Last week, Blue Ridge RC&D and the Appalachian RC&D Fire Adapted Communities Coalition, attended the 15th International Wildland Fire Safety Summit and 5th Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire Conference in Asheville, NC. Fire researchers and practitioners from all over the world attended and shared valuable information, stories and insight regarding wildfires and humanity. Our coalition provided a panel session that had over 60 people attend. It was great to meet humans from across the globe with the same issues and concerns that we are dealing with. Excited to share and implement some new outreach and mitigation projects in 2019!
On May 5th, the Buck Mountain Community, in Wilkes County, hosted a Wildfire Preparedness day/Firewise Fair. Over 50 people attended and learned how to reduce wildfire risk around their homes and community. Information packets were provided to all attendees and a cook-out followed the outdoor information session. The community and local fire and emergency personnel also simulated a mock emergency (UTV crash) and response. The event was extremely successful and Buck Mountain was presented with their new Firewise USA communities sign. As a result of the event, existing partnerships were strengthened and new partnerships were developed. Thanks to Buck Mountain, the North Carolina Forest Service, Champion Fire Department, Wilkes County Emergency Management, Wilkes County Sheriff's Department, Wilkes County EMS, and Wilkes County Soil & Water Conservation District for a very successful event!
The Nolichucky River is a collaboration of the North Toe, South Toe, and Cane Rivers, and flows 115 miles through Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee. The Nolichucky traverses through Pisgah National Forest, Cherokee National Forest, and numerous private and state lands. These watersheds and waterways are nothing short of magnificent. we are fortunate enough to live in one of the most bio-diverse areas in North America.
It was wonderful to see a room full of people supporting the Nolichucky River and our natural resources.
River related science stations were set up along the North Toe River in Avery County for the 8th graders to get hands on learning experiences from. The students ran several chemistry tests and located many macroinvertebrate species in order to determine the overall water quality of the river, all while splashing around and having a good time.
Mitchell County Toes in the Toe was a success! Fifth-graders from Deyton, Bowman, and Spruce Pine Montessori school all completed river stations that were put on by the NC Wildlife Resource Commission, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, River Link, Beekeepers, and Penland School of Crafts. Volunteers from the Mitchell High School FFA club did a tremendous job leading each group of kids to and from each station. Thank you to all the teachers, educators, and volunteers!