When the Center opened in 1980, much of the existing forest had been cut through with limited amounts of merchantable timber remaining. Fire had been excluded from the property and the understory was dense with very little sunlight reaching the ground. One of the first decisions made was to reintroduce prescribed fire to much of the property. At the same time, timber management became a priority, as Mr. Solon’s directive was for the Center to be operationally self-sufficient. To meet this goal, a management direction was undertaken to promote high value stands of longleaf, slash and loblolly. While much of the upland focus is in pine management, areas of bottom and upland hardwood were retained to provide a diversity of habitats for plants, animals and visitors. Today, of the 5350 total acres in the Center, approximately 3500 acres make up our working forest, 260 is in agriculture leases, and the remainder is in a variety of set-aside areas.