The Rotary Club of Franklin presents RiverFest 2 :: Saturday, August 29 from 8:30am - 12:30pm along the Little Tennessee River :: click here for more information!

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Outdoors

Drought has returned to North Carolina for the first time in more than two years.

Lack of adequate rainfall and hot temperatures have thrust 20 North Carolina counties in portions of Central and Western North Carolina into a moderate drought, according to the state’s drought map, which is updated every Thursday. Fifty-one other counties in a swath from Eastern to Western North Carolina are abnormally dry, which means they are not experiencing drought but could be if dry conditions persist. The latest drought map can be found at www.ncdrought.org.

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Paddling enthusiasts have a new access location along the Little Tennessee River on Lake Emory. The site adds to a growing list of recreation areas and amenities offered by Duke Energy in the Western North Carolina region.

The Franklin Canoe Portage opened earlier this month and includes a canoe/kayak courtesy dock, a gravel parking lot and informational signage.

“We continue to focus on providing new amenities, enhancing access areas, and offering quality recreation facilities to residents and visitors,” said John Crutchfield, Duke Energy director, public safety & recreation strategy planning services.

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Five candidates from Lyndon B. Johnson Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center (LBJCCC) have been selected through a rigorous interviewing process with the Blue Ridge Ranger District of the Chattahoochee- Oconee National Forest to do an eight-week internship in Blairsville, Ga., with the Youth Conservation Corps in partnership with the Greening Youth Foundation which began June 1.

During this internship, students Maurice Cason, Tyshawn Campbell, Alfreda Phillips, Edson Vargas, and Lakendrick Johnson will gain exposure in wildlife fisheries and dispersed recreation management, trail maintenance, as well as fuel and timber management. The Youth Conservation Corps seeks to “inspire and engage volunteers and service participants to conserve our nation’s natural and cultural resources and ensure the sustainability of public lands legacy.”

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The U.S. Forest Service held its annual Kids Fishing Day at Cliffside Lake near Highlands on Saturday. The event gives children ages 15 and younger the chance to catch a fish.

Booths and games with prizes were sponsored by the Highlands Recreation Department along with the town of Highlands.

The Cradle of Forestry offered hot dogs to hungry fishermen.

According to organizers the event allows families and friends to share in the fun and quality outdoor time together while learning about one of the nation’s pastimes – fishing.

Kids Fishing Day was planned in conjunction with National Fishing and Boating week May 31-June 7.

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