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Title: Shoshone National Forest, Wyoming
Author: Service, U. S. Forest
Language: English
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    [Illustration: F-308571
    Index Peak from the Red Lodge-Cooke City Highway. Few mountainous
    sections are more rugged or spectacular than the Absarokas of the

                           _NATIONAL FOREST_

    [Illustration: U. S. Forest Service]

                             FOREST SERVICE
                Rocky Mountain Region · Denver, Colorado

                             UNITED STATES
                       GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
                            WASHINGTON: 1941

    [Illustration: F-385973
    _Wapiti Ranger Station—the oldest in existence._]


_A map of the Shoshone National Forest, with details including roads and
points of interest, will be found on the inside of the back cover._

                      _Our First National Forest_

The Shoshone National Forest was set aside by proclamation of President
Benjamin Harrison as the Yellowstone Park Timberland Reserve on March
30, 1891. It was the first unit of its kind created after the passage of
the Act of March 3, 1891, authorizing the establishment of forest
reserves—as national forests were then called—to protect the remaining
timber on the public domain from destruction and to insure a regular
flow of water in the streams. On the fiftieth anniversary of the
establishment of the Shoshone, the national forests embrace
approximately 176,000,000 acres of forest land, located in 36 States,
Alaska, and Puerto Rico.

The Shoshone National Forest is situated in the heart of the Absaroka
Mountains, in northwestern Wyoming. It is bounded on the north by the
Montana-Wyoming State line, on the east by the Big Horn Basin, on the
south by the Washakie and Teton Forests, and on the west by the
Yellowstone National Park. It lies almost entirely within Park County;
minor portions extend into Hot Springs and Fremont Counties.

This national forest is the largest of 21 in the Central Rocky Mountain
Region, including within its boundaries 1,592,428 acres, of which all
but 26,104 are Federal land. The forest is about 75,000 acres larger
than the State of Delaware. Elevations within the forest range from
4,600 to 13,140 feet, thus providing a wide variation in climate,
vegetation, and wildlife. At the lower elevations the summers are warm
and the winters mild. The higher mountains enjoy only a brief cool
summer and are snowclad most of the year.

Few mountainous sections are more rugged or spectacular. Geologically
the formations are new, and immense areas of exposed rock are broken by
and interspersed with mountain meadows and mantles of unbroken forests.
Those who have packed into the back country, or have driven through the
North Fork of the Shoshone River Canyon, or over the Beartooth Plateau
agree that the variety of scenery and vegetative types is superlative.


In the administration of national forests the aim is to manage them in
such a way as to make their resources of largest service to the local
communities, the State, and the Nation. This is accomplished by
promoting the highest social and economic uses of the forests consistent
with the proper use of lands. Such an objective is definitely pointed
toward the maximum sustained yield from all resources.

The national forests are under the administration of the Forest Service,
U. S. Department of Agriculture. Each forest is under the charge of a
forest supervisor. Headquarters of the Shoshone is in Cody, Wyo. Every
forest is divided into districts, each of which is under the supervision
of a district ranger, who has control of all its activities. His
responsibilities include protection of the resources against fire and
other enemies, the supervision of timber sales, and the grazing of large
numbers of cattle, sheep, and horses; the management of wildlife
resources; looking after different permitted uses, such as pastures,
summer homes, resorts, power developments; maintaining forest
improvements, including ranger station buildings, lookout stations,
telephone lines, roads, trails, and range improvements; and providing
protection and furnishing information to the thousands of people who
come every year to enjoy vacations in the forest.

The Shoshone National Forest is divided into four ranger districts, as
follows: The Clarks Fork, the Wapiti, the South Fork, and Greybull. The
Greybull is the smallest ranger district, with approximately 300,000
acres. The Clarks Fork is the largest, with about 529,000 acres under
the jurisdiction of the district ranger.

                      HIGHLIGHTS OF EARLY HISTORY

Perhaps nothing contributes more to the real enjoyment and to the
fascination of a forest than a knowledge of its early history. Many
events within this area played an important part in the growth and
development of northwestern Wyoming. Many of these are nearly forgotten,
and others are not generally known.

The earliest inhabitants of the forest are believed to have been Indians
known as the “Sheepeaters.” Just who the “Sheepeaters” were is not
definitely known. Some historians claim they were an unintellectual
branch of the Snake tribe, others insist that they were renegades and
misfits, driven out of the plains tribes, the Crows, Blackfeet, and
Shoshones, who were forced to the timberclad hills where rough
topography and cover permitted them to evade capture and killing at the
hands of their erstwhile tribal members. They lived in crude tepees
constructed entirely of poles. The “Sheepeaters” derived their name from
the fact that they preyed extensively on mountain sheep and to some
extent on other species of big game. They trapped their prey in pens or
corrals made of stone.

    [Illustration: F-308547
    _A section of the rugged Beartooth Plateau as seen from the Red
    Lodge-Cooke City Highway._]

The first white men entered Wyoming more than 30 years before the
American Revolution. In 1743, Francois and Louis De La Verendrye,
French-Canadian brothers, traveled through the Rocky Mountain region to
establish branch trading posts. Their home and main post was in the
Great Lakes region. They entered the Big Horn Valley from the north and
traveled up Wood River in the southern part of the forest and crossed
the rugged Continental Divide near the Washakie Needles on their way
into the Wind River country.

