Earth Day conversation focuses on WNC open spaces, public lands

The online in-depth and investigative news organization Carolina Public Press will hold a public Newsmakers forum on local, state and federal public forests and lands in Western North Carolina from 8:30-10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 22, both online and at the United Way Building in Asheville.

This free public forum includes a light breakfast and a moderated panel discussion with Forest Supervisor Allen Nicholas with the U.S. Forest Service in North Carolina, Ecoregion Supervisor Gordon Warburtonwith the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and Director Roderick Simmons with Asheville Parks and Recreation Department. The event will be moderated by Carolina Public Press Managing Editor Frank Taylor. The forum will also be live-streamed for those unable to attend in person.

This will be your chance to hear about the challenges and opportunities facing the region’s public lands, which include local, state and federal public parks and forests. In the 18 westernmost counties of the state, there are 1.1 million acres of national forests alone.
Going beyond headlines and sound bites, the Newsmakers series brings together the state and region’s top journalists with those making and influencing the news — people such as business leaders, lawmakers, agency administrators, public policy influencers and others — for in-depth conversations with the public. Newsmakers will break down barriers often felt between journalists and lawmakers, between community members and leaders — all toward building an engaged, informed community.

To attend the forum, either in person or online, visit to RSVP. For more information, please contact Carolina Public Press at 828-774-5290 or

About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. His writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, the Miracle Monocle, Juked and elsewhere. His debut novel, The Wind Under the Door, is now available.

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