Features

Andrew Pickens Ranger District looking for Trailhead Ambassadors

The Andrew Pickens District is currently seeking Trailhead Ambassadors for the Fall Season! Formerly known as day-site hosts, Ambassadors have the opportunity to educate weekend visitors about their recreation site and stewardship of the Forest. For more information or to apply visit the link below.

https://www.volunteer.gov/s/volunteer-opportunity/a093d000000anppAAA/andrew-pickens-trailhead-ambassadors-daysite-hosts

Email Margaret.corley@usda.gov to express your interest in becoming a Trailhead Ambassador.

Volunteers Collect Trash Across Andrew Pickens in 2022 Spring Sweep

The Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests would like to thank South Carolina DNR, Chattooga River Ranger District and Andrew Pickens Recreation Staff, The Chattooga Conservancy, Rabun County Trout Unlimited, Nantahala Outdoor Center, Southeastern Expeditions, Chattooga Sounds Campground, and Wildwater for participating in the 2022 Spring Sweep on the Andrew Pickens Ranger District.

You can do your part to Leave No Trace by packing out everything you bring with you and picking up any trash you find while out in the forest.

A conservation plan for the people

The Blueprint, by the Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy, is helping to make collaborative conservation a reality across the South.

Perhaps no state uses the Blueprint as much, or as effectively, as South Carolina. Federal, state, regional, and municipal governments, as well as NGOs and universities across the Palmetto State, employ the mapping tool to make sound conservation decisions. The U.S. Forest Service, for example, uses the datasets to acquire the most compatible pieces of property in the Francis Marion and Sumter national forests. In Sumter, the Blueprint helps make a compelling case for land protection in the oft-overlooked Piedmont region. And it assisted the forests in strengthening grant proposals for Land and Water Conservation Fund dollars. More than $16 million has been awarded to acquire and protect 12,000 acres of forested land in South Carolina.

Governor proclaims March Prescribed Fire Awareness Month

Gov. Henry McMaster has proclaimed March 2022 Prescribed Fire Awareness Month in South Carolina.

A coalition of state, federal and non-governmental land management organizations under the umbrella of the South Carolina Prescribed Fire Council requested the proclamation to raise awareness of the essential role that fire plays in both the stewardship of our natural resources and the protection of lives and property.

Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests name new forest supervisor

Welcome, JaSal Morris, a former alumnus of the Francis Marion & Sumter National Forests (FMS), returns to South Carolina as the “new” Forest Supervisor.  Morris follows Forest Supervisor Rick Lint, promoted in September 2021, to Deputy Regional Forester of Natural Resources out of Atlanta.  Morris served previously as the forests’ Administrative Officer.  Please read the news release and learn more of where Morris’ career took him before returning to the FMS.

Carolina Gopher Frog Conservation

From the pond to the hatchery tanks and back to the pond. In simple terms, this describes the Carolina Gopher Frog head-start program on the Francis Marion National Forest. But there is far more to it than that.

Volunteers clean up Boggy Head Rifle Range

Volunteers cleaned up over 80 bags of trash from Boggy Head Rifle Range with partnership from Francis Marion National Forest and SCDNR.

Regional Grants Calendar available for the public and partners to find funding

The Southern Region of the USDA Forest Service has developed a Regional Grants Calendar, which will provide the public and partners access to funding opportunities they might otherwise not be able to access from online searches.

Rick Lint Named Southern Region Deputy Regional Forester for Natural Resources

Though it is hard to say goodbye to our Forest Supervisor Rick Lint, who has led the land management of national forest lands in South Carolina for 8 ½ years, we are pleased he will continue his leadership with the USDA Forest Service Southern Regional Office. We wish you the best, Rick!

In the interim, Rhea Whalen, Francis Marion & Sumter National Forest Headquarters’ Staff Officer of Fire, Lands & Planning and former Francis Marion District Ranger, will serve as acting Forest Supervisor when the search for Rick's replacement begins. Congratulations Rhea!

Forest Service Employee Recognized Nationally

The Francis Marion National Forest is pleased to announce that one of its employees has been recognized nationally as a young leader who is ‘making a difference in conservation.’

Allison Williams, an information assistant on the Francis Marion National Forest since 2018, was recently named among the top 10 young leaders under 40 in the United States who are making a difference in natural resource conservation and education by the National Parks and Conservation Association. As part of her duties on the National Forest, Allison conducts community outreach and volunteer coordination to connect people of all ages and backgrounds to the land in the greater Charleston, South Carolina, area.

Francis Marion fishing ponds offer family fun and outdoor adventure

Looking for some simple outdoor fun for your family? Did you know that the Forest Service actively manages more than a dozen freshwater fishing ponds on the Francis Marion National Forest near Charleston?

The ponds, which vary in size from a half acre up to 8 acres, are all easily accessible from Forest Service roads for fishing from the bank. The ponds also provide an excellent opportunity for anglers with small boats—including kayaks and canoes—to access pristine freshwaters surrounded by undeveloped forest.

Partnership Restores Red-cockaded Woodpeckers to Sumter National Forest

Partners help restore Red-cockaded Woodpeckers to Sumter National Forest.

Kids Fishing Derby at Burrell’s Ford brings local community together

More than 80 kids turned out for a great morning of fishing and fun on the Chattooga River on Saturday for the annual Kids Fishing Derby at Burrell’s Ford Campground on the Andrew Pickens Ranger District! 🎣🎣

Forest Service staff and volunteers helped kids fish, and there were snacks and prizes! Forest Service Law Enforcement Officers helped unhook fish for the kids and let them sit in the driver’s seat of a patrol vehicle to activate the lights and sirens! 🚓

Thank you to everyone who helped support this great local event in the South Carolina mountains! Sponsored by Trout Unlimited, Chattooga River Fly Shop, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service - Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests.