We had eleven hikers for the field trip to the historical E. O. Siecke State Forest on May 25th. Originally called State Forest #1, the original 1,722 acres were acquired in 1924 and much of the property was cut over and severely burned. Reforestation began immediately. An additional adjacent 100-acre plot was purchased in 1946 for tree improvement and silviculture (the growing and cultivation of trees) research.
In 1926, the first fire lookout tower in Texas was constructed by TFS personnel; the first pine seedling nursery in the state was established; the agency began a silvicultural research program; and the first operational planting of slash pine was also conducted. The tower and remnants of the first slash pine plantation exist today.
We walked the trail that Forester Ben Plunkett has designated to be a future nature trail for public use. We have been asked to scout the area and design informational trail signs to educate visitors about the sights that they are encountering along the trail. A convergence of ecosystems, the trail, rich in flora and fauna, incorporates hard-wood bottomland, piney wood savannahs, and sundew bogs.
It will be an awesome location for family outings. It’s an honor to be a part of this plan and to become a segment in the impressive history of E. O. Siecke State Forest.