Today’s Topic: NC Forest Service is 100 years old

by | May 26, 2015

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”

The N.C. Forest Service is 100 years old this year.

Back in 1915, state lawmakers recognized the need to protect our forest resources, so they created the N.C. Forest Service. To carry out that mission, John Simcox Holmes was appointed as the first state forester.

N.C. Forest Service 100-year logoOver the past 100 years, the duties of the Forest Service have increased dramatically. In addition to fighting about 4,500 wildfires each year, the agency also is involved in education, landowner assistance, urban forestry, insect and disease control, and a lot more. The N.C. Forest Service has more than 700 employees, and there are offices in just about every county of the state.

North Carolina has more than 18 million acres of forestland, and the vast majority of that land is privately owned. Forest products generate about $24 billion for the state’s economy.

The Forest Service staff gives landowners advice and assistance in managing their forest resources for a wide variety of benefits, including timber, soil and water quality, wildlife, aesthetic value and recreational uses. By helping landowners sustainably manage their forests, we’re helping to keep our forests productive while providing many other benefits. Keeping these lands as working forests helps prevent them from being lost to development.

Click on the audio player below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss the Forest Service’s centennial and why the agency’s firefighting duties are so important to North Carolina.

[Audio:|titles=Today’s Topic for May 26]

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