Patrick McMillan Webinar August 13

Friends of Panthertown Webinar

Patrick McMillan Webinar August 13

Recorded live on August 13, 2020. Watch this exciting webinar presentation given by Emmy® Award-winning PBS television host and naturalist Dr. Patrick McMillan, host of Expeditions with Patrick McMillan.

Dr. McMillan is the Hilliard professor of environmental sustainability at Clemson University, and is the director of the South Carolina Botanical Garden. His popular PBS television show is a public service program of Clemson University Cooperative Extension, produced in partnership with South Carolina Educational Television.

Panthertown Valley is a 6,311-acre backcountry recreation area with 30 miles of public trails located on Nantahala National Forest near Cashiers in western North Carolina. Panthertown Valley features a rare high-elevation Southern Appalachian mountain bog, one of the rarest wetland types located in the southeastern United States, in an unmatched setting of granitic domes, cascading waterfalls, and remarkable mountain views.

The Panthertown Valley Bog was recently recognized by the Carolina Wetlands Association as one of their 2020 Wetland Treasures of the Carolinas. In this highly informative, educational, and entertaining presentation, Dr. McMillan will talk about Panthertown’s remarkable mountain wetlands which feature a series of swamp-forest bog complexes, seeps, and spray cliffs.

The bog in Panthertown lies along the headwaters of the East Fork of the Tuckasegee River, where fallen leaves steep tannins into the water for days before it finally trickles into the streams, staining the otherwise crystal-clear pools like tea. Rare plants grow both in the bog and on top of the granite domes, creating an environmentally diverse and interesting landscape. The bog supports several state-listed rare and endangered species including Timber Rattlesnake and Baltimore Checkerspot Butterflies.

The online presentation was followed by a Q&A session with Dr. McMillan.

Click here for information about the Panthertown Valley Bog.

Special thanks to Marcia and Steve Shawler for sponsoring this event.


Avery Shawler Wolves & Elk Research Live Online Webinar with Q&A Thursday May 28, 2020 at 7:30 pm EST sponsored by Friends of Panthertown

Recorded live on May 28, 2020. Avery Shawler is a PhD student at the University of California Berkeley studying how elk migrations affect patterns of wolf-livestock conflict. Her study area is in Cody, Wyoming, which is on the eastern frontier of Yellowstone National Park, and where she conducts winter and summer field seasons investigating wolf GPS locations. She grew up all over the world, but is from Cashiers, North Carolina, and spent a lot of her childhood recreating in Panthertown and other surrounding areas.

In her talk Avery tells us about her research and also give a glimpse of what it’s like to lead field research in a rugged place with the highest density of grizzly bears in the lower 48. She will also talk about how her research in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem relates to wildlife management in western North Carolina, where wildlife populations are also expanding, leading to more encounters with humans.

Avery got her B.A. in Conservation Biology at Middlebury College in Vermont, and before graduate school she was working as an independent contractor in Idaho where she worked with several conservation nonprofits including the Idaho Conservation League, The Nature Conservancy, and the Central Idaho Rangelands Network. She was also the Project Coordinator for a predator-livestock coexistence collaborative, the Wood River Wolf Project, which is how she first learned about the many challenges of managing wolf-livestock conflict. She is currently a PhD candidate at U.C. Berkeley Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management.

View Avery’s presentation to hear about capturing and GPS collaring wolves, tracking one of the world’s most spectacular elk migrations, challenges of coexisting with wildlife, and more!

The presentation was followed by a Q&A session with Avery.

Visit Avery’s website for more information about her research.

Here are the links from Avery’s presentation:

“Is the wolf a real American hero?” – NYTimes Op-ed by Arthur Middleton…

“Elk River” documentary – a film about tracking the Cody elk herd migration – 30 minutes

“The Trouble with Wolves” documentary – a film about the challenges of coexisting with wolves

More information on red wolves:…

More information on elk in North Carolina:…

More information on black bears in Panthertown:

More information on Avery Shawler’s research: