A Forest Conservationist, Foster Home on the Farm and a Bookselling Business

In this edition of the magazine's regular "Profiles" feature examines a forest conservationist, the creator of a foster home based on a farm and the owner of a successful bookselling business.

| July/August 1977

MOTHER's Profiles column celebrates little-known environmental heroes who make a difference. This issue includes forest conservationist GM Brandborg, founder of a foster home on a farm, Ed Shipman, and bookselling business owner Omar Kateeb.

Forest Conservationist G.M. Brandborg: A Tribute

You may have heard of western Montana's Bitterroot National Forest: It's where the longstanding controversy over clear-cutting in national forests began. You also may have heard of G.M. Brandborg, for 20 years Bitterroot's Forest Supervisor. He's the man who started the controversy.

Brandy (as his friends called him) was always a fighter, one who would stand up for the people and their natural resources. To hear him tell it, that's what a Forest Service worker was supposed to be. Gifford Pinchot (the National Forest system's first chief and a personal friend of G.M. Brandborg's) said Brandy was that kind of man, and he molded that kind of outfit back in the early part of the century.

Guy M. Brandborg came from his native Minnesota to begin working for the Forest Service — as an assistant ranger at the Lewis and Clark National Forest in Montana — in 1912. Over the years that followed, Mr. Brandborg rose through the ranks until finally — in 1935 — he became Forest Supervisor at Bitterroot.

When Mr. Brandborg retired in 1955, he refused to retire as a concerned conservationist. Instead, he kept a watchful eye on Lie national forest he'd managed for so many years, and when he saw special interests begin to dictate policy in the Forest Service, he protested . . . loudly.

Brandy's first successful campaign was to save the upper Selway River drainage (now protected as a designated Wild River) from would-be exploiters. Then, in the mid-1960's, came the massive clear-cuts. Logging companies — with the tacit approval of the Forest Service — razed to the ground literally hundreds of acres of precious forest at a time, leaving the landscape permanently damaged. Brandy fought back, and — though the struggle would last through the 60's and into the 70's — the retired forester and his cohorts ultimately achieved victory. The logging interests were forced to capitulate.

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