Fridays on the Fly: A Private River Runs Through It

first_imgResorts and landowners are blocking river access to anglersSolitude is a good thing when it’s just you, a fly rod, and an Appalachian stream—which may explain why some resorts and private landowners are inclined to add “No Trespassing” signs to the streamside ambience.A few recent steps in that direction on the upper Watauga River reflect how the trend is playing out in the North Carolina High Country.Five years ago, a rushing, rocky stretch of popular public-access river was posted with “No Trespassing” signs. Once managed and stocked by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, the river near Hound Ears Club sprouted “towing enforced” signs and roadside boulders to eliminate parking. The once idyllic sight of anglers casting near the upscale resort largely disappeared until 2016, when Hound Ears officially opened a new private fishing area where “members, property owners and guests may enjoy a picnic meal or grill out at the designated table in full view of this picturesque stream.”That closure deleted the public from a popular piece of what Hound Ears boasts is “one of the top-rated rivers in North Carolina for fly-fishing.”Already privatized adjacent properties on this prime section of river range from a Christian alcohol rehabilitation facility to the Twin Rivers development, both of which stock the river for paying guests or members.Twin Rivers attracted attention to a growing regional trend last winter with an explosion of metal signs along N.C. Highway 105. One large sign dangles on cables over the river and asserts its exclusivity. Resort expansion in the area has also closed other once publicly accessible fishing sites, among them Blowing Rock’s Chetola Resort.Photo: Randy JohnsonStream privatization received added attention recently when local fly fishing outfitter Patrick Sessoms spoke out against the practice in last fall’s Boone Film Festival.Since starting Due South Outfitters eight years ago, Sessoms says “there are a lot of places that are no longer accessible.” He faults a few factors, including landowners “who turn their property into a cash cow by privatizing streams for private trout fishing clubs, and resorts that market trout fishing in the Southern Appalachians, but that’s not what you get,” he maintains. “We call it country club fishing. It’s like turning streams into trout ponds.”The trend, Sessoms says, “stokes the egos of Instagram celebrities who post pictures of whale-sized, pellet-fed trout that no one would ever net on a real stream.” Sessoms guides exclusively on streams accessible to the public so his clients “know what the public fishing experience is like and can duplicate it, instead of just experiencing someone’s private honey hole.”The problem is not just limited to the High Country of North Carolina. Streams across Southern Appalachia are becoming increasingly privatized, which makes public lands and waterways even more important. Gil Willis and wife Mary own Elk River Touring Center in Slatyfork, W.Va., a 150-acre former homestead with an inn, restaurant, and access to a long stretch of the Elk River for fly fishing. Willis expects that there will be less access to private land and streams in the future due to the increasing pace of development throughout Southern Appalachia. “West Virginia is lucky,” Willis says. “If we didn’t have all this public land, it’d be a different story. Here in Pocahontas County, it’s 64% state and federal land. No wonder it’s called the birthplace of eight rivers.”Outfitters and guides may play their own role in the problem, says Doug Besler, Mountain Region Fisheries Supervisor for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.Photo: Randy JohnsonOutfitters and guides may play their own role in the problem. Doug Besler, Mountain Region Fisheries Supervisor for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, noted that many outfitters and fishing clubs are now leasing a section of river and stocking it.” He’s not sure if that accounts for loss of public access to other streams, “but it’s a factor.”Southern Appalachian resorts have long commercialized fly fishing. The resort town of Linville got its start in 1892. Angling images from that era still adorn the chestnut-paneled walls of Eseeola Lodge. For a fee, public lodge guests can cast on a private five-mile stretch of the Linville River. Under the director of outdoor programs Alan Burchell, anglers have a full range of rentals and lessons to enjoy as they fish reservable sections of the river called beats. Linville’s seventeen beats lie between Grandfather Golf and Country Club on the north and southerly Linville Land Harbor.The private status of the river was more noticeable recently when stream habitat improvements were undertaken, including deepening pools, improving oxygenation, and eliminating two nearby ponds that fed warm water into a stream that trout prefer to be cool.Burchell touts these improvements as “some of the good things that come with having a private part of a stream. We can truly mandate that anglers use barbless hooks and practice catch and release.” And the benefits, he asserts, flow downstream.Ensuring the exclusivity of such private waters and compliance with the rules requires security that can range from video surveillance to hired wardens who patrol daily and even at night.“Fifteen years ago, there was more water available to the public,” admits Burchell, a longtime Southern Appalachian angler. “We’re becoming more limited on put-ins and takeouts, too.” That limitation also affects paddlers and swimmers. Uncontrolled parking beside an overly popular swimming hole were factors in the Hound Ears river closure.Photo: Randy JohnsonWildlife officials stress that anglers can help forestall exclusion from private land by being courteous to property owners and being sure that they park discreetly, close gates, don’t litter, and ask when uncertain.“Back in the 1950s, there were large tracts with single family owners, and the fishermen knew the owner,” says the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Doug Besler. “Things have certainly changed.” Over time, large tracts were broken up and development has increased. “We’ve definitely seen a trend of decreasing access.”Privatization may sound bad to some eco-types, says Besler, but “most hatchery-supported streams are on private land with access to the public through the sheer generosity of landowners. Each year they permit us to stock 1500 miles of streams in North Carolina with almost a million fish. It’s a wonderful partnership with private citizens.”“I’m just thrilled we have 300 miles of public waterways,” adds Alex Dale, owner of Highland Outfitters in Linville and Foscoe Fishing Company. “We have more people on this planet than we did ten years ago, and a bigger portion of those people may have just started fishing.”But keeping streams open remains an uphill battle given the misperceptions out there. “Many landowners think they’d be liable for granting access, so the natural instinct is to post the property,” concludes Besler. “But the law in North Carolina is clear—landowners are not liable for fishermen and hunters on their property.”Anglers, too, have blind spots. In some states, you can fish any stream below the high-water line, but “that’s definitely not the case in North Carolina,” assures Besler. “The landowner owns the bottom of the stream. The water and fish are public trust. People are surprised by that.” Many also think they have access to any “navigable river,” but even “that’s a big source of confusion. Maybe that’s the French Broad in Asheville,” but not mountain streams, even in a kayak.Cynicism and outrage are understandable with exclusion of the public, but there are positive developments. Two new sections of the Watauga have also been designated for public access and stocked by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, including the mile-long ribbon centered on Valle Crucis Community Park, a privately owned, non-profit-run parcel. Two Watauga River put-in parks are being developed. And Boone’s expanding greenway system and Brookshire Park, both on the South Fork of New River, permit trout fishing inside of town.“Public access is vital to conservation,” says Watauga Riverkeeper Andy Hill. “The more people who enjoy the resource, the more people who will want to protect it.”last_img read more

