Chestnut Trees in DuPont State Forest

Photo courtesy of the Haywood County History Collection.

The progress of national and local efforts to develop blight-resistant chestnut trees will be outlined Friday, June 23, at 1:30 p.m. at the Cedar Mountain Community Center. The event is open to the public and sponsored the Friends of DuPont Forest.

Don Surrette, a native of Transylvania County and board member of the Carolina chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation, will describe the 35-year-old campaign to save the iconic hardwood and its current momentum in this area.

In particular, he will report on the experimental plantings of several hundred of the fungus-resistant hybrids begun in 2010 in DuPont State Recreational Forest.

These experimental plantings are being maintained and monitored by volunteers who trim competing vegetation and check each tree for growth and signs of infection by the blight fungus.

Cedar Mountain Community Center is located at 10635 Greenville Hwy in Cedar Mountain, just west of the Cedar Mountain Fire Department near the intersection of US Hwy276 with Cascade Lake Road.

***Photo Courtesy of Rowell Bosse NC Room, Transylvania County Library

DuPont Trails Day 6.3.17

National Trails Day this Sat (6.3.17). To celebrate Friends of DuPont Forest is hosting Dupont Trails Day and you’re invited.

Our parking lot hosts at Corn Mill Shoals, Lake Imaging, and Guion can answer questions about the Forest and how you can get involved. They will also have National Geographic maps, suggested routes booklets, and souvenirs for sale. All proceeds and donations will go towards purchasing much needed trail tools.

Our amazing Trail Crew will be working on Micajah Trail (near Rock Quarry Road). If you’d like to lend a hand met at Corn Mill Shoals parking lot at 9am. Come be a part of Trails Day!

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Friends of DuPont Forest Night

DuPont Images

 

Join us at Sanctuary Brewing for Friends of DuPont Forest Night.
10% of proceeds go to Friends of DuPont Forest because the folks at Sanctuary Brewing Company are awesome!

We’ll use that money to help maintain the 80+ miles of trails in DuPont Forest and to launch edcuation and research projects. #science!

Everyone is welcome – members, nonmembers, kids, dogs – we’ll see you there!

RSVP on Facebook.

Forest announces temporary trail closures to protect blue ghost fireflies

RALEIGH – DuPont State Recreational Forest (DSRF) will be closing several trails at the High Falls Access Area to prevent further impacts to blue ghost firefly populations.  The closures will take place at night from approximately mid-May through early June. Visitors are welcome to explore and enjoy the forest at all access areas until 10 p.m., the official closing time of DSRF.

The temporary trail closures are in response to an overwhelming number of visitors during the 2015 Blue Ghost season, typically a 3-week period in late spring. Forest officials observed a high level of habitat disturbance and disruption by the large crowds, which could have long term impacts on the local populations of fireflies. Forest officials ask that the public observe trail closure signs and closed areas at all times.

“Our mission is to protect all forest resources, including the Blue Ghost habitat, so that everyone can continue to enjoy and benefit from these unique insects,” stated Jason Guidry, DSRF Supervisor. “The Blue Ghost fireflies are known to exist across the southern Appalachians. However, DuPont State Recreational Forest has become synonymous with the firefly through social media and news articles in recent years.”

In addition to informing the public about the temporary trail closures, the N.C. Forest Service wants the public to know that other public lands in neighboring counties are likely to offer viewing opportunities for the Blue Ghost Firefly without the crowding.

The Friends of DuPont Forest (FODF) supports the trail closures and has suspended their annual guided tours of the insects.

“The FODF’s mission is to enhance the enjoyment of all that the forest has to offer while protecting its natural resources,” added Sara Landry, Executive Director of the Friends of DuPont Forest, “To support the N.C. Forest Service, the FODF has decided to temporarily suspend our guided tours of the Blue Ghost fireflies.”

Information regarding the trail closures can be found at forest kiosks, at the DuPont State Recreational Forest Visitor Center, and on the DSRF website ncforestservice.gov/Contacts/dsf.htm

 

Spring Tour de Falls May 13 & 14, 2017

 

Tour de Falls is a family friendly guided bus tour of Triple Falls, High Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Lake Julia in DuPont State Recreational Forest.

