Forestry Book

While preparing a short piece on the origins of scientific forestry for the current “This Month in North Carolina History,” I found an interesting and entertaining source in The birth of forestry in America: Biltmore Forest School, 1891-1913 by Carl Schenck. Schenck, a young, university trained German forester, was hired by George Vanderbilt to manage the vast forest lands of Biltmore, in western North Carolina. The birth of forestry in America is a fascinating technical account of the problems Schenck faced at Biltmore as well as an engaging and humorous description of Schenck’s encounter with the English language and American customs. The book reflects both Schenck’s modesty and his sense of humor. Beyond his work as forester for Vanderbilt, Schenck organized the first school for foresters in the United States and influenced a generation of American foresters through his teaching and example.