Category: National Forests
The shooting range closed in May 2010 because of stray bullets leaving firing lanes. Since then, the Forest Service has raised berms and reconstructed shooting stations, according to a news release.
Money from the Forest Service, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the National Rifle Association paid for renovation work.
The shooting range has 25-yard pistol and 100-yard rifle ranges and originally opened in 1996. Prior to closing, it averaged 1,000 visitors per month, according to the Forest Service.
Update: The Forest Service said Friday at mid-day that it had reopened the parking lot at Max Patch though the fire continued to burn at 60 acres. The campground at Harmon Den and the two Forest Service roads (see below) remained closed. The news release did not mention Cold Spring picnic area.
Closed areas may reopen Saturay afternoon, the release says.
A fire in the Harmon Den area of the Pisgah National Forest is causing several areas to be closed, the National Forest Service said today.
The wildfire covers 75 acres and is expected to grow to 100 acres by the end of the day, the Forest Service said in a news release issued at mid-day.
Officials have closed the:
* Harmon Den Horse Camp, which has 10 sites and bridle trails.
* Cold Spring picnic area, which offers fishing and hiking and horseback riding.
* Max Patch parking lot, which provides access to the namesake grassy summit, hiking and horseback trails, and a fishing pond.
Forest Service Road (FSR) 148 (Cold Springs Road) and FSR 148A (Brown's Gap Road) are also closed.
Firefighters are establishing fire lines and conducting back-burning operations to contain the wildfire.
NCDOT message boards will provide information about the fire, which is producing smoke visible along I40 in the Pigeon Gorge, according to the Forest Service.
No structures are threatened, and no injuries are reported. The Forest Service is investigating.
The National Forest Service announced fee increases at seven recreation sites among the four national forests in North Carolina. The 2014 season fees will be effective May 7.
According to a news release, the changes are at:
Cedar Point Campground in Croatan National Forest. Nightly campsite fees will rise from $12 to $15 in 2014 and to $20 in 2016. The surcharge for electricity at single sites will increase from $5 to $7 per site this year, but not go up in 2016 (all sites have electricity).
Fees at double campsites will go from $24 to $30 in May and to $40 in 2016. The electrical surcharge will increase from $10 to $14 per site but not increase in '16.
Camping fees at Cedar Point were last increased in 1998, the release says.
Arrowhead Campground and Canebrake Horse Camp in Uwharrie National Forest. Single campsite fees, now $12, will be $15 in May and go to $18 in 2016; double sites go from $24 to $30 in May and to $36 in '16. Electricity, which is available at 33 of the 50 sites at Arrowhead and all 28 sites at Canebrake, costs $3 now, but will be $5 in May and $7 in 2016.
Sliding Rock Recreation Area in Pisgah National Forest. The daily fee increases from $1 to $2 per person. Annual passes remain $25.
The Forest Service says Sliding Rock sees 1,000 or more people a day in season and the higher fees will help to expand lifeguards' hours and maintain the site.
Three shooting ranges in the Nantahala National Forest. Fees will be standardized at $3 per person per day and $25 per person for an annual permit.
At Dirty John Shooting Range, a daily permit was $3 per vehicle and the annual permit was $7 per vehicle. Previously sold 2014 permits for Dirty John will be honored at Dirty John. At Panther Top Shooting Range they were $2 per person a day and already $25 per person for an annual permit.
The new fees are a first for Moss Knob Shooting Range.
The three Nantahala shooting ranges have recently been improved, the Forest Service points out, and the higher fees "will help to maintain these improvements as expected by those who use the sites."
The range and berms have been reconstructed and leveled, a news release says. Work continues on a parking lot and new access road approaching from behind the shooting line and safety berm.
Work was announced last summer but delayed until November. In November, the Forest Service said it would reopen in the spring.
Moss Knob, which is in the Highlands / Franklin area, has four firing lanes or stations on a 150-yard range with frame targets set at 25 and 50 yards.
The National Forest Service says Moss Knob sees "moderate" use. The Dirty John Shooting Range, west of Franklin, gets "light" use. (The Panther Top Shooting Range near Murphy is also a National Forest site, but the NFS does not have a web page for it.)
The closure of the left loop was announced January 2.
