Wed12072016

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Armed with five-gallon buckets and a groundswell of energy, 14 teens from Balsam-based SOAR Camp descended on Eugene Christopher’s Waynesville…
It’s a sunny day at Haywood Community College, light sparkling from the campus’s landmark mill pond and shining through the…
Wednesday, 09 November 2016 15:21

Welcome home

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The lake sturgeon, Acipenser fulvescens, once ranged across North America from the Great Lakes and Hudson Bay drainages down the…
Some things change, and some things stay the same.  Thousands of years ago, humans developed visual and spoken languages to…
Wednesday, 02 November 2016 16:05

Forest fires ignite the Nantahala as drought worsens

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Nantahala District Ranger Mike Wilkins was headed to church Sunday morning, Oct. 23, when he got the call. A forest…
Western North Carolina is rife with trails and maps to facilitate exploration of the mountain landscape, but an effort is…
Wednesday, 26 October 2016 16:52

Failure to communicate?

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Well it seems there was one and I’m sure it could have been my fault. Smoky Mountain News reporter Holly…
The sun had barely risen over the Pisgah Ridge, but the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Devils Courthouse pull-off was teeming — mainly…
Wednesday, 12 October 2016 17:53

You’re going the wrong way – not

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When you’re out chasing fall migrants and you either have a good internal compass or you’re somewhere it’s pretty easy…
Wednesday, 12 October 2016 17:41

Congressman sits down with wilderness supporters

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Congressman Mark Meadows (R-Cashiers) and a room of 30 wilderness supporters spent two hours discussing everything from ecology to U.S.…
A cadre of curious animals gathers at the gate as Joe Moore, owner of Indian Springs Farms in Bethel, approaches…
Wednesday, 28 September 2016 16:22

Big and wild

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Big and wild can’t be big and wild if your mind and heart are small.  A “real” public meeting —…
Wednesday, 28 September 2016 16:18

Parks and Rec master plan seeks input

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Area residents who avail themselves of Waynesville’s recreational facilities and programs have a chance to shape their respective futures —…
Much of America spent Aug. 5-21 with eyes glued to a television, cheering on athletes from all corners of the…
It was nighttime in the White Mountains, and Steve Claxton was pretty sure he wouldn’t make it till morning. Rain…
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 15:53

Must have been an omen

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When I checked my email Friday morning (9/9), I had a message from Chris Kelly, mountain wildlife diversity biologist with…
High in the Plott Balsams, there’s a swath of property riddled with panoramic views, sparking waterfalls and high-elevation solitude that…
Wednesday, 31 August 2016 14:56

Can’t see the forest for the webs

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From what I gather from Facebook and overhear in the checkout line, the view I encounter every morning on my…
It’s not unusual for Waterrock Knob, which boasts some of the best views on the Blue Ridge Parkway, to see…
As manager of Waynesville’s urban forest, it’s safe to say that Jonathan Yates likes trees. So when Diane Kornse of…
Wednesday, 17 August 2016 15:31

Ma Nature doesn’t see things the way we do

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The red-cockaded woodpecker (RCWO) is a small – cardinal-sized – woodpecker native to eastern pine forests. It once ranged from…
Wednesday, 17 August 2016 15:25

Forest Service evaluates potential wilderness areas

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The cadre of groups helping the U.S. Forest Service work toward a new management plan for the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest…
For the past decade, Sylva’s Pinnacle Park has had Sae Smyrl envisioning a lofty future for the hiking area. A…
Wednesday, 03 August 2016 16:17

A real can of DNA worms

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A new whole-genome (the entire genetic makeup) study published in Science Advances on July 27 is giving the already muddied…
The air on the Cataloochee Divide Trail is heavy with humidity and the promise of an afternoon storm, but the…
Cloud cover keeps the summer morning cool as Mark Hopey makes the rounds below Cowee Mound. By 8:30 a.m., he…
Wednesday, 20 July 2016 15:38

Planning begins for logging project in Haywood

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Round tables and large, neon sticky notes characterized last week’s kickoff of a planning process to cut timber and create…
Wednesday, 20 July 2016 15:36

Wading through nostalgia

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Give a Loosiana boy a reason to don his hip boots and strap on a headlight and you’ve got a…
By Jamie Arnold • Contributing writer It’s a 95-degree Sunday afternoon. Most folks are at the lake, or lounging on the…
Wednesday, 06 July 2016 16:05

Combination science lab and amusement park

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Weightless for two seconds is not a moonwalk but at the top of the Space Shot at Huntsville, Alabama’s (Rocket…
A growing collection of roadside signs has been popping up along rural drives and main thoroughfares in Western North Carolina…
Rods, reels, and wader-clad teenagers dotted Big East Fork’s meander to Lake Logan through the warm summer mornings last week,…
The wilderness is where one can find peace and clarity while also finding inner strength and determination.  That is the…
Wednesday, 22 June 2016 14:50

Peregrines once again at Devil’s Courthouse

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A couple of Saturday’s ago Bob Olthoff and I made a quick trip up the Blue Ridge Parkway. We were…
When Sarah Scott first started work at Haywood County Cooperative Extension in February 2015, planning for the 2016 Haywood County…
Wednesday, 08 June 2016 16:18

Keep your salamander away from my newt

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I often remind everyone who reads “The Naturalist’s Corner” to remember to look up. But each spring while surveying birds…
Adam Bigelow bears down on the gas pedal of his biodiesel-fueled Jetta, urging it up the steep contours of the…
Wednesday, 01 June 2016 16:25

Glad to be alive: Bear bite victim tells his story

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The sun had not quite set when Bradley Veeder fell asleep in his tent May 10, feeling “tired but happy”…
It’s been three years since a vigorous debate about charging for backcountry camping in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park…
Wednesday, 25 May 2016 14:10

Canucks amongst us

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You’re hiking streamside through a rhododendron tangle when you hear a short, musical trill – it kind of mimics the…
When life gets hectic, most people have a vacation spot where they go to unwind — perhaps a family cabin…
The sun is lowering toward a perfect spring evening as the crew from Fox Sports’ “Anglers & Appetites” pulls onto…
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 15:40

Evolution

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I spend six weeks every spring doing bird surveys for the Forest Service across Western North Carolina. My travels take…
Joel Harrington has always been a fan of turtles. Of all animals, really — he is a veterinarian — but Harrington has…
Jackson County is on its way to becoming the trout capital of North Carolina after county leaders unveiled a plan…
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 16:10

Smoky birds

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I just finished four wonderful days of birding in the Smokies, helping out with the 66th Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage.…
It’s 4 p.m. on the Appalachian Trail, and while the sun will be awake for hours yet, “hiker midnight,” which…
All he heard was the sound of an engine. “I came over the rise, a place I’d ridden hundreds of…
Wednesday, 13 April 2016 14:41

Mystery solved

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I was having my morning coffee on the small floating dock in the narrow, clear Weeki Wachee River about three…
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