Xpress contributor Mark Barrett shares his pick of lesser-known Western North Carolina hikes with opportunities to take in the region’s autumn splendor.
“Right now, the U.S. Forest Service is drafting the next forest management plan for the Nantahala and Pisgah national forests … and, unfortunately, the current draft is inadequate in a few very important ways when it comes to protecting water quality.”
“My whole world seems to be closing,” says Danny Bernstein, an Asheville-based outdoors writer who regularly leads hikes for the Carolina Mountain Club and Friends of the Smokies. “Staying 6 feet apart is easy on the trail. But how can we have outdoor activity if almost every piece of public land is closed?”
The commission’s Democratic members passed direction for expanded community testing and contact tracing over the objections of its Republican contingent. Joe Belcher, Anthony Penland and Robert Pressley stressed their commitment to ensuring the county’s safety but expressed concern over the process by which the resolution was introduced and some of its terms.
In the late fall and early winter of 1936, Pisgah National Forest invited hunters to bag stags. Though there were plenty of stipulations involved, thousands of nimrods applied to partake in the monthlong hunt.
Western North Carolina is a rock climbing mini-mecca, featuring faces such as Looking Glass, John Rock and Rumbling Bald. And for some, this fast-growing sport is a way of life. Together with traditional therapy, it’s played a key role in helping some climb out of depression.
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.”
“However, with last year’s passage of [the] Outdoor Heritage Enhanced [law], our legislature created a very real problem for nonhunters who have relied on Sundays as a free and clear day to go where they please on our public lands, in particular our national forests.”
As people flock to Western North Carolina to take advantage of the region’s abundant outdoor recreational opportunities, they also bring a human impact to wild places.
“I hope her family gets closure one day and her case is eventually solved and the culprit or culprits are found and punished accordingly.”
For the first time in 23 years, the U.S. Forest Service is revising its management plan for the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests, and some participants in the long, drawn-out process say it could be going better.
Asheville chef Zika Singogo is partnering with local farmer and food supplier Kendall Huntley to provide sustainability-focused food at the Cradle of Forestry.
“Unfortunately, the evaluation released by the Forest Service reduces the total acreage eligible for wilderness recommendation in the new forest plan by more than 80 percent. “
“Let’s keep Big Ivy just the way it is — wild, scenic, adventurous and uncut.”
Tensions have boiled over within the Stakeholders Forum that has been seeking to build harmony on the Pisgah-Nantahala Forest plan revision after more than 40 organizations signed a memorandum of understanding supporting the creation of two National Recreation Areas in Western North Carolina.
The U.S. Forest Service sought further information on Monday, Nov. 16 in the early stages of its forest plan, which aims to classify select rivers and lands in the Nantahala and Pisgah forests as further protected under stricter levels of conservation.
From classic eggs and toast to New Orleans beignets to vegan smoothies, the mountain community of Brevard has a growing number of choices for morning meals out on the town.
What’s the future of Western North Carolina’s public woodlands, particularly the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests? Public lands biologist Josh Kelly has worked with the Asheville-based nonprofit, WNC Alliance, since 2011, helping determine the answer. And with the U.S. Forest Service updating its plans for Pisgah and Nantahala for the first time in 20 years, the […]
On Thursday, Nov. 13, the Asheville-based investigative news outlet Carolina Public Press hosted its first Newsmakers series — in this case, a lively discussion that dived questions about the U.S. Forest Service’s draft plan for 1 million acres of public lands in Western North Carolina. (photos by Pat Barcas)
It was my first prescribed burn. After weeks of training, and months of anticipation, I was finally on the ground – drip torch in hand – ready to apply fire to restore the mixed pine-hardwood forests at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, on the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.
The U.S. Forest Service will hold a number of public meetings to help draft a new land management plan for our local national forests. Part of this plan may include prescribed burns in popular areas. (Pictured: Forest Service helicopters during the last major wildfire in 2007; photo by Bill Rhodes)