On this day in 1888 Benjamin Harrison was elected the nations’s 23rd President. The Upper Peninsula during this time was still seeing forests cut and cleared at an alarming rate. Recognizing the need to moderate this unchecked commercial exploitation President Harrison signed into law the Land Revision Act of 1891, which created the National Forest System.
Harrison, a Republican, set aside 13 million acres of Forest reserves, and his Democratic successor Grover Cleveland added another 4.3 million acres. Upper Michigan has two National Forests: Hiawatha in the eastern U.P. and Ottawa National Forest in the west, while norther lower Michigan is home of the Huron-Manistee National Forest, all which provide recreation, wildlife habitat and timber management.