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The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is asking the public to help document observations of nine-banded armadillos, as the bony-plated mammals expand their range in this state.
Wednesday, 07 August 2013 13:11

No this ain’t Dallas

Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Dallas. And I’m sure that if you like big, hot, crowded cities, the big “D” has lots to offer. But when I met my guest — from Dallas — on the…
Sitting at a picnic table alongside the Nantahala River, Charles Conner watches the fast moving water. It’s may be a peaceful sunny morning at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, but it’s the calm before the storm. “Right now, we’re really excited…
Plants are most commonly harvested for their food or appreciated for their beauty, however many plants in the Southern Appalachians have important medicinal qualities.   Herbal expert Patricia Kyritsi Howell will give a lecture titled “The Southern Appalachians: Apothecary of…
Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is expanding the park’s high school science internship program with the help of a $25,000 grant. The grant will fund science programs including internships for high school students from Swain, Graham and Haywood…
Wednesday, 14 August 2013 14:03

Smokies association throws a big party

Moonshine tasting, auctions, hikes, talks, hunts, barbecue, dancing and star gazing are just a few of the activities planned for Great Smoky Mountains Association’s Membership Appreciation Weekend Sept. 13-15 in Townsend, Tenn. The organization is celebrating its 60th anniversary with…
Wednesday, 14 August 2013 14:02

Panthertown party thanks volunteers

Friends of Panthertown is hosting their annual picnic and concert this year Tuesday, Aug. 20, on Lake Fairfield at Camp Merrie-Woode in Sapphire Valley.
Friends of the Smokies will host a telethon to benefit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 
Wednesday, 14 August 2013 13:58

Dillsboro to host ‘River Rescue Rodeo’

In September, Dillsboro will host the Western North Carolina River Rescue Rodeo, a whitewater rescue competition.
Wednesday, 14 August 2013 13:57

A pistol of a shrimp

Once again, through the gracious hospitality of a dear friend the Hendershot family found itself on the Isle of Palms — one of the South Carolina barrier islands just up the coast from Charleston. We have been here before and…
This year’s Aug. 17 Blue Ridge Breakaway is hoping to attract nearly 600 cyclists to Haywood County, and leading those riders out of the gate will be Asheville resident and Olympic medalist Lauren Tamayo.  The 29-year-old Tamayo won a silver…
While lines of cars zip down the Blue Ridge Parkway and hikers scurry along its zigzagging trails, Graveyard Fields moves at its own pace. The high elevation meadows of Graveyard Fields are a crowned jewel of the Shining Rock Wilderness.…
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 14:05

Telethon draws support for national park

Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park raised more than $200,000 through its “Friends Across the Mountains” telethon this year, thanks to hundreds of callers and help from sponsors. The money will fund more than $1 million of park improvements…
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 14:05

NC native chosen for Smokies top spot

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has found its next deputy superintendent in Patricia M. Wissinger. She replaces Kevin Fitzgerald, who retired earlier this year. Wissinger currently is the superintendent of Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in Atlanta, one of…
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 14:03

Cherokee exhibit puts culture center stage

“Understanding our Past, Shaping our Future” is an exhibition that displays Cherokee language, culture and history through images, text and sound recordings. The exhibit runs through Sept. 19 in the Balsam Building Lobby on the campus of Southwestern Community College…
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 14:01

Wind birds up

Like the breathing in and out of newborns; like the ebb and flow of the tide, and like the cycle of day and night, the spring and fall migration is part of the pulse of the planet. 
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 14:00

County fair gets bigger zoo for 2013

The Haywood County Fair will feature a newly expanded zoo this year.
Tuscola senior Allie Dinwiddie won a $500 scholarship and $100 cash for making the top score on an exam during the Resource Conservation Workshop in Wake County. Dinwiddie and Maggie Rogers, also a Tuscola senior, recently joined 91 high school…
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 13:58

Old fire towers at risk of being forgotten

North Carolina’s lookout towers once stood watch over our mountain forests. Now, they run the risk of becoming forgotten monuments to the value of our wild lands.
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 13:57

Fall color forecast affected by the rain

One of the wettest summers in Western North Carolina may mean less colorful fall foliage this year, unless autumn brings vastly drier conditions, predicts Kathy Mathews, Western Carolina University’s fall foliage forecaster.
Wednesday, 28 August 2013 03:48

