John Henry Kirby Memorial State Forest–600 Acres
In 1929, TFS received a gift of 600 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.
Forest resource education and nature study tours are available by appointment.
Forest management demonstration sites
Small picnic area
John Henry Kirby Monument
Historical Fire Tower
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.
Olive District Office
Hwy 69 just north of Kountze
8 a.m.–5 p.m.
No restroom facilities are available on this state forest.