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Along the Ramparts of the Tetons
The Saga of Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Robert B. Betts
University Press of Colorado, 1991
The magnificent valley of Jackson Hole at the base of the soaring Teton Range has long been a stage on which a remarkable series of events has been acted out by an equally remarkable cast of characters. This is that story, told with a verve and excitement which brings the past alive.

In these pages, the reader will witness the dramatic creation of the Tetons; the arrival of the first humans, bands of fur-clad Early Hunters who ventured into the valley some 10,000 years ago; the coming and going of the later Indian tribes; and the nearly incredible journey of John Colter, who back in 1807 is said to have been the first white man to have found his way through the wilderness and into Jackson Hole.

Here, too, the reader will meet the boisterous mountain men, trappers such as Jim Bridger and the former slave, Jim Beckwourth, who roamed the Rockies when St. Louis was still a frontier village; a little Mormon boy who ran away from home and lived with the Indians before becoming a Pony Express rider; a most unusual Englishman who describes a terrible tragedy that befell his Indian wife and half-breed children; a glory-seeking lieutenant who led six cavalrymen on a foolhardy expedition that almost cost them their lives; and a nineteenth-century president of the United States who took a pack trip through Jackson Hole, allegedly leaving a trail of empty bottles behind.

And there is more, much more--the story of the pioneers, those hardy few who dared to settle in this high and inhospitable land; the story of outlaws, a shoot-out, vigilance committees and an Indian "massacre" that embarrassed the New York Times; the story of the deliverance of the world's largest elk herd from the many perils that threatened it with extinction; and, finally, the story of the long and angry controversy over the preservation of the Tetons and Jackson Hole as a national park, a struggle called "one of the most remarkable conservation fights of the twentieth century."

All these and still other episodes in the long and colorful cavalcade of Jackson Hole are woven together to form a work of Western Americana rich in anecdotes and portraits of delightfully eccentric characters.


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The Answers Are Inside the Mountains
Meditations on the Writing Life
William Stafford, Edited by Paul Merchant & Vincent Wixon
University of Michigan Press, 2003
A volume in the Poets on Poetry series, which collects critical works by contemporary poets, gathering together the articles, interviews, and book reviews by which they have articulated the poetics of a new generation.
In this fourth collection of reflections on writing and the writing life, the late William Stafford's lifelong refusal to separate his work from the task of living responsibly -- "What a person is shows up in what a person does" -- rings clear.
The Answers Are Inside the Mountains collects unpublished interviews, poems, articles, aphorisms, and writing exercises from this great American man of letters and hugely prolific author, who kept a journal for nearly half a century and produced over 20,000 poems -- a staggering output by any standard.
The book begins with the words "To overwhelm by rightness," a phrase evoking the two demands Stafford made on himself: to write daily, and to live uprightly. The Answers Are Inside the Mountains lives up to those deceptively simple ethics, and confirms William Stafford's enduringly important voice for our uncertain age.
William Stafford (1914-93) authored more than thirty-five books of poetry and prose, including the highly acclaimed Writing the Australian Crawl, You Must Revise Your Life, Crossing Unmarked Snow: Further Views on the Writer's Vocation, and Traveling Through the Dark, winner of the National Book Award for Poetry.

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Backpacking Tennessee
Overnight Trail Adventures from the Mississippi River to the Appalachian Mountains
Johnny Molloy
University of Tennessee Press, 2022

“The reason I travel and explore the outdoors is simple,” writes Johnny Molloy, “the world is a beautiful place!” And Molloy would know: he has backpacked more than 2,500 nights in forty states. It is this experience—much of it garnered in his home state of Tennessee—combined with his extensive production of guidebooks spanning activities from hiking and camping to paddling and bicycling, that enabled him to produce Backpacking Tennessee: Overnight Trail Adventures from the Mississippi River to the Appalachian Mountains.

Complete with directions, distances, descriptions, and maps, Backpacking Tennessee is divided into four sections that together outline forty overnight hikes across West Tennessee, Middle Tennessee, the Cumberland Plateau, and East Tennessee and the Appalachian Mountains. The trails Molloy has chosen to highlight are a mix of well-known hikes and lesser-known areas, ranging in distance and difficulty for both novice hikers and experienced backpackers. Woven throughout the trail descriptions are comments on scenery, notes about safety, and historical information that help readers get a true feel for each hike. To round out his comprehensive guide, Molloy also includes ratings, 1–5, on the family- and dog-friendliness of each trail—an especially helpful feature for readers bringing loved ones along.

From the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Cherokee National Forest to Big South Fork and Land Between the Lakes, Tennessee offers thousands of miles of trails for adventurers looking to explore. For budding outdoor enthusiasts and experienced backpackers alike, Backpacking Tennessee answers the timeless question: where do we go next?


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Birth of a National Park
Great Smoky Mountains
Carlos C. Campbell
University of Tennessee Press, 1993
Annually millions of people admire the Great Smoky Mountains National Park's primeval beauty - towering peaks, sparkling cascades, virgin forests, and remarkable variety of wildflowers and shrubs. One of the nation's most popular national parks did not just "come to be" a logical and natural development on federally-owned land. Instead, it was the first national park to be acquired from private owners and given by the people to the federal government. Establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park climaxed an unprecedented crusade that is a story of almost fanatic dedication to a cause, as well as one of frustration, despair, political bias, and even physical violence.

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Canyon, Mountain, Cloud
Absence and Longing in American Parks
Tyra A. Olstad
Oregon State University Press, 2021
What do we seek and what do we find when we visit parks and protected areas? What does it mean to become so deeply attached to a beautiful, wild place that it becomes part of one’s identity? And why does it matter if a particular landscape doesn’t speak to one’s soul?

Part memoir and part scholarly analysis of the psychological and societal dimensions of place-creation, Canyon, Mountain, Cloud details the author’s experiences working and living in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Denali National Park and Preserve, Adirondack State Park, and arctic Alaska. Along the way, Olstad explores canyons, climbs mountains, watches clouds, rafts rivers, searches for fossils, and protects rare and fragile vegetation. She learns and shares local natural and cultural histories, questions perceptions of “wilderness,” deepens her appreciation for wildness, and reshapes her understanding of self and self-in-place.

Anyone who has ever felt appreciation for wild places and who wants to think more deeply about individual and societal relationships with American parks and protected areas will find humor, fear, provocation, wonder, awe, and, above all, inspiration in these pages.

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Chasing Plants
Journeys with a Botanist through Rainforests, Swamps, and Mountains
Chris Thorogood
University of Chicago Press, 2022
A New Scientist Best Book of the Year

From an acclaimed botanist and artist, a thrilling and beautifully illustrated expedition around the globe in search of the world’s most extraordinary plants.

After making a strange discovery on a childhood trip to Ikea—a stand of sap-sucking, leafless broomrapes, stealing nutrients from their neighbors’ roots—Chris Thorogood dreamed of becoming a botanist and would stop at nothing to feed his growing addiction to plants. In his hair-raising adventures across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, Thorogood treads a death-defying path over cliffs, up erupting volcanoes, through typhoons, and out into the very heart of the world’s vast, green wilderness. Along the way, he encounters pitcher plants, irises, and orchids more heart-piercingly beautiful than could ever be imagined.
But with Thorogood as our guide in Chasing Plants, we not only imagine: we see. An internationally acclaimed botanical illustrator, Thorogood conjures his adventures spent seed-collecting and conserving plants around the world back to life in his electric paintings, which feature throughout the book. They bring plants out of the shadows, challenging us to see their intrigue and their character, and helping us to understand why plant species must be protected. To join Thorogood in his wild adventures is to be cast under his green spell: readers will never think of plants the same way again.

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The Circle of Mountains
A Basque Shepherding Community
Sandra Ott
University of Nevada Press, 1993

Ott provides an excellent ethnography of a French Basque agrarian and sheepherding community. The commune of Sainte-Engrâce extends along a mountain valley in the southeastern corner of Soule, one of the three Basque provences in France. In The Circle of Mountains, Sandra Ott examines the importance of cooperation and reciprocity as the essential basis for the main institutions within this community. These French Basques visualize their community as a circle, and their vision of living in "the circle of mountians," rather than in a valley, reflects their perspective on the society in which they live. The first half of the book incorporates material on history, ecology and economy, and delves deeply into the domestic organization, kinship, and neighborliness of this Basque community. In the second half of the book, the author introduces the males' customary roles as shepherds and cheesemakers. Following a detailed commentary on these vocations, Ott suggests that these seemingly prosaic activities represent the male attempt at symbolic fulfillment of the female procreative and nurturing roles. In a new afterword, Ott discusses developments that have impacted life in the pastoral community of Sainte-Engrâce since the original publication of the book—including the acquisition of telephones and the construction of roads to nearly every home.The Circle of Mountains will be of interest not only to social anthropologists but also to those concerned with the Basque language and culture and to scholars and students of ethnology, international studies, and political science.


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Colorado Flora
Eastern Slope, Fourth Edition
A Field Guide to the Vascular Plants
William A. Weber
University Press of Colorado, 2011
Colorado Flora: Eastern Slope describes the remarkable flora of the state, distinctive in its altitudinal range, numerous microhabitats, and ancient and rare plants. Together with Colorado Flora: Western Slope, Fourth Edition, these volumes are designed to educate local amateurs and professionals in the recognition of vascular plant species and encourage informed stewardship of our biological heritage.

These thoroughly revised and updated editions reflect current taxonomic knowledge. The authors describe botanical features of this unparalleled biohistorical region and its mountain ranges, basins, and plains and discuss plant geography, giving detailed notes on habitat, ecology, and range. The keys recount interesting anecdotes and introductions for each plant family. The book is rounded out with historical background of botanical work in the state, suggested readings, glossary, index to scientific and common names, references, and hundreds of illustrations. The books also contain a new contribution from Donald R. Farrar and Steve J. Popovich on moonworts. The fourth editions of Colorado Flora: Eastern Slope and Colorado Flora: Western Slope are ideal for both student and scientist and essential for readers interested in Colorado's plant life.


front cover of Colorado Flora
Colorado Flora
Western Slope, Fourth Edition
A Field Guide to the Vascular Plants
William A. Weber
University Press of Colorado, 2011
Colorado Flora: Western Slope describes the remarkable flora of the state, distinctive in its altitudinal range, numerous microhabitats, and ancient and rare plants. Together with Colorado Flora: Eastern Slope, Fourth Edition, these volumes are designed to educate local amateurs and professionals in the recognition of vascular plant species and encourage informed stewardship of our biological heritage.

