Monday, December 7, 2009

Fall Semester Hikes and School Forests...

The Forestry Clubs' Monthly hike was put on hold for December because of hunting season winding down and most of our students are trying to get the last few days in to fill the freezer up. We will continue, beginning in January, with some winter hiking and at least one overnight backpacking trip, hopefully with some extreme winter conditions. I do not hunt so I got a great hike in with this early season snow this last weekend, December the 6th. I have posted a picture here of our newest school forest as seen from the Blue Ridge parkway on my hike, near Balsam gap in Haywood County. Wesner Bald can be seen in the background at 5,560 feet above sea level. Haywood Community College ownes three separate forests in the Balsam area that we use for teaching labs. The Fowler Forest consisting of 320 acres, ranging from 3,500 feet up to 5,500 feet elevation, and the Beaty Forest is a smaller north facing stand of 59 acres with an elevation from 2,900 feet up to 4,700 feet. This new forest, 300 plus acres, un-named as of now, with the Wesner Bald peak at 5,560 feet, is north- west facing with numerous very steep coves. We are very fortunate to have the three teaching labs with tremendous diversity of species and habitats for the Natural Resources students to be able to visit and work within on assigned student projects. If you come to Haywood for your education, you will get to see them all up close and personal. Keep an eye out for winter hiking and camping posts. Merry Christmas to all. (Post by Bob Pinkston)

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