Program to explore human impacts on Smokies

The human impact on the mountain landscape that is now Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be examined during a program at Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center on Tuesday, March 6.

The free program, “The Great Smokies: From Natural Habitat to National Park,” will begin at 7 pm.

Historian and author Daniel S. Pierce will present a slide show and talk about the human impact on the mountain environment, including the physical and cultural marks left on the land by Native Americans, European settlers, war deserters, businessmen and moonshiners. Pierce will discuss issues involving wildlife, watersheds and the character of the Smokies as he recounts the 8,000 years people have existed in and around what is today the most visited national park in the United States.

Pierce earned his doctoral degree at the University of Tennessee and currently teaches at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

The Mountain Heritage Center is located on the ground floor of WCU’s H. F. Robinson Administration Building. Call the center at (828) 227-7129 for more information.