These thoroughly revised and updated editions reflect current taxonomic knowledge. The authors describe botanical features of this unparalleled biohistorical region and its mountain ranges, basins, and plains and discuss plant geography, giving detailed notes on habitat, ecology, and range. The keys contain interesting anecdotes and introductions for each plant family. The book is rounded out with historical background of botanical work in the state, suggested readings, glossary, index to scientific and common names, references, and hundreds of illustrations. The books also contain a new contribution from Donald R. Farrar and Steve J. Popovich on moonworts. The fourth editions of Colorado Flora: Eastern Slope and Colorado Flora: Western Slope are ideal for both student and scientist and essential for readers interested in Colorado's plant life.


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The Colorado Trail in Crisis
A Naturalist’s Field Report on Climate Change in Mountain Ecosystems
Karl Ford
University Press of Colorado, 2024
The Colorado Trail in Crisis addresses the sweeping transformation of western forests and wilderness ecosystems affected by climate change. This book is equal parts trail journal and synthesis of natural and human history. Karl Ford uses research on climate impacts to forests, wildlife, hydrology, and more to stress the urgent need for an action plan to reduce greenhouse gases and save forests and watersheds.
Using his hike along the popular five-hundred-mile Colorado Trail to present his personal observations about more than a hundred miles of dead and dying forest, Karl Ford presents a brief environmental history of these areas of the state, weaving in scientific studies about forest mortality caused by insect infestations, wildfire, drought, and loss of snowpack, and describes the poor current prospects for reforestation as the climate continues to warm. His own Lakota ancestry, as well as historical references to local Tabeguache Ute Chief Ouray and displaced Ute populations, meaningfully frame important conversations about caretaking and connection to place. Ford also proposes potential solutions to drought and forest mortality problems, as well as varying approaches and limitations to mitigation efforts.
The Colorado Trail in Crisis appeals to hikers and nature lovers seeking to learn about the natural history, beauty, and serenity of the Colorado Trail, as well as students, conservationists, and scientists researching climate change effects on Colorado mountain ecosystems.

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Cuchama and Sacred Mountains
Walter Y. Evans-Wentz
Ohio University Press, 1981

W. Y. Evans–Wentz, great Buddhist scholar and translator of such now familiar works as the Tibetan Book of the Dead and the Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, spent his final years in California. There, in the shadow of Cuchama, one of the Earth’s holiest mountains, he began to explore the astonishing parallels between the spiritual teaching of America’s native peoples and that of the deeply mystical Hindus and Tibetans. Cuchama and Sacred Mountains, a book completed shortly before his death in 1965, is the fruit of those explorations.

To Cuchama, “Exalted High Place,” came the young Cochimi and Yuma boys for initiation into the mystic rites for their people. In solitude they sought and received guidance and wisdom. In this same way, the peoples of ancient Greece, the Hebrews, the early Christians, and the Hindus had found access to inner truth on their own holy mountains: and in this same way must the modern person find the path to inner knowing.

Surveying many of the most Sacred Mountains in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, Evans–Wentz expresses the belief that the secret power of these high places has not passed away but only awaits the coming of a New Age. This new age, in accord with the oldest prophecies of our continent, will be a time of renaissance, the long–waited era of harmony and peace among all peoples.

This renaissance shall be uniquely American, a renewal based on the values so long honored by the Americans before Columbus, and so ruthlessly trampled by the “civilized” Europeans who overran them. No other race of people has been as spiritual in their way of life than the original Americans, notes Evans–Wentz. Perhaps none other has known such martyrdom. Yet the secret greatness of the Indian religion still lives, ancient as the Earth itself, yet ageless in its power to renew.


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Woman Of The Mountains
Florence Cope Bush
University of Tennessee Press, 1992
Before the Great Smoky Mountains became a national park, the region was a lush wilderness dotted with isolated farms.  Into this land of unspoiled beauty, Dorie Woodruff Cope was born in 1899.  In this evocative memoir, Dorie's daughter, Florence Cope Bush, traces a life at once extraordinary and yet typical of the many Appalachian farm families forced to leave their simple mountain homes for the cities; abandoning traditional ways for those born of "progress."

Dorie's story begins with her childhood on an isolated mountain farm, where we see first hand how her parents combined back-breaking labor with intense personal pride to produce everything their family needed—from food and clothing to tools and toys—from the land.  Lumber companies began to invade the mountains, and Dorie's family took advantage of the financial opportunities offered by the lumber industry, not realizing that in giving up their lands they were also letting go of a way of life.  Along with their machinery, the lumber companies brought in many young men, one of whom, Fred Cope, became Dorie's husband.  After the lumber companies stripped the mountains of their timber, outsiders set the area aside as a national park, requiring Dorie, now married with a family of her own, to move outside of her beloved mountains.

Through Dorie's eyes, we see how the mountain farmers were forced to abandon their beloved rural life-style and customs and assimilate into cities like Knoxville, Tennessee.  Her experiences were shared by hundreds of Appalachians during the early twentieth century.  However, Dorie's perseverance, strength of character, and deep love of the Smokies make this a unique and moving narrative.

The Author: Florence Cope Bush is a former newspaper reporter and freelance writer in Knoxville, Tennessee.  She is the author of Ocona Lufte Baptist—Pioneer Church of the Smokies, and a regular contributor to Smoky Mountain Historical Society publications.

Durwood Dunn is professor history at Tennessee Wesleyan College.  He is author of Cades Cove: The Life and Death of a Southern Appalachian Community, 1818-1937.

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Eastern Alpine Guide
Natural History and Conservation of Mountain Tundra East of the Rockies
Edited by Mike Jones and Liz Willey
University Press of New England, 2018
This unique book celebrates and documents the incredible and colorful biodiversity of the mountain landscapes of eastern North America, covering all of the major alpine ecosystems in New England, New York, Québec, Newfoundland, and Labrador. Twenty scientists, explorers, naturalists, and land managers from the United States and Canada have collaborated to create this definitive and beautiful account of the flora and fauna of the eastern alpine tundra.

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Ephemeral by Nature
Exploring the Exceptional with a Tennessee Naturalist
Stephen Lyn Bales
University of Tennessee Press, 2017

In this captivating collection of twelve essays, a testament to a lifetime’s fascination with the outdoors and its myriad wonders, naturalist Stephen Lyn Bales examines a variety of flora and fauna that in one way or another can be described as “ephemeral”—that is, fleeting, short-lived, or transient.

Focusing on his native East Tennessee, Bales introduces us to several oddities, including the ghost plant, a wispy vascular plant that resembles a rooster’s tail and grows mainly in areas devoid of sunlight; the Appalachian panda, an ancestor of today’s red panda that wandered the region millions of years ago and whose fossil remains have only recently been discovered; and the freshwater jellyfish, a tiny organism that is virtually invisible except for those hot summer days when clusters of them bloom into shimmering “medusae,” sometimes by the thousands. Other essays consider such topics as the plight of the monarch butterfly, a gorgeous insect whose populations have dropped by 90 percent in only the last two decades; the reintroduction of the lake sturgeon, one of nature’s most primitive and seldom-seen fish, into the waters of the Tennessee Valley; and the surprising emergence of coyote-wolf and coyote-dog hybrids in the eastern states.

Written with insight, humor, and heart, Ephemeral by Nature is as entertaining as it is instructive. Along with a wealth of biological details—and his own handsome pen-and-ink drawings—Bales fills the book with delightful anecdotes of field trips, species-protection efforts, and those thrilling occasions when some elusive member of the natural order shows itself to us, if only for a brief moment.

Stephen Lyn Bales, senior naturalist at Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville, is the author of Natural Histories: Stories from the Tennessee Valley and Ghost Birds: Jim Tanner and the Quest for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, 1935–1941, both published by the University of Tennessee Press.


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West Virginia University Press, 1982

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Family Hiking in the Smokies
Time Well Spent
Hal Hubbs
University of Tennessee Press, 2009

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Fear Falls Away
and Other Essays from Hard and Rocky Places
Janice Emily Bowers
University of Arizona Press, 1997
Jan Bowers lives in the right place. A lover of nature and the outdoors, an avid hiker and backpacker, she is surrounded by mountain ridges, peaks, and canyons of almost every description. In this book, she invites us to come along and find out why some of these places are special, why some of them stay in her mind long after she has returned to the workaday world of the city. Readers have come to expect the best from this writer, termed "a rare talent. . . uncommonly good at the craft" by Wilderness magazine. Her new book is filled with creeks and meadows, tiny ferns and towering oaks, bears and butterflies and Red-tailed Hawks. We see gray clouds clogging the sky in a canyon, "wildly, almost tastelessly romantic, as full of clouds as a tea kettle with steam," and we startle a female grouse and her half-dozen fuzzy chicks "exploding from underfoot like billiard balls scattered with a cue stick."

Faced with the prospect of moving to another place, Bowers finds herself thinking about the familiar world in new and unfamiliar ways. Through her eyes, too, we see how an interest in nature and the outdoors developed from early childhood and how simple curiosity has led her to the most surprising discoveries. At odd and unexpected moments, her work also seems to bring new insights into herself and her life as a writer, a wife, and a mother. These pages promise a new adventure at every turn in the trail. For sheer terror, there's a climb up the face of Baboquivari, for laughs, there's the great bagworm caper, and for some quiet truths, there are themes of gain and loss, of connection and reconcilliation. Crunching through winter snow or sweating under summer sun, we know we're in the hands of an experienced guide. And we know we couldn't ask for a better companion.

