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Wednesday, 22 January 2014 15:36

Grant helps buy feed for abused horses

STAR Ranch Rescue, a refuge for abused and neglected horses and other animals in Haywood County, has received a $750 grant from the Haywood County Community Foundation to help purchase horse feed for the winter. 
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 15:34

Discovery Place

Looking for something fun for the kids on a cold and/or rainy winter’s day. The Discovery Place in Charlotte has got you covered. We spent three-and-a-half hours there this past weekend with our two daughters Izzy (12) and Maddie (8)…
From the oil fields of North Dakota to the Marcellus Shale of Pennsylvania, the U.S. oil and gas industry is booming in a way that few would have predicted 20 years ago. Energy extraction is now possible — and financially…
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 16:59

You yellow-bellied sapsucker

In my youth, never did a B-western movie make it to the end without the bad guy being cornered and denounced for the “yellow-bellied sapsucker” he was. Yellow-belly and/or yellow-bellied has, for various etymological reasons, been associated with cowardice. Sapsucker,…
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 16:54

Agritourism contributors needed

Buy Haywood is collecting listings for an agri-tourism guide to feature produce stands, farmers markets, value-added products with local ingredients and even restaurants that feature locally-grown or raised foods on their menus. “Find Your Adventure! 2014 Haywood County Agritourism Guide”…
The Western Regional Science and Engineering Fair will bring students from across the region to Western Carolina University on Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 5-6. The theme for this year fair is “Climate Change: What it Means to You.” Science projects…
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 16:52

Photography happenings

Photography workshop to focus on Appalachian barns A weekend photography workshop called “The Appalachian Barn Workshop: The Barns of Haywood and Madison Counties” will be held March 28-30 through EarthSong Photography. Photographer Don McGowan will offer a full day of field…
A program about birds of prey called “Heads Up for Hunters of the Sky” will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park outside Cherokee.
More than 60 brave souls are taking the Polar Plunge challenge by jumping into Lake Junaluska this Saturday, Feb. 1.
Roger Skillman had just finished a hike and was driving home through the Pisgah National Forest in Transylvania County when something caught his eye.
The silence seeped from the mountain ridges and hung heavily over the forest, silence like a deep well, so deep that a pebble tossed in just might go on forever, swallowed up for what seems like an eternity until at…
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 16:10

Tallulah Hike steps off a year of wilderness

A guided hike along the Tallulah River in the Southern Nantahala Wilderness will be held on Saturday, Feb. 15, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of passage of the Wilderness Act. It is being led by the Nantahala Hiking Club and…
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 16:08

Outhouse race to run in Sapphire

So, when else would you have an opportunity to race an outhouse down a ski mountain? Thought so. 
A whole lot of people visited the WNC Nature Center last year. The Friends of the WNC Nature Center report that 107,949 people visited the Nature Center in 2013, a record-breaking attendance.
A Haywood County teacher, Janet Frazier, has been named the 2013 North Carolina Elementary Conservation Education Teacher of the Year.
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 16:03

Macon hiker talks about life feat

Octogenarian Jim Pader will talk about his record-setting hike up Mount Whitney from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, at REI in Asheville.
For every degree of cold or inconvenience, wintry weather adds two of beauty. Members of Waynesville’s Lens Luggers photography club kept their cameras at the ready as below freezing temperatures and above-normal snowfall transformed Western North Carolina into a winter…
The Wildlife Club at Haywood Community College is hosting the 8th annual Wild Game Dinner at 6 p.m. Friday, March 7, at the Haywood County Fairgrounds.  The dinner is a fundraiser for students. Funds generated during the event will provide…
Wednesday, 12 February 2014 18:21

Sports for youth

Girls volleyball prep league at Waynesville Recreation Center A volleyball development league for girls in fourth through sixth grade will be held on Mondays from 6 to 8 p.m. in March and April, except for April 21, at the Waynesville…
Wednesday, 12 February 2014 18:19

Learn to grow mushrooms in a log

Learn to grow shiitake mushrooms from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, at the Macon County Environmental Resource Center in Franklin.
Wednesday, 12 February 2014 18:18