Years later, in 1807, John Colter, who startled the world with his
fantastic and unbelievable stories of the natural wonders in Yellowstone
Park, traveled up the Clarks Fork River, after leaving the Lewis and
Clark Expedition on the Missouri. Colter’s exact routes of travel are
hotly disputed by historians, but it is well established that he was the
first white man to see the “Stinking Water” River (the Shoshone), so
named by him because of the foul odors from mineral hot springs along
its banks.

The trail along the Clarks Fork followed by Colter was for generations a
transmountain route of Indian tribes living west of the Continental
Divide which led to the great buffalo country to the east. Among the
tribes using this trail were the Bannocks and Lemhi. After hunting among
the herds in the Big Horn Basin and on the plains east of the Big Horn
Mountains, they returned to their homes heavily laden with meat and
hides. These expeditions frequently led to fiercely fought battles with
the Shoshones and Crows, whose territories were being invaded.

The De La Verendryes and Colter were followed by other “mountain men,”
equally venturesome, representing the American and Rocky Mountain fur
companies and smaller independent concerns. These hardy, restless,
rugged individuals, including such men as Lisa, Sublette Brothers,
Fraeb, Gervais, and Bridger, were actually the first settlers in what is
now the State of Wyoming, notwithstanding the common belief that the
first settlements in the Territory were in the eastern and southern
parts. These pioneers exploited the country, trapping fur-bearing
animals and trading with the Indians for their take in the pelts.

Following them came the nomadic prospectors and miners, and after the
miners came the first really permanent residents, the cattlemen. The
establishment of the first Stockyards in Kansas City, in 1870, gave
impetus to the expansion of cattle-raising in the West. From 1870 to the
1890’s, this industry grew with unprecedented speed. Charles Carter, in
1879, trailed in from Oregon the first herd of cattle brought into the
Big Horn Basin. Later came Capt. Henry Belknap, Otto Franc, Col. W. D.
Pickett, and J. M. Carey, all of whom shaped ranches out of virgin
territory on the west side of the Big Horn Basin, immediately adjacent
to the mountain slopes now inside the forest.

From the early eighties the herds increased, and more and more cattle
came into the Big Horn Basin. Homesteaders and settlers were “squatting”
on and taking up large acreages of the best range land, and finally,
there was not enough year-long range for the increased number of
livestock. The advent of the farmer forced drastic changes in livestock
operations. Stockmen were obliged to produce forage crops to carry a
part of their herds through the winter. Eventually it was necessary to
increase the production of forage crops on the land under cultivation,
and this led to the development of irrigation projects, first by the
ranchers, and then by the Federal Government. With water for their lands
and constantly improving transportation facilities, farmers were able to
produce such cash crops as small grain, truck crops, sugar beets,
potatoes, and peas.

As this country was further developed and became more heavily populated,
stockmen grazed their livestock in the higher foothills and eventually
in the mountains during summer, depending upon the Big Horn Basin, which
had formerly been used year-long, for winter range. Thus began the first
actual dependence of the community upon territory within the forest. As
irrigation projects developed, the second—and now perhaps the most
important—great economic value of the rugged mountains in the forest
became apparent in their capacity to conserve and store water for summer
use in the valleys below.

    [Illustration: F-385841
    _Pilot and Index Peaks, within the North Absaroka Wilderness Area._]

The Federal Government recognized the importance of placing the great
mountain wilderness of the West under control, to assure the perpetuity
and proper use of the natural resources. The establishment of the
Shoshone Forest in 1891 was the first step taken in carrying out this
comprehensive program. The preservation of the natural resources is now
assured, not by the elimination of use of the forage, timber, water, and
other resources of the forest, but rather by the use of all under proper
and progressive management.

    [Illustration: F-386010
    _The Blackwater Firefighters Memorial._]

                      PLACES OF ESPECIAL INTEREST

_Bliss Creek._—One of the favorite routes of rustlers in earlier days,
leading to their favorite rendezvous in Jackson Hole, followed Clark
Creek at the head of the South Fork of the Shoshone River. In 1892, a
horse thief named Bliss, attempting to escape pursuers, was captured by
a posse after a long and grueling chase. He was shot and buried at a
point about a mile above Clark Creek, near where a small stream from the
north empties into the South Fork. This stream was named Bliss Creek as
a result of this episode. Bliss’s grave was marked by a rude pile of
stones along the trail until a very few years ago when it was destroyed
by a mountain cloudburst. Bliss Creek can be reached only with a saddle
horse and is 35 miles southwest of Valley.

_Beartooth Plateau._—After two military expeditions had previously
failed, the first official crossing of Beartooth Plateau was
accomplished during the last week of August 1882 by a scouting party
headed by Lt. Gen. P. H. Sheridan. In his party were 71 officers,
soldiers, and civilians, 36 packers, 1 hunter, and 5 Shoshone Indian
scouts and 1 Squaw. The party reached Cooke City, Mont., on August 24
from Mammoth Hot Springs, and Billings on August 31. The route selected
and followed by General Sheridan was almost identical with that of the
present Red Lodge-Cooke City Highway.

