"If these people were on the skyline, and kept their eyes open, they would see the things that the giant could see."
- Benton MacKaye, 1921
 

MacKaye saw three opportunities for the Appalachian Mountain range

 

James Neill, 2003

Mackaye saw 3 opportunities in the Appalachian mountain range:

First MacKaye noted the opportunities for recreation:

 

"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."

 

Second, 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.

 

Next 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 heavy."