Conservation & Environment

Here’s how hot your hometown will feel by mid-century

Posted by on Jul 18, 2019 @ 7:28 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Here’s how hot your hometown will feel by mid-century

Residents of Harris County, Texas are no stranger to heat. The swampy Houston metro area averages nearly 40 days per year with temperatures in the 100 degrees F or higher range. But, according to a pair of papers published this week, if nothing is done about climate change, many more U.S. cities could be feeling a similar kind of heat.

A new report released by the Union of Concerned Scientists and a study published by the same authors in the journal Environmental Research Communications found that the annual number of days with heat indices above 100 degrees F is expected to double by mid-century. That’s compared to temperatures between 1971 to 2000. The number of days that “feel like” 105 degrees or higher is set to triple, with the number of people exposed to “off-the-charts” temperatures growing exponentially.

What exactly is considered “off-the-charts,” you ask? Those are days with conditions so extreme that they exceed the current National Weather Service heat index range, which stops at 127 degrees F. That’s a higher heat index than what we’re currently seeing in Death Valley in July. Days like this have so far affected less than 1 percent of the U.S. by area, but by mid-century, up to a quarter of the U.S. could feel “off-the-charts” heat at least one day a year.

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He took down dams, freed wolves and preserved wildlands. Bruce Babbitt is still at work.

Posted by on Jul 17, 2019 @ 6:51 am in Conservation | 0 comments

He took down dams, freed wolves and preserved wildlands. Bruce Babbitt is still at work.

The rising sun was just starting to light up the tops of the sandstone cliffs when Bruce Babbitt arrived at an empty parking lot, ready to set out on a hike.

He chose a trail he knows and loves, a canyon filled with childhood memories and one of his favorite wilderness areas — a fitting place to meet someone who has been immersed in decisions about preserving wilderness for much of his life.

During eight years as secretary of the Interior under President Bill Clinton, and previously as Arizona’s governor, Babbitt distinguished himself as a Democratic politician who skillfully navigated environmental debates and prioritized the conservation of wildlands, streams and wildlife.

In the 1990s, he played a central role in some of the country’s biggest environmental decisions. He helped devise a plan to limit logging and protect the spotted owl in the Pacific Northwest. He presided over reintroducing wolves in Yellowstone National Park. He stood atop a California dam and swung a sledgehammer as he inaugurated a push to take down dams and restore rivers.

He participated in the creation of 19 new national monuments, from Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah to Giant Sequoia in California, as well as five monuments in Arizona.

He could have chosen to wrap up his career when he left office at the end of the Clinton administration in 2001. But Babbitt has remained actively engaged in issues he cares about.

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Is a Green Future Worth Spoiling the Appalachian Trail?

Posted by on Jul 16, 2019 @ 8:14 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Is a Green Future Worth Spoiling the Appalachian Trail?

  A proposed hydropower transmission line in Maine would impact the AT, wildlife, recreation, and tourism. Is it worth it?

The proposed project, known as New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC), is a 145-mile transmission line winding down from the Canadian border through Maine’s forests, and would ferry hydroelectric energy from Canadian dams to the New England grid. It would cross the AT three times within a mile, south of Moxie Pond and about 130 miles from the trail’s momentous conclusion at Mount Katadhin, impacting views from several overlooks.

“There’s a certain awe in thru-hikers, especially those who are coming from the South,” a local said. “They’ve just hiked on these regions where there are a lot of reminders of civilizations, road crossings, and infrastructure. What I’ve heard from them is that Maine is more noted for having that backcountry experience.”

Many of the opponents of NECEC—65 percent of Maine residents are not in favor of the project-according to a recent poll—worry that the line will threaten this scenic character. Maine’s northern woods have been relatively spared from development. They have a legacy of sporting camps; offer hiking, rafting, fishing, kayaking, snowmobiling, and other recreational opportunities, all of which support a robust outdoor industry and local economies. While the exact impacts of the line are up for debate, those who oppose it fear it would bifurcate “what is basically the largest expanse of undeveloped forest in the eastern United States.”

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EPA restores broad use of pesticide opposed by beekeepers

Posted by on Jul 13, 2019 @ 8:40 am in Conservation | 0 comments

EPA restores broad use of pesticide opposed by beekeepers

The Environmental Protection Agency will allow farmers to resume broad use of a pesticide over objections from beekeepers, citing private chemical industry studies that the agency says show the product does only lower-level harm to bees and wildlife.

The EPA announcement makes sulfoxaflor the latest bug and weed-killer allowed by the Trump administration despite lawsuits alleging environmental or human harm. The pesticide is made by Corteva Agriscience, a spinoff created last month out of the DowDuPont merger and restructuring.

Honeybees pollinate billions of dollars of food crops annually in the United States, but agriculture and other land uses that cut into their supply of pollen, as well as pesticides, parasites and other threats, have them on a sharp decline. The University of Maryland said U.S. beekeepers lost 38 percent of their bee colonies last winter alone, the highest one-winter loss in the 13-year history of their survey.

A federal appeals court had ordered the EPA to withdraw approval for sulfoxaflor in 2015, ruling in a lawsuit brought by U.S. beekeeping groups that not enough was known about what it did to bees.

Separately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced without fanfare on July 1 that it would stop collecting quarterly data on honeybee colonies, citing budget restrictions. Beekeepers and others used the data to track losses and growth in U.S. honeybee colonies.

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Projecting Climate Change Effects on Outdoor Recreation

Posted by on Jul 8, 2019 @ 9:03 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Projecting Climate Change Effects on Outdoor Recreation

Cool temperatures enjoyed by hikers might rise enough that people decide to stay inside instead. The culprit – climate change – will cause higher temperatures and uneven intensification of both drought and rainfall. As a result, outdoor recreation trends could change markedly.

A study by the University of Georgia and the U.S. Forest Service examined this relationship. The study looked at how climate change could impact outdoor recreation participation. Their findings were published in The Journal of Park and Recreation Administration.

First, the scientists created models of adult participation rates in 17 outdoor recreation activities, such as day hiking, fishing, horseback riding on trails, motorized water activities, birding, and swimming. They based the models on past national and regional data, with the expectation that they could simulate future rates.

They combined these recreation models with explanatory variable projections. Explanatory variables are the main factors that explain participation in outdoor recreation. These variables included income, temperature, and precipitation, among others.

The results project future changes in participation for those 17 outdoor activities, nationally and by region. Changes were measured as the difference between the projected 2060 rates with climate change and the 2060 rates without.

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Restoring forests may be one of our most powerful weapons in fighting climate change

Posted by on Jul 6, 2019 @ 7:22 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Restoring forests may be one of our most powerful weapons in fighting climate change

Allowing the earth’s forests to recover could cancel out a significant amount of humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to new research.

The worldwide assessment of current and potential forestation estimates that letting saplings regrow on land where forests have been cleared would increase global forested area by one-third and remove 205 billion metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere. That’s two-thirds of the roughly 300 billion metric tons of carbon humans have put up there since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.

“The point is that [reforestation is] so much more vastly powerful than anyone ever expected,” said Thomas Crowther, a professor of environmental systems science at ETH Zurich and a co-author of the paper. “By far, it’s the top climate change solution in terms of carbon storage potential.”

Supporting natural systems should be a major component of any climate change mitigation strategy — in addition to deploying clean energy, switching to electric vehicles, and curbing consumption overall.

The challenges of such a massive reforestation effort are immense, however: Deforestation is still rampant and is accelerating in some parts of the world. Rather than building up forests as a resource to offset greenhouse gas emissions, we’re currently losing them, and emitting more carbon in the process.

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Science program goes statewide: ecoEXPLORE program for kids now available in N.C. State Parks

Posted by on Jul 5, 2019 @ 9:02 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Science program goes statewide: ecoEXPLORE program for kids now available in N.C. State Parks

  A program that’s been getting Western North Carolina kids outside since 2016 is now a statewide offering, with a whirlwind tour of 10 North Carolina state parks over the next couple weeks celebrating ecoEXPLORE’s arrival at all 41 park units.

“There’s a lot of benefits to being outdoors,” said Jonathan Marchal, youth education manager at the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville. “A lot of times it’s almost like a competition — you can go outside and be screen-free, or you can go indoors and be completely immersed in a screen. I think one approach that is helpful is utilizing those items like smartphones as tools to explore the environment, and not just as tools to explore the environment but to engage kids in doing conservation work.”

That’s just what ecoEXPLORE, a program the arboretum developed, aims to do.

Originally launched through a grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, ecoEXPLORE encourages kids to go outside, make observations about nature, and record those observations with a smartphone camera. Participants earn points for each observation, and the points can then be cashed in for prizes like binoculars, butterfly nets and flower presses. They can earn badges, too. Each change in season brings with it a change in the badge that could potentially be claimed. Right now it’s herpetology season — participants who complete the herpetology challenge, which includes making six observations of reptiles or amphibians and attending an upcoming event at the arboretum, will get the Herpetology Field Badge.

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Forest Service might limit public comments

Posted by on Jul 1, 2019 @ 9:54 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Forest Service might limit public comments

Under President Donald Trump, federal agencies have chipped away at the reviews and permitting required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), one of the nation’s bedrock environmental laws. Earlier this month, the Forest Service proposed a significant overhaul of the NEPA process for logging and development on millions of acres of federal forest and grassland across the West.

In a statement, the Forest Service said NEPA environmental reviews are time-consuming, redundant and prevent active maintenance of healthy forests. The agency called it the first serious change to NEPA’s regulation of forest management in more than 10 years.

The public until August 12, 2019 to weigh in on these significant changes. Here are some key takeaways:

  • The proposed changes would reduce environmental review for logging and infrastructure.
  • The changes would undercut public engagement.
  • The backlog is already long.
  • The changes will almost certainly end up in court.

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Pisgah View Ranch, west of Asheville, looks poised to become newest NC state park

Posted by on Jun 28, 2019 @ 6:56 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Pisgah View Ranch, west of Asheville, looks poised to become newest NC state park

State Sen. Chuck Edwards, R-Henderson, introduced Senate Bill 535 in April, 2019 that authorizes the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to add Pisgah View State Park to the North Carolina State Parks System.

It was passed unanimously by the Senate and referred to the House on June 24, where it is processing through appropriate committees.

“It’s been in our family since 1790. Before that, the Cherokee owned it. But nobody owns everything forever. This will make sure that when we’re gone, this property will remain much as it is today,” said Max Cogburn of the sprawling, forested haven known as Pisgah View Ranch.

“It is a unique piece of property. It has over 2 miles of ridge line, it has its own watershed, it has headwaters, it looks like it’s surrounded by mountains in a bowl. It’s a fantastic piece of property. We loved having it. It will be bittersweet, but this is the best result for the property and we’re very happy about it. And we’re proud of our contribution,” he said.

For lands to be considered for becoming a North Carolina state park, they must have “extraordinary natural resources representative of North Carolina’s rare or pristine ecosystems, have potential for recreation including facilities and access necessary to support it, and have sufficient opportunities for land acquisition,” said Katie Hall, spokeswoman for N.C. State Parks.

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Park and DLiA Host Smokies Species Day

Posted by on Jun 27, 2019 @ 7:08 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Park and DLiA Host Smokies Species Day

Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the non-profit partner Discover Life in America (DLiA) are celebrating the diversity of life in the park by hosting “Smokies Species Day” at Sugarlands Visitor Center on Saturday, June 29, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Attendees can learn about fungi, slime molds, beetles, moths, butterflies, and other creatures of the Smokies at this free, family-friendly event.

The event will be held outdoors on the patio area in front of the visitor center providing opportunities for people to tour the pollinator garden and participate in a hands-on citizen science program called Species SnapIt & MapIt which allows everyone to help gather scientific data about species encountered in the park. Researchers will also share how the ecosystem in fire-affected areas are recovering from the 2016 wildfires.

Smokies Species Day is centered on the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI), a partnership between the park and DLiA, which has been taking place in the park for more than 20 years. The ATBI is a concerted effort to discover and understand all the species inhabiting the 522,000-acre park habitat, including plants, fungi, birds, amphibians, insects, bacteria, and more. Over the life of the ATBI, there have been a variety of organisms discovered that are new records for the park, as well as over 1,000 species that are new to science.

This event and research efforts are partially supported by Friends of the Smokies. For more information about DLiA, please visit


Red-cheeked Salamanders Are Great Smoky Mountain National Park Superheroes

Posted by on Jun 24, 2019 @ 9:15 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Red-cheeked Salamanders Are Great Smoky Mountain National Park Superheroes

The Red-cheeked Salamanders of Great Smoky Mountains National Park are superheroes. Found only in this unique park, research has revealed that the salamanders can secrete a special, toxic substance to keep predators away.

Ranging from 3.5 to 5 inches long, the Red-cheeked Salamanders are generally dark gray in color, making their red cheeks and/or red legs really pop.

The National Park Service writes: “When attacked, this salamander can bite back and will release poisonous slime from the base of its tail.” Like many Iizard varieties, this salamander species also drops its tail to distract a would-be nemesis. Think that’s not enough for superhero status? They can also breath through their very skin.

Great Smoky Mountain National Park is a salamander hotspot, home to 30 of the United States’ 190 species. Of all the wildlife in the park, salamanders represent the majority of backboned animals, even surpassing human visitors.

Unfortunately, climate change is threatening the unique habitats they need to survive, especially at higher elevations. The decline of salamander populations causes reverberations across the food web; they are prolific eaters of forest insects. Scientists continue to study them closely, as these superheroes indicate the overall health of the mountain ecosystem.

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Himalayan glacier melting doubled since 2000, spy satellites show

Posted by on Jun 21, 2019 @ 7:28 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The melting of Himalayan glaciers has doubled since the turn of the century, with more than a quarter of all ice lost over the last four decades, scientists have revealed. The accelerating losses indicate a “devastating” future for the region, upon which a billion people depend for regular water.

The scientists combined declassified US spy satellite images from the mid-1970s with modern satellite data to create the first detailed, four-decade record of ice along the 2,000km (1,200-mile) mountain chain.

The analysis shows that 8bn tons of ice are being lost every year and not replaced by snow, with the lower level glaciers shrinking in height by 5 meters annually. The study shows that only global heating caused by human activities can explain the heavy melting. In previous work, local weather and the impact of air pollution had complicated the picture.

Serious consequences will be felt by those who rely on the great rivers that flow from the peaks into India, Pakistan, China and other nations. “It’s the climate crisis you haven’t heard of,” said Philippus Wester, at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, and said the new work was very convincing. “Increasingly uncertain and irregular water supplies will impact the 1 billion people living downstream from the Himalaya mountains in south Asia.”

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Trump’s EPA just replaced Obama’s signature climate policy with a much weaker rule

Posted by on Jun 20, 2019 @ 6:54 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Trump’s EPA just replaced Obama’s signature climate policy with a much weaker rule

The Environmental Protection Agency killed President Obama’s signature climate change policy, the Clean Power Plan. It’s one of the few definitive wins in the Trump administration’s full-court press to undo and weaken environmental regulations.

With the release of a replacement plan before an audience that included coal miners wearing reflective shirts and hard hats, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler finalized the end of the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The plan required states to meet targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and aimed to reduce US power sector emissions 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

The CPP’s replacement, the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, is drastically weaker. The ACE rule would lower emissions between 0.7 percent and 1.5 percent by 2030. It also cements an alarming reversal in US greenhouse gas emissions trends. US greenhouse gas emissions are on the rise after years of decline.

According to some researchers, the new policy itself could actually increase greenhouse gas emissions, even compared to business as usual. And according to the EPA’s own assessments, the proposal will lead to thousands more deaths from air pollution.

According to a study published in April in Environmental Research Letters, the ACE rule would lead to 28 percent of the power plants modeled in the study to emit more carbon dioxide by 2030 compared to a scenario with no policy at all.

