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Biologists recently confirmed the presence of a pair of whooping cranes outside Hayesville, North Carolina, marking the first time the birds have been documented wintering in Western North Carolina.

Whooping cranes are one of the rarest species in the world, with a current estimated global population between 525-550 individuals, which is divided into four main groups. All wild whooping cranes are part of a western population that migrates between Canada and coastal Texas and now numbers approximately 300.


Seven billion dollars. That’s the figure that local food sales are predicted to reach nationally in 2012 according to a report released last month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. ASAP estimates that Western North Carolina consumers alone purchased $62 million of local food in 2010, a fourfold increase since the Asheville-based nonprofit’s Appalachian Grown™ certification and branding program began in 2007. The organization’s recent consumer survey explains the increase: understanding that local food benefits local communities.

“We are way ahead of the rest of the country when it comes to supporting local farms,” says Charlie Jackson, ASAP’s executive director. ASAP’s survey, conducted this spring in the greater-Asheville area (Buncombe, Madison, and Henderson counties) and the state’s six westernmost counties found that a majority (55%) of respondents reported spending over onetenth of their food budget on locally grown products. More than 80% of respondents say they choose local food because the purchases help support local farms and contribute to the local economy.


New Wave Shaper completed at the Nantahala Outdoor Centerpiece

After a monthlong construction process, Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) has finally completed installation of a world class wave shaper into the river. The river’s newest addition was created for the Kayaking World Championship which will come to Nantahala in September 2013.

The first group to break ground on the 2013 World Championship competition site will include the President and CEO of NOC, Sutton Bacon, teamed up with NOC Founder Payson Kennedy, Endless River Adventures Founder Juliet Kastorff, among others.


At this deer camp at Hurricane Creek in Standing Indian, the structure is put up and taken down for deer season.

The hunters, mostly from Cherokee County, said they have been camping here for about 30 years and has become somewhat of a tradition.

Every year a little something gets added to it.


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