Outdoor Updates: Treasure chest hidden in the Rocky Mountains for a decade has been found

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Sunrise from Wetterhorn Peak, Colorado Rocky Mountains USA – Photo from Getty Images

Treasure chest hidden in the Rocky Mountains for a decade has been found

It was the ultimate treasure hunt. A bronze chest filled with more than $1 million worth of gold, jewels and other valuables was hidden in the Rocky Mountains by an antiquities collector over a decade ago. The collector, Forrest Fenn, posted clues to the treasure’s location online and in a poem he published in his 2010 biography, sending hundreds of thousands of treasure seekers deep into the mountains on a search for the ultimate prize.

This week, Fenn announced that someone from “back east” had finally located the treasure. “It was under a canopy of stars in the lush, forested vegetation of the Rocky Mountains and had not moved from the spot where I hid it more than 10 years ago,” he said in a statement on his website. “I do not know the person who found it, but the poem in my book led him to the precise spot.” 

Visitor centers and other facilities open at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Following the coronavirus shutdown, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is now almost 100% open, park officials report. On Monday, some of the parks most popular trails and facilities, such as visitor centers, reopened to the public with precautions. At visitor centers, no more than 30 people at a time will be allowed inside. Visitors are encouraged to wear masks.

The final phase of reopening will happen on June 15 when Elkmont Road, Elkmont Campground and Spence Cabin reopen. Campgrounds are limited to online reservations only. For more information visit nps.gov/grsm. 

Asphalt drum plant planned in East Flat Rock, North Carolina

Some community members in East Flat Rock, North Carolina are sounding the alarm after a conditional rezoning application was submitted to the county on May 1, 2020. The application asks Henderson County to conditionally rezone a 6.5-acre portion of land for a new asphalt drum plant, which would be located off Spartanburg Hwy in East Flat Rock.

According to Friends of East Flat Rock, asphalt fumes are known toxins that may cause cancer, nervous system problems, liver damage, respiratory problems and skin irritation. A study by Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League found that 45% of residents living within a half mile of a new asphalt plant reported a deterioration in their health after the plant opened. 

Residents are invited to submit comments to the Planning Board by Wednesday, June 17 at 11:45 p.m. Comments can be submitted here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HCPB_SEAsphalt

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