Tickets are not required but donations are requested.
$12 donation (18yrs+)
$6 donation (6 – 17yrs)

All donations benefit Friends of DuPont Forest.* Cash or check only please.

Tour de Falls Parking and Shuttle Service
Join the tour at the entrance off Staton Road just south of High Falls Access Area (aka the doughnut hole entrance).

Planning for Tour de Falls

  • Visitors should bring snacks and water.
  • Buses run every 30 minutes from 9:30am to 2:30pm.
  • A full tour may take 3 hours or longer.
  • Friends of DuPont Forest volunteers provide information about history and natural resources within the 10,400 acre forest.
  • Pets, wheelchairs, and walkers are not allowed on buses.
  • Light refreshments will be available in the lodge (Ranger Station) overlooking Lake Julia.
  • Busses are not handicapped accessible

For more information please call Sara Landry at828.713.2368 or email saralandry@dupontforest.com. 

*Tour de Falls benefits Friends of DuPont Forest, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to enhancing the public’s enjoyment of DuPont Forest while protecting its natural and historic resources. We work with the NC Forest Service to improve and maintain 80+ miles of trail system, host educational and forest research projects, and provide funding for special projects such as the Aleen Steinberg Visitor Center.

 

 

Forest is expanded with addition of 476 acre “doughnut hole”

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and DuPont have completed the company’s donation of 476 acres inside DuPont State Recreational Forest to the state.

The property, commonly known as the “doughnut hole,” was the site of a DuPont plant from 1956 to 2002. Demolition of the plant was completed in 2006.

“This property is the final piece for the completion of DuPont State Recreational Forest,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “The acreage that DuPont generously donated joins property the state acquired in phases between 1995 and 2008, and boosts the size of the forest to almost 11,000 acres.”

The department has been working with DuPont, the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, the N.C. National Guard and other agencies since late 2013 to get to this point, Troxler said. Throughout the process, there also has been consistent local support from the DuPont Forest Advisory Committee, Friends of DuPont Forest and elected officials.

See full press release.

See Frequently Asked Questions

Public Comment and Fact Sheet About Remediation at DuPont Donut Hole

The plan for remediation at the donut hole inside DuPont Forest is nearing final approval.  A public comment period is open from October 21 to December 5.

The recent Public Notice from NC Waste Management includes an extensive Fact Sheet about the property for those wanting to learn more about the more.

Friends of DuPont Forest and the DuPont State Advisory Committee have been generally supportive of the plan for the property.  See background information.

Forest receives gift of 476 acre ‘Donut Hole’

In an exciting development built on years of work, the DuPont Company has gifted the 476-acre tract of land in the very center of the forest to the state of North Carolina.  The tract is the site of the former DuPont film plant owned that at one time employed more than 1000 local people and operated for more than 40 years.

The property is important because it allows DuPont State Recreational Forest to control development and activities in close proximity to Bridal Veil Falls, High Falls, and the Visitors Center. It also has the potential to provide excellent trail connections, such as a much faster way to get to Bridal Veil Falls. Local lawmakers are also discussing other benefits, such as additional parking and swimming at Lake DERA, the lake once used by DuPont employees.

This development was possible thanks to cooperation and steady work by DuPont management, local lawmakers, including Chuck McGrady and Chris Whitmire, and Agricultural Commissioner Steve Troxler.  The agreement will allow the NC National Guard to use the former industrial site for training and other logistics.  The site has been undergoing environmental study and remediation since the closing in 2002.

See important information published in links below.

 

More Information

DuPont Corp. gifts ‘Donut Hole’ to state
Hendersonville Lightning 9/14/2016

State Dept of Environmental Quality page about site remediation

Notice about property environmental remediation

FAQ from NC Forest Service about plans for property

Friends of DuPont Forest supports Remediation Plan for Forest

Crowds converge on Hooker Falls. Photo by David Brown

Fabulous News for the Forest

Crowds converge on Hooker Falls. Photo by David Brown

Crowds converge on Hooker Falls. Photo by David Brown

by Nancy Kay

The NC state budget has been finalized and it’s all fantastic news for DuPont State Recreational Forest. The initial House budget called for substantial financial support for the Forest, but the Senate version allocated no funding whatsoever. Special thanks to Representative Chuck McGrady and Senator Tom Apodaca for doing the nudging needed to help Senate members come to their senses.

