Reclaiming the landscape: Greenhouse project to spur habitat restoration
 

Reclaiming the landscape: Greenhouse project to spur habitat restoration

Under a clear sky and afternoon sun, the winding road through Cherokee and out past Birdtown is a beautiful one.…
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If you can float it, you can boat it: Franklin Rotary spearheads RiverFest on the Little Tennessee
 

If you can float it, you can boat it: Franklin Rotary spearheads RiverFest on the Little Tennessee

When Franklin RiverFest’s Anything That Floats Raft Regatta kicks off Aug. 23, Warren Cabe hopes to see the Franklin Fire…
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What is an Appalachian forest?
 

What is an Appalachian forest?

As the USDA Forest Service’s revision plan for the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests continues to be discussed — the…
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Going the distance: Athletes flock to compete in Lake Logan Multisport Festival
 

Going the distance: Athletes flock to compete in Lake Logan Multisport Festival

Sunrise was still hours away when the day started at Lake Logan. With the first starting gun firing at 7…
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Beyond blueberries: Backyard cornucopia revealed at native plants conference
 

Beyond blueberries: Backyard cornucopia revealed at native plants conference

Taking a walk with Ila Hatter is the outdoors equivalent of sitting beside a scrapbooker as she pages through the…
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On the Isle again
 

On the Isle again

Thanks to the generosity of dear friends, my family gets to vacation on Isle of Palms every summer. If you…
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Hashing out habitat: Crowd debates wildlife habitat in forest management plan meeting
 

Hashing out habitat: Crowd debates wildlife habitat in forest management plan meeting

More than 100 people filled the room at Asheville’s Crowne Plaza Hotel earlier this month, but they weren’t there for…
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Rafting’s restrained rebound: Commercial outfitters attempt to paddle back from record rain year
 

Rafting’s restrained rebound: Commercial outfitters attempt to paddle back from record rain year

The summer is shaping into a pretty good rafting season for Tee Davis. “It’s awesome, man,” said Davis, owner of…
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More dialogue – anyone listening?
 

More dialogue – anyone listening?

The next USDA Forest Service public meeting regarding the National Forest Plan Revision will be held from 9 a.m. to…
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Forging a forecast: NASA, Duke project aims toward better weather forecasts in the Smokies
 

Forging a forecast: NASA, Duke project aims toward better weather forecasts in the Smokies

It’s no secret that an accurate weather forecast is hard to come by in the Smokies. But after two months…
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Following the arrow: Bowed Up Outdoors expands offerings, serves growing archery community
 

Following the arrow: Bowed Up Outdoors expands offerings, serves growing archery community

Walk into Bowed Up Outdoors, and the first thing you’ll notice is the friendly banter moving back and forth between…
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A wet and wonderful weekend
 

A wet and wonderful weekend

Thanks to the generosity of a friend, my family and I spent a long weekend on Fontana Lake. The small…
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Downward row: NOC guide canoes to world record waterfall run
 

Downward row: NOC guide canoes to world record waterfall run

It wasn’t until Brad McMillan got his canoe on the water that the moment hit him. He’d been preparing for…
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Synchronous fireflies draw thousands to the Smokies
 

Synchronous fireflies draw thousands to the Smokies

It’s a little after 7 p.m. when the first trolley shows up to Elkmont Campground. Green, red and yellow, the…
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An unapologetic scientist
 

An unapologetic scientist

The cosmos loom large and wondrous again, and much of the credit goes to one charming, affable but steadfastly rigorous…
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Colliding worlds: Maggie Valley bear conflict ends with dead mom, orphaned cubs
 

Colliding worlds: Maggie Valley bear conflict ends with dead mom, orphaned cubs

A black bear — and possibly one of its cubs — is dead after a run of bird seed raids…
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Resurrecting Graveyard Fields: Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation funds makeover for popular recreation site
 

Resurrecting Graveyard Fields: Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation funds makeover for popular recreation site

Rhododendrons are opening deep pink blooms along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and new spring foliage blends into a bright blue…
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Doin’ Puc Puggy proud
 

Doin’ Puc Puggy proud

The Tennessee Valley Authority, in 1984, found itself with an extra $14,000 lying around. The money was available for outreach…
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In a lurch about larch: Mystery tree leaves retired professor probing for answers
 

In a lurch about larch: Mystery tree leaves retired professor probing for answers

To the untrained eye, the tree looks like just another evergreen, just another species thrown into the mix of natural…
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Turn it off: WCU comes out on top in national energy reduction competition
 

Turn it off: WCU comes out on top in national energy reduction competition

When the Campus Conservation Nationals Competition wrapped up this spring, Western Carolina University came out near the top of a…
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Turning away the invaders: Natural stream banks key to healthy waterways
 

Turning away the invaders: Natural stream banks key to healthy waterways

Take a walk in mid-May, and you probably won’t get far before finding somebody bent over a garden bed, weeding.…
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Growing Season: New farmers markets to bring local focus to Cowee, Maggie Valley
 

Growing Season: New farmers markets to bring local focus to Cowee, Maggie Valley

The grassy field is empty and the playground vacant as the sun sheds evening beams across the grounds of Cowee…
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Déjà vu in the woods
 

Déjà vu in the woods

I was invited to help lead a bird walk focusing on wood warblers at this year’s 64th annual Spring Wildflower…
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Mastercast: The perfect cast is an elusive catch
 

Mastercast: The perfect cast is an elusive catch

When I finally roll up Pavilion Road for my casting lesson, I’m nearly half an hour late. A wrong turn…
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Working for play: Trail groups pass forest stewardship to the next generation
 

