>> F.M. >> Wildlife
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the
last retreat for many endangered plants and animals. Fire Mountain
is located in the middle of five National Forests two of which
border The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As a result wildlife
abounds everywhere in the Southern Highlands. These ancient mountains
are home to a wide variety of plant and animal life unsurpassed
in the National Park System and the United States as a whole.
In 1997 Fire Mountain was certified as a Wildlife Sanctuary by
the Highlands Plateau Audubon Society of Highlands, North Carolina.
Our mission here at Fire Mountain is to conserve and restore our
natural ecosystems, focusing on birds and other wildlife habitat.
We strive to preserve a diversity of habitats for birds and other
Black bear roam here feeding on blackberries, raspberries, huckleberries,
blueberries, acorns and hickory nuts. There are deer, owls, wild
turkey, groundhogs, chipmunks, red fox, raccoons, rabbits, wildcats,
opossums and skunk. Birds fill the trees, and rivers run with
smallmouth bass, sculpins, and trout. Life is supported by an
annual rainfall that is exceeded only in the Pacific Northwest
and in turn more than 1400 species of flowering plants grow here
including 100 kinds of trees, most of them broadleaf trees like
maple, yellow poplar, oak, buckeye and silver bell. In the spring
and summer, the Smokies are a paradise of wildflowers. Hillsides
come alive with rhododendron, flame azaleas, dogwood and mountain
Bird watching is excellent and over 150 species have been counted.
Most are indigenous to the area; others are migratory. At times
during April and May of each year the early evening hours on top
of Fire Mountain sound as if you are located in an aviary with
melodious sounds abounding everywhere. Certain times of the year
the Highlands Plateau Audubon Society conducts bird counts on
top of the mountain knolls here at Fire Mountain. Field trips
of bird watchers come at times.
We meet wildlife sanctuary requirements. Our guests help restore
habitat in our wildlife sanctuary by respecting and enjoying the
effort and by their presence. A portion of the proceeds from each
guest's stay go into the ever increasing costs of maintenance
and development of our habitat.
The ownership and staff of Fire Mountain are proud to be the
stewards of this land. We feel very fortunate to have the pleasure
of working and enjoying each day in such an incredible environment.
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