Nantahala National Forest – A History
Created in 1920, the 500,000-acre Nantahala National Forest dominates the rugged southwestern corner of North Carolina. Rivers such as the Cheoah, Cullasaja, Chattooga, Nantahala and Tuckasegee carve deep gorges, making the region one of the wettest in the nation. The Whitewater River tumbles over the highest waterfall in the eastern United States. Power companies dammed local rivers, creating some of North Carolina's most scenic recreational mountain lakes. The high peaks, secluded coves and forested woodlands of the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, Panthertown Valley and Buck Creek Serpentine Pine Barrens and other areas hold cultural and natural history secrets. Author and naturalist Marci Spencer reveals the history and splendor of the Nantahala National Forest.
About Marcia Spencer (Asheville, North Carolina Author)
A master's of science degree from East Tennessee State University prepared Marci for a career as a nurse practitioner in the fields of cardiology, emergency services, family medicine, and overseas medical missionary work. Weekends found her piloting a private aircraft or climbing a mountain somewhere. Now retired, Marci has volunteered in public resources at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, stationed at Clingmans Dome, and a volunteer educator for Appalachian Bear Rescue. She has authored three regional histories: Clingmans Dome, Highest Mountain in the Great Smokies, (2013) Pisgah National Forest: a History, (2014), and Nantahala National Forest: a History, (2017), all published by History Press. Grateful Steps Publishing Co. of Asheville published her children's book, based on true events, Potluck, Message Delivered: The Great Smoky Mountains are Saved! in 2015. The Yosemite Conservancy included Marci's essay, "Pine Siskins Make History" in its book, The Wonder of it All: 100 Stories from the National Park Service, published to celebrate the centennial of the national park service.
Marci earned naturalist certifications from the NC Arboretum, Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, and the NC Environmentalists Education Program. She offers presentations of the history of Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests and Clingmans Dome in the Smokies. She has taught classes on the Spruce-Fir Forest Ecosystem at the Arboretum and on the history of Pisgah at the Blue Ridge Community College in Hendersonville. Children are invited to her hands-on programs, entitled "Become a Jr. Bear Biologist" and "Become a Jr. Ornithologist" in classrooms, libraries, summer camps, and community events. Raising ceremonial white doves for release at weddings, funerals and other special events is a favorite hobby.