Forestry Sciences Lab in Mercer County

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John F. Kennedy was profoundly moved by the tragedy of generational poverty after touring southernmost West Virginia during his presidential campaign. Six months after his election in 1961, President Kennedy established the President’s Appalachian Regional Commission with the governors of all eight Appalachian Mountain states. On October 12, 1961, the Mercer County Commission joined forces with the president and the US Forest Service to donate a portion of the former Mercer County Poor Farm to develop the nation’s first Forestry Sciences Laboratory. President Kennedy selected well-known forester Frank Longwood as director, and Longwood assembled a group of forest scientists who were dedicated to the task of restoring and marketing the Appalachian hardwood forest. With the same dedication that rocket scientists applied to fulfill Kennedy’s dream of sending an American to the moon and back, timber scientists restored and marketed the great Appalachian hardwood forest. The US Forest Service left the site in 2016 but worked with the Mercer County Commission, the US General Services Administration, and the National Park Service's Historic Surplus Properties program to establish a site dedicated to history and public service.
ISBN: 9781467106085
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: West Virginia
Series: Images of America
Images: 200
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
William R. “Bill” Archer, an established southern West Virginia historian, has authored nine previous books with Arcadia Publishing. Sources for images and information in this book include the US Forest Service, West Virginia Division of Forestry, Mercer County archives, Bluefield Daily Telegraph, and local residents.
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