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In the early 1900s, Florence Cope Bush, author of Dorie: Woman of the Mountains, described native brook trout as being so numerous that it was near impossible for her mother to dip a wash pan in a mountain stream without…
You don’t have to barter with chickens at the Jackson County Farmers Market, or even pay with cash for that matter. The weekly market in Sylva accepts debit and credit cards to purchase farmers tokens, which in turn can pay…
Danny Bernstein will discuss her third hiking book, Mountains-To-Sea: Trail Across North Carolina, at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville. Her talk about the trail will include slides of her hike. Stretching 1,000 miles from…
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 13:31

Trout waters set to open; youth go first

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will open approximately 64 miles of trout streams and two lakes known as delayed-harvest trout waters on June 1, with a special head start for youth anglers. From 6 a.m. until noon that day, only…
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park will celebrate National Trails Day on Saturday, June 1, with a volunteer workday on the Appalachian Trail.
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 13:29

Author climbs Clingmans Dome in new book

Clingmans Dome towers over the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains as the highest point in both the national park and the state of Tennessee.
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 13:28

Upcoming summer camps

Smokies summer camp near Cherokee Great Smoky Mountains National Park is hosting a three-day camp, “Smokies Summer Science Investigations,” for youth entering sixth through ninth grade in the fall. 
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 13:27

Bringing the classroom outside

Highlands Middle School became home to a new outdoor classroom earlier this month.
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 13:26

A hangover of hoverers

As we turn to bask in the full glow of the summer sun, mornings begin to heat up quickly. As they heat, they become quieter. 
The swim leg of a triathlon is notoriously daunting. Of the sport’s three heats — swimming, biking and running — the water is the most brutal and dangerous. It’s every person for him or herself as the racers jump from…
Wednesday, 16 May 2007 00:00

Soggy birding

May 5 was a soggy morning. At 7:30 a.m. a light drizzle had engulfed Lake Junaluska. We sat in our cars and debated our plight. This was the date selected for the Haywood County Arts Council “Fun Party – Art…
Danny Bernstein still remembers her first tough hike — a three-day journey in 1969 up Mount Marcy, the highest peak in New York.
Wednesday, 09 May 2007 00:00

A peek at the watershed

One hundred and twenty people or so took advantage of Waynesville’s first Watershed Appreciation Month to see and learn more about the town’s 8,600-acre watershed. The program ran the last three Saturdays in April and included hikes and presentations in…
Wednesday, 09 May 2007 00:00

The right choices for healthier air

Roughly 45 percent of people (more than 2.9 million) in North Carolina lives in an area with unhealthful short-term levels of particle pollution .... — The American Lung Association Last week was Air Quality Awareness Week, and surprisingly, there is…
The Wilderness Society has signaled a strong interest in the future of the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests with the opening of an office in Franklin.
By Kathleen Lamont It was Saturday, March 24, and I was walking through the Greenlife Grocery parking lot in Asheville where the fourth annual Asheville Artisans Bread Bakers Festival was in full swing.
Wednesday, 02 May 2007 00:00

They’re baaaaccckkk!

In late March there was a lot of talk on the Carolina birders’ listserv about early migration as Neotropical migrants began showing up. By April 1 we had already recorded blue-headed vireo, northern rough-winged swallow, blue-grey gnatcatcher and black-throated green…
Wednesday, 02 May 2007 00:00

Bog bet succeeds

When Gary Wein came on board as the executive director of the Highlands Cashiers Land Trust a year ago, he had no idea his first major conservation success could be full of so much drama.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Cameron Farlow, an intern at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s Oconaluftee Visitors Center, reaches down to pluck a meandering millipede from the moist, dirt bank along the side of the trail as we…
Wednesday, 25 April 2007 00:00