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Field Guide to the Lichens of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Erin Tripp
University of Tennessee Press, 2020

With 909 recognized species of lichens, Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) is home to more of these lichenized fungi than any other national park in the United States, as well as nearly half of all species known to occur in eastern North America. There is a great deal of room for scientific exploration, inquiry, and systematic description in the realm of lichenology. In Field Guide to the Lichens of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Erin Tripp and James Lendemer take on the formidable task of creating an all-in-one resource for Park exploration, including lichen distribution maps, tools for identification, vivid photographs and illustrations, and even field notes from their own research campaigns. In the process, the authors create a touchstone for lichen taxonomy and ecology, and they inspire others—researchers as well as casual observers—to take interest in the incredible biodiversity of the Great Smoky Mountains. Biologists, botanists, visitors to the park, naturalists, and others interested in the flora and fauna of both the southern Appalachians and GSMNP will thoroughly enjoy this lovingly prepared field guide.


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Flatlanders and Ridgerunners
Folktales from the Mountains of Northern Pennsylvania
James York Glimm
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1983

Excerpt from Flatlanders and Ridgerunners:

Out-Riddling the Judge

Back in Prohibition my uncle made moonshine. His name was Moses Kenny and his whiskey--they called it “White Mule” was the best in the county. Well, the feds got after him and finally they  arrested him. Took him to a federal judge down in Philadelphia.

Now, the judge liked a good time and thought he’d have a little fun with this hick from the mountains. When Uncle came into court, he said, “are you the Moses who can make the sun dark?”

Moses looked at him and said slowly, “Nope, your honor. But I am the Moses who can make the moon shine.”

The judge let him go.


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From Ridgetops To Riverbottoms
Celebration Outdoor Life In Tennessee
Sam Venable
University of Tennessee Press, 1995
From Ridgetops to Riverbottoms takes the reader on a journey down the many winding roads of the outdoor experience in Tennessee. Such a journey requires a seasoned guide, and there can be no better one than journalist Sam Venable, who has written about the woods and waters of his native state for the past twenty-five years.
For Venable, the outdoor world is meant to be enjoyed. Whether he is casting popping bugs to bluegills during the frenzy of a willow fly hatch, lying motionless on his back in muddy corn stubble as mallards warily circle his decoys, savoring the sounds and scents of a moonlit summer night when smallmouth bass are on the prowl, or issuing plaintive love calls to an amorous wild turkey gobbler, the author's fascination with outdoor recreation never diminishes. And, as the reader quickly finds, this fascination is contagious.
Along with the lightheartedness and rich humor in these pages, there is an unmistakable love of the land and a deep concern for the endangered bond between nature and humankind. Like the trout in the stream or the deer in the forest, Venable suggests, we are as much a product of the land as any living creature. And what affects one - for better or worse - ultimately affects all.

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From the Mountains to the Sea
Protecting Nature in Postwar New Hampshire
Kimberly A. Jarvis
University of Massachusetts Press, 2020
In the face of increasing pressures from business and government in the decades following World War II, New Hampshire residents banded together to preserve their most prized natural areas and defining geological features. From the Mountains to the Sea explores how history, memory, and tradition created a strong sense of place in the state that led citizen activists to protect Franconia Notch, Sandwich Notch, and the town of Durham on New Hampshire's seacoast from development in the last half of the twentieth century. These efforts led to the construction of a parkway instead of an interstate highway, prevented the building of an oil refinery, and saved Sandwich Notch from becoming a vacation community.

Shaped by New Hampshire's unique conservation focus on both resource use and preservation that developed during the first years of the twentieth century, as well as on the tradition of home rule in the state, the outcome of each campaign relied on the insight into, appreciation for, and dedication to protecting the historic and aesthetic values of these three places.

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Great Smokies
From Natural Habitat To National Park
Daniel S. Pierce
University of Tennessee Press, 2015
Seeking a taste of unspoiled wilderness, more than nine million people visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park each year. Yet few probably realize what makes the park unusual: it was the result of efforts to reclaim wilderness rather than to protect undeveloped land. He tells how park supporters set about raising money to buy the land—often from resistant timber companies—and describes the fierce infighting between wilderness advocates and tourism boosters over the shape the park would take. He also discloses the unfortunate human cost of the park’s creation: the displacement of the area’s inhabitants.
The new preface chronicles developments in the park since the book’s original publication in 2000. Over the past decade and a half, the park has experienced a dramatic and improbable improvement in air quality, a variety of successful animal reintroduction programs—including, most spectacularly, elk—numerous improvements to trails and roads, and the ending of long-standing dispute over the “Road to Nowhere,” which had its origins in the founding of the park eight decades ago. Pierce also points out new challenges that have emerged in the park—and there is none more dangerous than the invasive species known as the wooly adelgid, which threatens to annihilate the park’s 800 acres of old-growth hemlocks. The recent history of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park provides ample proof of Pierce’s conclusion: “just as people have the power to set aside places as wonderful as the Cataloochee Valley and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, they also have the power to destroy it.”
Daniel S. Pierce is professor of history at the University of North Carolina, Asheville. He is the author of Real NASCAR: White Lightning, Red Clay, and Big Bill France, and Corn from a Jar: Moonshining in the Great Smoky Mountains.

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The Guadalupe Mountains of Texas
Photographs and drawings by Michael Allender, Text by Alan Tennant
University of Texas Press, 1997
An overview of a magnificent region of Texas. Since its publication in 1980, The Guadalupe Mountains of Texas has received many honors, including the Friends of the Dallas Public Library Award from the Texas Institute of Letters and recognition for its superb design from the Rounce and Coffin Club.

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Highpoints of the United States
A Guide to the Fifty State Summits
Don Holmes
University of Utah Press, 2000

The highpoints of the fifty states range from Alaska’s 20,320 foot high Mount McKinley to 345 feet at Lakewood Park in Florida. Some highpoints, such as Mount Mitchell in North Carolina and New Hampshire’s Mount Washington can be reached by automobile on a sightseeing drive. Others such as Colorado’s Mount Elbert or Mount Marcy in New York are accessible as wilderness day hikes. Still others, such as Mount Rainier in Washington or Gannett Peak in Wyoming, are strenuous and risky mountaineering challenges that should be attempted only by experienced climbers. Whatever your level of skill and interest, Highpoints of the United States offers a diverse range of experiences.

Arranged alphabetically by state, each listing has a map, photographs, and information on trailhead, main and alternative routes, elevation gain, and conditions. Historical and natural history notes are also included, as are suggestions for specific guidebooks to a region or climb. Appendices include a list of highpoints by region, by elevation, and a personal log for the unashamed "peak-bagger."

Whether you’re an armchair hiker or a seasoned climber, interested only in your state’s highest point or all fifty, this book will be an invaluable companion and reference.


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HISTORY OF THE ALPS, 1500 - 1900
Jon Mathieu, translated by Matthew Vester
West Virginia University Press, 2009

In the 1700s, Jean-Jacques Rousseau celebrated the Alps as the quintessence of the triumph of nature over the “horrors” of civilization. Now available in English, History of the Alps, 1500-1900: Environment, Development, and Society provides a precise history of one of the greatest mountain range systems in the world. Jon Mathieu’s work disproves a number of commonly held notions about the Alps, positioning them as neither an inversion of lowland society nor a world apart with respect to Europe. Mathieu’s broad historical portrait addresses both the economic and sociopolitical—exploring the relationship between population levels, development, and the Alpine environment, as well as the complex links between agrarian structure, society, and the development of modern civilization. More detailed analysis examines the relationship between various agrarian structures and shifting political configurations, several aspects of family history between the late Middle Ages and the turn of the twentieth century, and exploration of the Savoy, Grisons, and Carinthia regions.


George Constantz
West Virginia University Press, 2004

In this revised and expanded edition of Hollows, Peepers, and Highlanders, author George Constantz, a biologist and naturalist, writes about the beauty and nature of the Appalachian landscape. While the information is scientific in nature, Constantz's accessible descriptions of the adaptation of various organisms to their environment enable the reader to enjoy learning about the Appalachian ecosystem. The book is divided into three sections: "Stage and Theater," "The Players," and "Seasonal Act." Each section sets the scene and describes the events occurring in nature. "Stage and Theatre" is comprised of chapters that describe the origins of the Appalachia region. "The Players" is an interesting and in-depth look into the ecology of animals, such as the mating rituals of different species, and the evolutionary explanation for the adaptation of Appalachian wildlife. The last section, "Seasonal Act," makes note of the changes in Appalachian weather each season and its effect on the inhabitants.


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Horace Kephart
Mae Miller Claxton
University of Tennessee Press, 2020

Best known for Our Southern Highlanders (1913) and Camping and Woodcraft (1916), Horace Kephart’s keen interest in exploring and documenting the great outdoors would lead him not only to settle in Bryson City, North Carolina, but also to become the most significant writer about the Great Smoky Mountains in the early twentieth century.

Edited by Mae Miller Claxton and George Frizzell, Horace Kephart: Writings extends past Kephart’s two well-read works of the early 1900s and dives into his correspondence with friends across the globe, articles and columns in national magazines, unpublished manuscripts, journal entries, and fiction in order to shed some deserved light on Kephart’s classic image as a storyteller and practical guide to the Smokies. The book is divided into thematic subsections that call attention to the variety in Kephart’s writings, its nine chapters featuring Kephart’s works on camping and woodcraft, guns, southern Appalachian culture, fiction, the Cherokee, scouting, and the park and Appalachian trail. Each chapter is accompanied by an introductory essay by a notable Appalachian scholar providing context and background to the included works.

Written for scholars interested in Appalachian culture and history, followers of the modern outdoor movement, students enamored of the Great Smoky Mountains, and general readers alike, Horace Kephart: Writings gathers a plethora of little-known and rarely seen material that illustrates the diversity and richness found in Kephart’s work.


