Focal Area–NC and VA

Abigail has met some great people, all who have a place in their hearts for Southern forests.


I spent a couple more days at Lake
Waccamaw last week, speaking with
folks and checking out the Nature Conservancy’s preserve down in the Green Swamp.They recently acquired an additional piece of
land known as Juniper Creek, which connects their Green
Swamp with Lake Waccamaw.In the land of pine plantations, it’s heartening
to see some long leaf pine savannah being restored and wildlife corridors

The folks I met with in the Green Swamp/Lake Waccamaw area
were grassroots activists, policy-focused activists, forestry consultants, park
rangers, professors, engineers, paddlers, businessmen, naturalists, nurses, and
environmental educators.I saw some
nasty wetlands logging and some beautiful sunsets and big old cypress
trees.I became crepuscular (active at
dawn and dusk), wanting to soak up as much of the still, open water and
moss-covered gum trees as I could before heading back home to the mountains.And I learned of a few environmental
education initiatives underfoot to get folks out and about in the region’s
amazing swampland, studying the area’s ecology and the critters that call it

After leaving southeast NC, I made a trip back up to
Virginia to meet with a local historian, a whitewater paddling champion, an
avid bird watcher, an Earth First!er, a wildlife biologist, and some local
folks working to restore the wetlands in their own backyard.All of them sing the praises of the Great
Dismal Swamp – its unique history, biodiversity, and substantial wildlife
habitat in the midst of an ever-expanding matrix of roads, subdivisions and
strip malls.

I also got to attend a 7am bird walk at the Great Dismal
Swamp led by the refuge biologist.The
birds were a bit elusive, but it was great just to be out in the swamp at sunrise
and hear from local folks about their experiences with bears, owls, and other

Check out photo gallery soon to come. In the meantime, here are some more photos from the Great Dismal Swamp:


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