_Dead Indian Hill._—A small war party of Bannocks was attacked by
General Miles’ troops just south of Clark, near the northeast corner of
the forest, in 1878, shortly after the Nez Perce outbreak. The Indians
retreated over what is now known as Dead Indian Hill, about 16 miles
southwest of Clark, leaving one of their wounded behind. The following
day the Bannock was found by some of the Crow Indian Army scouts, who
promptly killed and scalped him. Until recent years a rude pile of
stones halfway down the west side of the hill, north of the road and
near the drift fence, marked the grave. From this episode the hill got
its name. Captain Bennett, in charge of the cavalry troop which engaged
the Bannocks, and one of his Crow scouts, Little Rock, lost their lives
in the fight. Two streams running down the east face of Beartooth
Plateau, just west of Clark, bear the names of these men.

_Camp Monaco._—Located about 15 miles north of Pahaska Tepee, along the
North Fork of the Shoshone River, is one of the old hunting camps of
Colonel Cody, Camp Monaco. Here in September 1913, Colonel Cody took as
his guests on a hunting trip, Albert I, Prince of Monaco, and his
aide-de-camp, Count Beret. At the close of the successful hunt, the
Prince had his artist paint on a large tree at the camp site, “Camp
Monaco, 1913,” and a bear’s foot.

    [Illustration: F-385957
    _Bliss Creek Meadows on Upper South Fork—within the South Absaroka
    Wilderness Area._]

_Frank Hammitt Grave._—Frank Hammitt was one of the first six forest
rangers appointed in the United States. He met his death by plunging
over the precipitous walls of Russell Creek Canyon near its mouth, on
July 25, 1903. His grave is near the south base of Antelope Mountain,
beside the Crandall Road. Hammitt was trained for the priesthood, but
gave it up for the life of a cowboy. For 7 years he was chief of cowboys
with Colonel Cody’s Wild West Show before he became a forest ranger.

_Jack Crandall Grave._—On July 1, 1870, a prospector named Jack Crandall
and his partner, T. Dougherty, were on their way to a rendezvous with
some miner friends on the headwaters of the Clarks Fork River. The two
men made camp on Crandall Creek and, as they prepared their evening
meal, were killed by a marauding band of Indians. The miners’ picks were
driven into the ground and their severed heads were spitted on the ends
protruding. The grave of these men is marked by a huge boulder on which
is a large bronze plate giving a brief history of the incident. It is
located on the north side of Crandall Creek, about three-fourths of a
mile upstream from the Crandall Creek bridge, on the Sunlight-Clarks
Fork Road.

_Pahaska Tepee._—Pahaska Tepee, situated alongside the Cody-Yellowstone
Highway, 51 miles west of Cody, is the original hunting lodge of Colonel
Cody, which he built in 1901. Here he entertained such distinguished
guests as Albert I, Prince of Monaco, statesmen, and the more famous
members of his troup.

_Sheepeaters’ Tepees._—Ancient tepees of the “Sheepeaters” made entirely
of poles are to be found in different parts of the forest. There is a
group of three, well preserved, on Tepee Creek, a tributary of the North
Fork of Crandall Creek, where the trail crosses. Another is located
about 1 mile above the Timber Creek Ranger Station, along an old logging
road. They can be reached only with saddle horses.

_The Old Stockade._—In August of 1891, a cowboy discovered a log
stockade on Beartooth Plateau, on the divide between Little Rock and
Bennett Creeks, about 3 miles north of Deep Lake. The stockade,
resembling a corral about 50 feet in diameter, had been made of huge
logs laid up similarly to those in a log house. Here and there along the
walls loopholes had been cut, obviously to permit shooting through them.
The stockade was old when found. Who it was built by and why is not
known. The logs had been cut with a sort of an ax or a hatchet, yet only
a portion of the work appeared to be that of white men. Some of the
chopping appeared to have been done by a man familiar with the use of an
ax, while other logs were literally “gnawed off.” The old stockade is
still standing. It can be reached only afoot or with horses.

_Wapiti Ranger Station._—The Wapiti Ranger Station, situated along the
Cody-Yellowstone Highway, 30 miles west of Cody, is the oldest ranger
station in the United States built with Government funds. It was erected
in 1901.

    [Illustration: F-385979
    _A typical trappers’ cabin on the South Fork._]

_The Firefighters Memorial._—On August 21, 1937, 15 men lost their lives
in what is known as the Blackwater Fire. Along the Cody-Yellowstone
Highway, 36 miles west of Cody, at the mouth of Blackwater Creek, a
large cut stone monument has been constructed by the Forest Service and
the Civilian Conservation Corps, to commemorate the memory of these men.
The fire, which originated 4 miles south of the memorial, burned over
1,254 acres. The Memorial Trail, a splendid foot or horse trail, begins
at the Firefighters Monument and leads to the burned-over area and to
Clayton Gulch, located 6 miles south, where a stone marker with a huge
bronze placque has been constructed to mark the site where Ranger Alfred
G. Clayton, Foreman James T. Saban, Assistant to Technician Rex Hale,
and four Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees—Rodgers, Gerdes,
Griffith, and Mayabb—were burned to death. In addition, Junior Forester
Paul E. Tyrrel, Billy Lea, a workman on a Bureau of Public Roads crew,
and CCC enrollees Allen, Garaza, Bevens, Seelke, Sherry, and Whitlock
died as a result of burns suffered on this fire.

