This chapter summarizes U.S. forest history from the end of the Civil War through 1970, with a focus on the rise of the federal government as owner and manager of forests. The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries witnessed momentous changes in forest policy, encompassing a greatly expanded role for the federal government in response to concerns about prevailing timbering practices. With leadership by Gifford Pinchot and Theodore Roosevelt, conservation advocates created a system of permanent federal forestlands and an agency trained in German concepts of sustained yield to manage them. The professionalization of forestry and the establishment of a strong federal role in owning and managing forests set a forest governance template that would continue to be tested as the twentieth century advanced. Issues such as fire prevention, cooperation or regulation with the private sector, and competing recreational and preservationist values for forestlands arose as points of contention as federal forestry became institutionalized.