Issue 1: February 2004

Investing in Our Landscape and our Future

One hundred years after Katherine Lee Bates first put her poem “America the Beautiful” to music, the beauty of our nation’s landscape remains a source of artistic inspiration and national pride. We can be thankful that visionary leaders such as Teddy Roosevelt had the wisdom to set aside public lands to preserve a natural legacy, […]

Elkins, West Virginia

Make two lists: one of the top outdoor recreation destinations in Appalachia and a second of the natural wonders surrounding the town of Elkins, West Virginia, and you’ll notice the two lists have a lot in common. Within an short drive of Elkins, you’ll find many of the most treasured wild places in Appalachia, places […]

Another Big Roll-Back in Pollution Rules

Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to weaken rules regulating both deadly fine particulate matter and toxic mercury air pollution. Knowing that these rules are strongly opposed by the nation’s public health and environmental advocates, the Bush Administration is attempting to legitimize its proposals by conducting three public hearings on February 25th and 26th […]

The Real Cold Mountain Beckons Near Asheville

By Nan Chase At the beginning of December last year, a few weeks before the public release of the film Cold Mountain, I was invited to a Miramax-sponsored press screening in Asheville, N.C. I expected glamor, glitz, klieg lights maybe. But this odd event took place at 10 o’clock one icy morning in a […]

Conservation Easements that Work

Just as biologists count the number of fish in a body of water to gauge how clean the water is, a rural community can count its barns to understand how well it is preserving the integrity of its landscape. If you live in Southern Appalachia, chances are that you pass quite a few barns on […]

Appalachian Innovation at Work

Sometimes, creating industry means crafting a work of art. In 1993, community leaders in Asheville, North Carolina were planning a revitalization of the Asheville area. Thinking outside of traditional economic protocols, they realized their community’s strength lay not in its ability to recruit new business, but in fostering the resources it already had, the […]


One of the first (and fleeting) wildflowers of spring is Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis). In the southern Appalachians, Bloodroot typically blooms from mid-March through April, and is usually found in the loamy soils of deciduous coves and well-drained bottomlands. Desperate to outrun the canopy of spring leaves, it often competes with spring snows and heavy frosts, […]

Western Ocean Climate in the Eastern Mountains?

A major characteristic of southern Appalachian weather is the large amount of precipitation we receive. Certain locations record the second highest annual rainfall in North America (after the Pacific Northwest), and even fit the definition of a temperate rainforest. Rain is created as a result of the cooling of an air mass. For illustration, consider […]

Appalachian Land Trusts

There are a number of land trusts throughout the Southeast. Many promote the use of easements to protect natural resources and ensure their sustained use over time. Below are four land trusts in the Southern Appalachians that have experience with working lands easements, protecting forests, agricultural lands, and water resources. In addition, a complete list […]

Ruling Will Allow Destruction of Zeb Mountain to Continue

In the last issue of the Appalachian Voice, we brought you a story about the struggle of people in the Elk Valley region of eastern Tennessee to protect their streams, mountains and communities from a new type of mountaintop removal mining that is on the rise in Tennessee. Unfortunately, a lawsuit filed in Tennessee by […]

Ramp Festivals a Sure Sign of Appalachian Spring

“Well, a ramp is a little wild onion that grows on top the mountains ‘round here. A lot of people, they eat them raw. We’d cut them up, put them in eggs, put fatback in there and fry them up real good. A lot of people pickles them things. I guess I’ve eat a […]

Decision Due this Spring on Blue Ridge Mill Permit

CANTON, NC—Responding to requests from concerned citizens, public health advocates and environmental groups, including Appalachian Voices, North Carolina’s Division of Air Quality (DAQ), held a hearing on January 8 regarding Blue Ridge Paper Products’ pending Title V air pollution permit for their mill in Canton. According to DAQ, this employee-owned facility has been operating under […]

Winter in the Cranberry Wilderness

As West Virginia’s Cranberry Wilderness Area is a winter time haven for cross-country skiers and snowshoers, Charleston, West Virginia resident John Edwards wasn’t at all surprised that the outlines of snowshoes in the rock-hard snow were the first tracks he saw as he searched for a campsite high on Kennison Mountain. He chose to […]