Shenandoah National Park plans controlled burn

photo credit Scott Bradley Hesson with permission

Shenandoah National Park officials plan to burn about 88 acres at Big Meadows sometime between Monday and April 15. The actual date will depend on the weather, according to a park news release.

“A portion of Big Meadows (mile 51 on Skyline Drive), the open area across from Byrd Visitor Center, is burned each year for the purpose of maintaining the open vista by preventing encroachment from small trees and shrubs,” a park news release states.

“Prescribed burns are ignited by fire managers under a pre-determined set of conditions, including temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, wind direction, fuel moisture and resource availability. Prescribed burns will be conducted as interagency projects, with local support, under the guidance and direction of trained and experienced National Park Service personnel.”

Fire managers expect the project will take one day to complete. Smoke will be visible that day in the surrounding area.

All park facilities will remain open during the burn, but access to Big Meadows will be restricted.

Last day to help the National Park

photo credit Scott Bradley Hesson with permission

Have you seen the Spotted Lantern Fly?

This is an invasive species to the Shenandoah Valley and Shenandoah National Park is collecting data.

Through the end of the day, September 30th, you can report sightings of the species to the app iNaturalist.

Snap a photo of the Spotted Lantern Fly, and report when and where you found it.

If you do not have service at that time, that is not a problem, report it when you are back in service.

The Shenandoah National Park appreciates your help with this project.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Hiker falls 30 feet at Shenandoah National Park

photo credit Scott Bradley Hesson with permission

Rockingham County Fire and Rescue (RCFR) report the rescue of a hiker who had fallen in the Shenandoah National Park.

The hiker was discovered unconscious by Park Rangers after he had fallen approximately 30 feet from the backside of his campsite near Loft Mountain.

Rangers called RCFR to assist in the rescue effort Fri. morning Aug. 5.

National Park personnel then worked with the RCFR’s Tactical Rescue Team to reach the person and treat him for immediate injuries.

The person was pulled from the site after he was stabilized and airlifted to the UVA for trauma care. 

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Officials open investigation after a body was found on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Authorities with the Blue Ridge Parkway and National Park opened an investigating after a body of a male was discovered.

A Parkway press release states that dispatchers were alerted to the discovery Saturday afternoon.

The body was found near the overlook in the Blowing Rock Yadkin Valley milepost 289 area.

The cause of death is still under investigation by state authorities and National Park investigators.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

SNP bans all fishing

Effective immediately all streams and rivers are closed to fishing in the Shenandoah National Park (SNP).

Despite the recent rains so far streams and groundwater have not sufficiently recovered from the recent dry conditions.

Low stream flows are reported throughout the park with some water ways completely dry with high water temperatures.

Those conditions can be fatal to fish.

The closures to fishing includes both open to harvest as well as catch and release waters.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here. 

Fun Fact June 7, 2021.

Today in history, and we’re going North, to Alaska!  I’m currently working on an audio book about the history of Alaska.  It was on this date in 1913 that the first successful assent of the highest peak in North America was made by a missionary named Hudson Struck.  The mountain he and two other climbers reached the peak of is Denali, formally Mount McKinley.  Denali is an Athabascan Indian name for the mountain and means “the high one.”  At 20,320 feet the south peak towers above all the other peaks in the Alaska Range.  It is surrounded by Denali National Park, which covers 6.1 million, with an “M”, acres.  Larger than the state of Massachusetts. Although always known as Denali by the Athabascan people, in 1889 was named after a prospector named Frank Densmore. In 1896, it was renamed in honor of Senator William McKinley, who became president that year.  Mount McKinley National Park was established as a wildlife refuge in 1917. In 1980, the park was expanded and renamed Denali National Park and Preserve. In 2015, the mountain was officially renamed Denali.