Thousands Of Victims Of The Earthquake Of 2007 Demand Reconstruction

first_imgBy Dialogo March 26, 2009 Nearly 3,000 victims of the earthquake that devastated several regions of southern Peru in 2007 marched to Lima to denounce the government’s laziness in reconstructing the affected area. The mayors of Pisco, Chincha and Ica, the towns destroyed by the earthquake, led the march to the Peruvian capital and demanded that the country’s President, Alan García, fulfill the financial commitments promised to the 46,000 victims. At a hearing in the Congress of the Republic, the authorities called upon García to implement the works planned in 2007 to rebuild the area, as well as the delivery of bonds worth 6,000 soles (2,000 U.S. dollars) to each of the families affected by the tremor. “The President has to issue emergency decrees to overcome bureaucratic obstacles and implement reconstruction works that are approved and budgeted,” claimed the president of the Association of Municipalities of People Affected by the Earthquake (AMUPAT), Lucio Juárez. According to Juarez, only 10 percent of the area has been restored and most of that was due to foreign cooperation. “It is a shame how little interest the state has in restoring this area, and that we have to live on charity from other countries,” he added. The President of AMUPAT considered the conditions in which people are living “outrageous. After nearly two years people are still sleeping in tents and children are studying on mats on the floor because they have not rebuilt the schools,” he complained. Southern Peru, especially the city of Pisco, was devastated on August 15, 2007 by an earthquake measuring 7.9 degrees on the Richter scale which left 595 dead, over 300 missing, and 75,000 houses destroyed.last_img read more

