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Wednesday, 26 October 2011 13:04

Explore “Road to Nowhere” on guided hike

There’s no costumed ghouls or pre-recorded shrieks on the Friends of the Smokies’ November hike, but you will trek along a trail with a “road to nowhere,” visit a secluded cemetery and explore a dark, 365-foot tunnel.   On Tuesday,…
Nantahala Outdoor Center has opened a retail concept shop from The North Face located inside NOC’s outfitters and retail store in Gatlinburg, Tenn. Covering 1,000 square feet of space within NOC’s Great Outpost, the specialty shop designed and merchandised by…
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 13:03

Paddling club sets first outing

The first Smoky Mountain Paddling Club outing will be Oct. 29 at 10 a.m. on Bear Lake in Jackson County, weather permitting. Paddlers of all ability levels are welcome. Bring appropriate clothing, craft of choice, food, water and a personal flotation…
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 13:03

Kick up your heels for the Power of Pink

The fifth-annual Power of Pink race will be held Oct. 29 at MedWest Health and Fitness Center on the campus of MedWest-Haywood in Clyde, with a 20-mile relay, 4-mile run and fun run/walk. The event helps raise breast cancer awareness…
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 13:02

Watershed group aids Cherokee basketmakers

As clay is to the potter and stone is to the sculptor, river cane is the vital raw material to the Cherokee basketmaker. But it’s in short supply. The Watershed Association of the Tuckasegee River has received a grant from…
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 13:01

Learn about stream and forest health

Regional water quality experts will give a state of local forests and streams report in a public forum held by the Jackson-Macon Conservation Alliance at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27, in Highlands. Information will be presented by Jonathan McCall,…
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 13:00

Park partners garner national recognition

The leaders of the two primary Great Smoky Mountains National Park partners were recently presented with the Department of Interior Citizen’s Award for Exceptional Service.   Terry Maddox, executive director, Great Smoky Mountains Association and Jim Hart, president of the…
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 12:59

Wild for now, but keep your eye on the ball

Ten years later and one hurdle leapt — there will be more. Last week the 10th U.S. Circuit court of Appeals upheld the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule after the state of Wyoming and the Colorado Mining Association brought suit…
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 12:58

Looking for your best trail shots

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is looking for great photos of people enjoying the Appalachian Trail in 2011. The conservancy is looking for images that illustrate your idea of a perfect day on the trail. Creative and unique shots are encouraged.…
More than a decade ago, under former Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida became the first state to approve a “Choose Life” specialty plate. Since then, similar plates have been OK’d in more than two-dozen states. Supporters view them as a means…
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 20:08

Fishermen land first place in national tourney

Paul Bourcq of Franklin and Chris Lee of Bryson City won first place in the 26-team Rumble in the Rhododendron fly-fishing tournament. The event showcased the special catch and release, fly-fishing only section of the Oconaluftee River on the Cherokee…
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 20:08

NOC launches shop inside Grove Park

Nantahala Outdoor Center opened the doors late last month on a retail and outdoor activity concept shop, NOC Asheville, inside The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa. “Our presence was well received by The Grove Park Inn’s guests, and we…
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 20:07

Hit the Jack Rabbit on guided mountain bike trip

You can escape the confines of pavement for a fast-paced adventure along wooded trails and past lakes and mountains on the 15-mile Jack Rabbit Trail system in the Nantahala National Forest.   Join the Western North Carolina Alliance from 10…
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 20:06

LTLT celebrates year of accomplishments

The Land Trust for the Little Tennessee’s annual fall celebration will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, in Rainbow Springs along the Upper Nantahala River. The day includes live music, activities for kids, cross-cut saw…
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 20:05

Hiking series to explore national forests

A series of hikes through next year will take hikers to each of the 41 areas identified as “Mountain Treasures” within the Nantahala and Pisgah national forests. The Wilderness Society is teaming up with the Carolina Mountain Club on the…
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 20:05

