The UK’s first dedicated portal for those finding, researching, buying or selling land has launched with three leading agents signed up; Savills, Bidwells and the Land and New Homes Network with more in the pipeline.Addland.com hopes to sign up more agents marketing land for sale and says this will be a free service until August for those who sign up now.The platform will offer all types of commercial, residential and agricultural land from self-build plots to large development opportunities and even consented roof space, giving searchers a wealth of information not brought together before in one place.This includes everything from environmental considerations such as flood zones, public rights of way or ancient woodland, to boundary details, acreage and terrain levels.Founder Thomas McAlpine, a member of the famous construction dynasty, tells The Negotiator that he’s spent three years preparing the site for launch because he wanted to get the technology right and work with stakeholders.Fragmented past“Searching for land has until now involved a fragmented array of digital and traditional sources.“Finding plots, particularly if you are a self-builder or small developer, can be a challenge.“Addland.com is foremost a technology platform and unlike other portals which have not focussed on innovation, we want to bring new ideas to the market for land.”McAlpine says his platform’s users will include professional buyers, developers, self-builders, strategic land alliances and investors.He says the platform which is still in Beta mode will be much more than a portal, offering back-office support to vendors including leads management as well as search tools for buyers.But overall McAlpine says he wants Addland.com to bring ‘land to life’ by making it visible and accessible for everyone, and drag it out of the shadows as a sector.Addland Thomas McAlpine Land and New Homes Network Bidwells Savills April 15, 2021Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Land & New Homes » Young entrepreneur launches UK’s first ‘modern’ land buying and selling portal previous nextLand & New HomesYoung entrepreneur launches UK’s first ‘modern’ land buying and selling portalFounder Thomas McAlpine says Addland.com has signed up Savills, Bidwells and the Land and New Homes Network as listing agents for its launch.Nigel Lewis15th April 202101,289 Views
×GIVING BACK – The Weehawken football team and Peer Leadership group all went together to participate in “A Walk to Believe,” the 5K walk/run spearheaded by paralyzed Rutgers football standout Eric LeGrand (center) to raise funds for those affected by spinal cord injuries. LeGrand, who was paralyzed playing for Rutgers in 2010 at MetLife Stadium, met with the Weehawken kids after the walk. Last month, Eric LeGrand came to visit at Weehawken High School. The paralyzed Rutgers football standout gave an upbeat and positive presentation to the students in the high school auditorium.Every year in June, ever since he was injured on the turf at MetLife Stadium, never to walk again, LeGrand has held his “A Walk to Believe” on the campus of Rutgers University to raise money for a host of different organizations that help in the treatment and research of people stricken with spinal cord injuries. GIVING BACK – The Weehawken football team and Peer Leadership group all went together to participate in “A Walk to Believe,” the 5K walk/run spearheaded by paralyzed Rutgers football standout Eric LeGrand (center) to raise funds for those affected by spinal cord injuries. LeGrand, who was paralyzed playing for Rutgers in 2010 at MetLife Stadium, met with the Weehawken kids after the walk. The event was first held to raise money for LeGrand’s hospital costs, but since 2011, it has been held to raise funds for other charitable organizations with LeGrand in the forefront. This year, there was a five-kilometer walk as well as a competitive 5K run.LeGrand made such an impression on the Weehawken students during his visit that they asked around and wanted to help LeGrand’s cause.Weehawken Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Zywicki, a Rutgers graduate and a big football fan, first reached out to LeGrand to see if he wanted to speak to the students. He graciously accepted the invitation.Then, it was Weehawken’s turn to give back.“We threw it out there to see if our students would be interested in doing the walk,” Zywicki said. “There wasn’t enough time for the students to do any fundraising for the walk, so they were going to just participate. But we were bringing together two groups, our football team and our Peer Leadership group.”The Peer Leadership coordinator is Christine Mantineo. The football team is guided by a brand new coach and athletic director in Nick DeStefano. The Weehawken school district paid for the bus as well as the entrance fee for all participants. There were 19 football players and 20 from Peer Leadership who volunteered to spend their Sunday last week participating in the walk and representing Weehawken.There were a few more teachers who went to act as chaperones, so it was a healthy contingent from a small community such as Weehawken.