• Approximately 1,500 black bears live in the national park.

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

Resource Roundup: April-May, 2009

Click on each Resource Management Program to learn about some of their projects.

Air Quality

  • Environmental Education = Cleaner Air, study finds

Cultural Resources & Archeology

  • Recording the past: photographing the former splendor of Elkmont
  • Recording the present: photographing culturally significant comfort stations


  • Fire history research
  • New funding to research the connections Between fire and endangered bats
  • Controlled burns—setting fires in the Smokies
  • Uncontrolled burns—putting out wildfires in the Smokies


  • Studying fish DNA and RNA to understand Smokies’ fish populations
  • New display protects rivers
  • Redesigning roads to let fish pass
  • Volunteer river clean-up
  • Find us at Troutfest!
  • Keeping tabs on water chemistry

Inventory & Monitoring

  • Ant awareness: invasive Needle Ant at Oconoluftee
  • New biohazard cabinet protects scientists from disease
  • Freezes, fire, & worms: research results on new possibilities to manage invasive earthworms


  • Gama Grass division and planting in Cades Cove
  • Willow stake planting in Cades Cove


  • Bat caves closed to protect bats from White-nose Syndrome
  • Call for public help with elk

Partner Projects

  • Zoonotic diseases survey

Return to Dispatches from the Field: Issue 3.

Did You Know?

Flame azalea can be found growing on heath balds in the park.

The park’s high elevation heath balds are treeless expanses where dense thickets of shrubs such as mountain laurel, rhododendron, and sand myrtle grow. Known as “laurel slicks” and “hells” by early settlers, heath balds were most likely created by forest fires long ago. More...