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coverIt’s been three years since a vigorous debate about charging for backcountry camping in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park ended with the park’s decision to charge backpackers a $4 fee, but for the fee’s most stalwart opponents, the issue isn’t yet in the rearview mirror. 

Southern Forest Watch, a group that formed expressly to fight the fee, filed suit against the National Park Service soon after the fee was approved in February 2013. The public had overwhelmingly decried the proposal, SFW said, arguing that the park hadn’t followed correct procedure when approving it and contending that the assertion that the existing backcountry system was inadequate, crowded and causing complaints — necessitating the fee — was unfounded.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016 14:18

Kids get creative with waterways

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out winnerHaywood County’s young artists got some recognition for the T-shirt designs they dreamed up to celebrate Kids in the Creek, an annual feet-in-the-water education experience for eighth-graders.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016 14:15

See birds of prey up close

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out skinnerAn up-close glimpse of creatures such as the Eastern screech owl and Northern bald eagle will show birds of prey in their full glory at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 26, at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016 14:14

Old-time remedies explained

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out hatterSee old-time remedies in action with a demonstration by Smokies naturalist Ila Hatter, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 28, behind the historic courthouse in Bryson City. 

Wednesday, 25 May 2016 14:13

Trout waters open

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out troutopenDelayed-harvest trout waters will open for the summer on Saturday, June 4, giving anglers the chance to catch a dinner from the state’s 34 streams and two lakes falling under the designation.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016 14:12

WCU tops ‘best-of’ list for outdoors colleges

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out wcuWestern Carolina University came in on top in an online magazine poll looking for the region’s premiere outdoor adventure college.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 15:58

NOC paddler to appear in summer Olympics

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out smolenWhen Team U.S.A. marches into the Olympic stadium this summer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games, Michal Smolen will become Nantahala Outdoor Center’s 23rd Olympian in the sport of Whitewater Canoe Slalom, entering in the kayak category — but it will be his first time competing in the Olympics.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 15:51

Sculpture winds through WCU trails

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out trailartA nature-based sculpture project launched by Western Carolina University’s Fine Art Museum aims to feature outdoors art while promoting discussion of sustainability and aesthetics on campus.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016 00:00

Farmers Market news

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out farmersmarketsThe mountains are greening, the gardens are growing and farmers market season is beginning. Markets around the region are starting up, offering up fresh food, locally made products and community atmosphere.