Humans Threaten Wilderness

A Plea for Southern Treasures

The New York Times article, “A Plea for Southern Treasures” written by Joanna M. Foster, emphasizes the threats people pose to nature by summarizing the top 10 endangered areas in the Southeast. The causes for these threats range from a variety of human attempts to alter nature.

In Alabama, the coast lines still suffer heavy damage caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  There are plans for a 4-lane highway to be built between Chattanooga, Tennessee and Asheville, North Carolina and the attempts to implement hydro-electric damns and reservoirs threaten the well being of the Catawba-Wateree River Basin in North Carolina.

Interestingly, all of these concerns were also raised by Edward Abbey in Desert Solitaire.  This article reveals that threats to nature and wilderness areas are a concern all over the country, whether it be in the lush mountain areas in Tennessee or the bare desert in Utah.  The threats listed in the top 10 endangered areas in the Southeast are all a result of the the human desire to reap economic gain from uninhabited areas.

This article poses an interesting question: where do we draw the line between development and conservation?

Chilhowee Mountain area in the Cherokee National Forest

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