The 42-mile, four-loop trail network is open to hikers and horseback riders, but is best known as a challenging mountain bike course.
The left loop of the 42-mile trail system at Tsali Recreation Area in the Nantahala National Forest is closed because of a landslide, the National Forest Service said yesterday.
Forest officials are working to inspect and repair the damage, according to a news release, and will advise the public when work is completed.
The four-loop system on the Fontana Reservoir is well-known as a challenging circuit for mountain biking, and is also open to hiking and horseback riding.
The other three loops at Tsali remain open.
The Moss Knob Shooting Range near Franklin will remain closed until next spring as work to renovate it continues, forest officials said Monday.
Renovations were to be done in the fall, according to a Forest Service news release, but were originally announced last summer. "However, logistical challenges with the project have delayed reopening of the range," the release says.
Work at the Nantahala National Forest site is to include building a new access road to the shooting range from behind the shooting line, constructing a new earthen backstop for each shooting line, drainage work, and filling and leveling along the firing line.
Moss Knob has four firing lanes or stations on a 150-yard range with frame targets set at 25 and 50 yards.
Linville Gorge Wilderness Area has been reopened to the public with the Table Rock Fire 80 percent contained and mop-up and rehabilitation efforts in areas burned by the 2,500-acre blaze continuing, the U.S. Forest Service said Sunday.
Rifle deer hunting season begins today and the gorge is open to hunters. All closures in the Linville Gorge were lifted at midnight Sunday night, a news release said.
Mop-up and rehabilitation work have been completed at the Outward Bound Center, which was threatened by the fire, and the Table Rock Picnic Area, where the fire began, an earlier news release said Sunday.
The Forest Service advises hunters and others in the gorge that they are likely to encounter such hazards as burned out stump holes, fire weakened trees and snags, and areas of smoldering fuels or active fire in areas affected by the fire.
Officials also caution hunters and nonhunters to keep the mixed recreational use of the area in mind and to wear bright orange during hunting season.
Rifle season for deer in the western part of the state runs November 25 to December 14.
The Table Rock wildfire started November 12 at the picnic area of the Table Rock Day Use Area at Linville Gorge, which is part of the Grandfather Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest.
U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officials today released a photo of a man who they say may have information concerning the wildfire in the Linville Gorge (see below).
The man is depicted with a white, 2007-2009 Dodge Ram truck, possibly a sport model, that was seen in the area where the fire originated on or about November 12.
Investigators think the man they are looking for camped in the Table Rock Picnic Area over Veterans Day and may have information that would aid their investigation of the wildfire. He was with a group of other campers and may play the guitar, a news release from the Forest Service says.
If you have any information concerning this man, the other campers he was with, or the vehicle at the Table Rock picnic area on Veterans Day, officials ask you to call Law Enforcement Officer Jason Crisp at 828-442-2470. There may be a reward for substantial information.
Fire investigators want to talk to the man at left, who was camped at Table Rock November 11, about the time a wildfire in Linville Gorge started. There could be a reward for substantial information about the fire.
The Table Rock Fire in the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area is 50 percent contained and officials expect "little activity today due to increased humidity, light winds, and sparse fuels in the areas where there is active fire," this morning's update says.
The fire, first reported November 12, is listed as occupying 2,579 acres.
Firefighters have been conducting operations to burn fuel around the fire and keep it contained. On Wednesday, they dropped plastic spheres resembling ping-pong balls containing combustible chemicals from a helicopter-mounted ignition machine into the specific areas targeted for burning.
Light winds and much higher humidity levels forecast for the next couple of days will limit fire growth potential, today's news release says.
Much of the fire activity in last few days was in the southern reaches of the fire, where a containment line was breached earlier in the week. Today, officials say the Chimney Branch drainage area is keeping the fire from moving farther south, but they'll keep an eye on the area to make sure it doesn't jump into unburned fuels south of Chimney Branch.
A reward may be offered for substantial information regarding this investigation, and those with information should contact Law Enforcement Officer Jason Crisp at 828-442-2470 or the Grandfather Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest at 828-652-2144.
Officials will explain what's going on with the fire at a public meeting at the Jonas Ridge Fire and Rescue Department on Buckeye Hollow Road in Jonas Ridge tonight at 6 p.m.
Also on Wednesday, officials said they would drop their evening fire update.