Keeping Track Of Elk In The Smokies

Friday, January 17, 2014
Jim Hart, Friends of the Smokies, receives check from Charter Representatives Mark Spilman (left) and Kenny Parker(right)
Jim Hart, Friends of the Smokies, receives check from Charter Representatives Mark Spilman (left) and Kenny Parker(right)
Friends of the Smokies has received a grant for $13,720 from Charter Communications, Inc. for support of wildlife management in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The grant provides for the purchase of 15 radio collars and two receivers for tracking and monitoring elk throughout the park.
 
Two hundred years ago elk roamed the southern Appalachian mountains and elsewhere in the eastern United States. With the financial and in-kind support from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Friends of the Smokies, Great Smoky Mountains Association and The University of Tennessee; the park began reintroducing elk in Cataloochee Valley in 2001.
 Initially, all elk were fitted with radio collars allowing biologists to efficiently monitor the growth, survival, and movements of the population.  As the elk herd grows, today numbering at least 120 animals, biologists continue to monitor a subset of the herd annually to monitor population dynamics particularly focusing on newborn calves and females.  This donation helps provide much needed collars to fit the calves and five adult females per year along with any nuisance animals.
 
“Charter is a communications and technology company,” said Joe Pell, vice president and general manager for Charter’s operations in Louisiana and Tennessee. “Funding the radio telemetry that park biologists use to ensure the elk’s success fits with our company’s focus.”
 
Radio-transmitters are one of the most useful instruments to help track animal locations and survival. This is true, not only for elk, but other wildlife species as well.  Information gained from the use of radio telemetry equipment has been vital in making short and long-term management decisions regarding bears, elk and bats within the park, and continues to be an integral part of ongoing wildlife monitoring and management efforts.
 
“We find it very satisfying to have a healthy elk herd. Our job is to help maintain that by giving them the supplies they need,” said Jim Hart, Friends of the Smokies.
 
Mark Spilman, vice president and general manager for Charter’s operations in the Carolinas and Virginia said, “The Great Smoky Mountains is the country’s most visited National Park. Many of our own employees that live and work in the region have experienced seeing these majestic animals thrive in Cataloochee.  And now, they are officially  a “Friend of the Smokies.”
 
For more information about the programs mentioned here, visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/grsm.  To learn more about Friends of the Smokies, go to www.friendsofthesmokies.org.
Park biologists working to place radio collar on tranquilized elk in Cataloochee Valley
Park biologists working to place radio collar on tranquilized elk in Cataloochee Valley

Tennessee State Parks To Host Public Input Hearing At Booker T. Washington State Park

Leaders from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation will be conducting a public hearing at Booker T. Washington State Park on Thursday, Dec. 4, to gather public input and discuss the current business and management plan for the park.  The event will begin at  5:30 p.m.  with an open house reception to meet park staff and view exhibits. The ... (click for more)

SORBA Chattanooga Announces 2015 Race Series Schedule

SORBA (Southern Off-Road Biking Association) Chattanooga announced the Race Series schedule for 2015. Registration for all races opens on Dec. 1 . Pick Your Poison, a cross country race at Booker T. Washington State Park; Soul Sucker, which has a 25k and 50k option held at Raccoon Mountain; the Raccoon Mountain Super D, a downhill race; Night Shift, the six-hour twilight race ... (click for more)

Woman Assaulted, Man Shot In Chamberlain Avenue Home Invasion

A woman was assaulted and a man shot in a home invasion on Chamberlain Avenue early Friday morning. At approximately 4:43 a.m., the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 2708 North Chamberlain Ave. for a home invasion/shooting.   Officers discovered that a black male forced entry into the residence and assaulted the first victim,Tequla Nicole Watkins, 28. ... (click for more)

10-Year-Old Boy Seriously Injured In Attack By Pit Bull At His Home In Sale Creek

A 10-year-old boy suffered serious injuries when he was attacked by a pit bull on Thanksgiving Day morning. At approximately 10:12 a.m. deputies were called to 175 Daugherty Ferry Road regarding a report of a dog attack on a child. On arrival the Sale Creek Fire Department found the child on the front porch of the residence.  The child’s father said his son came ... (click for more)

Lawlessness At Heritage Park

As a frequent visitor at Heritage Park in East Brainerd, I must say that the situation is becoming slightly out of control.  To start, parking is atrocious.  The unpaved lot contains nothing but loose gravel which has naturally given way to divots in the ground assuring you a few bumps.  Why isn't this area smoothed out?  It's not worth parking there anyways ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A ‘Black Friday’ Poem

On this, “Black Friday,” when frantic shopping and crowded aisles cause some nerves to wear thin, please allow me to share a poem a friend sent me not long ago called “Shoes in Church.” Perhaps it will be fitting: SHOES IN CHURCH I showered and shaved. I adjusted my tie. I got there and sat In a pew just in time. Bowing my head in prayer, as I closed my eyes. I saw ... (click for more)