1920s


Oklahoma's state forestry agency, the Oklahoma Forestry Commission, was established in 1925.  Commission’s primary proponents were Dierks Forests, Inc., the region’s largest forest industry, the newly formed Oklahoma Forestry Association, the Federation of Women’s Clubs and other concerned citizens. Oklahoma was the 34th state to establish a state forestry agency, and one of five states to do so in 1925.  

Members of the original Forestry Commission included the President of the Department of Agriculture, the President of Oklahoma A&M Colleges and 3 Governor appointees, one representing the Federation of Women’s Clubs. Its charge was to develop an educational program for forest conservation and tree planting, promote preservation of existing forests and planting of new ones, and promote soil and water conservation through forestry and other means. Under the leadership of the first State Forester George R. Phillips, the Commission was appropriated $5,000 and initiated programs in fire protection, seedling production, urban forestry and education.  

During the 1920's rapid expansion of state fire protection efforts and construction of fire lookout towers across southeastern Oklahoma occurred.  The first Forest Trees of Oklahoma book was published, seedling production operation established at Stillwater and fire prevention and educational programs began in rural schools.