Location: Lufkin, Texas
Website: Texas Museum
General Description: The Texas Forestry Museum in Lufkn covers the history of forestry in Texas. This includes the evolution of forest management, the growth of forest industry, and the future of forestry in Texas. Inside there are three wings. The Forest History Wing has exhibits about the evolution of tools and equipment in the logging and transportation of logs and the life of loggers. The Resource and Management Wing includes exhibits about fire lookout towers, fire control equipment, sawmill operations including the life of a sawmill doctor. The Paper Mill Room describes the papermaking process with special focus on Southland Mills, Inc. Outside are a number of exhibits that include planting, skidders, and fire fighting equipment, logging locomotive and tender, sawmill town depot, and an urban forest trail with signs highlighting tree species.
1) The Texas Forestry Museum provides a good overview of the history of forestry and forest industries in southeast Texas. As a forester myself, I found the information to be very similar to my experience in Alabama forestry. The history began as essentially a mining operation of timber harvesting that accelerated with the advent of the railroad. Practices have evolved into more sustainable practices that include tree planting and mechanized harvesting equipment. I appreciated actually seeing some of the historical logging equipment that I had never seen before. I especially liked the breakdown of a pulp and paper mill, which was both comprehensive and understandable to the general public.
2) The exhibits outside center around the logging locomotive and tender, which was great to see. They also have example of other field equipment including planters, skidders, and fireplows.
3) The short walk through an urban forest is nicely done, especially since they identified most of the tree species along with information about their uses.