HEART OF OAK: Forest researcher Tara Keyser (right) explains to a group of forest industry partners why new forestry management techniques are needed to regenerate oak trees — and how the method she is studying might help. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Bent Creek study tests method for reversing oak decline

Economically and ecologically valuable, oak trees dominate the forests of our region. But forest experts say that when the mature oak and hickory forests are cut, they are increasingly being replaced by fast-growing and aggressive yellow poplar. Researchers have been seeking solutions to the problem for decades, with little success. A new study in Bent Creek hopes to change that.

NEW PLANS, NEW CONCERNS: Members of the Swannanoa community met with Community Advisory Group members, federal and state environmental officials Thurday, Dec. 1 to discuss future plans for the Chemtronics Superfund site. Photo by Max Hunt

For the record: EPA reviews 2016 Record of Decision, presence of new contaminan­ts at Chemtronic­s site

Swannanoa residents met with members of the Community Advisory Group, federal and state environmental protection officials Thursday evening to review the 2016 Record of Decision for the Chemtronics Superfund site. The EPA also revealed the presence of a new contamination detection on the property.

Map of area to be remediated. Graphic from draft remediation plan by Pioneer Technologies Corporation

Few attend public hearing on DuPont Forest cleanup

A “doughnut hole” of contamination in DuPont State Recreational Forest likely will be cleaned up in the coming year as a remediation plan moves forward. State officials held a public comment session on Thursday, Dec. 1 at the Transylvania County Public Library, but only a half dozen people attended and just one came forward to comment. […]

Susan Sides. Photo by Emma Grace Moon

Julian Award winner Susan Sides: Feeding our hunger for food and community

Since she was a child, Susan Sides has had her fingers in the dirt, helping her mother with the family garden. That early experience had a profound impact, fostering a passion that continues to this day: Since its inception in 2009, Sides has worked as executive director and garden manager at the Lord’s Acre in […]

SMALL BUT MIGHTY: Dogwood Alliance is a 14-person nonprofit that has made a big impact over its 20-year history. The group has convinced some of America’s largest corporations to adopt forest-friendly sourcing practices. Now it’s fighting the wood pellet industry, which the organization says is logging Southern forests and turning them into fuel for generating electricity in Europe. Photo courtesy of Dogwood Alliance

Dogwood Alliance marks two decades of defending Southern forests

As Dogwood Alliance celebrates its 20th anniversary, the local organization reflects on its accomplishments influencing the wood sourcing practices of some of America’s largest corporations. Now the group is poised to take on an even larger challenge: fighting European environmental regulations that Dogwood Alliance says are paradoxically endangering Southern forests.

PASSING THE BATON: When RiverLink founder Karen Cragnolin, right, stepped down from her leadership role after 30 years, the board of directors implemented their succession plan and have found a new executive director in Garrett Artz, left.  The pair met during the transition, and Cragnolin shared her depth of experience with the organization. Photo by Cindy Kunst

Facing the future: What happens when a nonprofit leader steps down?

Thirty years is a long time to devote to any pursuit, and Karen Cragnolin, the oft-honored founding mother of RiverLink, can attest to that. During that time, she says she held every job in the organization and was planning to finally move on this year when, during surgery, she suffered an aneurysm that robbed her […]

Nov. 14 Forest Service wildfire map WNC

Continuing wildfire activity update for afternoon of Nov. 14

Press release from U.S. Forest Service and Southern Area Incident Management Team: Incident Resources: 17 crews, 6 helicopters, 1 fixed wing, 64 engines, 16 dozers, 4 water tenders, and 809 total personnel. Boteler Fire (Clay County): The fire continues to be active due to dry conditions and continually falling leaves. Light winds yesterday enabled crews […]

OPEN FOR EXPLORATION: Staff and board members of the Asheville Museum of Science, TDA officials and residents gathered Friday morning for the soft opening of AMOS' new location in downtown Asheville. The museum was also presented with a $400,000 Tourism Product Development Fund grant. Photo by Max Hunt

Asheville Museum of Science celebrates new location with soft-opening reception

The Asheville Museum of Science held a soft opening from 10 a.m. until noon at its new location in the Wells Fargo building at 43 Patton Avenue. In addition to the opening reception, an official ceremony was held to celebrate a $400,000 grant awarded to the museum from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority.

INVESTMENT IN THE RIVERBANK: Woodfin Riverside Park is an existing part of what may someday be a sizable greenway connecting a system of parks and other green spaces along a transportation vein throughout the county. Photo by Emma Grace Moon

Big project, big debt: Woodfin voters to decide future of greenway project with higher taxes in the balance

The question that may surprise and even confuse some Woodfin residents as they dutifully mark their ballots is: Should the 6,300 residents of the town of Woodfin take on an additional $4.5 million in debt to pay for a greenway, parks and other public works projects along the stretch of the French Broad that flows through […]

WNC's 2016 Give!Local guide

Give!Local fundraisin­g drive begins

Give!Local returns Nov. 1, featuring 47 local nonprofits who are campaigning for financial support via Give!Local’s one-stop, online, donation platform. Festivities on Nov. 2 will formally kick off this two-month, end-of-year donation drive with a free party at Highland Brewing in Asheville, celebrating the participating nonprofits. This is Give!Local’s second year. Last year, the campaign raised […]

82 basin at Duke Energy's Lake Julian plant is free of coal ash and now being readied for its next use as the site of the utility's planned new natural gas-fired generating facility. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Duke Energy shows off excavated ash basin at Lake Julian plant

Duke Energy operating personnel and communications representatives proudly showed off the newly excavated 82 basin at the company’s Lake Julian power plant to local media on Tuesday, Oct. 25. The former coal ash pond is now being readied for its next act: the site of the utility’s new natural gas-fired plant, which is scheduled to begin operations in 2020.

SACRED SPACE: The Rosebud camp is one of three encampments where protesters have gathered since August to oppose construction of the Dakota Access pipeline across tribal lands. Photo by Tommy Cook

WNC locals support protesters at Standing Rock

The Dakotas may be far from Asheville, but many WNC locals have traveled to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation since protests began there in late August over a disputed oil pipeline that crosses tribal lands. Others in Asheville have donated money or supplies to support the tribe’s efforts to block construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.