In 1947, a forester, Norbert Goebel, was hired to oversee management of the land. Pine and hardwood trees were planted, terraces and bridges were built, and hiking trails were established. The land was becoming a forest again. Wildlife — with the help of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources — was coming back, and streams were running clear again.
In 1954, the government deeded ownership of the 30,000-acre property, to the University, with certain restrictions — the land would be used forever for public purposes such as conservation, education and recreation. It could not be commercially developed. If these restrictions were violated, the land would revert to the federal government.
The forestlands subsequently became the Clemson Experimental Forest, offering a wealth of recreational opportunities to both students and the community at large, including biking, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, hunting, swimming and bird watching.
One of the most important aspects of the forest is its convenient location, only minutes away from campus. Classes representing a broad range of departments use the forest as an outdoor classroom and laboratory. Researchers use it for studies ranging from environmental science, forest management, forest ecology, wildlife biology and management, hydrology, and soils. Public service activities can utilize both the campus and forest with ease.
The Experimental Forest is not only an invaluable resource for education and research but also a campus treasure, one that offers enjoyment for every member of the Clemson community.