Festival of Wreaths :: November, 10 - December 2 at Angel Medical Center :: click here for more info!

- 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 Smokies backpackers and bears bring in the New Year away from each other

While enjoying a visit to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, backpackers like to keep a respectable distance from black bears. With help from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and the Friends of the Smokies, they can continue to do so in some of the most backpacker friendly hiking in the Southern Appalachians. The ATC has provided $800 from its specialty license plate funds to help reduce black bear access to backpacker food along the Appalachian Trail (A.T.), a national park unit within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP).

Using the grant funds from the ATC, Park staff and volunteers have installed cables that backpackers and trail improvement crews use to store food out of the reach of black bears. Cabling systems were renovated at the Derrick Knob shelter along the A.T. and installed at the new base camp of the Rocky Top Trail crew.

According to GSMNP Wildlife Biologist, Bill Stiver, “The cables give visitors an effective method to store and secure food so that bears and other wildlife do not have access to human food.” By using the cables, backpackers are helping insure that wildlife are not unnaturally attracted inside the shelters. Keeping human food away from bears is one of the important steps we can take to keep bears and ourselves safe.

Backpackers in Great Smoky Mountains National Park can make use of improved food storage systems with help from Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Friends of the Smokies.Friends of the Smokies and the ATC have partnered in many additional ways to decrease the impacts on GSMNP from the heavy amount of use that the A.T. and Park see as well as impacts from overnight sites on wildlife. Privies have been repaired and all of the backcountry shelters along the A.T. in the Smokies recently renovated. Additionally, through the Ridgerunner program the two organizations provide a backcountry presence on the A.T. to help ensure a safe and pleasant experience.

“It’s all about working together to protect two great national parks, their visitors and their natural resources,” said Holly Demuth, North Carolina director of Friends of the Smokies. “We do best when we work together.”

About Friends of the Smokies

Since 1993, Friends of the Smokies has raised more than $37 million to help maintain Great Smoky Mountains National Park as a crown jewel of the national park system, including the establishment of the $4 million Trails Forever endowment to improve Smoky Mountain hiking trails in perpetuity.





Share


Weekly updates are in progress!

Grab your FREE copy of the
Macon County News
& Shopping Guide
on newsstands today!

Macon County News is now on:
Find the Macon County News on Facebook! and Find the Macon County News on twitter!
Facebook   Twitter