I’ve written once before about the timber lands in Louisiana that came to the Institute as part of William Marsh Rice’s estate. This has proven to be an important part of Mr. Rice’s legacy: harvesting this timber provided the funds for the construction of our first buildings and the land has been carefully husbanded ever since.

I recently came across some nice images of the property, something I’d never seen before. Even better, they give us a look at the reforestation of part of this land that took place in the late 1940s and early 1950s. This first one is the boss, the manager and forester, Walter Barnes (and Mr. Barnes’s dog at right)

Reforestation Rice hQ Merryville LA Barnes

Another photo, taken in 1949, shows something of how the new trees were planted. It’s  labeled “tree planters, six feet apart, seedlings every eight feet” and it looks fairly bleak:

Reforestation 1949 tree planters 6 ft apart seedlings every 8 ft

Predictably, by 1955 things look better:

Reforestation 1955

I like these a lot. I’m a big fan of good stewardship.

Bonus: Looks like Willy had a big weekend.


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1 Response to Reforestation

  1. Bill Peebles '70 says:

    A pine forest can be harvested anywhere from 14 years (pulp wood) to 50 years (lumber) or anything in between. Any idea who manages the property now?

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