Upon the recommendation of the Forest Service, the United States Board
of Geographic Names has changed the name of Double Mountain, which is
the highest point in the vicinity of the Blackwater area, to Clayton
Mountain, in honor of Ranger Clayton. A lookout tower is being
constructed on Clayton Mountain, which commands a view of a considerable
area of the Shoshone National Forest.


Timber Resources.—The actual forested areas within the Shoshone extend
in altitudinal range from about 6,000 to 10,000 feet above sea level.
Below the lower limits of the typical forest areas is a scattering tree
growth of aspen and cottonwoods, restricted principally to the stream

It is estimated that approximately 48 percent of the net area of the
forest is covered with timber, and supports a stand of some 2¼ billion
board feet. Lodgepole pine, Douglas fir, and Engelmann spruce are the
principal timber species; alpine fir, Rocky Mountain red cedar, and
several minor broadleaved species also occur.

Mature timber may be purchased, and when sales are made the cut is so
regulated that a perpetual supply of timber will be available without
destroying the forest cover. There are more than 20 different timber
operations within the forest which provide lumber, posts, poles, and
other timber products for the communities and residents of the Big Horn
Basin and adjacent territory, and provide a living for approximately 100
families. These operations also supply such special products as railroad
ties and mine timbers and props. Hundreds of ranchers and farmers obtain
directly such material as corral poles, fence posts, and fuel from the

Water Resources.—The vast coniferous forests of the Shoshone are
important as a ground cover in regulating the flow of streams having
their headwaters inside its boundaries. By retarding the run-off from
melting snows and rains, the forests help to prevent erosion and floods
in the spring and conserve the flow of water through the summer when it
can be used for irrigation. The development of agriculture and, in fact,
the future growth of Wyoming and other Western States are absolutely
dependent upon irrigation water. Two large irrigation projects, the
Shoshone and Sunshine, are dependent upon the forest watersheds, as are
many cooperative and individual users. Without doubt the greatest social
and economic contribution of the forest to those living within and
adjacent to it, and the State at large, is water for irrigation and
domestic use.

The Shoshone project waters 73,000 acres, on which agricultural crops
having a value of approximately $2,000,000 are raised annually. With the
completion of the Hart Mountain Division of this project, the area under
water will be increased by approximately 41,000 acres. Local enterprise
in the form of cooperative and individual projects has brought under
irrigation more than 60,000 acres additional. The Sunshine project
provides supplemental water for a part of the land included in the last
figure given. If the Shoshone project is developed to capacity, it is
estimated that approximately 163,000 acres of land will be under water.

There are over a million acres of arid lands in the plains of the Big
Horn and Yellowstone Basins, with favorable soils and potential farm
values if water can be made available for irrigation. It is important to
conserve the forest and forage cover so that the greatest volume of
usable water may be available for agricultural use. The future
prosperity and agricultural development of the region is limited to a
great extent by the amount of water that can be supplied for irrigation
from the streams having their sources within the Shoshone Forest.

Grazing Resources.—The raising of livestock is a basic industry in
Wyoming. The Shoshone provides summer range for 10,000 cattle and
horses, and 75,000 sheep, owned by almost 200 resident owners. The
higher ranges are particularly good for the production of lambs and
wool, and the lower ones are excellent for beef. Range is also furnished
for horse herds of the dude ranchers and for dairy cattle.

Permittees grazing livestock in the national forest are assigned
specific grazing allotments, and are required to handle their stock
according to approved management practices. Local officers endeavor to
stock all ranges conservatively for the purpose of preventing range
deterioration which reduces the volume of forage produced and starts

Grazing permittees are selected on the basis of ownership of improved
ranch property which is dependent upon forest range to make it an
economic unit. This policy favors the established tax-paying citizen and
eliminates the tramp stockman who has no base of operations but exploits
the country through which he passes.

In spite of the fact that all ranges adapted to the grazing of livestock
have been fully stocked for many years, sufficient forage is reserved to
take care of the 3,500 elk, 6,200 mule deer, 750 antelope, 700 mountain
sheep, and 250 moose which inhabit the forest.

    [Illustration: F-385820
    _High above the clouds on Beartooth Plateau._]

                      RECREATIONAL USE AND VALUES

No single activity of the forest has grown so rapidly in recent years as
recreation. The forest is ideally adapted to recreational use because of
the rough, majestic, and undeveloped character of its wilderness where
most travel must be done with a horse and pack outfit. It is truly a
forest with a “back country.” The numerous lakes and mountain streams,
the glaciers, the vast forest cover, and the abundance of fish and game
are attractions that draw large numbers of people who wish to see
wilderness areas unspoiled by the hand of man.

