The Yale Forestry School began to acquire forestlands throughout New England beginning in the 1910s, mostly through donations from alumni who wanted to support the newly established forestry program. These lands were more of a financial burden to the school than an asset through the first several decades of ownership, as the forests were not yet developed to a point that could sustain profitable harvests. When Dr. David M. Smith became the Director of the Forests in 1954 attitude of the Yale Forestry School towards the School Forests shifted. The application of forest management principles in the years that followed, and a maturing timber crop within the primarily even-aged forest, converted the Yale Forests to a revenue generating site for extensive educational programming, and home to numerous sort-term and long-term research projects investigating important ecological and management questions applicable to New England and ecosystems around the world.