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Be a Saturday Volunteer at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Posted by on Jun 18, 2019 @ 6:41 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Be a Saturday Volunteer at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Smokies Service Days begin on June 29th, 2019.

Individuals and families are invited to work alongside staff to care for park trails, picnic areas, campgrounds, and historic sites. Make new friends, earn service hours, and gain invaluable experience as you help keep our National Park clean and green. A segment of each Service Saturday is dedicated to insider-enrichment and exploration of the park. Projects run 9am – 1pm on Saturdays. Each project offers tasks that are suitable for all ages and abilities.

June 29, 2019: Clean-Up Cosby Campground
Prepare for the enjoyment of campers and help keep our wildlife wild! We’ll clear fire pits, pick up trash, remove leaf litter, and perform other campground maintenance.
Meeting Location: Cosby Campground (TN)
Time: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

July 13, 2019: Clean-Up Chimneys Picnic Area
July 4th leaves its mark on the park. We’ll prepare this popular picnic area for enjoyment of visitors by clearing debris from grills and removing litter from the grounds.
Meeting Location: Chimneys Picnic Area (TN)
Time: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

July 27, 2019: Clean-Up Elkmont Campground
Prepare for the enjoyment of campers and help keep wildlife wild! We’ll clear fire pits, pick up trash, remove leaf litter, and perform other campground maintenance.
Meeting Location: Elkmont Campground (TN)
Time: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

August 17, 2019: Clear Cosby Horse Trail (TN)
Make way for the horses! Help clear water drainages, and remove hazardous debris from the trail.
Meeting Location: Cosby Horse Trail, (TN)
Time: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

September 21, 2019: Remove Honeysuckle from the Sugarlands
Invasive plant species (even the sweet smelling ones) are not so sweet for ecological health of the Sugarlands. We’ll remove fast-growing honeysuckle vine growing found near the Visitor Center.
Meeting Location: Sugarlands Visitor Center (TN)
Time: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

October 5th, 2019: Mitigate Fire Risks in Elkmont’s Daisy Town
Help keep Daisy Town around! Rake leaves and remove debris from grounds of the historic houses.
Meeting Location: Daisy Town in Elkmont (TN)
Time: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Tools and safety gear are provided to participants.

To register for one or more dates, please call or email:
Andrew Mentrup
Community Volunteer Ambassador / Project Coordinator.

Participation on projects is limited to the supply of tools and equipment the park can provide. To ensure your spot, call before a project’s scheduled date.


Visiting the nation’s newest national park: Indiana Dunes

Posted by on Jun 16, 2019 @ 9:22 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Visiting the nation’s newest national park: Indiana Dunes

West Beach is sand — and not just a dusting of the stuff either, but the soft, deep, undulating variety you’d expect to find near a beach. In honor of its designation in February as the 61st and newest national park, this would be a good place to work across Indiana Dunes — formerly a national lakeshore.

It’s a popular place to catch some rays and swim from Memorial Day through Labor Day — and the only beach in the park with lifeguards during the high season. But on a cool, wind-whipped morning you can also get into hiking. The Dune Succession Trail loop is flat for a few paces and then it charges straight up more than 160 wooden steps to top a wooded dune and wows with immediate jaw-dropping views of the vista over Lake Michigan stretching as far as the skyline of Chicago, which is an hour’s drive away.

Continuing down through hardwoods and then evergreens, it’s hard to tell where the sound of gusting wind ends and the noise of lapping waves begins until the trail’s twists and turns finish on the lakeshore. Walking along near the edge of the water that turns from a brooding deep blue farther out to turquoise up close, one is reminded of how Lake Michigan serves as an ad hoc ocean in the landlocked Midwest.

To go so quickly from arriving at the park to seeing virtually forever is the kind of curbside pop that you get right out of the gate with this 15,000-acre, elongated park that runs along 15 miles of Lake Michigan, which is located in an otherwise heavily industrialized area.