Suffer crop losses? Farmers can get help

Sign-up for 2010 crop-year losses begins Monday, Nov. 14, through your local USDA Farm Service Agency. “Producers across North Carolina experienced natural disasters during the 2010 crop year, causing hardship and financial losses to their agricultural operations,” said Becky Williamson,…
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 20:04

Farming history of WNC boiled down to 90 minutes

The history of agriculture in these mountains will be explored at one of three upcoming programs by Curtis Wood, an author, editor and professor emeritus from Western Carolina University’s history department. Some 50 percent of Appalachia’s earliest European settlers were…
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 20:03

A picture's worth a thousand words

The seventh-annual Autumn Juried Group Exhibit of the Carolinas’ Nature Photographers Association has opened at the Biltmore Estate’s Deerpark Inn, through December.   There are 25 images in the juried group exhibit depicting the vibrant colors of fall, the beauty…
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 20:01

Call of the watershed

The annual fall hike in the Town of Waynesville’s 9,000-acre watershed took place on Saturday Oct. 29. Around 25 stalwart hikers showed up despite the cold, wet and windy Friday overnight and socked-in, iffy-looking conditions Saturday morning, to see and…
Dr. Jessica Ange of Sylva enjoys sporting on the back of her Subaru Outback the colorful black and green Great Smoky Mountains National Park license plate, with its emblematic black bear head and background of green mountain peaks. She’s honest…
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 20:24

Waterways director to give guest program

 A Live and Learn program featuring Eric Romaniszyn, executive director of the Haywood Waterways Authority, will be held at 2 p.m., Nov. 17, in Bethea Welcome Center at Lake Junaluska. Romaniszyn’s expertise is with benthic macroinvertebrates, but he has also…
A walking tour and discussion focused on the natural and cultural resources of the Cullowhee Valley area is set for Sunday, Nov. 13. Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center and Cherokee Studies Program will sponsor the program. Participants will meet…
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 20:23

Environmental writing contest now under way

The Southern Environmental Law Center is accepting submissions for the annual Phillip D. Reed Memorial Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment.  The award seeks to enhance public awareness of the value and vulnerability of the region’s natural heritage…
The author of Hiking through History, a hiker’s guide to Civil War and Underground Railroad sites along the present-day Appalachian Trail, will speak at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, in UNC Asheville’s Highsmith University Union Grotto. Leanna Joyner, who has…
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 20:22

National Geographic does the AT

A National Geographic film about the Appalachian Trail will be shown at the Carolina Asheville at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 19. It is one of seven locations where the film will be screened on the East Coast, a tour circuit…
Small farmers needing help might just find the financial boost they need through WNC Agricultural Options. The group this year will award $150,000 to 35 or so farm businesses and farmer-led groups. “Successful farming in today’s environment requires taking on…
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 20:20

Program to showcase forest research

The experimental national forest service site, Coweeta Hydrologic Lab, will be the subject of the next League of Women Voters in Macon County on Thursday, Nov. 10. The research center located in Macon County was established in 1934 to study…
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 20:19

Bikers dig in to give Tsali trails a hand

About 40 volunteers, some from as far away as Florida and Virginia, recently helped improve drainage on trails at Tsali Recreation Area as part of a MegaWork Party co-sponsored by the Nantahala Area chapter of the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association.…
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 20:19

U.S. Wetlands losses are slowing

A recent report assessing wetland habitats in the U.S. shows a slight decline from 2004-2009, according to the federal Fish and Wildlife Service. The findings are consistent with the Status and Trends Wetlands reports from previous decades that reflect a…
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 20:18

Nabbed ‘sang poachers to serve jail time

Four Western North Carolina men have been sentenced in separate cases in Federal court for poaching ginseng from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Ginseng grows in the wild in Appalachia and can fetch high prices as a herbal medicine.…
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 20:16

Foggy Tessentee

Last Saturday afternoon was a gorgeous autumn afternoon across Western North Carolina. Last Saturday morning, however, when Bob Olthoff and I had a play date to do some birding at Tessentee Bottomland Preserve, it was socked in, cold and damp.…
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 20:12

