Land and Water Fund gets new director

After serving as interim director for seven months, Will Summer has been named the next director of the N.C. Division…
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Telling the biters apart: WCU lab helps researcher with mosquito project

Don’t swat at that mosquito.  Swedish entomologist Anders Lindström is sitting in a Western Carolina University lab, patiently waiting for…
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Conservation purchase protects Lake James watershed

The Lake James watershed near Morganton is now a little more protected following a 35-acre conservation purchase Dec. 23 along…
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Chimney Rock gets new resident

Chimney Rock State Park has a new animal ambassador — Oscar the opossum, who was born with no eyes. 
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Youth racing starts soon at Cataloochee
 

Youth racing starts soon at Cataloochee

Alley Cat Youth Racing will return to Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley this winter, with the first races scheduled…
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Tobacco Commission grants fund WNC ag efforts

The N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission awarded 23 grants worth more than $4 million for agricultural and economic initiatives across…
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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…
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Walker Sisters Cabin closed due to safety concerns

The Walker Sisters Cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be closed over the coming months due to…
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Smokies project will require filling in small wetland

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park plans to build an annex to its existing headquarters building, and a comment period…
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Streambank project will cause GSMNP lane closure

A streambank stabilization project in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will cause a three-month lane closure along the Townsend…
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Expanded bear hunting proposed for WNC

UPDATE: Since this piece was originally published, the Wildlife Commission announced cancellation of the planned in-person hearings. The Wildlife Resources…
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Fire ant quarantine area expands

The state quarantine area for the imported fire ant has expanded once more to include all of Granville and portions…
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Franklin A.T. Council gets new member

A new hiker hostel has joined the Franklin Appalachian Trail Community Council as an A.T. Supporter.
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Music video advocates for wildlife crossings

A new music video featuring Asheville-based band The Fates aims to raise awareness for an ongoing effort to make wildlife…
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An A.T. alternative: Long-distance trail under construction for the western Appalachians

As the Appalachian wilderness trail Benton MacKaye dreamed up in 1921 becomes busier and busier, a geographically scattered group of…
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N.C. now under burn ban

Open burning is banned in North Carolina until further notice as a wildfire rages at Pilot Mountain State Park near…
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Flat Top Manor renovation complete

A $2.4 million rehabilitation is complete at the iconic Flat Top Manor, located at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park on…
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Drought persists in N.C.

Despite widespread rains last week, the drought situation in North Carolina hasn’t changed much, according to a map published Dec.…
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N.C. mussel added to threatened species list

A freshwater mussel known as the Atlantic pigtoe has been added as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act…
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Sherpa rice returns to NOC

River’s End Restaurant at Nantahala Outdoor Center is once more serving its legendary Sherpa rice dish after locals and visitors…
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Pigeon River Fund awards grants

Nine grants totaling $326,348 will help environmental groups support area waterways in a variety of ways following the announcement of…
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New MST director named
 

New MST director named

Brent Laurenz, deputy director for the voting rights nonprofit Common Cause in North Carolina, will be the next leader of…
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‘More than a road’: New superintendent discusses her vision for the Blue Ridge Parkway

Growing up in Columbia, South Carolina, Tracy Swartout made some of her favorite childhood memories traveling the 469-mile ridge road…
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Pisgah Center will not reopen after flood damage

The Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education in Brevard won’t reopen following extensive damage from Tropical Storm Fred, the N.C. Wildlife…
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Burn ban partially lifted as drought conditions persist

The statewide burn ban enacted Nov. 29 was lifted for 67 counties as of noon Wednesday, Dec. 8, due to…
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Red wolf arrives in Asheville

A 1982 Piper Saratoga airplane flew into the Asheville Regional Airport Nov. 20 to deliver an endangered red wolf and…
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Habitat management project proposed for Nantahala forest
 

Habitat management project proposed for Nantahala forest

A diverse set of management activities proposed for the Nantahala Ranger District of the Nantahala National Forest would include timber…
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Archeology students dig into Cherokee history

By Molly Phillips • Contributing writer | Over the summer, 16 students from Western Carolina University — led by Dr.…
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Lifetime sportsman licenses now cheaper for older residents
 

Lifetime sportsman licenses now cheaper for older residents

North Carolinians ages 50 and older can now purchase lifetime hunting and fishing licenses for half price, following implementation of…
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Budgeting for conservation: State budget amplifies funding for trails, parks and conservation

Western North Carolina will see a new state park, rail trail efforts and miles of backcountry paths following Gov. Roy…
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New trails coming to Old Fort
 

New trails coming to Old Fort

A grant from Dogwood Health Trust will fund the first 6 of 42 planned miles of new, accessible trails in…
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State budget funds more trails, parks and conservation

Western North Carolina will see a new state park, rail trail and miles of backcountry paths following Gov. Roy Cooper’s…
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Haywood students spread pollution awareness

Storm drains at Haywood Community College now sport stencils reminding people to help keep the waterways clean, thanks to a…
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Senate confirms first-ever Native American NPS head

The U.S. Senate confirmed Charles F. “Chuck” Sams III as director of the National Park Service on Thursday, Nov. 18,…
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Leadership change coming to local food organization

After more than two decades serving farmers and the local food community, Charlie Jackson will retire as executive director of…
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A.T. gets 1.2 miles longer

When Appalachian Trail season starts next year, the trek will be 1.2 miles longer thanks to three significant trail relocations…
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Road closed for powerline installation
 

Road closed for powerline installation

Winding Stair Road in Macon County will be closed through late March to install an overhead powerline replacing the existing…
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Yancey Ridge Trail relocation complete
 

Yancey Ridge Trail relocation complete

A years-long effort to restore and relocate the Yancey Ridge Trail in Avery County is now complete, including a 1.2-mile…
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Woman dies following Smokies car crash
 

Woman dies following Smokies car crash

A Sevierville woman is dead following a single-vehicle crash on the southbound Spur between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg Wednesday, Nov.…
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Winter begins on the Parkway

Winter has started on the Blue Ridge Parkway, with some seasonal closures in effect and the first round of snow-related…
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Residents, Wildlife Commission save distressed bear cub

Wildlife biologists at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission are praising Asheville residents for helping them locate a distressed female bear…
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Fontana cleanups remove 3,500 pounds of litter

Cleanup efforts at informal campsites along Fontana Lake removed 3,500 pounds of trash this year, thanks to more than 30…
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Water testing yields mixed results in Hiwassee Watershed

Lakes in the Hiwassee River Watershed tested extremely low for E. coli and other pathogens this summer, according to data…
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Harmon Den bridge will feature animal underpass

A bridge replacement project underway in the Pigeon River Gorge will temporarily close a section of Interstate 40, but once…
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Fish and Wildlife Service ditches controversial red wolf rule

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced last week that it would withdraw its 2018 proposed red wolf management rule…
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Winter hours begin at N.C. Arboretum
 

Winter hours begin at N.C. Arboretum

The days are getting shorter, and so are the hours at the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville. 
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Waterrock Knob gets new interactive exhibits

New interactive exhibits are now up at Waterrock Knob Visitor Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway, highlighting elements of the…
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‘Stronger than I thought’: Wheelchair-bound tribal member takes cycle trip along Trail of Tears route

As the September start date for Maranda Bradley’s long-planned bicycle ride along the Trail of Tears  approached, its carefully woven…
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Wildlife Commission heightens monitoring for chronic wasting disease

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is increasing its monitoring efforts for chronic wasting disease this deer season after a deer…
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Dillsboro resident wins big in Senior Games

Dillsboro resident Phil Woody took home 10 medals in this year’s North Carolina Senior Games. 
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