    [Illustration: F-385837
    _Mixed virgin stand of Engelmann spruce and Douglas fir._]

Wilderness Areas.—Two wilderness areas—the North Absaroka, containing
about 380,000 acres, and the South Absaroka, containing about 600,000
acres—have been set aside to insure the perpetuation of the delightful
natural and virgin conditions characteristic of the back country in the
Shoshone. Entirely undeveloped, except for horse trails and occasional
sanitation facilities at camp sites, primeval conditions are comparable
to those encountered when John Colter traveled through this country in
the early years of the nineteenth century. No roads will be permitted
nor will there be any hotels, resorts, or summer homes. Sales of timber
will not be made, but the grazing of domestic stock—cattle, horses, and
sheep—will be allowed under well-regulated conditions, insuring ample
range for big game animals and the protection of the basic soil and
water resources.

These wilderness areas and the wildlife and fishing resources of the
forest are the basis for one of northwestern Wyoming’s principal
industries—dude ranching. Within and adjacent to the Shoshone are more
than 30 such ranches and similar resorts. Guests enjoy all of the sports
common in the mountains—fishing, hunting, hiking, or riding delightful
trails. As the cool of the evening descends, they enjoy sitting before a
glowing campfire to hear yarns of the West. These ranches and resorts
have various types of accommodations for overnight or weekend guests,
camping parties, pack trips, or family groups. Hundreds of guests visit
them annually, and go home with tanned faces and a spring in their step.

Within the forest are two main highways which offer splendid scenery to
those who do not have the time or inclination to get into the back
country with horses and pack outfits.

_Along the North Fork._—The Cody Road to the Yellowstone National Park,
U. S. 20, winds its way along the banks of the North Fork of the
Shoshone River. The forest boundary is 25 miles west of Cody, and on the
way, such interesting features as DeMaris Hot Springs, extinct geyser
cones and craters, the Shoshone Dam, the tunnels, the Shoshone Cavern
National Monument, and typical western stock and dude ranches and
resorts can be visited. At the boundary the character of the country
changes. The canyon becomes narrower, and here on either side, Signal
Peak and Flag Peak, like the Pillars of Hercules, guard the entrance.
From this point to the east entrance of Yellowstone Park, the distance
is 27 miles.

Within the forest, the road passes through livestock and game ranges,
heavily timbered watersheds, with active timber sales in progress, and
extensively used recreation areas. Thus the tourist is given an
opportunity to actually see the coordinated activities of a national
forest. Watch for the Laughing Pig, the Camel, the Holy City, the Goose,
the Anvil, Henry Ford, Chimney Rock, the Elephant Head, and other
figures carved from rock by the hand of nature.

Along the way there are a number of dude ranches and resorts where
accommodations may be had, also gasoline stations and stores. At
frequent intervals there are picnic and campgrounds for the use of
tourists. These are:

  _Name_                              _Miles from      _Miles from
                                            Cody_     Yellowstone_

  Hanging Rock Campground                    26.8             26.2
  Horse Creek                                28.1             24.9
  Big Game Campground                        29.1             23.9
  Wapiti Camp and Picnic Ground              30.1             22.9
  Elk Fork Campground                        30.1             22.9
  Rex Hale Campground                        36.7             16.0
  Newton Creek                               37.5             15.5
  Eagle Creek Campground                     45.5              7.5
  Sleeping Giant Campground                  48.9              4.1
  Three Mile Campground                      49.7              3.3
  Pahaska Campground—Trailers                51.0              2.0

Individual camping stalls, tables, water, and campfire grates are
available at all campgrounds.

_Beartooth Plateau—Clarks Fork Country._—The Red Lodge-Cooke City
Highway, a hard-surfaced road, passes through the most spectacular area
in the forest. Leaving Red Lodge, Mont., it follows a southwesterly
course along Rock Creek into the Custer National Forest.

Abruptly the highway leaves the creek and turns up the north slope of
Beartooth Plateau, and over easy grades zigzags its sinuous way into
Wyoming and the Shoshone National Forest and to the very “top of the
world.” Once on top a breath-taking panorama unexpectedly unfolds before
the astonished traveler. Vision is practically unrestricted in any
direction because the road is well above timberline. To the east lies
the Big Horn Basin, with the Big Horn Mountains in the background; to
the south is the Clarks Fork Valley, Sunlight Basin, and still further
south the North Fork and South Fork valleys of the Shoshone. As far as
one can see, rugged snowcapped mountains pierce the sky. In the west,
Pilot Peak and its Siamese twin, Index Peak, point the way into the
heavens. To the north is a continuation of Beartooth Plateau into the
Custer Forest which contains grasshopper glaciers and the “land of the
red snows.” Everywhere evidences of glaciation and tremendous expanses
of barren rock are to be seen. Snowbanks are common. Numerous lakes of
various sizes nestle in the pockets of the land. Gradually, as the
traveler goes westward, he descends to timberline, where gnarled,
stunted trees carry on an age-old struggle for existence against the
fierce elements of cold driving snows and terrific winds. Further
westward as altitude is lost the timber becomes taller, until as one
nears the Clarks Fork River dense, thrifty stands are the rule.

    [Illustration: F-385960
    _A pack string on the South Fork Trail._]

Aside from two dude ranches along the road, the only other
accommodations within the forest are at Beartooth Lake. Here also are a
store, filling station, and picture studio.