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A Hunger for High Country
One Woman’s Journey to the Wild in Yellowstone Country
Susan Marsh
Oregon State University Press, 2014

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Ice, Fire, and Nutcrackers
A Rocky Mountain Ecology
George Constantz
University of Utah Press, 2014
Why do quaking aspens grow in prominent clumps rather than randomly scattered across the landscape? Why and how does a rufous hummingbird drop its metabolism to one-hundredth of its normal rate? Why do bull elk grow those enormous antlers? Using his experience as a biologist and ecologist, George Constantz illuminates these remarkable slices of mountain life in plain but engaging language. Whether it sketches conflict or cooperation, surprise or familiarity, each story resolves when interpreted through the theory of evolution by natural selection.
These provocative accounts of birds, insects, rodents, predators, trees, and flowers are sure to stir the reader’s curiosity. Who wouldn’t be intrigued by a rattlesnake’s ability to hunt in total darkness by detecting the infrared radiation emitted by a mouse? Or how white-tailed ptarmigan thrive in their high, treeless alpine environments -- even through the winter? The narratives, often brought home with a counterintuitive twist, invite readers to make new connections and broaden perspectives of a favorite outdoor place. 

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John of the Mountains
The Unpublished Journals of John Muir
Edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe
University of Wisconsin Press, 1979
John Muir, America’s pioneer conservationist and father of the national park system, was a man of considerable literary talent. As he explored the wilderness of the western part of the United States for decades, he carried notebooks with him, narrating his wanderings, describing what he saw, and recording his scientific researches. This reprint of his journals, edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe in 1938 and long out of print, offers an intimate picture of Muir and his activities during a long and productive period of his life.
    The sixty extant journals and numerous notes in this volume were written from 1867 to 1911. They start seven years after the time covered in The Story of My Boyhood and Youth, Muir’s uncompleted autobiography. The earlier journals capture the essence of the Sierra Nevada and Alaska landscapes. The changing appearance of the Sierras from Sequoia north and beyond the Yosemites enthralled Muir, and the first four years of the journals reveal his dominating concern with glacial action. The later notebooks reflect his changes over the years, showing a mellowing of spirit and a deep concern for human rights.
    Like all his writings, the journals concentrate on his observations in the wilderness. His devotion to his family, his many warm friendships, and his many-sided public life are hardly mentioned. Very little is said about the quarter-century battle for national parks and forest reserves. The notebooks record, in language fuller and freer than his more formal writings, the depth of his love and transcendental feeling for the wilderness. The rich heritage of his native Scotland and the unconscious music of the poetry of Burns, Milton, and the King James Bible permeate the language of his poetic fancy.
    In his later life, Muir attempted to sort out these journals and, at the request of friends, published a few extracts. A year after his death in 1914, his literary executor and biographer, William Frederick Badè, also published episodes from the journals. Linnie Marsh Wolfe set out to salvage the best of his writings still left unpublished in 1938 and has thus added to our understanding of the life and thought of a complex and fascinating American figure.

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Natural History of a Southern Mountain
Sean P. Graham
University of Alabama Press, 2021
The first in-depth ecological treatment of one of the most frequently visited National Battlefield parks in the country

Designated as a battlefield in 1917 and as a park in 1935, the 2,965-acre Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park now preserves far more than the military history and fallen soldiers it was originally founded to commemorate. Located approximately twenty miles northwest of downtown Atlanta, Kennesaw Mountain rises 608 feet above the rolling hills and hardwood forests of the Georgia Piedmont. Kennesaw Mountain’s geology and topography create enough of a
distinctive ecosystem to make it a haven for flora and fauna alike. As the tallest mountain in the metropolitan Atlanta area, it is also a magnet for human visitors. Featuring eighteen miles of interpretive trails looping around and over the mountain, the park is a popular destination for history buffs, outdoor recreationists, and nature enthusiasts alike.

Written for a diverse range of readers and park visitors, Kennesaw: Natural History of a Southern Mountain provides a comprehensive exploration of the entire park punctuated with humor, colorful anecdotes, and striking photographs of the landscape. Sean P. Graham begins with a brief summary of the park’s human history before transitioning to a discussion of the mountain’s nature, including its unique geology, vegetation, animals, and plant-animal interactions. Graham also focuses on Kennesaw Mountain’s most important ecological and conservation attribute—its status as a globally important bird refuge. An insightful chapter on bird watching and the region’s migrating bird populations includes details on migratory patterns, birding hot spots, and the mountain’s avian significance. An epilogue revisits the park’s Civil War history, describing how Union veterans pushed for establishment of the park as a memorial, inadvertently creating a priceless biological preserve in the process.

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Laughing Lost in the Mountains
Poems of Wang Wei
Wei Wang
Brandeis University Press, 1992
Wang Wei  was one of the most celebrated poets of China's Tang Dynasty (618-907). An influential painter and practitioner of Chan (Zen) Buddhism, many of his poems contain concise and evocative descriptions of nature whose elegant minimalism offers subtle expression of a transcendence from everyday life. While this purity of poetic expression is what Wang Wei's reputation is built upon, he lived a courtly life of highs and lows in a tumultuous era, suffering demotions and exile, imprisonment and rehabilitation, all of which are evidenced in his verse. Wang Wei's poems grapple with the trappings of worldly life and the quest for enlightenment, painting a complex picture of both his psyche and his Chan discipline. Laughing Lost in the Mountains includes translations of poems running the spectrum of Wang Wei's subjects, as well as an extensive introduction that sheds light on Wang Wei's craft, spirituality, and historical context.

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Listening to the Land
Stories from the Cacapon and Lost River Valley
Jamie S. Ross
West Virginia University Press, 2013
The Cacapon and Lost Rivers are located in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia’s eastern panhandle. Well loved by paddlers and anglers, these American Heritage Rivers are surrounded by a lush valley of wildlife and flora that is part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Although still rural and mostly forested, development and land fragmentation in the Cacapon and Lost River Valley have increased over the last decades. Listening to the Land: Stories from the Cacapon and Lost River Valley is a conversation between the people of this Valley and their land, chronicling this community’s dedication to preserving its farms, forests, and rural heritage.
United around a shared passion for stewardship, the Cacapon and Lost Rivers Land Trust and local landowners have permanently protected over 11,000 acres by incorporating local values into permanent conservation action. Despite the economic pressures that have devastated nearby valleys over the past twenty years, natives and newcomers alike have worked to protect this valley by sustaining family homesteads and buying surrounding parcels.This partnership between the Land Trust and the people of this Valley, unprecedented in West Virginia and nationally recognized for its success, greatly enriches historic preservation and conservation movements, bringing to light the need to investigate, pursue, and listen to the enduring connection between people and place.  

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The Mountain
A Political History from the Enlightenment to the Present
Bernard Debarbieux and Gilles Rudaz
University of Chicago Press, 2015

In The Mountain, geographers Bernard Debarbieux and Gilles Rudaz trace the origins of the very concept of a mountain, showing how it is not a mere geographic feature but ultimately an idea, one that has evolved over time, influenced by changes in political climates and cultural attitudes. To truly understand mountains, they argue, we must view them not only as material realities but as social constructs, ones that can mean radically different things to different people in different settings.
From the Enlightenment to the present day, and using a variety of case studies from all the continents, the authors show us how our ideas of and about mountains have changed with the times and how a wide range of policies, from border delineation to forestry as well as nature protection and social programs, have been shaped according to them. A rich hybrid analysis of geography, history, culture, and politics, the book promises to forever change the way we look at mountains.


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Mountain Dialogues
Frank Waters
Ohio University Press, 1999

“Mysticism is peculiar to the mountainbred,” Frank Waters once told an interviewer for Psychology Today. And in Mountain Dialogues, available for the first time in paperback, the mountainbred Waters proves it true. Ranging over such diverse subjects as silence, spirits, time, change, and the sacred mountains of the world, Waters sounds again and again the radiant, mystic theme of man’s inherent wholeness and his oneness with the cosmos.

Writing in Western American Literature, Charles L. Adams said, “In Mountain Dialogues, we see Frank Waters acknowledging his sources—major influences on a great American thinker and writer. Waters weaves together threads of these influences, adds his own thought, and presents us with a truly cosmic overview. This overview is thoroughly that of an American ‘Westerner’; it also is one that merits international consideration.”

And as the Bloomsbury Review wrote: “Mountain Dialogues is more than just a collection of personal essays. It is an ‘evolutionist’s handbook’ for the sons and daughters of the new West, a guide for those who would transcend the limitations of Western civilization.”


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Mountaineering Essays
John Muir
University of Utah Press, 1997

One of the world’s foremost writers of the mountaineering essay—his writings are finely wrought expressions of the transcendental joy he found in the mountains—John Muir also founded the Sierra Club in 1892 as a way of supporting his belief that Americans must preserve national parks throughout the country in order that future generations might be spiritually inspired. Characterized by an iron endurance and an insatiable curiosity, Muir vowed to spend his days studying God’s unwritten Bible—nature—or what he termed the "University of the Wilderness." Muir early on learned to keep a journal in the manner of Emerson, but he is also considered one of America’s pioneer glaciologists, an interest he gained while wandering in Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada mountains. Whether frozen in a subzero blizzard on Mount Shasta, seemingly doomed on the unforgiving slopes of Mount Ritter, or exhilarated by the ice-shapes viewed from the summit of Mount Rainier, Muir reveled in the mountain experience.

This volume contains eleven mountain essays that include both adventurous narrative, joyful exultation, and descriptions of natural features such as alpine soil beds, ancient glaciers and living glaciers, and mountain sculpture. In each, Muir maintains a careful and subtle balance between the physical aspects of ascending and the more symbolic observations of the sublimity of his surroundings. Mountains are for him a source of discovery that provide an affirmation of the human spirit.


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Mountains of Fire
The Menace, Meaning, and Magic of Volcanoes
Clive Oppenheimer
University of Chicago Press, 2023
Meeting with volcanoes around the world, a volcanologist interprets their messages for humankind.
In Mountains of Fire, Clive Oppenheimer invites readers to stand with him in the shadow of an active volcano. Whether he is scaling majestic summits, listening to hissing lava at the crater’s edge, or hunting for the far-flung ashes from Earth’s greatest eruptions, Oppenheimer is an ideal guide, offering readers the chance to tag along on the daring, seemingly-impossible journeys of a volcanologist.

In his eventful career as a volcanologist and filmmaker, Oppenheimer has studied volcanoes around the world. He has worked with scientists in North Korea to study Mount Paektu, a volcano name sung in national anthems on both sides of the Demilitarized Zone. He has crossed the Sahara to reach the fabled Tiéroko volcano in the Tibesti Mountains of Chad. He spent months camped atop Antarctica’s most active volcano, Mount Erebus, to record the pulse of its lava lake.