Dangerous levels of sewage found in WNC creek

State and local officials are advising people to avoid contact with Long Creek in Graham County after recent water quality sampling found wastewater. The partially treated wastewater is making its way into the creek because of a malfunction at the…
Wednesday, 28 August 2013 03:46

Movie touts benefits of local food

A movie showing in Waynesville is asking folks to think hard about their food choices. The documentary-style movie “Fresh: New Thinking About What We’re Eating” will be featured at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, in the auditorium of the Waynesville…
Wednesday, 28 August 2013 03:46

Lend your voice to trail plan vision

Time is running out for trail users to offer input on a regional trail plan for the seven western counties or simply offer up a wish list of future trail projects. The trail plan maps out a long-range vision for…
Wednesday, 28 August 2013 03:45

Grants to help imperiled wildlife

Nearly $800,000 in grants will fund research in North Carolina that investigates threats to various aquatic species and habitats in the state. Through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and matching resources from local partners, nearly $700,000 will go toward…
Wednesday, 28 August 2013 03:43

Learn ins and outs of seed saving

Seed expert Keith Nicholson will cover the what, why and how of vegetable seeds and seed saving at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, at the Macon County Public Library Meeting Room.
Wednesday, 28 August 2013 03:42

Input sought for park at Hall Mountain

Community members are invited to attend upcoming public meetings to learn more about the use of the Hall Mountain Tract in Macon County as a public park and to submit input for potential uses of the land. 
A storied estate in Cashiers, preserved for future generations, will be the destination of an upcoming ecotour.
Wednesday, 28 August 2013 03:39

A bird of two tales

Roger Tory Petersen called it, “one of the most breathtaking of the world’s weirdest birds,” and it was John James Audubon’s “rose-coloured curlew.” But the name that has stuck is roseate spoonbill. The roseate spoonbill is one of only six…
By Tyler Norris Goode • Contributor Rowan Stuart’s favorite kayak maneuver is called the “Phonics Monkey” and involves spinning the vessel on its bow like a pirouette for a full 360 degrees then flipping the boat end over end. There’s nothing…
The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute is making use of citizen scientists from around the world to help sort and catalog its photo albums of the universe. Since the late 1800s, astronomers have been taking images of the night sky, using…
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 15:41

A great dam run

The annual Dam Race at Fontana Dam — featuring a run over the top of the towering dam itself — was held last week, attracting runners from throughout the Southeast to race against the backdrop of mountain peaks and Fontana…
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 15:40

Blue Ridge Breakaway a success

Olympic silver-medalist Lauren Tamayo from Asheville was among the 460 riders from 18 states who pedaled the scenic roadways, byways and Blue Ridge Parkway during Haywood County’s Blue Ridge Breakaway, Aug. 17. The event featured rides of varied distances, from…
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 15:39

Record rainfall, is it climate change?

A program about climate change in Western North Carolina will explore how oldtimers and scientists alike view changing weather patterns in the mountains. The Watershed Association of the Tuckasegee River will hold two meetings on the topics on Monday, Sept. 9.…
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 15:39

New wildlife police boss in WNC

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has promoted Tim Sisk to the position of captain for the state’s western counties, covering a district that stretches from Madison to Cherokee counties. Sisk will manage enforcement operations for hunting, fishing and boating, and…
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 15:38

Cherokee chief placed on wildlife resources board

Michel Hicks, Principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, has been appointed a commissioner on the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 15:37

Parkway reopens along damaged stretch

The Blue Ridge Parkway has reopened a closed section of the motor road — from Ox Creek Road in Asheville to Mount Mitchell State Park — using temporary bypass lanes.
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 15:35

Trail promises cemeteries and rapids

Friends of the Smokies will host a guided, 9-mile roundtrip hike, Tuesday, Sept. 17, along Noland Creek Trail. The hike runs along a rushing creek and through cemeteries and remnants of home sites in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park…
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 15:34

Paddlers ready to hit the Tuckasegee

The Old Cullowhee Canoe Slalom, a family-friendly paddling competition on a calm section of the Tuckasegee River, is set for 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14.
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 15:32

Owning the autumn sky

The loud, piercing keee-eeeeerrrr jerks your head up involuntarily to see the essence of wild freedom — a red-tailed hawk, wings outstretched banking slowly in the blue. It stops you, if only for a second or two, it stops you.
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 14:23

