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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; Healthcare decision planning important for CT residents; Debt dilemma poll: Hoosiers wrestle with college costs.

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Civil Rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

River Restoration Project in Western NC Aims to Save Trout Population

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Tuesday, October 22, 2019   

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A major project to restore more than 1,000 feet of the Linville River flowing through Gill State Forest in western North Carolina is nearly complete. Environmentalists say the improvements will help ensure the river's trout population, along with other fish species, can thrive.

Greg Jennings is an engineer who led the effort. He said over time, erosion can cause rivers to widen and become unstable.

"Development of roads, and building and residential communities causes more stormwater to run off quickly into the rivers,” Jennings said. “And that water entering into the rivers quickly can lead to some erosion problems."

The state Forest Service and state Division of Water Resources teamed up with Resource Institute, an organization that specializes in stream and river restoration, to undertake the project.

Darrell Westmoreland, CEO at North State Environmental, implemented the restoration project. He said the Linville river's water quality and flow had been previously flagged by the state as being at risk for degrading to the point where it could no longer support a trout population.

"Because the river acts like a conveyor belt, it's constantly moving the gravel and material that you see on the bottom,” Westmoreland said. “What had happened in this particular reach of the Linville River, it had gotten shallow, and shallow water does not support trout very well."

Shallow waters can cause a host of problems. Forest hydrologist Bill Swartley with the North Carolina Forest Service said an important aspect of reconstructing the river involved ensuring enough water depth is available for aquatic life, especially during moderate to severe drought.

"The aquatic life, the macrobenthos - or aquatic insects - and fish will have a place to stay during low-flow periods,” Swartley said.

Swartley also pointed out that most of North Carolina's rivers should be maintained regularly to help them handle the runoff from more extreme rains and storms, particularly in the face of a changing climate. More information on the Linville River Restoration Project is available at NCForestService.gov.


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