The 5th and FINAL sale of chunks of Rocky Fork from The Conservation Fund to the Cherokee NF was completed on September 27, 2012. This concludes transfer of Rocky Fork into public ownership, a goal sought by ATC since at least 1983. To top off that excitement, on Oct. 30 TN Gov. Bill Haslam and US Sen. Lamar Alexander announced that the 2036 acre TN-owned portion of Rocky Fork will become Rocky Fork State Park! Funds for this project came from a TN Heritage Conservation Trust Fund grant (obtained by the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy), federal Land and Water Conservation Fund appropriations, and generous donations from private donors and foundations, notably Fred & Alice Stanback, the Lyndhurst Foundation, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (through Walmart’s 2012 Acres for America program), the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Conservation Alliance. The Conservation Fund bought and held the property pending public purchase. Look for an upcoming article in ATJourneys for more details.
Plans have been underway for over a year for the biennial celebration at ATC Cullowhee 2013. It will be held at Western Carolina University (WCU) July 19-26, 2013, in Cullowhee N.C. The five AT trail maintaining clubs in North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee have been working on all aspects of this event. TEHCC is responsible for organizing the workshops while other clubs are handling volunteers, hike selection, excursions, entertainment, housing, etc. We expect near 1000 people to attend this week long event. Continue reading “A Biennial Celebration at ATC Cullowhee 2013”