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  • STATE FORESTS AND ARBORETUMS: JOHN HENRY KIRBY MEMORIAL STATE FOREST

    John Henry Kirby Memorial State Forest–630 Acres

    In 1929, TFS received a gift of 630 acres of forestland from lumber baron John Henry Kirby. Initially known as State Forest #4, the deed for the property stipulates a portion of revenues from the tract must be donated to the Former Student Association of Texas A&M University, for student loan purposes.

    The forest resources of the property were heavily cutover prior to acquisition. Longleaf pine was the dominant species, with loblolly pine found along stream courses. Reforestation activities by TFS commenced immediately following the land transaction. Due to superior growth characteristics, non-native slash pine was the species of choice for much of the restoration.

    In the 1930s, Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees planted trees, conducted timber stand improvement and constructed a residence, roads, fire breaks and bridges. A fire lookout tower was also erected on the site.

    Silvicultural research and demonstration included prescribed burning for the control of brown spot needle blight in longleaf pine, control of competing brush competition and timber thinning. Since 1949, over $730,000 has been generated for the Former Student Association student loan program.

    Educational Opportunities

    Forest resource education and nature study tours for schools and other civic groups are available by appointment only. No restroom facilities are available on this site.
    No hunting is allowed on Kirby State Forest except for a weekend youth hunt conducted in cooperation with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

    Recreational Opportunities

    Hiking
    Bird watching
    Wildlife viewing

    Special Attractions

    Forest management demonstration sites
    John Henry Kirby historical marker
    Historical fire tower (not available for public use)
    Pitcher plant bog

    Open

    The forest is open year-round during daylight hours, to foot traffic only. Contact the district office prior to entry. Special arrangements are needed for vehicle access. Texas state forests are game sanctuaries with no firearms or hunting permitted.

    Information

    Olive District Office
    Hwy 69 just north of Kountze
    Monday–Friday
    8 a.m.–5 p.m.
    409-246-2484

     

    Map

    Trail map


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