27 Jul My Start as a Resource Assistant – National Forests in North Carolina
About Me and My Position
Hey viewers! My name is Silas, and I’m a Landscape Architect Intern for the National Forests in North Carolina (NFsNC) stationed in Asheville, NC. I’m working on-site at the supervisor’s office for the NFsNC. My position is part of the Recreation team within the Public Services department of NFsNC – my job is to facilitate enjoyable experiences for the public which connect them to nature through supporting the design services at recreation sites in National Forests across NC! This is my third week on the job, and last week, I was lucky to have two field days visiting sites for upcoming project work. I’ve successfully launched my internship with the Resource Assistants Program thanks to a fantastic community of people at Environment for the Americas, my Forest Service mentor, and colleagues at the office. I’ll show some sites and talk a little more about the work I’ll be doing below.
Catawba Falls – Pisgah National Forest (above)
Coming from a professional background of working outside as a landscaper and plantsman, I was stoked to get out of the office and into Western NC’s beautiful outdoors. Catawba Falls and the trail leading to it is a favorite destination for people in North Carolina. A combination of treacherous rocky terrain and steep slopes which hem in the waterfall, plus a very intense and high-use rate of this destination, has sparked necessary improvements for public safety and to enhance the visitor’s experience. A new staircase traversing the steep rocky mountainside was built to allow visitors an intimate view of the waterfall like never before, a feat of engineering and a unique experience! Excuse the visual clutter in some images, as the site still needs to be finished with construction. I’m helping design the new Catawba Falls Trail trailhead and parking area for this site, which leads visitors to this beautiful waterfall.
Pisgah Ranger District – Pisgah National Forest (above)
Thanks to a mosaic of recreation opportunities, including many campgrounds, a vast complex of trails, rich streams for fishing, and an incredible waterfall around every corner – Pisgah National Forest is one of the country’s most heavily used National Forests. The Pisgah Ranger District is one of the most heavily used districts within the forest. Pictured above is one of the many waterfalls in Pisgah that pepper Transylvania County. Also shown is an old amphitheater that the forest is looking to reprogram or repurpose. I learned there is so much work to do in Pisgah, partly because of how many visitors come there but also because of the severe impacts of Tropical Storm Fred in 2021, which Pisgah is still recovering from. During my internship, I’ll be helping with the design of the new Black Mountain Trailhead, one of the most frequented trailheads in the district. Hopefully, I’ll get to work on some of the other many upcoming projects at Pisgah National Forest