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Outdoor Updates: U.S. Forest Service Asks the Public to “Be a Hero, Not a Hazard”

Photo: U.S. Forest Service photographed parked vehicles in a roadway

U.S. Forest Service asks public to “be a hero not a hazard” while parking at popular outdoor locations

Fall weekends bring beautiful weather, changing leaves and hoards of hikers and leaf peepers to Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests. In order to avoid blocked roadways that can lead to accidents and delay emergency responders, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is asking the public to avoid obstructing traffic while parking at popular outdoor locations. 

If trailhead parking is full and you must park on the side of the road, USFS offers these tips:

  • Watch for pedestrians as you approach areas with parked cars.
  • Check for signs that restrict roadside parking.
  • Choose a spot that will not be damaged by tires on soft ground.
  • Do not park on a narrow shoulder with a steep drop off.
  • Park vehicles with all wheels off the road.
  • Check for oncoming traffic before exiting your vehicle.
  • Know before you go as cell service is limited.

Free screening of the documentary film MOTHERLOAD at the Vinegar Hill Theatre in Charlottesville on October 19

The Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission and The Piedmont Environmental Council are hosting a free screening of the documentary film MOTHERLOAD, in which a cargo bicycle becomes a vehicle for exploring motherhood in the age of climate change. The film follows director and new mom Liz Canning as she strives to understand the tension between modern life and our human need to explore the world in active ways. Along the way, Liz encounters cultural resistance in the form of bikelash, especially as it pertains to women and mothers. 

The free screening of the film will be held at Vinegar Hill Theatre in Charlottesville on Saturday, October 19 from 3:00- 5:00 pm. The event is made possible through the Greenways Strengthening Systems grant from the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation. For more information or to reserve tickets, visit

Yellowstone National Park has a female chief ranger for the first time in the park’s 147-year history

At Yellowstone National Park a man has always held the highest ranger position—until now. Sarah Davis, a 20-year veteran of the National Park Service, has been named the park’s 18th chief ranger and the first female chief ranger to officially serve in the roll. In her new position, which Davis begins in December, she will oversee law enforcement, search and rescue, emergency services, fires, special permits and trails, among other things. 

In her tenure with the National Park Service Davis has worked in a variety of other national parks including some in the southeast, such as Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina, Harpers Ferry National Historic Park in West Virginia, Manassas National Battlefield Park in Virginia and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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