Good morning, Asheville. Ali here, with a question that I – and a few of our readers – have had for some time. As an Asheville native, I often visit Bent Creek, and I always wonder about the significance of its status as an experimental forest. While the word “experiment” conjures up all sorts of images of scientists with wild hair and beakers filled with green liquid, I was pretty sure that wasn’t what this meant. So, what exactly is an experimental forest, and why is there one here?
What about Bent Creek? • Bent Creek is the oldest federal experimental forest east of the Mississippi and dates to 1925. It covers 6,000 acres within Pisgah National Forest. • In the early 20th century, the area was owned by George Vanderbilt, and was eventually sold to the US government for $5 per acre to create much of Pisgah National Forest. • The purpose? To “conduct research on silvicultural practices that would aid in the rehabilitation of cutover, abused lands and promote sustainable forestry,” as well as to provide an area for field demonstration of practices in forest management. Silviculture refers to the management of forests to serve needs of landowners and society, including harvesting + regeneration. • Demonstrations in Bent Creek are used to inform forest management practices and share new research with everyone from researchers to the general public. • Much of Bent Creek is open to the public, and is crisscrossed with accessible trails for walking, biking + horseback riding.
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○ NC’s Department of Health and Human Services reported atotal of 106,893 cases of coronavirus in North Carolina as of Thursday afternoon. 1,292 cases and 41 deaths have been reported in Buncombe County. Check stats for other counties, total tests, and more in NChere.
○ Asheville City Schoolswill begin the fall semester virtually. Students in grades K-12 will spend at least the first nine weeks of the school year remote. School officials cited the acceleration of cases in Buncombe County. The first day of school is Aug. 17. (Asheville Citizen-Times)
○ A day after Buncombe County announced that it will reduce COVID-19 testing capacity for community sites, officials say they plan to restart the process next month with an updated model. County Interim Public Health Director Dr. Jennifer Mullendore says pausing community testing sites will streamline + improve the testing process. While testing is still available at places like urgent care clinics + private medical practices, community site testing is geared to the uninsured. (Asheville Citizen-Times)
○ A trainer at the Blue Ridge Classic Horse Show, taking place at the WNC Ag Center(761 Boylston Hwy., Fletcher) tested positive for COVID-19. The trainer, her family + support staff are no longer participating in the event, which runs until July 25. The show’s manager is taking temperatures, prohibiting spectators + enforcing state rules and regulations.(WLOS)
○ Haywood County schools will start virtually on Aug. 17, with the hope that kids can return to school within the month. The school board voted for Gov. Roy Cooper’s Plan B Option F, meaning teachers can come back as well as Pre-K + students who need extra help or special instruction. Superintendent Dr. Bill Nolte hopes to get kids back in the classroom by Sept. 21 under Plan B at a limited capacity.(WLOS)
○ Gov. Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 142 expires July 31. The order, which prevents landlords + utility companies from cutting utilities off or charging late fees, was originally issued in March. Officials suggest folks reach out to the utility company to establish a payment plan, or see if their county’s Department of Social Services offer utility assistance programs. Find a list of city + county assistance resources here. (WLOS)
○ TheNC NAACPasked a Wake County judge to bar the use oftouch screen voting machines. The group argued that these machines carry a higher risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than three months ago, the group filed a lawsuit against the State Board of Elections + county election boards to stop the use of the machines.Twenty of NC’s 100 counties have touch screen voting machines. (WLOS)
Click the button below for local resources regarding the coronavirus.
Hey, there. Looking for today’s #MustDo events? In accordance with the
CDC’s recommendations regarding public gatherings, we have decided to postpone public event coverage for the time being. We look forward to bringing you Asheville’s #MustDo events soon (until then, feel free to submit your virtual events
This is the first MLS team in the Carolinas + they will have their inaugural season in 2022 and play their home games at Bank of America Stadium(a.k.a. where the Panthers play – the team’s owner, David Tepper, has owned the Panthers since 2018). The team’s crest – a circle enclosing a crown, refers to Charlotte’s legacy as a financial capital + its royal history as the Queen City. The colors of the crest are officially Carolina blue, black, silver, and white.
Civic ○ Buncombe County Board of Elections passed its early voting plans for the Nov. election. Early voting will be Oct. 15-31 with sites open 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m. weekdays + 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on most weekends. There will be 14 confirmed voting sites with two potential extra sites being added. Sites will be bigger to allow for social distancing.🗳 (WLOS) ○ Residents of the city of Asheville can apply next month for the upcoming vacancy on City Council. Council member Vijay Kapoor resigned to move to a different area with his family. Applications will be accepted starting Aug. 3 and anyone interested can call (828) 259-5601 oremail the city clerk to apply. Applicants must be residents of Asheville + be registered to vote in the city. 🏙 (BPR News)
Number ○ $510,250. The amount of recent scholarships approved bythe Community Foundation of WNCto 94 WNC students. Individual scholarships of up to $40,000 over four years were granted. More than 60 volunteers from the community worked to review applications and select recipients. 💸
Tech ○ Dig South hosts Day 2 of the Virtual Tech Summit, which highlights emerging tech, biz growth + digital marketing, today. The schedule includes exhibitors, investor pitches, networking opportunities + more. Members can access the materials anytime via the online DIG NATION platform. 💻
Edu ○ Osega Dream Academy (16 National Ave., Fletcher) is turning their facility into a remote learning center for children. Starting in Aug., the facility will be open from 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. They will have a teacher + support staff to help keep kids on track and monitor social distancing and hand washing. The owners are charging parents $325 monthly but hope to lower that through donations + funding. 🎒 (WLOS) ○ TheHaywood County School Board has reinstated Superintendent Dr. Bill Nolte. Nolte was relieved of day-to-day duties last week after sharing a social media post of children picking cotton. Nolte removed the post and apologized, saying it was meant to highlight income issues. The school board said they found no pattern of racism from Nolte’s tenure after completing their investigation.(WLOS)
Biz ○ Because few things are more important than a great pair of jeans. JAWBREAKING talked with the founders of The Indigo Prophet(74D S. Main St., Marshall) for the latest installment of “Our Town,” a collaborative interview series in partnership with AVLtoday. Learn all about Japanese Itochu denim, setting up shop in Marshall, the history of NC textiles + more. 👖
Outdoors ○ RV sales have increasedduring the COVID-19 pandemic. Camping World of Asheville (2918 N. Rugby Rd.) was able to bring back all of its employees after experiencing a high demand for RV’s. They originally furloughed employees in Mar., and were able to hire them all back 45 days later. 🌄 (WLOS)
Answered: B. Studying the effects of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer is not a current research project in Bent Creek Experimental Forest, although research on the insect is being conducted elsewhere. All other research topics are currently being investigated in Bent Creek. 🌳
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