Get thee to an eatery

Sorry, I couldn’t help it – I saw Hamlet at Montford Park this past weekend.  But to be more specific, get thee to City Lights Café this Friday, Sept. 13, at 6 p.m. for “Land of the Crooked Water.” The…
It is a common story — a species once eliminated returns to find not everyone welcomes it back with open arms. The return of wolves to northern Wisconsin, the reintroduction of beavers to the United Kingdom, and now the elk…
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 14:26

Chestnut trees highlight of hike

A walk along the Blue Ridge Parkway will take hikers on a journey to explore the mighty chestnut tree and its future in Western North Carolina.
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 14:27

Geothermal project extends crop’s life

Haywood Community College will soon build an experimental geothermal pre-cooling facility to extend the shelf life of produce and crops in Western North Carolina.
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 14:29

Parkway throws mountain party

A day full of activities at the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center near Asheville promises mountain music, outdoor literature, local food, environmental education and a guided hike. Events run from 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at the…
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 14:30

Farm tour introduces tourists to their food source

A Western North Carolina farm tour provides the perfect chance to see where food comes from and to get to know the farmers who grow it.
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 14:24

Buy gear and help the park’s friends

Mast General Store is offering outdoor enthusiasts a way to get new gear while helping out the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Until Sept. 14, Patagonia footwear, apparel and gear purchased at Mast General Store in Waynesville will benefit the…
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 14:32

Advanced tech courses offered to students

Haywood County high school students will have more educational opportunities in the areas of electronics and machining, thanks to a nearly $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. Haywood Community College and Haywood County Schools will use the two-year, $193,000…
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 14:32

Blight-resistant chestnuts planted in Cashiers

Tree seedlings planted at McKinney Meadow in Cashiers this week may signal a new chapter for the American Chestnut in the area and its fight against blight. The chestnut seedlings planted at McKinney Meadow are part of a unique breeding…
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 14:39

Mountain Heritage Day features 5K run

A 5K race will be held on the campus of Western Carolina University in conjunction with Mountain Heritage Day festivities. The race will start at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, with check-in and race day registration from 6:45 to 7:45…
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 14:38

Top honors for SCC students

No junior women’s freestyle kayaker in the world was better than Stecoah resident Rowan Stuart recently at the ICF Canoe World Championships — a freestyle boating competition.
The Land Trust for the Little Tennessee will host its first Fish Frenzy, a kayak and canoe fishing tournament, Saturday, Sept.28, at the Tsali Boat Ramp on Lake Fontana.
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 14:36

Track rising water on your phone

In time for peak hurricane season, Duke Energy is going mobile with its lake level information. The smart phone-friendly website can be accessed at www.duke-energy.com. The default menu shows an option for “Lakes and Recreation.” Duke Energy’s lake information web…
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 14:35

Mysteries of raptors revealed in Cashiers

A group of raptors will be featured at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, at The Village Green Commons in Cashiers. 
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 14:33

Got bears?

For homeowners with bear problems, the B.E.A.R. Task Force is hosting a program to keep the persistent beasts away.
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 14:32

Grant helps elk volunteers on bikes

A $1,000 grant given to the Elk Bugle Corps in Cataloochee Valley of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be used to buy gear for the new bike patrol. The grant from the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority to…
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 14:32

Adopt A Stream helps clean Clyde waterway

Representatives from the town of Clyde and HomeTrust Bank removed 80 pounds of trash Saturday, Sept. 7, from the small tributary of the Pigeon River. It was the town’s first waterway cleanup since it adopted the stream next to the…
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 14:28

Fall out for the fallout

Thanks to an invitation from a friend — Blair Ogburn, senior naturalist at Balsam Mountain Trust — I was able to spend a few hours last Saturday (9/12) morning looking for fall migrants at Balsam Mountain Preserve.
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 14:25

Cultivating dreams in Appalachia

Sunshine spills into Jackson County. The warm late summer rays cascade down into the mountains, ultimately flowing into the fields of Balsam Gardens. A handful of figures are seen wandering the mystical property, picking some of the freshest and finest…
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 15:35

Pitch in on public lands day

Celebrate National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 28 by volunteering at DuPont State Forest to help clear a section of trail on Hickory Mountain Loop. The service project will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and focus on…
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 15:34

HCC fish and wildlife students honored

Haywood Community College has honored two Fish and Wildlife Management program students for their achievements in the field. Jacob Longworth and Alex Wilson were recently awarded the 2013 Dave Dudek Wildlife Award. They are the first recipients of this award…
Chimney Rock State Park has become North Carolina’s 70th tourist destination to earn recognition for its environmentally friendly practices, according to officials with the N.C. GreenTravel Initiative. Chimney Rock Management LLC, which operates Chimney Rock, earned its place among N.C.…
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 15:33

