A group of Sustainable Development and Biology students participated in the John G. Palmer Intercollegiate Woodsmen’s Meet at the Cradle of Forestry in Psgah Forest, North Carolina earlier this month. Students brought Appalachian spirit, determination, and a passion for sustainable forestry to competitions such as orienteering, tree identification, quiz bowl, axe throw and many more.
The competition originally started in 1908 as part of the 10th anniversary celebration of the Biltmore Forest School. The school, located in what is now the Cradle of Forestry, was the first forestry school in North America. It was started by in 1898 by Carl Schenck who introduced and promoted new approaches to sustainable forestry.
Forests are a critical part of Appalachian ecological and social heritage. They were an important resource for marginalized early settlers who did not have access to fertile, flat land in the piedmont or coast. They provided food, shelter, and clothing to those settlers. Long before the early settlers or the forest school, native communities managed and lived with and from these forests. Unfortunately, those forests became a source of wealth for others. What we see now is a shadow of the past.
“Our nascent Sustainable Forests program aims to recover the notion of training students to be responsible forest stewards who respect and are personally connected to those forests,” said Dr. Richard Rheingans, Chair of the Department of Sustainable Development. “The hands on courses and opportunities like the timber sports competition are intended to help our students build an intimate and physical connection to the forest and heritage.”
About the Goodnight Family Department of Sustainable Development
One of seven departments housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the Goodnight Family Department of Sustainable Development at Appalachian State University prepares students to thoughtfully analyze human development while focusing on the applied practice of pursuing transformative, community-driven development and social change. It offers a Bachelor of Science degree in sustainable development with concentrations in agroecology and sustainable agriculture; community, regional and global development; and environmental studies; as well as a Bachelor of Arts and minor in sustainable development.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to- faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.