Blue Ridge 2020

An Owner's Manual

By Steve Nash

288 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 8 color and 22 b&w illus., 2 tables, notes, bibl., index

  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8078-6112-7
    Published: July 2003
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-6937-1
    Published: July 2003

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Awards & distinctions

2000 Philip D. Reed Award, Southern Environmental Law Center

The mountain chain known as the Blue Ridge traces a 550-mile arc through Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia. Along the way, it encompasses Shenandoah National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, seven national forests, numerous federal wilderness areas and state parks, and parts of the Appalachian Trail. It is the largest concentration of public lands east of the Mississippi and home to an astonishing diversity of plant and animal life. But as the most extensive natural area in the increasingly populous Southeast, the Blue Ridge ecosystem faces unique challenges in the next decades.

Drawing on scientific research in a variety of disciplines, journalist Steve Nash provides a clear and evenhanded introduction to some of the most hotly disputed environmental issues facing the Blue Ridge, including the invasion of exotic plants and insects, the explosive growth of suburban-style communities in natural areas, worsening air and water pollution, and the erratic management of national forests. Informative and highly readable, Blue Ridge 2020 takes a hard look at what is at risk in these mountains and what we--as the "owners" of the public lands--must do if we intend to preserve their future.

About the Author

Steve Nash is associate professor of journalism at the University of Richmond. His reporting on environmental issues has appeared in numerous publications, including BioScience, The Scientist, National Parks, the Washington Post, and the Christian Science Monitor.

For more information about Steve Nash, visit the Author Page.


"Steve Nash is a journalist and a college professor, and he approaches the subject of the Blue Ridge Mountains with the discipline required of both professions. In Blue Ridge 2020: An Owner’s Manual, he strives to describe his subject with scientific clarity, neither exaggerating the damage done to the forests nor minimizing the dim prospects for many of the species that live there. The result is a thorough and clear-eyed examination of this most precious and majestic resource."--Greensboro News and Record

"Patient, painstaking and even-handed. . . . A helpful look at a valued resource--just the sort of owner’s manual for those who feel a sense of ownership in the Blue Ridge." --Jack Betts, The Charlotte Observer

"Connects problems with solutions."--Rupert Cutler, The Roanoke Times

"Takes a hard look at what may happen in the coming decades to the natural systems of the Blue Ridge mountains."--Publishers Weekly

"A fascinating account of the economic and ecological forces shaping the Blue Ridge . . . highly recommended."--Library Journal

"Blue Ridge 2020 is a book that needed to be written if we are to have the public awareness that will cause us to do the right things to perpetuate the beauty and charm of the mountains."--Hugh Morton