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The collection was donated to the library in Feburary 1964 by the grandnephew of Albert F. Potter, Curtis Harold Cutter.


The collection is open for research.


The Albert F. Potter papers, CONS186 are the physical property of the Denver Public Library


All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.


[Identification of item], Albert F. Potter papers, CONS186, Conservation Collection, The Denver Public Library.


Number of Boxes: 1


CONS 186


Martin Leuthauser

December 2014


Abby Hoverstock


Albert F. "Bert" Potter was born on November 14, 1859 in Ione, California near the Sierra foothills. He moved to Holbrook, Apache County, Arizona when he was twenty-four for health reasons. In Arizona, Potter raised cattle and sheep and obtained an appointment as Inspector for the Territorial Livestock Sanitary Board. He later ran for county treasurer and was elected, serving with his lifelong friend and associate, Will C. Barnes (1858-1936), who had been elected county assemblyman.

In 1901, Potter was elected to the Bureau of Forestry and hired as a grazing expert by the General Land Office (GLO). During the summer of 1902 he completed a survey of the potential Forest Reserves in Utah by travelling over 2,000 miles (approximately 1,650 were on horseback). Potter visited 42 towns seeking input on the designation of forest reserves and possible boundaries. By 1906, Potter was Inspector of Grazing with the newly formed Forest Service and the first westerner to hold a high post in the U.S. Forest Service. He went on to become Assistant Forester in 1907 and Associate Forester in 1910. Potter was responsible for organizing the service’s grazing policies, regulations, and procedures. He promoted the idea that the management of western ranges be shared with stockmen while retaining that the final decisions, as to the scope and details of operations, be held in the hands of local Forest Service officials. Albert Potter died on January 1, 1944 in Napa, California.


Collection contains two original diaries compiled by Potter during his trips to California (Tahoe, Trinity) and Northern California and Oregon (Klamath, Shasta, Lassen, and Stanislaus) during May through October 1903. Additional items include a copy of a transcription of his Utah travel diary (Utah and Idaho) dated from July 1 to November 22, 1902, as well as his personal scrapbook containing copies of correspondence, congressional records, magazine and newspaper articles, obituaries, ephemera (1890s-1940), and an unpublished manuscript: Experiences with President Taft (n.d.).


The Western History/Genealogy Department also has:

Grazing on the public lands, extracts from the report of the Public Lands Commission (by Frederick C. Coville and Albert F. Potter): C333.10973 U58gr


Series contains three travel diaries kept by Potter during the summer and fall of 1902, and the spring, summer and fall of 1903. The diaries document his travels in Utah, Idaho, California, and Oregon.

The transcription of Potter's 1902 Utah and Idaho diary provides information on the people, businesses, terrain, vegetation, and geographic locations he encountered while he travelled approximately 2,000 miles seeking input on the designation of forest reserves and their possible boundaries. Included is statistical data documenting the names of sheep raisers and their flock counts for San Pete County.

The two, original copies of his California diaries (1903) record Potter's experiences in developing grazing policies within the Mendocino, Tahoe, and Trinity Forests in California. They also document aspects of the local terrain and vegetation he observed, and provide accounts of his meetings with State and Government officials as well as his visits to the towns of Klamath, Shasta, Lassen and Stanislaus in the state of Oregon.

Additional items include an unpublished manuscript: Experiences with President Taft (n.d.) and Potter's personal scrapbook (1890s-1940).



  • Potter, Albert F. -- (Albert Franklin) -- 1859-1944 -- Archives.
  • Barnes, William C., 1858-1936 -- Archival resources.
  • Taft, William H. -- (William Howard), -- 1857-1930 -- Archival resources.
  • Range policy -- California -- 20th century -- History.
  • Range management -- California -- 20th century -- History.
  • Grazing districts -- California -- 20th century -- History.
  • Stanislaus County (Calif.) -- History.
  • Klamath Mountains (Calif. and Or.) -- History.
  • Lassen County (Calif.) -- History.
  • Shasta (Calif.) -- History.
  • Tahoe National Forest (Calif.) -- History.
  • Trinity National Forest (Calif.) -- History.
  • Cache National Forest (Utah and Idaho) -- History.
  • Diaries.
  • Manuscripts (document genre).
  • Scrapbooks.