UPDATE 4/17/2020

    State forests to reopen after temporary closure amid coronavirus pandemic. 

    Governor Greg Abbott announced, Friday, that all state parks will be re-opened on Monday, April 20, 2020. Visitors are required to wear face coverings, maintain social distance and cannot be in groups larger than five. With this direction, all state forests also will be re-opened at this same time.  Visitors must follow state and local orders related to the pandemic and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Texas Department of State Health Services.  

    You may read the full article here



    UPDATE 4/7/2020

    As the State of Texas responds to COVID-19, Texas state forests and arboretums will be temporarily closed starting today, April 7, 2020, at 5 p.m. This closing follows Governor Greg Abbott’s mandate to Texas state parks and historical sites to close as part of the state’s efforts to strengthen social distancing practices and prevent gatherings of large groups of people.

    The following state forests and arboretums are affected:  W. Goodrich Jones State Forest in Montgomery County, I.D. Fairchild State Forest in Cherokee County, E.O. Siecke State Forest in Newton County, John Henry Kirby Memorial State Forest Tyler County, Masterson State Forest in Jasper County, Ruth Bowling Nichols Arboretum in Cherokee County, and the Olive Scott Petty Arboretum in Hardin County.

    Sites will reopen as the governor directs parks and historical sites to reopen.

    For future news about reopening you may follow the Texas A&M Forest Service Facebook page @texasforestservice, Twitter page @TXForestService and website

    Read the full news release from the Office of the Governor at



     UPDATE 3/20/2020

    At this time, our state forests remain open to the public daily from dawn until dusk. However, this is subject to change. We will continue to adhere to local, state and federal COVID-19 (Coronavirus) guidelines. Keeping Texans safe is always our top priority. 

    Visitors must be especially considerate of other guests during this time. 

    • If you visit the forest, practice social distancing. 
    • No large groups (defined as 10 or more people). 
    • Keep at least six feet of space from other visitors. 
    • If the forest is too crowded to practice social distancing, do not enter. 
    • If you feel sick, stay home. 


    While our offices are closed to the public, you can reach Texas A&M Forest Service staff during normal business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Visit for more information. 

    This situation is evolving rapidly. Check back often for the most up-to-date information.



    As state agencies prepare for Coronavirus, Texas A&M Forest Service is working to ensure the safety of and service to the people of Texas.

    We are adjusting work schedules and locations for our employees based on essential duties, wildfire risk and risk of Coronavirus contact and spread.

    To ensure continuity of government, and wildfire readiness, we are monitoring weather, fuels, probability of wildfire activity and maintaining firefighting crews to respond in those areas with potential risk.

    We are also granting alternate work locations for many of our employees to work at home and at other locations. Agency leadership is also monitoring the prevent, preparation and response actions of the State of Texas and the Texas A&M University System, and will make business operations decisions accordingly.

    “The safety of all of our employees is paramount to us,” said Tom Boggus, State Foresters and Director of Texas A&M Forest Service. “It is our people who make this agency great, and who help conserve forests and natural resources, protect lives and property, and serve the citizens of this great state.”