Correspondence begins between Charles Lathrop Pack (via his son Captain Arthur Newton Pack) and the University of Washington College of Forestry's Dean Hugo Winkenwerder to establish a "show window of forestry." This demonstration forest would provide a place where the public and forest owners could learn about scientific forest management practices. The forest would also serve as a field location for College of Forestry (now School of Environmental and Forest Sciences) students to learn forestry field skills, and as a site to conduct forest related research.
UW Board of Regents purchases 334 acres of land from Northern Pacific Railroad and the Cascade Timber Corporation along the Mount Rainier Highway. This tract had already been primarily cut over. Elmer Rapraeger hired as the first Resident Manager. Forest is expanded for maximum road and railroad frontage. Road construction on the forest begins under the direction of Professor Burt P. Kirkland.
Carl Ferry replaces Elmer Rapraeger as Resident Manager. Trails and cabins are built. Construction begins on a shingle and saw mill. A forest nursery is developed growing Douglas-fir, western red-cedar, Port Orford cedar, ponderosa pine and western hemlock.
Research projects mark the beginning of field research at Pack. The following studies would be the first at the forest:
Eddy Tree Breeding Experiments -- Stock supplied by Eddy Tree Breeding Institute. Forty-five different species of native and exotic pines planted to test survival and growth of various species and their adaptability to the western Washington climate (many of the species proved unsuitable).
Ponderosa Pine Race Study --(Cooperative with the Pacific Northwest Forest Experiment Station) Ponderosa pine seed was collected from various Pacific Northwest forests, germinated in the Wind River Nursery, then transplanted to Pack Forest. (Overall, Pack Forest plantings outranked similar plantings on other northwest sites.)
Experimental Plantings --Six one-acre plots were planted each with a different species (western red-cedar, Port Orford cedar, oriental cedar, redwood, Japanese red pine and Douglas-fir) to test their growth in this region, and their potential use as timber species.
Academic classwork begins; 32 sophomores spend summer quarter at Pack Forest. Duane Covington replaces Carl Ferry as Resident Manager. A sitka spruce plantation is established at the 1.75-mile post on Lathrop Drive. Fire lookout tower is built (72 feet high) on High Point, the highest point on the forest at 2,035 feet; these posts are manned by staff from the Washington State Division of Forestry. By the end of the year, the Pack Forestry Trust donates a total of $100,000 toward the purchase of land and the development of the Charles Lathrop Pack Demonstration Forest.
Pack Forest's total land base grows to 2,104 acres. Construction finishes on shingle and sawmill and provides lumber and shingles for Pack Forest buildings and UW campus buildings. With the Great Depression in full swing, President Franklin D. Roosevelt initiates the Civilian Conservation Corps work relief program; Pack Forest becomes "C.C.C. Pack Forest Camp S223." C.C.C. workers build the reservoir dam at a junction between two branches of 27 Creek (an earth-filled cribbed type with a 2.5 million gallon capacity and creosoted wooden pipes to convey water to points of use), fell snags, build roads, trails, Pack Hall, and start an arboretum with stock form the College of Forestry nursery on campus.
The sawmill becomes part of the demonstration equipment, demonstrating the production of boards, shingles, and railroad ties. The allowable cut at Pack Forest grows to 325,000 board feet/year enabling the forest to begin contributing financially to its own maintenance.
The Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.), provides workers to build student and instructor residence cabins and houses, dining hall, a classroom, the garage and machine shop, a warehouse, shower house, and an insectary. The men cut, transport, and mill all the lumber used in their building projects.
Charles Lathrop Pack passes away. By 1938, 6,000 visitors are recorded in the Gatehouse guest register. The entomological station adjoining the education buildings is completed. The station includes an insectary and field laboratory of the Forest Insect Station in Portland (branch office of the US Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine). Other partnerships entered into at this point by Pack Forest include: assembling meteorological data for the US Weather Bureau and growing pharmaceutical plants for the UW College of Pharmacy.
At this stage, Pack's forest age classes are as such: Brushland (with Douglas-fir 0-1- years old) = 45%; Douglas-fir 11-20 years old = 10%; Douglas-fir 21-30 years old = 3%; Douglas-fir 31-40 years old = 1%; Douglas-fir 130 years old = 34%; Douglas-fir old growth = 2%; Mixed conifers and hardwoods = 3%; Administrative sites = 2%. Total timber volume estimate = 25 million board feet. Also by this time, Pack Forest has built eight miles of graveled roads, 2 miles of unsurfaced roads, and 3.5 miles of trails.
