Pisgah National Forest: a History
When George Vanderbilt constructed the Biltmore House, he hired forester Gifford Pinchot and later, Dr. Carl A. Schenck to manage his forests. Over 80,000 of his woodland acres became home of America's first forestry school and the heart of the East's first national forest formed under the Weeks Act. Now, comprising more than 500,000 acres, Pisgah National Forest holds a vast history and breathtaking natural scenery. The forest sits in the heart of the Southern Appalachians and includes Linville Gorge, Catawba Falls, Wilson Creek Wild and Scenic River, Roan Mountain, Max Patch, Sliding Rock Wilderness and Mount Pisgah. Author and naturalist Marci Spencer treks through the human, political and natural history that has formed Pisgah National Forest.
About Marcia Spencer (Asheville, North Carolina Author)
A master's of science degree from East Tennessee State University prepared Marci for a career as a nurse practitioner in the fields of cardiology, emergency services, family medicine and overseas medical missionary work. Weekends found her piloting a private aircraft or climbing a mountain somewhere. Now retired, Marci has volunteered in public resources at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, stationed at Clingmans Dome and a volunteer educator for Appalachian Bear Rescue. She has authored three regional histories: "Clingmans Dome, Highest Mountain in the Great Smokies," (2013) "Pisgah National Forest: a History," (2014) and "Nantahala National Forest: a History," (2017), all published by History Press. Grateful Steps Publishing Co. of Asheville published her children's book, based on true events, "Potluck, Message Delivered: "The Great Smoky Mountains are Saved!" in 2015. The Yosemite Conservancy included Marci's essay, "Pine Siskins Make History" in its book, "The Wonder of it All: 100 Stories from the National Park Service," published to celebrate the centennial of the national park service.
Marci earned naturalist certifications from the NC Arboretum, Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont and the NC Environmentalists Education Program. She offers presentations of the history of Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests and Clingmans Dome in the Smokies. She has taught classes on the Spruce-Fir Forest Ecosystem at the Arboretum and on the history of Pisgah at the Blue Ridge Community College in Hendersonville. Children are invited to her hands-on programs, entitled "Become a Jr. Bear Biologist" and "Become a Jr. Ornithologist" in classrooms, libraries, summer camps and community events. Raising ceremonial white doves for release at weddings, funerals and other special events is a favorite hobby.