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.
The first 50 years of the Clemson Experimental Forest - Robert T. Sorrells, 1984
"In the Face of Change" Interpretive Prospectus... Clemson Experimental Forest - Lynn R. Beeson 1977
History of Forestry- Allen Dunn
A Glimpse into the Past - Ben Match 2013
Clemson Land Utilization Project - USDA 1938
The Land Utilization Program 1934 to 1964 Origin, Development and Present Status, USDA 1965
Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act Land Conservation and Utilization Title 7 Chapter 33 Sec. 1010
Deeds USA to Clemson College: Pickens County DB 7W, p-124, Anderson DB 9Q, p-469 & Oconee County DB 6X, p-209.
Issaqueena Lookout Tower Buildings Restoration Report - L. D. Reamer, 2011
The Clemson Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp - L. D. Reamer, 2012
CEF Cultural and Historic Inventory - K. Cox, John Garton, Will Hiott, Ben Sill March 2013
The Clemson University Outdoor Laboratory is located five miles from the university campus on a beautiful peninsula on Lake Hartwell. In the midst of the 17,000 acre Clemson forest located only 45 minutes west of Greenville, SC, the Outdoor Laboratory provides meeting and programming possibilities that can be found in few environments. Excellent accommodations for conferences, workshops, retreats and other programs are available.