The picture above is from Mortons Overlook near the top of Newfound Gap Road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Looking down the valley towards Gatlinburg, you can see the Chimney Tops towards the upper left of the image. You can also see many dead fir trees. As many friends of the Smoky Mountains know, an invasive species called the Woolly Adelgid has attacked fir trees with devastating results.
Up on Clingmans Dome the destruction is even more evident. For years to come our experience of the high-elevation Smoky Mountains will be one of grand vistas punctuated with nevergreen skeletons.
We are just back from the Smokey Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains and the scenery is quite sad indeed. The Mountains are covered with many many dead trees. Dead trees are left on the ground and trees attacked, but not yet dead, are not cut down to prevent the invation to spread.
Is there a programm in place to try to eradicate this attack?
Just returned from Maggie Valley (May 15, 20011). First time up there. I couldn’t believe the amount of dead trees in that area. Being an outdoors man, I noticed them right off. It’s a sad thing.
Ya know, I grew up In Cades Cove, being the son of a Park Ranger there in the 70’s. The Smoky Mountains will always be home to me and occupy the most special place in my heart. But what has happened to the Park in my short lifetime is not only tragic, but must constitute sin of the greatest proportion in the eyes of our God. Today, My 20 year old daughter walked through woods that I roamed as a kid, and that I took her to when she was younger . . . and she wept. Not from the awe that we had always experienced in the past, but from the profound changes that she was able to see in HER SHORT LIFESPAN. Think about that for a moment and let it sink in. What in the hell type of profound change is a 20 year old supposed to see in a protected National Park in her lifetime????? WTF have we as Americans allowed to happen to one of our most precious, and indeed, one of the the hardest to replace National Resources. When the eco-system . . . of our PROTECTED lands is disentegrating during the lifetimes of . . . KIDS . . . what does that say about our futures. America deserves better folks and this is not even being talked about.
While it looks sad it is a part of Mother Natures grand design. We was there on the mountain at Cligmans Dome today & experienced the clouds hanging low enough that I could see & feel them. Praise our Heavenly Father for creating something that takes our breath away!