U.S. Forest Service acquires 49-acre tract of land in Nantahala National Forest

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U.S. Forest Service acquires 49-acre tract of land in Nantahala National Forest

The U.S. Forest Service has acquired a 49-acre inholding at the headwaters of Laurel Creek, a tributary to Fires Creek, in the Tusquitee Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest, the agency said in a news release. The tract was privately owned before it was purchased by Mainspring Conservation Trust in 2017.

The protected parcel includes a section of the Rim Trail, a 25-mile foot and horse path. Acquisition of the property also helps ensure clean water through the protection of the headwaters of Fires Creek, Laurel Creek and Phillips Creek that flow into the Hiwassee River Basin, the primary source of drinking water for residents in North Carolina and Georgia. 

America’s national parks remain overwhelmingly white

As our country grapples with the realities of systemic racism, new government data confirms that the country’s national parks remain overwhelmingly white, ABC News reports. In a 10-year survey first shared with ABC News, the National Park Service found that just 23% of visitors to the parks were people of color while 77% were white. Similarly, less than 20% of the 20,000 employees of the National Park Service are non-white.

“The outdoors and public lands suffer from the same systemic racism that the rest of our society does,” Joel Pannell, associate director of the Sierra Club, told the news agency. “We’ve got a lot of work to do,” David Vela, acting director of the National Park Service said. Vela was appointed to the acting director role in 2017 and is the first Latino to lead the agency. 

Your nature photo could win you thousands from the National Park Foundation

The National Park Foundation is seeking amateur photos for their 2020 Share the Experience photo contest, and they’re offering more than $28,000 in cash and prizes. The theme of this year’s contest is “Best of the Decade,” celebrating photos taken over the last ten years through 2020.

Photos can be submitted under several different categories, including ‘Adventure & Outdoor Recreation’ and ‘Family, Friends & Fun.’ Submit photos at www.sharetheexperience.org. The grand prize winner will take home $10,000, may have their photograph featured on the Annual Federal Recreational Lands Pass 2022, and receive other fun prizes. 

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