Water quality groups land grants
 

Water quality groups land grants

Environmental groups in Haywood, Buncombe and Madison Counties were recently awarded grants totaling $197,500 from the Pigeon River Fund of…
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Drought improves, but holds on in far west

Drought conditions have improved across much of the state following rains from Tropical Depression Nicole, but the westernmost counties remain…
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Cataloochee opens

Cataloochee Ski Area opened for the season Monday, Nov. 14, after starting snowmaking with the onset of cold weather the…
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Tremont announces 2023 programs

Outdoor education programs scheduled throughout 2023 in the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont are now open for registration. 
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Smokies trails closed while black bears eat

Due to a large concentration of bears eating acorns, two trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are closed…
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Word from the Smokies: Smokies Life celebrates trees and their stories

Have you ever tried to count the number of branches on a tree? One limb leads to many appendages from…
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Notes from a plant nerd: Witch-hazel

Just as most of the other plants, shrubs and trees in the woods are shutting down and preparing to go…
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Tremont plans second campus

A $250,000 grant from the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Connected Communities Pilot Program will support development of a second campus for…
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Water system upgrades to move forward at Balsam Mountain and Heintooga

An environmental assessment investigating potential impacts of water and wastewater system repairs at Balsam Mountain Campground and Heintooga Picnic Area…
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Drought strengthens, but recent rains could reverse trend

The latest drought map released Nov. 10 shows strengthening drought in the mountain region, but significant rain from Tropical Depression…
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Tribe, Forest Service sign co-stewardship agreement

A new agreement between the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the U.S. Forest Service will allow the two entities…
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Celebrating ‘Long Man’: Eastern Band Cherokees work together to care for their rivers

On a crisp autumn morning, the Yellowhill Community Center in Western North Carolina buzzed with excitement as more than 120…
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Fish and Wildlife considers endangered status for bog turtle

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says that the southern population of the bog turtle, which lives in Southern Appalachian…
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Drought strengthens in WNC

Drought continues to tighten its grip in Western North Carolina, according to the latest update from the N.C. Drought Advisory…
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Motorcycle crash sparks Smokies wildfire

A wildfire that started near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s western edge following a motorcycle crash Sunday, Nov. 6,…
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Drought conditions spread statewide

Despite significant rainfall in the mountains last week, drought continues to expand in the western region and across North Carolina. 
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New trail unveiled in Graham County
 

New trail unveiled in Graham County

A trio of recently completed trail projects in the Nantahala National Forest in Graham County offers people of all ages…
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State science grants awarded in WNC
 

State science grants awarded in WNC

Six science centers in the western region received grant money as part of the $6.3 million recently awarded through the…
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Parson Branch Road reopens

For the first time in six years, Parson Branch Road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is open to…
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Joining the herd: Family-run bison 
farm, vacation rental flourishes in Clyde 


When Cheryl Hillis started managing vacation rentals in Haywood County 15 years ago, Airbnb didn’t exist, reservations were made with…
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Recipe for adventure: WNC communities embark on outdoor 
economy initiative

More than 130 people from 25 Western North Carolina counties met in Boone last month to talk about how best…
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Cash receives recognition for leadership on race

During a special ceremony Friday, Oct. 21, Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent Cassius Cash received a major award from…
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Scholarship available for NOC Guide School
 

Scholarship available for NOC Guide School

A new, need-based scholarship is available for people with limited resources to launch a career in whitewater at the Nantahala…
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Our air, our water: Science program blends indigenous and western methods

In January 2020, Sara Duncan was less than a year into her role as an assistant professor at Western Carolina…
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Bird flu detected in Wake County
 

Bird flu detected in Wake County

A backyard chicken flock in Wake County has tested positive for High Path Avian Influenza, marking the disease’s return to…
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N.C. detects third chronic wasting disease case
 

N.C. detects third chronic wasting disease case

A third deer in North Carolina has tested positive for chronic wasting disease, an always-fatal nervous system disease that affects…
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Mountains in moderate drought
 