The Shoshone National Forest campgrounds along this road are:

  _Name_                              _Miles from      _Miles from
                                      Cooke City_       Red Lodge_

  Crazy Creek Campground                     10.8               54
  Beartooth Lake Campground                  22.9             41.9
  Island Lake Campground                     26.0             38.8

_Sunlight Basin._—There is also a third road, unimproved, which in good
weather affords a real treat to the auto tourist. It leads from Cody
over Dead Indian Hill into Sunlight Basin and the upper Clarks Fork
Valley. This road is delightfully scenic and connects with the Red
Lodge-Cooke City Highway just below the Nordquist ranch. There are two
campgrounds along this route, one where the road crosses Dead Indian
Creek and the other at the Sunlight Creek crossing. The road leads to
excellent fishing in Dead Indian Creek, Sunlight Creek, the Clarks Fork
River, and the waters on Beartooth Plateau. It is the shortest route to
Beartooth Plateau from Cody.

                         WILDLIFE OF THE FOREST

Big Game.—The Shoshone is the only forest in Wyoming in which all
species of big game native to the State are found, with the exception of
the whitetail deer. These include antelope, mule deer, elk, mountain
sheep, moose, and black and grizzly bear. What may be even more
surprising is that there are open seasons on all species—deer, elk, and
bear under the regular license; antelope, mountain sheep, and moose
under special permit. Another unusual feature about hunting on the
Shoshone is that except for the southern part of the forest the regular
hunting season is 60 days long, from September 15 to November 15. In
addition, there is a spring bear season from May 1 to June 15, just
after the bears come out of hibernation and their skins are best. State
Game and Fish regulations frequently change from year to year. If you
plan to go hunting, post yourself on the current regulations.

    [Illustration: F-385967
    _Chimney Rock—along the Cody-Yellowstone Highway._]

The Shoshone is a favorite rendezvous for nonresident hunters because it
has the game, and the outfitters and guides. The State laws require that
all nonresident big game hunters hire licensed outfitters and guides to
conduct them.

The Forest Service is deeply concerned with the propagation and
protection of game. This involves not only cooperating with State
officers and enforcing the game laws, but providing game herds with
sufficient and suitable range. Throughout the West the national forests
supply most of the summer range for big game animals except antelope.
The Shoshone Forest is no exception. Most national forests contain
sufficient summer range for present game herds and some increases.
However, the situation regarding winter range is different. Most of the
land at the lower elevations where the game originally wintered is
outside the forest. Much of it has been homesteaded and is in livestock
ranches and farms. In many sections of the West game, especially deer
and elk, are faced with the desperate choice of raiding ranches in the
valleys and foothills or starving in the snowdrifts of the high
mountains. In some instances the Forest Service has been able to provide
winter game range by regulating grazing or eliminating livestock
entirely from the ranges. Such an example can be found on the Shoshone
on the Elk Fork, Sweetwater, Horse Creek, and Grizzly Creek drainages.
This area furnishes winter range for the largest elk herd on the forest,
and is reserved especially for it. In addition, several hundred deer
also use this same range.

                         SANITATION AND HEALTH

1. Mountain streams will not purify themselves in a few hundred feet.
      Boil or chlorinate all suspected water.

2. Burn all paper, old clothing, or rubbish. Bury or place in pits or
      receptacles provided all garbage, tin cans, bottles, and other

3. Do not wash soiled clothing or utensils or bathe in springs, streams,
      or lakes. Use a container and throw dirty water where it cannot
      get into the water supply without first filtering through the

4. Use the sanitation facilities provided by the Forest Service on
      campgrounds and elsewhere.

5. Observe the rules of sanitation and protect yourself and others.
      Report all insanitary conditions to the nearest health or forest

6. Obey the posted “Rules for the use of improved campgrounds.”

    [Illustration: F-386019
    _A week-end party at one of the forest’s improved campgrounds._]

For the purpose of maintaining and preserving the big game herds within
them, the State has established the Shoshone and Hoodoo State Game
Preserves, where no hunting is permitted.

The Cody-Yellowstone Road passes through the Shoshone Preserve. During
the summer months most of the animals, particularly deer, elk, and
mountain sheep, are in the high country back from the road. Moose,
however, are frequently seen along the river and occasionally deer and
bear. During winter and spring, however, hundreds of deer and elk can be
seen quietly feeding along the road. Mountain sheep are also frequently
seen during these seasons.

Keep your camera loaded when passing through the forest. A shot of a big
bull moose or a graceful deer makes just as good a trophy as a head or a
hide, and the camera season is always open. It requires much more skill
to stalk and shoot game with a camera than with a gun.

If you go hunting be a genuine sportsman by obeying the State laws, by
putting out your smokes and campfires, and by leaving a clean camp.

Fur Bearers.—In the old days of the fur brigade and trading posts the
area now in the forest furnished its quota of furs, and it still
produces some of the finest. The most valuable and most eagerly sought
fur bearer is the marten. In addition, there are badger, muskrat,
ermine, mink, red fox, coyote, and bobcat. There are also three other
species which are protected, beaver, otter, and wolverine, which is
extremely rare.

