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Blog

Filtering by Tag: great

GSMNP NPS Goes CSI

leah kirk

Rogue bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park beware, the NPS now employs “CSI” tactics in response to bear attacks by resident bruin trouble makers. In what amounts to an innocence project for bears, NPS operatives have turned to modern forensic technology, including establishing DNA evidence data base to make sure they don't kill the wrong bear when a human is attacked in the mountains. Twice in the last two years the Park Service executed bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park only to find out through DNA evidence afterward it had the wrong suspects.

At this time submission for testing by bears is entirely voluntary. Bears showing up to blood work will receive a fully stocked picnic basket and red bandana to show Black Bear Lives Matter. At this time domesticated bears and those bears that are undocumented (i.e., “no Green Card), are not allowed into the DNA Data Base Program. 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Breaking Bad

leah kirk

Great Smoky Mountains National Park gang leaders are breaking bad again by proposing a fee in for campgrounds, pavilions and anything they shakedown John Q. Public.  User fees at Cades Creek and other front country campgrounds at Great Smoky Mountains National Park would increase under a new proposal. Three years ago, Great Smoky Mountains National Park didn't open some campgrounds and picnic areas due to funding short falls. Now, the park is proposing fee increases of up to 30 percent at all front country campgrounds and picnic pavilions to meet the rising costs of operations, reduce a backlog of maintenance requirements on park facilities, and initiate needed improvements. 

Carolina “Great Flood” Symposium

leah kirk

A century ago, Western North Carolina experienced possibly the worst natural disaster the region has ever seen.  July 15, 1916 was a day of extraordinary rain; one location along the Blue Ridge Parkway received 22 inches of rain in a 24-hour period. The mountains, historically a protector against weather extremes, prevented headwaters from spreading out to be absorbed into the high forests.  A dozen regional rivers raged down their channels, over their banks, and ravaged downstream communities.  The French Broad and the Swannanoa, swollen to unheard-of heights, devastated Hendersonville, Asheville, Biltmore, Marshall and many other communities lying in their watersheds.

What was the Great Flood of 1916 like, and what were its short-term and long-term impacts on Asheville and the surrounding area?  What lessons in emergency management did we learn in the hundred years between 1916 and 2016?  And are we prepared for the next floods that are sure to visit the French Broad River?

The symposium at Ferguson Auditorium on the AB Tech campus as we explore answers to these questions.  Several local organizations - Buncombe County Emergency Management, the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, RiverLink, Duke Power, the Western North Carolina Historical Association, the United States Geological Survey and the Wilma Dykeman Legacy - have come together to produce two days of innovative programming that promise to be both entertaining and informative.  The 2-day symposium is free to the public, so mark your calendars!  Attendees can purchase a copy of "So Great the Devastation," a 48-page heavily illustrated 4-color booklet about the Great Flood.