Watershed experts and citizens gathered to share data and their experiences concerning the health of the Tuckasegee River on Wednesday, August 24, at a one-day workshop.
WATR held this informal sharing of information as a stepping stone toward  periodic assessment of the Tuckasegee River system at the watershed scale.
According to Roger Clapp, WATR Executive Director, “This event could lead to a regular report updating the community about changes, positive and negative, in this vital resource.”
The workshop consisted of a series of short panel presentations and discussions covering water quality, sediment, biological testing, and experiences acquired by local agencies that affect the river.  Agencies included the Soil and Water Conservation Districts and county soil erosion inspection departments.
Some of the panelists included Anne Marie Traylor, of the Environmental Quality Institute and Ed Williams of the NC Division of Water Quality, Asheville, and Mike Lavoie, and Patrick Breedlove of the Cherokee Office of Environment and Natural Resources.  The Oconaluftee River which drains the Cherokee Qualla Boundary is the largest tributary to the Tuckasegee River.
David Kinner of the Geosciences Department, Western Carolina University, outlined research projects aimed at quantifying relevant water processes.  Ken Brown, chairman of the Tuckaseigee Chapter Alliance, discussed community actions, and Michelle Price of the Macon-Jackson Conservation Alliance moderated the erosion control section.  Gerald Green, head of Jackson County Planning Department, presented issues relevant to the river.
The workshop was held at the Whittier Community Center off of Rt 74, Exit 74, and across the river from the post office.