According to an article in the March 15, 2008 Kingsport Times News, the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park will host the Black Bear Blast on March 21-22. The event will involve scientists, educators, artisans from the region, and anyone else interested in the black bear. According to the article (and certainly also confirmed by stories of recent black bear visits in the campground and around western Lee County farms), "The black bear once roamed freely through these mountains but was virtually eliminated from the region through over-hunting and loss of habitat. Due to recent conservation efforts and habitat availability, the black bear is making a come back on it's own. Scientists studying the black bear in Kentucky and Cumberland Gap National Historical Park have noted a healthy increase in bear numbers."
The article further reports, "The event will kick off on Friday, March 21, at the park visitors center and will feature an outdoor exhibit area, numerous demonstrations, programs, and special keynote speakers in the visitors center auditorium." All of the event activities are FREE!! For more information, call (606) 248-2817 or visit www.nps.gov/cuga.