Conservation of the New River in Ashe County has a rich and successful history, one that deserves to be remembered and celebrated.
On Saturday, May 20th, 2023 the New River Conservancy, The Old Store at Grassy Creek, and many other partners hosted a day of events that not only shared the story, but taught us about conservation efforts that will help us enjoy the New River and its wonderful wildlife for years to come.
The Old Store is located in Grassy Creek, North Carolina on the northern border of Ashe County. One of the legends floating around Grassy Creek is that when the American Electric Power Company made plans to dam the New River and flood the Grassy Creek valley in the 1970s, the obstacle that finally prevented them from doing so was a salamander. James Watson, a member of The Old Store staff and avid herpetologist, decided to dig into this story a little more. And what he learned was fascinating! The Salamander in question was a hellbender and it might have played a role in saving Grassy Creek….. To read what James wrote about it, visit The Old Store website.
The rest of the story includes the designation of the New River as a scenic water way and the origins of the New River Conservancy.
The story of the conservation of the New River is an amazing one, involving whole communities of people, and one that we believe deserves to be celebrated. Saved by a Salamander Day tells the story and raises awareness of ways we can continue to support the conservation of this historic watershed for future generations.