Eastern Forest Partnership

Focus Areas


Northern Forest


Catskills/Berkshire Plateau


Cumberland Plateau/Allegheny Plateau


Highlands Region


Southern Appalachians


Southern Coastal Forests


Southern Appalachians Map

The Southern Appalachians

The Southern Appalachian region encompasses over 38 million acres in 6 states ranging from Virginia to northwest Alabama.

The Southern Appalachian region is rich in natural history, wildlife and plants, outstanding recreation opportunities, and strong rural communities. Thanks to unique climate stability over millions of years, the Southern Appalachians have been like a greenhouse for species development, serving as refuge during periods of dramatic climatic change. The region is also unique for its proximity to so many: more than 100 million Americans live within a day's drive.

Special Features

  • The Southern Appalachians are some of the oldest mountains on earth and have the nation's most ecologically diverse forests and watersheds
  • Southern Appalachian rivers are equally renowned for world-class whitewater, superb fishing, and internationally significant aquatic diversity
  • The Southern Appalachians have more than four million acres of federal land, including the nation’s most visited national park: Great Smoky Mountains NP
  • Southern Appalachian forests are rich in natural resources, providing clean water to more than 2200 communities and valuable wood for furniture making and other industries

Conservation Threats & Opportunities

The close proximity of the Southern Appalachians to so many Americans have made them a target for residential development serving sprawling communities like Atlanta and also second home development and retirement communities.

While the region does have considerable public land and other conserved areas, this fragmented system will require additional conservation investments to create large forest blocks sufficient to protect important watersheds, wildlife habitat, recreation areas, and working forests. The region needs both funding from Forest Legacy and the Land and Water Conservation Fund to help meet this challenge.

Take Action

For more information, visit the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition or the Southern Environmental Law Center.


EFP Focus Area Contacts


Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition


Southern Environmental Law Center



Southern Appalachian Region Map


SAFC Conservation Vision