Vanderbilt Forest

The pisag [sic] forest has cost VANDERBILT something like $250,000, or about $2.50 an acre.  He has brought it in great or small tracts as rapidly as possible, and now his rangers are the only denizens.  There are five of them, all picked men of the mountains, of fine physique, good riders and dead shots.  They must keep open the roads and trails, see that the boundary fence, 300 miles in length, is all right; keep out poachers, look after the game and the trout and always be on the alert for timber stealers.  There are 265 miles of trail in this forest, the trails leading alongside each trout stream.  There are 70 miles of road passable for wagon. There are miles of shooting paths, the latter 15 feet in width and cut out right and left from the roads.  When deer are driven they must cross these paths, and by means of the latter alone can the hunter see them in time to get a shot.

Though Mr. VANDERBILT is not a sportsman, but a student, yet all things are kept ready for him.  His pleasure is the pleasure of others.  On his last visit he only caught one trout, nor did he fire a gun.  His wife was with him. She is a good horsewoman and rode a pony up and down the steepest trails.  Under protection native trout are rapidly restocking the streams without artificial propagation.

At Biltmore Mr. VANDERBILT has an arboretum, one of the largest in the world, and the pioneer in the United States.  This was formerly under the direction of Gifford PINCHOT, who is at present head forester of the United States; it is now under the direction of Dr. SCHENCK as forester.  In this arboretum more than 300,000 trees and shrubs have been planted.  Pisgah forest is the complement of the arboretum, and in these wild woods Dr. SCHENCK has a lodge where he spends much of each summer with his class.  In the latter are often youths of wealth and high social position who wish to study forestry – a study which the United States needs, since so many millionaires are daily devoting themselves to the task of forest destruction and so few to conservation.

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 31 August 1900.  Available online at

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