Blue Ridge Parkway serves up the best of the mountains

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Parkway and All-American Road that winds for 469 miles from the southern end of Shenandoah National Park’s Skyline Drive in Virginia to U.S. 441 at Oconaluftee in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Cherokee.

Parkway gets new superintendent

Tracy Swartout will take over as superintendent for the Blue Ridge Parkway on May 23 following the departure of former Superintendent J.D. Lee last summer. Alexa Viets, the Parkway’s chief of resource management and interpretation, has served as acting superintendent since then.

WNC claims two of 2020’s three most visited National Park units

Despite the pandemic — or perhaps because of it — Western North Carolina was home to two of the nation’s three most visited National Park Service units in 2020.

Early morning Parkway shooting under investigation

Law enforcement is investigating an early morning shooting that occurred just before 3 a.m. this morning near milepost 364 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Parkway begins reopening

The Blue Ridge Parkway has reopened its southernmost 14 miles and plans to reopen additional gates this weekend once seasonal mowing and road preparations are complete. 

Public land managers discuss closure decisions and plans for re-opening

While people nationwide are lamenting the loss of bars, restaurants, concerts, festivals and countless other aspects of community life amid the COVID-19 crisis, for many in Western North Carolina the deepest blow has been the loss of access to hundreds of thousands of acres of cherished public lands. 

Parkway steps up COVID-19 closures

The Blue Ridge Parkway has announced additional closures as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

National parks, forests respond to COVID-19

Operations have shifted on public lands in Western North Carolina due to the coronavirus pandemic.

National parks battle invasion

The National Park Service is embarking on a system-wide effort to crack down on invasive animal species following the conclusion of a three-year research endeavor conducted by a panel of experts in fields ranging from park management to emerging technology. 

The Park Service reached out to members of the group in 2016, asking them to review the agency’s existing approach to invasive animal management and to look at the results of data collected from park units across the country. Combining panel members’ expert knowledge with data results and information gleaned from questions to park staff, the group produced an internal report to the Park Service as well as a scientific paper published this month in the journal “Biological Invasions.”

Wozniak no longer Pisgah District Ranger

After filling the position for nearly a year and a half without the ability to perform law enforcement duties, Greg Wozniak is gone from his position as Pisgah District Ranger on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

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