Highpoint News and Reports


  1. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has just identified Black Mountain, KY as one of the nations most 11 endangered historic resources for 2011. It's very existence is threatened by the possible issuance of multiple surface and deep mining permits on and around the mountain. The Kentucky Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mine Permits will decide whether to grant the permits. Highpointers wishing to help preserve Black Mountain should write and/or email the Division of Mine Permits requesting that they reject the permit applications.

    The National Trust web site can be found at: http://www.preservationnation.org/issues/11-most-endangered/

    Contacts for the Division of Mine Permits can be found at their web site: http://www.minepermits.ky.gov/

  2. National park figures slightly down; official says numbers result of 'anomalies'

    Managing Editor - The Mountain Press

    NATIONAL PARK (June 17,2010) — Visitation to Great Smoky Mountains National Park is down by 1.8 percent — or 50,000 people — compared to 2009.

    But, a park official insisted on Wednesday, that doesn’t mean an ominous cloud is hovering over the 500,000-acre park.

    “Last year was an up year — the best year we’ve had since 2001,” spokesman Bob Miller said. “There were so many anomalies during the first part of the year that played a factor, so you can’t really say (the numbers are disturbing).

    “The impact of the winter weather and road conditions doesn’t give any indication of a trend for the year because it skews the numbers so much.”

    Despite being off by 50,000 — even up against a good year such as last year — it’s too early to count 2010 out, he said.

    “What happens in June through October will have a huge impact,” Miller said. “So many people come to the park during the summer, and then we have the leaf season in October. There’s still a lot of time (to make up ground).”

    Several factors played into the number of visitors who funneled into the park in the first few months of the year. Miller pointed to Newfound Gap Road being closed for much of January and February and even into March as the area experienced its snowiest winter in 20 years.

    Dovetailing onto that is the fact that Interstate 40 in North Carolina was closed from October until April 24 by a rockslide, impeding the ability for motorists to reach the park from the Foothills East Parkway. Other than the main entrances — Cherokee, Gatlinburg and Townsend — visitors coming from Foothills East Parkway are equal to the 11 others combined, Miller said.

    “If the roads are closed, people can’t drive and they can’t come to the park,” he said. “The weather also drove the numbers down. It’s not that people don’t want to come to the park — it’s just that they haven’t been able to get here.”

    The fact that so many roads inside the park were being repaired during the winter and early spring was no factor, Miller said. “Those roads aren’t open at that time of the year anyway,” he said.

    For May, Miller said, visitation was up .5 percent compared to the same month last year, translating to a difference of about 4,000 people. Gatlinburg’s entrance was up 4.9 percent, Townsend’s up 12.1 percent and Cherokee’s down 10.3 percent. The 13 outlying entrances were down 3.2 percent.

    Campground figures for May are off 15.9 percent and down 20.9 percent for the year to date.

    Miller said finances would be affected only minimally.

    “The only impact is that sales at visitors centers bookstores may be down slightly, but I’m not sure,” he said. “The most direct impact is in camping.”


  3. My Girlfriend and I are planning on hitting some highpoints in the north east between Sept 2 - Sept 13. Please let me know if there are any road closures or other news that might effect our trip. Thanks! :)