This homesteader is clearing the land.

This farmer was hard at work chopping down trees and removing skunk cabbage and ferns as he attempted to clear an abandoned homestead. A year earlier a fine stand of spruce and fir covered this cutover hillside before freelance loggers cleaned it off, leaving only charred stumps and debris. The federal government had encouraged homesteading in Oregon for decades, but drought and the Great Depression resulted in failed farms and widespread unemployment in the 1930s. Many homesteaders in the Siltcoos area were bought out to expand what later became the Siuslaw National Forest.

The US Resettlement Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps established several camps in central and coastal Oregon for workers reclaiming submarginal farmland. They also planted millions of trees to reforest vital watersheds and developed recreational areas. A 9,000-acre Recreational Demonstration Area later became Silver Falls State Park, an enduring benefit of the New Deal that is now enjoyed by almost a million visitors every year.