Yes, Virginia, the Navy has foresters

Naval Support Activity Crane is best known as the place the USN does most of their munitions research, storage and manufacturing and is the U.S. navy’s third-largest physical base in size.

While the Crane Army Ammunition Activity (CAAA), Glendora Lake Hydro-Acoustic Test Facility (they have a neat improvised laser range there) and the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane (NSWC), employ something like 5,000-6,000 DoD civilian and contractor personnel depending on what’s going on there at any given time, and help support the state’s Camp Atterbury and the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, the actual uniformed presence there is small.

What they do have is more than 50,000 acres of forest have been sustainably managed by dedicated foresters for more than six decades and includes the ceremonial “Constitution Grove” which helps keep the Navy’s oldest commissioned warship in fighting trim.

Navy foresters Trent Osmon and Rhett Steele from Naval Facilities Engineering Command Midwest’s Public Works Department Crane, Production Manager Robert Murphy from the Charlestown Navy Yard, and Cmdr. James Stewart, commanding officer of Naval Support Activity Crane, assess a white oak tree set aside for future use in repairing USS Constitution. (U.S. Navy photo by Bill Couch/Released)

Navy foresters Trent Osmon and Rhett Steele from Naval Facilities Engineering Command Midwest’s Public Works Department Crane, Production Manager Robert Murphy from the Charlestown Navy Yard, and Cmdr. James Stewart, commanding officer of Naval Support Activity Crane, assess a white oak tree set aside for future use in repairing USS Constitution. (U.S. Navy photo by Bill Couch/Released)

From the NHHC:

And while the landscape and available forests surrounding the Boston area has diminished, the Navy is still able to provide much of the material for this world’s-oldest commissioned warship still afloat. The forests of NSA Crane host century-old white oak trees throughout the hills and valleys, providing the logs that are formed into planks for the sturdy hull. Even stands of middle-aged white oak, 70 to 80 years old, are set aside for future restoration efforts of this mighty ship.  The management goals of this forest fit perfectly with the ability to provide large white oak trees for this great, heritage rich, cause.

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