Making Haywood more bike friendly

Haywood County is one step closer to getting a defined bike route traversing the county and improved cycling amenities. The county commissioners approved a comprehensive countywide bicycle plan at its meeting Monday (Nov. 7). The plan aims to get more…
Ryan Emerson’s pack was stolen and his cell phone now resides at the bottom of a river. His biggest hurdle while canoeing down the Mississippi, though, has been the wind. “The only real challenges I have met so far are…
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 14:28

Open for skiing

Thanks to cold temperatures, Cataloochee Ski Area began cranking out the snow last Thursday night and by Saturday, the first slopes were open to skiers in Haywood County. It plans to reopen Saturday, Nov. 19, for the regular early season…
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 14:27

Generating Christmas cheer for our troops

Christmas tree growers from across Western North Carolina are donating Christmas trees as part of the nationwide Trees for Troops program, sponsored by the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation and FedEx Corp This holiday season, 17,000 trees are expected to be delivered…
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 14:27

American chestnut makes a return

A ceremonial planting of a potentially blight-resistant chestnut took place earlier this week on the grounds of the North Carolina Arboretum. The planting is significant because the American chestnut once flourished in mountains of Western North Carolina, and its loss…
The Haywood County Cooperative Extension Center is now accepting applications for the popular Master Gardener program. The Master Gardener training class will begin in January and run through April. The class meets from 9 a.m. till noon on Wednesdays. The…
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 14:25

Mingus Mill hike and visitor center tour

Hiking enthusiast and author Danny Bernstein will lead a four-mile hike along the Mingus Creek Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Along the way, Bernstein will talk about the historic Mingus Mill, the Mingus…
The Southern Appalachian Man and the Biosphere conference will be held November 15 to 17 in Asheville, bringing together the best minds on environmental issues and challenges in the region. This year’s theme is stewardship of the unique resources of…
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 14:24

Conservation award goes to benefactor

Grant wizard Bruz Clark was honored at the Land Conservationist of the year by The Land Trust for the Little Tennessee. The annual award was announced at the LTLT’s fall gathering earlier this month. Fifteen years ago when LTLT was…
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 14:24

Trot off that turkey before the big meal

The Rotary Club of Sylva will hold the United Community Bank 5k Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day beginning at 9 a.m. on the Western Carolina University campus. Runners will start at the Ramsey Center, circle once around the campus (which…
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 14:20

The 500-pound gorilla

I don’t remember exactly what I was doing when he came into the room. It was cool, so I had the small electric heater on and I had some coffee and a snack. I was doing some Internet research, so…
When Phil Watford traded in his paddle for a tool belt, giving up his far-cooler job as a kayak instructor for more lucrative construction work, he thought his days of reporting to duty on the water were over. But this…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 15:15

Know the law before you hit the woods

Don’t forget you must get written permission from landowners and leaseholders before hunting, fishing or trapping on privately owned, posted property in North Carolina under a new state law. The Landowner Protection Act provides two ways for landowners to post…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 15:14

Reindeer Dash to hit streets of Bryson

Run off some of those holiday calories at the inaugural Reindeer Dash 5k and one-mile fun run starting at 9 a.m. on Dec. 3 in Bryson City. The town’s Rotary Club is hosting the event. Participants can enjoy Bryson City’s…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 15:14

Reflecting on the year’s accomplishments

Haywood Waterways Authority’s annual banquet will be held Thursday, Dec. 8, from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Lambuth Inn, Lake Junaluska. Haywood Waterways will celebrate the Pigeon River Watershed, reflect on the year’s accomplishments and talk about goals and projects for…
The Haywood Waterways Association has spotlighted the farm efforts of Bill Holbrook, a farmer in the Bethel community. Holbrook, who owns Cold Mountain Farms, is part of six generations who have farmed on the family land. Holbrook says that he…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 15:12

Farmers still offering local produce

Just because winter is here doesn’t mean you have to skip on locally produced foods. Haywood’s Historic Farmers Indoor Winter Market is open Wednesdays and Saturday through Dec. 17, from 9 a.m. until noon. Farmers are offering vegetables, greens and…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 15:11

