Ducktown desert

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By kjfitz @ 2005-08-15 15:09:17
A sulfuric acid and copper producing district, in rural southeastern Tennessee, where around 30,000 acres of natural vegetation was completely denuded off the rolling hills by the toxic sulfur dioxide fumes generated by the industry. As a result, around five feet of surface soil was lost to erosion, and the area became, as described by the geographer Grady Clay, "a fantastic expanse of raw red-and-orange terrain consisting largely of ruts, ravines, washes, and exposed subsoils". The area, industrialized since the late 1800's, has been undergoing revegitation since the 1970's, though a 500 acre exemplary plot of "desert" remains as part of the display at the Ducktown Museum. We drove through there when I was a child and even as unaware of environmental issues as a child is I remember thinking that something had gone seriously awry.
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