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Outdoors

Work on recreation and habitat enhancements on the way

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued two of six new federal hydro licenses to Duke Energy for Nantahala Area hydro stations, which kickstarts processes for a variety of public recreation and aquatic habitat enhancements in the Tuckasegee River watershed.

The licenses issued today cover hydro developments on the East Fork (Tanasee Creek, Bear Creek and Cedar Cliff hydro stations) and West Fork (Thorpe and Tuckasegee hydro stations) of the Tuckasegee River. Licenses for hydro stations on the Nantahala River watershed and others are expected soon.

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NCWF condemns attack on state wildlife, natural resource conservation programs

The North Carolina Wildlife Federation (NCWF), one of the state’s oldest and leading conservation organizations dedicated to wildlife and resource-based outdoor recreation, expressed serious concerns over a bill that would handcuff natural resource agencies.

NCWF executive director Tim Gestwicki stated, “S781 takes an axe to rulemaking by the state environmental agencies, the wildlife commission, and the marine fisheries commission. The result: North Carolina will slide in keeping sediment out of trout streams; polluted lakes and estuaries won’t get cleaned up as fast, or ever; fish will remain contaminated with mercury, threatening sportsmen’s families. Basic management of fish and wildlife will slip as agencies unexpectedly find they have to seek new legislative approval for decisions that have always been properly left to wildlife managers.”

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On Tuesday, June 28, at 7 p.m., Michael Skinner of Balsam Mountain Trust will bring several birds of prey to the Village Commons at the Crossroads in Cashiers for “Hunters of the Sky,” a presentation of the Village Nature Series.

This is a rare opportunity to learn about the Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, and other birds of prey, and maybe fly a Harris Hawk.

Before working at Balsam Mountain Trust, Skinner was the Emmy nominated host of “Georgia Outdoors” on Georgia Public Television.

 

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Western North Carolina’s green economy is growing — and getting cleaner. A coalition of leaders from the economic development, education and government sectors is creating a business strategy to generate jobs and entrepreneurial startups, attract public and private investment and position the region as a global leader in clean energy innovation.

The initiative brings together representatives from across Western North Carolina to develop a cohesive approach to grow and market the region’s potential in energy efficiency, renewable energy and clean vehicles industries. Led by Asheville-based Land-of-Sky Regional Council, partners in the project include AdvantageWest, the economic development partnership serving Western North Carolina, and the five other westernmost Regional Councils of Government: the High Country Council of Governments, based in Boone; the Isothermal Planning and Development Commission, based in Rutherfordton; the Northwest Piedmont Council of Governments, based in Winston-Salem; the Southwestern Commission, based in Sylva; and the Western Piedmont Council of Governments, based in Hickory.

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