Navy’s top 10 reasons for choosing Site C

The Navy has decided that a site in Washington and Beaufort counties in eastern North Carolina, about three to five miles from Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, is the ideal spot for an Outlying Landing Field (OLF) where its pilots…
By Michael Beadle Jay Blackburn never figured he’d be competing against the best axe-chopping, saw-cutting athletes in the country when he enrolled at Haywood Community College two years ago. Now he’s planning to pursue a career as a timber sports…
Walking into the new nature center at the Balsam Mountain Preserve in Jackson County is like walking into a replica of a Southern Appalachian forest, with all the best goodies already uncovered and there for the taking — or rather…
Wednesday, 18 April 2007 00:00

Navy still at war with NC

You have to admire the tenacity of America’s armed forces. We can all take pride in the heroism, courage and valor exhibited by America’s finest down through the centuries. And the U.S. Navy is no exception. In fact, most every…
For years, Jack Lansford and his mountain biking buddies in Franklin would have to load up their bikes and hit the road for a minimum of 30 minutes before reaching the nearest trailhead. As any biker, hiker or paddler knows,…
A federal judge in San Francisco told the Bush administration on March 30 that it didn’t have the right to bypass property owners when making decisions regarding their lands. Back in early 2005 the administration decided unilaterally to change the…
Wednesday, 11 April 2007 00:00

Hiking to build a better world

By Michael Beadle Jon Brown and Scott Cochran want to help a small town in Bosnia and Herzegovina rebuild after a bitter ethnic war, but to get there, they’ll need to raise about $30,000.
Wednesday, 11 April 2007 00:00

May the North Shore Road rest in peace

Swain County native Heath Shuler is doing his home county a favor by putting together a powerful congressional coalition to support a cash settlement in lieu of building the controversial North Shore Road. Truthfully, there’s little chance that this road…
Wednesday, 04 April 2007 00:00

The Northshore Road: What they say

Rep. Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville “As a Swain County native, I have a deep, personal understanding of the issues and emotions surrounding the Road to Nowhere. The people of Swain County have
Wednesday, 04 April 2007 00:00

Road to Nowhere: Getting dimmer by the day

Those opposed to building a $600 million, 30-mile road through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park got welcome news last week.
Wednesday, 04 April 2007 00:00

Beetles being raised to save hemlocks

A new lab has opened at the University of Georgia to raise predator beetles aimed at countering the deadly hemlock woolly adelgid infestation killing native hemlocks.
Wednesday, 04 April 2007 00:00

Honeybees and hemp: Where did we go wrong?

By Kathleen Lamont I’ve got two cents to add to the honeybee dilemma. There are approximately 20,000 species of bees roaming around, out of which approximately 300 pollinate, and of those 300 most people can identify two — the bumblebee…
First let me get this disclaimer out of the way. I am thrilled to hear that Congressman Heath Shuler has joined Sen. Lamar Alexander and others from North Carolina and Tennessee on Capitol Hill to officially ask for a cash…
Wednesday, 28 March 2007 00:00

Move over harbingers

George Ellison talked about the harbingers of spring in his Feb. 28 column in The Smoky Mountain News. Well those harbingers now have lots of company.
Wednesday, 28 March 2007 00:00

Antlers born anew

By Joe Yarkovich Spring is upon us and with the days beginning to lengthen, signs of the season can be seen within the elk of Cataloochee as well.
Wednesday, 21 March 2007 00:00

The great salamander adventure

Twelve of the world’s foremost salamander authorities converged on Balsam Mountain Preserve Sunday March 11 for an informal survey. The program was facilitated by Balsam Mountain Preserve’s senior naturalist Blair Ogburn, who seemed right at home with her most distinguished…
Wednesday, 21 March 2007 00:00

Ice age relics

Chris Kelly didn’t seem fazed by the frigid February temperatures as she rock-hopped an icy stream and plunged down a trail into the Middle Prong Wilderness for another daily adventure into the world of flying squirrels.
Chris North might not wile away his work week scaling trees in search of endangered Carolina Northern Flying Squirrels, but as a project manager with the N.C. Wildlife Federation, his job is just as critical to the flying squirrel’s survival.
Wednesday, 14 March 2007 00:00