On the Shoshone the trappers are assigned to individual trapping
allotments. Each man regards the allotment as his, because it is
reissued to him year after year as long as he wishes to hold it and
obeys the State and Federal laws. This system promotes harvesting the
fur crop rather than mining it. In other words, the trapper realizes
that he cannot take all of the animals but must leave a sufficient
number to restock the allotment for future trapping. Each trapper is
required to report to the proper officer all game law violations
occurring within his territory.

Fishing.—Practically all suitable waters of the forest are stocked with
fish. Species include the black spotted, rainbow, Eastern brook, and
mackinaw trout, Montana grayling, and whitefish.

In recognition of the importance of keeping lakes and streams stocked
the State Game and Fish Commission operates a fish hatchery near Cody,
and practically all of its output is used in replenishing the waters of
the forest. Additional assistance is rendered by the U. S. Bureau of
Fisheries by furnishing planting stock from its Yellowstone Park,
Crawford, Nebr., and Bozeman, Mont., hatcheries. Forest officers
cooperate with representatives of these agencies in planting fish in
forest waters. The forest maintains a specially built tank truck for
transportation of fish into the mountain waters. Four rearing ponds have
been constructed by the Forest Service in which fry and fingerling trout
are kept until they are from 4 to 7 inches in length before being
released. The percentage of survival of fish reared in such ponds is
many times greater than when they are released in turbulent mountain
streams before they are large enough to care for themselves.

                        FIRE—ENEMY OF THE FOREST

Each forest fire that burns means a loss of forest resources. Timber,
forage, wildlife are destroyed; soil erosion follows; everybody loses.
Fires are always a menace in the summertime and more than half of them
occur because some careless smoker or camper does not take care of his
match, cigarette, pipe, or campfire. From 1909 to the close of 1939, 229
fires, which burned over 25,649 acres, have occurred. In recent years
the Shoshone National Forest has suffered heavy losses from two large
fires and an increasing number of smaller ones. The Crandall fire in
1935 burned over 12,600 acres. This tremendous and staggering loss was
the result of the carelessness of _ONE MAN_. In 1937, the tragic
Blackwater fire occurred. Although only 1,254 acres of forest were
destroyed, the fire resulted in one of the worst disasters in the
history of the Forest Service fire fighting. Fifteen men, whose memory
has been perpetuated in the Firefighters Memorial paid the supreme

New improvements are being constructed in the never-ending fight to
prevent or quickly control forest fires. Equipment, such as the Bosworth
fire trencher, is being developed. This is a small machine which is
guided by an operator and motored by a marine engine. The motor propels
a series of steel lugs which kick out dirt and debris and speedily clear
a fire trail down to mineral soil. Fire towers, which will make visible
a large part of the forest, are in process of construction or are
contemplated. In addition to the new tower on Clayton Mountain, another
is being erected on Windy Mountain, located about 6 miles south of the
Crandall Ranger Station. This will make visible a large portion of this
immense country in the North Absaroka wilderness, including the area
burned in the Crandall Creek fire of 1935.

    [Illustration: F-385833
    _High ranges produce fat lambs._]

Another tower on Clay Butte, near Beartooth Lake, will provide better
protection for the scenic Beartooth Plateau and the Clarks Fork Valley.

When a smoke is spotted, the lookout observer determines the bearing to
the fire and phones this information to a ranger or the forest
supervisor so that action may be taken. If the lookout is uncertain of
the stream valley or other topographical feature by which the fire can
be located and best reached, a cross shot is obtained from another
lookout station, if possible. In case of a large fire, an airplane
cruise is sometimes made to observe the progress of the fire and
determine the best way of controlling it.

                      RETURNS TO LOCAL COMMUNITIES

Twenty-five percent of all revenues derived from permitted uses on
national forests is returned to the counties for road and school funds.
In addition, 10 percent of the forest receipts is returned to the forest
for the construction and maintenance of its road and trail system.
Actually 35 percent of the gross forest receipts is returned directly
and indirectly to the locality from whence it was collected.

                         TREES OF THE SHOSHONE

PINES.—Pines are conifers distinguished principally by the needles that
are gathered together at the base in bundles of from one to five in a
little sheath that usually wears off after the first year. The cones
have woody scales. There are three pines on the Shoshone.

Limber Pine (_Pinus flexilis_).—Needles are fine, almost silky, dark
green, 1½ to 3 inches long, always in bundles of five. Cones are 3 to 5
inches long, with seeds ⅓ inch long; scales smooth. Bark is light gray
or silvery white, except on old trunks, which are blackish brown and

Whitebark Pine (_Pinus albicaulis_).—Very difficult to distinguish from
limber pine, although needles are more rigid and slightly curved.
Needles are from 1½ to 2½ inches long. Cones are from 1½ to 3 inches
long and of a dark purple color. The bark is chalky-white. This tree is
found at elevations of from 8,500 to 10,000 feet, or slightly above the
limber pine. It is not as important for commercial use as are the other

Lodgepole Pine (_Pinus contorta_).—Needles are 1½ to 2 inches long,
yellow-green, growing in bundles of two. Bark is thin. Cones are
one-sided, 1½ to 2 inches long, and cling to the branches for years
without opening or dropping their seeds. Cone scales are armed with
short spines. This species is used mostly for railroad ties, mine props,
and telephone poles.

