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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Each year between Jan. 15 and Aug. 15, the U.S. Forest Service closes several rock faces in Western North Carolina to recreational activities, including rock climbing, to protect the rare peregrine falcons that nest there. Peregrine falcons mate for life and return to the same site each year…

The Nantahala National Forest has begun seasonal road closures on the Nantahala Ranger District. Closing roads to motorized vehicles seasonally helps reduce road maintenance costs. It also decreases wildlife disturbance so they can conserve energy while food is scarce.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

To the undiscerning eye, fallen limbs and trees are a cluttered eyesore, warranting immediate removal or camouflage in order to avoid disrupting the appearance of a landscape.

Boys and girls ... please step away from the screens! Put everything on mute. Go outside. Saunter to a different room. Do something different! Remote learning is amazing and difficult – all at the same time – and youth (and adults!) are tired of time in front of a computer or other screen. E…

Wednesday, January 06, 2021
Wednesday, December 30, 2020

We’re all familiar with mushrooms, the fruiting bodies of fungi that use their lofty above-ground locations to spread spores far and wide. But the true lives and benefits of fungi lie much deeper than simple mushrooms, and are largely out of site from the casual observer. There are an estima…

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

This is the season of giving, and what better thing to give than a gift? Whether the present you’ve just received is the newest piece of cool tech or a pair of socks a few sizes too small, it’s of course the thought that counts.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

It’s that time of year again, the time of year all livestock farmers dread – winter. Winter can be a challenge when it comes to maintaining the health of our livestock herds.

Every holiday season, households in the U.S. throw away 25 percent more trash than any other time of the year. If each family in the U.S. wrapped just three of their holiday gifts in reusable materials this year, it’d save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

The following excerpt is from “A Guide to the Wonderful World Around Us: Notes on Nature,” by Sylva Herald contributor Brannen Basham. Get the book at City Lights Bookstore, order it at sprigglys.com, or find the audiobook version on Audible.

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

In January 2019, I published an article in the Herald about the troubling effects that rising CO2 levels are having on our atmosphere, and in turn, our environment. Specifically, I focused on the troubling changes in plant growth and pollen protein levels being seen among our flowering flora.

Ch-ch-ch-chia. Did that phrase bring back memories of commercials singing about those beloved chia pets you could grow on your own at home? I can remember thinking it would be neat to grow my own chia pet but unfortunately I never convinced my parents to buy the As Seen On TV item.

This fall, Great Smoky Mountains Association, in partnership with Carolina Mountain Club, released an updated version of the “100 Favorite Trails of the Smokies and the Carolina Blue Ridge” map and guide.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The autumn leaves have almost entirely fallen off the trees, but don’t fret, you can still enjoy them as a critical part of your compost. Composting is a relatively easy tool that will not only reduce the waste your household creates, but it can support your plants’ and soil health.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020
  • Updated

Wax is more important to modern life than you might realize. If you’ve recently eaten an apple, lit a candle, used lotion, chewed gum or driven on a tire, you’ve come into contact with some of the most common modern applications of wax 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

As we have all likely observed during the last few months, some of the deadliest threats to our everyday lives come in microscopic packages.

In recognition of the service and sacrifice of members of the armed forces, the N.C. Forest Service is offering a 20 percent discount on tree seedling orders placed by active, honorably discharged or retired military personnel during November. The discount applies to the first $500 of all ne…

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

It can be easy to feel like a top dog as a human, living in our gilded houses and zooming from place to place in a variety of sleek luxury vehicles.

On Oct. 1 Eddie Woodhouse, N.C. State executive director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency, visited with farmers in Swain and Jackson counties.

Biologists with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission are asking the public to help them monitor the potential spread of a deadly rabbit disease that has not yet been observed in North Carolina’s rabbit populations.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Traditional turfgrass lawns are a pain. Most patches require a significant investment in time, money, water and sometimes even repeated chemical applications every growing season to keep them in top shape. This can be a drain on both the property owner, their wallet and the environment.

This holiday season might be a little different than past seasons have been. We might not gather with as many people, family members might choose to wear a mask, some families might try to serve meals outside if the weather cooperates, but one thing should remain the same and that is making …

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

As your landscapes begin their fall decline, formerly lush and colorful plantings begin to turn into a collage of browns, blacks and faded greens.

Although there are several species of native stink bugs, the invasive pest which was first reported in North Carolina in 2009 is the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB).

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

As late summer has quickly turned to early fall, you might have noticed an abundance of white, violet, and blue flowers in the area’s open fields, woodland edges, gardens, and even along untamed roadsides. The vast majority of these flowers are asters, a varied mix of long-lasting native per…

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Let’s talk about Halloween and Christmas and summer camp. What?! You may be thinking “I can’t even plan what’s happening next week, how can I think about that?!”

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Dipping a toe into local streams is normally a great experience, unless said toe comes into contact with an extra-slimy surface.