Posted by: panthertown | April 1, 2019

Panthertown Selected As Site For 2026 Olympics

PANTHERTOWN SELECTED AS SITE FOR 2026 OLYMPICS

April 1, 2019 (Happy April Fool’s Day)

Cashiers, NC – Panthertown Valley has been picked as an official site for the 2026 Olympic Games.

Friends of Panthertown volunteers have been tasked to assist the United States Olympic Committee and North Carolina Association of Olympic Athletes to get the popular backcountry forest ready in anticipation of the influx of visitors expected for the new competitions.

International Olympic Committee Director Regina Ulysses Sirius congratulated the people of Jackson County, North Carolina for being selected as the new host for the Olympics. A state-of-the-art Panthertown visitor’s center and Olympic-sized waterfall swimming holes will be constructed for the competitions. Private donations and increased tax revenues will be used to fund the new facilities.

With just seven years to go, and over 30-miles of trails to maintain, preparations are already under way for Friends of Panthertown to get the selected site ready for the new autumn competitions which will now also include rock climbing pole vault, black bear mud wrestling, native trout sushi fishing, and competitive long distance hiking.

Nantahala District Ranger Mike Wilkins said he was at first reluctant to host the events in Nantahala National Forest based on his expert knowledge of Greek mythology and Olympic history, however he has agreed to not wear a camouflage tutu while cheering on Team U.S.A. in 2026.

All forest service roads leading to Panthertown will be paved in gold for the duration of 2019.

Contact Friends of Panthertown at panthertown.org/join/ for more info or to make a donation in support of the work Friends of Panthertown is doing to protect and maintain this special place.

Posted by: panthertown | March 26, 2019

Springtime in Panthertown

You’re invited to do a little spring cleaning with Friends of Panthertown

Like to hike? Want to help out on the trails while having fun?
Volunteer with Friends of Panthertown and our friends at Highland Hiker on this work hike to take care of Wilderness Falls Trail in Panthertown.
Sunday, May 5, 2019

MAY 5 WORK DAY HAS BEEN CANCELED DUE TO RAIN

All experience levels are welcome, everyone is invited.
Tools will be provided.
Sign-up first, then meet us at the Salt Rock Gap trailhead at 9:30 am.

Click here to find out more about volunteering with Friends.


Spring Newsletter

Panthertown News & Hikes

Download our latest seasonal newsletter to read about what we are currently working on in Panthertown Valley, including several guided hikes planned for our members this spring.

If you’re not already a member, now is the perfect time to join Friends of Panthertown or volunteer your time.



Posted by: panthertown | January 21, 2019

Hiring Trail Crew Leader

Volunteers keep the Panthertown Valley Trail System maintained.

Update: Thank you to all who applied.
Applications are now closed.
Volunteer opportunities are still available.
Contact us for more details.

Friends of Panthertown is now seeking to hire a part-time Panthertown Valley Trail Crew Leader to join our team and help us protect and maintain the 30-mile Panthertown Valley Trail System.

Deadline for application is February 15.
More info: panthertown.org/job/

Friends of Panthertown Volunteers
Our hard working volunteers have fun while taking care of the trails.
Join our team and help us protect 30 miles of trails in Panthertown Valley.

The U.S. Forest Service is seeking input on a proposal to require bear resistant food containers for all overnight campers on the Appalachian Trail located on the National Forests in North Carolina and in Panthertown on the Nantahala Ranger District.

Written comments should be submitted by September 19, 2018. Comments can be emailed to comments-southern-north-carolina-nantahala-nantahala@fs.fed.us or mailed to Johnny Wills, Nantahala RD Wildlife Biologist, Nantahala Ranger District, 90 Sloan Road, Franklin, NC 28734.  Contact Mr. Wills for more info: 828-524-6411 ext 452

Friends of Panthertown Comments on Proposal to Require
Bear Resistant Food Containers for Overnight Campers in Panthertown 


 

USFSlogoNational Forests in NC Propose Required Bear Canisters for Overnight Camping on Appalachian Trail and in Panthertown

Source: U.S. Forest Service News Release

Release Date: Aug 13, 2018

Contact(s): Johnny Wills, 828-524-6411 ext 452

August 10, 2018, Asheville, NC – Visitors to the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests have experienced an increasing number of encounters with black bears exhibiting bold behavior over food in the past few years.

Most encounters are at places where the public repeatedly camps in the general forest rather than at campgrounds that are equipped with bear-proof trash cans. Incidents include bears taking food and back packs, damaging tents, and staying near inhabited campsites for hours.

“Bears are very reluctant to give up an easy food source and they have not been discouraged by humans banging pots, blowing air horns, and yelling,” said Nantahala District Wildlife Biologist Johnny Wills. “Using bear-resistant food containers is the surest way to deny bears access to human food.”

The Forest Service has increased public awareness efforts by posting material at trail heads, on websites, and on social media in an effort to educate visitors on the importance of eliminating human behaviors that lead bears to see people as a source of food. However, potentially serious encounters by bears have continued to increase. Close interactions with bears must be reduced for the sake of the bears and for the safety of visitors.

The US Forest Service is seeking input on a proposal to require bear resistant food containers for all overnight campers on the Appalachian Trail located on the National Forests in North Carolina and in Panthertown on the Nantahala Ranger District. The Appalachian Trail passes through the Appalachian, Nantahala, Cheoah, and Tusquitee Ranger Districts.

Written comments should be submitted by September 19, 2018. Comments can be emailed to comments-southern-north-carolina-nantahala-nantahala@fs.fed.us or mailed to Johnny Wills, Nantahala RD Wildlife Biologist, Nantahala Ranger District, 90 Sloan Road, Franklin, NC 28734.

Please, for bear’s sake, be mindful of your sanitation and hygiene in the back country. Bears locate food sources by smell as well as sight. You can protect yourself and protect bears by storing trash and food in safe locations during your visit. Keep scented items in bear-proof canisters, inside trailers, and in the trunk of a vehicle. Do not leave food or coolers unattended. Never store scented items in your tent, including toothpaste, deodorant, beverages, or snacks. Pick up all garbage around your site, including inside fire rings, grills, and tables and properly store with your food or dispose in a bear-proof trash receptacle.

If a bear is observed nearby, pack up food and trash immediately and vacate the area. If necessary, attempt to scare the animal away with loud shouts or making noise. If a bear approaches, do not run, but move away slowly and get into a vehicle or building. In the event of a bear attack, do not play dead. Try to fight back and act aggressively. Carrying EPA registered bear spray is another way to combat bear attacks.

Report bear encounters to your local ranger district office. For more information, see our website at www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc.

— End of News Release —


WSPATVbear

Related news articles:

Bears in Panthertown

Mandatory bear canisters proposed for A.T. and Panthertown campers
(August 22, 2018) Smoky Mountain News

U.S. Forest Service considering making bear-proof containers mandatory for campers
(August 15, 2018) WSPA-TV

Campers could be required to use bear canisters in Pisgah, Nantahala national forests 
(August 13, 2018) WLOS-TV

Bear activity prompts warning in Panthertown
(April 4, 2018) Smoky Mountain News

USFS Panthertown Bear Alert: Overnight Campers Should Use Bear Resistant Canisters and Bear Pepper Spray (March 2018)

USFS: Bear-Proof Canisters Strongly Recommended in Panthertown (August 2017)


Panthertown Bear Alert


Find out how you can help support the work we are doing! Become a Friend.

Friends of PanthertownFriends of Panthertown is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization. All donations and memberships are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law.

Our mission is to work in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service to conserve this outstanding natural resource while improving the quality and experience of recreational opportunities in Panthertown Valley.

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