What: Les Joslin discusses “Images of America: Deschutes National Forest”

When: 6 p.m. April 7

Where: Herringbone Books, 422 SW Sixth St., Redmond

Cost: Free

Contact: herringbonebooks.com or 541-526-1491

When: 6 p.m. April 12

Where: Barnes & Noble, 2690 NE U.S. Highway 20, Bend

Cost: Free

Contact: stores.barnesandnoble.com or 541-318-7242

When: 6 p.m. April 14

Where: Paulina Springs Books, 252 W. Hood Ave., Sisters

Cost: $5 per group

Contact: paulinasprings.com or 541-549-0866

When: 1 p.m. April 15

Where: Des Chutes Historical Museum, 129 NW Idaho Ave., Bend

Cost: Free

Contact: deschuteshistory.org or 541-389-1813

When: 11 a.m. April 22

Where: Costco, 2500 NE U.S. Highway 20, Bend

Cost: Free

Contact: costco.com or 541-385-9640

When: 1 p.m. April 29

Where: Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe, 135 NW Minnesota Ave., Bend

Cost: Free

Contact: dudleysbookshopcafe.com or 541-749-2010

It’s been 12 years since Les Joslin retired from the U.S. Forest Service, but the special place the Deschutes National Forest holds in his heart is clearly evident in his latest book, “Images of America: Deschutes National Forest.”

Arcadia Publishing’s official release date for the book is Monday. Over the following weeks, Joslin will make a number of promotional appearances around Central Oregon, starting April 7 at Herringbone Books in Redmond.

Joslin’s interest in the Deschutes National Forest and its history began in 1990, shortly after his retirement from the U.S. Navy, when he became a wilderness ranger and recreation staff team leader for the Forest Service in Central Oregon.

“I’d always loved wilderness areas and the outdoors, and I worked as a firefighter and fire prevention officer for the Forest Service in the mid-1960s before joining the Navy, so working with the Service again was a natural step for me,” Joslin said.

His roles with the Forest Service in Central Oregon involved a lot of public outreach and education, which sparked his passion for the history of the Forest Service itself as well as the places he was stewarding.

While he was still a Forest Service employee, Joslin authored and edited books about historic ranger stations, early forest ranger Walt Perry and the Three Sisters Wilderness area.

After his 2005 retirement from the Forest Service, Joslin became an active volunteer at the Deschutes County Historical Society, and he is a past president of its board of directors and also a fellow of the High Desert Museum. He continued to edit the Pacific Northwest Forest Service Association’s quarterly newsletter and authored or co-authored several more books about the history of various wilderness sites in Central Oregon and the West.

But an idea for a book about the history and resources of the Deschutes National Forest from its inception in 1908 onward had been percolating in the back of his mind for some time.

“I worked on another book called ‘Legendary Locals of Bend’ for Arcadia Publishing a year ago, and told them about my idea for this book,” Joslin said.

“They initially wanted me to wait a year before starting it, but I told them that since I’m 74 years old that might not be a good idea, so they agreed to do it a little earlier,” he recalled with a laugh.

As the title suggests, “Images of America: Deschutes National Forest” uses 205 vintage and archival photographs with captions and descriptions to paint a vivid portrait of the forest from its early days all the way into the 21st century. The photos also show the various resources provided by the forest, managed by the Forest Service and enjoyed by its owners — the American people.

The majority of the images came from the Deschutes National Forest historical photograph collection and from the Deschutes County Historical Society’s collection. Some were also contributed by private individuals, while others were Joslin’s own photos.

“The real challenge was boiling everything down to tell a very large and complicated story in this streamlined format,” Joslin said. He estimates he originally selected around 500 photographs to tell the story of the forest and then had to whittle those down to the 200 or so that best advanced the story he wanted to tell.

Lumberjacks using crosscut saws called “misery whips” can be seen felling tress by hand in the early 1900s. Before and after shots show the creation of the Wickiup Dam and Wickiup Reservoir in the 1940s. The development of downhill skiing areas and even astronauts training to walk on the moon in the 1960s are all pictured.

Joslin believes a number of the photographs in this book have never before been published, or only rarely. One of his favorites depicts two unnamed children in the 1920s fishing on the banks of a river. Their excitement over their catch is as infectious today as it was 95 years ago.

“In a way this book is a culmination of my various projects in the Deschutes National Forest,” Joslin said. He hopes it helps residents and visitors to Central Oregon better understand and relate to the 1.6 million acres of national forest that surrounds them.

16807465