The George Willis Pack Foundation and Professorship
In 1930 the George Willis Pack Forestry Foundation was established by a gift of $200,000 from Charles Lathrop Pack, of Lakewood, New Jersey. The foundation was named in honor of the donor's father, who was one of the early lumbermen in Michigan, and was given for "the promotion of practical forest land management in the broadest sense of the term." It was stipulated that an experienced forester, to be known as the George Willis Pack Professor of Forest Land Management, should devote his time chiefly to furthering the practice of forestry in the woods rather than in the classroom. In extending the gift to the Board of Regents, the donor stated that the "foundation is established in the University of Michigan on account of its prestige, its facilities for teaching the broad principles of all phases of practical forestry, and its experienced staff."
Since 1930 the foundation income has been supplemented by annual cash grants of from $3,500 to $6,000 from the Charles Lathrop Pack Forestry Trust. These generous gifts have provided funds for the extensive program carried on by the foundation.
In June, 1930, Willett F. Ramsdell, who had had wide experience in the problems Page 1116of forest land management in the United States Forest Service, was appointed to the foundation professorship. At the time of his appointment he was Assistant District Forester of the North Central and Lake States regions.
In accordance with provisions of the foundation, work has been stressed in three primary fields. First, there has been great progress in the development of the University forest and wild land properties, in northern Michigan. At the University Biological Station tract near Douglas Lake, approximately 3,000 acres are under intensive development as a demonstration forest and forestry research center. This work is conducted in co-operation with and according to plans worked out with the Director of the Biological Station, in order that forestry activities may supplement the primary objective of the Station. The University's Chase S. Osborn Preserve on Sugar Island is similarly the center of applied forestry research and practice. Work has also been done at Ringwood, in the Saginaw Valley. In this phase of the foundation program carried out during the summer periods, Professor Leigh J. Young has taken an active part.
The second major field of activity has been co-operation with and participation in the programs of the public forestry and conservation agencies active in Michigan and the Lake States regions. These programs had tremendous impetus during the depression years because they were among the more practical and popular of the so-called work-relief outlets. Through the foundation, the University played an active part in the Civilian Conservation Corps program in Michigan, aiding in the general programs of the State Department of Conservation, the United States Forest Service, and the Land Planning Section of the Resettlement Administration.
The third field of activity consisted of co-operative work with private timberland owners, operators, and companies, particularly the Northern Hemlock and Hardwood Manufacturers' Association. Co-operative studies have been made, special studies and reports on forest taxation prepared, and assistance given in furthering sound tax legislation.