Friday, May 04, 2007

8K run for GSMNP will tie up Pigeon Forge Parkway Saturday Morning

The parkway in downtown Pigeon Forge will be partially closed to let the runners from the run for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park which will start at Tanger outlet mall in Pigeon Forge and then ends back at Tanger Five Oaks around noon.

The weather doesn't look like it will cooperate since there is a 90 percent chance of rain, but the event will be held rain or shine.

Expect traffic delays for this good cause - better yet come down and cheer on the runners!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Pisgah National Forest Hiking death from fall

If only a 21 year old from Alabama who was hiking with a friend in the North Carolina Pisgah National Forest read the Your Smokies News last month where we warned hikers of the danger of hiking off hiking trials especially near waterfalls.

While trying to navigate a stream crossing above the Moore Cove Falls area just north of Looking Glass Falls he fell 50 feet to his death. He was not on a designated path or stream crossing but decided with his friend to blaze his own trail in the forest in order to get to the top of the falls.

Even though there are more than 250 waterfalls in North Carolinas Transylvania County known as the Land of Waterfalls, this is the first hiking fatality. Emergency workers in Transylvania County respond to at least 5 waterfall accidents a year even though visitors are warned to stay away from the danger zones.

Wet Rocks at Big Bradley Falls near Saluda in Polk County spelled disaster last June when a hiker fell 100 feet to his death. Waterfall related fatalities here are historically an annual occurrence.

In the Great Smoky Mountains national park there have been plenty of hiking deaths as a result of accidents around waterfalls. The 2 most dangerous waterfalls that come to mind are Laurel Falls and the Ramsey Cascades falls.

Laurel falls in easily assessable via a paved hiking path on a relatively short hike so it is extremely popular - especially with parents of younger children since many can hike to the falls without being carried. Unfortunately with slipper rocks and a steep drop off at the bottom of the falls, there have been numerous deaths.

The Ramsey Cascades falls with its trailhead located in the Greenbrier section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is far more strenuous with a rougher trail, higher elevations and being an 8 mile round trip hike. You are very isolated when you get to the falls making getting help and well as any subsequent rescue far more tedious and time consuming. Sadly many deaths have occurred at Ramsey Cascades falls which is one of the nicest waterfalls in the Smokies.

Hike with caution, don't blaze new trails and don't forget moss and ice covered rocks can be far more slippery than you may expect. We want you to be able to come back to the Great Smoky Mountains national park and the surrounding forests time and time again so please be careful.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Great Smoky Mountains National Park International Bird Conservation

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be holding 2 days of events highlighting International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) and this years International Migratory Bird Day theme "Birds in a Changing Climate" examining age old practices of bird observation and being able to foretell future weather patterns.

Long before computer models and advanced weather forecasting techniques, farmers based crop planting decisions upon the movement and arrival of migratory birds. Observing the migration of birds is allowing scientists today see the how the current changes in weather patterns is affecting the birds and animal and plant species that are connected to the migration of birds.

Both International Migratory Bird Day demonstrations start at 8:00 am and will be held at the North Carolina National Park Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee this Saturday May 5th and at the Tennessee National Park Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg on Monday, May 7th.

There will be demonstrations led by Park Biologist Paul Super as well as guided bird walks. In order to show visitors how birds are caught, examined, banded and eventually released without being harmed, Paul Super will set up delicate mist nets and demonstrate how they work.

A special visitor the Costa Rican coordinator of the Partners in Flight international bird conservation initiative Pablo Elizondo will be participating in this event. He will also be working with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park researchers into the summer in a cooperative venture allowing Pablo Elizondo to share his knowledge with park researches as well as learn some of their techniques as well.

Pablo Elizondo will be giving presentations to the pubic on bird conservation and the efforts that Costa Rica is making on conservation. For years Cost Rica has been actively protecting its natural assets acknowledging the value of their resources to its citizens as well as value of ecotourism.

Many of the resident birds of Smoky Mountains are intimately connected with Costa Rica and other Central American and Caribbean countries many thousands of miles away since they spend the winter months in more temperate climates. Clearly conservation efforts to protect migratory species need to far reaching since migratory birds pass through and inhabit many countries.

Thankfully there are international efforts working to protect migratory bird species and their unique habitats in the national parks in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The National Park Service's cooperative Park Flight Migratory Program is part of this valuable international conservation effort.

Have Your Smokies News on your web site

Now you can have the latest Smokies News on your web site by adding a free Your Smokies news crawl on your web site, blog or Myspace page.

Listed below is what the news crawl looks like as well as the html code for the link.

The HTML code:
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Highlight the code above in green, copy (Control C) and the Paste (Control V) into the body of your web site.

If instead you wish to link to one of the informational web pages in Your Smokies, the code is listed below:

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<a href=""> Smokies Weather</a>

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<a href=" .html">Smokies Cams</a>

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<a href=" .html">Great Smoky Mountains National Park</a>

Smokies Fishing Information:
<a href="http:// .html">Fishing Information</a>

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<a href="">Friends of the Smokies</a>

Link to us and let everyone know that you love the Smokies!