PNS Daily Newscast - July 2, 2020 

The White House says no response is planned to reported Russian bounties on U.S. troops; House Democrats unveil an ambitious plan to curb climate change.

2020Talks - July 1, 2020 

Colorado, Utah and Oklahoma all finished up their elections Tuesday, and Medicaid expansion in OK appears to have passed. And, a Supreme Court ruling could open the door for more public money to religious institutions.

NC Land Trust Creates New Hiking Trail at Brushy Face

View of Satulah Mountain from the Brushy Face Trail in Highlands, N.C. (Highlands Cashiers Land Trust)
View of Satulah Mountain from the Brushy Face Trail in Highlands, N.C. (Highlands Cashiers Land Trust)
May 26, 2020

HIGHLANDS, N.C. -- Volunteers have completed a roughly two-mile trail through a dense web of old-growth forests on land that was once slated to become a subdivision in the Highlands area.

Kyle Pursel, stewardship coordinators with the Highlands Cashiers Land Trust, the organization that now owns the property, said there are plans to extend the trail.

"And when COVID broke out, we decided to kind of further phase the approach, if you will, and do the phase 3 piece in sections, so we can open up each piece faster so people have more places to walk," Pursel said.

The property was donated to the land trust by residents who purchased it from a developer. The trail is now open to the public.

Highlands Cashiers Land Trust executive director Gary Wein said providing outdoor spaces to stay physically active and practice social distancing is even more important in the era of COVID-19.

"And in the center of this 74-acre piece is an old-growth hemlock forest, with probably 200 to nearly 300-year-old white pines. It's an absolutely beautiful forest," Wein said.

The Highlands Cashiers Land Trust is the oldest land trust in North Carolina, and currently protects 2,500 acres across the region.

Nadia Ramlagan, Public News Service - NC