An Environmental History of Linville Gorge


Comprising over 12,000 acres, the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area contains rugged cliff faces which drop thousands of feet to the sinuous Linville River.  Often called the “Grand Canyon of the East,” the area is home to a plethora of unique rock formations, ancient Appalachian forests, and a variety of wildlife.  Native Americans and white settlers left their mark on the area as well, and the gorge and the surrounding mountains have been the site of religious rituals, logging, agriculture, and modern-day recreation opportunities.  Environmental history attempts to explore relationships between people and their environments, and to understand Linville Gorge or the people who have lived and traveled in the area, an understanding of these interrelationships is crucial.

Introductory Text: 

Frankenberg, Dirk.  Exploring North Carolina's Natural Areas: Parks, Nature Preserves, and Hiking Trails.  Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000.    ASU MAIN STACKS  QH76.5.N8 E86 2000.

Library of Congress Subject Headings: 

Highly Relevant:

  • Human Ecology -- History
  • Human Ecology -- Appalachian Region, Southern -- History
  • Forests And Forestry -- Appalachian Region
  • National Parks And Reserves -- Appalachian Region, Southern -- Management
  • Nature Conservation -- North Carolina
  • North Carolina Rivers
  • Pisgah National Forest (N.C.)
  • Appalachian Region, Southern

Also Relevant:

  • Cherokee Indians -- North Carolina
  • Cherokee Indians -- Ethnobotany
  • Forestry And Community -- Blue Ridge Mountains -- History
  • Foresters -- Southern States -- History
  • Medicinal Plants -- Appalachian Region, Southern
  • National Parks And Reserves -- Government Policy -- United States
  • Nature Conservation -- Social Aspects -- United States
  • Nature Conservation -- United States
  • Nature Conservation -- United States -- History
  • Rock Climbing -- North Carolina -- Guidebooks
  • Stream Ecology -- North Carolina

More General:

  • Cycling -- Blue Ridge Mountains -- Guidebooks
  • Forestry -- Law And Legislation -- North Carolina
  • Forests And Forestry -- North Carolina
  • Hunting -- Indians
  • Hunting -- North Carolina
  • Hunting -- United States -- History
  • Land Use -- Rural -- Environmental Aspects -- United States -- History
  • Medicinal Plants -- Appalachian Region
  • Nature Conservation -- United States -- History
  • Nature Conservation -- Political Aspects -- United States
  • Nature Conservation -- Social Aspects -- United States
  • National Parks And Reserves
  • Stream Ecology
  • Water Quality -- North Carolina
  • Wild And Scenic Rivers
Clipping Files Subject Headings - W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection: 
  • Appalachia - History
  • Avery County, NC
  • Bears
  • Blue Ridge Mountains
  • Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Brown Mountain Lights
  • Burke County, NC
  • Camping
  • Cherokee Indians
  • Cherokee Indians – History
  • Climate
  • Climbing (Rock, Ice)
  • Endangered Species
  • Environment
  • Environment - Acid Rain
  • Folklore -- Cherokee Indians
  • Forest Fires
  • Forests and Trees
  • Geography – Appalachia
  • Hiking
  • Linville Gorge, NC
  • Linville, NC Literature – Appalachia
  • Mountains
  • Natural Resources
  • Outdoor Education
  • Outward Bound
  • Paddling
  • Pisgah National Forest
  • Recreation
  • Rescues
  • Rocks
  • Wilderness Areas
  • Wildflowers and Plants
  • Wildlife Conservation
Library of Congress Call Numbers: 
  • E98-E99
  • F216-217
  • GE150
  • GF13
  • GF 504
  • GV199
  • HD216
  • PS558
  • QH76
  • QH105
  • SB484

Blake, Christopher, Ed.  River of Cliffs: A Linville Gorge ReaderBoone, N.C.: Parkway Publishers, 2005.  ASU APP COLL STACK  PS558.N8 R58 2005.     

Davis, Donald Edward.  Where There are Mountains: An Environmental History of the Southern Appalachians.  Athens:  University of Georgia Press, 2000.  ASU APP COLL STACK  GF504.A5 D38 1999.    

Newell, Claire L. and Robert K. Peet.  “Vegetation of Linville Gorge Wilderness, North Carolina.”  Castanea > Vol. 63, No. 3 (Sep., 1998), pp. 275-322.  

Silver, Tim.  Mount Mitchell and the Black Mountains: An Environmental History of the Highest Peaks in Eastern America.  Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 2003.  ASU APP COLL QH105.N8 S55 2003.  

