Reference Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

What are advantages and disadvantages of the Appalachain Mountains

Expert Answers info

Lynnette Wofford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write7,057 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

Advantages and disadvantages are not absolutes but rather transitive terms. In other words, a location can only be properly described as advantageous or disadvantageous for certain people or activities.

Coal mining has been a major industry in Appalachia, and  one could consider it an advantage for economic development; on the other hand, regions that rely heavily on extractive industries tend to be subject to boom and bust cycles, and, in the long run, it might be an economic disadvantage. Moreover, addiction to a single industry that is fast becoming obsolete due to the growth of renewable energy is a disadvantage, as is the pollution and environmental devastation left by strip mining.

The geographical nature of the Appalachians is not really suitable for large scale farming, something that limits the potential for corporate farms, but may provide opportunities for small-scale and specialty farms.

The scenery and recreational opportunities are typically regarded as advantageous for tourism. While tourism can bring in revenue, most jobs in tourism are poorly paid service jobs, and tourists from areas with better paying jobs may drive up prices making certain areas too expensive for locals.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

jimbodonahue eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write14 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and Business

All mountains have advantages and disadvantages, so I will try to stick to those specific to the Appalachian Mountains.

One major advantage of the Appalachian Mountains is their beauty. Many national, state, and local parks preserve the landscape, including the famous Appalachian Trail, or the AT. The AT runs from Springer Mountain, GA to Mount Katahdin, ME, roughly 2,200 miles (3,500 km). It passes through Great Smokey Mountain National Park, the most visited national park in the United States.

Another advantage is the natural resources. Timber and coal are abundant, giving the mountains a reputation for industry. However, these have also turned into a disadvantage, particularly the latter. The impact of coal mining, both locally and globally, is very negative. This dependence on coal has led to poor economic performance, particularly in West Virginia.

Another disadvantage is the inaccessible people. Many live in "hollows," valleys that are often only reachable by one lane roads. This helps perpetuate the depressed economic conditions. Since school, work, and medical care are harder to access, illiteracy and unemployment remain high.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial