At the center is Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is surrounded by a vibrant network of national forests on the North Carolina-Tennessee border.
Visitors love this lush outdoor destination. But suburban sprawl and increased recreational pressure threaten the forests of the Southern Appalachians. This region is home to the most visited National Park, the most visited National Forest in the East, and the Blue Ridge Parkway, the most visited unit of the National Park system.
Spanning the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains, the Southern Appalachians region provides a wild escape for millions of visitors and local residents annually. They contribute to local economies and help provide clean drinking water to local communities.
Find out more about the Southern Appalachians region from the people that live, work and play there.
The national park and forests of the Southern Appalachians are beloved by nearby residents. The Cherokee, Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests are all within a day’s drive of one-third of the nation’s population and attract millions of visitors each year.
The Southern Appalachians form the largest concentration of public land east of the Mississippi. They include 3.7 million acres of wild forests. At The Wilderness Society, our work is concentrated within the forests and parks of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee.
Maintaining trails and wilderness areas is important to the work we do in the Southern Appalachians Region. Find out how you can get involved in stewardship of this beautiful area, and how we are working with regional partners on important public and private land conservation issues.
There are many ways you can help ensure the Southern Appalachians Region remains a vibrant network of wild forests for generations to come.
Learn more about issues affecting the places we work to protect with our Notes from the Field.
Add your voice to important wilderness causes and take action to stop threats to our wildlands by joining our community of wilderness activists.
Find fact sheets, reports and other resources related to wilderness policy and conservation.
- Thursday, December 1, 2016
The Bureau of Land Management has released its final version of its Planning 2.0 regulation, which has helped shape progress the BLM has made in its land use planning. The Wilderness Society applauds this effort and has already seen examples of smart planning in effect.
- Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Yesterday, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed H.R. 4665, Outdoor Recreation’s Economic Contributions (REC) Act, which President Obama is expected to sign into law.
This bill would ensure that the outdoor recreation economy is measured by the federal government and accounted for as part of the national gross domestic product (GDP). The House of Representatives passed the bill earlier this month.
- Friday, November 18, 2016
Today the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management released its final 2017-2022 offshore oil and gas leasing program, which includes no plans for lease sales in the Arctic Ocean. In response, Lois Epstein, an Alaska-licensed engineer and Arctic program director for The Wilderness Society, issues the following statement: