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  • A woman wearing a warm hat preparing to plant a tiny spruce tree seedling.
    Information icon Sue Cameron plants a red spruce at Whigg Meadow in Tennessee. Photo by Garry Peeples, USFWS.

    Restoring red spruce

    November 30, 2015 | 2 minute read

    Transcript Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature. A recent afternoon found staff from the Fish and Wildlife Service and Southern Highlands Reserve bushwhacking through Pisgah National Forest collecting red spruce cones - a first step in a multi-year process to restore red spruce to areas where it was found before the extensive logging and burning at the turn of the 20th century. The Southern Appalachians are home to the highest peaks in the eastern United State, where red spruce is a key forest tree.  Learn more...

  • A small black and grey fish on a ruler.
    Information icon A nine inch lake sturgeon ready to be stocked in the Tennessee River. Photo by Daniel Schwarz, USFWS.

    Lake sturgeon return to North Carolina

    November 23, 2015 | 2 minute read

    Transcript Welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature. Absent for more than half a century, lake sturgeon returned to North Carolina waters this fall as seven-thousand fish were released into the French Broad River. Lake Sturgeon are native to the Mississippi, Great Lakes, and Hudson Bay basins - a historical range sweeping from the Deep South to well into Canada. Despite the wide distribution, during the 20th century lake sturgeon declined across their range as a result of overfishing, habitat loss, dams, and pollution.  Learn more...

  • A view from the top of a mountain.
    Hanging Rock State Park. Photo by Amy Meredith, CC BY-ND 2.0.

    Fishing for trout in a state park lake

    November 16, 2015 | 2 minute read

    Transcript Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, along with North Carolina State Parks, continue to stock trout into in Hanging Rock State Park’s lake, supporting the new Stokes County trout fishery created earlier this year. Stocking the 12-acre lake provides a unique opportunity in North Carolina, giving the public a chance to fish for trout outside traditional mountain trout streams. The lake was first stocked in April , and most, if not all, of those fish have been caught, which was the hope and expectation given that the trout, which like cold water with higher oxygen levels, wouldn’t survive the lake’s warmer summer temperatures and lower dissolved oxygen.  Learn more...

  • A small brown bat on the roof of a cave with a fuzzy white fungus on its nose.
    Information icon A tri-color bat in the Avery County with white-nose syndrome. Photo by Gabrielle Graeter, NCWRC.

    Bat monitoring protocol

    November 9, 2015 | 2 minute read

    Transcript Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature Monitoring, or regularly going out and counting plants or animals following an established protocol, provides biologists with key information on the distribution of plants and animals and the well-being of individual populations. Though well-developed, nation-wide monitoring programs are in place for birds and other animals, until now there hasn’t been a similar program for North American bats. Earlier this year, the Forest Service published guidelines for participating in NABat, the first step in establishing a monitoring program for North American bats, and in doing so, provide natural resource managers the information they need to manage bat populations effectively, detect early warning signs of population declines, and estimate extinction risks.  Learn more...

  • A woman kneeling on the bank of a river.
    N.C. Wildlife Resources Commissions Andrea Leslie releases rare fish. Photo by Gary Peeples, USFWS.

    Little Tennessee Native Fish Conservation Area

    November 2, 2015 | 2 minute read

    Transcript Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature. Recognizing its incredible diversity of stream life and years of efforts to conserve that diversity, the Little Tennessee River basin has been designated the nation’s first Native Fish Conservation Area. In 2008, Trout Unlimited, the Federation of Fly Fishers, and the Fisheries Conservation Foundation came together to develop a new way to approach fish conservation on a large scale, based on coordination at local, state, and federal levels while recognizing the importance of recreation and multiple economic river uses.  Learn more...

  • A man inspecting a net for critters.
    Great Smoky Mountains National Park Ranger Jay Johnstone preparing collection tools. Photo by Gary Peeples, USFWS.

    Fourth grade students in parks

    October 26, 2015 | 2 minute read

    Transcript Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature. Great Smoky Mountains National Park invites all 4th-grade students to visit the park as part of the White House’s new Every Kid in a Park program. The park offers a variety of activities that fourth graders and their family can enjoy, including guided discovery hikes, educational programs, self-guided junior ranger activities, and special events throughout the year. Although entry to Great Smoky Mountains National Park is always free, students in the 4th grade can now go to www.  Learn more...

  • A USFWS firefighter keeps a close eye on a prescribed fire
    Information icon USFWS firefigher Brian Pippin watches over a prescribed fire at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Jennifer Hinckley, USFWS.

    Importance of prescribed fire

    October 12, 2015 | 2 minute read

    Transcript Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature The ridge we hiked along in Pisgah National Forest was open, dry, and on this day, hot. The area had recently experienced a fire and one of the benefits was the explosion of mountain golden heather, a threatened plant adapted to periodic fire. As this summer’s headlines from the west testify, wildfires get plenty of attention and can be incredibly destructive, but prescribed burning is an important tool to both manage our natural landscapes, and prevent catastrophic wildfires.  Learn more...

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