A publication of Appalachian Voices


A publication of Appalachian Voices

Environmental and cultural news from around the Central and Southern Appalachian region



Fifth Grader Spurs Change at WCU

Cullowhee Valley School fifth-grader Liam Tormey's testing of the Tuckasegee River led to Western Carolina University staff taking steps to reduce future sediment pollution.


Managing GenX Contamination

In May, the North Carolina House and Senate passed separate bills to grant the state Department of Environmental Quality more funding to address GenX contamination.


Cash for Carbon: Working Woodlands Program Grows in Appalachia

Over 25,000 acres of forest in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia will remain undeveloped for use in Forest Stewardship Council-certified timber markets.


West Virginia State Park Logging Bill Defeated

Widespread public backlash led to the defeat of a West Virginia bill that would have lifted the 80-year ban on commercial logging in state parks.


Sanctuary for Research Chimpanzees Opens Outdoor Habitat

In January, Georgia-based chimpanzee sanctuary Project Chimps opened a six-acre expanse of woods to 15 apes that had spent their entire lives indoors for biomedical research.


Eastern Cougar Declared Extinct

The eastern cougar, a subspecies of the North American cougar that once roamed much of the Eastern United States and parts of Canada, was officially declared extinct in February.


N.C. Rock Faces Closed to Protect Falcons

The U.S. Forest Service is seasonally closing nine recreational rock faces in North Carolina to protect rare peregrine falcon nests.


East Tennessee Historic Park Wins State Award

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation named the Sgt. Alvin C. York State Historic Park as the 2017 State Park of the Year.


West Virginia Teacher Strike Leads to Salary Increase

West Virginia school employees gained a 5 percent raise for the coming school year, ending a statewide walkout that lasted nine school days.


N.C. Struggles to Resolve GenX Contamination

The North Carolina legislature has yet to resolve the debate between the state House and Senate over a bill that seeks to address drinking water contaminated by the potentially cancer-causing chemical GenX.


Whitewater Releases Approved for Hawks Nest Dam on New River

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission mandated whitewater releases at Hawks Nest Dam along with other changes to improve recreation and aquatic health for West Virginia's New River.


The Lilies Project Bridges Art, Activism and Community

The Lilies Project in Walnut Cove, N.C., aims to bring awareness to the health impacts of coal ash on the community.


Proposed Changes to WNC Hunting Seasons

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission proposed changes to allow bear and deer hunting seasons to overlap and allow longer periods of hunting with guns.


McConnell Aide to be Tapped for Appalachian Post

President Trump intends to nominate Tim Thomas, a field representative on Sen. Mitch McConnell's staff, as federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission.


By the Numbers: New Public Lands

In late 2017 and early 2018, these parks gained new territory thanks to land trust organizations and other donors.