Issue 4: September 2005



Appalachian Voices Welcomes AmeriCorps Member

If you are one of the hundreds of landowners who requested a copy of the first edition of the Appalachian Voices sustainable forestry handbook, then you undoubtedly heard from us this summer. Our Stanback intern from Duke University, Christine Jolley, worked with Appalachian State University student Grant Crider to contact each one of you, and […]


Exploring and Preserving Wild Caves

They are a netherworld beneath our feet, time capsules and windows into history and geology, vast areas of both darkness and color, home to few and fascinating to many. They are the wild caves of the Blue Ridge, and they are increasingly vulnerable to misuse and vandalism by thieves looking for artifacts and careless humans […]


Mountain Roots

Seems there never was a time when, growing up in the upper Cumberland Plateau of East Tennessee, I didn’t smell the dust from coal trucks passing by our house on their way up the mountain. Now when I go back to visit the old home place and family, I see the mountains that were stripped […]


Sudden Oak Death

It’s late afternoon on a beautiful California day near the San Francisco Bay, but the forest floor is dark – almost too dark to take pictures. Giant redwoods tower hundreds of feet overhead, their canopies partially blocked from view by a middle story of coastal live oaks and other broad-leaf trees. The massive boles […]


Protecting a Global Hotspot of Biodiversity in Virginia

As a boy, Neal Kilgore encountered his version of a horror story during an innocent fishing trip with a buddy. Casting their lines into the Clinch River in Wise County, Va., around 1970, the boys noticed fish floating on the surface. For as far as they could see, bass, bluegill and other species up […]


Deer and the Understory

While the ever increasing populations of white-tailed deer throughout the southern Appalachians may bode well on the surface for hunters and those who make a living from the hunting industry, the long-term consequences may be pretty dire for the forest, for farmers, and even for hunters, according to a recent study by West Virginia University […]


The Lost Lane-End into Heaven

Ward Burton is living proof that one person can change the world. Single-handedly, and mostly out of sheer determination, he has saved 2100 acres of Southside Virginia riverfront wilderness, preserving it as a wildlife habitat, and keeping it safe from development in perpetuity. He began this endeavor without government assistance, without university degrees, without a […]


Do You Know Where that Egg Came From?

Imagine your most recent meal sitting on a table before you. Let’s say it’s breakfast. Now pick one of the ingredients, maybe an egg, and trace its journey back to the chicken. How far did you get? I’ve done this exercise often with Radford University classes, and the trail of the egg almost always […]


Colossal Failures of the Government

As the shock of the tragedy in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast caused by Hurricane Katrina begins to fade for some Americans, the horror remains and, for many, their emotions are beginning to turn to anger. After all, it isn’t easy to understand how such an avoidable tragedy could have occurred in America. How […]


Life on the Edge

The forest edge is a messy place. Filled with briars, shrubs, small trees, and saplings, this transition area does not have the aesthetic appeal of a cathedral forest or an expansive mountain bald. Yet the variety of life along the forest edge is remarkable and useful. Three edge plants in particular- the sourwood tree, the […]