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Hear the William Bartram story

Posted by on Jun 15, 2019 @ 9:19 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Hear the William Bartram story

On Friday, June 21, 2019, a hike along part of the Bartram Trail will impart stories of the man who inspired it, with N.C. Bartram Trail Society member Brent Martin leading the adventure. The hike is one of HCLT’s series of EcoTours available to its members. Anyone can become a member on the hike. Reserve a spot by contacting or 828.526.1111, or reserve online at

At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, 2019, Martin will present a program at The Village Green in Cashiers titled “Blazing Trails: looking into the natural and cultural history of the Bartram Trail.” The program is offered as part of the Green’s Village Nature Series, which brings in experts on various topic related to Cashiers’ natural and cultural heritage. Free.

Bartram traveled the southern colonies between 1773 and 1777, writing a series of books called Bartram’s Travels, published in 1791. They would become one of the first of a modern genre of books that portrayed nature through personal experience as well as scientific observation.

In 1977 the N.C. Bartram Trail Society was established and laid out about 78 miles of hiking trail to roughly parallel Bartram’s original travels.



How Much Nature Is Enough? 120 Minutes a Week, Doctors Say

Posted by on Jun 14, 2019 @ 7:23 am in Conservation | 0 comments

How Much Nature Is Enough? 120 Minutes a Week, Doctors Say

It’s a medical fact: Spending time outdoors, especially in green spaces, is good for you.

A wealth of research indicates that escaping to a neighborhood park, hiking through the woods, or spending a weekend by the lake can lower a person’s stress levels, decrease blood pressure and reduce the risk of asthma, allergies, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, while boosting mental health and increasing life expectancy. Doctors around the world have begun prescribing time in nature as a way of improving their patients’ health.

One question has remained: How long, or how frequently, should you experience the great outdoors in order to reap its great benefits? Is there a recommended dose? Just how much nature is enough?

According to a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, the answer is about 120 minutes each week.

The study examined data from nearly 20,000 people who recorded their activities for a survey from 2014 to 2016 in England. It found that people who spent two hours a week or more outdoors reported being in better health and having a greater sense of well-being than people who didn’t get out at all.

Spending just 60 or 90 minutes in nature did not have as significant an effect, and five hours a week in nature offered no additional health benefits.

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Celebrating Cosby in the Smokies: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Posted by on Jun 13, 2019 @ 6:50 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Celebrating Cosby in the Smokies: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials invite the public to attend “Celebrating Cosby: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” community programs on Fridays beginning June 14, 2019 through August 2, 2019 at the Cosby Campground Amphitheater. The programs honor the rich cultural and natural history of the Cosby area through music, storytelling, and history walks.

“These programs offer incredible opportunities for visitors to discover Cosby by experiencing it firsthand with the people who live and work here,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “We are grateful to our friends from the local community who are leading these unique experiences.”

Programs feature local musicians, storytellers, craftsmen, and former residents who once lived in the park. Visitors are invited to step back in time during these summer programs to experience the music and mountain ways of people living in the Cosby area both then and now.

“We are so happy that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is bringing this program to our Cosby Campground,” said Cocke Country Partnership Tourist Director, Linda Lewanski. “We all know how talented our Cocke County folks are and we are delighted to be able to showcase them.”

All programs will be held at the Cosby Campground Amphitheater unless otherwise specified. In the event of rain, “Celebrating Cosby” programs will move to the covered picnic pavilion adjacent to Cosby Campground. Programs will be held rain or shine. Visitors are welcome to find seating in the amphitheater or bring their own chairs or blankets.

For more information, please contact Park Ranger Katie Corrigan at 865-436-1257 or

Program Schedule:

• June 14, 4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Flag Day Ceremony at the Cosby Picnic Pavilion

Join William Cocke, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 102, Parrottsville Quilts of Valor Foundation, American Veterans Post 75, and American Legion Post 41 for a moving tribute to veterans buried at Tritt Cemetery including the placement of flags and roll call.

• June 14, 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Mountain Edge Band

Enjoy traditional bluegrass music featuring Judge Carter Moore, Andy Williams, Jamie Clark, and Limmie Workman.

• June 21, 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Moonshiners

Learn about making moonshine in the mountains featuring Mark Ramsey, Digger Manes, and Kelly Williamson.

