Issue 2: June 2001



Sea Kayaking On NC's Bear Creek Reservoir

Picturesquely nestled in the Appa-lachian mountains near Cullowhee, North Carolina, Bear Creek Reservoir has become one of our favorite sea kayaking destinations. A breathtaking waterfall beckons the adventurous from its eastern end, and we’ve observed all kinds of wildlife including a variety of ducks, raptors, and one intrepid mud turtle. It’s surrounded by rolling peaks […]


Bush Energy Plan Short On Conservation

The energy plan recently released by President Bush is an ill-conceived effort which takes advantage of our current short-term energy problems to push bad long-term policies. The plan, developed behind closed doors by oil man Vice-President Dick Cheney for oil man President Bush, offers a feast for the coal, oil, and nuclear industries, while providing […]


Debunking The Myths Surrounding U.S. Wilderness

Ever since the Wilderness Act was signed into law in 1964, it has been subject to misconceptions and innuendo heaped upon it by those who disagree with its purpose of permanently protecting areas of public land in a wild, untrammeled state. Many of these “wilderness myths” persist today, and not surprisingly, those perpetuating these […]


Sustainable Forestry Alliance Forms

As 2001 rolled into its first breath of spring, the Southeast saw rise to a new alliance whose sole mission is dealing with sustainable forestry and landowner outreach. Unlike other multi-organizational groups, the Southern Sustainable Forestry Alliance (SSFA), as it is called, reaches out to not only conservation organizations, but also to landowners, foresters, loggers, […]


Clinch Residents Rally To Protect VA’s High Knob

Down in the far southwestern toe of Virginia, the forested mountains are rugged and wild…and endangered by rapacious exploitation by extractive industries. And these days, down in Scott and Wise counties, the High Knob area of the Clinch Ranger District of the Jefferson National Forest is on the chopping block. The Clinch District, with its […]


Homeschooling: An Outdoor Learning Experience For Families

What does it mean for a young person to study “science”? It can involve textbooks, tests and exams, a microscope here and there, and more textbooks. The typical public education of biology, ecology, botany, silviculture and chemistry — if public education includes these subjects at all — often lacks the hands-on integrative teaching methods on […]


Appalachia's Stradivarius

The Fabulous Fifties had arrived, and things couldn’t get much better. The Great Depression was ancient history, World War II a fading memory, and Americans were back on their financial feet, striding confidently and blissfully down the road to eternal prosperity. Most of them, anyway. Young folks who hailed from the misty ridges and […]


Virginia Group Tries To Keep Wood, Jobs At Home

A major asset of southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee is the region’s forest land. Most of the timber harvested in these forests, however, is shipped out of Appalachia as unprocessed logs, taking potential jobs with them. The folks at Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) know that, rather than cutting local timber and sending the logs elsewhere […]


Will Hemlocks Go The Way Of The Chestnut?

The recent discovery of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) infestations in Graham, Macon and Yancey counties is a major setback in the battle to keep Eastern and Carolina hemlocks alive in southern Appalachian forests. “Until a few months ago, we thought the adelgid hadn’t spread beyond the northern tier [of North Carolina] counties,” says Fred […]


Festival Celebrates Bounty Of Appalachian Forests

Just as families are an integral part of our society, so are forests an especially important and central part of our environment. How fitting, then, to combine the two in a festive outdoor event celebrating the interaction of people and nature? Appalachian Voices did just that, teaming up with other non-profit and local governmental agencies, […]


When Cane Was King: The Story Of Native Bamboo

Traveling around the southern Appalachians, I occasionally glimpse a peculiar plant that does not seem to fit into any conventional category. It is tall enough to be a tree, yet has not other “tree” characteristics. The plant’s grassy foliage is attached to rigid (though not woody) stems that resemble corn stalks. These individual stalks grow […]


Strip Mining Blasting Residents On Black Mountain

In Wise County, way down in southwestern Virginia, Black Mountain forms part of the Virginia-Kentucky border. On the Virginia side, Black Mountain’s ridge curves protectively around the upper Powell River watershed, which, along with the watersheds of the Clinch and Holston rivers, forms the headwaters of the Tennessee River system. The Nature Conservancy calls this […]


Beauty Is As Beauty Does

Richard Cartwright Austin may be a Presbyterian minister and internationally known theologian, a high-brow intellectual and refined aesthete, but he’s also something of a Sybarite. I found this reassuring, in a man who might otherwise intimidate. What gave him away was his hot tub, set into a gracious deck with beds of summer flowers and […]