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History of OFS

Our History

 Activities of the past strongly influence the forests of today, 

 and the things we do today will influence 
 these same forests for generations.

Oklahoma's state forestry agency has managed and protected Oklahoma’s diverse forest resources since 1925, enjoying a rich and colorful past. The Oklahoma Forest Commission was created by Oklahoma’s 10th Legislature on April 6, 1925 and began official operations on July 1st of that year. The agency was created primarily in response to the deteriorating condition of the state’s forests, attributed primarily to excessive timber harvesting without forest regeneration, and to uncontrolled wildfires that damaged or destroyed property, threatened lives and discouraged any interest in making investments or improvements in these lands.

Over the years, our programs of assistance to the citizens of Oklahoma have responded to changing needs and resource conditions across the state. A decade-by-decade thumbnail sketch of program highlights is provided (see menu left). 

An overview of the early years of forestry in Oklahoma is also provided.  Using photographs from the collection at the Forest Heritage Center, this overview portrays the early development of Oklahoma’s timber industry, with the coming of Dierks Forests in the early 1900s, and focuses on the people who laid the groundwork for those who followed.  To download a brochure on the early years of forestry in Oklahoma click here