A blue snail makes its way through the moss that covers the trunk of a long-dead tree log in Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness, in Graham County. The Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its dedication this year. Photo by Mike Belleme

Every day, our journalism dismantles barriers and shines a light on the critical overlooked and under-reported issues important to all North Carolinians.

WAYNESVILLE — Please join us for a conversation about public lands in Western North Carolina at the next Carolina Public Press Newsmakers forum, to be held from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 26, at the Regional High Technology Center in Waynesville. This will be your chance to hear from top administrators and policy makers about state and federally owned lands across the mountains — and the challenges and opportunities facing them.

Friday, Feb. 26, 2016
8:30 a.m.-9:15 a.m.       Registration and light breakfast
9:25 a.m.-10:30 a.m.     Panel conversation and audience Q&A

Panelists will be Jason Guidry, forest supervisor for DuPont State Recreational Forest; Ranger Skyler Hill with Mount Mitchell State Park; Jason Love, chairman of the WNC Public Lands Council; James Melonas, deputy forest supervisor of the National Forests in North Carolina; and Gordon Warburton, ecoregion supervisor for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. The panel will be moderated by Jack Igelman, Carolina Public Press’s lead economics and environment contributing reporter.

This event is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are required. Register below or here.

Going beyond headlines and sound bites, the Newsmakers series brings together the state and region’s top journalists with those making and influencing the news — people such as business leaders, lawmakers, agency administrators, public policy influencers and others — for in-depth, nonpartisan conversations with the public. Newsmakers will break down barriers often felt between journalists and lawmakers, between community members and leaders — all toward building an engaged, informed community. Previous Newsmakers forums have focused on a variety of topics, including guns and gun policy in North Carolina; open government and closed meetings; water ownership in Western North Carolina; and the beginning of the remanagement planning process for Pisgah and Nantahala national forests.

For more information, please contact Carolina Public Press at 828-774-5290 or at info@carolinapublicpress.org.

Angie Newsome

Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at anewsome@carolinapublicpress.org.

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