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Outdoors

Public lands in Western North Carolina are set to get a chunk of the $950 billion approved for deferred maintenance projects with the Aug. 4 ratification of the Great American Outdoors Act. The National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service both released project lists last week. 

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A trio of conservation groups is suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for alleged violations of the Endangered Species Act, charging that new and illegal agency policies bar use of proven management measures to save the red wolves. 

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More than 50 volunteers showed up for MountainTrue’s 10th annual Lake Chatuge Shoreline Cleanup on Nov. 7, removing 1.8 tons of trash. 

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The 5Point Adventure Film Festival will come to Western North Carolina with an online screening at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1. 

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The beloved discount outdoor gear store The Frugal Backpacker has announced that it will close its stores in Asheville and Greenville, South Carolina, as a result of the ongoing pandemic. 

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The few remaining leaves hanging in the trees shine like stained glass as the morning sun rises high enough to outrun the slopes above Trillium Gap Trailhead in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The abnormally warm November day is perfect for hiking, the play of sunlight on autumn leaves and the sweeping views glimpsed through mostly bare branches commanding complete attention. It’s easy to forget the ground beneath your boots, feet moving forward automatically as eyes focus up and around, only occasionally flickering downward. 

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The Assault on BlackRock trail race is set for Saturday, March 20, next year, and proceeds will benefit the Southwestern Community College Student Emergency Fund. 

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The red-cockaded woodpecker could be downgraded from an endangered species to a threatened species if a proposal from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is adopted, and a public hearing slated for 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, will give citizens a chance to weigh in. 

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The annual Winter Lights event at the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville opens Friday, Nov. 20, but due to COVID-19 it will be a drive-thru experience this time around. 

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