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On Tuesday, July 26, at 7 p.m. renowned nature photographer, Bill Lea, will present “Understanding the Black Bear,” a free lecture, as part of the Village Nature Series at the Village Commons in Village Green, Cashiers.

Capturing images of wildlife, scenery, wildflowers, and a variety of other natural subjects in “just the right light” has long been the trademark of Lea’s photography. He may best be known for his artistic documentation of deer and bear behavior, the various moods of the Great Smoky Mountains, and southern ecosystems.

Photographing in the Smokies since 1975 has afforded this photographer limitless opportunities to observe and record the flora, fauna and scenery of the region.


USDA Forest Service seeks public comment on recreation uses on upper segment of Chattooga Wild and Scenic River

USDA Forest Service officials have released an environmental assessment (EA) on managing recreation uses on the upper segment of the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River for 30-day public review. The announcement includes selection of a preferred alternative that would allow high-quality whitewater boating on the upper river in the winter and preserve a boat-free experience for other users the rest of the year. It also would protect the trout angling experience year round in the Nicholson Fields Reach which includes the popular Delayed Harvest trout fishery between Reed Creek and the Highway 28 bridge.


Next in ‘Gardening’ series naturalist Karen Lindauer to present ‘Create a Wildlife Habitat’

The next program of the series Gardening for Wildlife hosted by the Friends of the Rickman Store will take place at the Store next Sunday, July 17, at 3 p.m. Karen Lindauer, member of the Georgia Native Plant Society and team leader at Georgia Perimeter College Botanical Gardens will present the program “Create a Wildlife Habitat Using Native Plants.”

Lindauer will share practical information on the importance of using native plants to promote biodiversity and encourage wildlife in our backyards. The program will highlight native plant benefits over exotic species, the role of insects and birds in sustaining balance as well as water collection and selection of specific native species for our area.



Western Carolina University has won a $5,000 grant from a bicycle parts manufacturer to support construction of a multi-use, community trail system on campus.

The grant is from Specialized Bicycle Components based in Morgan Hill, Calif., through a program in which the company awards grants to advocacy initiatives supported by Specialized dealers. Project support from Motion Makers Bicycle Shop, which has stores in Sylva and Asheville, made the grant possible for WCU trail development.

“The grant from Specialized is significant because it will not only go toward the construction costs for the trail system, but also provide seed money to help us qualify for other grants,” said Josh Whitmore, director of outdoor programs at WCU.


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