Dead bear found tied with rope in Henderson County, NC

A young bear tied with heavy rope was found dead on the banks of Mills River on Sunday, the Citizen-Times reports. Wildlife officials estimate the bear was 1-2 years old. The rope was tied around the bear’s neck and to it’s left hind limb. “It could be that the bear had been run over, and somebody tried to move it or relocated it with ropes,” wildlife officer Aaron Stronach told the Citizen-Times. The bear had been dead for at least a week and was too decomposed for an autopsy. Wildlife officials are asking anyone with information about the death or relocation of the bear to call 1-800-662-7137. 

Woman missing for days in Sequoia National Park spotted by helicopter after spelling SOS with rocks

A hiker from Jackson, Mississippi is alive and well after missing for three days in Sequoia National Park. Mary Joanna Gomez, a traveling nurse working in San Francisco, took a trip to Kings Canyon and Sequoia national parks last weekend. In a rush to see the sunset while visiting Sequoia National Park, Gomez became disoriented and lost the trail. She was reported missing by her family when she failed to arrive at work the following day. 

Crewmembers of the California Air National Guard unsuccessfully searched for hours for Gomez using infrared technology before the co-pilot of the plane spotted a 6-foot by 18-foot S-O-S rock formation and Gomez beside it. A helicopter was dispatched to rescue Gomez, who was a little banged up but in good condition overall. Her survival is credited to the fact that Gomez found a clearing in the forest and stayed there. “We don’t see this too often at all, unfortunately,” Lt. Col. David Weidman told local news station KTLA 5. “Usually lost hikers keep hiking.” 

The Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition releases report outlining ways to give new life to abandoned coal mines

The Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition will release their second annual report today outlining potential projects that would clean up abandoned coal mines. The projects would breath new life into the blighted mines, transforming the coal mine lands into sustainable agriculture businesses, solar farms and other innovations.

The report focuses on sites in the coal regions of Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio that represent opportunities to secure a variety of funding sources like the Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot funds appropriated by Congress and the RECLAIM Act, a bill which would accelerate the distribution of $1 billion of existing funds over five years to revitalize coal communities.