Why the Easter bunny brings eggs

Did you ever wonder why this big, furry, long-eared mammal was hoping around with eggs in its basket?
By Michael Beadle Running can be a lonely sport. It’s hard finding someone who has a similar pace, someone who runs when you do, someone who can get you through those tough, uphill climbs.
Wednesday, 07 March 2007 00:00

Simple living: Up from grassroots

By Kathleen Lamont   There are lots of examples today of what a few determined and focused people can do. They can build low-income housing, rebuild devastated cities, and save disappearing farmland. That last one is shooting to the top…
Wednesday, 07 March 2007 00:00

Getting jiggy at the vernal pool

It’s March 1, the night is black and soggy. It’s around 50 degrees and “pourin the rain” as natives say.
Wednesday, 07 March 2007 00:00

Fire on the mountain

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer A forest fire burned nearly 40 acres in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Wednesday (Feb. 28), threatening the Purchase Knob research station.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park conducted a prescribed burn on a 530-acre tract of forest in the Cataloochee Valley area last weekend.
By Michael Beadle Paul Carlson has plenty of maps to show you. There are maps with stars. Color-coded maps of riverfront properties. Aerial photography maps. Maps of the past and maps of the future.
Wednesday, 28 February 2007 00:00

Allons au Bayou Noire

I guess the real Bayou Noire would be in Houma or Sulphur or somewhere else across Acadiana, where the slow water in the bayou is dark enough to be called black. The Bayou Noire I just returned from was Black…
Wednesday, 28 February 2007 00:00

LTLT preserves 850 acres in Cherokee County

A cattle farm in Cherokee County known as Ridgefield Farm has been preserved for future generations thanks to a conservation agreement between the Whitmire family and the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee.
Wednesday, 28 February 2007 00:00

N.C. side of Smokies goes biodiesel

About two dozen diesel vehicles used by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the North Carolina side of the park will soon be fueling up with B-50 biodiesel.
Warm weather brings with it a greater risk for mosquito-borne illnesses, but health officials say precautions can be taken to reduce breeding grounds. According to public health officials, bites from infected mosquitoes are the primary cause of at least three…
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 13:46

The Owl Prowl is back in Highlands

A birds of prey program will put participants face to face with live raptors and give them a chance to spot owls in the night. The annual “Owl Prowl” will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at the…
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 13:45

Don’t touch that fawn!

They are awfully cute, and often times look abandoned, but the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is reminding the public not to approach, touch, feed or move fawns seen hiding in the grass, brush or other vegetation.  Deer are “hider species,”…
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 13:44

See winged hunters up close and personal

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be the site of an upcoming birds of prey program, featuring live raptors and interesting facts.
A summer night sky viewing event and open house will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, June 14, at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute campus high in the mountains of the Pisgah National Forest in Transylvania County.
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 13:39

Time to SWEAT on the Appalachian Trail

Volunteers are being sought to work in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on its Wilderness Elite Appalachian Trail Crew (S.W.E.A.T.).
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 13:36

Serendipitous beach trip

Conscientious, detailed vacation planning; anticipating the “what ifs” and having contingency plans; route planning and hashing out all the logistics can surely make that extended vacation a lot smoother and more relaxing. But sometimes that out of the blue, spur-of-the-moment…
A mountainside in Macon County once destined for a housing development is now destined to be a community forest area comparable to the arboretum in Asheville. The Hall Mountain Tract is a 108-acre swath of land overlooking the Cowee mound…
Landmark Learning, a Cullowhee-based wilderness training center for the outdoor industry, has forged a new partnership with the National Outdoor Leadership School’s Wilderness Medicine Institute.
Wednesday, 21 February 2007 00:00

The realities of being green

The Western Carolina Forest Sustainability Initiative (WCFSI) under the direction of Pete Bates, associate professor of Natural Resources Management at WCU, grew out of the Little Tennessee Sustainable Forestry Initiative that was created in 2002. The LTSFI was a collaboration…
American Whitewater has withdrawn its lawsuit challenging a paddling ban on the upper Chattooga River outside Cashiers.
Wednesday, 14 February 2007 00:00

