News Release

The “Schenck You II”: Cradle of Forestry Climate Change Opening

May 6, 2014

Pisgah Forest, NC — Today the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) and the Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association unveiled the Climate Change in the Southern Appalachians and Wildland Fire in the South exhibits in the Cradle of Forestry Discovery Center.  Through these free interactive displays, you meet Forest Service scientists working on how climate change may impact the forest ecosystem. Visitors can also learn how they can lessen some of these impacts. You can also take a helicopter simulation flight and experience a forest fire from the sky.

 “Working with the Forest Service as a sponsor is cool and collaborative,” Carlton Murrey, Executive Director, Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association said. “The contemporary Climate Change and Wildland Fire exhibits  infuses new and current research on these important issues and lays the groundwork for other exciting collaborative exhibit opportunities within the Cradle in the future.” 

The Cradle of Forestry first started in the 1800s when George W. Vanderbilt purchased 125,000 acres of land near Asheville, NC, for his Biltmore Estate. Vanderbilt became the first private landowner in the United States to hire a forester. German-born Dr. Carl Schenck became the chief forester for Vanderbilt. Dr. Schenck founded the Biltmore Forest School in 1898, the first school of its kind in the United States. Today, the site of this first forestry school is called the “Cradle of Forestry in America.” Visitors can tour the one-room schoolhouse, general store, cabins, blacksmith shop, and a garden in order to get a glimpse of the lives of the first American forestry students and the families who called it home.

“I am so glad that we were given the opportunity to showcase our science in these exhibits and a location that means so much to forestry,” Rob Doudrick, Station Director, USDA FS SRS said. “This site represents a connection to the birthplace of forestry in the United States the Biltmore estate,” he said. “Our hope is that children who visit will get excited about the ways science touches their lives, and that they will want to pursue a career like the scientists highlighted within the exhibit.”

Other sponsors include: Tennessee Valley Authority Ag & Forestry Fund, Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, The Glass Foundation, Duke Energy Foundation, Altamont Environmental, James & James Environmental, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Biltmore Estate, and the Natural Inquirer: A middle school science education journal.

Cannot make it to the Cradle of Forestry, you can visit the display by going to: