A new chapter for Max Patch: Forest Service issues two-year camping ban for iconic bald

Following an explosion of use at Max Patch, the U.S. Forest Service is prohibiting camping and fires on the iconic site, among other new restrictions now in effect for the next two years. 

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. 

A.T. trailheads to open in four states

Appalachian Trail trailheads and access points on U.S. Forest Service lands in the Southeast will reopen on Friday, May 22.

National forests lift fire restrictions

Forestwide fire restrictions have been lifted in the Nantahala and Pisgah national forests, with campfires now allowed as of Wednesday, May 13.

Draft forest management plan released

After more than six years of work, a draft forest management plan for the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest is now available.

Cold Mountain fire grows, rain predicted

The Cold Mountain Fire is still burning in Haywood County, with a helicopter flight measuring it at approximately 126 acres as of noon today.

Fire at Cold Mountain exceeds 100 acres

A wildfire near Cold Mountain in Haywood County was reported at 3 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21, and as of 7:30 p.m. Thursday night it had grown to about 106 acres.

Nantahala Gorge reopens for national forest users

The Nantahala River in the Nantahala Gorge is now open to the public for all uses for the first time since landslides on Saturday, Aug. 24, resulted in significant damage and blockages in the area.

Pointing the way: Volunteer group earns national recognition for trail sign project, other accomplishments

The year is nearly over, but in 2018 the Graham County Rescue Squad has run only three search and rescue calls in the thousands of acres of national forest land surrounding Robbinsville. 

“We probably used to run three or four times that, just about all of them in Joyce Kilmer Slickrock,” said Marshall McClung, search and rescue coordinator for the squad. “Mostly in the Joyce Kilmer section, a few in the Slickrock section.”

The Naturalist's Corner: Musings from count year 2018

This past spring was one of the more trying ones with regard to my annual U.S. Forest Service bird point survey. The survey runs each year from May 1 to June 15. You might have noticed it rained a bit in May. Of course, one can’t count in the rain, but according to protocol if it’s not raining counts may be conducted and this spring there were days I birded just after and just before rains. One thing I thought I noticed — on mornings with heavy cloud cover, especially those mornings where it had rained before dawn, birds were much quieter than normal.

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