RALEIGH — The N.C. Forest Service celebrated its 100th anniversary Tuesday at Clemmons Educational State Forest in Clayton. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler presented a proclamation from Gov. Pat McCrory recognizing the N.C. Forest Service for its century of service to the state.
“Much has changed in North Carolina over the past 100 years,” Troxler said. “The dedication of the Forest Service has not.”
In 1915 the General Assembly created the Forest Service, which now has over 650 employees and a presence in every county. The Forest Service exists to fight wildfires, provide woodland management advice, address forest insect and disease issues, educate young people about the importance of the state’s forests and the role of the private landowner, and “bring the forest experience to urban landscapes.”
John S. Holmes was named North Carolina’s first state forester in 1915; today the state forester is David Lane. “The N.C. Forest Service has provided invaluable service to the state in its first century,” Lane said, “and we look forward to leaving a strong forest legacy for future generations to enjoy.”
The General Assembly moved the Forest Service from the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources to the Agriculture Department in 2011. Troxler said Tuesday that the two agencies fit naturally together. “Forestry is agriculture,” he said.