Mountains in moderate drought

Despite significant overnight rain Monday, Oct. 17, Western North Carolina has slipped farther into drought over the last week. 
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Up Moses Creek: Mr. Plume, Part Two

The first time we saw the skunk, Becky and I were in the yard after supper throwing a frisbee. It’s…
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Spread of the Joro: Non-native spider may not be cause for concern

The sun was still high in the sky on a perfect October day last fall when I finished setting up…
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WNC gets drier

Dry conditions in North Carolina expanded to include nine western counties following publication of the most recent drought map Thursday,…
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Look Rock Campground reopens after 9 years

After a nine-year closure, Look Rock Campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is open. 
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Notes from a plant nerd: The leaves don’t just fall, y’all. They’re pushed

We have a tendency in our modern culture of celebrating only the young, youthful and new parts of our world,…
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Endangered status proposed for tri-colored bat

The deadly disease white-nose syndrome has killed more than 90% of tri-colored bats in affected bat colonies, and now the…
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Livestock Hall of Fame gets new members

Two Buncombe County men have been added to the N.C. Mountain State Fair Livestock Hall of Fame in recognition of…
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Western N.C. dries out as fall wildfire season begins

Heavy rains from Hurricane Ian eradicated dry conditions that spread through the eastern half of North Carolina throughout September, but…
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Report flags wildlife crossing hotspots

A recently released report from Wildlands Network identifies 20 priority sites for wildlife crossings in North Carolina — including four…
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North Carolinians hang 7,500 ornaments on Capitol Christmas Tree
 

North Carolinians hang 7,500 ornaments on Capitol Christmas Tree

In the six months after the National Forests in North Carolina announced that the 2022 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree would…
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Purging the pigs: Pilot program aims 
to knock back feral swine populations

When Europeans first began exploring North America, they knew precious little about the land toward which they traveled — or…
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Grants awards fuel WNC conservation projects

Conservation projects in Western North Carolina will receive $6.6 million of the $70.3 million in N.C. Land and Water Fund…
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Draft red wolf plan released

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a draft version of a plan to guide recovery of the critically…
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Visitor survey starting in the Pisgah-Nantahala

Every five years, the National Forests in North Carolina surveys its visitors to glean a wide range of information, and…
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Notes from a plant nerd: Gentians, pronounced like ‘gen-shun’

It used to be, when I was first getting into wildflowers, that I would see the gentians begin to bloom,…
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Up Moses Creek: Mr. Plume

I’d been sprayed once years earlier, so yesterday morning I knew what might happen when, standing on the ridge above…
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Notes from a plant nerd: Ad astera! To the stars! (Asters Part 2)

Very soon, my guided wildflower walks will mostly consist of me walking along a trail and saying, “That’s an aster,…
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Smokies species project marks milestone

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is celebrating a milestone in its Smokies Most Wanted citizen science project, with 100,000…
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WNC residents win titles in Mountain State Fair

The N.C. Mountain State Fair wrapped up another year with a total attendance count of 159,575, a strong showing assisted…
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Mystique of the monarch: Butterfly’s migratory life inspires wonder, scientific inquiry

It was a chilly February morning in 2020 when Clemson, South Carolina, resident Heyward Douglass laid eyes on the legendary…
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Federal guidance to strengthen tribal land management role
 

Federal guidance to strengthen tribal land management role

Last week, the U.S. Department of the Interior released new guidance aiming to strengthen the role of tribal governments in…
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Panthertown Map Association marks 25th anniversary with $10,000 donation

The publisher of Burt Kornegay’s “A Guide’s Guide to Panthertown” has marked the 25th anniversary of its first printing with…
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Cades Cove hosts Medal of Honor recipients
 

Cades Cove hosts Medal of Honor recipients

Nearly half of the 65 living Medal of Honor recipients and their families traveled to Knoxville last week for the…
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