No excuses

Now here’s a way to bird from your kitchen table, in your pajamas and slippers, with a steaming hot cup of coffee in your hand. This year will be the tenth annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). The count is…
Wednesday, 14 February 2007 00:00

Ivey wins conservation award

George Ivey, a well-known leader in conservation efforts in Haywood County, received the Pigeon River Award for 2006 from Haywood Waterways Association.
By Michael Beadle The cost of college can get pretty expensive, especially when it comes to paying the monthly electric bill.
Wednesday, 07 February 2007 00:00

What Price Sweetness

By Kathleen Lamont In the late 1970’s, Dr. Robert Atkins had a clinic in Santa Monica, Calif., where people went to experience the Atkins Diet first hand for weeks at a time. A friend of mine, a nutritionist on staff,…
Wednesday, 07 February 2007 00:00

Stairway to heaven

In 1885 Jerome B. Freeman built a stairway to the top of a 535-million-year-old granite monolith overlooking Hickory Nut Gorge.
Wednesday, 07 February 2007 00:00

Bear your support

When George Ivey broached the idea of a new specialty license plate design for Friends of the Smokies, feedback on the best image to symbolize the park ran the gamut: a scenic vista, a log cabin, the rare hellbender salamander,…
Wednesday, 07 February 2007 00:00

Finding the essence of the Smokies

Micah McClure, a graphic designer in Waynesville, faced a daunting task when asked to redesign the Friends of the Smokies license plate in a way that would capture the essence of America’s most visited national park.
Wednesday, 31 January 2007 00:00

Peanut butter log is the bomb

This past summer I stopped feeding birds, except for the hummers. The squirrels had become too brazen and were chewing everything and anything on the deck and beating on the windows, demanding food.
By Michael Beadle If you’re a mountain biker looking for a challenging course that’s as cold as it is fun, check out the Icycle Mountain Bike Event at Fontana Village this weekend.
Drivers with Appalachian Trail license plates raised $55,000 last year to support the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in North Carolina.
Wednesday, 24 January 2007 00:00

Deer dilemma

This week’s column is a follow-up to last week’s piece about urban archery seasons and deer/human conflicts within municipalities. Most regular readers of The Naturalist’s Corner know that I am not an advocate of hunting or any blood sport —…
By Michael Beadle For the longest time, forest fires were viewed as hazardous events to avoid at all costs. Remember Smokey the Bear pointing his finger like Uncle Sam, telling folks to do all they could to prevent forest fires?
Wednesday, 17 January 2007 00:00

Urban archery and tally ho!

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has decided that creating an urban bowhunting season would be a wonderful resource municipalities could use to lessen the negative impacts of deer/human conflicts.
Canary Coalition, a regional air quality advocacy group based in Sylva, recently reached the 1,000 mark in members, showing a growth of 25 percent in 2006.
By Michael Beadle Sutton Bacon once had dreams of becoming a surgeon.
The All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory, an ambitious project to identify every organism in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is rolling into its eighth year of study and sampling. As of October 2006, the ATBI has identified 5,317 new species…
Wednesday, 10 January 2007 00:00

Coexistence on the Chattooga

Paddlers floated down the Chattooga River outside Cashiers last weekend for the first time in 30 years since the U.S. Forest Service first imposed a paddling ban on the upper stretch of the Wild and Scenic River.
Wednesday, 03 January 2007 00:00

The Annual Balsam CBC

The fifth annual Balsam Christmas Bird Count was conducted last Saturday, Dec. 30. The 15-mile diameter circle, which covers a large portion of western Haywood County as well as Balsam Mountain Preserve in Jackson County, is one of more than…
Wednesday, 03 January 2007 00:00

Working on the fly

By Michael Beadle Wintertime may not offer the best opportunities for fly-fishing, but that doesn’t mean fly fishers aren’t busy.
Wednesday, 03 January 2007 00:00