Teaching farmers to be businessmen

Boosting sales at farmers’ markets, marketing to restaurants, finding farmland and tapping agritourism are just a few of the topics to be covered during the Business of Farming Conference set for 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at…
A public meeting on management plans for the Needmore game land in Macon and Swain counties will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, at Tartan Hall, First Presbyterian Church, 26 Church St., in Franklin.
Owen Link McConnell liked the Unicoi and Snowbird mountains so much, he wrote a book about them. And not just any book, but a reference guide for the region. Unicoi Unity: A Natural History of the Unicoi and Snowbird Mountains…
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 15:59

Dinosaurs, LEGOS and toads, oh dear

No better way to celebrate a big thaw than an impromptu field trip. We rounded up kids, friends and friends’ kids and headed for the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville. Our first stop at the Arboretum was the Baker Exhibit…
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 15:34

Study finds success in amphibian pond project

Take an evening walk through the woods this time of year, and odds are you’ll hear the grumpy quacking of a male wood frog, showing off for the ladies. The sound promises the return of warm days and growing gardens,…
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 15:30

Sign up for youth activities

Sign up for spring soccer in Jackson Jackson County spring soccer sign ups will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, Feb. 17-28, and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at the recreation department…
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 15:29

Beekeepers school held in Haywood

A beginning beekeepers school will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Haywood County Extension Service in Waynesville.   There will be complete informational handouts and discussions about the biology of bees, how to…
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 15:29

Fisheries society honors Bill McClarney

Senior Scientist and Aquatic Program Specialist Dr. Bill McLarney, a senior scientist and aquatic program specialist for the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee (LTLT), has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the Fred A. Harris Fisheries Conservation Award…
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is seeking public comment on a proposal to build a new 36-stall barn at the site of the current Smokemont stables, which is about six miles north of Cherokee off U.S. 441.
Outdoors author and blogger Danny Bernstein will once again lead this year’s Friends of the Smokies Classic Hikes, which kick off March 11 with a trek to Little Cataloochee in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 16:06

Join the world of backyard chickens

Interested in keeping chickens? Learn all about it from Ashley English at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 2, at the Canton Library.
Retired national park wildlife biologist Kim DeLozier will speak about his book, Bear in the Back Seat, on Saturday, March 15, at Sugarlands Visitor Center on the Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Gatlinburg.
Great Smoky Mountain National Park is recruiting volunteers to staff the Information Center at Clingmans Dome, from April 1 through Nov. 30.
A 10-day workshop in May will cover everything you need to know to join trail crews on overnight expeditions in Wilderness Areas.
Not just anybody can keep up with Jim Pader. Last year alone, he hiked 534 miles and has logged 738.4 miles in Great Smoky Mountains National Park since 2001. Besides that, he works out for at least one hour per…
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 16:08

Haywood’s first ever seed lending library

Learn about the new seed library of Waynesville at an open house from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 2, at the Haywood County Public Library in Waynesville. This is how the seed library works: Gardeners “borrow” seeds, plant them…
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 16:07

Trail of Tears exhibit on display at WCU

A reception and talk to accompany the new exhibit “Fewer Footprints and More Tears: Commemorating the 175th Anniversary of the Trail of Tears” will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, at the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina…
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 14:42

Will we extinguish another beautiful light?

A river of burnt umber flows every year from southern Canada through the U.S. to the oyamel fir forests in the mountains west of Mexico City. This river tumbles along in a kind of bubbly joy reserved for kids, fairies,…
The U.S. Forest Service plans to conduct a series of prescribed burns over the next three to six weeks on about 3,500 acres of the Nantahala Ranger District in the Nantahala National Forest.  The prescribed burn will take place in…
The Nantahala Racing Club Glacier Breaker is set for March 8-9 at the Nantahala Bridge Gates at the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC).  The Glacier Breaker is the season-opener for both wildwater and slalom competition in the United States.  Late registration…
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 03:05

Left loop of Tsali Trail system reopened

The left loop of the Tsali Trail system has been reopened.  Last month, the U.S. Forest Service closed the trail because of a slide along the trail. Located near Fontana Lake, Tsali Recreation Area is nationally known for its 42-mile…
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 03:04

