Tour de Falls Announcement

As President of Friends of DuPont Forest, I would like to explain the reasons why our Board of Directors made the decision to cancel the Fall 2017 Tour de Falls.

The Tour has been our signature event for over ten years, and has served thousands of residents who are not able to walk or ride to the waterfalls.   We appreciate our hundreds of dedicated volunteers who have generously given their time over the years to make this happen.  Clearly, this is not a decision that could be taken lightly.

The Friends of DuPont Board is fully committed to our public service goal that people unable to walk to the falls are given an opportunity to visit them.  However, we decided that we needed to stop and re-examine the most efficient way to make this happen.

The first Tour was held in 2003 during my first term on the Board, at a time when Friends of DuPont was trying to promote visitation at the Forest.  Within a few years, demand surged to see the “new” waterfalls.  But there were still few people on the trails to compete with the buses.

Today, demand has dropped significantly, the trails are teeming with weekend visitors, and the event stretches our volunteer capacity a bit tighter each year.  The Spring Tour consumed 400 volunteer hours, and consumed approximately two months of our Executive Director’s time in planning and preparation.

Friends of DuPont leadership is working on a large number of new projects that will provide outreach to new audiences, collaborate with the newly hired staff at the Forest, and establish new forms of fundraising. As President, I realized that we needed our Executive Director focused on these important goals over the next three months.

In July, the Board of Directors made the decision this summer to defer the tour to make time for all these important projects.  We are forming a sub-group to discuss ways to rework the Tour and meet our service objectives in the most efficient way possible.

If you have questions or comments about this issue, you can contact me at president@dupontforest.com.

Sincerely,

Jeff Jennings
President, Board of Directors
Friends of DuPont Forest

 

 

Speaking as past president of Friends of DuPont here is my two cents on canceling the fall Tour de Falls.

There are many exciting changes in the Forest this year. New staff hires, managing the newly-acquired “donut hole”, and Friends of DuPont’s hiring its first Executive Director (ED) are among the changes. Declining attendance at the last few Tours has forced the Board of Directors to take a hard look at the tour. Perhaps it is time for something new or different? Sara Landry, our ED, is working on some new projects.

The Tour was begun as an event to offer access to DuPont for those unable to  hike, bike, or ride a horse. FRIENDS OF DUPONT WILL CONTINUE TO OFFER SUCH EVENTS.  A version of our popular “Bring Your Own Bus” (BYOB) is in the works. So, faithful, hard-working volunteers, enjoy your break this fall. Much thanks for your continued support of Friends of DuPont and DuPont State Recreational Forest.

Bev Parlier
Former President, Board of Directors
Friends of DuPont Forest

 

Fireflies, Glow-worms, and Lightning Bugs

Meet the Author – Lynn Frierson Faust

Presentation and Book Signing

 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017  @ 7:00PM
Transylvania County Library Rogow Room
22 South Gaston Street, Brevard, NC 

Lynn Frierson Faust is the author of the new field guide, Fireflies, Glow-worms , and Lightning Bugs: Identification and Natural History of the Fireflies of the Eastern and Central United States and Canada.

The presentation and book signing is sponsored by Friends of DuPont Forest and Transylvania County Library .

Highland Books will have Ms. Faust’s book available for sale at the event and thereafter at their store in Brevard.

Free and open to the public.

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Green Salamander Walk & Talk

Western North Carolina boasts 50 species of salamanders including the endangered green salamander found in DuPont Forest. On July 13 Friends of DuPont Forest will host a Green Salamander Walk and Talk.

When? July 13, @ 9:30am
Where? Aleen Steinberg Visitor Center Classroom at the High Falls Parking Lot

The event will start with a presentation on the green salamander by Alan Cameron, Friends of DuPont Forest Board Member and 12-year volunteer with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. Attendees will then carpool to a spot near Bridal Veil Falls to see a female green salamander protecting her eggs.

Please RSVP to Alan Cameron at adcamer77@bellsouth.net. This event is open to Friends of DuPont members only and limited to 15 people. First come, first serve.

Join Friends of DuPont Forest today! 

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.