Stephanie B. Jeffries: Free the Phoenix: Fire and Rebirth in Linville Gorge

Controversy rages over fire policy in Linville Gorge, which was the first designated Federal Wilderness in the East with the passage of the Wilderness Act in 1964. Currently, the policy is to suppress any fires that threaten manmade structures, but to allow lower-intensity lightning-strike fires to burn. The latest management plan proposes prescribed burns in the Gorge to promote pines and rare plants and to reduce fuel loads. Homeowners in the Gingercake Acres development, perched on the eastern rim of the Gorge, understandably worry about risk to their homes. Advocacy organizations like Save the Linville Gorge Wilderness argue that fire destroys the wild character of the landscape. Skeptics scoff that the Forest Service maintains only an illusion of control over something as unpredictable and powerful as fire. Continue Reading Stephanie B. Jeffries: Free the Phoenix: Fire and Rebirth in Linville Gorge

Road Trip, Anyone? Check out Music Festivals in Western NC!

Looking for something new, fun and relatively inexpensive to do this summer? Several counties and towns in western North Carolina offer a variety of festivals, celebrations, and cultural events that feature bluegrass music, dance, and traditional food of Southern Appalachia. The festivals in western NC are a sample of what is offered all along the… Continue Reading Road Trip, Anyone? Check out Music Festivals in Western NC!