This study investigates the relationship between the remaining residents of Appalachian Eastern Kentucky's Red River Gorge area and their environment with special emphasis on the historical and current social factors that play a role in their refusal to vacate the area. For two decades, these people have faced the possibility of losing their land and homes to area development projects while they have simultaneously become aware of what it can mean to be labeled "Appalachian". Currently, they are contending with the implications of a management plan proposed by the United States Forest Service. Cross-cultural research on areas developed as recreational arenas indicates that the residents as a whole stand only to lose in such situations. The optimum solution from the perspective of the people along the Red River is to be left alone, but this is not going to happen as the popularity of the Gorge has steadily grown over the past years and as the Forest Service has greatly increased its holdings. Appropriate planning to reduce the losses of the locals who view their land as irreplaceable is suggested as a primary consideration in this area and in others where recreational development is planned.
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The work upon which this report is cased was supported in part by funds provided by the United States Department of the Interior, Washington, D. C., as authorized by the Water Research and Development Act of 1978. Public Law 95-467.
Brinegar, Pamela L.; DeWalt, Billie R.; and Scott, Eugenie C., "Red River Gorge Residents: A Cultural and Historical Perspective" (1985). KWRRI Research Reports. 48.