Friends of Panthertown E-newsletter – July 2011

Friends of Panthertown E-newsletter – July 2011

    In Memory

David M. Bates
It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I share with you the recent death of David M. Bates, our friend, one of the founders of Friends of Panthertown, President of the Friends of Panthertown board of directors, and former Executive Director of the Jackson-Macon Conservation Alliance.

David was a great friend to the environment and to our community. He will be greatly missed.
David’s wife Brenda has set up a memorial in honor of David for those who wish to share a gift in his memory.

Memorial funds will be used in support of conservation projects in Panthertown Valley. One of David’s favorite places to visit in Panthertown Valley was the Sand Bar Pool along the Panthertown Valley Trail. In honor of David, Friends of Panthertown will build a set of stairs down to this popular resting spot for all to access and enjoy the pristine white sandy beach and ice-cold tannin-stained waters. We hope you will help us protect this magnificent place in David’s memory.

– Jason Kimenker, Executive Director

Friends of Panthertown, Inc.
Attn: David M. Bates Memorial
P.O. Box 51
Cashiers, NC 28717

A virtual memorial has also been set-up on Facebook should you choose to join or contribute. The address for the memorial is:

    Special Events

Mountain Wildlife Days – Friday, July 15 and Saturday, July 16 in Sapphire Valley
Friends of Panthertown volunteer board member Mike Kettles will be leading a hike to Granny Burrell Falls on Friday, July 15 and on Saturday, July 16 our intern Kat will be signing up new members and providing information about Friends and Panthertown Valley at Mountain Wildlife Days’ popular main event. Kat is a student at Western Carolina University and is enrolled in the Parks & Recreation program. Ask her about her internship with our organization and how you can help us protect and maintain Panthertown Valley.

The above listed hike has already filled-up but there are plenty of other activities going on that are worth investigating. Please click on the schedule for more information about this 8th annual outdoors event.

Pints For Panthertown – Saturday, July 23 at Soul Infusion in Sylva

A fun-raiser with a twist:
Our friends at Tuckaseegee Brewing Cooperative are bubbling up a fresh batch of Panthertown Pale Ale and Bonus Defeat I.P.A. for you to have an opportunity to sample. This small Cullowhee, NC brewers’ cooperative has a unique way of serving up the frothy beverage. They use a customized KAYAK to keep their ice cold beer flowing smoothly into your glass. The boat still floats and the festivities don’t end there.

There will be live local music and probably some dancing, a fine selection of delicious local food and some of the finest hand-crafted beer this side of the mountains. Show up early and you even get to keep the collectible pint glass.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, July 23 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Bring the family as all ages are welcome. 21+ with ID to sample beer.

Soul Infusion Tea House & Bistro
628 E. Main Street in Sylva
Located on N.C. 107 a mile south of downtown Sylva, three miles from W.C.U.
(828) 586-1717

Tickets are $10 in advance (available at Soul Infusion and at Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and Travel & Tourism Authority), $15 on day of the event. Raffle tickets will also be available.
For more information call (828) 269-HIKE (4453) or send an e-mail to

    Meet Our Intern
Friends of Panthertown Volunteers

Kat (on the right) is a student at Western Carolina University and is currently enrolled in the Parks & Recreation program. She has been working with us this summer and plans to spend next semester in Ireland. Her research and the volunteer work she does will be used to help support our grant funding.

And speaking of grants…

    REI Gives $5,000

We are pleased to announce that REI Gives has granted Friends of Panthertown $5,000 for the Panthertown Valley Stewardship Project. More information about this project will be following soon.

This project began on June 25 at our monthly Trail Work Day as an effort to increase volunteerism on public lands and improve the Panthertown Valley trail system.


Nominated and voted on by the Asheville REI location, congratulations to REI Asheville’s 2011 grant recipients: Asheville GreenWorks ($4,000), Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park ($10,000), Friends of Panthertown Valley ($5,000) and Western North Carolina Alliance ($5,000)!

    Blackrock Trail is Complete

We are excited to report that the long-awaited Black Rock Trail is finally complete. No longer will horses and mountain bikers need to trespass on private land to reach the ridge-top trail. Now, easy access is assured from the Salt Rock parking area.

And speaking of parking areas…

    Parking Areas

We’re working with the U.S. Forest Service to build proper parking areas at the Cold Mountain and Salt Rock entrances to Panthertown Valley. Eventually even Turkey Knob on Rock Ridge Road will also have improved parking spots. At the request of USFS, solid-packed gravel parking areas will be built on Forest Service land to provide better access and accommodate vehicles without causing further soil degradation and ecological damage to these popular trailhead areas. Limited parking is currently available, however some of this falls onto private land and requires relocation. It’s been a long process but now that all of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) requirements have been met and low-impact gravel construction has been approved, construction may begin at any time. However, since the USFS has no money budgeted now or in the likely future, costs of construction will need to be applied from other sources. Friends of Panthertown will continue to work on these important projects and seek funding sources that may be applied to improve parking. We are currently seeking grant funds to support these projects and we will need to match this funding with private donations and membership contributions from each and every Friend of Panthertown. Every little bit counts, if you visit Panthertown, you are enjoying some of the work we have already done. Please help us make this a reality.

    Hot Off The Press: Brand New Brochure

If you haven’t already seen it, we have a new brochure. It’s a great information piece that describes our organization and the work that we do to maintain the trails and improve the recreational opportunities in Panthertown Valley.

New Brochure!

After several years with the same brochure and our old organizational information, we just got in a fresh batch of newly designed info cards printed up to reflect our non-profit status and continued mission to protect Panthertown. We recently sent out a mailing sharing the new brochure with our friends and contacts, asking each of you to pledge your support for our efforts protecting Panthertown Valley.

In case you haven’t received one yet, we will be happy to send you a brochure with additional information about joining Friends of Panthertown at your request. We can send it via post office or through e-mail, whichever way you prefer. Contact us for more details. Call (828) 269-HIKE (4453) with your name and address or send us an e-mail.

    Our Next Trail Work Day

We’ll be coming in from the Cold Mountain side on Monday, July 18 at 9 a.m. and be heading out to the Riding Ford Trail trimming and pruning to maintain this popular multi-use trail. Equestrians and horse lovers from the Bald Rock community will be volunteering to get this trail cleared. We appreciate all the work each of our volunteers contribute each year. Last year we had over 1,000 volunteer hours logged and almost 30 miles of trails maintained. Whew! That’s a lot of work.

Saturday, August 20 is our next regularly scheduled Trail Work Day. Check our website our for details about where we’ll be headed on that day.

If you’d like to help, just pick up the phone and let us know or see the website for more info.

    The Grill at Jimmy Mac’s Fundraiser a Success

Jimmy Mac's present check to Friends of Panthertown
Jimmy Mac's present check to Friends of Panthertown

On June 1, in honor of National Trails Day in Panthertown Valley, The Grill at Jimmy Mac’s in Cashiers donated a portion of their restaurant’s sales that day to Friends of Panthertown. Next time you’re dining at The Grill, please thank Jimmy and his staff for their generosity!

    Thank You!

It’s important for you to know just how much we appreciate your interest in protecting Panthertown Valley. Your support and consideration is so important now more than ever. With Forest Service budgets shrinking to nothing, and limited USFS staff, Friends of Panthertown provides funding and volunteers for conservation projects in the valley. If you enjoy visiting Panthertown we hope that you will share that love by becoming a member or volunteer, today!

    Join Today

Friends of Panthertown

If you’re not already a member, or haven’t yet renewed your membership, we hope that you will join Friends of Panthertown and become a member today! Thank you.

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