Climate change activist makes stop in WNC

A leading national activist in climate change will visit Asheville as part of the Climate Reality Project at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, at UNC-Asheville. Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature, The Global Warming Reader, and other defining…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 15:10

Support a good cause and celebrate the holidays

A holiday celebration benefiting Friends of the Smokies will be held at the Classic Wineseller in Waynesville starting at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7. This special “Wine on Wednesday” event will feature wine tasting by the Classic Wineseller, live…
A kick-off meeting for developing a regional bicycle plan for Haywood, Jackson, Swain, Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, and Transylvania counties will be held from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, at the Haywood Community College High Tech Center in…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 15:09

Animal experts on hand for programs

Learn about wildlife by tapping into Wild South, which offers a wide range of educational wildlife programs through school presentations and community events. In addition to programs about other critters, Wild South is offering black bear experts to share insights…
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is seeking nominations through Jan. 30 for the seventh annual Thomas L. Quay Award. The award recognizes individuals who make outstanding contributions to wildlife diversity in North Carolina and who are considered leaders in wildlife…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 15:07

Land protections see an increase

Voluntary land protections have increased by 27 percent over the five-year period from 2005-2010. The first census of land trusts during this period found 10 million new acres conserved nationwide since 2005, including 339,669 acres here in North Carolina. The…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 15:06

New wells tapping more landfill gas in Jackson

Four new landfill gas extraction wells are being drilled at the Green Energy Park in Jackson County, with the resulting energy helping to fuel craftspeople at work. The Green Energy Park taps methane landfill gas to provide fuel for blacksmith…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 15:04

A new twist on backyard habitats

There are butterfly gardens and wildlife-oriented gardens, so why not reptile and amphibian gardens, too? For people looking to make their property more inviting to frogs, toads, lizards and snakes, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has on its website a…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 15:01

Deja vue all over again

Friends of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge just finished waving goodbye to the Navy, its fighters and their outlying landing field only to turn around and see seeds planted that would sprout 500-foot tall wind turbines, each with a blade…
Mark Rozof sat behind a beat-up white desk surrounded by skis, walkie-talkies, snow jackets and other sundry gear strewn about the office, chuckling as he recalled his experiences as a ski instructor. During his 23 years of teaching, Rozof, the…
Hikers taking the trek across Grandfather Mountain’s ridgeline can now enjoy five new ladders on the Grandfather Trail. The new ladders on MacRae Cliff replace the old ones that had been up for decades. The five ladders are all in…
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 21:39

An astronomical look at the Star of Bethlehem

Get a different view of the Star of Bethlehem Friday, Dec. 9, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI). Activities include a tour of the PARI campus and celestial observations using PARI’s optical or radio telescopes,…
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 21:38

Historic photos now online

More than 1,800 high-resolution images of U.S. Forest Service history in the region are now available online for public viewing. Photos include images of early rangers and foresters such as Carl Schenck and Gifford Pinchot. Additionally, there are photos of…
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 21:37

Enjoy special tour of state trout hatchery

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will host a free, guided tour of its Bobby N. Setzer State Fish Hatchery in Transylvania County from 9-11 a.m. on Dec. 17. The tour is being coordinated by the commission’s Pisgah Center for Wildlife…
Encouraged by the success of experimental stockings during the last three years, biologists with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission are continuing their efforts to restore fish and mussels in the Cheoah and Pigeon rivers. They are using aquatic species propagated…
The Commission For a Clean County in Haywood County wants to recognize those individuals and organizations that made an outstanding commitment to a clean environment during the year. Entries must be received by Dec. 10. Several categories will be honored,…
Land-of-Sky Regional Council has released “Stimulus Stories of Western North Carolina,” a video highlighting the success of the WNC Forest Products Cooperative Marketing Project.   The project provided dollars and technical assistance to 15 businesses and organizations that make or…
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 21:34