“Eric was very inspirational when he came here,” said DeStefano, who just began his dual duties in Weehawken a few weeks ago. “The kids have been talking about him since he was here. So we rallied this group together. It was only my fourth day on the job, so it was helpful to me to get to know the kids more. I thought it was a great turnout. We had the football team in uniform and Peer Leadership wearing special T-shirts. I think a lot of people were impressed with the way they behaved and acted in public.”Not to mention the combination of two student groups who do not necessarily go together. This wasn’t exactly peanut butter and jelly getting on that bus.“We were really excited to go,” said senior Grace Denfield, who is the student president of Peer Leadership. “This may have been the first time I got to see the football team outside of school. But being able to see this come together was really exciting and really special. It was amazing to be able to do it on such short notice. But we were able to pull it off. I was so proud with the way we represented Weehawken.”Denfield is headed to Richard Stockton University in the fall with the eventual hope of becoming an occupational therapist.“I think both groups did a great job,” Denfield said.Denfield said that she was impressed with the amount of people who have disabilities taking part in the walk.“It was great to see so many people with disabilities walking and having good time,” Denfield said. “It was amazing. It was definitely a good feeling to be able to help.”Shane Epstein-Petrullo agrees with Denfield. He’s a freshman on the football team.“Eric was a really inspiring person to listen to,” Epstein-Petrullo said. “I know he’ll have a lasting impact on me. He makes you want to be a hero like him. It was awesome. He came to us, so then we went to him.”It was also special that LeGrand took the time to greet the Weehawken students after the walk and shared some ice cream with the students.“It was really special,” Epstein-Petrullo said. “It was also great to interact with our new football coach. We got to know him better. It was a great feeling to know that we were all doing something to help the good cause.”Sophomore Angel Carrillo is another football player who went to participate in the walk.“Just going to Rutgers and seeing Eric again meant so much to me,” Carrillo said. “His speech to us made everyone get so pumped up. He made everyone feel so alive and positive. The whole Rutgers experience was amazing. It made me want to go to Rutgers. It was great that we all got along with the Peer Leadership members. We got along well and had fun.”And the students went out of their way on a rainy Sunday afternoon to help a good cause. It could be the beginning of a great relationship between a former college football star and a budding high school football team. – Jim HagueJim Hague can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]
The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has published a roadmap outlining the key steps UK businesses need to take to reduce plastic waste.The UK Plastics Pact Roadmap to 2025 provides a framework for businesses to deliver the ambitious targets set out under the UK Plastics Pact, which was first unveiled in April 2018. These include eliminating problematic or unnecessary single-use packaging, making 100% of plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable ensuring 70% of plastic packaging is effectively recycled.Bakery manufacturers including Allied Bakeries, Premier Foods and Speedibake were among the first businesses to sign up to the initiative. Sixty-eight businesses, including major retailers, food and drink manufacturers and waste operators, are now committed.The roadmap sets three key milestones of April 2019, the end of 2022 and 2025 for progress towards the goals. For example, by April 2019 it plans to publish criteria of what is classed as problematic plastics and what options are available to deal with them as well as exploring key opportunities for compostable plastic packaging.WRAP said the roadmap is designed as “a living document that will evolve over time, reflecting changes in policy and innovations.”“I’m very impressed with progress made in the first six months since we launched the Pact. This is proving to be a powerful and motivated group. The Roadmap is a real opportunity for them to forge ahead and make change happen at scale, and in significant ways,” said WRAP chief executive Marcus Gover.“But these targets cannot be delivered by business action alone. It needs policy intervention as well as consumers to play a part.”Notably, the organisation highlighted change in areas such as collections, recycling and reprocessing of materials. It is also looking at utilising flagship projects to tackle the barriers to improved sorting, recycling and use of recycled content.Bakery manufacturers and retailers have already made progress towards increasing the recyclability and collection of their packaging. Hovis, for example, has added a new on-pack label and instructions encouraging consumers to dispose of their bread bags at plastic collection points in major retailers’ stores. Iceland, meanwhile, has committed to remove plastic packaging across all of its own brand items, including bakery ones, by the end of 2023.British Baker subscribers can find out more about how the industry is tackling the plastics challenge by reading our latest feature here. For a wider look at the waste and recycling issues faced by the bakery industry read our latest waste management feature here.
