The birders… they are a’changing: A new generation of birders rises up

I’ve been birding in Western North Carolina since I got here in the late 1980s, in my mid-thirties (yes, I’m that old.) 

When I would show up for a birding trip or program, I would be one of the “youngsters.” I kept birding and kept attending events and the constant thing was, we all kept getting older. I have participated in the Balsam Christmas Bird Count since its inception in 2003, and trust me, to see a face under 50 years of age is a novelty. 

Notes from a Plant Nerd: How a love for plants took root

Hi, my name is Adam Bigelow, and I am a Plant Nerd. 

Five ways public lands won big in 2021

For Western North Carolina’s outdoor enthusiasts, a toast to 2021 means a toast to the impressive slate of conservation successes that took place on the region’s public lands this year. 

Hands-on approach key to HCC program

When Dylan Brooks first started his college education, he began in a business program. It didn’t take long to figure out that sitting in a classroom or eventually in an office was not what he wanted to do. 

Proceed with caution: Data details deaths in national parks

On May 21, 2000, a beloved Sevier County elementary school teacher named Glenda Ann Bradley took a walk on the Little River Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with her ex-husband Ralph Hill. Both Hill and Bradley, 50, were experienced hikers, so when Hill went off-trail to fish, Bradley did some solo hiking while she waited for him. 

A shared space, a shared responsibility

By Casey Quarterman • Guest Columnist | For six years I have been working as a Wilderness Ranger in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. I devote my time, blood, sweat and energy into keeping wild places as wild and natural as possible. 

Restoring a giant: EBCI partners to resurrect the chestnut tree

Rex Mann’s father was the kind of storyteller whose voice would make everyone in the room stop what they were doing, come and listen. 

Made by mountains: Regional brand aims to drive entrepreneurship, stewardship in WNC’s outdoor economy

The outdoor industry has for years been on an upward trajectory in Western North Carolina, and a regional branding campaign unveiled May 18 aims to boost it even further. 

Hooked on Haywood: County’s expanded outdoor programming offers new ways to explore

“My name is Tommy Thomas. I’ve been fly fishing 30, maybe closer to 40 years now,” says the man wearing a reel of fishing line as a necklace, by way of introducing himself to the couple dozen people gathered for a morning fly fishing class May 7 at Lake Junaluska Dam.

Art of the invite: Brevard business aims to increase Black participation outdoors

Earl B. Hunter Jr. describes his younger self as a “Good Times kid,” growing up on free lunch and government assistance in Columbia, South Carolina. He wasn’t great at school — he didn’t even learn to read fluently until he was a teenager — but he had a quality about him. And he had a mentor. 

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