“The vagaries of climate and geology and time and the dispersal mechanisms of plants and animals too — all of those things, just over vast eons of time, have given Polk County this sweet spot,” says botanist David Campbell. His inventory of the county lists 32 significant natural heritage areas, as well as 127 rare or watch-list plant species found at those sites.
Many emails represent the views of local organizations and user groups – such as the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Council, the Friends of Big Ivy, and mountain bikers – who have played active and forceful roles during the forest plan revision.
Western North Carolina’s wild places and creatures lie at the heart of the region’s appeal, inspiring local artists and attracting visitors from across the globe. Events in 2018 promised to shape the future of those natural resources for years to come.
At a recent event in Chimney Rock hosted by the Hill to Crag climbing initiative, veterans of the armed forces explored how climbing can serve as a way to recapture the excitement and camaraderie of deployment without the anxiety of working in a combat zone.
The impending snowpacolypse — and the promise that hardcore weather prognosticator Jim Cantore will be the in Asheville area this weekend — has locals in a tizzy about the weather.
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.
A $940,000 award, to be administered primarily by Asheville-based nonprofit Mountain BizWorks, will fund the newly created Growing Outdoors Partnership, which aims to boost sustainable job growth in the local outdoor gear and recreation industries.
A Vegas-based developer wants to build a resort in the mountains outside Asheville. To do so, he would need commissioners to amend Buncombe County’s zoning ordinance. Staff in the county planning department have recommended that commissioners reject the changes.
While the long-running planning process has made considerable progress toward a consensus vision for the forest, sticking points do still remain. Conservationists continue to disagree with some hunting advocates and logging industry groups about protected area designations and the exact extent of active management on the land.
Every fall, between late September and early October, monarch butterflies migrate from the Northeastern U.S. to Mexico, with many passing over the Blue Ridge Mountains. Although fewer monarchs are making the trip these days due to habitat loss and other factors, local monarch enthusiasts are working to study and protect their populations.
The DuPont Forest Festival, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 22, has been a long time in the making. The chemical conglomerate DuPont’s initial 1956 purchase of land for a silicon manufacturing plant in Cedar Mountain proved the beginning of a journey that would preserve one of Western North Carolina’s most treasured natural places for the future.
Seven regional storytellers and Papadosio side project EarthCry perform at the Dogwood Alliance event, Sept. 8 at The Grey Eagle.
State of the French Broad River Watershed 2018 summarizes a bevy of data from the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, the Black Mountain-based Environmental Quality Institute and MountainTrue’s own monitoring into a single holistic measurement for waterway cleanliness.
Outside of the Olympics, the World Equestrian Games (which, like the Olympics, take place every four years) are the biggest competition in the world of horse-related sports. And this year, those games will take place in horse-crazy Tryon. Ironically, the only local resident competing will ride for his native Ecuador.
Sylvan Sport founder Tom Dempsey says the inspiration for his company’s adventure camping trailers comes from spending time outdoors — and there’s no better place to find inspiration than this area. “We couldn’t do what we do anywhere else,” he says.
“It feels like a migration of birds,” says Eli Mills, seasonal employee at the North Carolina Outward Bound School. “Every year we come up on the mountain in the very early spring, and slowly, people start trickling in from whatever adventure or work they’ve had over the last few months.”
Western North Carolina towns exude charm throughout the year, but on Independence Day they take that appeal to another level. That tradition continues in 2018 with streets and parks across the mountains playing host to parades, live music, festivals and other family-friendly celebrations while the sun is out, followed by fireworks and shows to cap off the night. […]
Author and journalist Carol Polsgrove kicks off our series on urban rambles in Western North Carolina with a paean to her personal walking nirvana: Asheville’s Montford neighborhood.
With the help of money from the Pigeon River Fund, Asheville GreenWorks has lifted more than one thousand pounds of trash from Mud Creek in Hendersonville.