North Carolina’s Mountain Treasures
Help Protect the Vulnerable Wildlands of the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests

Wilderness: Islands in a Sea of Development

Old-growth white oak photo by Lamar Marshall

Only a few centuries ago, Indian settlements were tiny islands scattered within the continent-wide wilderness of
America. Carolina parakeets, Passenger pigeons, Ivory-billed woodpeckers and buffalo were just a few of the species that made the Appalachian Mountains rich and teeming with life.

Early explorers described the land as a paradise. Today, designated Wilderness areas are scattered islands within a vast sea of human developments, roads, agricultural lands and unnaturally managed timberlands.

These Wilderness islands are the remnants of “Original America” and represent an era of freedom that can never fully be known again. Population, human habitat and land conversion has changed the landscape forever. For this reason, every remaining public roadless area is precious and must be preserved.

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