Keep an eye out: mild weather means ticks are active

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Mild weather means ticks are active

The warmer-than-usual weather the southeast has experienced this winter might be great for hiking, biking and exploring the outdoors, but it comes with one little downside: ticks. The mild weather means that ticks, which usually settle down in the winter for something that resembles hibernation, are up and active, looking for their next meal.

If you do find a tick on your body, remove it as soon as possible. Dr. Alexis Barbarian, the State of North Carolina Entomologist, told ABC11 that ticks must be attached to you for nearly 20 hours to transmit most diseases. 

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North Carolina’s DuPont State Forest seeks public comment on management plan

DuPont State Forest, the 12,000-acre state forest in North Carolina’s Henderson and Transylvania counties, is seeking public comment on its forest recreation plan. The forest attracted nearly 1 million visitors last year and has become a mountain biking hub, drawing visitors from around the world. 

The N.C. Forest Service is accepting public comment via an online survey. A non-profit that helps with stewardship of the forest, Friends of DuPont Forest, has also launched an online survey to ask the public what they’d most like the non-profit to focus on. 

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Teen hiker missing for 18 hours in Carter County, TN found safe

18-year-old Ethan Blackburn of Mountain City, TN went hiking with a group of friends to “Twisting Falls” in Carter County on Monday. The group began their hike around 4 p.m., but as the sun began to set, Blackburn realized he was no longer with the group.

The teen began to follow a stream but, once nightfall set in, he told WJHL that he “found myself a cave and slept in it for 12 hours while I was soaking wet.” Meanwhile, the Carter County Rescue Squad, Carter County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Forest Service, the Technical Rescue team and a few volunteer fire departments all began searching for Blackburn, eventually locating him along a forest service road. Despite the ordeal, he suffered no injuries. 

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