Gatehouse staffing program is discontinued due to WWII. Original combination shingle/sawmill burns down. Fertilizer trials begin. Studies on soil amendment begin.
Resident Manager Duane Covington dies in a logging accident on Pack Forest when a logging boom is accidentally dropped on him. November freeze damages manyof the trees on the forest. A new sawmill and mill pond are constructed as a money-making venture, but the mill never operates for more than three weeks at a time. Carl Hupman is named the new Resident Manager.
Forest age classes are at this point: Douglas-fir 0-20 years old = 45%; Douglas-fir 21-50 years old = 15%; Douglas-fir 140 years old = 35%; Douglas-fir old growth, mixed conifers and hardwoods, and administrative sites = 5%.
The UW College of Forest Resources outlines a long range expansion goal to bring the size of Pack Forest to "natural boundaries" (primarily rivers and highways) encompassing 4,600 acres.
Sawmill closes. The equipment is auctioned, and the building converted to a warehouse. Legislative cutbacks virtually eliminate services and programming at Pack Forest. The summer academic field study program is reinstated. Biosolids ("sludge") research on land application begin to study the effects of using reclaimed solid waste from wastewater treatment plants as a source of nitrogen fertilizer. Carl Hupman retires; Steve Archie replaces him as Forest Lands Manager. The position is now administered from the main UW campus. Land base now 2,880 acres as a result of minor land acquisitions (including 607-acre "Flying M Ranch," or Murphy's Ranch.
Steve Archie is re-assigned as College Administrator. Stan Humann is hired as the new College Lands Manager, residing at Pack Forest. New classrooms, dormitories, restrooms, and water and sewer systems are built; large stimulus had been provided by research funding. By 1982, three additional acquisitions are made, including 1,046 acres from the Weyerhaeuser Company. The total size of Pack Forest is now 4,073 acres. Pack Forest begins collecting and testing weekly rainwater samples as part of the National Atmospheric Deposition Program. A permanent weather station is installed and monitored by Pack Forest.
Additional land purchases include: Jameson (4 acres), Novelli (140 acres), La Grande Motel Unit (10 acres), Mutual Materials (120 acres). The Pack Forest land base now grows to 4,374 acres. The forest is considered "fully developed" with forty miles of permanent roads and eight miles of developed and maintained trails, consisting of a combined 15 miles of self guided and interpretive hikes and walks.
Where the River Meets the Forest An Educator's Guide to the University of Washington's Pack Experimental Forest is developed in cooperation with the Washington Forest Protection Association (WFPA), the Washington State Department of Ecology , the Nisqually River Education Project, and Pack Forest. This guide, along with teacher workshops at Pack Forest, is an interdisciplinary guide for teachers, which can be adapted to a variety of grade levels. It provides opportunities to develop an understanding of the culture, economy, natural history, and land use of the area and their importance in our society.
Educational outreach becomes an important focus at Pack Forest. Interpretive programs and education attracts 1,845 visitors in 1994, 1,632 in 1996, 1,560 in 1997, and 2,190 in 1998. These numbers include school children, non-CFR college students, and the general public. The conference center begins expanding its role, with 2,625 visitors in 1997, 2,170 in 1998 and 2,168 in 1999. Such diverse groups as state and federal agencies, colleges and universities, community and not-for-profit groups have used the conference center facilities for day, week, and month-long stays.
Pack Forest Landscape Management Plan is drafted in cooperation with the Silviculture Laboratory utilizing the LMS computer software. The College Lands Planning Committee recommends adoption and is approved by Dean Bruce Bare. Stanley Humann retires as College Lands Manager. John Calhoun is named Interim Director in 2003. The Center for Sustainable Forestry at Pack Forest is created. Pack Forest becomes third-party certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® program. Forest operations begin to implement the Pack Forest SFI® program in June 2004. Spring Quarter Field Studies end at Pack Forest.
Dr. Gregory Ettl is named Director of the Center for Sustainable Forestry at Pack Forest.
The College of Forest Resources joins the College of the Environment as the School of Forest Resources.