Mountains of Fire reveals how volcanic activity is entangled with our climate and environment, as well as our economy, politics, culture, and beliefs. These adventures and investigations make clear the dual purpose of volcanology—both to understand volcanoes for science’s sake and to serve the communities endangered and entranced by these mountains of fire. 

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Mountains of Injustice
Social and Environmental Justice in Appalachia
Michele Morrone
Ohio University Press, 2011

Research in environmental justice reveals that low-income and minority neighborhoods in our nation’s cities are often the preferred sites for landfills, power plants, and polluting factories. Those who live in these sacrifice zones are forced to shoulder the burden of harmful environmental effects so that others can prosper. Mountains of Injustice broadens the discussion from the city to the country by focusing on the legacy of disproportionate environmental health impacts on communities in the Appalachian region, where the costs of cheap energy and cheap goods are actually quite high.

Through compelling stories and interviews with people who are fighting for environmental justice, Mountains of Injustice contributes to the ongoing debate over how to equitably distribute the long-term environmental costs and consequences of economic development.

Laura Allen, Brian Black, Geoffrey L. Buckley, Donald Edward Davis, Wren Kruse, Nancy Irwin Maxwell, Chad Montrie, Michele Morrone, Kathryn Newfont, John Nolt, Jedediah S. Purdy, and Stephen J. Scanlan.


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Mountains Of Memory
A Fire Lookout'S Life
Don Scheese
University of Iowa Press, 2001
In Mountains of Memory, seasoned wilderness dweller Don Scheese charts a long season of watching for and fighting fires in Idaho's River of No Return Wilderness&151the largest federal wilderness area in the mainland United States. An inspiring tale of self-discovery,Mountains of Memory paints a complex portrait of the natural, institutional, and historical forces that have shaped the great forested landscapes of the American West.

A student of nature writing as well as a fire lookout with over a decade of experience, Scheese recounts his life at the top of the world, along with daring adventures such as backpacking and mountaineering in the Bighorn Crags and kayaking down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. All the while, he touches upon the mysterious and powerful realities of the wilderness around him and stunning dawns visible within the glass cage perched on a 9,000-foot mountain, stirring flashes of lightning visible all around the dark landscape as the radio crackles with reports of strikes observed and fires spotted, long-awaited trips down the mountain to civilization for cold beer and hot pizza.
In the tradition of Edward Abbey and Gary Snyder, Don Scheese offers readers a meditation on the meaning and value of wilderness at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

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Mountains of Music
West Virginia Traditional Music from Goldenseal
John Lilly
University of Illinois Press, 1999
From fiddle tunes to folk ballads, from banjos to blues, traditional music thrives in the remote mountains and hollers of West Virginia. For a quarter century, Goldenseal magazine has given its readers intimate access to the lives and music of folk artists from across this pivotal state. Now the best of Goldenseal is gathered for the first time in this richly illustrated volume.   Some of the country's finest folklorists take us through the backwoods and into the homes of such artists as fiddlers Clark Kessinger and U.S. Senator Robert Byrd, recording stars Lynn Davis and Molly O'Day, dulcimer master Russell Fluharty, National Heritage Fellowship recipient Melvin Wine, bluesman Nat Reese, and banjoist Sylvia O'Brien.
The most complete survey to date of the vibrant strands of this music and its colorful practitioners, Mountains of Music delineates a unique culture where music and music making are part of an ancient and treasured heritage. The sly humor, strong faith, clear regional identity, and musical convictions of these performers draw the reader into families and communities bound by music from one generation to another.   For devotees as well as newcomers to this infectiously joyous and heartfelt music, Mountains of Music captures the strength of tradition and the spontaneous power of living artistry.

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The Mountains of Paris
How Awe and Wonder Rewrote My Life
David Oates
Oregon State University Press, 2019
Living in Paris for a winter and a spring and waking each morning to a view of Notre Dame, David Oates is led to revise his life story from one of trudging and occasional woe into one punctuated by nourishing and sometimes unsettling brilliance. He asks: What is the meaning of this tremendousness?
In long years of mountaineering Oates fought the self-loathing that had infused him as the gay kid in the Baptist pew. And in The Mountains of Paris, he ascends to a place of wonder. In luminous prose, Oates invites readers to share a sense of awe—whether awakened by a Vermeer painting or a wilderness sojourn, by the night sky, a loved one, or echoing strains of music—lifting the curtain on a cosmos filled with a terrifying yet beautiful rightness.

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Natural Environments of Arizona
From Desert to Mountains
Edited by Peter F. Ffolliott and Owen K. Davis
University of Arizona Press, 2008
Best known for its cactus-studded deserts and the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon, Arizona boasts even more natural features that surprise visitors and continue to amaze longtime residents. Using C. H. Merriam’s turn-of-the-twentieth-century descriptions of Arizona’s life zones, Charles Lowe first defined those biotic communities in his 1964 book Arizona’s Natural Environment. Now ten experts on Arizona’s natural setting build on that classic to reflect our increased knowledge of basic physical and biological processes and the impact of both natural and man-made disturbances on these environments.

Natural Environments of Arizona bridges the gap between coffee-table volumes and scientific literature, offering a nontechnical, single-volume overview that introduces readers to a myriad of topics and provides pointers toward deeper reading. It’s all here: climate, geology, soil and water resources, an amazing variety of flora and fauna—and of course human impacts on the state’s fragile ecosystems.

These chapters show the extent to which Arizona’s natural environments have changed since Lowe first set the stage for their study. They consider changes in forests and grasslands, the effects of soil erosion, questions about water quality, and the evolving status of rivers and wildlife communities. And while the common thread of environments makes the book a complete introduction to the subject, each chapter stands alone as an authoritative synopsis of its particular topic.

Ranging widely over the impacts of drought, floods, and wildfires, this practical guide clearly shows that nature is more than picturesque landscapes, vegetation, and wildlife. For anyone with a dog-eared copy of Lowe, this book will serve as the new standard on the subject—a valuable tool for resource managers, students, and general readers alike.

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Natural History Mount Le Conte
Kenneth Wise
University of Tennessee Press, 1998

Widely regarded as the crown jewel of the Great Smoky Mountains, Mount Le Conte harbors the greatest concentration of notable geological features in all of the Smokies. This unique book tells the history of the mountain, offering visitors a greater appreciation of its scenic splendor. 

Kenneth Wise and Ron Petersen combine their intimate knowledge of Le Conte with a wealth of scientific and historical information. Following introductory coverage of the mountain’s geologic history and human exploration, they follow the six main trails up the mountain—Alum Cave, Bullhead, Rainbow Falls, Trillium Gap, Brushy Mountain, and the Boulevard—and reveal each one to be not merely a path but also a rich source of historical and personal testimony. A final chapter covers the distinguishing features of the summit itself.

Along each route, the authors explain how the trail was developed and provide background for well-known landmarks, from Inspiration Point to Huggins Hell. They offer informative descriptions of the plants and wildlife indigenous to Mount Le Conte as well as observations on the effects of environmental changes on the landscape.

The book is illustrated with dozens of photographs, many of historic interest.

Kenneth Wise is an associate professor at the John C. Hodges Library and the author of Hiking Trails of the Great Smoky Mountains. Ron Petersen is a distinguished professor in the Department of Botany at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.


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A Natural History of the Central Appalachians
Steven L. Stephenson
West Virginia University Press, 2013
Central Appalachia is the system of linear ridges, intervening valleys, and deeply dissected plateaus that make up the rugged terrain found in western and southwestern Virginia, eastern and central West Virginia, western Maryland, and a portion of south central and southwestern Pennsylvania. Through its concise and accessible approach, A Natural History of the Central Appalachians thoroughly examines the biology and ecology of the plants, animals, and other organisms of this region of eastern North America.
With over 120 images, this text provides an overview of the landscape of this region, including the major changes that have taken place over the past 300 million years; describes the different types of forests and other plant communities currently present in Central Appalachia; and examines living systems ranging from microorganisms and fungi to birds and mammals. Through a consideration of the history of humans in the region, beginning with the arrival of the first Native Americans, A Natural History of the Central Appalachians also discusses the past, present, and future influences of human activity upon this geographic area.

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Natural Landmarks of Arizona
David Yetman
University of Arizona Press, 2021
Natural Landmarks of Arizona celebrates the vast geological past of Arizona’s natural monuments through the eyes of a celebrated storyteller who has called Arizona home for most of his life. David Yetman shows us how Arizona’s most iconic landmarks were formed millions of years ago and sheds light on the more recent histories of these landmarks as well. These peaks and ranges offer striking intrusions into the Arizona horizon, giving our southwestern state some of the most memorable views, hikes, climbs, and bike rides anywhere in the world. They orient us, they locate us, and they are steadfast through generations.

Whether you have climbed these peaks many times, enjoy seeing them from your car window, or simply want to learn more about southwestern geology and history, reading Natural Landmarks of Arizona is a fascinating way to learn about the ancient and recent history of beloved places such as Cathedral Rock, Granite Dells, Kitt Peak, and many others. With Yetman as your guide, you can tuck this book into your glove box and hit the road with profound new knowledge about the towering natural monuments that define our beautiful Arizona landscapes.


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Nevada Mountains
Landforms, Trees, and Vegetation
David Alan Charlet
University of Utah Press, 2023
Nevada is one of the most mountainous states in the US. Yet mapping out exactly where one range begins and another ends has never been done—until now. In this volume David Charlet provides maps and descriptions for all 319 mountain ranges in the state.

Divided into three parts, the book presents a simple system recognizing the primary landscape features of Nevada. Part I describes the methods used to define the boundaries of the ranges and divides the state into meaningful landforms. Part II describes the ecological life zones and their vegetation types. Part III describes the individual mountain ranges. Each mountain range entry contains a descriptive narrative and a data summary that includes the county or counties in which the range occurs, whether the author has visited and collected plants there, the highest point, the base elevation, a brief discussion of the geology, any historic settlements or post offices located in the range, the distribution of life zones, and a list of all conifers and flowering trees.