Classic hikes of the Smokies kicks off

Friends of the Smokies’ first Classic Hike of the year will be to Little Cataloochee on Tuesday, March 11. Join renowned outdoor author and hiking expert Danny Bernstein on this easy, 6.1-mile hike on Little Cataloochee Trail in Great Smoky…
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 02:51

Park seeks volunteer citizen scientists

Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers need volunteers to help track nature’s calendar.
Heidi Dunkelberg is determined to make hops synonymous with Western North Carolina. “I’ve got to figure it out,” she said. “There’s just got to be some way, there’s just got to be.”
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 13:33

Collegiate bouldering showdown coming to WCU

The Cullowhee Rock & Rumble Fest will attract college students from a several state area for a rock climbing and bouldering competition at Western Carolina University on Saturday, March 22. The sixth annual event will be hosted by the WCU…
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 13:32

Fracking documentary to be screened in Sylva

A documentary about natural gas “fracking” in America, “Gasland Part 2,” will be screened in Sylva on Saturday, March 22, at the Jackson County Public Library. A presentation on fracking will be held at 6:30 p.m. by Clean Water for…
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 13:31

Smokies announces spring openings

With spring around the corner, campgrounds and secondary roads in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are reopening for the year. The schedule for facilities on the N.C. side of the park is: • Scenic roads: Clingmans Dome Road will…
Jim Costa, a biology professor at Western Carolina University and the Director of the Highlands Biological Station, has been nominated for the Roosevelt-Ashe Conservation Awards to be given out by Wild South later this month. The awards recognize and honor…
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 13:29

Historic window stolen off Smokies cabin

An antique window was stolen from an historic cabin in the Elkmont area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The volunteer battalion of the Watershed Association of the Tuckaseigee River is looking for new recruits to help monitor water quality in creeks and rivers in Jackson and Swain counties.
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 13:26

Missing link of Benton MacKaye trail solved

A dicey section of the long-distance Benton MacKaye hiking trail that forced hikers to walk along the side of a narrow highway in Graham County will soon be re-routed off-road as a proper trail should be.
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 13:25

Aim high with annual Black Rock ascent

Trail runners will scramble, scratch and claw their way to the 5,810-foot summit of Pinnacle Park in Sylva during the annual Assault on Black Rock trail run held Saturday, March 22.
By Jake Flannick • SMN Correspondent About a year ago, Patrick O’Neal bought an old, chrome-rimmed Schwinn bicycle. He was just looking for an alternative way to get to class from his off-campus dorm. Now he spends most weekends enduring long…
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 03:11

Somebody got some splainen to do

People say the corporate world has no soul. Corporations don’t give a rat’s behind about their employees, especially after they’re gone. And the flip side is employees are just there to get a paycheck. They do what it takes, and…
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 12:41

Cheap greenhouse space for up for grabs

Get an early start on this year’s garden by renting a space for seed flats in the greenhouse at the Old Armory in Waynesville. Plant your seed trays and then bring them to the greenhouse, where they will be watered…
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 12:41

Jackson students win environmental contest

The Jackson Soil and Water Conservation District has announced the winners of its annual poster and essay contests. Third- through sixth-grade students participated in the poster contest while the essay contest was open to sixth-grade students. About 200 students participated.…
Interactive activities for kids have been installed along a 1.3-mile section of trail at the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville, which has officially joined the network of Kids in Parks TRACK Trails. “The TRACK Trail provides an educational experience for families…
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 12:39

Permit needed to harvest ginseng

The U.S. Attorney’s Office reminds the public that gathering ginseng on the Nantahala National Forest without a permit is illegal. 
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 12:38

