Grandfather Mountain pushes back against proposed park rules

(Grandfather Mountain)

The nonprofit foundation that cares for a North Carolina state park has expressed concerns over proposed changes designed to improve public safety and animals' quality of life at state zoos, parks, education centers and rehab facilities. The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation says the habitat expansion and taller fencing proposed by the state Wildlife Resources Commission would bear a high cost and require relocating animals, including cougars, as the rugged terrain prevents expansion. Executive Director Jesse Pope says Grandfather Mountain has never been found in violation of habitat regulations. The commission's executive director, Gordon Myers, told The Charlotte Observer the rules aren't intended to cause any facility undue hardship, and the commission intends to meet with every affected facility. The public has until Friday to comment on the proposed rules.

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