The result of over thirty years of exploration and study throughout the state, this is a long-overdue compendium of Nevada’s mountains and associated flora. This book is a required reference for anyone venturing out into the Nevada wilds.

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New Wilderness Voices
Collected Essays from the Waterman Fund Contest
Edited by Christine Woodside
University Press of New England, 2017
Guy and Laura Waterman spent a lifetime reflecting on and writing about the mountains of the Northeast. The Waterman Fund seeks to further their legacy of stewardship through an annual essay contest that celebrates and explores issues of wilderness, wildness, and humanity. Since 2008, the Waterman Fund has partnered with the journal Appalachia in seeking out new and emerging voices on these subjects, and in publishing the winning essay in the journal. Part of the contest’s mission is to find and support such emerging writers, and a number of them have gone on to publish other work in Appalachia or their own books. The contest has succeeded admirably in fulfilling its mission: new writers have brought fresh perspectives to these timeless issues of wilderness and wildness. In New Wilderness Voices these winning essays are collected for the first time, along with the best runners-up. Together, they make up an important and celebratory addition to the growing body of environmental literature, and shed new light on our wild spaces.

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Of Summits and Sacrifice
An Ethnohistoric Study of Inka Religious Practices
By Thomas Besom
University of Texas Press, 2009

In perhaps as few as one hundred years, the Inka Empire became the largest state ever formed by a native people anywhere in the Americas, dominating the western coast of South America by the early sixteenth century. Because the Inkas had no system of writing, it was left to Spanish and semi-indigenous authors to record the details of the religious rituals that the Inkas believed were vital for consolidating their conquests. Synthesizing these arresting accounts that span three centuries, Thomas Besom presents a wealth of descriptive data on the Inka practices of human sacrifice and mountain worship, supplemented by archaeological evidence.

Of Summits and Sacrifice offers insight into the symbolic connections between landscape and life that underlay Inka religious beliefs. In vivid prose, Besom links significant details, ranging from the reasons for cyclical sacrificial rites to the varieties of mountain deities, producing a uniquely powerful cultural history.


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Out of the Mountains
Appalachian Stories
Meredith Sue Willis
Ohio University Press, 2010

Meredith Sue Willis’s Out of the Mountains is a collection of thirteen short stories set in contemporary Appalachia. Firmly grounded in place, the stories voyage out into the conflicting cultural identities that native Appalachians experience as they balance mainstream and mountain identities.

Willis’s stories explore the complex negotiations between longtime natives of the region and its newcomers and the rifts that develop within families over current issues such as mountaintop removal and homophobia. Always, however, the situations depicted in these stories are explored in the service of a deeper understanding of the people involved, and of the place. This is not the mythic version of Appalachia, but the Appalachia of the twenty-first century.


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Pacific High
Adventures In The Coast Ranges From Baja To Alaska
Tim Palmer
Island Press, 2002

"Starting out, my mind and spirit were open to the mystery of foreign cultures, the spareness of aridity, the tension of seismicity, the heat of fire, the exuberance of the vast, the abundance of rot and rebirth, the kindness of strangers, the indomitable rules of climate, the triumph of life, the limits of the earth.""—from the prologue.

On a crisp January morning, the first day of a new year, writer Tim Palmer and his wife set out in their custom-outfitted van on a nine-month journey through the Pacific Coast Ranges. With a route stretching from the dry mesas of the Baja Peninsula to the storm-swept Alaskan island of Kodiak, they embarked on an incomparable tour of North America's coastal mountains high above the Pacific.

In Pacific High, Palmer recounts that adventure, interweaving tales of exploration and discovery with portraits of the places they visited and the people they came to know along the way. Bringing together images of places both exotic and familiar with profiles of intriguing people and descriptions of outdoor treks on foot, skis, mountain bike, canoe, and whitewater raft, Palmer captures the brilliant wonders of nature, the tragedy of irreversible loss, and the hope of everyone who cares for this extraordinary but threatened edge of North America.

At the heart of the story is author's concern for the health of the land and all its life. Nature thrives in many parts of the Coast Ranges—pristine rivers and ancient forests that promise refuge to the king salmon and the grizzly bear—but with a human population of 36 million, nature is under attack throughout the region. Oil spills, clearcutting, smog, sprawling development and more threaten even national parks and refuges. Yet Palmer remains hopeful, introducing readers to memorable people who strive for lasting stewardship in this land they call home.


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The Patagonian Sublime
The Green Economy and Post-Neoliberal Politics
Mendoza, Marcos
Rutgers University Press, 2019
The Patagonian Sublime provides a vivid, accessible, and cutting-edge investigation of the green economy and New Left politics in Argentina. Based on extensive field research in Glaciers National Park and the mountain village of El Chaltén, Marcos Mendoza deftly examines the diverse social worlds of alpine mountaineers, adventure trekkers, tourism entrepreneurs, seasonal laborers, park rangers, land managers, scientists, and others involved in the green economy.
Mendoza explores the fraught intersection of the green economy with the New Left politics of the Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner governments. Mendoza documents the strategies of capitalist development, national representation, and political rule embedded in the “green productivist” agenda pursued by Kirchner and Fernández. Mendoza shows how Andean Patagonian communities have responded to the challenges of community-based conservation, the fashioning of wilderness zones, and the drive to create place-based monopolies that allow ecotourism destinations to compete in the global consumer economy.  

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Peace in the Mountains
Northern Appalachian Students Protest the Vietnam War
Tom Weyant
University of Tennessee Press, 2020

Peace in the Mountains analyzes student activism at the University of Pittsburgh, Ohio University, and West Virginia University during the Vietnam War era. Drawing from a wide variety of sources including memoirs, periodicals, archival manuscript collections, and college newspapers such as The Pitt News, author Thomas Weyant tracks the dynamics of a student-led campus response to the war in real time and outside the purview of the national media. Along the way, he musters evidence for an emerging social and political conscience among the student bodies of northern Appalachia, citing politics on campus, visions of patriotism and dissent, campus citizenship, antiwar activism and draft resistance, campus issues, and civil rights as major sites of contention and exploration.

Through this regional chronicle of student activism during the Vietnam War era, Weyant holds to one reoccurring and unifying theme: citizenship. His account shows that political activism and civic engagement were by no means reserved to students at elite colleges; on the contrary, Appalachian youth were giving voice to the most vexing questions of local and national responsibility, student and citizen identity, and the role of the university in civil society. Rich in primary source material from student op-eds to administrative documents, Peace in the Mountains draws a new map of student activism in the 1960s and early 1970s. Weyant’s study is a thoughtful and engaging addition to both Appalachian studies and the historiography of the Vietnam War era and is sure to appeal not only to specialists—Appalachian scholars, political historians, political scientists, and sociologists—but to college students and general readers as well.


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Peak Experiences
Danger, Death, and Daring in the Mountains of the Northeast
Edited by Carol Stone White
University Press of New England, 2012
In the mountains, the difference between a pleasant day of hiking and a life-threatening disaster is as simple as a loose rock, a turned ankle, or a misjudged patch of ice. In an instant, even the most experienced and prepared of outdoorspersons can find themselves at the mercy of the elements (and their own choices) — and suddenly, sometimes tragically, the situation slips out their control. In this collection of over fifty tales of day hikes and long treks gone awry, the seasoned climber and writer Carol Stone White brings together some of her favorite tales of outdoor misadventure written by colleagues and fellow enthusiasts who have experienced the harsher side of climbing the peaks of New England and the Adirondacks. From freak falls to outrunning storms, from life-threatening hypothermia to the excitement of unlikely rescues, these tales inform as much as they entertain, teaching even the experienced climber that accidents can happen to anyone and that preparation and the ability to make split-second decisions can often mean the difference between life and death. Like sitting around the campfire sharing tales of terror and near death with your hiking buddies, this collection will appeal to the true outdoorsperson as well as the armchair adventurer.

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Peasants In Arms
War and Peace in the Mountains of Nicaragua, 1979–1994
Lynn Horton
Ohio University Press, 1999

Drawing on testimonies from contra collaborators and ex-combatants, as well as pro-Sandinista peasants, this book presents a dynamic account of the growing divisions between peasants from the area of Quilalí who took up arms in defense of revolutionary programs and ideals such as land reform and equality and those who opposed the FSLN.

Peasants in Arms details the role of local elites in organizing the first anti-Sandinista uprising in 1980 and their subsequent rise to positions of field command in the contras. Lynn Horton explores the internal factors that led a majority of peasants to turn against the revolution and the ways in which the military draft, and family and community pressures reinforced conflict and undermined mid-decade FSLN policy shifts that attempted to win back peasant support.


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Power of Place
The Religious Landscape of the Southern Sacred Peak (Nanyue 南嶽) in Medieval China
James Robson
Harvard University Press, 2009

Throughout Chinese history mountains have been integral components of the religious landscape. They have been considered divine or numinous sites, the abodes of deities, the preferred locations for temples and monasteries, and destinations for pilgrims. Early in Chinese history a set of five mountains were co-opted into the imperial cult and declared sacred peaks, yue, demarcating and protecting the boundaries of the Chinese imperium.

The Southern Sacred Peak, or Nanyue, is of interest to scholars not the least because the title has been awarded to several different mountains over the years. The dynamic nature of Nanyue raises a significant theoretical issue of the mobility of sacred space and the nature of the struggles involved in such moves. Another facet of Nanyue is the multiple meanings assigned to this place: political, religious, and cultural. Of particular interest is the negotiation of this space by Daoists and Buddhists. The history of their interaction leads to questions about the nature of the divisions between these two religious traditions. James Robson’s analysis of these topics demonstrates the value of local studies and the emerging field of Buddho–Daoist studies in research on Chinese religion.


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Reading the Mountains of Home
John Elder
Harvard University Press, 1998

Small farms once occupied the heights that John Elder calls home, but now only a few cellar holes and tumbled stone walls remain among the dense stands of maple, beech, and hemlocks on these Vermont hills. Reading the Mountains of Homeis a journey into these verdant reaches where in the last century humans tried their hand and where bear and moose now find shelter. As John Elder is our guide, so Robert Frost is Elder's companion, his great poem "Directive" seeing us through a landscape in which nature and literature, loss and recovery, are inextricably joined.

