Program Recap - Oct. 8, 2014
Our club was treated to a presentation by Ann Campbell and Rus Regnery of the Highlands Plateau Audubon Society (HPAS). Established in 1996 HPAS covers the Highlands, Cashiers, Glenville, Scaly Mountain and Franklin areas.
With over 160 local native species this area is a unique and special birding area and has been designated as an important bird area – this is an international classification used to elevate awareness of the area and to promote bird habitat preservation.
There are ten North Carolina chapters with three in western NC. The group is always interested in new members and encourages all to come to one of their many field trips in the area. These trips are open to the public and all are encouraged to participate and learn about the birds in our area. Binoculars are provided for those who need them.
HPAS is primarily concerned with bird habitat preservation and conservation. Education is a primary component of the group’s mission. To that end they provide outings throughout the spring and summer. Programs include the Christmas Bird Count where HPAS joins groups all over the world to count the observed bird species in the area over a 24 hour period in December. Environmental projects for children include the Summit School bird habitat project and Discovery Camp for kids, and “Wings To Soar” bird program with the Mountain Wildlife Days. HPAS also provided a scholarship to a local teacher to attend programs in Maine with other teachers. They sponsored a WCU student doing a local study on the Golden Wing Warbler. Their Big Box Experiment puts up pairs of birdhouses with different diameter openings to provide a home for different size birds. HPAS is also working to forecast the impact of climate change on local species and how to mitigate the effects.
Complete and up-to-date information on HPAS and their activities can be found at www.highlandsaudubonsociety.org The Rotary Club of Cashiers Valley meetings are held Wednesday mornings at 7:30 a.m. at the Cashiers United Methodist Church, on Highway 107 S. Non-Rotarians are welcome to attend as a guest by contacting a Rotary member or calling 828-526-0288.