Earlier this year, a mural went up on the same street corner. The significance of the mural, outside of being a beautiful tribute to Tribe and “hip-hop hieroglyphics” as mural co-organizer Theron Smith calls it, is that it is also where the group filmed the video for “Check The Rhime” in ’91, on top of the Nu-Clear Dry Cleaners laundromat roof. “Check The Rhime” – Back in the day on the boulevard of Linden….a tribe called quest – check the rhime-ddc-720p-x264 from Jermane Hollinsworth on Vimeo.[H/T Pitchfork / Photos via @geedg] A Tribe Called Quest is in the midst of a huge and final comeback. Just over a week ago, they released their final masterpiece:We got it from Here…Thank You 4 Your service with plans for one ultimate world tour. The album was conceived when the group reunited in 2014, and it was no surprise to see it released just three days after the Presidential election. Race and social injustice are main themes of the new album, addressed with the lyrical eloquence for which ATCQ is known. This new record features recorded verses from Phife Dawg, who passed away earlier this year.Last week, remaining members of the group Q-Tip, Jarobi White, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad played a tribute performance on Saturday Night Live, and this week, the memorials continue. At the corner of Linden Boulevard and 192nd Street in Queens, NY, Phife Dawg has been immortalized in form of a street sign. Linden Boulevard is now also known as Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor Way.Friends and family were all there for the momentous occasion, including Jacobi who commented, “[People] get murals and tributes to them all over the place… but to have a mural on the very block, the very street that we walked every day? Wrote rhymes up and down this block, battle people, have people come from other neighborhoods to battle me and Phife—you know, all kinds of stuff.”
A new rapid test for tuberculosis (TB) could substantially and cost-effectively reduce TB deaths and improve treatment in southern Africa — a region where both HIV and tuberculosis are common — according to a new study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers.“This test is one of the most significant developments in TB control options in many years,” said lead author Nicolas Menzies, a Ph.D. candidate in health policy working at HSPH. “Our study is the first to look at the long-term consequences of this test when incorporated into routine health programs.”The study appears online in PLOS Medicine after 5 p.m. today.Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that kills more than 1.5 million people annually — primarily in low- and middle-income countries. An estimated 9 million people developed the disease in 2010. HIV-infected patients are particularly vulnerable to TB, which is spread through airborne droplets when people with active disease cough or sneeze.Rapid and accurate diagnosis is key to preventing the spread of the disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently recommended the use of Xpert, an automated DNA test that can show a result within two hours, for people at high risk of multi-drug-resistant TB and/or HIV-associated TB. Many countries are already moving to adopt the test.Menzies, senior author and professor of global health at HSPH Joshua Salomon, and colleagues conducted a modeling study to investigate the potential health and economic consequences of implementing the Xpert test in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland. They found that replacing the current diagnostic approach (which relies on identifying TB in patient’s sputum using a microscope) with one based on the Xpert test would prevent an estimated 132,000 TB cases and 182,000 TB deaths in southern Africa over 10 years, reducing by 28 percent the proportion of the population with active TB.The researchers estimated that the cost of widespread implementation of the Xpert test in southern Africa would be $460 million over the next 10 years, with the majority of these additional costs arising from increased utilization of TB and HIV treatment services. In particular, as the new test provides information on TB drug resistance, many more patients would be referred for treatment of multi-drug-resistant TB, which is expensive in this setting. The additional HIV treatment costs are a result of the success of the intervention — as individuals co-infected with TB and HIV receive better TB care, their survival improves, increasing the total number of people receiving HIV treatment.Taking into account both the additional costs and the health benefits from use of the new technology, adoption of the Xpert test in southern Africa would be a good value for the money, according to WHO standards. The researchers found that the cost per year of healthy life gained from adopting the new test ranged from $792 in Swaziland to $1,257 in Botswana. While these results suggest that scaling up Xpert can be a good health investment, the cost per healthy year gained is substantially higher in this study than in previous reports, and the economic results raise questions about affordability that will be critical for policymakers to consider.Menzies also cautioned that the study’s findings may not be applicable elsewhere, and that other countries may find more cost-effective interventions than Xpert to adopt first. “Given the fundamental influence of HIV on TB dynamics and intervention costs, care should be taken when interpreting the results of this analysis outside of settings with high HIV prevalence,” he said.Support for the study was provided in part by UNITAID and a training grant from the Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital’s Program in Cancer Outcomes and Training.
