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Wednesday, 13 September 2017 00:00

Outdoors roundup

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Get certified in boating and hunting

Certification opportunities in boating and hunter safety are coming up at Haywood Community College in Clyde, offered through a partnership between HCC and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

The hunter safety course will be 6-9:30 p.m. Sept. 18-19 in room 3322 or building 3300 at HCC. Participants must attend both days to take a test for a certification accepted in every North American state and province. No age limits, but classes and written exam are at a sixth-grade level. Additional courses will be offered Oct. 2-3, Nov. 6-7 and Dec. 18-19.

Boating safety will be offered 6-9 p.m. Sept. 25-26 in room 3322 of building 3300 at HCC. Participants must attend both days to take a test for a certification to operate vessels propelled by a motor of 10 horsepower or greater. No age limit, but written exam is required.

Pre-registration required at


New system for big game harvest reporting

This fall hunting season, North Carolina hunters will no longer be able to report big game harvests through paper record sheets.

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has moved to a new real-time reporting system. Hunters can report harvests by phone at 800.446.8663, online at or at a participating Wildlife Service Agent location.

The new system is intended to increase efficiency and accuracy of reporting. Users will also be able to track the status of the harvest within the current hunting season by species, region or county at

In North Carolina, whitetail deer, black bear and wild turkey are considered big game animals.


Take the family camping

A fall campout will give families an excuse to spend the weekend outside Sept. 23-24 at Ralph J. Andrews Campground at Lake Glenville.

The event fee includes a campsite, dinner, breakfast, snacks, activities and loaner camping equipment if needed. $25 for a family of $5, with each additional family member $2.

Organized by Jackson County Parks and Recreation. Sign up at


Book chronicles a year on Smokies trails

A man who spent the National Park Service Centennial hiking one million steps on trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will share the book he wrote about the experience  at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, at the Waynesville Public Library in Waynesville.

Ben Anderson’s book, Smokies Chronicle: One Year of Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, draws from the observations he jotted in a 30-year-old notebook while hiking more than 400 miles on all or part of 71 park trails. The book includes 40 personal narratives describing Anderson’s experiences along the trail, as well as information about the park’s history, flora and fauna.


Park superintendent leaves D.C.

Cassius Cash, superintendent of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, will be gone from the Smokies through mid-January while serving a 120-day detail as acting superintendent of National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C.

Cash was asked several weeks ago to temporarily fill the position based on his wealth of urban park experience, having served as superintendent of Boston National Historic Park and Boston African American National Historic Site prior to his arrival in the Smokies. The vacancy at the National Mall occurred when Superintendent Gay Vietzke accepted a position as director of the National Park Service’s Northeast Region.

Cash’s detail in D.C. will begin Sept. 18. Clayton Jordan, the park’s deputy superintendent, will serve as acting superintendent during Cash’s absence, with Chief of Facilities Management Alan Sumeriski serving as acting deputy superintendent.


Book explores Nantahala history

Marci Spencer, who has previously authored books exploring the histories of Clingmans Dome and the Pisgah National Forest, has published a new book chronicling the history of the Nantahala National Forest.

Nantahala National Forest: A History explores the history and splendor of the 500,000-acre national forest, from the Whitewater River’s tumble down the highest waterfall in the eastern U.S. to the high peaks, secluded coves and forested woodlands of the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, Panthertown Valley and Buck Creek Serpentine Pine Barrens.

The book includes historic photographs, a section of full-color photos and several shorter narratives written by residents and naturalists from around the region. George Ellison, a naturalist and author of many books who lives in Bryson City, wrote the forward, and James Lewis, Ph.D., of the Forest History Society wrote the commentary.

The book was published by The History Press and is available in local bookstores, and online at


Loaner life jackets available in Jackson

Loaner life jackets are now available at five different locations in Jackson County, thanks a partnership composed of a variety of businesses and public agencies.

The newest station, at Bear Lake, joins the four existing life jacket stations at East LaPorte Park, Locust Creek Put-in, Dillsboro/Tuckasegee Put-in and Barkers Creek Put-in. Each station houses multiple life jackets in sizes ranging from infant to adult so that children can borrow them while participating in water activities nearby.

Partners include Duke Energy, the Brian and Nathan Keese Water Safety Organization, Safe Kids Jackson County, Jennings Builder Supply, Jackson County Department of Public Health, Jackson County Public Works Department and the Sea Two Foundation.

Ruby Lawrence, 828.587.8227.


Help clean up the farm

Volunteers are needed Thursday, Sept. 14, to help spruce up the Mountain Farm Museum in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, preparation for the Mountain Lifestyle Festival Saturday, Sept. 16.

Volunteers will enjoy a morning outdoors, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., setting up demonstration spaces, cleaning historic structures and preparing the field parking lot for thousands of visitors.

Lunch provided. Sign up at


Clean up N.C. roads

Volunteers across the state will join forces to clean North Carolina’s roadsides during the Fall Litter Sweep Sept. 16-30.

The N.C. Department of Transportation will provide cleanup supplies such as orange trash bags, gloves and orange safety vests, available at county DOT offices. Last year’s fall litter sweep removed 521,000 pounds of litter from roads and highways.

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