It’s that time again

By Kathleen Lamont The tradition of New Year’s Resolutions can be accurately traced to 153 B.C., although it could go back even further. At that time Janus, a mythical king of early Rome, was placed at the head of the…
Wednesday, 27 December 2006 00:00

Outside in 06

The Smoky Mountain News Outdoors section has printed scores of news about the environment, adventure sports and outdoor activities in 2006. Of course, there was also a whole bunch of news about the people who take part in these activities…
Wednesday, 27 December 2006 00:00

Resolving to go green(er)

The only New Year’s resolution that I know I have kept came after a particularly devastating New Year’s morning back in January 1970, when I resolved to never ever drink another sloe gin fizz – a resolution I have kept…
The sickle-fin redhorse, a new species of fish recently discovered that dwells in only a handful of rivers in WNC, will be getting a boost from a $40,000 U.S. Fish and Wildlife grant.
Wednesday, 27 December 2006 00:00

Winter workout and wear

By Rachel Tomlinson With the winter season in full swing, dressing appropriately to prevent cold injuries is often overlooked, especially in regions where temperatures don’t drop far below 20 degrees.
A statewide survey to gauge support for making hunting on Sundays legal revealed some interesting side statistics on outdoor recreation.
Wednesday, 20 December 2006 00:00

The Naturalist's Corner

Winter solstice
Wednesday, 20 December 2006 00:00

Winter workout

By Michael Beadle Just because the temperatures drop and days grow shorter doesn’t mean you have to give up your exercise routine.
Many hunters in Western North Carolina are hoping that an 1869 law banning hunting on Sunday might finally be lifted.
Wednesday, 13 December 2006 00:00

Fat and sassy

Dwayne Martin loves birds, loves learning about birds and loves educating about birds.
Landowners in Jackson County are in the process of protecting 154 acres on Cowee Mountain from future development by placing the property in a conservation easement with the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee.
Wednesday, 13 December 2006 00:00

By the numbers

A private research and public opinion firm was hired by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to measure public sentiment toward Sunday hunting — namely whether it should be allowed. North Carolina is one of the last states with a…
By Michael Beadle Kathy Boydston was never one to sit quietly in retirement. A veteran elementary school teacher, world traveler, mountain biker and marathon runner, she’s now keeping busy coordinating programs in Haywood County Schools that teach students about the…
Wednesday, 06 December 2006 00:00

Simple Living: Care to unplug?

It’s highly possible that you have been daydreaming about a less stressful holiday season, and it includes those memories of how it was for you as a child, when things were kinder and slower.
Wednesday, 06 December 2006 00:00

Go forth and add

It’s time once again for the Granddaddy of bird counts. Audubon’s 107th annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) takes place between December 14 and January 5.
A new initiative is now underway to encourage landowners to keep the Upper Pigeon River Valley in the Bethel community of Haywood County rural.
Franklin’s downtown outdoor gear store just got bigger.
June kicks off the first of a three-part event at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, near Bryson City, called the Canoe Club Challenge. 
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 12:43

Eat to support the Blue Ridge Parkway

Eateries in Western North Carolina have agreed to donate a portion of their proceeds to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and its work in supporting the parkway. Plates for the Parkway will include three restaurants in the area that have…
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 12:42

Learn to co-exist with mountain black bears

Mountain visitors and residents can learn more about their black bear neighbors at an upcoming seminar. A program called “Understanding Our Black Bears” and a dinner will be held Monday, June 1, at the Sapphire Valley Resort’s Community Center. The…
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 12:42

Predator birds come to Waynesville

Get ready for live talons, Waynesville. Doris Mager, better known as “The Eagle Lady,” will appear with her birds of prey at 10:30 a.m. June 12 at the Waynesville branch of the Haywood County Library. Mager’s program about raptors is…
A new book has been published detailing the story of the grand, four-legged keepers of the Great Smoky Mountains Park: the elk.