Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting volunteers during the fall season to help manage elk viewing opportunities in the Oconaluftee and Cataloochee areas of the park. Volunteers are needed to work through mid-November for one four-hour shift per week in the late afternoons.

Volunteers will provide information to park visitors that prepares them for responsibly viewing elk in a manner that keeps themselves and the elk safe. Volunteers will join either the Luftee Rover volunteer program at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center or the Elk Bugle Corp volunteer program in Cataloochee. When elk are present in the fields, volunteers will assist with traffic management to provide for visitor and wildlife safety. Volunteers will also provide information about elk along with cultural and natural resources found at the Mountain Farm Museum near the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and in the Cataloochee Valley.

All interested volunteers are required to attend a training session on Friday, Sept. 6 from 9 a.m. until noon at the Oconaluftee Multi-Purpose Room near the Oconaluftee Visitor Center in Cherokee. A pot-luck lunch will be held for new and current volunteers immediately after the training.

To register for training or for more information, contact Kathleen Stuart at 828-497-1914 or kathleen_stuart@nps.gov. For more information on elk, visit the park’s website at http://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/nature/elk.htm.

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