Southern forest advocates, led by Gifford Pinchot, wanted to preserve a large stretch of the southern Appalachians. At first, Pinchot resisted working with New Englanders. In January 1905, Ayres and Pinchot met at the first American Forest Congress. “Dr. [Edward Everett] Hale got out of a sick bed in order to speak for the White Mountains [where he had ‘helped to make the original surveys in the White Mountains when he was a youth under twenty … fully sixty years earlier …’] With his eloquent voice, he told the story of the White Mountains, and offered a resolution that was received with great enthusiasm and referred to the Committee on Resolutions.” Dr. Rothrock, known as “the father of forestry in Pennsylvania,” said to Pinchot, “Now, Gifford, your bill for a National Forest in the Southern Mountains has been tried out in Congress and failed. It always will fail until you get those Yankees behind it. You have got to have these New England votes and you might just as well agree to a National Forest in the White Mountains.” Pinchot did agree. The Forestry Congress:
approves and reaffirms the resolutions of various scientific and commercial bodies during the past few years in favor of the establishment of national forest reserves in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, and in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and that we earnestly urge the immediate passage of bills for these purposes.