America's first forest: Carl Schenk and the Asheville experiment


MANCHESTER >> The new documentary, "America's First Forest: Carl Schenck and the Asheville Experiment," is the first film to examine the pivotal role of Biltmore Estate chief forester Carl Schenck and America's first school of forestry.

Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed the grounds and gardens at George Vanderbilt's Biltmore, encouraged the billionaire to demonstrate that forests could be managed sustainably. At Olmsted's urging, Vanderbilt hired Gifford Pinchot in 1892 as the estate forester. Pinchot, the first American-born forester and later first U. S. Forest Service chief, was succeeded by Dr. Carl Alwin Schenck, a German-born and trained forester. Schenck's new hired hands soon became the first students in America's first forestry school.

Among those touched by Dr. Schenck was a local. Schenck was cousin and mentor to George Merck, founder of Merck Forest & Farmland Center.

The screening will be followed by a discussion period. All are welcome.

"America's First Forest: Carl Schenk and the Asheville Experiment, a documentary on Carl Schenck and the Biltmore Forest School,"

will be shown at the Riley Center for the Arts at Burr & Burton Academy on Friday June 24, from 7-8:30 p.m. Admission is free of charge. it is sponsored by Merck Forest and Farmland Center and Bennington County Sustainable Forest Consortium.


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