Muzzleloading and pig picking

The French Broad Rifles club will host a Primitive Black Powder Muzzleloading shoot Oct. 4-6 near Marshall.
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 15:31

Gear sale, music and whitewater at the NOC

It’s a big weekend at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, Sept. 27-29, with its Guest Appreciation Festival, the U.S. Slalom Nationals, and a big water release on the Upper Nantahala. 
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 15:30

Child cancer benefit to race through Cherokee

The annual Chief’s Challenge one-mile run and walk benefit for victims of childhood cancer will take place at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, before the Cherokee Indian Fair parade. The event will take participants through downtown to the Cherokee Immediate…
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 15:29

Website offers guide to leaf viewing

The U.S. Forest Service is promoting its fall foliage webpage, which features scenic drives and other areas in the Nantahala and Pisgah national forests for visitors to enjoy this autumn.
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 15:28

Disc golf for kids

The Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department will offer a beginner’s disc golf class for youth ages 8 to 17. The class will take place from 4:30 to 6 p.m. each Tuesday in October at the Waynesville Disc Golf Course on…
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 15:26

Serendipitous hawk watch

The rains came Saturday. It was a good day for a soaker, from my perspective. I had writing I needed to catch up on and it’s not as hard being stuck away down in the dungeon when it’s pouring. We…
As Brent Martin stared down the barrel of an impending tug-of-war over WNC’s national forests, he dreaded yet another round in the same old fight that’s played out time and time again in his decades as an environmental advocate. Loggers…
Thursday, 03 October 2013 01:36

Fishing regulations taking effect this week

Beginning Oct. 1, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will implement delayed harvest regulations on 33 trout waters in 18 counties in Western North Carolina.
Thursday, 03 October 2013 01:35

Grants available for WNC farmers

With funding from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, WNC AgOptions will give $153,000 to farmers in the western part of the state next year. Farmers looking to expand and diversify their operations have until Dec. 13 to submit an…
Thursday, 03 October 2013 01:34

WCU probes forensic DNA sequencing

Research at Western Carolina University on DNA sequencing used in crime labs has gotten a $718,000 grant from the National Institute of Justice. Mark Wilson, director of the Forensic Science Program at WCU, has been evaluating new DNA sequencing instrumentation…
Thursday, 03 October 2013 01:33

Smokies finds its Taiwanese sister park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park has established its first sister park arrangement with Khao Yai National Park in Thailand. Smokies Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson and Khao Yai National Park Superintendent Krissada Homsud signed the arrangement today at a ceremony in…
The Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the recipient of the 2013 Exceptional Environmental Education Program award.
Thursday, 03 October 2013 01:30

PARI space facility turns 50

This month, the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the dedication of NASA’s Rosman Satellite Tracking and Data Acquisition Facility. 
Thursday, 03 October 2013 01:29

River rodeo makes waves in Dillsboro

The River Rescue Rodeo held on the Tuckasegee River in Dillsboro last weekend attracted a host of paddling teams to test their river rescue skills, including swift-water rescues, throw rope competitions and a knot-tying rodeo.
Thursday, 03 October 2013 01:26

Two tons of trash hauled out of Haywood creek

More than 60 volunteers removed 3,740 pounds of trash from Richland Creek in Haywood County Saturday, Sept. 21, during this year’s Big Sweep stream clean up.
Thursday, 03 October 2013 01:24

Repercussions of a government shutdown

Freedom may not ring Tuesday. At least not from the Liberty Bell. I know, I know, the bell doesn’t ring any more, but freedom surely emanates from it — at least if it’s open to the public and the way…
Most people who call up Google Earth are hunting a hard-to-find address or scoping out satellite images of their next vacation destination, but the ubiquitous online mapping tool is also proving useful in navigating years of bygone Cherokee civilization.
Wednesday, 09 October 2013 02:59

AT film tour coming to Franklin

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy will show the film “Appalachian Impressions,” Friday, Oct. 18, at Drake Educational Center in Franklin. The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with refreshments, followed by the film, trail information, a meet-and-greet with hikers, expert speakers and…
Wednesday, 09 October 2013 02:58

Wildlife investigation nabs Internet violators

An ongoing, multi-state investigation to disrupt illegal animal trafficking online has netted 62 arrests. Dubbed “Operation Wild Web,” the investigation involves the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and law enforcement in Arkansas and Florida, as well as federal agents. The effort…
Wednesday, 09 October 2013 02:56

