The Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest is located in the north-central Sandhills region of the U.S. state of Nebraska. Created on October 15, 1971 (the forest has been some type of protected area since 1902), the forest is named after former Governor Samuel R. McKelvie. Encompassing an area of 115,703 acres (468 km sq), the forest is a combination of prairie grasslands and pine forest "islands". Most of the existing forested sections were manmade, planted by hand over the past 75 years. The protein content of the native grasses is among the highest found anywhere in the world and numerous lease options are provided to local ranchers. Planted trees include Eastern Juniper, Scots Pine and Ponderosa Pine which continues to need replanting as it is harvested but has also managed to spread throughout the region independently.