The 2019 Winter Rally continues the celebration of our natural world by providing top speakers and field trip leaders on topics concerning the environs of the Roan Highlands.
The indoor program will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. at the Conference Center of Roan Mountain State Park. Information about the program can be found at http://tnstateparks.com/parks/about/roan-mountain.
The presenters at the program will include:
▪ Tyler Wicks, a biology undergraduate from East Tennessee State University, will present "Where are they hiding? A survey of rare Appalachian salamanders.”
The Southern Appalachian Mountains are the center of salamander diversity globally and are home to many rare endemic species. Wicks will present the results from his recent field research, which focused primarily on assessing the population status of the northern gray-cheeked salamander (Plethodon montanus) in several locations around Roan Mountain.
▪ Robert Johnson, an artist from Celo, N.C., will present the program "Painting North Carolina state parks."
Johnson will make a presentation on a three-year project he is currently working on. He is hiking and sketching in all 33 North Carolina state parks and developing paintings in his studio for a show at Blue Spiral Gallery in Asheville, North Carolina, in the fall of 2020.
▪ Dan Gibbs, a black bear program leader with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, will present the program “What do we do about all these bears? Black bears in Tennessee: Their history, current status and future.”
Today black bears are recolonizing their former range in Tennessee as well as much of the eastern United States. Now the question is, ”What do we do about all of these bears?”
The morning programs will be followed by lunch catered by City Market of Elizabethton.
The lunchtime program will run from 12:10-1 p.m. and feature Jamey Donaldson, the John C. Warden Herbarium adjunct curator at East Tennessee State University.
His program will be “There and back again: A hobble tale” and include the results of his recent vascular plant research on Roan Mountain.
Post lunch guided hikes will begin at 1 p.m. The three concurrent hikes will depart from the conference center. The hikes will focus on such topics as recent land conservation in the area, winter species identification and wildlife tracking.
To register online, go to: https://tinyurl.com/yagkc5yy.