Smokies extends elk an invitation to stay

Ten years after the first elk touched down in Cataloochee Valley, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has made the reintroduction of the species official. Until now, the herd of 140 elk in the Smokies were considered merely an “experimental…
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 21:33

Live in Haywood? Think local when buying

Haywood County farmers are offering a variety of products this holiday season, including standards such as Christmas trees and wreaths, as well as honey, poinsettias, jams and jellies, meats, cheeses and pickles. “The holiday season provides another great opportunity to…
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 21:33

Farmers invited to visit with Ag commissioner

Steve Troxler, the state’s agriculture commissioner, will be the speaker for the Haywood County’s Friends of Agriculture Breakfast from 7-8 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8, at the WNC Regional Livestock Center in Canton. The ongoing series of breakfast meetings in…
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 21:32

Lend an eye in national Audubon count

The Highlands Plateau Audubon Society will participate in the National Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count on Friday, Dec. 16. The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is an early-winter bird census where tens of thousands of volunteers across the U.S. and…
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 21:30

B-Friday

That’s bird-Friday of course. And bird-Friday got off to a pretty chilly start. It was 26 degrees Fahrenheit when I got to Lake Junaluska at around 8:45 a.m. Not much has changed species-wise at the lake for the past couple…
Permaculture has become something of a catchword in farming and homesteading circles, a grand concept — but one usually unfulfilled in hands-on practice — of layering one’s land with a variety of edible plants that will feed you or your…
Assault on Black Rock trail race is a go next year in Jackson County, so mark your calendar for Saturday, March 17, and start practicing steep ascents. As occurred this year, proceeds from the race will go to support the…
The scenic Cullowhee Valley will serve as the backdrop again when runners from throughout the region gather at Western Carolina University for the second annual Valley of the Lilies Half Marathon and 5-K on Sunday, March 25. The half marathon…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:43

Friends of the Smokies board member named

Award-winning businessperson Meridith Elliot Powell has been selected to join the Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Board of Directors. Powell is an internationally certified coach, speaker and author. She is founder and President of Motion First, a…
Learn all about bears and bear behavior at a monthly “Green Drinks” social at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 14 at Rathskellar Coffee House in Frankin. Green Drinks is a meeting of area conservationists. This gathering will highlight a Bear…
Twenty-two high school science teachers from across North Carolina recently visited the Highlands Biological Station for a weekend retreat focusing on the impact of climate change on the Southern Appalachian mountain ecosystem.   The Highlands Biological Station, an inter-institutional center…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:41

Oh, dear – disease hits N.C. deer

Deer hunters may encounter sick or diseased deer afflicted with hemorrhagic disease this hunting season, according to the N.C. Wildlife Commission. Two closely related viruses — epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus and bluetongue virus — cause hemorrhagic disease. Both are spread…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:40

Unique book collection displayed in Sylva

A collection of handmade books created by Kathrine Cays, artist-in-residence at The Rickman Store in the Cowee community of Macon County, will be on display this month at The Wilderness Society’s office in Sylva. Since the early 1990’s Cays’ work…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:39

Wildflower award winners announced

Regional efforts to make highways more beautiful added up to statewide recognition recently when the N.C. Department of Transportation announced the winners of the 22nd Annual Wildflower Awards. The awards recognize the efforts of NCDOT staff to carry out North…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:36

The good fight

As too often happens, in this whirlwind life, I lost my roundtoit. I received an email from the Western North Carolina Alliance at the end of November announcing public information meetings that would be held across the region regarding the…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:32

Gear guide 2011

The Smoky Mountain News has teamed up with outfitters for yet another installment of our annual Outdoor Gear Gift Guide. Outdoor fans are no doubt the easiest people on your Christmas list to shop for. Gear makers are constantly pushing…
Western Carolina University’s Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines has received a $239,000 grant from the National Park Service to assist the agency in identifying and protecting resources threatened by coastal erosion and future sea-level rise. The one-year grant…
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 21:56

Hay prices burning through your dollars?

