Cradle of Forestry " The Birthplace of Conservation"

The Cradle of Forestry in America is the site of the first forestry school in America – the Biltmore Forest School, founded in 1898 by Dr. Carl Schenck, chief forester for George Vanderbilt’s Biltmore Estate.

The Cradle of Forestry Interpretive Association (CFIA), a 501c3 non profit was founded in 1972 by a group of conservationists to help the US Forest Service tell the story of forest conservation in America, and help people better understand forests and the benefits of forest management. The CFIA accomplishes this goal by operating campgrounds in Alabama, Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia, and providing campers with environmental education.

To learn more about the Cradle of Forestry Interpretive Association or the Cradle Historic site, please click here.

A Brief History of the Cradle of Forestry In America:

The 6,500-acre Cradle of Forestry Historic Site in the Pink Beds valley, NC, was established by Congress in 1968 and contains the first official school for forestry in America – the Biltmore Forest School. After purchasing land in the Asheville, NC area in the mid to late 1800's, George Vanderbilt was prompted by Frederick Law Olmsted to hire a forester to maintain his property. Vanderbilt selected Gifford Pinchot to restore and manage his massive expanse of lands. It was during this time that Forestry in America began.


Our Vision

CFIA along with our USDA Forest Service partners will strive to make the Cradle of Forestry in America a "center of excellence in natural and cultural resource nterpretation." At the Cradle and through outreach programs in other National Forests and their communities, CFIA will promote stewardship of our forest resources and the importance of science based forest management practices. CFIA will assist and support the USDA Forest Service mission to "care for the land and serve the people."

Cascade Lake Recreation Area and Campground
1679 Little River Campground Road Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
Reservations: 828-877-6625
Store: 828-877-4475



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