Roving volunteers needed in the Smokies

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting volunteers to rove the Oconaluftee River Trail, Mountain Farm Museum and fields along Newfound Gap Road near Oconaluftee Visitor Center at the main N.C. entrance to the park outside Cherokee.
A major paddling race will be held on the Nantahala River March 22 and 23, with around 60 of the country’s top slalom paddlers coming from as far away as Colorado, Texas and Washington.
It’s a chilly day on the Tuckasegee River. Air temperature is in the mid-40s, and the water isn’t much warmer.  Eric Johnson struggles to stand upright, bracing his paddle on the river bottom as a chain of four fellow college…
Great Smoky Mountains Association earned two first-place awards and four honorable mentions last month for its work in media and partnership.  The park’s quarterly newspaper, Smokies Guide, garnered first from the Association of Partners for Public Lands in the informational…
Anglers will have a chance to compete for $20,000 in tagged fish March 28-30 at the Cast Into Spring Tournament, hosted by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
 Duke’s profits off the hydroelectric power dam on the Pigeon River in Haywood County have funded another round of environmental water quality projects in Haywood, Buncombe and Madison counties. The annual fund was created in 1996 thanks to the Clean Water…
Ideas are being solicited for riparian habitat enhancement projects in Jackson, Swain and Macon counties as part of Duke Energy’s requirement to carry out conservation projects in exchange for harnessing the region’s rivers with hydroelectric dams.
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 14:35

Free hiker breakfast in Franklin

Appalachian Trail hikers can get a free breakfast in Franklin through April 11. First Baptist Church in Franklin has offered this four-week period of “trail magic” for eight years, last year feeding 595 hikers from 44 states and seven countries.
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 14:32

Celebrate the Appalachian Trail season

Whether you’re roughing it on the AT or just looking for a fun way to spend your Saturday, several upcoming AT festivals in Western North Carolina are sure to fit the bill. These events celebrate hikers, hiking and all things…
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 14:29

The AT experience won’t be left behind

It’s been nearly eight years since Amy “Willow” Allen passed through Western North Carolina as a tired-and-hungry AT through-hiker. But her journey didn’t end at the summit of Mount Katahdin.  “It isn’t something you leave behind,” she said. “Once you…
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 12:46

Time to get your Green on

No, I’m not late. I’m not talking about puking green beer or waking up with Leprechauns — I’m talking about green with a capital “G.”
Despite last week’s chill and blustery snow, we are in the throes of spring migration. Actually, migration never stops. There is a bird somewhere on its way to somewhere else every month of the year. Purple martins have reached Florida…
Cultural heritage demonstrations will kick-off the new season for The Cradle of Forestry in America on Saturday, April 12, along with a debut of new exhibits. David and Diane Burnette of Haywood County will be plowing the Cradle’s vegetable garden…
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 14:58

Sea-level rise documentary features WCU prof

Learn how communities are dealing with coastal erosion, storms and rising sea levels with a screening of the critically acclaimed documentary “Shored Up” at Western Carolina University as part of its Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines.  Rob Young,…
The fourth annual Valley of the Lilies Half Marathon and 5K race are expected to draw an estimated 300 runners and walkers to Western Carolina University in Cullowhee on Saturday, April 5. 
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 14:55

Women’s flyfishing weekend

Women of all skill levels are invited to a women-only weekend of flyfishing from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, offered April 4-6 at Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education and Davidson River Campground in Transylvania County. 
The Mountain Science Expo will feature science programs and exhibits designed to interest kids and adults from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville.
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 14:52

Appalachian Trail volunteers needed

Learn the basics of trail construction and environmental stewardships by volunteering with an Appalachian Trail Conservancy trail crew.
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 14:51

Reap the fruits of the backyard

Learn how to grow fruit trees successfully at a fruit tree workshop coming up in Jackson and Swain counties through the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service. It will cover site selection; the differences between dwarf, semi-dwarf and seedling trees; proper soil conditions;…
Warmer weather is on its way, but along with the sunny afternoons comes the return of ozone season. A bad forecast can cancel high elevations hiking trips and outdoor playdates, but North Carolina has been seeing a decrease in those…
Tribal families got some help jumpstarting their summer gardens when Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ Principal Chief Michell Hicks handed out 750 springtime garden kits last week.
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 14:40

Carolinas to experience total lunar eclipse

Astronomy lovers and night owls in the Carolinas will get the chance to witness a total eclipse of the moon on the morning of April 15, and photographers will have a chance for some spectacular moon photos during its eclipse…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 14:39