Kelly Ayotte ’94 is a Spring 2017 Joint Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Politics and Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School and the former Senator from New Hampshire (2011-2017).Ayotte spoke with The Gazette about the contentious confirmation process and her experience in shepherding Gorsuch during the last few months. GAZETTE: Justice Gorsuch has been confirmed, but only after a dramatic political standoff that many say will profoundly damage the Senate for years to come. How do you feel about the way the confirmation played out?AYOTTE: First of all, having been the counselor or “Sherpa” for Justice Gorsuch, he had an impeccable background [and was] eminently qualified to serve on the Supreme Court — of course a Harvard Law grad, like many of our Supreme Court justices. But from my perspective, it’s disappointing that he was filibustered and unfortunate, and I wish that didn’t happen. But in terms of his confirmation, I think that he certainly deserved confirmation. My former Republican colleagues, as you know, all of them voted to change the rules. I think many of them didn’t want to have to do that, [but] felt that if such a qualified nominee like Justice Gorsuch was going to be filibustered, that they weren’t really left with much choice. And so, that’s why you ended up with a 50-vote threshold in the end. I have no doubts that Justice Gorsuch is exceptionally qualified to serve. He had a broad array of support, frankly, across the political spectrum, including people like Neal Katyal, who was President Obama’s former solicitor general, and people who had worked with him had nothing but very good things to say about his qualifications.GAZETTE: It was widely thought that you were brought on to foster bipartisan support for his confirmation. Are you disappointed that there weren’t more Democrats and independents who supported his nomination?AYOTTE: I think I was chosen because I do have good relationships. I was very bipartisan in the Senate, and I have good relationships across the aisle. My role was to help him through that confirmation process. We met with almost 80 senators, and we had 81 meetings overall. That requires someone who can walk into each Senate office and comfortably introduce the judge to the senator and also be present to help with any kind of information that the senator needs. And having someone come in whom the senators know and have worked with is, I think, helpful. That’s traditionally why they have a former senator do that process. In terms of the rule and where we are in the Senate, unfortunately, from my perspective, the fact that someone like Justice Gorsuch would get filibustered told me that probably anyone this president nominated would get filibustered. So that’s sort of where we ended up. But I’m very pleased he ended up on the Supreme Court.GAZETTE: Do you understand why Democrats felt they couldn’t support Gorsuch? Many complained that he evaded answering questions about his views on many landmark cases and even his own decisions.AYOTTE: I thought that was really hollow, because if you go back and look at all the confirmation hearings going back to Justice [Ruth Bader] Ginsburg and even President Obama’s nominees to the Supreme Court, he applied the same standard that prior nominees have. You’re very restrained in terms of what you can answer. First of all, he’s a sitting judge on the 10th Circuit, so even if he weren’t confirmed, he’d have to go back to the 10th Circuit and hear many matters again that could potentially come before him. But also, just like prior Supreme Court nominees, as Justice Ginsburg said, “No hints, I’m not going to give you a preview about where I may rule on particular cases.” So to me, that was somewhat of a hollow criticism in the sense that it really wasn’t any different from how prior nominees have handled themselves.GAZETTE: Was it wrong not to give Merrick Garland a hearing?AYOTTE: I happened to be running for office during that, and in the United States Senate, and so, I did support the position that — I met with Judge Garland — I did support the position that with a presidential year the people should weigh in by electing the next president. I think they did. I understand where my former Democratic colleagues were upset about what happened, but you really have to say that this was an issue in the election. People made a decision on who they wanted to elect as president. They knew the Supreme Court was a big issue in the election. It certainly was in mine and others across the country. The people spoke, and President Trump got elected. And frankly, he put out a list in advance of who he might nominate, which was very unprecedented, and Judge Gorsuch was on that list, of course, so there weren’t really any surprises there.“I did support the position that with a presidential year the people should weigh in by electing the next president,” said Ayotte. “I think they did.” Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerGAZETTE: Given the premium President Trump places on loyalty, were you surprised to get the call for this important task? Why do you think you were asked? AYOTTE: I was absolutely surprised. I think there’s no secret that I’ve had my disagreements with him in the past. But we are on the same page when it comes to Justice Gorsuch because that was an excellent nomination on his part. I was surprised to get the call, but I’ve been honored to be able to help such an excellent nominee and now justice on the Supreme Court, and especially to get to know him personally. GAZETTE: Tell me about taking Justice Gorsuch around Capitol Hill to meet privately with senators. Were you involved in the hearing preparation process?AYOTTE: I was at every meeting. But not only that, I was involved in the preparation process. This has been a real refresher for me in constitutional law. I do have a legal background. Being involved in the moots of the judge, preparing him for the Senate hearings. I was very involved in that and throughout the entire process.You have people who are involved in the moots who are from White House legal counsel; they helped organize them — but also a lot of the judge’s friends. He’s got a lot of former clerks and people who are legal experts who essentially ask him questions. That’s a pretty typical preparation process for anyone who is coming before the Senate hearing, for frankly any nomination, not just the Supreme Court. It helps to think through what each senator might be interested in.GAZETTE: Who asked the toughest questions behind closed doors? Can you say?AYOTTE: I really don’t want to say. (Laughs.) Let me just say there were some tough questions asked, and obviously he can handle any question. He was well prepared.GAZETTE: What coaching did you give him, if any?AYOTTE: I gave him the advice, which I think is the best advice, of “be yourself,” because he’s a very nice person. He has two teenage daughters; he’s active in the outdoors. Having gotten to know him eight to 10 hours a day, I just thought it was really important that people get a sense of who the person is. I thought that was important beyond the legal issues.GAZETTE: So that folksiness is genuine? AYOTTE: That’s him. People obviously foremost look at someone’s qualifications, but they want to know who is this person that we’re putting on the highest court of the land.GAZETTE: Do you think you might ever run for office again? You have had a whirlwind last several months.AYOTTE: Yes, I have! There has not been a vacation. I don’t know what the future holds, but it’s been really a privilege. I’ve spent about 20 years in public service, and it’s been a great privilege. I’m glad to be here with the students at the IOP, who are incredibly capable and energized. I hope many of them decide to serve and to be part of trying to make a difference.This interview has been edited for clarity and length. After months of private meetings and public hearings, Neil Gorsuch, J.D. ’91, was sworn in this week as the 113th justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in 2006 by President George W. Bush, M.B.A. ’75, Gorsuch was confirmed by a 54-45 vote in the U.S. Senate last Friday that was cast almost exclusively along party lines. Senate independents and most Democrats, still smarting over Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal to consider President Barack Obama’s nominee of last year, Judge Merrick Garland ’74, J.D. ’77, filibustered Gorsuch’s nomination. That move prompted Republicans to change Senate rules so that Supreme Court nominees need only a majority of 51 votes to be confirmed, rather than the traditional 60. Guiding Gorsuch through the confirmation process on Capitol Hill was Kelly Ayotte, who was a U.S. senator from New Hampshire from 2011 until January. A Republican, she narrowly lost her seat in November to Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan in one of the more closely watched 2016 races. Just a day after Gorsuch’s swearing in, Ayotte is now at Harvard Kennedy School talking to students about seeking elective office, leadership, and the opioid crisis as a spring fellow at the Institute of Politics (IOP) and a visiting fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. A Conversation with the Honorable Kelly Ayotte <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gl-icvE7rsE” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/Gl-icvE7rsE/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a>
Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today hoped for quick House approval next week of a Senate-passed bill to provide $6.9 billion in additional federal disaster relief funds for Vermont and other states.The measure includes $5.1 billion in funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster relief fund. Of that, $500 million would be available immediately. The rest would go to other departments and agencies that have seen their coffers dwindle in a year when there have been more natural disasters than usual. The Department of Agriculture would receive $266 million for emergency programs. Additional resources are allotted to the Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Commerce, and the Army Corps of Engineers. Leahy said, ‘This is a timely boost for the urgent need to help disaster-stricken communities in many states. Our small state is stretched to the limit, and winter is fast approaching. This vote brings us much closer to the goal of helping Vermonters get back on their feet.’ Leahy is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which last week approved additional funding for FEMA. Sanders called Senate passage of the bill ‘a good start’ and hoped that the House will move aggressively to complete action on the measure to address the needs of Vermont and other states devastated by Hurricane Irene. ‘Now that the Senate has done its work, it is time for the Republicans in the House to recognize their responsibilities. Instead of tax breaks for millionaires and expanding military spending, I hope the House provides the emergency assistance that people in Vermont and other states need and deserve.’Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) is leading a bipartisan effort to pass disaster assistance in the House. WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2011 ‘
