History of the Clemson Experimental Forest


The Clemson Experimental Forest is a product of the “Clemson Community Conservation Project” initiated by Dr. George H. Aull, a Clemson College agricultural economist. The Project was funded by the Roosevelt Administration’s New Deal programs, principally the Bankhead - Jones Farm Tenant Act. Nearly 30,000 acres of worn out farmlands around Clemson College were purchased under the project.
 
Land reclamation and conservation began primarily with the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1934. Depleted row-crop farm lands were planted with trees, eroded gullies were stabilized, Lake Issaqueena was built, fire towers and recreation facilities were constructed.  
 
After a period of neglect during the war years, Clemson College began supervision of the lands in 1939 under an agreement with the Federal Government. In 1946 a forester, Norbert Goebel, was hired to manage the forestlands. Silvicultural practices (planting, thinning and harvests) to improve the timber production, wildlife habitat and water quality were initiated. In 1954, the project was deeded to Clemson College, thanks to the efforts of U. S. Senators Charlie Daniel, Strom Thurmond, State Senator Edgar Brown and Dr. George H. Aull.
 
In the late 1950s, the Army Corps of Engineers began development of Lake Hartwell which would inundate some 8000 acres of the Forest. Today the Forest consists of 17,500 acres dedicated to natural resource conservation, education, research and the land grant mission of Clemson University.