WCU students run to Boone to raise funds

In the lead-up to the football game between rivals Western Carolina University and Appalachian State University, a group of students and faculty from WCU will run from Cullowhee to Boone to raise money for research and scholarships.
Wednesday, 09 October 2013 02:55

Bonsai experts coming to NC Arboretum

The North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville will host the Carolina Bonsai Expo, Oct. 12-13.
Wednesday, 09 October 2013 02:54

Macon man to discuss record-setting summit

The oldest man to hike to the top of Mount Whitney in a day will give a talk about his training and his journey at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, at the Macon County Library.
Wednesday, 09 October 2013 02:52

MST photography contest deadline nears

Public submissions are being accepted for a statewide outdoor photography contest.
Wednesday, 09 October 2013 02:49

Lighting up the mountains

I was at the Allens Creek soccer fields Saturday morning watching Maddie play when my eyes were drawn to the mountains across the way. Red splashes like watercolor brush strokes climbing a mottled green canvas were shinning from the forests.…
From wedding planners to elk tour guides to non-profit organizations, the closing of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park hasn’t only disrupted the livelihood of federal workers. The park is home to a wide variety of outside enterprises working independently…
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 13:55

No Throwaways

The recycling group Macon Pride congratulated three local organizations who at lunch or dinner meetings bring and take home their own setups, thereby creating very little or no trash. 
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 13:54

Star party at PARI

The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) is hosting a public Star Party Oct. 24-27 as part of a weekend-long celebration of the site’s 50th anniversary.   Spend the weekend on campus and use PARI telescopes, attend workshops, and enjoy campus…
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 13:53

Rare hike offered to see Waynesville watershed

Once again the Town of Waynesville is offering its popular Waynesville Watershed Hike, which offers hikers a walk through a portion of its 8,600-acre protected tract of land that is usually off-limits to the public. 
Except for Newfound Gap Road (U.S.441), the Spur, and the Gatlinburg Bypass, all visitor centers, picnic areas, campgrounds, trails, and roads in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park remain closed as part of the partial federal shutdown  In the Park,…
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 13:52

Know your bear neighbors

Joel Zachary, a noted black bear enthusiast, professional outdoor guide and author of Bears I’ve Met, will be the featured presenter at the upcoming “Adventures in Bear Country” program at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24 at the Sapphire Valley Resort…
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 13:52

Harvest Half Marathon comes to Cherokee

More than 600 runners from across the mountains and Southeast are expected in Cherokee on Saturday, Oct. 19, for the second Cherokee Harvest Half Marathon & 5K.  Two recent marathon winners from the mountains — Jason Bodnar of Canton who…
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 13:50

Run for Research

A group of 18 runners representing Western Carolina University’s athletic training program completed the sixth annual Mountain Jug Run for Research, a 175-mile continuous relay from the WCU football stadium in Cullowhee to the Appalachian State University football stadium in Boone in…
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 13:49

Wrinkles in space and time

Millions of years ago America and Africa rubbed shoulders and the Appalachian Mountains were created. The ancient Appalachians, at one time as high as the Alps or Rockies, created quite an east-west barrier from Canada down to central Alabama. Today’s…
A longer season, a higher quota, shooting over bait piles — these are just a few aspects of the state bear hunting laws the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is looking at changing to keep the ever-growing bear population in check.…
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 13:58

Taproom to donate sales to conservation

A Sylva conservation organization was featured at the Making a Difference Monday program Oct. 21 at the Oskar Blues Tasty Weasel Taproom in Brevard.  The Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards demonstrated cross-cut saw skills they use when building and maintaining trails…
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 13:52

New brew benefits A.T. maintenance

A Bryson City brewery has chipped in $1,000 to support the Appalachian Trail Ridgerunner program, whose mission is to preserve and improve the hiking experience along the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The recent donation…
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 13:51

Area bicyclist to share her Olympic story

Olympic silver medalist and Asheville resident Lauren Tamayo will serve as guest speaker at the Haywood Chamber of Commerce Women in Business luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 5 at the Gateway Club in Waynesville. Tamayo is a veteran rider with…
Paddlers and swiftwater rescue experts from across the country will gather Oct. 25-27 in Jackson County for the 2013 American Canoe Association Swiftwater Rescue Conference, much of it on the Tuckaseegee River.