Do you even know the names of the trees in your backyard?
I came across that question in an article written by Jennifer Frick-Ruppert, a biologist and professor of environmental studies at Brevard College. Her question grabbed my attention and caused me to think about the 147 miles of water I’d passed through with my family on our recent French Broad River rafting trip. I knew I couldn’t name all of the trees in my backyard and certainly not many of the organisms big or small that live in the French Broad River. I got in touch with Jennifer and she said she was willing to tell me about organisms that live in the water and their importance to the region of Western North Carolina. I learned a lot talking to Jennifer. Hope you enjoy our conversation!
I talk biodiversity and the French Broad River with Professor Jennifer Frick-Ruppert of Brevard College
Two of Professor Jennifer Frick-Ruppert’s books have been published with more on the way:
Mountain Nature: A Seasonal Natural History of the Southern Appalachians
Waterways: Sailing the Southeastern Coast
Click here to learn more about Professor Frick-Ruppert’s books on her Amazon page.
You can also listen to the podcast by searching for “Torg Stories” on the podcast app of your iPhone. We’d appreciate it if you’d subscribe and review on iTunes.
Along with my wife Megan and our two daughters, we have completed our goal to raft 149 miles of the French Broad River from the headwaters in Rosman, North Carolina to what is called the Rankin Bottoms located just northeast of Newport, Tennessee.
The trip was a part of our project to make a movie about the French Broad River, the people who use it, and the social and political issues that surround it.
The rafting trip was just the first phase of this project. I am now writing about the river and continuing to interview those related to the French Broad. This includes Brevard College Professor of Environmental Science Jennifer Frick-Ruppert and University of North Carolina Asheville geologist Jackie Langille. I will continue to post the periodic update about our French Broad River movie project.
Got questions, comments or ideas for our French Broad River movie?
First Day: We put in at the Nantahala Access near the bridge in Hot Springs, North Carolina. The sign at the access center says that non commercial traffic is welcome. We rafted with my sister Anne and took out at the Wolf Creek Access near Del Rio, Tennessee.
Second Day: We began at Wolf Creek Access and rafted to the Highway 25 / 70 boat ramp just southeast of Newport, Tennessee.
We at Torg Stories are making a film about the French Broad River, the people who use it, and the social and political issues that surround it. As a part of this film, my wife Megan and daughters Charlotte and Isabel are attempting to raft from the headwaters in Rosman, North Carolina to the Rankin Flats, just northeast of Newport, Tennessee. This is a distance of 149 miles.
Rapid named “The Falls” near Mile 133 of the French Broad River