Outdoors roundupWritten by Admin
Photography program open to all skill levels
A field photography program is set to begin May 21 and run through June 18. It will be led by local photographer Bob Grytten and include Tuesday evening workshops in the Waynesville Old Armory Recreation Center and Wednesday morning outings to photo-rich destinations in the area. Attendees will carpool to places along the Blue Ridge Parkway and within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park such as Cataloochee Valley, among other destinations.
This program is open to people of all photo skill levels and interests, such as hobby, artistic and journalistic photography. Each Tuesday night session costs $15 and each photo outing $45. The first class will be held Tuesday, May 21. A 20 percent discount can be arranged to those planning on attending all the sessions. Also, for those not located in the Waynesville area, Grytten is gathering input for possible sites for future classes. Space is limited.
Forest service seeks input on forest management
The next round of public meetings on the revised Nantahala and Pisgah national forests management plans will take place May 23 and May 30.
The first will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on May 23 in the Tartan Hall of the First Presbyterian Church in Franklin. The second will be from 6 to 9 p.m. on May 30 at the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville. Participants are encouraged to arrive early.
The revised plans will help the forest service develop guidelines to manage the two forests for next 15 years or so and create a roadmap for dealing with varying and sometimes conflicting uses in the forests. At the meeting, forest service officials will discuss several topic areas such as outdoor recreation, access, wildlife habitats, wilderness areas and more.
Tribe to celebrate conservation tract
An event in celebration of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians reclaiming ownership of a tract of land that overlooks the Cowee Mound will take place at 11 a.m. on May 31 north of Franklin.
The festivities will mark the close of a Land Trust for the Little Tennessee project that began in 2005. The Wilderness Society was also instrumental in securing funding through a federal conservation program to aid in the reclamation project.
At the Hall Mountain Tract, the tribe plans to create a scenic hiking trail system to exhibit the natural resources traditionally used by the Cherokee and serve as an educational resource for the public, regional schools and youth organizations.
The public is invited to the celebration program that will begin. Lunch will be served at noon and the event will be held at 7339 Bryson City Road, about 7.5 miles north of Franklin. In case of rain, the event will be moved to Cowee School. Registration requested.
828.524.2711, ext. 305.
Conservationists earns recognition
Fred Stanback, a conservationist and philanthropist, has been awarded the first National Parks Conservation Association’s Sequoia Award. The new award aims to honor individuals who have enhanced the advocacy organization’s efforts to protect the National Park System or individual national parks. Stanback has contributed to numerous causes in the Appalachian region and in Western North Carolina.
In 1995, Stanback and his wife, Alice, established the Stanback Internship Program at Duke University. The program enables students to intern at conservation organizations throughout the summer months. Stanback also serves on the president’s council of the Southern Environmental Law Center, as well as the national council of the Sierra Club Foundation.
Geology field trip through the Smokies
What causes a landslide? How did the glaciers influence the region’s spruce and fir forests? Answers to these questions and more will be provided Thursday, May 30, on a Friends of the Smokies geology field trip through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Local geologist and former researcher Steve Yurkovich will lead the trip and cover the basics of the park’s geology. The group will carpool and head out from the Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee at 10 a.m. and make various stops along Newfound Gap Road, including a visit to Clingmans Dome for a 1.2-mile walk to the observation tower.
A donation of $10 for current members of Friends of the Smokies and $35 for non-members is requested. Non-members receive a complimentary membership to Friends of the Smokies in return.
Waterfall trail looking for sweat donations
Volunteers are needed in Panthertown Valley during Memorial Day weekend on Saturday, May 25, to help complete a new section of the Wilderness Falls Trail.
The work will entail re-routing the popular trail to make for safer and easier access to the waterfall below. There will be no more than five miles of hiking, and the work will be completed by 2:30 p.m.
REI Asheville is providing giveaways for those who show up, plus each volunteer gets entered into a drawing to win camping gear. All ages and skill levels are welcome. Volunteers will meet at 9:30 a.m. at the western entrance to Panthertown Valley at the Salt Rock Gap trailhead, located at the end of Breedlove Road in Cashiers.
Bass tournament hosted by the Pisgah Valley Bassmasters
A bass tournament will be held by the Pisgah Valley Bassmasters Association on May 25 on Lake Chatuge near Hayesville to raise money for scholarships for high school students. The competition will begin at 6:30 a.m. and last until 3 p.m. from the Ledford’s Chapel boat ramp. The event is limited to two fishermen per boat and five-fish with artificial bait only. The tournament costs $100 per boat and the top prize will be around $500, with total cash payouts of $2,500. There will also be hot dogs and soft drinks after the tournament. The tournament is in honor of Terry Stamey, a Canton native who helped run a foster home in Haywood County and died on New Year’s.
Free fishing days for the children
The U.S. Forest Service and the N.C. Wildlife Commission are hosting Kids Fishing Days events across the mountains in early June. The free events are geared for children and their families and focus on education and activities revolving around fishing. Equipment will be provided.
Registration starts at 8 a.m. with the event running from 9 a.m. to noon.
• Haywood County: June 8 at Max Patch pond.
• Highlands: June 1 at Cliffside Lake.
• Graham County: June 1 Rattler Ford on Cheoah Lake.
• Asheville: June 1 at Lake Powhatan.
Participants from across the state will be entered into a drawing to win prizes such as two lifetime fishing licenses and other fishing-related prizes such as tackle boxes and fishing poles.
The Mountain Lakes Race comes back to Highlands
After a hiatus of several years, The Mountain Lakes 5K race and walk is returning to Highlands Saturday, June 1.
The scenic course passes through gently rolling hills and two lakes. A short portion of the course is on a gravel road. The race will finish beside First Citizens Bank on Laurel Street. Race-day registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. in the lobby at the Highlands Recreation Park, with the race starting at 8:30 a.m.
The race is sponsored by the Mountaintop Rotary Club. Proceeds from the race will benefit the Wheelchairs for Bolivia Project, in which wheelchairs are donated to people with disabilities in the third-world Latin-American country. The race is open to both runners and walkers of all ages. The entry fee is $15.