Issue 3: June 2004



Park Pollution Not a Hazy Issue

If you’re like millions of Americans, you have plans to head for the mountains on your summer vacation. Unfortunately, you may not find the clean air and scenic views you were expecting. In fact, the air pollution in our southern Appalachian national parks is as bad or worse than you would find in big cities […]


The Synchronous Fireflies of Elkmont

“It’s starting.” “Look.” “It’s beautiful.” A chorus of soft murmurs came from the hundreds of now barely discernable gray figures scattered throughout the clearing. As the blue twilight faded toward darkness and dozens of blinking lights became hundreds – and then thousands – the din of conversation gradually faded into a quiet undercurrent of […]


Virginia Wilderness Bill Introduced on Earth Day

On Earth Day, 2004, U.S. Represenative Rick Boucher, a Democrat, and U.S. Senator John Warner, a Republican, introduced companion bills in Congress (H.R. 4202 and S. 2342) to create four new wilderness areas and two new national scenic areas on the Jefferson National Forest in Southwest Virginia. The proposed legislation will also expand five existing […]


Mountain Camp Thrills and Fulfills

I sat under the hand-notched timbers of a traditional southern Appalachian mid-eighteenth century style barn, dark rain clouds overhead. I listened as a dozen kids described their adventures that week and I admired the handmade medallion necklaces they had just completed. Propped on a woodworking bench opposite me sat G., a beautiful eleven year old […]


Opinions and Letters

Patriotism and morality are terms that generally are not associated with environmental concerns. However, my feeling is that these have great application, since love of country and the search for principles of right and wrong conduct are important values in this country. Most Americans openly express their convictions concerning some aspects of patriotism and morality, […]


Asheville's Bike Shop Owners

Recreational biking is all the rage in the Southern Appalachians, and for good reason, mountain biking here is among the best in the country. Bicycling for transportation in the cities can be an altogether different story. In Asheville, for instance, daily challenges to commuter cycling may include: a hilly terrain that limits finding alternate bike-friendly […]


Watershed Events

The southern Appalachians are blessed with abundant rainfall, an enviable situation to much of the nation. This rain falling on forest ecosystems of the mountains provides our communities with clean drinking water; whether from streams or aquifers, we depend on these watersheds for the supply. Faced with economic needs, some cities and towns throughout […]


Chiggers, Redbugs, Red Mites

One of the perks of living in the southern Appalachians is the relative lack of man-eating creatures. Anyone who has endured the mosquitos of Minnesota or the deer flies of Cape Cod knows a personal hell that is unmatched here. However, in nature’s plan nobody gets off the hook, and we have our own little […]


Excerpts From Code Red

Hazy Skies Plague Parks, Threaten Human Health Excerpted from Code Red The most noticeable effect of air pollution plaguing many national parks is an unnatural, unsightly haze. Park visitors often experience this gray or brown haze shrouding what should be spectacular views. Pollution combines with moisture to form tiny particles that scatter light and block […]


West Virginia Accomodates Anglers

With honor-system-style catch-and-release trophy-fish recognition programs, states in the Southern Appalachian region are allowing anglers to receive a memento of a memorable catch, without killing a fish in the process. Anglers in North Carolina, for instance, can obtain a memorable fish citation by sending in a picture of the fish or a statement of […]


Voices From the Mountains

On April 20th, sixteen of Kentucky’s best known authors went on a tour of mountaintop removal sites in their state. The tour, which included a flyover of the coalfields in a small plane, was coordinated by the non-profit organizations Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Kentucky Riverkeepers and Appalshop. Following the tour, the 16 authors collaborated to […]


And the Winner Is....

When Alan Spears recently climbed up the rocky trails of Old Rag Mountain in Virginia’s Shenandoahs, he was hoping for that “forever view” that he remembered from his younger days. He recalled a trip up the mountain in the early nineties, in which, “The sky was blue with just a hint of wispy clouds, birds […]


Mary Anne Hitt Named Executive Director

In May, Mary Anne Hitt was named as the new executive director of Appalachian Voices. Matt Wasson, who had served as executive director since December of 2001, stepped down in May to become the organization’s full time conservation director, a position that will better allow him to use his training as an ecologist. Hitt has […]