Sumter National Forest
|Sumter National Forest|
IUCN category VI (protected area with sustainable use of natural resources)
|Location||South Carolina, USA|
|Nearest city||Clinton, SC|
|Area||370,901 acres (1,500.98 km2)|
|Established||July 13, 1936|
|Governing body||U.S. Forest Service|
The Sumter National Forest is one of two forests in South Carolina that are managed together by the United States Forest Service, the other being the Francis Marion National Forest. The Sumter National Forest consists of 370,442 acres (1,499.13 km2) which are divided into several non-contiguous sections in western South Carolina. Overall, in descending order of land area the forest is located in parts of Oconee, Union, Newberry, McCormick, Edgefield, Abbeville, Laurens, Chester, Fairfield, Greenwood, and Saluda counties. Forest headquarters of both South Carolina forests are located together in the state's capital city of Columbia.
In July, 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed the Sumter a separate National Forest. The Sumter is named for Thomas Sumter, a leader of patriot regular and military forces in the South Carolina piedmont during the American Revolution and war hero. The lands that became the Sumter were predominantly eroding old farm fields and gullies or extensively logged forests. Once the lands became part of the Sumter, the process of controlling soil erosion, regulating the flow of streams and the production of timber began. Over time, the land has been slowly restored and has become productive again.
Andrew Pickens Ranger District
The Andrew Pickens Ranger District is situated in the mountains of northwest South Carolina in Oconee County. Local place names and streams attest the Cherokee Indian heritage of the area, including the Chattooga, Chauga, Cheohee, Tugaloo, Toxaway, Keowee, Oconee, Tamassee, and Jocassee rivers or creeks. The Ranger District is named for Andrew Pickens, commander of South Carolina rebel militia during the American Revolution. The ranger district offices are located near Mountain Rest.
Enoree Ranger District
The ranger district offices are located in Whitmire, just between Union and Newberry. Interstate 26 runs along the southwest side of the district. US Hwy. 176 and SC Hwy. 72 crisscross the district.
Long Cane Ranger District
The Long Cane Ranger District of the Sumter National Forest is located in western South Carolina, along the Georgia border. It is spread around the towns of Greenwood, Abbeville, McCormick and Edgefield. The ranger district offices are located in Edgefield.
The Sumter National Forest includes approximately 2,859 acres (11.57 km2) of the Ellicott Rock Wilderness, the only wilderness to straddle three states (South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina). The Sumter also has, as its western border, the Chattooga River, a Wild and Scenic River. The Andrew Pickens District is also home to 15 waterfalls with drops ranging from 12 ft (4 m) to 75 ft (23 m).
Sumter national Forest offers a wide variety of activities such as hiking, backpacking, canoeing, horse back riding, mountain biking, motorcycle and ATV riding, target shooting, camping and fishing.
- "Land Areas of the National Forest System" (PDF). U.S. Forest Service. January 2012. Retrieved June 30, 2012.
- "The National Forests of the United States" (PDF). ForestHistory.org. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
- Olson, D. M, E. Dinerstein et al. (2001). "Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Life on Earth". BioScience 51 (11): 933–938. doi:10.1641/0006-3568(2001)051[0933:TEOTWA]2.0.CO;2.
- Official Site of the Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests
- Map of the Andrew Pickens Ranger District