Issue 1: April 2001



Troutpacking' In Georgia's Cohutta Wilderness

If you look at any map of Georgia — even a broad-scale travel atlas — it appears that the Peach State is one big spaghetti platter of roads. Virtually the entire northern tier of the state is crisscrossed by highways, ranging from one-lane gravel paths to six-lane racetracks pouring out of Atlanta. Then you notice […]


Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor I hope this finds you doing well. I enjoyed the visit with you and compadres, am sure I’ll be seeing you soon. I am going to attempt to type my poem that I had printed in the newspaper. This was written when I had enough of just sitting quietly by and letting my […]


The Basket Man

Jesse Butcher nearly lost one of his hands before he discovered what artistry it could perform. In fact, anyone who saw the lanky Tennessean in a hospital emergency room that spring day in 1977 would have considered him lucky just to be alive. “I was sawin’ locust poles for my neighbor, Earl Woods,” says […]


Energy Hogs Responsible For Degraded U.S. Rivers

A new report by the environmental group American Rivers highlights the impact that energy production has on our nation’s rivers. Nearly half of the 13 waters on the group’s 2001 “Most Endangered Rivers” list are in trouble from the effects of hydropower dams, mining, coal burning, and contamination from producing parts of the nation’s energy […]


Sweet Briar Debates Logging

This year, in addition to Julia Butterfly’s talk, the Sweet Briar College campus was the site of a meeting of the international 500-Year Forest Foundation, which advocates restoration of the world’s forests to their natural state of maturity. Paradoxically, the college is currently involved in an internal controversy over how to manage its own forests. […]


Bug Buddies: Some Insects Find Power In Numbers

Collecting sassafras sprays to feed the hungry cecropia caterpillars I was raising a couple of summers ago, I found a contingent of tiny caterpillars clustered on the underside of a leaf. They weren’t cecropias, or any other sassafras-eating caterpillar I knew. What struck me was the way they had arranged themselves: flank to flank, […]


AppVoices & Allies Push Clean Smokestacks Act

On March 4, members of Appalachian Voices and more than 100 other concerned citizens descended on Raleigh to urge lawmakers to protect and restore North Carolina’s air quality. Acknowledging the validity of the argument advanced by the North Carolina Clean Air Coalition (NCCAC) that North Carolina’s air quality is in desperate need of protection, a […]


Dombeck’s Legacy Deserves

We all knew it was coming, but last month’s letter of resignation from Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck still caused worry and woe for those of us who care about protecting wild forests. Dombeck’s departure marks the end of an unprecedented period of agency reform and the start of the Bush administration’s assault on public […]


Cores, Cougars & Corridors

Bob DeGroot has a dream. He dreams of a day when eastern cougars can travel unimpeded by development from the mountains of Pennsylvania into the Maryland hill country and across the spine of Appalachia into Virginia and West Virginia — all without leaving the protection of forest. DeGroot, president of the Maryland Alliance for Greenway […]


News Briefs

Monongahela NF Increases Cut Conservationists in West Virginia are urging the public to oppose a U.S. Forest Service amendment to the Monongahela National Forest’s management plan for threatened and endangered species. The plan outlines an increase in logging to 10 million board feet (almost double what it is now) and 100 acres of herbiciding a […]


Locust Trees Helped America Win Wars, Grow Crops

It does not have the spreading majesty of a white oak, nor the reputation of the American chestnut. Unlike the maple, its fall color is not spectacular, and few homes have furniture made from its woods. Yet the locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia) is a very useful hardwood with its own remarkable beauty. This native mountain […]


Modern Day Mountain Midwives Help At Home

Childbirth is no longer the mystifying, women-only topic it used to be. Nowadays, fathers are allowed in the delivery room, and sometimes even “catch” the baby. That is, if the hospital allows it, and if the hospital allows men in there at all. And only if there is a baby to catch, rather than a […]


Inn-To-Inn Hiking

Walking has been called the exercise that needs no gym, the weight control without a diet, the tranquilizer without a pill, and the fountain of youth that is no legend. It’s a revitalizer, an aid to clear and creative thought, and a preventive for cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, and other diseases. Plus, it makes for a […]


Julia "Butterfly" Hill Speaks At Sweet Briar College

Julia “Butterfly” Hill became a focus of international attention as she spent 738 days on a platform suspended 180 feet up in 1,000-year-old redwood tree in California. On March 13, as the featured speaker for the 3rd annual Julia B. Waxter Environmental Studies Forum at Sweet Briar College in Virginia, she spoke to an overflow […]


VA’s Iron Furnaces Sparked History Of Forest Abuse

images/avcovers/callietube.gif An early spring visit to the Roaring Run area of the Newcastle Ranger District in Virginia’s George Washington-Jefferson National Forest lifts off the winter blahs. Leaf buds are swelling on some of the trees, and yellow fringe trims witch hazel branches. On the soft, moist forest floor, perennial plants are beginning their regrowth for […]


Study: Appalachian Forests Dying From Acid Rain

The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 were supposed to solve the acid rain problem of the 70’s and 80’s, but a new study by scientists at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire finds that the Act hasn’t gone far enough. The Hubbard Brook study, overseen by the U.S. Forest Service, found that […]