Remembering 9/11 :: September 11, 2001

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

Click for Franklin, North Carolina Forecast

Outdoors

Grandfather Mountain's otter habitat closed temporarily this week for renovations — and an important acclimation process for the Mountain's newest otter.

Work on the habitat is expected to begin in mid- to late March and should take only three to four weeks if weather conditions allow.

The renovations will not affect visitor access to the bear, deer, cougar and eagle habitats.

During initial construction of the otter habitat in 1996, a water-resistant membrane was punctured, allowing rain to seep through the upper portion toward the underwater viewing area structure.

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According to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission the geese are here with good reason.

Over the past 60 years the migratory Canada Geese have diminished substantially due to changes in farm practices in the region and farther north, which has caused the geese to stop their migration farther south.

The local migratory population became so low in the 1980s that the NCWRC and numerous other state agencies released Canada Geese with a low desire to migrate.

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Explore America’s most visited national park on guided hiking tours with Friends of the Smokies. See stunning vistas, tumbling waterfalls, and discover the hidden gems of Great Smoky Mountains National Park with the 2014 Classic Hikes of the Smokies.

Classic Hikes of the Smokies feature interpretation and leadership by celebrated outdoor author, blogger, and hiking expert, Danny Bernstein (Hiking North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Heritage).

“The monthly hikes have brought together a diverse group of people: new hikers and experienced hikers, people who are new to the area and people who have spent their whole lives in the Smokies,” says hike leader Danny Bernstein. “I'll point out a new flower or chimney and there's usually someone who can add personal story to what we find on the trail.”

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Dear EarthTalk: What is the latest prognosis for wind energy to command a larger piece of the renewable energy pie? – Peter M., Akron, Ohio

Hydroelectric sources of power dwarf other forms of renewable energy, but wind power has been a dominant second for years, and continues to show growth moving forward. According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), global cumulative installed wind capacity—the total amount of wind power available—50-fold in less than two decades, from just 6,100 megawatts (MW) in 1996 to 318,137 MW in 2013.

And the future looks brighter still. Analysts from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) predict that wind will account for the largest share—30 percent—of new renewables added to the global power grid by 2030. That new renewables are expected to account for as much as 70 percent of all new power sources over the next 20 years means that wind is poised to become a major player on the global energy scene.

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