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Near Old Fort in McDowell County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

The First U.S. Forest Service Tract

Blue Ridge Parkway

 
 
First U.S. Forest Service Tract Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, October 4, 2021
1. First U.S. Forest Service Tract Marker
Inscription.  The 8000-acre Curtis Creek tract before you was the first parcel of land acquired under the Weeks Act. This act was signed by President Taft in 1911 and authorized buying parcels of land that would become eastern National Forests. This tract also included several hundred acres that is now the Blue Ridge Parkway around you.

Some of the acquired lands were dense native forests, while others were cut over and very much in need of restoration. The Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests make up more than two-thirds of the lands that border the Parkway in North Carolina. These forests are a continuing legacy of the Weeks Act.
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Horticulture & ForestryParks & Recreational Areas. In addition, it is included in the Blue Ridge Parkway series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1911.
 
Location. 35° 43.52′ N, 82° 12.445′ W. Marker is near Old Fort, North Carolina, in McDowell County. Marker is on
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Blue Ridge Parkway (at milepost 349.2), 2.7 miles north of South Toe River Road, on the right when traveling north. Marker is located at the Blue Ridge Parkway Laurel Knob Overlook. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Old Fort NC 28762, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Rev. Elisha Mitchell, D.D. (approx. 4.2 miles away); North Carolina Civilian Conservation Corps Alumni (approx. 4.3 miles away); Elisha Mitchell (approx. 4.3 miles away); Andrews Geyser (approx. 5˝ miles away); a different marker also named Andrews Geyser (approx. 6.2 miles away); "What Happened To Our School?" (approx. 6.8 miles away); Frontier Fort (approx. 6.8 miles away); The Old Indian Fort (approx. 6.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Old Fort.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Weeks Act of 1911: Protection and Restoration. The first purchase made under the Weeks Act was in McDowell County, North Carolina, for 18,500 acres. The 10 tracts of land cost $100,000, or $5.41 an acre. The McDowell purchase was later incorporated into the Pisgah National Forest. The Pisgah was the first national forest established in any eastern state from lands acquired under the Weeks Act. (Submitted on October 5, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. The Weeks Act. The Weeks Act permitted the federal government to purchase private land in order to protect the headwaters of rivers and watersheds
Marker detail: U.S. Forest Service Sign image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: U.S. Forest Service Sign
Newly replanted acquisition tract in early 1920's, located near Mount Mitchell along what is now the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Pisgah National Forest
This cut over and burned area
once a dense spruce forest, is being
Reforested
by the
U.S. Forest Service
Several species are being tested by the
Appalachian Forest Experiment Station.
Please do not disturb the plantations
in the eastern United States and called for fire protection efforts through federal, state, and private cooperation. It has been one of the most successful pieces of conservation legislation in U.S. history. (Submitted on October 5, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Weeks Act (Wikipedia). Major national forests that were formed under the Weeks Act are the Allegheny National Forest, White Mountain National Forest, Green Mountain National Forest, Pisgah National Forest, George Washington National Forest, and Ottawa National Forest. To date, the Weeks Act has protected more than 20 million acres of forestland, (Submitted on October 5, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Marker detail: Mountains-to-Sea Trail image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Mountains-to-Sea Trail
The same area 90 years later — along what is now the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.
First U.S. Forest Service Tract Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, October 4, 2021
4. First U.S. Forest Service Tract Marker
(looking northeast from Laurel Knob Overlook)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 5, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 5, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 305 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 5, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Mar. 1, 2024