Blue Ridge Parkway top natural wonder in NC

Project documenting the old growth and special forests along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shennandoah National Park in Virginia and North Carolina.

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edfrank
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Blue Ridge Parkway top natural wonder in NC

Post by edfrank » Fri May 28, 2010 10:33 am

Blue Ridge Parkway top natural wonder
http://www.wavy.com/dpp/news/north_caro ... ral-wonder
Published : Wednesday, 19 May 2010, 1:25 PM EDT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - And North Carolina's top natural wonder is ... the Blue Ridge Parkway.

That's the result of a contest sponsored by Land for Tomorrow, an environmental coalition that works to preserve the state's land and water resources. The coalition asked voters to nominate any landscape, natural feature, wildlife or plant life that's unique to North Carolina and should be counted as one of the state's top natural wonders.

The others on the list are: Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout; Grandfather Mountain; the Great Smoky Mountains; Lake Mattamuskeet; the Lumber River; Merchants Millpond State Park; the Mountains to Sea Trail; the New River; and Ocracoke Island.

Land for Tomorrow received 200 unique nominations among 1,300 offered. A panel narrowed those 200 to 25, and voters determined the final 10.

------

Online:

http://www.landfortomorrow.org

Announcing Land for Tomorrow's "North Carolina's Ten Natural Wonders"!



After tallying over 3,000 individual votes, North Carolina's Ten Natural Wonders (in alphabetical order) are:

Blue Ridge Parkway
Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout
Grandfather Mountain
Great Smoky Mountains
Lake Mattamuskeet
Lumber River
Merchants Millpond State Park
Mountains to Sea Trail
New River
Ocracoke Island

..
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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dbhguru
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Re: Blue Ridge Parkway top natural wonder

Post by dbhguru » Fri May 28, 2010 11:18 am

Ed,

That's an easy sell for me - although I wouldn't have voted against the Smokies either. North Carolina has a wealth of incredible natural gifts.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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mdavie
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Re: Blue Ridge Parkway top natural wonder

Post by mdavie » Fri May 28, 2010 1:37 pm

I gotta say, the Parkway is a lovely drive, and takes one through some fantastic country, but it's not a natural wonder. While I enjoy using it, it's really a big human scar on the mountaintops. The Smokies are a natural wonder, or Linville Gorge, or the Serpentine Barrens, whatever.
At least it takes people into nature, and hopefully they can get a better appreciation.

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dbhguru
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Re: Blue Ridge Parkway top natural wonder

Post by dbhguru » Fri May 28, 2010 2:28 pm

Mike,

I understand your point. Any road is an intrusion into nature. In the case of the Parkway, its sheer length keeps the concentration of travelers down. In recent years traffic enforcement has been minimal and Parkway speeds have increased. Travel isn't as laid back as it once was.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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James Parton
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Re: Blue Ridge Parkway top natural wonder

Post by James Parton » Fri May 28, 2010 11:00 pm

Michael,

I agree that Linville Gorge should be on the list. It is one awesome place.

JP
James E Parton
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New Order of Druids

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dbhguru
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Re: Blue Ridge Parkway top natural wonder

Post by dbhguru » Sat May 29, 2010 8:33 am

ENTS,

The reason I think the Parkway is #1 is that it can be considered to include several of the other places. You can access Linville Gorge, Grandfather Mountain, and many other wonders including the Appalachian Trail directly from the Parkway. Even places like Crabtree Falls in Virginia can be accessed from the Parkway, although through a little longer side tour. Walker Cove in the Craggy Mtns isn't right on the Parkway, but can be accessed via a hiking trail from the Parkway. In this context, the Parkway is much, much more than a leisurely drive along the crest of the Blue Ridge with periodic stops for views. The greater Parkway provides exposure to the expansiveness of the Blue Ridge ecosystem from Virginia to North Carolina. A short side trip takes one to the top of Mount Mitchell, highest mountain in the East. The list of world-class spots rapidly builds as one travels from Rockfish Gap to Oconaluftee. Because of the superb engineering of the Parkway, you can roll along feeling a part of the road.

The problems the Parkway faces today are not insignificant. A drastically reduced budget means that there is little traffic enforcement and that allows motor cyclists to turn the Parkway into a test run. Local people also use the Parkway as a convenient path from one point to another, dumping extra cars and small trucks onto that scenic corridor. Commuting drives have no business being on the Parkway, but the only way that kind of nuisance traffic could be reduced is by charging tolls.

Still, even with the heavier usage, the Parkway is a pleasure to drive and a far greater pleasure to visit. I mentioned to Ed that as a precursor to the book, I'm thinking about writing an essay on the Parkway.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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James Parton
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Re: Blue Ridge Parkway top natural wonder

Post by James Parton » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:03 pm

Bob,

Yes, I agree. The Parkway can be looked at as a multitude of places or access to them. Yeah, like Linville Gorge. Good Point.

I really do not have anything against motorcyclists using the parkway, I would if I had one. But they should obey all laws just as anyone else.

My wife Joy uses the " commuter stretch " of the parkway outside of Asheville to go to work. It is certainly a more beautiful drive to work than I have on I-26 to my job. It is the shortest route to her job at the Oteen Ingles from here in Arden.

James
James E Parton
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http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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dbhguru
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Re: Blue Ridge Parkway top natural wonder in NC

Post by dbhguru » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:29 am

James,

If a person travels the Parkway in a state of appreciation and reverence, then it matters not that they are going to a job. They are still a welcome, needed member of Parkway travelers. I'm 100% sure Joy fits that description. By contrast, I'd bet that many, if not most, commuters neither enter or leave the Parkway in an appreciative state of mind. It's just the way it is. It is a sign of the times.

My friend John Knuerr and his wife Ann recently went to Muir Woods. In a conversation with me John expressed frustration by the lack of consideration or appreciation of visitors. They were there to power walk, converse with companions, etc., not to commune with the trees. It is a sign of the times.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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James Parton
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Re: Blue Ridge Parkway top natural wonder in NC

Post by James Parton » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:07 pm

Bob,

Your comments somehow makes me think of mountain bikers. While I have nothing against the sport itself, I don't prefer it. I go to the woods to commune with nature. It can't be done at high speed from a bike! Plus bikes are hard on trails. Horses are better but they are even harder on trails. I can remember days back in my youth when trails in Pisgah National Forest were open to motorized traffic, Jeeps,motorcycles and ATVs. These create more noise and do more trail damage than any other form of travel through the woods. I can see the use of ATV and 4 wheel drive vehicles to get to a remote spot in the forest, but just that. A transport to get there. Most people want to play and that is where the damage comes in. The fact is. The best way to see the forest is on foot. But so many people are in it for play. Not to see the forest.

JP
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

TN_Tree_Man
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Re: Blue Ridge Parkway top natural wonder in NC

Post by TN_Tree_Man » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:53 pm

James,

Your mention of mountain bikers and ATVs in Pisgah reminded me of when I worked in a state forest. It seems that people on four-wheelers enjoyed riding them in creeks and swamps in addition to trail riding! We were ever giving out tickets and other "shame-on-you" warnings. It has become almost impossible to sufficiently police. Four-wheelers do damage trails but they are murder to streams and other shallow waterways.
"One can always identify a dogwood tree by it's bark."

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