The 1,725-acre W. Goodrich Jones State Forest is a mile west of Interstate Highway 45 along Farm Road 1488 in Montgomery County, just south of Conroe. Texas bought the land in 1926, and the forest was named for W. Goodrich Jones, founder of the Texas Forestry Association. The forest is stocked primarily with native loblolly pine. Other native species include shortleaf pine and various hardwoods. The oldest pine trees in the forest are about 100 years old; the average age is about fifty years. W. Goodrich Jones State Forest is one of two state forests with a significant population of the endangered red cockaded woodpecker. The Texas Forest Service actively works to protect and enhance the species's recovery. Part of guarding the bird's habitat involves the periodic burning of certain portions of the forest in order to protect the birds from such predators as flying squirrels, which gain better access to nests if there is a dense hardwood "midstory" present under the pines. Since its acquisition, the Jones forest has been designated by the Texas Forest Service as a "demonstration forest," thereby dedicating certain areas of the land to testing and researching various forest management techniques, forest genetics, and forest product utilization. Since 1990 areas have been maintained to demonstrate ways to protect water from pollution during forestry operations. The Texas Forest Service maintains the Sonar District and Area Five headquarters at the north end of the forest. While the forest is not actively managed for recreation, it is open to the public as a day-use area for picnicking, bird watching, hiking, and nature study. The Sweetleaf Nature Trail is in the northwest corner of the forest.
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David Lane Chapman, An Administrative History of the Texas Forest Service, 1915–1975 (Ph.D. dissertation, Texas A&M University, 1981). Texas Almanac, 1994–95.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“W. Goodrich Jones State Forest,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed July 02, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
January 1, 1996