1) Training in Wilderness Stewardship Planned for 50th Anniversary of Wilderness Act
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS) and the United States Forest Service opened the application period today for the Wilderness Skills Institute (WSI), a training program for wilderness stewardship and management. In its fourth year, WSI is scheduled for May 19-30 at the Cradle of Forestry near Brevard. The Institute is designed to provide practical information about designated wilderness and the skills necessary to work effectively in wilderness, including certifications such as Wilderness First Aid, Leave No Trace and crosscut saw. WSI is a proven resource for trail volunteers, agency employees and nonprofit staff. The program each week features three levels of training for a variety of participants and levels of experience. Course work includes tool care, building trail structures, rigging to stabilize and move heavy objects and a trail maintenance course that emphasizes hands-on instruction on the theory and skills to maintain and repair wilderness trails. A course will also be offered for wilderness rangers focusing on history, policy, law, field safety, Leave No Trace and recreation use monitoring among other topics. All tracks come together for discussions of wilderness theory and legislation with some of the nation’s most experienced stewards. Application and registration is free, and camping is provided.
2) Scheduled February Events for Watauga County Library
The High Country Festival of the Book, in conjunction with the Friends of the Library, Junaluska Heritage Association, and Richard T. Barker Friends of the University Library would like to invite you to join them in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. The program titled “Race to Civility” features authors Deborah Johnson and Ed Williams on Saturday, Feb. 8 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in room 421 of Belk Library at ASU. Free parking will be available in the garage. There will be author presentations from 10 a.m.-noon and a panel with moderator Dr. Michael G. Wade from 1:30-3:00 p.m. Lunch will be catered by F.A.R.M. Cafe and tickets are $10 with advance purchase, including lunch. Tickets are available at the Watauga County Public Library. For more information, call 828-264-8784.
3) Avery County Chamber Hosts 5th Annual Open House Today
Join the Avery County Chamber Staff, Board of Directors and State and Local representatives for the 5th annual Open House on Thursday, Jan. 30. To date and weather permitting, a representative from Advantage West and both Congressman Meadow’s and Governor McCrory’s office will be available to talk with you about your business and our community. The networking is from 5-8 p.m. Enjoy light refreshments from some of our favorite local restaurants. Bring your newest rack cards for our Chamber office and business cards to be entered for some great door prizes. Members, pay your 2014 annual dues by Feb. 14 and save 10 percent. Not yet a member of this very active chamber working hard to earn and keep our membership support? Call 828-898-5605 or stop by the Avery Chamber Office and learn of the many benefits that we can offer your business (10 percent member discount applies to new members who join during membership drive). The Avery Chamber office is located in the Shoppes of Tynecastle and is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.