The Department of Forests and Waters was created under the
Administrative Code of 1923 to consolidate the functions of the Department of Forestry, the Water Supply Commission, and the Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey. An outgrowth of the Office of Forest Commissioner, this agency was originally established as the Division of Forestry in the Department of Agriculture in 1895 and became the Department of Forestry in 1901. It was responsible for acquiring and managing state forest lands, developing state parks and roads, improving waterways, protecting the Commonwealth’s water supply, supervising flood control projects, and protecting state-owned and private forest lands. The Department of Forests and Waters was absorbed by the Department of Environmental Resources in 1971.


Photographs and Negatives, [ca. 1890-1971]. (16 cartons, l box, 36 file drawers) Grouped chronologically. The following photographs and negatives were issued by and under the Department of Forests and Waters and its predecessors:

Pennsylvania Department of Forestry. A photograph shows the dedication ceremony of the Forest Academy (Conklin Hall), at Mont Alto, Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Mrs. G. H. Wirt, wife of G. H. Wirt, the first Director of the Pennsylvania Department of Forestry, laid the cornerstone for the academy. An African American is among the group of men surrounding her.

Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters. There are many photographs of the Energy Conservation Work Camp at Licking Creek, Mifflin County, Rothrock State Forest, May 1933, featuring African Americans. Included is a photograph of Energy Conservation Workers, some of whom are African Americans, grading a road by hand at Clear Run Road, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania. There is also a photograph of a Civilian Conservation Camp at Pine Grove Furnace, Cumberland County, Michaux State Forest District, May 1933, showing African Americans at temporary quarters and the mess tent.

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