Milford Experimental Forest at Grey Towers

The 1,400-acre Milford Experimental Forest (MEF) is a joint project of the US Forest Service at Grey Towers, the Pinchot Institute for Conservation, the Grey Towers Heritage Association, and the Pinchot family.


In 1901, James Pinchot established the Milford Experimental Forest to study methods to regenerate new forests decimated by the widespread deforestation of the 1800’s. Research at MEF has focused on the silvics and regeneration of different tree species as well as establishing red and white pine plantations.


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U.S. Forest Service site for Milford EF at Grey Towers

History meets Technology at the Milford Experimental Forest

Twenty-first century technology and forest history have met at the Milford Experimental Forest in northeast Pennsylvania with the installation of Smart Forests instruments in the forest where Gifford Pinchot gained his inspiration and vision for forestry in America more than a century ago.

  Milford Grey Towers

A conservation easement on the Pinchot lands, located adjacent to Grey Towers National Historic Site, a US Forest Service conservation and leadership center, provides the opportunity for education, research and public access. Pinchot’s descendants have envisioned using the lands to continue research and education for private forest landowners. As one of the nation’s first experimental forests, the Milford Experimental Forest is the site of such ongoing research on deer management and re-introduction of the American Chestnut, and now the Smart Forests data collection will launch that research into the future.

Two data monitoring sites are located within the Forest. At one site, instruments record air temperature, precipitation, solar radiation, wind speed and direction, and soil climate data, including volumetric water content, soil temperature, and electrical conductivity. Instruments at the second site measures streamflow, water temperature, and electrical conductivity.

The Milford Experimental Forest is the only privately owned site in the US Forest Service Smart Forests network. Private forest landowners will gain from the enhanced education programs offered at Grey Towers by the US Forest Service and numerous partners.