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Horace Kephart: The Naturalist Who Fought To Save The Smokies

Naturalist Horace Kephart is a Southern Appalachian icon. He authored beloved books about hiking and exploring, and one of his most famous is even lovingly referred to as the “camper’s Bible.” But Kephart is perhaps best known for his crusade to preserve the Great Smoky Mountains.

He spent years advocating to establish the Great Smoky Mountains National Park because of his own experience in the region. He wrote: “I owe my life to these mountains, and I want them preserved so that others may profit from them.”

A new biography compiles decades of research into the many facets of Horace Kephart, from his own mountainous exploration to his career as a librarian, and even his public fall from grace.

Host Frank Stasio talks to authors George Ellison and Janet McCue about “Back of Beyond: A Horace Kephart Biography” (Great Smoky Mountains Association/2019). Ellison is a naturalist and writer who lives in Bryson City, North Carolina, and McCue is a writer, researcher and the former director of the Mann Library at Cornell University.

Ellison will be at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville on Saturday, May 11 at 3 p.m.

Amanda Magnus grew up in Maryland and went to high school in Baltimore. She became interested in radio after an elective course in the NYU journalism department. She got her start at Sirius XM Satellite Radio, but she knew public radio was for her when she interned at WNYC. She later moved to Madison, where she worked at Wisconsin Public Radio for six years. In her time there, she helped create an afternoon drive news magazine show, called Central Time. She also produced several series, including one on Native American life in Wisconsin. She spends her free time running, hiking, and roller skating. She also loves scary movies.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.