Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2016 - 13
Good News on the State Parks Front
North Carolina's Mt. Mitchell State Park has gotten larger, and in Virginia,
a new state park is coming to the Clinch River area.
by Cathryn McCue
The Conservation Fund has acquired 2,744 acres in North Carolina's Mount Mitchell State Park.
AROUND THE REGION
Two crayfish species found in Appalachian
waters have been granted protection by
the federal government due to pollution,
mostly from coal mining. The Big Sandy
crayfish, found in 10 counties, is threatened, and the Guyandotte River crayfish,
found in only one county, is endangered.
"Protecting these two crayfishes under
the Endangered Species Act will not only
ensure their survival but will also protect
streams and water quality that are important for people," says Tierra Curry with
the Center for Biological Diversity, which
sought the listings. biologicaldiversity.
Mt. Mitchell State Park-the oldest state
or national park in the Southeast-
turns 100 years old this year and is getting a wonderful gift: more land. Over
the years, The Conservation Fund has
acquired 2,744 acres on the northern
boundary of the park, more than doubling its current 1,996-acre size. The nonprofit is starting to convey the land to the
state to be added to the park, home to
the highest peak in the East. "I think this
will create more traffic and visitors in
Yancey County and hopefully boost the
economy," says the fund's Bill Holman.
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