SPRUCES.—Spruces have sharp-pointed, four-sided needles scattered over
the twigs singly, leaving twigs rough like a grater when they fall off.
There is only one spruce on the Shoshone Forest.

Engelmann Spruce (_Picea engelmanni_).—The new-growth twigs are covered
with soft, short hair. Needles are less rigid and less sharply pointed
than those of blue spruce, green, dark blue, or pale steel-blue. Cones
are 1 to 2 inches long. Bark is dark, reddish brown, and separates in
the form of small, rounded scales. Main trunk, in contrast to blue
spruce, is smooth and clean.

FIRS.—Needles are blunt, flat, and soft to the touch, without any stem
where they join branches. They leave flat, round scars when they fall
off in contrast to short stubs left by spruce on twigs. Cones, unlike
those of other species, stand erect. In the fall, the cones fall to
pieces and leave only spikes on the branch. Buds are blunt and pitchy.
Blisters, containing liquid pitch or balsam, are scattered over the
smooth bark.

Alpine Fir (_Abies lasiocarpa_).—Leaves are flat, 1 to 1¾ inch long,
without any stem where they join the branches. Needles tend to turn
upward. Cones are 2½ to 4 inches long, dark purple. The bark is gray and
smooth, except in older parts of the tree where it is broken into
ridges. Tree has a sharp, spirelike crown. It usually grows mixed with
Engelmann spruce.

DOUGLAS FIR (_Pseudotsuga taxifolia_).—Although similar in name, this
species has no direct relationship to the true fir. Its leaves are flat,
¾ to 1½ inches long, with short stems that join them to the branches.
Cones are pendent, with three-pronged bracts protruding from the cone
scales; they are persistent and fall off the tree whole. Buds are
sharp-pointed, shiny, smooth, red brown.

CEDARS.—Rocky Mountain Red Cedar (_Juniperus scopulorum_).—The berries
are about the size of peas, the bark is scaly, the twigs are slender and
graceful, and the heartwood is red. The species is distinguished from
the one-seed juniper in that its berry usually has two seeds and is
bluish or black. The berries mature in 2 years.

BROADLEAF TREES.—Aspen (_Populus tremuloides_).—Aspens are commonly
called “quaking aspens” or “quakers.” The flat, nearly heart-shaped
leaves are about 2 inches across; they tremble characteristically in a
breeze. The bark is whitish or very pale green, smooth with black scars
where branches have dropped off. The trees rarely grow more than 50 feet

Narrowleaf Cottonwood (_Populus augustifolia_).—This is usually a tall
tree, 40 to 60 feet high. The bark is dark gray, heavily ridged half or
two-thirds of the way up the tree; above that, smooth and pale green.
The leaves are ½ inch to 1 inch wide by 2 or 3 inches long, very similar
to willow leaves. The species is usually found along streams at lower

Alder (_Alnus tenuifolia_).—The alder grows along and overhanging the
streams, usually in clumps, several trees from the same root, frequently
4 to 6 inches in diameter and 15 to 25 feet high. Its leaves are large
and sharply double toothed. The mature, seed-bearing fruit is conelike
and noticeable in winter.

Rocky Mountain Maple (_Acer glabrum_).—Usually a shrub, but frequently
20 to 30 feet high, this species has paired opposite buds, sharply lobed
leaves, light-gray bark, and paired, winged seed. Its leaves are 1 to 2
inches long, opposite each other.

Willows (_Salix sp._).—The common shrub of creek bottoms. Leaves are
usually narrow and sharp-pointed. Some willows attain a diameter of 4
inches and a height of 15 to 25 feet. The buds are covered by a single

Pacific Serviceberry (_Amelanchier florida_).—Leaves silvery, sharply
toothed toward the end, and alternate on branches. Trees, or more often
shrubs, 6 to 15 feet high. Flowers white and in clusters. Five hard
seeds in each berry.

Western Chokecherry (_Prunus demissa_).—This is a shrub, 3 to 15 feet
high. Flowers and fruit clustered. Alternate leaves are sharply pointed.
Bark, leaves, and seed are bitter. Fruit is black.

                       RULES FOR FIRE PREVENTION

1. Be sure your match is out. Break it in two before you throw it away.

2. Be sure that pipe ashes and cigar or cigarette stubs are dead before
      throwing them away. Never throw them into brush, leaves, or
      needles. Don’t smoke while traveling through the woods.

3. Use fire grates at improved campgrounds and observe the rules for
      building and extinguishing fires. Before building a campfire at
      places where no grates are available, scrape away all inflammable
      material from a place about 4 feet in diameter. Keep your fire
      small and never build it against trees or logs, or near brush.

4. Never break camp until your fire is out, dead out.

5. Stir the coals while soaking them with water, turn burned sticks and
      drench both sides. Wet the ground around the fire and be sure the
      last spark is dead.

6. Never burn slash or brush in windy weather or while there is the
      slightest danger that the fire will get away.

IF YOU FIND A FOREST FIRE, put it out if you can. If you cannot put it
out, report it to the forest supervisor, the ranger, the sheriff, or the
nearest telephone operator. Location of the headquarters of the
supervisor and the rangers is indicated on the map.


                          Transcriber’s Notes

—Silently corrected a few typos.

—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by

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