Suffolk Cops Pull 3 Men Out of Great South Bay

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Suffolk County police Marine Bureau officers pulled three men out of the Great South Bay Friday night after their 17-foot boat ran out of fuel, police said. Two officers aboard the Marine Juliet patrol vessel responded after receiving a distress call at 6:48 p.m. from a passerby who reported people in the water. When the officers arrived, they found the 18-year-old owner of the boat and two other men attempting to pull the boat to shore with a rope. The boat was approximately a half-mile south of Hecksher State Park at the time, police said. The men, who had been in the water for 45 minutes, were wearing flotation devices, police said. The trio was pulled out of the water and their boat towed to the Hecksher State Park boat ramp, police said. The officers cited the boat’s owner for failing to carry visual distress signals and for a discharged fire extinguisher, police said. They also issued warnings for missing safety equipment, police said. Following the rescue, Suffolk police offered the following tips to boaters: Check all required safety equipment is on board and operable.Leave a float plan with someone on shore with your destination and expected time of return.Carry a cell phone or Marine VHF Radio in case you need emergency assistance.last_img read more

Grateful for care at St. Mary’s hospital

first_imgMy family wants to publicly thank St. Mary’s Hospital of Amsterdam and the people who work there for their care and concern for my mother, who was recently admitted to this facility. We’re so grateful to them.The care and attention she received from every single person we came in contact with was extraordinary. Kindness, concern and comfort were exhibited by the hospital employees, nursing staff in ICU, fourth floor and second floor, as well as housekeeping and dietary staff. The specialists from cardiology, gastroenterology and nephrology added to the circle of care. They made knowledgeable recommendations and decisions, while keeping the family well informed about my mother’s condition.Amsterdam is very fortunate to have such a dedicated team right here in our community.VIRGINIA WALDYNSKIAmsterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Three seniors who started as seventh-graders providing veteran experience for Amsterdam golf Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

India extends world’s biggest virus lockdown to May 3

first_imgSouth Asian nations have so far been relatively unscathed by the epidemic, with around 10,000 cases and 339 deaths in India, according to official figures.But with some of the most crowded cities on the planet, there are fears that numbers could skyrocket and overwhelm shaky healthcare systems.Some experts have also said that India has not conducted enough tests and that the true number of infections is much higher.Several states including Maharashtra — home to Mumbai and which has the highest number of cases — Tamil Nadu and Odisha have already announced lockdown extensions. India’s poor But at the same time, the lockdown in place since March 25, with strict limits on activity, has been devastating for the economy — and for India’s poor.Millions of daily wage laborers suddenly lost their jobs, forcing hundreds of thousands to travel hundreds of kilometers back to their home villages, often on foot.Some died on the way, while others were shunned by locals when they made it back to their villages. One viral clip showed a group of migrants being hosed down with chemicals.Others have been stranded in cities in cramped, unsanitary conditions where the virus could spread quickly.New Delhi alone is providing hundreds of thousands of free meals. India’s nationwide coronavirus lockdown, the biggest in the world, will be extended until at least May 3, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Tuesday.The current three-week-old lockdown of the nation of 1.3 billion people had been scheduled to end at midnight Tuesday.”From the economic angle, we have paid a big price,” Modi said in a nationwide address. “But the lives of the people of India are far more valuable.” Topics : Snarl-ups Farmers have complained of a lack of workers to harvest crops while snarl-ups of thousands of trucks not allowed to move because of the lockdown have hampered food transport.Farms, still the bedrock of the Indian economy, are heading into their most important harvest time of the year, earning money to finance many villages for months.Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das has called the coronavirus an “invisible assassin” that could wreak havoc on Asia’s third-biggest economy.The national restaurants association, which said its members employed seven million people, warned Monday there could be “social unrest” if it did not receive financial relief.The commerce ministry has also reportedly urged the government to consider opening more activities “with reasonable safeguards” even if the lockdown is extended.Even before the pandemic, the Indian economy was stuttering with unemployment the highest for decades.Some analysts have predicted growth could slump to 1.5-2.0 percent this year — way below the level needed to provide jobs for the millions coming into the labor market each month.Modi’s announcement came as debate rages in countries around the world on how to lift restrictions while ensuring that there is no renewed spike in new infections.French President Emmanuel Macron extended a tight lockdown in France by another month, but Italy and Austria are reopening some shops and Spain is restarting construction and factory work.World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned against rushing headlong into lifting restrictions, stressing that only a vaccine can fully halt the spread.last_img read more

Why William Saliba was left out of Arsenal squad against Fulham

first_imgAdvertisement Comment Coral BarrySaturday 12 Sep 2020 12:50 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link Arsenal fans were hoping Saliba would make his debut (Picture: Getty)William Saliba was left out of the squad that took on Fulham because Mikel Arteta is keen to ease the defender into the first-team set-up.The 19-year-old linked up with the Arsenal senior team for the first time this summer having spent last season on loan at St Etienne.Arsenal fans were expecting to see Saliba at least make the bench for their Premier League opener against Fulham on Saturday after David Luiz was ruled out of the game with an injury.Summer signings Willian and Gabriel were included and were handed their debuts by Arteta, but there was no room for Saliba on the bench.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTAfter the team news was revealed, Goal reported Saliba was not injured and instead was just being eased into the team.Saliba has only ever played in France, but is considered a massive talent by the Arsenal hierarchy who forked £27million to sign the centre-back last year.Gabriel, 22, beat Saliba to the starting place against Fulham and Arteta confirmed he felt the Brazilian had to play. 📋 Team news for our first @PremierLeague game of the season…🇧🇷 @biel_m04 makes his first start🇬🇧 @RobHolding95 and @KieranTierney1 both in defence🇧🇷 There’s also a debut for @WillianBorges88#️⃣ #FULARS— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 12, 2020MORE: Dani Ceballos squares up to Arsenal teammate Eddie Nketiah during heated pre-match warm upMORE: Emiliano Martinez’s agent explains why the Arsenal star is looking to leaveFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more stories like this, check our sport page. He said: ‘Everyone says we have a lot of centre-backs. But we have a lot of issues in recent weeks. ‘He needs to start today. He’s been preparing really well. Hopefully he will be fine.’Arteta’s first team of the season had a few surprises including the inclusion of Mohamed Elneny.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityThe Egyptian spent last term out on loan at Besiktas and was considered a nailed on departure from the club, but appears to have been handed a lifeline by Arteta.Mesut Ozil was also omitted from the squad despite the fact the German playmaker is believed to be fully fit. As I say in this, no injury for Saliba. He trained yesterday. Arteta easing him in.— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) September 12, 2020 Advertisement Why William Saliba was left out of Arsenal squad against Fulhamlast_img read more

You can bet if a home belongs to a construction industry boss it has everything you could imagine

first_img3 Majestic Outlook, Seven Hills.A SUSPENDED lap pool, private cinema, and even a wet bar with its own ice maker. When a home belongs to a construction industry boss, nothing is left out.Lendlease managing director for communities Matt Wallace has listed his Seven Hills home for sale, and as you would expect for someone working in the building industry, nothing has been left undone.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North1 hour agoNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Matthew Wallace is selling his Seven Hills home.The home goes to auction at 10am today through Damon Warat of Ray White Ascot.Mr Wallace said he was spending more time in Sydney so he had decided to sell.They moved into the home at the end of 2007 but it sees very little of Mr Wallace these days.“I love the outdoor area, we practically lived out there,” he said of the split level six-bedroom home which has city views.last_img read more