Roots in the River, Part 2 | Carolina Stories
Bottomland hardwood forests once spread out along the banks of all Southern floodplain rivers, covering 15 million acres. Today, all the great Southern river-bottom forests have been cleared or drained, or cut into remnants. Less than one percent of these forests remains, and they are considered an endangered landscape. Now, Congaree National Park is the largest old-growth bottomland forest in the country, and the only one that remains intact. The poverty that existed in the South after the Civil War allowed land to be sold inexpensively to buyers from the North. Southerners were eager to sell their land and were willing to work, cutting timber for pennies a day.