May 12th: Forest Service has reported that there have been a number of vehicle vandalisms along US-421 at least from South Holston Lake to AT trailhead. A personal vehicle at trailhead recently had a window broken out. Recommendation is to not leave any vehicles here until this issue is resolved by local law enforcement.
May 24th: Hikers on Roan Mountain reported that a thief broke into their car by smashing a window and prying open the glove compartment. The thief stole purses, wallets, a cell phone and other items stored in the glove compartment when they parked their vehicle at Carvers Gap on Tenn. Highway 143.
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.