Press release from the Great Smoky Mountains Association:
George Ellison, who authored the new Horace Kephart title Back of Beyond: A Horace Kephart Biography in partnership with librarian and researcher Janet McCue, will be at Malaprop’s Bookstore in Asheville, N.C., Sunday, August 11, starting at 3 p.m. for a book signing event.
An icon of the Southern Appalachian region known for the seminal books Camping and Woodcraft (1906) and Our Southern Highlanders (1913), Kephart was instrumental in efforts to establish the Appalachian Trail along the Tennessee-North Carolina border. But Kephart is perhaps best known for his decade-long crusade to help protect the Smokies as a national park. For Kephart, this campaign represented a personal commitment: “I owe my life to these mountains and I want them preserved so that others may profit from them,” he wrote.
Visitors can interact with Ellison one-on-one at this free event open to the public to learn more about this librarian-turned-woodsman.
Ellison has written extensively about Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Kephart and for more than 30 years conducted natural history workshops for the Smoky Mountain Field School. As part of the park’s centennial celebration, he was designated one of “the 100 most influential people in the history of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.” Since 1987, Ellison has written the Nature Journal column for the Asheville Citizen-Times. In 2012 he won the Wild South Roosevelt-Ashe award for “Outstanding Journalism in Conservation.” In 2016 he and his wife, acclaimed artist Elizabeth Ellison, were named “Blue Ridge Naturalists of the Year.”
Great Smoky Mountains Association’s publications are designed to enhance greater public understanding, enjoyment and appreciation for the national park. A national park partner, GSMA has provided more than $44 million to support the park’s educational, scientific and historical programs since its inception 66 years ago. Support for the association is achieved primarily from sales of educational publications and from annual membership dues. Those who wish to enrich their national park experience are encouraged to become GSMA members.
For more information about Back of Beyond, other GSMA publications, membership and volunteer opportunities, visit SmokiesInformation.org.