pursue "the greatest good of the greatest number in the long run," as decreed by forester Gifford Pinchot when he led the fledgling agency.
Les Joslin is a retired US Navy commander; former US Forest Service firefighter, wilderness ranger, and staff officer; and former Central Oregon Community College and Oregon State University instructor. A graduate of San Jose State College, he holds master's degrees from the University of Colorado and the University of London. Long a student and teacher of Central Oregon, he brings us the story of the Deschutes National Forest, where he served from 1990 through 2005. Joslin appreciates the assistance of many colleagues and friends in assembling the historical images used to illustrate the national forest's fascinating story.