Word from the Smokies: Discover Life in America presents conservation author on Earth Day
Doug Tallamy had been teaching at the University of Delaware for a quarter of a century when he had an epiphany: People who want to do something good for the planet have the ability to effect change immediately by choosing plants that share their energy with other beings, as opposed to those that don’t. And they get to see positive results in real time in their own yards.
Final forest management plan draws mixed reactions from stakeholder groups
The Pisgah and Nantahala national forests are now operating under a new management plan, ending an arduous, 11-year process to revise an existing plan implemented in 1987.
Renowned artists conserve their life’s inspiration
The last private property that Lands Creek crosses before entering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Tuckasegee River is now conserved, thanks to Swain County residents George and Elizabeth Ellison.
‘In perpetuity’: NPS director celebrates National Public Lands Day in the Smokies
National Public Lands Day dawned crisp and cool Saturday, Sept. 24, a celebration of everything most beloved about fall in Western North Carolina — sunrise pinks and oranges streaking the skies above the ridgeline; clear, dry air carrying an invigorating early-morning chill; bright sunshine focusing the world beneath warm rays as the sky brightened, revealing mountainsides tinged with hints of red and yellow, rogue branches overly eager for the autumnal wardrobe change.
‘A Herculean feat’: Forest Service aims to satisfy objections in last round of plan revisions
A decade of meetings, hearings, comments, debate and disagreement over the future of the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests culminated in a three-day meeting marathon last week that aimed to resolve hundreds of objections over the plan’s handling of everything from old growth to drinking water.
Big water: Retiring American Whitewater director reflects on 18 years of conservation leadership
Mark Singleton was mingling with Outdoor Industry Association colleagues at a 2004 reception in Washington, D.C., when he heard that American Whitewater was looking for a new executive director. It was a moment of destiny. Singleton, now retiring after 18 years leading the organization, had an instant gut response to the news.
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 Nov. 18 signature on the first state’s first comprehensive budget law since 2018.
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 Cooper’s Nov. 18 signature on the first state’s first comprehensive budget law since 2018.
Transformation on trail: Volunteers converge to secure Max Patch’s future
On a sunny Saturday in September, tall grasses wave a fringe atop Max Patch, framing mountain layers fading from ripened green to hazy blue. Blooming heads of goldenrod and aster dot the slope, a brisk wind whisking autumn chill into the sun-warmed air. Slope and shrubbery combine to create pockets of privacy on the open bald, fostering an illusion of wilderness that’s broken only when the white-blazed trail brings two travelers together.
It’s a wholly different scene than the one that sprawled across the mountaintop just one year ago, when Asheville artist Mike Wurman flew his drone over the bald to capture what became a viral image of 130 tents blanketing a trampled-down Max Patch.
Judaculla property protected
Mainspring Conservation Trust recently closed on an in-holding of the Nantahala National Forest Service in the Caney Fork Valley of Jackson County.