The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area is dotted with small towns and cities with downtowns and neighborhoods that have been officially designated as Historic Districts in North Carolina. Some of these quaint small Appalachian towns began as post-Revolutionary War settlements. Others evolved from 19th-century farm communities or as a direct result of the coming of the railroad to Western North Carolina after the Civil War.
This document presents a revised framework for the classification of natural communities in North Carolina. Natural communities are central to the work of the Natural Heritage Program. Tracking occurrences of good examples of them comprises a major portion of the program’s inventory and database work. Natural communities are important components of biodiversity. They also represent a crucial means of conserving species diversity, as they offer a means of capturing many of the poorly known and un-tracked species that occur in them. The classification of natural communities has also proved useful for a variety of other purposes, including guiding research, organizing ecological information, characterizing sites, and defining habitat for particular species.
Books and publications recommended by George Ellison on North Carolina’s natural heritage:
Exploring North Carolina’s Natural Areas: Parks, Nature Preserves, and Hiking Trails (UNC Press, 2000) edited by Dirk Frakenberg, is a collection of 36 Tour Guides divided among the coastal, coastal plain, piedmont and the mountains.
Wildflowers and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachians and Waterfalls and Wildflowers in the Southern Appalachians: Thirty Great Hikes (UNC Press) by Timothy P. Spira
At 250 million years of age, the Appalachians are now passing through the mature phase that such violently uplifted terrain experiences as it erodes and becomes extraordinarily diverse in two regards: plant life and distinctive natural communities.
Those benchmarks apply to the entire range from the Gaspe Peninsula in Canada to the foothills of Alabama. But the greatest diversity, in both regards, is attained in the Southern Blue Ridge Province, which extends from just south of Roanoke in Virginia to Mount Oglethorpe in north Georgia, encompassing portions of east Tennessee, Western North Carolina and northwest South Carolina. Continue reading
OUR VISION: MountainTrue envisions Western North Carolina with thriving communities that are connected to and help sustain a healthy natural environment. To achieve this, MountainTrue will foster and empower advocates throughout the region to be engaged in policy and project advocacy, outreach and education, and on the ground projects. MountainTrue will be known as the region’s best respected and highest impact conservation organization and will be seen as a national model. http://mountaintrue.org/about-us/
Saturday June 2nd and 16th, RiverLink’s nature guru Worth McAlister and expert birder Bob Wilson embarked on early morning journeys into the exciting world of avian friends, along with about a dozen local nature enthusiasts. Armed with binoculars and field guides, the groups headed out from French Broad River Park to see how many bird species could be encountered, in just a few hours’ time, along the Wilma Dykeman RiverWay. The crews were amazed and thrilled with what they found.
“The species abundance along this section of river corridor is incredible,” says participant Bryan Hill. The groups moved cautiously along the trails in and around the park, with eyes and ears on alert for bird activity. The groups focused on sight and song identification, and discussion on distinguishing characteristics for each species encountered.
Wilson says the key to the species abundance in this particular area is thanks to an expanse of early successional habitat in the flood plain, (which is made up annuals, perennials, grasses, brambles, and shrubs), along with the river and mature forest that border on either side. This creates a mosaic of habitat conditions that can sustain a wide variety of species.
Here is the list of birds seen and heard by the two groups:
Great Blue Heron Eastern Bluebird
Turkey Vulture American Robin
Rock Pigeon Northern Mockingbird
Mourning Dove Brown Thrasher
Chimney Swift European Starling
Ruby-throated Hummingbird Cedar Waxwing
Red-bellied Woodpecker Common Yellowthroat
Downy Woodpecker Yellow-breasted Chat
Pileated Woodpecker Eastern Towhee
Acadian Flycatcher Chipping Sparrow
Willow Flycatcher Song Sparrow
Eastern Phoebe Northern Cardinal
Eastern Kingbird Indigo Bunting
White-eyed Vireo Red-winged Blackbird
Red-eyed Vireo Common Grackle
Blue Jay Brown-headed Cowbird
American Crow Orchard Oriole
Northern Rough-winged Swallow Baltimore Oriole
Cliff Swallow House Finch
Barn Swallow American Goldfinch
Carolina Chickadee House Sparrow
Make sure to join RiverLink in July for nature walks focusing on “Macroinvertebrates: Land & Water.”
Outings will be held Saturday July 7 at 10AM, and Saturday July 21 at 3PM.
For more information contact Worth McAlister at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call at (828) 252-8474 x 17.
Outdoor Adventure in Asheville, NC Welcome to the Asheville Adventure Guide-your guide to hiking, biking, running, paddling, family friendly, events, and dog friendly adventures in Asheville, NC including Pisgah National Forest, Bent Creek, DuPont State Forest, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mountains to See Trail, and more. Asheville Adventure Guide
Things to do in, about and around Asheville, North Carolina online The Asheville Scene Year Round
You never know what travel treats await you on this page! Each month we’ll create a listing of new and exciting women-centered opportunities that tour operators and suppliers want you to know about. So come back often and look for that special treat that will make your female traveller’s heart sing.
P.S. Don’t forget to check out our Women’s Travel Directory hosting the web’s largest selection of female-friendly travel opportunities.
Three hundred years ago, the southern Appalachians were home to the sovereign Cherokee Nation. Over fifty towns and settlements were connected by a well-worn system of foot trails, some of which later became wagon roads turnpiked by Cherokee turnpike companies. This Indian trail system, which climaxed around 1800, was the blueprint for the basic circuitry of the region’s modern road and interstate system.
Stagnant European economies and the discovery of new natural resources sparked competitive world markets that led to wars between nations to procure land, gold, furs and slaves from North America. By the 1700’s, the British, French and Spanish were fighting for control of the modern Southeast. Continue reading
The Astronomy Club of Asheville is a501(c)3, non-profit organization that is open to visitors and is dedicated to helping people understand and enjoy astronomy at all levels of interest. No equipment is needed to participate. Many of us have one or more telescopes and either observe or image or both. Some of us observe using only binoculars or our unaided eyes. But all of us love the night sky, and we enjoy both learning more about it and sharing our knowledge of it with others. Click here for Meeting and Star Gazes
Ever have times you just kinda’ wanna’” get away; free your mind from the details of every day living? Well, if that‘s so, I have just the trip for you to take—a trip to Abingdon, Virgina. In fact, I took such a trip just the other weekend with a friend and enjoyed it so much; I just knew I had to share it with my friends and neighbors.
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