This winter, outdoor lovers from across the region will flock to Pocahontas County, W. Va., known as the Birthplace of Rivers because it shelters the headwaters of eight pristine mountain streams. Among these is the Elk River, which many consider the Mountain State’s best wild trout stream. Like the wary trout that call the Elk home, the river frequently hides itself by running for several miles through underground limestone caves.On August 7, a group of cavers, hikers, mountain bikers, anglers, and other concerned citizens descended upon the tiny hamlet of Durbin, West Virginia, to voice their concerns over the site selection for a new regional wastewater treatment plant. The chosen site? The famed Elk River itself. The Public Service District (PSD), a three-person committee charged with overseeing water issues in Pocahontas County, has been in the middle of a contentious battle over the proposed plant for years. Pocahontas County is home of Snowshoe Mountain Resort, one of the most popular ski resorts on the East Coast.And therein lies at least part of the problem: For many years now Snowshoe Water and Sewer has been insufficient to meet the needs of the resort’s ever-expanding number of guests. According to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP), Snowshoe has been cited for numerous regulatory violations over the past five years and for more than 30 violations between 2004 and 2005 alone. Some of these violations include spills, overflowing manholes, and high levels of ammonia, which are especially deadly to native trout. Officials of Pocahontas County and Snowshoe devised a plan to regionalize the water and sewer treatment plant, thus transferring oversight of the facility to the county.Area residents oppose the plan because records indicate that the vast majority of system users will be on resort property. Residents are asking why they must foot the bill to finance the proposed plant largely for the benefit of Snowshoe guests.Other detractors include outdoor enthusiasts, who contend that the proposed plant threatens the Elk River watershed. Leading the charge against the plant is 8 Rivers Safe Development, a coalition of cavers that has filed suit against WVDEP for not requiring an Environmental Impact Statement before approving the $20 million project.“Snowshoe has just plainly overdeveloped without investing enough into their infrastructure,” asserts George Philips, president of 8 Rivers Safe Development. “We are not against development; we just want it done correctly and with an eye towards the environment.”Also opposing the plant are the Federation of Fly Fishers, West Virginia Council of Trout Unlimited, and the Elk Headwaters Watershed Association. They believe that the risk of a raw sewage leak from the miles of proposed pipe is too great; leaked sewage could remain trapped in underground caves and foul the Elk River for decades.Snowshoe maintains that the environment is a top priority. The resort recently collaborated with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to create a Habitat Conservation Plan—the first of its kind in the state—to protect two endangered species, the West Virginia northern flying squirrel and the Cheat Mountain salamander.Snowshoe attempted to solve regulatory issues by filing an application with the West Virginia Public Service Commission for a Certificate of Need and Necessity to build a plant in 2001. That case concluded in 2002 when the Commission ordered Snowshoe to facilitate exploration of a “regional solution.”“Over the past several years, Snowshoe has worked diligently with elected and appointed officials at both the county and state level to develop an acceptable regional solution,” says Laura Parquette, communications manager for Snowshoe Mountain Resort. “Snowshoe supports a regional concept that is environmentally sound, economically feasible, promotes economic development, and improves the quality of life for those who visit and live on the mountain, as well as those in the local community.”All parties agree that the status quo is unacceptable, but the devil is in the details: It seems unlikely that county officials, county citizens, the resort, and conservationists will be able to hammer out a compromise in the foreseeable future. In the meantime, the native species of the Elk River watershed hang in the balance.
Like it or not, if you live an outdoor lifestyle, you have a certain appreciation for a well designed offroad vehicle.When I first saw this 1992 Ford F150, designed and built by OGRE in Pisgah Forest, I fell in love. Now, I’m a Toyota guy through and through, but I’m also a fishing guy, and this is a fishing truck.I recently met Jason Bowman, owner of OGRE, at a fly fishing tournament in Highlands, N.C. Turns out, we knew a lot of the same folks and he was a part of the Outdoor Gear Builders of WNC. After a couple drinks and talking about my failed first fishing tournament, he offered to take me and a buddy out in Pisgah to show us the ropes.A couple weeks later, we swung by his shop for a Pisgah Trout Unlimited meeting and got to watch a couple films from the F3T tour. We shared some beers, watched some fishing, talked about kiosks, and of course, checked out this beautiful machine.In its natural habitatCustom Built From The Ground UpAfter scouring Craigslist, Bowman found the old Ford just wasting away in Shelby, N.C. It was in rough shape, but the truck only had 60,000 miles on it. Once back at the shop, Jason and the team at OGRE got to work. After tearing it down to the frame, they sandblasted everything, then shipped the body off to Coachworks Auto Body for paint (They did a fantastic job). Then the OGRE team started to rebuild it, piece by piece.