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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
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John Van Hook

John VanHookForestry Pioneer

Governor S.V. Stewart appointed John Van Hook as Montana's second State Forester. He was born in Maryland in September 1860. He attended the country school system, and through self-study and practical training, he became a very efficient surveyor. He spent considerable time in the U.S. Geological Survey and the General Land Office. In 1895 he was moved from Washington D.C. to Helena by the U.S. Surveyor General's Office.

Van Hook was trained in engineering, and had no formal or practical knowledge of forestry. He had spent several seasons in the field as an examiner for the State Land Office and had been an official in charge of the U.S. Government's exhibit in Paris in 1900 for which he received a medal from the French government. He was in charge of the government's fish, game and forestry exhibit at the St. Louis Exposition of 1903, for which he received another medal from the U.S. Government.

He was one of the best liked men in Helena. On the termination of his second term as State Forester, he was elected as a Commissioner of the City of Helena. John died in Long Beach, CA in 1942 at the age of 82.

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