Ongoing habitat loss and warming temperatures present an existential threat to Western North Carolina’s only native trout species, the brook trout.
For activists like Victoria Estes, environmental scientists and others, the existential threat of climate change is taking an increasing toll on their mental health and well-being.
Asheville, home to more than 8,465 hotel rooms and counting, is providing a pathway for hotel operators to rack up some major brownie points by incorporating sustainable features and practices in plans for new hotel construction.
Forest supervisor James Melonas sets priorities for tenure as leader of state’s four national forests.
Creation of more than 40 miles of “purpose-built” trail system will serve a diverse range of users from equestrians to walkers.
Eastern Tennessee-based author Frances Figart is helping children understand the realities of wildlife-vehicle collisions through her new book, A Search for Safe Passage.
In town known for a foul smell and a river that used to run black, the Canton paper mill has made strides in cleaning up, and jobs depend on the facility. But environmentalists say concerns persist.
The charging station program, funded by the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality from part of the state’s allocation in the Volkswagen emissions-cheating scandal, partially defrays the cost of installing Level 2 infrastructure, which can recharge electric vehicles up to seven times as quickly as a standard 120-volt outlet.
Last year was the second-wettest on record for North Carolina, and communities across the state are looking for better ways to deal with intense rainfall and costly flooding.
The new outdoor classroom and garden area, the result of a three-year, $2 million project, features three distinct ponds, a boardwalk, a 20-person teaching shelter and interpretive signage, complete with a frog kiosk that plays different amphibian vocalizations.
The first such effort of its kind in North Carolina, the atlas will break the state into 937 sections of 10 square miles — covering roughly a fifth of its total land area — and ask birders to record all the varieties they see using the online platform eBird.
Increasing heat and stronger storms threaten trout populations dependent on clean, cold, oxygen-rich water. A decline in trout production could hurt farmers and recreational fishermen.
The yearlong campaign begins April 1 and seeks to outfit at least 100 residents and businesses with solar energy systems by the end of 2021.
“Many items that are now standard construction practices have been removed from our checklist, while we have added opportunities to gain points for new technologies,” explained Maggie Leslie, the nonprofit’s program director.
“If it was truly perceived as an emergency, then I think we would be doing more and talking about it more,” says Asheville City Council member Kim Roney, who was elected in November on a platform that included a local Green New Deal and rapid renewable energy deployment.
An online public hearing to review the draft permit, originally scheduled for Jan. 20, was pushed back to mid-April. For environmentalists, the move may be a blessing in disguise.
The Mortimer Trails project expands access for mountain bikers and hikers to meet increased demand despite limited federal funding for recreation in National Forests.
The Asheville-based nonprofit Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy’s work included both valuable wildlife habitats, such as the Wiles Creek and Little Rock Creek preserves, and prime farmland at risk of development. Sandy Hollar Farms in Buncombe County and Bowditch Bottoms in Yancey County were among the agricultural projects completed in 2020.
In a year marked by a constant churn of updating numbers — COVID-19 dashboards, economic forecasts, political polls — Assistant Editor Daniel Walton took comfort in stories that were able to report more deeply on some of the issues facing Western North Carolina.
For many environmental organizations across Western North Carolina, COVID-19 fell like a lightning-struck tree across the path to progress. But like an intrepid hiker, WNC’s activists and organizers have bushwhacked new trails for action in the world of the pandemic.
On Nov. 18, nonprofit Conserving Carolina announced that it had entered a contract to buy an unused 19-mile rail corridor between Brevard and Hendersonville for conversion into a greenway. Backers hope the Ecusta Trail will become a regional draw for running and biking enthusiasts.