Daily Dirt: Lassiter Dam, Appalachian Impressions, and the Stadium Woods

Your daily news bulletin for September 12, the day John F. Kennedy married Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953, proving that a Jack and a Jackie can make it work…if they have enough money, power, and good looks:

Lassiter Dam on Uwharrie River Comes Down

Earlier this month the Lassiter Mill Dam was removed from the Uwharrie River in Randolph County, North Carolina. The dam removal was a partnership between American Rivers, Piedmont Conservation Council, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the landowners around the dam. The 12 foot high, 200 foot long Lassiter Dam blocked migrating American shad, among other species, from reaching the upper Uwharrie. Removal of the dam opens up 14.6 miles of potential spawning habitat in the main stem and 189 river miles including tributaries. This will allow for easier migration, obviously, but also easier recreation activity like boating and fishing on the river by humans. In the next few years Duke Energy-Progress plans to trap and transport over 20,000 shad to the Uwharrie to boost stock and accelerate species recruitment. The Lassiter Dam is the third of five dams scheduled to be removed from the Pee Dee watershed.

Click here to see video of the demolition.

Appalachian Trail Hits the Silver Screen

As part of their 2013 membership drive – titled A Journey of 2,000 Miles: The Appalachian Trail, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy will hitting the road in October. Throughout the month, the ATC will be traveling up and down the East Coast showcasing the film Appalachian Impressions in 15 cities from New York to Florida. The film will take viewers on along for the ride as it showcases the trail and everything that goes with embarking on the thru-hike: “Appalachian Impressions captures the true essence of this historic pathway, its interesting characters, beautiful scenery and the generous spirit found in small town America.” The film is produced by Flagler Films, who specialize in long-distance hiking documentaries – they have probably cornered the market. The film tour is at the heart of the ATC’s goal of gaining the support of 2,180 new members, one for every mile of the trail. The tour will also feature guest speakers from the 2,000-mile club including authors Richard Judy, Susan Letcher, and Michelle Pugh, among other.

For a full list of show dates, times, and locations, click here.

Virginia Tech Finds Stadium Woods Compromise

The controversy over Virginia Tech’s new football practice facility and the university’s iconic Stadium Woods appears to be over. Early this week a compromise was struck by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors subcommittee that will protect the 14-acre Stadium Woods stand of old growth forest from development – the indoor practice facility will be built on the existing footprint of the practice facility. The original proposal for the new facility would have destroyed about three acres of the woods, but this raised the ire of many advocates, including professors in the forestry department and students. The issue escalated in 2011 when several dozen white oaks estimated to be 100-400 years old were discovered at the site. Student committees were formed, the student government got involved, and it became a battle between the big money of college football versus the trees who can’t speak for themselves. With the compromise, all parties seem satisfied with the outcome, and of course the tress will continue to grow.

Full story at Roanoke.com


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