“smell the pine!”
Welcome to the Angelina National Forest, one of four National Forests in Texas. Located in the heart of east Texas, the 153,179-acre Angelina National Forest is located in Angelina, Nacogdoches, San Augustine and Jasper counties. The forest lies in the Neches River Basin and on the north and south shores of Sam Rayburn Reservoir, a 114,500-acre lake on the Angelina River formed by the construction of Sam Rayburn Dam in the early 1960's. The Angelina National Forest lies in the upper Gulf Coastal general plain province and the terrain is gently rolling. Longleaf pine is the predominant cover type in the southern portion, while loblolly and shortleaf pine are the dominant types in the rest of the forest. Summers in the Angelina National Forest are hot and humid and winters generally are short and mild. Average mid-summer temperatures in the forest range from the mid-80's to the mid-90's, with an average mid-winter temperature a mild 52 degrees. Rarely do temperatures in the forest drop to less than 10 degrees or rise above 110 degrees. The average annual rainfall is 46 inches. Man came to the area now known as the Angelina National Forest around 8,000 years ago. Archeological sites have been located as part of the U.S. Forest Service's cultural resource inventory in addition to those resources located and excavated prior to the construction of Lake Sam Rayburn Reservoir. These sites document the evidence of man's presence over the entire period since then. One of Angelina County's original settlers, John H. Graham, lies buried in a small cemetery overlooking the creek which bears his name in the southwestern part of the forest. His name and birthdate may still be seen on his grave marker. Of more recent setting is the old Aldridge Sawmill site near the terminus of a spur of the Sawmill Hiking Trail near the Neches River south of the Boykin Springs Recreation Area. Hand-poured concrete structures remain, rapidly deteriorating under the onslaught of vandalism and the advancing forest cover, and these stand as mute testimony to the aspirations and dreams of turn-of-the-century timber barons. In 1934, the Texas Legislature approved a resolution to urge federal purchase of land to create National Forests in Texas. In 1935, acquisition began on the Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, Angelina and Sabine National Forests. Early management efforts centered on timber inventory, planting trees and fire protection. Much of the land had begun to seed-in naturally, due mostly to the Texas Forest Service's fire protection efforts which had begun years earlier. The two agencies, the Texas Forest Service and the U.S. Forest Service, began a harmonious working relationship with the inception of the National Forests in Texas.
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Angelina National Forest
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