The inventory will be on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) in the Pisgah National Forest. The focus of the workshop is to educate hikers and the general public about the threats of invasive exotic (IE) plants and how to identify and inventory IE species to help managers protect native biodiversity along the Trail. There is no charge for the event, and participants are eligible to receive credits toward Criteria II or III for the North Carolina Environmental Education Certification Program.
On May 22, participants will meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Sam’s Gap parking area on US-23 (Marshall, North Carolina 28753) At that location, a workshop, led by expert instructors, will outline the threats that IE plants pose to native biodiversity and how to identify more than 12 of the most threatening species in this region. The workshop will offer training in the tools and techniques used to inventory IE plants, including an introduction to GPS technology and Eddmaps, an online database used to map IE plant populations nationwide. Guidebooks will be distributed to participants to aid them in future identification and control of IE plants.
Following the educational portion of Saturday’s workshop, the group will hike 2.5 miles on the A.T. from Sam’s Gap to Street Gap, in order to inventory IE plants along the trail. The group will then return to Sam’s Gap, for a total round-trip distance of 5 miles. The inventory should be concluded by 2:30 p.m.
ATC will provide all equipment needed for the workshop and inventory. Volunteers are asked to bring lunch, two quarts of water, rain gear, sturdy boots or shoes, and clothes appropriate for hot or cold weather. Carpooling is available from the Forest Service Building in Asheville (160A Zillicoa St.) leaving at 8:45 a.m. on Saturday and returning to Asheville by 3:00 p.m.
Individuals or groups interested in volunteering or needing more information should contact John Odell with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy as soon as possible by e-mailing
— Thanks to the Barnardsville/Big Ivy newsletter for this information.