The Escambia Experimental Forest
The U.S. Forest Service established research centers throughout the country in the early 20th century. Six of these were located within the native range of longleaf pine, including one at Brewton, AL. The Escambia was established near the Brewton unit of the East Gulf Coast Research Center, Southern Forest Experiment Station, on April 1, 1947, when the T.R. Miller Mill Company of Brewton, AL, represented by Tom Neal Sr., Ed Leigh McMillan, John Miller Sr., and John Richard Miller, provided land, at no cost, to the U.S. Forest Service through a 99-year lease. This 3,000-acre tract in southwest Alabama, with trees then averaging 35-45 years of age, was selected because it typified the low density, second-growth longleaf pine forests that then covered about 6.2 million acres in southern Alabama and northwestern Florida. The Escambia is centrally located in the longleaf pine belt and well situated for the study of the species.