HAPPY LABOR DAY! :: Monday, September 1, 2014

- published 8/21 (Larry) old link: http://www1.cfnc.org/applications/NC_Community_College/apply.html?application_id=1527

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Outdoors

Elk once roamed the southern Appalachian Mountains and elsewhere in the eastern United States. They were eliminated from the region by over-hunting and loss of habitat. By 1900, the population of elk in North America dropped to the point that hunting groups and other conservation organizations became concerned the species was headed for extinction.

In early 2001, the first elk set foot into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park since the turn of the 19th century. This was the beginning of an experiment to see if an elk herd could sustain itself in the area after about a 200- year absence.

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Western Carolina University organizations are co-sponsoring the third annual Citizens Race, a competition for amateur paddlers on a calm section of the Tuckaseigee River on Saturday, Sept. 10.

Participants are timed as they paddle canoes, kayaks or stand-up paddle boards through nine slalom gales, which are plastic poles hung over the water about three feet apart, on a flat section of the river off Old Cullowhee Road. Canoes, life jackets and paddles will be provided for participants who do not have their own equipment.

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The annual prediction from Kathy Mathews, Western Carolina University’s fearless fall foliage forecaster, should make chamber of commerce officials across the Western North Carolina mountains happy this year.

That’s because Mathews is calling for an excellent fall color show, thanks in large part to weather conditions over the spring and summer.

“2011 should prove to be an excellent year for fall color,” said Mathews, WCU associate professor of biology specializing in plant systematics. “While heavy spring rain is generally not a good sign for fall color, records indicate that rainfall was slightly below normal for March, average for April and May, and slightly below normal for June and July, as gardeners struggled to keep their crops watered,” she said. “These conditions actually are promising for good development of leaf color in September and October.”

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ATC says about one in four attempts are successful

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) announces that it has received more than 12,000 reported 2,000 mile hikers applications. Each year, thousands of hikers attempt a thru-hike the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) but only about one in four make it all the way.

To qualify as a 2,000 miler, hikers must walk the entire estimated 2,180 miles of the A.T. This journey travels through fourteen states ranging from the southern terminus at Springer Mountain, Georgia, to the Trail’s northern terminus at Katahdin, Maine.

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published: 10/18/2013
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