Fort Jackson Military Reservation is located due east of Columbia in Richland County and extends eastward to US Hwy. 601, bounded to the north by SC 12 and the south by SC 262. Located within the "Fall Line" sandhills, Ft. Jackson consists of very deep, xeric lakeland soils vegetated by a longleaf pine-scrub oak community bisected by narrow blackwater stream bottoms and with scattered man-made lakes and ponds. The lowest elevation is 200 feet while the highest is 475 feet. Only about 4000 acres of the 52,000 is developed. Used primarily as a recruit training command, it also includes an aproximately-15,000 acre firing range in the middle.
More information can be found on the website: http://www.jackson.army.mil/faq1.htm
30 groups of the federally endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker have been observed as permanent residents over a 7-year period. The Southeastern Kestrel, state species of concern,breeds at Ft. Jackson. 35 pairs have been observed in nest boxes over a period of 8 years. WatchListed: Brown-headed Nuthatches (common permanent residents), Loggerhead Shrikes (uncommon permanent residents), Bachman's Sparrows (fairly common breeders), Prairie Warblers (fairly common breeders), Swainson's Warblers (uncommon-rare breeders), Kentucky Warblers (uncommon breeders), Prothonotary Warblers (fairly common breeders), and Wood Thrushes (fairly common breeders) have been observed over an 8 year period.
Invasive non-native plants, non-native animals, and feral hogs are minor threats. Potential threats are succession in longleaf pine habitats due to lack of burning and base closing. Restoration efforts include conversion of off-site slash pine to longleaf pine. A controlled burn program is in effect but a backlog exists of areas that need burning. As the surrounding area continues to develop, the use of fire will become contentious. A base closing would be catastrophic as it would open most of the area to commercial/residential development. The local public needs to be educated about the vallue of prescribed burning.
Ft. Jackson is owned by the Department of Defense: Army.
Ft. Jackson is primarily coniferous woods of mostly Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris) with some Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda) and planted Slash Pine on upland sites with an understory of various Scrub Oak species. Wetland drains are dominated by Nyssa biflora along with Red Maple, Yellow Poplar and other hardwoods. Areas managed for Red-cockaded Woodpeckers feature park-like conditions. Prescribed burning is done at regular intervals although a backlog of areas with no-burn histories remain. Some open areas and fields are present but most of the area is heavily forested, except the developed area at the western end of the Reservation.
Rough-leaved Loosetrife (Lysimachia asperulaefolia), the only know population in the state of this federally endangered plant occurs here. Black Bear use Ft. Jackson as a travel corridor/temporary residence on occasion. Various carnivorous plants and orchids occur at select seepage bogs.
Ft. Jackson is primarily a military recruit training site. Secondarily, there is a 15,000 acre shooting range. The Reservation is also used for forestry and wildlife conservation. Biologists actively manage for the federally endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker.