Outdoors roundupWritten by Admin
New wildlife regulations adopted
Of 39 changes to N.C. Wildlife Commission regulations proposed this year, 38 were approved when the commission voted on the proposals Feb. 16.
Among the changes were creation of the 1,925-acre William H. Silver Game Land in Haywood County; allowing bear baiting with unprocessed food on private lands during the first half of the mountain bear season; letting trappers apply unused tags during the following season; eliminating the use of paper big game harvest sheets in favor of phone or online reporting; and redefining youth as anyone under age 18.
The only proposal not approved would have prohibited the use of archery equipment for taking nongame fish on a section of Lake James. After hearing from constituents, wildlife commissioners recognized that stakeholders are working together to resolve the issues the proposal attempted to address.
New regulations will be effective Aug. 1. The full text of 2017 wildlife proposals is online at www.ncwildlife.org/portals/0/news /documents/pubhearbook_2017_18_w.pdf.
Explore astronomy in Bryson City
A trio of portable planetarium shows will be offered Friday, Feb. 24, at the Marianna Black Library in Bryson City.
With programs at 2, 3 and 5:30 p.m., the show will take people through past and present views of the night sky in an entertaining and fact-filled format. The Fontana Regional Library recently acquired the portable planetarium through a grant from the Library Services and Technology Act.
Free, with seating limited. Reserve a ticket at 828.488.3030, ext. 129.
Learn how to fight invasive plants
Landscape and nursery professionals will have a chance to learn about invasive plant management from a roster of botany and ecology professionals during a workshop 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, at the Highlands Community Building in Highlands.
The program will include an overview of invasive plant issues in Western North Carolina, as well as control and eradication methods for invasive plant species and a segment on native alternatives to invasive ornamental plants. Faculty will include Gary Kaufmann, botanist and plant ecologist for the U.S. Forest Service; Bob Gale, ecologist and public lands director for MountainTrue; James Costa, executive director of the Highlands Biological Station; and Russell Funderburk, horticulture specialist for the Highlands Biological Station.
Continuing education credits are available from several professional organizations. The workshop is free with a $50 cost for CEU administration. Lunch provided.
Register at www.highlandsbiological.org/invasive-plants.
Base Camp Adventure is gearing up for a four-day trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee, to leave Sunday, March 5, and return Wednesday, March 8, after a full itinerary of hikes and exploration.
The group will hike around Lookout Mountain, explore downtown Chattanooga and visit the Tennessee Aquarium, Nancy Ward Home and Point Park Civil War site.
Conference to examine outdoor tourism and the economy
A conference exploring the link between outdoor tourism and the economy will be held Tuesday, Feb. 28, at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee.
Hosted by Western Carolina University’s Hospitality and Tourism Program, the conference aims to discuss ways to grow demand for outdoor tourism, which contributes to Western North Carolina’s economy. Speakers will address evolving outdoor tourism and generational marketing trends, as well as the outdoor tourism economy’s contribution to the region’s economic development. Berkeley Young, president of Young Strategies in Charlotte, will give the keynote address on outdoor travel trends and the how the future of outdoor adventure tourism fits into market demands.
Event sponsors are Harrah’s, Duke Energy, Nantahala Outdoor Center and Smoky Mountain Host.
Registration is $139 and $29 for the TDA session. Discounts available for overnight accommodations. Register at tourism.wcu.edu.
Forest Service to give pointers on contract bidding
People looking to do contract work for the U.S. Forest Service will have a chance to learn the ins and outs of bidding on projects during a pair of drop-in Industry Days events this month.
Noon to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, at the Nantahala Ranger District Office in Franklin.
Noon to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at the Southern Research Station Headquarters in Asheville.
A crash course on keeping backyard poultry will be offered 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Macon County Extension Office in Franklin.
The workshop will cover breed selection, hatching, brooding, nutrition, housing, diseases, biosecurity, egg production, meat production, processing and predators. The flock of poultry producers in attendance will also get the chance to network with other producers and enjoy lunch.
Free. Register at 828.349.2046.
Wild game dinner to support education
Enjoy wild game dishes while supporting education at the 11th annual Wild Game Dinner, 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at the Haywood County Fairgrounds in Lake Junaluska.
The evening will feature door prize drawings, a silent auction and a live auction, as well as live entertainment and a competition for game and non-game calls.
A fundraiser for the Wildlife Club at Haywood Community College, the dinner will help send students to the Annual Southeastern Wildlife Conclave and support a wildlife student scholarship, among other opportunities.
Bring a wild game dish, vegetables or dessert. $10 admission or $5 if you bring a dish. Children under 12 eat free.
Disc golf tournament coming to Waynesville
Registration is now open for a disc golf tournament headed to Waynesville on Sunday, March 12.
The Blind Hog Day Light Savings Throw Down, hosted by Waynesville Parks and Recreation, will be sanctioned by the Professional Disc Golf Association and take place the town’s disc golf course at Vance Street Park.
Register at www.discgolfscene.com. Fees range from $35 to $65 depending on division entered.