Stanly County Articles & Publications

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Dead trees can help make a healthy forest
   February 26, 2021
Ruth Ann Grissom

My husband and I recently hiked the Birkhead Trail, starting at Tot Hill Road for the first time since that section was hit by a wind storm in June 2019. Hundreds – perhaps thousands – of mature trees were snapped or uprooted along the trail. I hate to see a mature hardwood forest in the Uwharries suffer such extensive damage. It will take a century to replace those massive oaks. As I trudged...

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Feeling harried? Watch harriers
   February 1, 2021
Ruth Ann Grissom

In January, a month when birders across the state and around the world launch headlong into a rigorous endeavor called a Big Year — in which they rush around a given geographic area trying to see as many species as possible — I hunkered down in the Uwharries and became obsessed with a single species.

The Northern harrier, also known as the marsh hawk, is an enthralling raptor. Harriers...

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An ocean bird pays an unexpected visit to Stanly County
   November 13, 2020
Ruth Ann Grissom

My sister and I once decided it would be a fine idea to tour the Mojave Desert in May. Being hard-headed women from the Uwharries, we forged ahead even after the Santa Ana winds kicked up and pushed temperatures into triple digits. The heat made for a memorable, if sometimes freakish, trip. Along the way, we crossed paths with a dude who looked like an Elvis impersonator, a randy bighorn sheep...

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Small towns like Badin have lessons for big cities like Charlotte
   November 5, 2020
Jeff Michael

As Charlotte continues its quest to become a more urban and cosmopolitan city, is it possible that the small towns and former mill villages dotting the land around Charlotte have something to teach us about how to solve some of the biggest and most pressing needs facing our big cities and suburbs today?

Bill Fulton, Director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University...

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Greater funding could improve access to our public lands
   August 17, 2020
Ruth Ann Grissom

“The public wants access to the land it already owns,” observed Jay Leutze, conservationist and author of Stand Up That Mountain. That sentiment was the driving force behind support for the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), recently signed into law after receiving wide bipartisan support in...

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NC’s current 2020 Census response is concerning
   August 9, 2020

Rebecca Tippett
More than four in every ten North Carolina households have not yet filled out the 2020 Census, representing more than 4 million North Carolinians not currently captured in the Census. Our current response rate is below the national rate and below where our state was in 2010. North Carolina communities that have not responded at high rates are predominantly rural, Black, and Brown, with low... Read more


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Charlotte region's Hispanic population grows at a rapid pace
   July 7, 2020
Chuck McShane
It’s been nearly a generation since the 2000 Brookings Institution Report that classified Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham as “Emerging Immigrant Gateways,” based largely on the rapid growth of Hispanic/Latino immigrant population. Hispanics now make up more than 10% of the population of the 14-county Charlotte region, according to recently released U.S. Census Bureau population estimates. Read more


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How to help fireflies — and save a bit of summer magic
   June 22, 2020
Ruth Ann Grissom
A bobwhite quail calling from the edge of a stubbled hayfield. Honeybees buzzing in every patch of clover.  Fireflies hovering just beyond reach as dusk gives way to night. These are the images that come to mind when I think back to summers outdoors in the Uwharries when I was young. Little did I know that over the course of my lifetime, each of those species would experience precipitous... Read more


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The pandemic is an opportunity for investing in our community
   June 16, 2020

Stephen Grotz
As the world sinks towards an unprecedented depression, now is the time to invest.   The demand for the most valuable commodity in the world — human ingenuity — has not been this low since the Great Depression in 1933. The nation’s unemployment rate spiked to 16.1% in April 2020 (before dipping to 13.3% in May), and world populations are confined to their homes, threatening the global economy.... Read more


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Post-coronavirus, everything will change in cities — or not
   June 4, 2020
Mary Newsom
We who write about cities are quick to make predictions. Some will prove prescient. Some won’t. But nobody really knows. Cities aren’t all alike. New York’s texture, way of life and pandemic experience are not Charlotte’s, or Houston’s, or Seattle’s. And this: We humans have a long history of behaving both predictably and unpredictably. Read more