Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Hunger Games - Behind the Location

The Hunger Games jumped out of the gates with a big box office opening.  Based on a young adult novel about a girl who must fight to the death for the amusement of the government, the novel series picked up a large teen following prior to the film’s arrival.

Several of the outdoors and hunting blogs and forums have discussed the movie as well.  First of all, the main character, Katniss, uses her skills in the to-the-death competition that she learned in Appalachia while hunting and living in the wilderness.  Second, many have commented on her (the actress) ability and technique with archery equipment.  Neither disappointed the real life critics.

One of the stories not mentioned very much is the location of the shoot.  Much of the movie was shot in the mountains of North Carolina, DuPont State Recreational Forest to be more specific.

Why should this be of any additional interest?

DuPont State Forest began as a 3 stage purchase of land by North Carolina from DuPont as it sold off its industrial and surrounding land holdings.  This amassed over 10000 acres of land for the State Forest.  This was a deal involving many environment groups.  To put it short, the Conservation Fund purchased the land from DuPont as an intermediate owner until the state of North Carolina could come up with the funds to finish the purchase.  North Carolina used $2.2 million from the North Carolina Natural Heritage Trust Fund to fund the project.

DuPont State Forest is a haven for all outdoors activities.  Everything from hiking, fishing, mountain biking and hunting is enjoyed there with some of the most picturesque landscapes and waterfalls in North Carolina as well as the Eastern United States.  Due to a proposed management shift for DuPont State Forest, many of these activities were to be prohibited.

As a result, many enthusiasts from different aspects of the outdoors would lose a valuable public area to enjoy their activities.  Several of these people, who enjoyed the DuPont State Forest for different reasons, saw a need to band together and find a solution to keeping the land accessible and available to all.  In the process hunters, hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders and environmentalists all would fight for the same cause.

The different groups picked up a few backers in the North Carolina legislature, and in 2011, DuPont State Forest was classified as DuPont State Recreational Forest.  This became the first state recreational forest and a model for future areas.  By gaining the recreational forest nomenclature, it ensured the biking, hiking, and riding trails would remain, and hunters would not lose valuable gamelands located within the boundaries.  Best of all, it was done without in-fighting from the different groups as things like this can tend to breed.  The different groups saw the value in working together, and were convincing in their arguments.

The now DuPont State Recreational Forest boasts not only of the beautiful lands and waterfalls, but nearly 175000 visitors annually.  2012 may see a much larger increase in that number.  With the success of The Hunger Games, it seems the area is welcoming many more tourists who wish to visit the location of the movie’s setting.

1 comment:

  1. Should have done it long ago. Just had a shed built on our pier for all my fishing supplies. Backyard Rooms put it up and financed it.