Lost 40 SNA owes its old-growth pine forest to a surveying error that occurred during the Public Land Survey in 1882. As the story goes, the pines were missed by loggers because surveyors mistakenly mapped the area as Coddington Lake. (The lake is actually located a half-mile to the southeast. Oops.). The site was re-surveyed and the error corrected in 1960. Shortly after, it was incorporated into Big Fork State Forest and its old trees have since endured.
The literal crowning feature of this SNA is its nearly 32 acres of designated* old-growth white pine – red pine forest. This old-growth forest is found in two stands, both of which extend beyond the borders of the SNA. The largest of these is 30 acres in size, and extends an additional 18.94 acres on adjoining federally-owned land in the Chippewa National Forest. **