Stand Up That Mountain: The Battle to Save One Small Community in the Wilderness Along the Appalachian Trail

Jay Erskine Leutze. Scribner, $27 (400p) ISBN 978-1-4516-7900-7
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Leutze’s first book recounts his role in defending a small town situated along the scenic Appalachian Trail against a large-scale gravel mine operation that threatened to lop off the summit of Belview Mountain in North Carolina’s Avery County. With a law degree from Chapel Hill, Leutze is encouraged to lead the charge against the proposed mine, which is located a stone’s throw from the home of the Cox family. To everyone’s surprise, 14-year-old Ashley Cox can cite the specific statutes being violated right outside her window, and in 1999 she introduces the author to the world of e-mail and Web searches. Though Leutze describes himself as nonpracticing lawyer who stepped out of the fast track “to fish and hike and read,” to the Coxes he’s a “lawyer with connections in the middle of the state.” Against all odds, Leutze leads a campaign that gains nationwide support. It becomes a landmark case when the site is proved to affect the Appalachian Trail, a federally protected park. Leutze’s affable narrative takes the scenic route, pausing to recount a piece of Avery County lore or to take in the panoramic vistas. Wide-eyed and instructive, the story carries the reader through the complex, occasionally riveting twists and turns of the American judicial system and strikingly depicts the region’s unique beauty. Agent: Liz Darhansoff, Darhansoff & Verill. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/23/2012
Release date: 06/05/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 387 pages - 978-1-4516-8264-9
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-4516-8265-6
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