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Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photo by The Shared Experience, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Opportunity to live as a park ranger

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Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature.

Most people don’t get the opportunity to spend a day with biologists snorkeling a river looking for mussels, hiking through the high country keeping tabs on northern flying squirrels, or going underground to check on bat populations. I’m blessed in that I get to do all of those things on occasion.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Friends of the Smokies, and the Great Smoky Mountain Association are offering an opportunity for local business, civic, and educational leaders to get a behind the scenes look at the national park.

The Experience Your Smokies program provides participants the opportunity to spend two half day and three full day sessions at a variety of locations in the park, accompanying park employees in activities that may include radio-tracking elk, excavating archeological sites, and monitoring salamander populations. This is a perfect way to get an insider’s look at park operations and explore areas like Cataloochee Valley, Deep Creek, Oconaluftee, Clingmans Dome, and Purchase Knob.

Experience Your Smokies is seeking diverse applicants from the surrounding communities for a program this spring. Program dates are: Tuesday March 13th and 27th, April 17th, May 1st and Saturday May 19th. Class size is limited to 25 participants. Those attending are asked to commit to attending all class days. Applications will be accepted until February 15. Call 828-452-0720 for an application.

For WNCW and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, this is Gary Peeples.

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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who can make it happen, visit fws.gov. Connect with the Service on Facebook, follow our tweets, watch the YouTube Channel and download photos from Flickr.

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