Inducted February 24, 1988
As the first director of the USDA Forest Service Lake States Forest Experiment Station, Raphael Zon directed a vital program of research that helped restore vast cutover old growth forests to the production of wood promotion of forestry among political and social leaders helped to create a climate that permitted the eventual purchase of National Forest lands and made possible state activities in forestry.
More About Raphael Zon:
When Raphael Zon arrived in the Lake States in 1923, he found most of Wisconsin’s old growth forests had been cutover and much of the land burned over. The lumber industry was on the wane and the pulp and paper industry was on the rise. There were no national forests in Wisconsin, and the County Forest System had not been developed.
Zon recognized that the major problem facing foresters and conservationists was restoration of these cutover lands to the production of wood products, wildlife, recreation, and watershed protection. With vigor he pursued the dual charge given him by the chief of the U.S. Forest Service – to establish a regional forest experiment station and to “put over” forestry in the Lake States.
Not only did he direct the Lake States Forest Experiment Station in establishing a comprehensive program of research in reforestation, timber stand improvement, forest growth, fire protection, tax delinquency, and watershed management, Zon also spent a good part of his time in selling forestry through talks to both popular and technical audiences and by establishing contacts with state and county officials, legislators, organizations, colleges and universities, and leaders of wood-using industries. He developed productive cooperation with many of these groups, which helped make research more economical and more comprehensive.