RMR-005: Green Alder Balds more rare than grassy balds?

alder-baldJamey Donaldson, Roan Mountain botanist, has been studying the ecological history of the rare glacial relic found on the Roan.  His research has revealed that the green alder actually pre-dates the grassy balds. But don’t take my word for it, join us at the Winter Naturalists’ Rally, February 16, to learn the rest of the story.


Friends of Roan Mountain

Winter Naturalists’ Rally brochure and schedule

Winter Naturalists’ Rally registration

RMR-004: Winter Naturalists’ Rally – February 16

Learn more about nature and new research at the Winter Naturalists’ Rally.

The 6th Annual Winter Naturalists’ Rally sponsored by the Friends of Roan MountWinter Rally - hike up Round Baldain will be Saturday, February 16 at the Roan Mountain State Park Conference Center.

Two of our favorite research botanists will be speaking in the morning:

Nora Schubert will tell us about her research on the golden-winged warbler on Roan Mountain. She has also been studying some of the rare plants and habit that they provide to some rare species.

Famous goatherd, Jamey Donaldson, will share some new insights into the value of the rare green alder and how important it has been to the grassy bald development in the Roan highlands.

Plus, Foster Levy will share the results of his efforts to protect and preserve the Eastern Hemlock in the park.

Lisa Huff, of the Tennessee Natural Areas Program, will share an update on the efforts to fight invasive weeds.

Then after lunch, there is your choice of four outdoor hikes. Now don’t be scared away by the term “hike.”  This is just our term for outside activities. Some could be called walks, or strolls, or ambles. You will enjoy it.


 Friends of Roan Mountain

 Winter Naturalists’ Rally schedule

 Winter Rally registration

 Roan Mountain State Park

RMR-003: Bottle Your Christmas Tree or How to enjoy that Roan Mountain air all year long.

Yes. You read that correctly. Bottle your Christmas tree.

Christmas treeChristmas is a such a joyous time of the year. And the Christmas tree is a very traditional part. But nobody enjoys taking down their fresh Christmas tree. That fresh forest smell is welcome when we are trapped indoors.

Your fresh, mountain-grown Christmas tree is probably a Frasier Fir.  The Frasier fir has the soft, flat needles. Dark green on top with a soft gray or silvery color underside.

The Frasier fir grows naturally in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, usually on the mountain tops above 5,000 feet.The distinct forest on the top of the Roan is the spruce-fir forest.  .

Listen to our Roan Mountain Girl, Jennifer Bauer, as she shares her way to save some of that fresh mountain air smell and get more out of your cut Christmas tree. Bottle your Christmas tree!

Tennessee State Parks First Hike logo

And don’t forget to get your New Year’s resolutions off to a great start with the Roan Mountain State Park First Hike, January 1.call the park for more information: (423) 772-0190.

RMR-002: Roan Mountain Christmas gift ideas.

Baa-iley the Goat bookThis little book is a great introduction for your little Adventurer to learn about the Baa-tany Goat Project.

The Baa-tany Goat Project is a study of preserving and restoring the grassy balds of Roan Mountain highlands by using browsing goats.



Roan Mountain: History of an Appalachian Treasure - cover

Roan Mountain: History of an Appalachian Treasure



This is a great Christmas gift idea for the mountain lover in your family. Jennifer Bauer’s book, Roan Mountain: History of an Appalachian Treasure is my go-to resource for anything about Roan Mountain.


RMR-001: Winter hiking and the new bike trail in the Roan Mountain State Park

Meg Guy, Seasonal Ranger at Roan Mountain State Park, joins us to talk about the advantages of winter hiking and the new bike trail being built in the Park.

Tennessee State Parks First Hike logo   Roan Mountain in winter   Roan Mountain State Park rental cabin 

Roan Mountain State Park website  or phone 800-250-8620 for winter cabin special and First Hike information.  Tell them you heard about it on Roan Mountain Radio.