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America's First Forest

The demand for wood at the end of the 19th century decimated America's forests in the North and Midwest with unsustainable logging practices. However, innovative techniques started to bloom as German forester Carl Schenck began to manage the thousands of acres of woodlands around the recently-built Biltmore Estate near Asheville.

Schenck's strategies for foresting and his creation of the first forestry school helped Pisgah National Forest become the first national forest established from private land.

The new documentary, America's First Forest: Carl Schenck and the Asheville Experiment, examines the effects of harmful logging during the Industrial Revolution and the establishment of Schenck's school of forestry.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Jamie Lewis, historian for the Forest History Society and executive producer of the film, and Paul Bonesteel, director of the documentary, about the life and legacy of Carl Schenck's work. 

America's First ForestCarl Schenck and the Asheville Experiment premieres Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. on UNC-TV.

Watch a trailer of the documentary below:

Charlie Shelton-Ormond is a podcast producer for WUNC.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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