With this stunning collection of images of the Southern Appalachians, James Valentine presents an enduring portrait of the region's unique natural character. His compelling photographs of ancient mountains, old-growth forests, rare plants, and powerful waterways reveal the Appalachians' rich scenic beauty, while Chris Bolgiano's interpretive text and captions tell the story of its natural history. Over four decades, Valentine has hiked hundreds of miles across mountainous parts of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia to photograph some of the last remnants of original forest. These scarce and scattered old-growth stands are the most biologically diverse temperate forests in the world. By sharing these remaining pristine wild places with us, Valentine and Bolgiano show that understanding these mountains and their extraordinary biodiversity is vital to maintaining the healthy environment that sustains all life.Featuring an introduction by the late, longtime conservationist Robert Zahner and a foreword by William Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society, this visually entrancing and verbally engaging book celebrates the vibrant life of Southern Appalachian forests.