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Despite a slow start due to rain, the restoration project on the dam at Lake Sequoyah in Highlands is steadily continuing and on track for a May completion date.

"While it has taken longer than we had hoped to drain the lake due to a six- inch rain event and three, one-inch rain events and nine inches of snow melt off, we have moved forward," said Highlands Town Manager Bob Frye. "Every one inch of rain raises the lake by five feet. Even with all of that, we will meet our construction schedules."

Since early February, the bed at Lake Sequoyah has been exposed as water has been drained and pumped out of the lake in order to complete dam repairs and to install a new water intake valve. The new intake valve, which is being built upstream from the dam on town property, is expected to supply two million gallons of drinking water per day.


The Franklin Appalachian Trail (A.T.) Community Council (FATCC) is announcing the implementation of an initiative to promote healthy living and a love and knowledge of the outdoors.

In the very near future, 10 day packs will be outfitted with the necessary supplies for day hikes in the areas surrounding Franklin. These day packs will be available for check out to the public at the Macon County Public Library with the hope of encouraging more people in Macon County to explore the Appalachian Trail and other hiking trails in the area by providing them with the necessary equipment. These day packs will give new and aspiring hikers the basic essentials to feel confident in the outdoors. The day packs will include items like maps, guides to native wildflowers and trees, and a first aid kit, among other items. Two other designated Appalachian Trail Communities have implemented similar programs with success and were encouraged to hear of the FATCC’s efforts to propagate the A.T. library day pack project. Franklin is one of 37 designated A.T. Communities. Franklin was the first formally designated on March 23, 2010.


Online registration begins Wednesday for Grandfather Mountain's annual Nature Photography Weekend, an exciting workshop for photographers planned for May 29-31.

The event features presentations from five renowned photographers, spectacular shooting opportunities on the mountain and a friendly but competitive photo contest.

The featured presenters for 2015 — Justin Black, Brian Call, Vinny Colucci, David Marx and Alistair Nicol — come from across the nation and will speak on a variety of photography topics encompassing both the technical and artistic elements of the craft.


The Appalachian Trail Conservancy joins parks, programs, and partners across the country to encourage everyone to find their park and share their stories online at Find YourPark.com.

Launched yesterday by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, Find Your Park is a public awareness and education campaign celebrating the milestone centennial anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016 and setting the stage for its second century of service.

Find Your Park invites the public to see that a national park can be more than a place—it can be a feeling, a state of mind, or a sense of American pride. Beyond vast landscapes, the campaign highlights historical, urban, and cultural parks, as well as the National Park Service programs that protect, preserve and share nature, culture, and history in communities nationwide.


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