Redwood Memorial National Forest Proposal

Bill Called Socialist By Solons

Calling the Douglas bill "socialist" was a common tactic during this battle. 

Although there would end up being many park proposals, especially as we enter the 1960s, one early proposal of interest is the Redwood Memorial National Forest, presented in the 1940s. Senator Helen Gahagan Douglas created two separate bills for the House of Representatives, the first being pigeonholed in the 80th Congress. Many parcels of redwood forest had already been dedicated in memory to various people, the Dougas Bill's forest was meant to be a memorial to the late President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. 

 

Many citizens in Humboldt County vehemently opposed this second bill (H.R. 6201). Although they were sure to reiterate their support in memorializing the late President through some natural monument, they were uncomfortable with passing this amount of private land into federal hands. This bill would increase federal land holdings in the California significantly.

Other issues were damage to the lumber, cattle, and sheep industries, and the need to fairly appraise the land before passing it off to the federal government.  Further, it was felt by some that preservation of the trees was already a goal of Californians and that it was their right to fulfill that goal through state legislature.

The Douglas bill would not make it through congress, but this battle would prepare citizens for an upcoming avalanche of energetic National Park activism starting in the 1960s. 

Redwood Memorial National Forest Proposal