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...they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. They made it desolate and being desolate it mourneth me: the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart.
The watershed of the Upper Tennessee Valley comprises some 22,000 square miles, including East Tennessee, Western North Carolina, and parts of northern Georgia and southwestern Virginia. It is bordered on the west by the Cumberland Plateau. To the east, it includes the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the surrounding national forests. This website reports on this watershed as a bioregion -- that is a geographical area with a unique ecology and culture.
This website was established out of a need to communicate the debt, breath, and multiplicity of the assaults this region is facing. The fragmentary awareness of the problems which many people hold, does not do justice to the deep, broad, long-term, multidimensional, multidisciplinairy understanding needed to match our predicament. To address this issue, the Foundation for Global Sustainability published the State of the Bioregion Report: an effort to provide a synoptical narrative that aims to assess the total human impact on the long-term human, ecological, and spiritual health of this bioregion.
This site is based on this report (as well as complementary information) and provides summary fact sheets of the book chapters, student activities, and weblinks to related regional and other sites. The State of the Bioregion report was written by dozens of volunteers over the course of 2.5 years. The report was not funded by outside interest groups. This does not however mean the report is unbiased. All authors, even the most scientific, select the facts that seem most significant to them (or their discipline--or their bosses). This is important to remember. Only through the careful comparison of different perspectives can we arrive at consensus on the course of our future policies. Thus, our choice of fact is admittedly biased, focusing on those facts which are of interest to people who want to protect and heal this land. We hope you value these goals as much as we do.
Link to Understanding Ecosystem Management: Teachers Page of the Bureau of Land Management.
Link to other Teachers' Resources.
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