Officials from the USDA Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) are joining forces to conduct a prescribed (or controlled) burn on approximately 2,800 acres of national forest and TNC land in Johnson County. The area to be burned is located within the Cherokee National Forest, Watauga Ranger District and The Nature Conservancy’s John R. Dickey Birch Branch Sanctuary near Shady Valley in upper east Tennessee.
TNC and the Forest Service will be conducting the burn in cooperation with the Shady Valley Volunteer Fire Department and the Tennessee Division of Forestry. The date of the burn is dependent on the right weather conditions. Fire officials say the burn could take place within the next 10-14 days if conditions are right.
The burn at the TNC property is part of a long-term plan for this nature preserve. The Nature Conservancy is restoring native warm-season grasses to the Birch Branch Sanctuary’s old farm fields. These native warm-season grasses provide superior nutrition and excellent habitat for songbirds, game birds, and butterflies. The prescribed burn will help remove invasive vegetation and promote the growth of native grasses instead. More...
By Bonnie Davis Guy
Mountain City’s next door neighbor, West Jefferson, NC, is celebrating its 100th year anniversary. Coinciding with a year of scheduled events and celebrations comes a big award naming Jefferson Avenue a “Great Main Street.” North Carolina chapter of the American Planning Association’s (APA) Great Places Initiative announced its main street winners on March 3, 2015 and West Jefferson’s own Jefferson Avenue was on the list. According to the Great Places in NC press release West Jefferson’s nomination highlighted the transitioning role that Jefferson Avenue plays as the backbone of a railroad community to a destination with improved streetscapes, public art, public spaces, and local festivals. This embodied the local work ethic and community spirit. It was the combination of existing vitality and proactive dedication of the town and community to the success of Jefferson Ave that led the expert panel to select it as a 2015 Great Main Street in the Professionals’ Category. These awards are designed to help celebrate the great communities throughout the state. John Morck, President of APA-NC, said, “All of these ‘Great Main Streets’ represent excellent examples of community-based planning at its best.”
West Jefferson is celebrating both its award and its centennial with a year caulked full of events. February was the official kickoff of the yearlong celebration but spring and summer are when events kick into high gear. May includes Lego and photo contests, car shows, picnics, and concerts. The main summer events include a community picnic, West Jefferson Elementary School reunion, music, kids’ activities at the local library, a scavenger hunt, storytelling, a town birthday party, and various community workshops. For a complete list of all events and details visit the centennial web site at www.westjefferson100.com. More...
Play Ball! Little League Section Coming April 29th
Little League Baseball & Softball season is approaching and we are highlighting our Johnson
County teams, players, coaches and sponsors. We will also have opportunities for the families
and friends of the players, team coaches, sponsors and businesses to participate in this exciting More...