From the mountains to the sea: WCU alum, scientist helps preserve coastal parks through NPS grant
Growing up in Franklin, Katie Peek never dreamed she would one day be living in the mountains and working as a coastal scientist in Western Carolina University’s Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines.
Country miles: Federal designation sought for Benton MacKaye Trail
This year marked both the 16th birthday of the Benton MacKaye Trail and the 100th anniversary of its namesake’s flagship idea. Proponents of the trail want Congress to honor these milestones by designating the Benton MacKaye Trail as the nation’s 12th National Scenic Trail .
Masking rules take effect on public lands
On Jan. 20, President Joe Biden issued an executive order requiring coronavirus prevention protocols — including mask-wearing — on all federal lands and buildings. Now, management teams at National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service lands are deciding how to implement the new requirement locally.
Masks required at Park Service facilities
Face masks are now required at all National Park Service buildings and facilities as a result of President Joe Biden’s Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing issued Jan. 20.
Congress passes legislation to fund parks, conservation
The environmental community has been celebrating since the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Great American Outdoors Act July 22, sending the landmark legislation to the desk of President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it into law.
America, mile by mile: Cross-country trip reveals country’s beauty, diversity
Back when the trip was a new idea, I don’t think either of us took it seriously. Three weeks on the road, at a time when most American cars were sitting idle in the driveway? Thousands of miles of driving through sand and snow, mountain and desert, far from home? Surely this was just a pie-in-the-sky dream borne from the hunger pangs of quarantine, nothing more.
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.”
National parks should not depend on fees
By Mark Jamison • Guest Columnist | In Democracy’s Discontent: America in Search of a Public Philosophy, the political philosopher Michael Sandel discusses the tension between concepts of citizenship as a participatory responsibility and concepts of government as merely a transactional entity, another business from which we obtain services. In later work, Sandel bemoans our slide from a market economy to a market society, an all-encompassing concept that everything is for sale. Sandel’s discussions came to mind as I read Scott McLeod’s recent opinion piece Time to face reality regarding the Smokies.
Partial government shutdown continues; National parks still accessible to visitors
Congress’s failure to approve a discretionary spending budget led to another partial government shutdown beginning Dec. 21, and Western North Carolina’s economy will once again feel the impact the longer it continues.
A firm foundation: SCC graduates 100th class of future National Park Service officers
It’s been a full morning on top of a full week, and I’m tired when I file into the fluorescent-lighted classroom Tuesday afternoon. A large, laminated topo map of the Cashiers area is sitting on the table when I arrive at my seat, a dry erase marker and protractor tool arranged on top.