In a recent general assembly bulletin, NC Representative Chuck McGrady reported:

After many long days and nights, the budget is finally done. The Conference Committee reconciled the differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget, and it was publicly released. This conferenced version of the budget cannot be amended.

Now, here’s the wonderful news. The budget provides $629,335 in recurring funds to support nine positions and associated operating expenses at DuPont State Recreational Forest. Additionally, the budget earmarks $3,000,000 (yep, you read all those zeros correctly!) for the construction and improvement of additional bathrooms, utilities, and parking lots.

These funds will allow development of infrastructure within the Forest to help support its massive and ever growing visitation. The major bathroom project will be at Hooker Falls. This should alleviate the need for visitors to relieve themselves amongst the trees and shrubs along the trail.

Now, let the construction begin!

Public Hearing Concerns Remediation at “Donut Hole” Inside DuPont Forest

NOTICE OF INTENT TO REMEDIATE

Risk-Based RemediationPursuant to Part 8 of Article 9 of Chapter 130A of the General Statutes

Former DuPont Brevard Site

1300 Staton Road

Cedar Mountain, Transylvania County, North Carolina

EPA ID No. NCD 003 152 329

This is a notice to the public of a request by E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) to pursue remediation of the contamination at the Former DuPont Brevard Facility (site) using site-specific remediation standards as opposed to unrestricted use standards. Contaminated site media include groundwater, soil, sediment and surface water. Information about the nature and extent of the contamination at the site is presented in the Remedial Investigation Report which is available electronically for review at: https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/waste-management/hazardous-waste-section/dupont-facility-brevard-nc.

DuPont has been performing investigation and remediation activities at the site since the 1990s. The site was used to produce high purity silicon from 1957 to 1962 and medical imaging (X-ray films) from 1962 to 2002. Approx-imately 1,100 samples were collected at the site during four comprehensive investigations and numerous remedial actions have been completed. Key remedial actions include demolition and removal activities of the former plant, removal and recycling/relocation of X-ray film waste, installation of cap/covers over former landfill/disposal areas, and installation of a groundwater treatment system for the DuPont State Recreational Forest (DSRF) Visitor Center water supply well. To satisfy additional remedial action objectives for the site, active remediation is proposed at two evaluation units (Solid Waste Management Unit [SWMU] 11 and SWMU 17. A vegetative cap will be designed and installed for final closure of SWMU 11 and in-situ solidification/stabilization for soil and waste will be designed and installed within SWMU 17. Institutional controls and engineering controls (e.g., fencing) will also be implemented throughout the site. Site investigations and proposed additional remedial actions are documented in reports that are available for review at the Transyl-vania County Library in Brevard, North Carolina and online at: http://www.uspioneer.com/projects/FormerDupontBrevardFacility/download.htm.

DuPont is preparing a remedial action plan in accordance with N.C.G.S. 130A-310.65 through 310.77 which allows use of site-specific remediation standards that are expected to pose no unacceptable risk to human health and the environment. Once the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NC DEQ) approves the proposed remedial action plan, a second Public Notice will be issued providing for a 45-day public comment period.

In addition, a public meeting will be held on Thursday June 23rd from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the Rogow Room at the Transylvania Public Library. Information about the proposed remediation action plan will be presented during the meeting. DuPont representatives will be available to answer questions and receive comments from the public. Comments received on or before July 25, 2016 will be incorporated, as appropriate, in the remedial action plan.

For more information or if you would like to submit a comment, please contact:

Mr. Jamie VanBuskirk

DuPont Corporate Remediation Group

6324 Fairview Road

Charlotte, NC 28210

704.362.6626

Jamie.A.Vanbuskirk@dupont.com

T/5/26/1TP-62332