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Roan Mountain Winter Naturalists Rally
February 8, 2020
Join Friends of Roan Mountain on Saturday, February 8th at Roan Mountain
State Park for a winter celebration of the Roan Highlands! For 13 years the Winter Naturalists; Rally has drawn hardy
nature enthusiasts from far & wide to Roan Mountain on a Saturday close to Valentine’s Day. The 2020 Winter Rally
continues this celebration of our natural world by providing top speakers and field trip leaders on topics regarding the
natural history of the Roan Highlands.
INDOOR PRESENTATIONS (9:30 AM – 12:30 PM)
Roan Mountain State Park, Conference Center
Marquette Crockett (Highlands of Roan stewardship director, SAHC):
“No Place Like Roan”
For more than 45 years, the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC) has worked to protect the
landscapes, resources and habitats of our mountain home. From family farms to sky islands – take a photographic
tour of these incredible protected landscapes and hidden gems and learn more about how SAHC and its partners are
planning conservation in the face of large-scale environmental threats.
Michelle Bouton (director of HERBalachia school, Johnson City, TN):
“Medicinal Plants of the Roan Highlands”
Peek inside a local herbalists medicine chest! The astounding biologic diversity of the Southern Appalachians makes
our home a medicinal plant wildcrafter's dream. This hands-on class will acquaint you with plants of the Roan that can
boost health and help heal our bodies. Be prepared to smell and taste some teas and tinctures to become better
acquainted with plants discussed. Handouts will be provided to continue your healing relationship with the plants
outside your own back door.
Bob Fulcher (park manager for the Cumberland Trail State Park and State Scenic Trail):
“John Muir’s Forgotten Travels On and Around the Roan”
John Muir, the preeminent American wilderness advocate and nature writer, brought his brilliant senses and intellect
to the East in 1898. Muir never publicly shared the story of this journey that led him to the Roan, then deeper into the
high mountains of the East, though his observations and beautiful commentary were kept in his journal and
letters. Building upon previously published research, this presentation will add more details and speculation regarding
the notes Muir left for his family and for us.
LUNCH – Catered by City Market of Elizabethton, TN. (12:30 PM)
POST-LUNCH GUIDED ACTIVITIES (1:15 PM +)
The three hikes will leave from the Roan Mountain State Park Conference Center. There will be also be a concurrent
indoor discussion. Pre-registration for these activities is not required.
Hike #1. High-elevation Balds of Roan. Trip leader: Marquette Crockett (SAHC’s stewardship director). Join
Marquette for a high-elevation hike and “peakfinding” expedition through the Roan’s grassy balds. Marquette will
discuss grassy balds management, point out properties that have been protected by her organization and lead an
activity to identify visible mountain peaks. (carpooling; moderately strenuous; kid-friendly)
Hike #2. Roan Mountain area. Trip leader: Jamey Donaldson (John C. Warden Herbarium Adjunct Curator,
ETSU). Depending on the weather conditions, Jamey will lead a winter botany & ecology hike at either Carvers
Gap, Twin Springs or down in the state park on the Ravens Rock Trail. (carpooling; moderately strenuous)
Hike #3. Roan Mountain State Park. Trip leader: Marty Silver (ranger with Warriors’ Path State Park, TN). Marty
will lead a wildlife tracking and animal signs hike down near the Doe River. (easy; kid-friendly)
Indoor Conservation Confab – Dr. Frosty Levy, professor emeritus of Biology at East Tennessee State
University, will lead an indoor discussion about conservation management of Gray’s lily and other rare plants of
the Roan Highlands.