The Crossett Story: The Beginning of Forestry in Southern Arkansas and Northern Louisiana


This brief history describes some of the more important forestry and related happenings in southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana between 1930 and 1955. This was the period in which clearcutting of the virgin pine timber came to a crashing halt-because there was no more. It also marked the start of managing the second-growth stands at a time when no one knew how or why they should be managed. These stands, which had grown up in spite of no protection or management, were generally understocked and widely variable in age classes. To confound the problem, it was a universal belief that lumber from second-growth trees was practically worthless. The account is largely limited to the shortleaf-loblolly pine-upland hardwood forests of southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana because the writer of these notes grew up with (in a professional sense) and knew this area intimately. For the same reasons, the story is centered on Crossett, Arkansas, and on holdings of the Crossett Lumber Company. Many other areas and forest ownerships have equally interesting histories, but foresters and managers in the Crossett area were leaders in the changeover from virgin to second-growth timber management and operation in the South. A great many "firsts" were hammered out here. And for 40 years, people from around the country-and the world-came to Crossett to see the far-reaching developments. They learned how they might put the same practices in use on their own areas and forests.

  • Citation: Reynolds, R.R. 1980. The Crossett Story: The Beginning of Forestry in Southern Arkansas and Northern Louisiana. Gen. Tech. Rep. SO-32. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Dept of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station. 40 p.

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