Stories from the Southern Appalachians

The Southern Appalachians are more than a landscape, they are a sanctuary and a way of life.

The Southern Appalachians are less than a day’s drive away for one-third of the nation. The wild forests of the Smokies are a home and a livelihood for many local residents who want to keep it that way for generations to come.

Bob's Story

Few families can claim to have deeper roots than those of the Plott family in the Southern Appalachians. Author, conservationist and wood carver Bob Plott still raises Plott hounds, which were first brought to the area by his great, great, great grandfather in 1750.

Scotty's Story

Scotty Bowman and his wife Laura live in an area surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains and Cherokee National Forest in northeastern Tennessee, where they are raising their three children.

  • Michael Reinemer

    Citing some of “the most beautiful and iconic landscapes on earth” in Teton County’s backyard, the board of commissioners Tuesday morning unanimously passed a resolution that “opposes any and all efforts by the State of Wyoming to obtain the wholesale transfer of federal lands in Wyoming” to the state. In January, Sweetwater County filed a letter with the state legislature stating similar opposition to measures that would turn over federal public lands—such as parks, wilderness, and national forests—to state jurisdiction and management.

  • Tim Woody

    In spite of Royal Dutch Shell’s disastrous performance during the 2012 Arctic Ocean drilling season, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management today conditionally approved the company’s 2015 exploration plan, which provides even fewer safeguards for the Chukchi Sea and its sensitive coastline than Shell had in place three years ago. Shell also plans to bring a different rig operated by a new contractor to the Arctic Ocean in 2015, which could result in unexpected transport and drilling problems.

  • Michael Reinemer

    The Wilderness Society strongly supports bipartisan legislation, the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act of 2015 (S. 235, H.R. 167), to fix a budgetary problem called “fire borrowing.”  This is a destructive cycle in which the Forest Service is forced to take funds from other forest programs when its allotted wildfire funds are used up, essentially robbing Peter to pay Paul to put out fires in our national forests.