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Unicoi Unity

Unicoi Unity

A Natural History of the Unicoi and Snowbird Mountains and Their Plants, Fungi, and Animals

by Owen Link McConnell
Publication Date: 10/12/2013
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The Unicoi Mountains straddle the Tennessee-North Carolina state line just south of the Great Smoky Mountains, separated from the latter mountains only by the Little Tennessee River. Extending from the Little Tennessee River southward to the Hiwassee River, the Unicois are the southernmost segment of the high Unaka ridge that forms the western escarpment of the southern Appalachians. The Snowbird Mountains are included with the Unicois because they are connected like a spur ridge to the Unicois. The Unicois have been isolated and difficult to access until the completion in 1996 of the forty-two-mile-long, superbly scenic Cherohala Skyway that courses along the highest ridges of the Unicois at elevations up to 5,390 feet and provides outstanding views of forested mountains. The Unicoi Mountains have been relatively undisturbed by human development since most of the land is publicly owned and managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The Unicois harbor many diverse natural treasures that are hidden from the casual observer.
Along with his personal observations, the author describes and synthesizes the results of scientific research on the natural assets of the Unicois, including intensive surveys of plants and animals in certain areas, the results of which have often been reported only in places where the general public cannot easily access them. The author's purpose in writing the book is to share with others what he has learned about the special natural features (landscape, geology, climate, flora, fungi, and fauna) of the Unicois and their historical roots-with the hope of inspiring others to enjoy, cherish, and conserve them. Unicoi Unity also reviews the history of the effects of humans on the Unicoi ecosystem and anticipates future challenges.
Wildlife: general interest
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United States
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