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Southern Forest Heritage Museum Exhibit - Henry Hardtner Office
Southern Forest Heritage Museum Exhibit - Henry Hardtner
Southern Forest Heritage Museum Exhibit - Henry Hardtner Office

Exhibit - Henry Hardtner

How did Henry E. Hardtner, son of a German immigrant who settled in Pineville, LA, with a $1,000 investment in a small sawmill in 1896, became known as the “father of forestry in the South?” This is the story of a lumberman who became convinced that another crop of trees could be grown in about 60 years. Since the trees being harvested were over 200 years old, other lumbermen ridiculed him. Hardtner persisted, however, and initiated some basic stand management practices on his own land. His spent a great deal of time studying reforestation and conservation and was responsible for Louisiana passing legislation that encouraged the practice of forestry. Hardtner became the leading advocate for reforestation. His forest land at Urania became the mecca for those interested in learning of the potential of reforestation. His efforts convinced the Great Southern Lumber Company, the largest sawmill in the world, to establish a reforestation effort for their lands. Thus, began an emphasis on developing technology to reforest cutover pine forest lands of the South.