One of Texas' oldest conservation organizations. W. Goodrich Jones (1860-1950), who came to Temple as a banker in 1888, felt need for trees in this prairie town. He led planting drives in Temple, and in 1889 saw to establishment of a statewide Arbor Day.
Asked by the chief U.S. forester to survey Texas forest resources, Jones later enlisted aid of friends. On Nov. 1, 1914, he and about 20 associates met in the Carnegie library, then adjacent to the Temple public square, and organized the Texas Forestry Association. This body's original aim, to gain public support for a state department of forestry, was accomplished within a year. The department was created by law in 1915; it was later retitled "Texas Forest Service".
The Texas Forestry Association has since aided in the restoration of 11,500,000 acres of commercial forests—lifeblood of a large segment of the Texas economy. Over 2,000 woodland owners, tree farmers, industrialists, professional foresters, and concerned citizens are TFA members. Under such leaders as Jones, who served as president in 1914-21, the TFA has been the voice of forestry in Texas, urging expansion, protection, proper management, and wise use of all forests and related resources.