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Wednesday, 01 October 2014 00:00

Outdoors roundup

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Hunters launch campaign to restore young forest

A campaign by the Ruffed Grouse Society and American Woodcock Society is aimed at raising awareness for more young forest habitat that these game species depend on. 

RGS and AWS members are being asked to recruit fellow grouse and woodcock hunters for membership. A drawing Dec. 31 will pick a winner to have his or her name put on a total of $12,500 in habitat grants that RGS and AWS will give to the state Drummer Funds. In addition, current members who refer a new member and the new members themselves will receive $20 Orvis gift cards. 

Young forests are one of the nation’s 20 most threatened bird habitats, with acreage decreasing by more than 33 percent in the eastern U.S. over the past several decades. Grouse, woodcock and over 40 species of songbirds rely on young forest habitat. or 888.564.6747. 


Lunar eclipse viewing at Jackson airport

A star party at 5 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, at the Jackson County Airport in Cullowhee will give the public a chance to view a total lunar eclipse with a Western Carolina University astronomer on hand to explain what’s going on. 

Lunar eclipses occur when the moon, Earth and sun are aligned so that the shadow of the Earth is cast on the moon. During a total eclipse, the moon is completely covered by the Earth’s shadow. Unlike total solar eclipses, when the moon comes in between the Earth and sun, lunar eclipses can be viewed safely with the naked eye.

Paul Heckert, WCU professor of astronomy and physics, will set up telescopes by 5 a.m., and the eclipse will begin to be visible by 5:15 a.m.

“Totality (when the moon is completely in the Earth’s shadow) will begin at 6:25 a.m. and end an hour later just before sunrise and moonset,” Heckert said. 

Free. The event will be cancelled if sky is completely overcast. 



Maggie asks for input on recreation needs

Maggie Valley is asking its residents for some feedback about what’s working and what’s not when it comes to outdoor recreation in town.

A survey will be used as the town starts planning for future recreational needs in Maggie Valley. The survey is online at under “important notices.” 


Parkway Foundation honors Mast General

Mast General Store won the Corporate Champions award from the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation recently, a recognition of Mast’s support of the Parkway through donations events, specialty license plate purchases and an employee giving program. 

“Mast General Store is the ideal corporation that values community and tradition. We are so fortunate to have them as a part of our community of stewards” said Carolyn Ward, CEO of the Foundation.

Mast General Store hosts a yearly event at its six Western North Carolina stores in which 10 percent of proceeds go to the Foundation, supporting specific Parkway projects. They purchased N.C. Blue Ridge Parkway specialty license plates for their fleet vehicles, and their employees also contribute to the Foundation through their employee giving program. 


Waste oil wanted by Green Energy Park 

The Green Energy Park in Dillsboro is looking for donations of waste vegetable oil to fuel its ceramics kiln. Any type of oil — soybean, canola, corn and peanut, for starters — is welcome, but all donations must come in closed containers. 

Because the Green Energy Park is a department of Jackson County, donations can be considered as charitable contributions for tax purposes. Donations can be dropped off at either the energy park or the staffed recycling center in Dillsboro. 



Plant clinic still open 

The season for the Haywood County Plant Clinic has been extended, with staffing now planned Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon until Oct. 16. At the clinic, Master Gardeners answer questions about nearly any topic related to plant cultivation, including lawns, vegetables, flowers, trees, pest problems, soils and fertilizers. The clinic is held at the Haywood County Extension Center on Stop by the Extension Center on 589 Raccoon Road.



Leaves alive at Highlands

A program 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4 at Highlands Nature Center will give the whole family a better idea about why fall happens.

Activities will focus on how leaves change color, the difference between deciduous and coniferous trees and the winter survival strategies of each kind of tree. Afterward, visitors will take a guided walk through the botanical garden and learn how to identify species by leaf type, shape and color. 

$5 adults; $2 children. Register at 828.526.2623.


Wildlife students up for odd job hire

Members of the Wildlife Club at Haywood Community College are renting themselves out for a day to help pay for a trip to the National Wildlife Quiz Bowl Championship in Pittsburgh, Oct. 28. The winner of a raffle drawing to be held Saturday, Oct. 4, will nab six student workers for a full day for labor of their chosing, a perfect time to knock out landscaping projects, building a fence, pruning or all those other things in the yard you’ve been meaning to get to.

Tickets are $10 each and available from Jenny Carver, 828.627.4560 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . 

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