A Forest Returns

The Success Story of Ohio's Only National Forest
As Told by Ora E. Anderson

   Ora Anderson was a journalist living in Southeastern Ohio during the Great Depression. In this oral history, he recalls the environmental and social conditions that led to the establishment of the Wayne National Forest and our evolving relationship with the land. Along with historical photographs and emotionally evocative music by Bruce Dalzell, Ora Anderson's first-hand account gives life to a significant chapter of American history with clarity, hope, and a uniquely Appalachian perspective.

(30 minute DVD $20.00
To order




View a clip on YouTube

Guide for Teachers



"Given the economic and environmental crises we face today, A Forest Returns reminds us that we have been down this road before and, further, that visionary leadership and hard work have the potential to see us through again."
Geoff Buckley, Associate Professor of Geography, Ohio University 
[full review]

"A superb portrayal of environmental change in Southeastern Ohio that uses a masterful combination of techniques."
- Richard Francaviglia, author Hard Places: Reading the Landscape of America's Historic Mining Districts [full review]

"Skillfully blending Anderson’s eyewitness account with historical material and contemporary scenes, producer Jean Andrews has captured an important slice of Ohio’s New Deal experience." 
Pat Williamsen, Ohio Humanities Council
[full review]

"I am sure that anyone who loves the vast Appalachian forest would love to see this film, especially the people who manage the many other forests created by the CCC during that era."
Steve Fesenmaier, West Virginia’s Graffiti Magazine [full review]

"Coal was the biggest story of the 19th Century in the region. What we never realized is that the return of the forest was probably the biggest story of the 20th Century."
     - John Winnenberg, Little Cities of Black Diamonds Council
[full review]

"This video is a wonderful tribute to one of the great programs of the much maligned New Deal era. It also allows the remarkably articulate Ora Anderson, who personally planted 30,000 trees, to shine as a storyteller."
Loyal Jones, Former director of the Berea College Appalachian Center [full review]

"This film really hit home for us in southwest Virginia. The mountains here were naked of all trees 60-100 years ago."
– Diana Withen, President, The Clinch Coalition, Wise VA [full review]