Publisher description for Mount Mitchell and the Black Mountains : an environmental history of the highest peaks in eastern America / Timothy Silver.


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Counter Each year, thousands of tourists visit Mount Mitchell, the most prominent feature of North Carolina's Black Mountain range and the highest peak in the eastern United States. Environmental historian Timothy Silver explores the long and complicated history of this intriguing landscape, drawing on both the historical record and his experience in the Black Mountains as a backpacker and fly fisherman. He chronicles the geological and environmental forces that created the mountains, then traces their history of environmental change and human intervention from the days of Indian-European contact to today.

Among the many tales Silver recounts is that of Elisha Mitchell, the renowned geologist and University of North Carolina professor for whom Mount Mitchell is named, who fell to his death there in 1857. But nature's stories--of forest fires, chestnut blight, competition among plants and animals, insect invasions, and, most recently, airborne toxins and acid rain--are also part of Silver's narrative, making it the first history of the Appalachians in which the natural world gets equal time with human history. It is only by understanding the dynamic between these two forces, Silver says, that we can begin to protect the Black Mountains for future generations.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Mountain ecology North Carolina Mount Mitchell (Mountain) History, Human ecology North Carolina Mount Mitchell (Mountain) History, Mount Mitchell (N, C, : Mountain) Environmental conditions, Mountain ecology North Carolina Black Mountains History, Human ecology North Carolina Black Mountains History, Black Mountains (N, C, ) Environmental conditions