The N.C. Wildlife Habitat Foundation is beginning a habitat enhancement program at Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to benefit a variety of plant and wildlife populations, including newly released elk.
The project, in partnership with the National Park Service and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, will be a prescribed burn. The burn, in line with the Park’s general management plan, will increase plant diversity and productivity, as well as improve forage and habitat for deer, elk, bear, turkey, grouse, songbirds, and small game.
The project was begun to recognize and honor Johnny Morris, owner of Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World, and Richard Childress of RCR Racing for their continued support of the NCWHF and wildlife conservation in North Carolina and in the United States.
In 1998, Childress and the late Dale Earnhardt designated the NCWHF as their charity of choice at the Winston Cup race in Charlotte.
“If (the NCWHF) ever has the chance to help bring elk back to North Carolina, please consider it,” Childress said at the time.
The NCWHF, through its Adopt-an-Acre program, also has purchased 10 acres of land in Caswell County to be added to the Caswell Game Lands, a 16,000-acre game land.
The Adopt-an-Acre program assists the “Million Acre Initiative” begun by Gov. James B. Hunt. Private donations are matched by the state on a $3-for-$1 basis.
For more information, call (336) 375-4994.