First MacKaye noted the opportunities for
"Throughout the Southern
Appalachians, throughout the Northwoods, and even through the Alleghenies
that wind their way among the smoky industrial towns of Pennsylvania, he
recollects vast areas of secluded forests, pastoral lands, and water
courses, which, with proper facilities and protection, could be made to
serve as the breath of a real life for the toilers in the bee-hive cities
along the Atlantic seaboard and elsewhere."
he noted the possibilities for health and recuperation:
"The oxygen in the mountain air
along the Appalachian skyline is a natural resource (and a national
resource) that radiates to the heavens its enormous health-giving powers
with only a fraction of a percent utilized for human rehabilitation. Here is
a resource that could save thousands of lives. The sufferers of
tuberculosis, anemia and insanity go through the whole strata of human
society. Most of them are helpless, even those economically well off. They
occur in the cities and right in the skyline belt. For the farmers, and
especially the wives of farmers, are by no means escaping the grinding-down
process of our modern life.
Most sanitariums now established
are perfectly useless to those afflicted with mental disease - the most
terrible, usually, of any disease. Many of these sufferers could be cured.
But not merely by "treatment." They need acres not medicine. Thousands of
acres of this mountain land should be devoted to them with whole communities
planned and equipped for their cure.
after the opportunities for recreation and recuperation our giant counts
off, as a third big resource, the opportunities in the Appalachian belt
for employment on the land. This brings up a need that is becoming
urgent - the redistribution of our population, which grows more and more top