The Environmental Journal of Southern Appalachia

Displaying items by tag: big south fork national river and recreation area

Friday, 14 January 2022 12:10

Big South Fork closes 60-acre donut hole

Cliffs on the Big South Fork NPS photoNational Park Service

Land conservancy and estate of long-ago German immigrant expands protection of North White Oak Creek

Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area has grown inward by 60 acres.

The National Park Service announced this week that it officially acquired the donated acreage along North White Oak Creek within Big South Fork. It had previously been in private ownership.

The Allardt Land Company and the estate of Bruno Gernt (a remarkable individual in his own right) originally donated the approximately 60 acres within the boundaries of Big South Fork to TennGreen Land Conservancy. In December 2021, TennGreen transferred the property to the National Park Service.

“This tract provides essential protection for the south side of North White Oak Creek, a popular area in the southwest portion of the (125,000-acre park that straddles the Tennessee and Kentucky state lines in the Cumberlands).

“Park visitors will now forever be able to enjoy peaceful views across the creek of an oak-hickory and northern hardwood forest canopy,” Superintendent Niki Stephanie Nicholas said in a press release.

“We truly appreciate the Allardt Land Company, Estate of Bruno Gernt, and TennGreen for their generosity.”

Published in News

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The National Park Service and officials with Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area are still looking for those responsible for dumping derelict vehicles in a remote part of the park known as Blue Hole.

Park staff found two vehicles and a boat illegally discarded in a section of the park closed to traffic. The junk was discovered Aug. 26 and staff and rangers had to pulled from other projects to clean up the mess.

Park staff recovered an abandoned vehicle, UTV, and boat from the Blue Hole section of the park that appeared to have been dumped in separate incidents.

“The resulting cleanup pulled staff away from planned trail work and public safety duties. Additionally, illegally dumping trash and other items create a negative visitor experience for those hoping to enjoy the serene natural beauty of Big South Fork NRRA,” said Superintendent Niki Stephanie Nicholas in a press release.

"Visitors are reminded that abandoning property in the park is prohibited by federal law."

Anyone with information concerning these incidents is encouraged to contact the NPS at 423-223-4489 or leave a confidential message on the Resource Protection Tip Line at 423-569-7301.

The 24-hour tip line allows callers to remain anonymous.

Published in Feedbag

Brace fishingA Knoxville man tries his hand at fly fishing in Abrams Creek during a family camping trip on the southwestern side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Thomas Fraser/Hellbender Press

Green begets green in Smokies region; Big South Fork and Cumberland Gap also economic players

Recent federal analysis of spending by national park visitors is a testament to the economic benefits of environmental protection, scientific study and outdoor recreation.

The 12.1 million visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2020 spent $1.024 billion in neighboring communities in both Tennessee and North Carolina, according to a study released this week by the National Park Service. Similar, localized releases were distributed into national park communities across the country.

Closer to home, that number represents the estimated visitor money spent in areas that include traditional “gateway” communities, such as Townsend and Gatlinburg, and Cherokee and Bryson City in North Carolina. Regionally, it’s at least a $5 million increase since 2012. Travel problems, housing and employee shortages, overdevelopment and environmental destruction are of course persistent in some of those areas.

Published in News
Independent Herald: Big South Fork sets record flow and depth rates
The Big South Fork of the Cumberland River rose to its highest level in 25 years and washed out recreation facilities and bridges in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area during pounding rains that moved over the plateau and Tennessee Valley late last week and over the weekend.
River velocity rates rose to an astonishing 81,200 cfs over the weekend. That's a measure of how much water passes per second at a given point. The river crested at 42.5 feet.
"Five days ago marked the 92nd anniversary of the historic March 1929 flood that caused catastrophic damage in Scott County," the news site reported.
"On Sunday, local rivers reached their highest levels since that 1929 flood, after numerous thunderstorms dumped as much as eight inches of rain over portions of Scott and Morgan counties in a 24-hour period."

 

Published in Feedbag
WVLT: Public comment sought on fee increases

Bandy Creek, Blue Heron and Alum Ford campground fees would increase costs to between $15 and $140, depending on use. Comments will be accepted through March 22.

Published in Feedbag