Guides, Encyclopedias, and Dictionaries: 

Abramson, Rudy, and Jean Haskell, Eds.  “Linville Gorge Area, North Carolina.”  The Encyclopedia of Appalachia. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 2006.  654-655.  APP COLL  F106 .E53 2006.
Fisher, Ron.  Blue Ridge Range:  The Gentle MountainsWashington, DC:  The National Geographic Society, 1992.  ASU APP COLL STACK  F217.B6 F57 1992.  12-15, 26-28, 44-49, 64, 68, 84.

Frankenberg, Dirk.  Exploring North Carolina's Natural Areas: Parks, Nature Preserves, and Hiking TrailsChapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000.    ASU MAIN STACKS  QH76.5.N8 E86 2000.  269, 281-290, 291, 293-295, 296, 326.

Lambert, Yon and Harrison Shull.Selected Climbs in North CarolinaSeattle, WA : Mountaineers Books, 2002.  1-16, 103-179.  ASU APP COLL STACK  GV199.42.N66 L36 2002.    

Linville Gorge Wilderness.  US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Region.  4 December 2007.  <>

Powell, William S., ed.  “Linville Gorge.”  Encyclopedia of North Carolina.  Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006.  680-681.


“A Selected Bibliography of Scholarship on Appalachia.”  Appalachian Studies Association.  2000.

Appalachian Bibliography.  Morganton, WV: West Virginia University Library, 1980. ASU APP COLL STACKS: Z 1251 .A7 A6 1980.

Bibliography of Southern AppalachiaCharlotte T. Ross, ed.  Boone, NC: Appalachian Consortium Press, 1976. ASU APP COLL OVERSIZE: Z1251 .A7 B5x.

Appalachian Studies Selected ResourcesHutchins Library, Berea College.  Berea, KY:  Hutchins Library, 1982.  ASU APP COLL STACK  Z1251.A7 A754 1982      

The Environment of Appalachia.  Linda PhillipsBerea, KY:  Berea College Appalachian Center, 1976.    ASU APP COLL STACK  Z5861 .P55 1976      

“WorldCat.”  Located at the Online Computer Research Center.  Offers millions of catalogued items from libraries over the world.  Dates back to 1000 AD.  Ability to find much more specific sources because of its meta-database qualities.  ASU WEB ACCESS.

Abstracts and Indices: 

Dissertation Abstracts Online.  Located at the Online Computer Research Center.  Updated monthly, contains Dissertation records dating to 1861 and Thesis abstracts dating to 1980.  Two million plus records from North America and Europe.  ASU WEB ACCESS.

GEOBASE.  Located at the Online Computer Research Center. 
1980-present, and updated monthly.  GEOBASE contains citations, with abstracts from more than 2,100 international journals, books, theses, conference proceedings and reports in geography, geology, ecology, and related disciplines. ASU WEB ACCESS.

GeoRefS.  Located at the Online Computer Research Center.  Provides access to the Geoscience literature of the world.  Updated semimonthly.  Dates back to 1785 for North America.  ASU WEB ACCESS.

JSTOR.  Located at  “JSTOR specializes in making available the back issues of academic journals in a wide variety of humanities and social science disciplines. Issues are available both as images and as text. Searching is possible within each title and across the whole database.”  Updated monthly.  ASU WEB ACCESS.


Appalachian Journal. Quarterly publication. Boone, NC: Appalachian Consortium Press, 1972 - present. ASU APP COLL F216.2.A66
Castanea:  The Journal of the Southern Appalachian Society ClubMorgantown, WV:  Published for the Club at West Virginia University, 1937-Bound: v.10- 1945-.  Web Access (1937-2003).(
Wildlife in North CarolinaRaleigh, N.C., North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.  Bound: v.12, 1948-v.40, 1976; v.42- 1978-.  ASU PERIODICALS .
Gray, L.C.  “The Social and Economic Implications of the National Land Program.”   Journal of Farm Economics18 (May): 257-273.  Full Internet access for the Journal of Farm Economics is available through the ASU Library.

Newell, Claire L.  Local and Regional Variation in the Vegetation of the Southern Appalachian Mountains.  Thesis (Ph. D.).  Chapel Hill, NC:  University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1997.  ASU APP COLL MIC  Micro- Fiche 257.

Compiled by: 

Compiled: Theo Saslow, 6 December 2007