From mountain tops to dive bars, WNC adventure cats are heading to places they’ve never been before.
Buncombe County Veterans Treatment Court helps veterans of the armed forces pursue healing rather than jail time for offenses related to substance abuse or behavioral health issues. The court is about to graduate its sixth cohort of participants. A group of UNC Asheville political scientists leads efforts to analyze global human rights data.
Justin McVey, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s wildlife biologist for the region that includes Asheville, says the commission has not received an unusual number of reports of three-legged bears in recent days despite social media posts suggesting sightings of at least nine separate bears with missing or injured legs within a 25-mile radius of Asheville.
Armadillos were first seen in North Carolina in Macon County in 2007, and the first confirmed Buncombe County sighting took place in July 2014 near Leicester. Although urbanization and relocation by humans have helped the armadillo’s invasion, says N.C. Wildlife Commission biologist Colleen Olfenbuttel, climate change is likely a key factor.
Last year, Asheville joined only seven other cities in North Carolina to earn recognition from the National Wildlife Federation as a certified Community Wildlife Habitat. Area gardeners from Bee City USA and Mountain Wild! share their tips for creating habitat at home.
Buncombe did see its unemployment tick up from the 2.8% April rate; the May rate was also higher than the 2.8% reported for the same month last year. However, the Department of Commerce noted that all of the state’s other metro areas also saw rate increases, and the Asheville metro area actually added about 1,900 nonfarm jobs in May.
“Building a Climate-Resilient Asheville,” debuted during a June 19 meeting of the city’s Sustainability Advisory Committee on Energy and the Environment at The Collider, focuses on practical steps individuals can take to reduce their vulnerability to extreme weather.
Facing years of financial instability, Brother Wolf announces funding gap and a new effort to rectify administrative policies that led to the current adversity.
At least 35 bears have been struck and killed since May 2018 in the 28-mile stretch of I-40 between the Maggie Valley exit and the Foothills Parkway in Tennessee. The Pigeon River Gorge Wildlife Connectivity Project, a joint effort of at least 19 governmental and nonprofit groups, is working to bring that death rate down.
Willey says people started gravitating to the project as soon as he started to work. “I’d turn around as I was painting, and there’d be a grandfather and a young girl with face piercings that didn’t know each other until they started talking about bees,” he says. “There was this connection that was happening.”
Leafa and Phoenix arrived in Asheville from Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo in November and have since been under quarantine at the WNC Nature Center. The public gets its first look at the pair in the new exhibit at noon on Thursday, Feb. 14.
Conservationists have been attempting to list the species under the federal Endangered Species Act since 2010, but as Elise Bennett with the Center for Biological Diversity explains, regulatory changes to the act proposed by the administration of President Donald Trump could hamper the path to protection for hellbenders and other at-risk wildlife.
As an independent pet retailer, “Business is good,” says Jenna Wilson, who owns Patton Avenue Pet Co.’s three outlets. Other locally owned pet suppliers agree: WNC pet owners want the best for their family members, and they often shop local for high quality pet food, treats, supplies and toys.
According to the project website for the planned Interstate 26 Connector project in Asheville, the N.C. Department of Transportation has been meeting with community groups about the roadway since 1989. On Tuesday, Dec. 4, NCDOT will again convene local stakeholders. Also: a major public land acquisition in the Cherokee National Forest, and a new community service option for veterans involved with the criminal justice system.
Many pet owners say home-based veterinary palliative and hospice care and, when the time comes, euthanasia have helped them and their companion animals through end-of-life transitions.
Craig Harper with the University of Tennessee notes that negative public perception about prescribed burning generally arises from a lack of understanding about how fire benefits the landscape. “Many people will argue for increased diversity on national forests, but they don’t want disturbance,” he says. “If you don’t have disturbance, then it is impossible to have increased diversity.”