Roadside bottles: a death trap for shrews

Learn how bottles tossed out along the roadside are killing small mammals in the mountains during a talk held on Earth Day at 7 p.m. April 22 at the Highlands Nature Center. Small mammals like shrews and other rodents enter…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 14:38

Turkey season open

Turkey hunting season will open April 12 and run through May 10. A youth-only turkey season is already underway.
A multi-media program, Make Way for Monarchs, will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. April 19 at the Cradle of Forestry.
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 14:36

Help clean up a stream to honor Earth Day

Haywood Waterways Association is heading up several Earth Day themed activities this month, including a series of stream clean-ups. 
Western North Carolina is covered with more than 1,500 square miles of national forest, and residents often measure their assets in terms of towering hardwoods, flocks of turkeys and mountain streams. National forest land belongs to everybody, but “everybody” includes…
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 15:56

Growing season yields new farmers market

The Franklin area will be getting a new farmer’s market this year, held on Tuesdays from 3:30 to 7 p.m. at the Macon County Heritage Center in Cowee, which was formerly the old Cowee School. In addition to agricultural products,…
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 15:56

Disc golfers to descend on Cullowhee

Disc golfers will have a chance to show their stuff at the Inaugural Disc Golf Tournament at 5:30 p.m., Friday, April 25 at the Jackson County Recreation Center in Cullowhee. The doubles-format event is hosted by Jackson County Parks and…
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 15:55

WNC home to most popular National Park

Western North Carolina can lay claim to two of 2013’s top three most visited places in the National Park System. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park kept first place among the 59 primary national parks. With 9.4 million visitors, it…
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 15:55

History and watershed hike in the Smokies

A guided hike along Big Creek in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be held at noon April 26 by the Haywood Waterways Association.
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 15:53

Anonymous donation rocks the national park

An anonymous donor gifted $2.2 million to Great Smoky Mountains Association last week, one of the largest cash donations ever given to support Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The donation will be made in five installments between through 2018.
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 15:51

Haywood agritourism guide available

From farmers markets to roadside stands to U Pick farms to plant nurseries to historic preservation sites, Haywood County’s agricultural heritage is showcased in Buy Haywood’s recently released 2014 Agritourism Guide.
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 15:48

Graveyard Fields closing for upgrades

One the Blue Ridge Parkway’s most popular recreation areas will soon be closing for construction. The Graveyard Fields parking area and trailhead, at milepost 418.8, will close for approximately 11 weeks beginning April 22. 
As stand after stand of towering hemlocks falls to the appetite of an insect smaller than a grain of rice, foresters and wildlife managers alike are scrambling for an answer to the hemlock wooly adelgid. The invasive pest is still…
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 14:47

Blood moon grand slam

Somewhere beyond the rain and clouds, in the wee hours yesterday morning (April 15), there was a striking blood moon accompanied by fiery mars during a total lunar eclipse. The Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles streamed the event live so…
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 14:16

Spring celebration planned for Parkway

Live raptors, green building and spring flowers will all be part of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Greening of the Parkway special event, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center.  In this combined…
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 14:11

Wildflower Whimsy kicks off in Highlands

The Wildflower Whimsy event, May 2-3, at the Highlands Biological Foundation, will feature guided garden tours, a live plant auction and reception — with live music — guided wildflower walks and a lecture. At 6 p.m. on Friday, Peter Loewer…
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 14:09

Farmers market kicks off in Waynesville

Another season is underway for Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market, which starts up again at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 26. The market will run every Wednesday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon until mid-December at the parking lot of HART…
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 14:08

Rain barrels available in Haywood County

Rain barrels made from recycled food-grade containers are available for purchase at the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce and the Haywood County Cooperative Extension Office. They can also be ordered through the Haywood Waterways Association.  The barrels have bug screen…
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 14:07

A boon for bears

Bear management will get a boost in the Smokies with $4,000 in Appalachian Trail license plate sales to go toward repairing damaged cables in the cable-and-pulley systems installed at each backcountry campsite and shelter in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.