Over the course of a year, Elder takes us on his hikes through the forested uplands between South Mountain and North Mountain, reflecting on the forces of nature, from the descent of the glaciers to the rush of the New Haven River, that shaped a plateau for his village of Bristol; and on the human will that denuded and farmed and abandoned the mountains so many years ago. His forays wind through the flinty relics of nineteenth-century homesteads and Abenaki settlements, leading to meditations on both human failure and the possibility for deeper communion with the land and others.

An exploration of the body and soul of a place, an interpretive map of its natural and literary life, Reading the Mountains of Home strikes a moving balance between the pressures of civilization and the attraction of wilderness. It is a beautiful work of nature writing in which human nature finds its place, where the reader is invited to follow the last line of Frost's "Directive," to "Drink and be whole again beyond confusion."


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Real and Imagined
The Peak of Gold in Heian Japan
Heather Blair
Harvard University Press
During the Heian period (794–1185), the sacred mountain Kinpusen, literally the “Peak of Gold,” came to cultural prominence as a pilgrimage destination for the most powerful men in Japan—the Fujiwara regents and the retired emperors. Real and Imagined depicts their one-hundred-kilometer trek from the capital to the rocky summit as well as the imaginative landscape they navigated. Kinpusen was believed to be a realm of immortals, the domain of an unconventional bodhisattva, and the home of an indigenous pantheon of kami. These nominally private journeys to Kinpusen had political implications for both the pilgrims and the mountain. While members of the aristocracy and royalty used pilgrimage to legitimate themselves and compete with one another, their patronage fed rivalry among religious institutions. Thus, after flourishing under the Fujiwara regents, Kinpusen’s cult and community were rent by violent altercations with the great Nara temple Kōfukuji. The resulting institutional reconfigurations laid the groundwork for Shugendō, a new movement focused on religious mountain practice that emerged around 1300. Using archival sources, archaeological materials, noblemen’s journals, sutras, official histories, and vernacular narratives, this original study sheds new light on Kinpusen, positioning it within the broader religious and political history of the Heian period.

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Roadside Guide Geology Great Smoky
Mountains National Park
Harry L. Moore
University of Tennessee Press, 1988
A Roadside Guide to the Geology of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Harry L. Moore

"In this informative, readable, altogether useful guide, Harry Moore adds another dimension to our understanding and appreciation of the Great Smoky Mountains.  He acquaints us skillfully with the geologist's terminology and shows us how to read for ourselves the ancient language of the rocks."
—Wilma Dykeman

"Everybody loves the plants, trees, birds, mammals, and even the reptiles, amphibians, and insects of the Great Smokies.  But rocks are not less fascinating, alive in their own way, the foundation of all the rest of life.  So I think it's great to have this guide as a companion on the trail."
—Michael Frome

Guiding the reader on five popular driving tours and five key hiking trails, this nontechnical guidebook indicates not-to-be-missed points of interest and describes the geological evolution associated with them.  Tour maps are complemented by annotated road log commentaries and copious drawings and photographs to aid in identifying geological phenomena even when these are obscured by the mountains' lush vegetation.
A helpful introduction, focusing on the geologic history of the Smokies, illuminates basic terms and concepts, while a glossary, list of suggested readings, and detailed index further enhance the book's utility.  Unique in providing a crisp, comprehensive summary of the Smoky Mountains' geology, A Roadside Guide will serve as a basic planning guide for scenic road trips and hiking trips in the Smokies.

Harry L. Moore holds a master's degree in geology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  Since 1972 he has been a geologist at the Tennessee Department of Transportation.


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Rocky Mountain National Park
A History
C. W. Buchholtz
University Press of Colorado, 1983
Rocky Mountain National Park: A History is more than just the story of Rocky Mountain in its brief tenure as a national park. Its scope includes the earliest traces of human activity in the region and outlines the major events of exploration, settlement, and exploitation. Origins of the national park ideas are followed into the recent decades of the Park's overwhelming popularity. It is a story of change, of mountains reflecting the tenor of the times. From being a hunting ground to becoming ranchland, from being a region of resorts to becoming a national park, this small segment of the Rocky Mountains displays a record of human activities that helps explain the present and may guide us toward the future.

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Snow Leopard
Stories from the Roof of the World
Don Hunter
University Press of Colorado, 2012
"Just recently, we once again traveled the high roads of snow leopard country, enjoying the beauty of Ladakh's iconic monasteries and watching blue sheep graze steep mountainsides. We saw no snow leopards but sensed their presence, feeling lucky and thrilled to be under the distant gaze of this magnificent cat. May you experience a similar feeling as you read about the snow leopard in this remarkable collection."
-Robert Bateman, from the foreword.

Like no other large cat, the snow leopard evokes a sense of myth and mysticism, strength and spirit shrouded in a snowy veil, seldom seen but always present. Giving a voice to the snow leopard, this collection of powerful first person accounts from an impressive cadre of scientist-adventurers grants readers a rare glimpse of this elusive cat and the remarkable lives of those personally connected to its future. These Stories from the Roof of the World resonate with adventure, danger, discovery, and most importantly hope for this magnificent big cat.

Very little has been written about this mystical creature. Its remote and rugged habitat among the mightiest collection of mountains on Earth, proclaimed "The Roof of the World" by awe-struck explorers, make it one of the most difficult and expensive animals to study. After a millennia thriving in peaceful isolation, human encroachment, poaching and climate change threaten the snow leopards survival. Speaking on behalf of the snow leopard, these heart-felt stories will inform and inspire readers, creating the vital connection needed to move people toward action in saving this magnificent cat. Contributors include: Ali Abutalip Dahashof, Som B. Ale, Avaantseren Bayarjargal, Yash Veer Bhatnagar, Joseph L. Fox, Helen Freeman, Darla Hillard, Don Hunter, Shafqat Hussain, Rodney Jackson, Jan E. Janecka, Mitchell Kelly, Ashiq Ahmad Khan, Nasier A. Kitchloo, Evgeniy P. Kashkarov, Peter Matthiessen, Kyle McCarthy, Tom McCarthy, George B. Schaller, and Rinchen Wangchuk


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Something Hidden in the Ranges
The Secret Life of Mountain Ecosystems
Ellen Wohl
Oregon State University Press, 2021
We all see the largest features of mountain ecosystems—the impressively rugged peaks, the clear blue lakes, and the extensive forests—but each of these readily visible features depends on largely invisible creatures and flows of material and energy. Something Hidden in the Ranges draws on a wide array of scientific research to reveal the complex ecology of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and, by extension, of mountain ecosystems generally.

Geologist Ellen Wohl has spent three decades investigating the streams and forests near her home in Colorado. In writing that is free from jargon and easy to understand, she tells the intricate story of how streams provide energy to adjacent forests, how lake sediments record the history of wind-blown pollutants, and how hidden networks of fungi keeps forests healthy. She guides readers through forests at both lower and higher elevations, revealing how trees rely on microbes in the soil, in the forest canopy, and even within individual pine needles to obtain the food they need. Other chapters focus on subalpine lakes, mountain streams, beaver meadows, and alpine tundra.

While scientists, students, and scholars will benefit from Wohl’s intimate knowledge of mountain ecosystems, Something Hidden in the Ranges is written for anyone interested in natural or environmental history. It will change the way readers perceive and think about natural landscapes.


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Strangers High, Exp Ed
Michael Frome
University of Tennessee Press, 1993
In this expanded edition of his classic Strangers in High Places, Michael Frome continues to capture the attention and admiration of nature lovers, environmentalists, and professionals as he reviews the last quarter-century in and around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Frome's superbly written account tells the story of the Great Smoky Mountains and their inhabitants—Eastern Cherokee, back-country settlers, lumbermen, moonshiners, bears and boars.  Frome chronicles the power struggles, legislation, and land transactions surrounding the creation of the national park and discusses the continuing threats to the park's natural beauty.  
Frome's recent conversations with residents, new and old, along with a complement of historic and contemporary photographs, confirm the views stated in the book's original 1966 edition.
The author brings his knowledge, experience, and insights to bear on "one of God's special places." He suggests alternatives to commercial overdevelopment and the destruction of the Great Smokies' flora and fauna, citing recent cases such as the Tellico Dam project and the continuing pollution of the Pigeon River.  Always emphasizing our inevitable relationship with our surroundings, Frome relates the story of the Great Smoky Mountains with respect and affection for the region, its people, and their history.

Michael Frome ranks among the foremost American authors on travel and conservation.  His interests are closely associated with national parks, national forests, and natural beauty in the United States and other countries.  He has been a columnist and correspondent for major newspapers and magazines and a university lecturer.  He is author of Conscience of a Conservationist: Selected Essays.

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The Terra Incognita Reader
Early Writings from the Great Smoky Mountains
Anne Bridges
University of Tennessee Press, 2019
This reader is an essential companion to Terra Incognita: An Annotated Biography of the Great Smoky Mountains, 1544-1934 and represents a significant contribution to scholarship on the Smokies and the region at large. Anne Bridges, Ken Wise, and Russell Clement have selected some of the best pieces from a rich repository of literature written about the Smokies prior to the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1934.

Based on years of research, the diaries, memoirs, literature, and journalism collected here shed light on various historical and cultural aspects of the Great Smokies, from Smoky Mountain folkways and religion, to the Civil War era and the Cherokee Indians. All together, the writings pay tribute to the diverse inhabitants of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Each section gathers writings under a single topic heading and progresses chronologically. The readings can thus be taken to document the slow progression of change up until the eve of the large-scale disruptions that would be wrought by the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1934. This reader represents a significant contribution to scholarship on the Smokies and the region at large.


