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home >> F.M. >> Wildlife

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 wildlife.

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 laurel.

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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Fire Mountain Inn, Cabins and Treehouses

Highlands NC 28741