Location: North Carolina and Tennessee & Established/Size: June 15, 1934; 521,896 acres
History: It's one of the oldest national parks on earth. Before the National Park became a park prehistoric Paleo-Indians, early Europeans in the 1800s, loggers, and Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees in the 20th century lived in the mountains.
Founders: David Chapman began in 1924-1930s to bring the park idea to fruition.
Ann Davis suggested to create a National Park in the Mountains
Paul Fink helped promote the mountains. He was responsible for routing the Appalachian Trail
George Masa took pictures of the park for magazines and articles to promote the park to raise funds to purchase the land
Ben Morton was mayor of Knoxville in the mid-1920s who advocated for the park. He sought out help for financial and political support from business leaders. He was involved with land aquisitions which helped to make the park a reality.
Mark Squires was a state senator in Lenoir, NC. He was able to secure state funding despite strong oppositions from logging companies who wanted to use the land
Jim Thompson was a Knoxville photographer helped promote that the Smoky Mountains as a suitable area for a national park
Charles A. Webb was an editor and co-publisher of the Asheville Citizen- Times. He was an important ally in getting support for the park.
Animals: 65 species of mammals, over 200 varieties of birds, 67 native fish species, and more than 80 types of reptile&hibians. The American Black Bear is the most famous resident. There are approximately 1500 bears that live in the park. There are also white-tailed deer, groundhogs, and chipmunks. Some of the fish are brook trout, Smoky Madtom, Yellowfin Madtom, Spotfin chub, and Duskytail Darter.
Plants: 1600 species of flowering plants however, 76 species of the park plants are threatened or endangered. Non-native plants have been introduced by human activity are a threat such as kudzu, mimosa, multiflora roses, and Japanese grass grow aggressively over-taking native plants.
Future Plans: Restoring the Smokies' Rare Wetlands with an Impact Grant will help remove invasive plants, sow seeds for native species cultivation, & improve the water quality along the Raven Fork and Oconaluftee River
Preservation&Conservation: the park preserves the rich cultural tapestry of Southern Appalachian history. The park strives to protect historic structures, landscapes, & artifacts that tell varied stories of when people lived in the mountains.