Stakeholders offer initial feedback on long-awaited forest management plan
The atmosphere inside the Lake Logan Conference Center was more akin to a reunion of friends than to a gathering of business associates as members of the Stakeholders Forum for the Nantahala and Pisgah Plan Revision arrived Wednesday, Feb. 26 — and perhaps there’s good reason for that.
River park efforts revived in Cullowhee
Work could begin on a long-awaited river park in Cullowhee sooner rather than later following completion of an N.C. Department of Transportation bridge project in the Old Cullowhee area.
“We got the new maps from the DOT of where the road configuration was, and DOT had to acquire a lot of property to swing that road around,” said Anna Fariello, a longtime member of the community nonprofit Cullowhee Revitalization Endeavor, or CuRvE. “I didn’t realize how much land they actually took. We’re looking at these maps, and I was blown away.”
Panthertown chosen for Leave No Trace awareness program
Panthertown Valley’s popularity is increasing, and advocates for the backcountry area — located near Cashiers in the Nantahala National Forest — hope its newfound designation as a Leave No Trace Hot Spot will help head off some of the less-than-pleasant effects of that popularity.
Ride on: Kids mountain biking park opens in Jackson
More than a year of planning, collaboration and plain old-fashioned hard work has resulted in a new kids bike park along the Jackson County Greenway, an accomplishment celebrated during a sunlit ribbon-cutting event held at noon Thursday, Oct. 24.
“This park right here, not only is it a tangible, concrete resource for kids immediately and today, but it also stands for, I think, effective and incredibly positive collaboration and partnership between our organization and Jackson County, which I think could materialize into other exciting things,” said Michael Despeaux of the Nantahala Area Southern Off Road Bicycling Association.
Outdoor economy efforts continue
If the United States’ outdoor recreation industry were its own country, it would be the world’s 25th largest economy. And, while towns like Moab and Boulder and Jackson Hole might have more name recognition on a nationwide scale, Western North Carolina has everything it takes to command a large piece of that hypothetical country’s pie.
A new state park: Funding and opening Pisgah View State Park will be years-long process
A new state park has been created in Buncombe and Haywood counties following Gov. Roy Cooper’s signature on a state Senate bill July 19, but it will be years before Pisgah View State Park will bridge the gap from concept to reality.
Survey results bode well for indoor pool in Jackson
A survey aimed at gauging support for an indoor swimming pool in Jackson County came down favorably for pool proponents, with 68 percent of respondents saying that they’d support such a project — even if it meant raising property taxes.
Canton to revamp archaic pool hall ordinance
A pair of local entrepreneurs will soon open a billiard hall in downtown Canton, so long as substantial changes are made to an outdated ordinance that depicts such establishments as a breeding ground for all manner of unsavory behavior.
Study shows benefits of building river park in Bryson City
The Tuckasegee River Alliance is looking at possible ways to increase access to the Tuckasegee River as it runs right through downtown Bryson City.
Science program goes statewide: ecoEXPLORE program for kids now available in N.C. State Parks
A program that’s been getting Western North Carolina kids outside since 2016 is now a statewide offering, with a whirlwind tour of 10 North Carolina state parks over the next couple weeks celebrating ecoEXPLORE’s arrival at all 41 park units.
“There’s a lot of benefits to being outdoors, and it’s something that we’re seeing less and less in adults and children,” said Jonathan Marchal, youth education manager at the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville. “A lot of times it’s almost like a competition — you can go outside and be screen-free, or you can go indoors and be completely immersed in a screen. I think one approach that is helpful is utilizing those items like smartphones as tools to explore the environment, and not just as tools to explore the environment but to engage kids in doing conservation work.”