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Through the Mountains
The French Broad River and Time
John E. Ross
University of Tennessee Press, 2021

Two generations have passed since the publication of Wilma Dykeman’s landmark environmental history, The French Broad. In Through the Mountains: The French Broad River and Time, John Ross updates that seminal book with groundbreaking new research. More than the story of a single river, Through the Mountains covers the entire watershed from its headwaters in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge and the Great Smoky Mountains to its mouth in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The French Broad watershed has faced new perils and seen new discoveries since 1955, when The French Broad was published. Geologists have learned that the Great Smoky Mountains are not among the world’s oldest as previously thought; climatologists and archaeologists have traced the dramatic effects of global warming and cooling on the flora, fauna, and human habitation in the watershed; and historians have deepened our understanding of enslaved peoples once thought not to be a part of the watershed’s history. Even further, this book documents how the French Broad and its tributaries were abused by industrialists, and how citizens fought to mitigate the pollution.

Through the Mountains also takes readers to notable historic places: the hidden mound just inside the gate of Biltmore where Native Americans celebrated the solstices; the once-secret radio telescope site above Rosman where NASA eavesdropped on Russian satellites; and the tiny hamlet of Gatlinburg where Phi Beta Phi opened its school for mountain women in 1912.

Wilma Dykeman once asked what the river had meant to the people who lived along it. In the close of Through the Mountains, Ross reframes that question: For 14,000 years the French Broad and its tributaries have nurtured human habitation. What must we start doing now to ensure it will continue to nourish future generations? Answering this question requires a knowledge of the French Broad’s history, an understanding of its contemporary importance, and a concern for the watershed’s sustainable future. Through the Mountains fulfills these three criteria, and, in many ways, presents the larger story of America’s freshwater habitats through the incredible history of the French Broad.


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Thunder In the Mountains
The West Virginia Mine War, 1920–21
Lon Savage
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1990

The West Virginia mine war of 1920–21, a major civil insurrection of unusual brutality on both sides, even by the standards of the coal fields, involved thousands of union and nonunion miners, state and private police, militia, and federal troops. Before it was over, three West Virginia counties were in open rebellion, much of the state was under military rule, and bombers of the US Army Air Corps had been dispatched against striking miners.

The civil war began in the small railroad town of Matewan when Mayor C. C. Testerman and Police Chief Sid Hatfield sided with striking miners against agents of the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency, who attempted to evict the miners from company-owned housing. Thunder in the Mountains was the first book-length account of this crisis in American industrial relations and governance, much neglected in historical accounts.


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Timberline U.S.A.
High-Country Encounters from California to Maine
Donald Mace Williams
Utah State University Press, 2003

As a youth in Denver, Donald Mace Williams developed an affection for high mountain country. After a journalistic career spent mostly on flat lands, he set out to rediscover what was special about country above timberline. He hiked the high alpine in four of America's major ranges-the Rockies, Sierra Nevada, Cascades, and northern Appalachians-and in his narrative of his travels, he tells us what he saw and learned and who he met. Having visited some of these areas when younger, Williams compares his psychological and physical responses as an older man and how his ideas about how to treat the environment have evolved. A recurring theme is the compromises that people such as he make between the pull of mountains and freedom and the responsibilities of making a living in the lowlands. Mainly, he observes and experiences what is distinctive about the timberline environment.

Throughout his book, Williams gently informs readers regarding timberline history, nature, weather, and archaeology; high altitude physiology; and environmental concerns. Frequently, he recounts encounters with interesting and varied people he meets on the trails: a young British hiking companion who has come back to Colorado to repeat a climb on which, a year previously, his two fellow climbers died; a pilot who climbs isolated peaks in the Sierra Nevada in search of bouillon-can scrolls signed by famous early mountaineers; a "Literate Farmer" who pauses on a mountain trail in Vermont to discuss Robert Frost.

Donald Mace Williams is a retired journalist who has worked for such newspapers as The Wichita Eagle, Newsday, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Texas, has published one previous book (Interlude in Umbarger: Italian POWs and a Texas Church); poems in Western Humanities Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, and South Dakota Review; and a short story in Southwest Review. He now lives in Texas.


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Trial By Trail
Backpacking in the Smoky Mountains
Johnny Molloy
University of Tennessee Press, 1996
Now updated with a new preface that examines dramatic changes in his favorite hiking and camping area, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this classic adventure chronicle, which first appeared in 1996, launched the outdoor writing career of Johnny Molloy. The author of over sixty invaluable hiking, camping, and paddling guides to natural destinations all over the country, Molloy has turned irresistible enthusiasm for the great outdoors, evident in this book, into a profound career, dedicated to honoring and celebrating our greatest wild places—and helping others enjoy them as much as he has.

In fourteen lively personal essays, Johnny Molloy describes the adventures by which he came of age as a backpacker. Born a “flatlander” in Memphis, he first visited the Smokies while attending the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in the 1980s. Initially, he treated the park as a personal playground—a place to cut loose, break rules, and act irresponsibly. After many hiking excursions, however, he gained a more profound appreciation of the mountains, becoming an avid park volunteer intent on the protection and improvement of the area. He grew, as he puts it, both as an outdoor adventurer and as a human being.

Interwoven throughout these pieces is a wealth of Smoky Mountains lore and history along with dozens of tips for novice backpackers. Molloy’s stories encompass backpacking during all four seasons as well as accounts of solo hiking, off-trail hiking, and whitewater canoeing. Whether describing the hazards of crossing a stream in winter or what to do—and not to do—when one encounters a bear or a rattlesnake, Molloy writes with an infectious enthusiasm that will delight any lover of the outdoors.


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A Tribal Order
Politics and Law in the Mountains of Yemen
By Shelagh Weir
University of Texas Press, 2006

2008 — British-Kuwait Friendship Prize in Middle Eastern Studies – British Society for Middle Eastern Studies

A Tribal Order describes the politico-legal system of Jabal Razih, a remote massif in northern Yemen inhabited by farmers and traders. Contrary to the popular image of Middle Eastern tribes as warlike, lawless, and invariably opposed to states, the tribes of Razih have stable structures of governance and elaborate laws and procedures for maintaining order and resolving conflicts with a minimum of physical violence. Razihi leaders also historically cooperated with states, provided the latter respected their customs, ideals, and interests. Weir considers this system in the context of the rugged environment and productive agricultural economy of Razih, and of centuries of continuous rule by Zaydi Muslim regimes and (latterly) the republican governments of Yemen.

The book is based on Weir's extended anthropological fieldwork on Jabal Razih, and on her detailed study of hundreds of handwritten contracts and treaties among and between the tribes and rulers of Razih. These documents provide a fascinating insight into tribal politics and law, as well as state-tribe relations, from the early seventeenth to the late twentieth century. A Tribal Order is also enriched by case histories that vividly illuminate tribal practices. Overall, this unusually wide-ranging work provides an accessible account of a remarkable Arabian society through time.


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Trumpets in the Mountains
Theater and the Politics of National Culture in Cuba
Laurie A. Frederik
Duke University Press, 2012
Trumpets in the Mountains is a compelling ethnography about Cuban culture, artistic performance, and the shift in national identity after 1990, when the loss of Soviet subsidies plunged Cuba into a severe economic crisis. The state's response involved opening the economy to foreign capital and tourism, and promoting previously deprecated cultural practices as quintessentially Cuban. Such contradictions of Cuba's revolutionary ideals elicited an official preoccupation with how twenty-first-century cubanía, or Cubanness, was to be understood by its citizens and creatively interpreted by its artists. The rural campesino was re-envisioned as a key symbol of the future; the embodiment of socialist humility, cultural pureness, and educated refinement; potentially the Hombre Novísimo (even newer man) to replace the Hombre Nuevo (new man) of Cuban communist philosophy.

Campesinos inhabit some of the island's most isolated areas, including the mountainous regions in central and eastern Cuba where Laurie A. Frederik conducted research among rural communities and professional theater groups. Analyzing the ongoing dialogue of cultural officials, urban and rural artists, and campesinos, Frederik provides an on-the-ground account of how visions of the nation are developed, manipulated, dramatized, and maintained in public consciousness. She shows that cubanía is defined, and redefined, in the interactive movement between intellectual, political, and everyday worlds.


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Where We Belong
Chemehuevi and Caxcan Preservation of Sacred Mountains
Daisy Ocampo
University of Arizona Press, 2023
This comparative work dispels the harmful myth that Native people are unfit stewards of their sacred places. This work establishes Indigenous preservation practices as sustaining approaches to the caretaking of the land that embody ecological sustainability, spiritual landscapes, and community well-being.

The author brings together the history and experiences of the Chemehuevi people and their ties with Mamapukaib, or the Old Woman Mountains in the East Mojave Desert, and the Caxcan people and their relationship with Tlachialoyantepec, or Cerro de las Ventanas, in Zacatecas, Mexico. Through a trans-Indigenous approach, Daisy Ocampo weaves historical methodologies (oral histories, archival research, ethnography) with Native studies and historic preservation to reveal why Native communities are the most knowledgeable and transformational caretakers of their sacred places.

This work transcends national borders to reveal how settler structures are sustained through time and space in the Americas. Challenging these structures, traditions such as the Chemehuevi Salt Songs and Caxcan Xuchitl Dance provide both an old and a fresh look at how Indigenous people are reimagining worlds that promote Indigenous-to-Indigenous futures through preservation.

Ultimately, the stories of these two peoples and places in North America illuminate Indigenous sovereignty within the field of public history, which is closely tied to governmental policies, museums, archives, and agencies involved in historic preservation.

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A Wonderment Of Mountains
The Great Smokies
Carson Brewer
University of Tennessee Press, 2003

 “Carson Brewer at his absolute best.” – Sam Venable

Carson Brewer on…

Mountain places

Snow was nice and crunchy underfoot. Not crunchy like peanuts or cornflakes. Rather, it was a silky whispery crunchy.

Mountain plants

You can bury your nose deep in the cool violet bed and smell the mix of life and death while pondering the unceasing cycle of each into the other.

Mountain People

Lem Ownby…has plowed oxen, mules, and horses on the forty-four acre farm on Jakes Creek. But he has never owned or driven an automobile.

The Author: Carson Brewer was a reporter and columnist for more than forty years. His columns on conservation issues and on the Great Smoky Mountains earned him the E.J. Meeman Conservation Award (twice) from the Scripps-Howard Foundation, the Golden Press Card award from the Society of Professional Journalists (which also named a scholarship in his honor in 1984), and the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award from the Knoxville Writers Guild. He died on January 15, 2003.


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