THE DIRT is a weekly look at some of the most pressing outdoor news issues from around the Blue Ridge and Beyond.
This week: Blue Ridge Parkway to be minted on U.S. quarter, popular Brevard, North Carolina bike shop looks to expand location near the entrance of Pisgah National Forest, Virginia streams gain federal protection, and more.
Blue Ridge Parkway Is Money
The iconic Blue Ridge Ridge Parkway will appear on a newly minted U.S. quarter. The design will feature one of the many tunnels found along the parkway and “depicts the grace and curvature of the road hugging the side of a mountain, with the North Carolina state flower in the foreground,” according to the U.S. Mint website. In celebration of the BRP quarter, the Mint plans to host a commemoration ceremony at Pack Square in downtown Asheville, North Carolina at 10 a.m. on June 25.
Pisgah Forest Entrance Expands
The Hub, a popular bike shop near the entrance of Pisgah National Forest in Brevard, North Carolina has announced plans for a substantial expansion and relocation. The new location will be situated on a 9-acre lot across the street from the original hub.
“We’re super excited to have property of our own so we can grow,” owner Sam Salman told Park Baker of the Transylvania Times. “We have almost been losing business because people pull in and the parking lot is full, so they go elsewhere.” Learn more here.
New Clean Water Rule Strengthens River Protections
A new EPA rule ensures that drinking water for 117 million Americans is safeguarded. One in three Americans gets drinking water from previously unprotected waterways. The new EPA rule clarifies and bolsters protection for these and other rivers, streams, and bodies of water across the country.
The rule is especially important for the water-rich Appalachians. More than 28,000 miles of Virginia streams will be afforded federal protection, some of which feed the James and Potomac Rivers. According to Environment Virginia, the newly protected streams account for 57 percent of the states waterways.
“From the Potomac and James Rivers to the Chesapeake Bay, the waters we swim and fish in can only be clean if the streams that flow into them are protected,” said Sarah Bucci, campaign director with Environment Virginia. “That’s why this action is the biggest victory for clean water in a decade.” Learn more here.
Beyond the Blue Ridge: 22-year-old climber dies on nose of El Capitan
According to Outside Online, a 22-year-old climber has died from injuries related to a 200-foot fall from the nose of Yosemite’s iconic El Capitan rock face. The climber, whose name has not been released, was only five pitches from the summit when the fall occurred. Search and rescue teams recovered his body on Wednesday.