Working for play: Trail groups pass forest stewardship to the next generation

The woods are quiet on a cool Saturday morning in late March. There’s no wind swaying the still-bare trees or…
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Bring in the army: Initiative will link allies in fight against hemlock wooly adelgid
 

Bring in the army: Initiative will link allies in fight against hemlock wooly adelgid

As stand after stand of towering hemlocks falls to the appetite of an insect smaller than a grain of rice,…
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Blood moon grand slam
 

Blood moon grand slam

Somewhere beyond the rain and clouds, in the wee hours yesterday morning (April 15), there was a striking blood moon…
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Forest users negotiate need for wilderness in new management plan
 

Forest users negotiate need for wilderness in new management plan

Western North Carolina is covered with more than 1,500 square miles of national forest, and residents often measure their assets…
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Believe it or not, spring is around the corner
 

Believe it or not, spring is around the corner

Despite last week’s chill and blustery snow, we are in the throes of spring migration. Actually, migration never stops. There…
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Lookin’ good up there: Ozone outlook positive for North Carolina
 

Lookin’ good up there: Ozone outlook positive for North Carolina

Warmer weather is on its way, but along with the sunny afternoons comes the return of ozone season. A bad…
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The AT experience won’t be left behind
 

The AT experience won’t be left behind

It’s been nearly eight years since Amy “Willow” Allen passed through Western North Carolina as a tired-and-hungry AT through-hiker. But…
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Time to get your Green on
 

Time to get your Green on

No, I’m not late. I’m not talking about puking green beer or waking up with Leprechauns — I’m talking about…
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Climbing to the top: Local school a hub for outdoor training
 

Climbing to the top: Local school a hub for outdoor training

It’s a chilly day on the Tuckasegee River. Air temperature is in the mid-40s, and the water isn’t much warmer. …
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WCU cycling team brings regional race to Cullowhee
 

WCU cycling team brings regional race to Cullowhee

By Jake Flannick • SMN Correspondent About a year ago, Patrick O’Neal bought an old, chrome-rimmed Schwinn bicycle. He was just…
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Somebody got some splainen to do
 

Somebody got some splainen to do

People say the corporate world has no soul. Corporations don’t give a rat’s behind about their employees, especially after they’re…
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Hops growing on the minds of Appalachian agriculture
 

Hops growing on the minds of Appalachian agriculture

Heidi Dunkelberg is determined to make hops synonymous with Western North Carolina. “I’ve got to figure it out,” she said.…
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To the summit: Old age no match for record-setting Macon man
 

To the summit: Old age no match for record-setting Macon man

Not just anybody can keep up with Jim Pader. Last year alone, he hiked 534 miles and has logged 738.4…
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Study finds success in amphibian pond project
 

Study finds success in amphibian pond project

Take an evening walk through the woods this time of year, and odds are you’ll hear the grumpy quacking of…
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Will we extinguish another beautiful light?
 

Will we extinguish another beautiful light?

A river of burnt umber flows every year from southern Canada through the U.S. to the oyamel fir forests in…
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Let it snow! Area photographers capture winter beauty in WNC
 

Let it snow! Area photographers capture winter beauty in WNC

For every degree of cold or inconvenience, wintry weather adds two of beauty. Members of Waynesville’s Lens Luggers photography club…
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Dinosaurs, LEGOS and toads, oh dear
 

Dinosaurs, LEGOS and toads, oh dear

No better way to celebrate a big thaw than an impromptu field trip. We rounded up kids, friends and friends’…
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Hooked for life: Mills reels in memories with artisan rods
 

Hooked for life: Mills reels in memories with artisan rods

There’s nothing abnormal about the pair of armchairs in Jim and Baraba Mills’ living room, or about the television —…
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You yellow-bellied sapsucker
 

You yellow-bellied sapsucker

In my youth, never did a B-western movie make it to the end without the bad guy being cornered and…
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Forest fixer-upper: Logging clears the way for a more ecologically robust watershed
 

Forest fixer-upper: Logging clears the way for a more ecologically robust watershed

The silence seeped from the mountain ridges and hung heavily over the forest, silence like a deep well, so deep…
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Discovery Place
 

Discovery Place

Looking for something fun for the kids on a cold and/or rainy winter’s day. The Discovery Place in Charlotte has…
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Energy on the horizon: Debate on drilling still hypothetical, but groundwork is being laid
 

Energy on the horizon: Debate on drilling still hypothetical, but groundwork is being laid

From the oil fields of North Dakota to the Marcellus Shale of Pennsylvania, the U.S. oil and gas industry is…
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Rules rule and rulers rue it
 

Rules rule and rulers rue it

I mentioned the fact a couple of weeks ago that N.C. House Bill 74— the Regulatory Reform Act of 2013…
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The cost of cleaner air: New pollution standards would cost paper mill $50 million in upgrades
 

The cost of cleaner air: New pollution standards would cost paper mill $50 million in upgrades

Evergreen Packaging’s Canton paper mill will be writing some big checks over the coming years as it moves to comply…
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CBC gods smile on Lake Junaluska
 

CBC gods smile on Lake Junaluska

The annual Balsam Christmas Bird Count (CBC) took place Saturday, Jan. 4. In the weeks prior to the count many…
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Ski Junaluska Weekends pair Christian fellowship with downhill fun
 

Ski Junaluska Weekends pair Christian fellowship with downhill fun

By Colby Dunn • SMN correspondent Perched atop the crest of a mountain, with two slim pieces of fiberglass strapped to…
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