Learn how to cut down on winter hay-feeding bills by utilizing winter grazing techniques. A “pasture walk” is set for Dec. 16 at 12:30 p.m. in Haywood County at the Mountain Research Station test farm. Discussion topics include grazing versus…
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 21:55

Ring in 2012 with a 5K run

The seventh annual Run in 2012 5K will be held at 11 a.m. Jan. 1 in Jackson County. The race starts and finishes at the Jackson County Recreation Center in Cullowhee and follows a flat course. Registration is $20 through…
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 21:55

Celebrate the sun with solstice walk

Celebrate the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, by participating in a nighttime walk at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22, in DuPont State Forest. The quarter-mile walk follows an old roadbed to the base of Hooker Falls. In…
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 21:54

Christmas weekend hikes planned

Enjoy the outdoors this Christmas by participating in a series of guided hikes scheduled to take place during the holiday season in the Pisgah National Forest. Roger Skillman, a former naturalist with the Cradle of Forestry Interpretive Association, is leading…
Local food sales are predicted to reach $7 billion nationally in 2012, according to a report released last month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Program estimates that Western North Carolina consumers alone purchased $62 million of…
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 21:52

Come see ‘The Wave’ on the Nantahala

The Nantahala Gorge Worlds Organizing Committee will celebrate the completion of The Wave on Friday, Dec. 16, with a ceremony, reception and paddling exhibition starting at noon. The Wave is the competition site of the 2013 ICF Freestyle Kayak World…
Work is under way on the first wildlife habitat enhancement project in Western North Carolina that relies on an outside group to act as stewards within the national forest.  The U.S. Forest Service has contracted with the N.C. Wildlife Commission…
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 21:49

Master Stewardship on the ground

A North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) press release from Dec. 9 announced that work was underway, “… to restore habitat by promoting new forest growth for wildlife,” on the Catpen project. The Catpen area is on the south side…
Christmas tree farming is nothing new in Western North Carolina thanks to the perfect climate, perfect soil and preponderance of mountainsides — terrain that leaves farmers with few options for cultivating crops suited to slopes. Tree farms run the gamut,…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 15:12

Gov. Purdue recognizes Save the Frogs Day

Gov. Beverly Purdue of North Carolina recently issued a proclamation officially declaring April 28 “Save the Frogs Day” in the state of North Carolina. The governor’s move was prompted by the request of 13-year-old Rachel Hopkins, an eighth-grade student at…
Conservation groups are hailing an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service that they say will protect an area of rare old-growth forest from logging near Franklin in the Nantahala National Forest.   The Southern Environmental Law Center had appealed a…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 15:11

Friends save tract bordering the park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park got an early Holiday gift on Dec. 14 when the Friends of the Smokies officially transferred 20 acres of new land to the national park. The land lies along Soak Ash Creek in the Pittman…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 15:10

National Park road updates hit Twitter

If you want to know which roads are closed because of weather conditions in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the easiest way is to now get updates via Twitter. Those without a Twitter account who wish to be notified…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 15:10

New NC bird habitat map online via Audubon

Audubon North Carolina has put out a new edition of Important Bird Areas of North Carolina, a full-color publication with detailed descriptions of North Carolina’s most critical bird habitats. The book, available online at www.ncaudubonblog.org, features 96 sites comprising nearly…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 15:09

Start the New Year with a hike at Gorges Park

Gorges State Park is sponsoring a free, guided hike on New Year’s Day. This is a part of First Day Hikes, a national initiative that offers a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature and welcome the New Year…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 15:09

Frosty Foot trail races coming to Tsali

Feeling sprightly in the New Year? Then hit the trails in the Tsali National Forest Recreation Area Jan. 7 with an 8k, 30k or 50k option in the annual Frosty Foot race. This is a world famous, technical yet serene,…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 15:08

Walking trail at Lake Junaluska lengthened

The walking trail at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center is getting longer thanks to a new one-half mile extension on the lake’s south side. Lake Junaluska is adding the new section of trail along South Lakeshore Drive, just south…