“We build these trucks, and they’re badass, but what we really build them for is to test the outdoor equipment that we create.”“F150s during those years have a TTB Suspension. It’s ok, but it’s not the best,” says Bowman. So they opted for Dana 60 front and rear axles. They’re a more heavy-duty solution from the Ford F350. Following the axles, they did a full coil spring conversion with custom built radius arms to keep the suspension soft but still offroad ready. The motor was replaced by a brand new 302 v8. The axles, transmission, and transfer case were all rebuilt in-house.Mandatory stop by Davidson River Outfitters to stock up on fishing gear.The front bumper and grill are one of the truck’s most prominent features. Known as an OBS (original body style), it is one of a kind. The design of the truck is based on Jason’s experience and knowledge of the outdoor industry, fly fishing in particular. This is the fourth fly fishing specific build they’ve done. Other notable builds include a ’00 Dodge Ram for David Grossman of Southern Culture on the Fly, and a ’72 Ford Bronco for Oliver White, a world-renowned fly fisherman.“Is it overkill? Yeah, but it looks cool!”This truck is really just a test vehicle to help fine tune their fly rod holders. “We build these trucks, and they’re badass, but what we really build them for is to test the outdoor equipment that we create,” says Bowman. The Fly Rod Rack, in particular, is one of his latest creations. During our brief time in the woods, he noticed several areas to improve on the design. In my opinion, it’s already very well done. Able to store four, twelve-foot rods, the whole thing locks up, keeping your rods safe. Drainage holes in the bottom let water escape the rod holder. The ease of access and organization of your gear is where it really shines.Getting some lines wet in the upper Davidson River.Naturally, We Had To Go FishingWe left the shop and headed out to the upper Davidson River, just north of the fish hatchery. Turns out, this was the first time Jason had taken the truck offroad. My little Tacoma, with its rusty leaf springs, was bouncing around in the rough and rutted roads. The F150 hardly moved. Every pothole and rut that was thrown its way barely shook the body. For anyone who’s driven up 475 from 276 in Pisgah, you know it’s not a smooth ride. We parked, set up the rods, and headed out into the woods.This was my first time fishing the Davidson and man is this place beautiful. Bowman showed us the ropes, took us to some low-key spots, and got us hooked into a couple small fish (though I didn’t land any). On our way back home, just before dark, we stopped by the fish hatchery. Jason get’s down to the water, takes one cast, and hooks into a monster 20″ Rainbow Trout on a dry fly. Unfortunately, due to my poor filming skills, we have no proof. We all know how fisherman like to tell tales.Easy access is key. It locks up too!A Focus On Outdoor RecreationEverything they build at OGRE is geared towards playing outside, not offroading. They work for the weekend warrior who mountain bikes, fly fishes, and kayaks. Whatever your pastime, they custom fabricate vehicle components catered to your needs. Their goal is to build practical gear for vehicles that helps maximize your time outside.“Time is your most valuable asset out in the woods. If you’re driving out for the weekend, you don’t want to waste time digging through your vehicle to access your gear.”The team at OGRE is currently working on a custom fabricated dog box for hunting dogs that features a mini HVAC system to keep your pups cool. The system runs on ice, which you add to a pullout tray. Fans circulate the air over the ice and around the box cooling it down. As the ice melts, it fills a tray at the bottom providing your dogs with water on the go. It’s an ingenious system. They get their first prototype back from the manufacturer any day now.Bowman drew inspiration for the gear that he creates from his time in the military, “When I was in the Marine Corps, we had specific places to store our weapons and gear. When you’re out in the field and at war, you have to know where everything is at all times.”Jason Bowman, owner of OGREMeet Jason Bowman of OGREA military veteran, Bowman served in the Marine Corps from ’92-’96 as a Hummer mechanic. This sparked his passion for working with vehicles. From there, he went to Denver, Colo. for school and apprenticed with Ford Motor Company. Bowman is from Southern Appalachia, starting OGRE in Virginia 16 years ago. He’s been making gear for outdoor recreation over the past five years and moved to Western North Carolina in 2015.His love for the outdoors shines through his ethical business practices. 95% of the waste OGRE creates is recycled. In the cooler months, they even heat the shop with used motor oil.”This is the most gorgeous place in the world in my opinion,” says Bowman. “Nothing leaves my shop unless there is absolutely no way to recycle it.”To learn more about OGRE, be sure to check out their website.Justin Forrest is an outdoor writer, fly fishing addict, and co-founder of Narrative North—based in Asheville, N.C. He posts pictures of cats and fishing on Instagram sometimes.
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