US Forest Service

Tony Webster / Wikimedia Commons

As visitors return to Western North Carolina’s trails and parklands, they’re leaving mounds of trash behind them.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

FIND THE LATEST COVID-19 CASE COUNT IN NORTH CAROLINA HERE.  FOR ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS CLICK HERE.  

The U.S. Forest Service is closing several popular trails and recreation spots in the Pisgah National Forest due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The U.S. Forest Service says is arson is the suspected cause of a wildfire reported Sunday night near the Lake Appalachia Dam in Cherokee County.  It’s estimated at 80 acres in size on land owned by the Forest Service and the Tennessee Valley Authority.  

U.S. Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service says a wildfire that started last month on famed Cold Mountain in the Pisgah National Forest in Haywood County is now out.  Investigators for the first have said they believe humans are the cause of the fire, and are reminding campers that campfires are not allowed in wilderness areas.

Lilly Knoepp

The U.S. Forest Service has announced that its long-awaited forest management plan will be released in February 2020.

The Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Plan has been in development for over five years. The plan is a strategic framework for how the over 1 million acres of the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests will be managed for at least the next 10 years.

US Forest Service

Hazardous conditions due to rockslides that occurred last weekend have closed the Nantahala River through the Nantahala Gorge according to the U.S. Forest Service.  That means all boating and other uses are prohibited through one of the most popular areas for outdoor water recreation in the region.  

Lilly Knoepp

  As the federal government remains partially shutdown for a third week, volunteers and nonprofits are stepping up to keep parks clean.

 

You’ve probably seen a Friends of the Smokies license plate on the back of a car. Funds from those plates help make up the $1.5 million the organization gives to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park each year.  But sometimes the need goes beyond those regular funds.

 

USFS

An increase in bear encounters has prompted  the U.S. Forest Service to consider clamping down on food storage rules for campers in parts of Western North Carolina. BPR's Helen Chickering has details. 

US Forest Service

The Disaster Recovery Act passed by North Carolina Lawmakers in the special session will help with wildfire relief efforts here in Western North Carolina.

Just over 25 million dollars will go to the North Carolina Forest Service for wildfire response expenses and timber restoration.  Arson is suspected in most of the fires.