• June 28, 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Children of Cosby Yesterday and Today

Join Park Ranger Katie Corrigan and Ginger Sue Cantrell as they introduce visitors to hands-on learning experiences from the past to now with a visit to Mountain Rest School.

• July 5 at 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Celebrating Ella V. Costner

Enjoy stories of the famed “Poet Laureate of the Smokies,” Ella Costner, who grew up in Cosby before joining the army as a nurse and becoming a prolific writer. This evening will include a Presentation of Quilts of Valor.

• July 12 at 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. A Walk Down Memory Lane

Join Imogene Wilson and Olie Williamson as they take on a walk remembering what the area looked like before the creation of the national park.

• July 19 at 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Cherokee Storytelling and Dance

Learn about the Cherokee culture stories through dance and storytelling featuring members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian.

• July 26 at 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. An Evening of Artifacts

Join Park Archaeologist Allison Harvey and local experts to dive into local history including discussions on hunting and firearms by Randall Bradly; spinning wheels by Shane McGaha and Judy McGaha; and the making of lye soap by Imogene Wilson.

• August 2 at 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Old-Timey Music with Richard Bennett

Enjoy traditional old-timey music with Richard Bennett who once played with Bill Monroe.


Smokies National Park Hosts 2019 Women’s Work Festival

Posted by on Jun 11, 2019 @ 7:30 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Smokies National Park Hosts 2019 Women’s Work Festival

Great Smoky Mountains National Park will host the annual Women’s Work Festival at the Mountain Farm Museum on Saturday, June 15, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The festival honors the vast contributions made by the women of Southern Appalachia. Park staff and volunteers will showcase mountain lifeways and customs that women practiced to care for their families in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

As part of the celebration, demonstrations among the historic buildings will include hearth cooking, soap making, corn shuck crafts, and use of plants for home remedies. Exhibits of artifacts and historic photographs will also provide a glimpse into the many and varied roles of rural women. The Davis-Queen house will be open for visitors to walk through with an audio exhibit featuring the last child born in the house.

In addition to the Women’s Work Festival activities, visitors will also be treated to a music jam session on the porch of the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. Music jam sessions are held every first and third Saturday of the month from May through October on the porch from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

All activities are free to the public. The Mountain Farm Museum is located on Newfound Gap Road adjacent to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, 2 miles north of Cherokee, North Carolina. For additional information call the visitor center at 828-497-1904.


The Maine Coast Heritage Trust has preserved many acres on Maine’s Frenchboro Island, saving it from second-home development

Posted by on Jun 9, 2019 @ 9:51 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

The Maine Coast Heritage Trust has preserved many acres on Maine’s Frenchboro Island, saving it from second-home development

In the late 1990s, 940 acres on Frenchboro, or roughly two-thirds of the island, was listed for sale. Frenchboro is an island of the coast of Maine, accessible by ferry. Fearing this spectacular property would be purchased for subdivision and seasonal home development, concerned island residents forged a partnership with the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, the Island Institute and the Maine Seacoast Mission to conserve the land. A massive fund-raising effort ensued, and in 2000 the parcel was acquired by MCHT.

In 2011, the entirety of Rich’s Head, 192 acres on the eastern edge of Frenchboro connected by a narrow seawall, was donated to MCHT by David Rockefeller, the noted philanthropist and Mount Desert Island summer denizen. Eleven acres around Little Beach have since been acquired, bringing MCHT’s land holdings on Frenchboro to its present 1,143 acres, and making the conservation project one of the largest the organization has taken on.

There’s not much to Frenchboro, also known as Long Island. A school and a church, and a deli on the opposite side of the harbor. Some 50 people reside year-round on Frenchboro, and most make their living by lobster fishing.

At the edge of the village, a white building houses the library and historical society. A foot trail departs from the left side of the library, and 100 yards into the woods there’s an information kiosk with a trail map. A half-mile beyond is Big Beach, the open ocean, and the start of one mighty fine hiking adventure.

The interior of Frenchboro is a thick forest of spruce and fir, while the coastline is rocky and rugged. A narrow trail threads a path along the margin of woods and water for eight incredible miles you won’t soon forget.

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