Savenac Historic USFS Nursery - Haugan
The rings of a tree tell a story. By counting and observing these rings you can determine its age, its health and the natural disasters it has survived. In northwest Montana, at the historic Savenac Nursery, visitors can learn the story of how millions of trees changed the future of our national forests. Established in 1907, Savenac was once one of the largest U.S. Forest Service tree nurseries in the United States, producing 12 million seedlings annually to reforest national forests throughout the country.
Although the nursery is no longer used to produce seedlings, the site remains intact and retains its original flavor. It was designated a National Historic Site in July 2000. Today, visitors can wander along interpretive trails through forests that were once seed beds, explore an arboretum featuring gifted trees such as the Japanese larch or just have a lazy picnic under Montana's blue sky. One attraction on the trail is a national memorial to firefighters who died in the historic 1910 forest fire. The fire also consumed the fledgling nursery. Walk under the 78 spruce trees planted as a living memorial to these brave souls.
Other points of interest at the site include historical photos, displays with period artifacts such as planting equipment and exhibits that tell the story of the Civilian Conservation Corp at the nursery in the 1930s.
The Savenac Nursery is located off Interstate 90 in Haugan. The visitor center is open daily.