Winter Tree ID in Montreat

Cold but pristine headwater streams in the wilderness area.

Cold but pristine headwater streams in the wilderness.

This year’s winter tree identification hike took place in the beautiful Montreat Wilderness. As our intrepid, aspiring dendrologists hiked near Montreat’s streams, cold conditions and overcast skies gave way to a wonderfully pleasant western North Carolina winter day. Our guests were treated to a variety of topics, including native plant communities, forest health issues, and the cultural history of Montreat.

Chris Coxen, SAHC's Field Ecologist, led the winter tree identification hike.

Chris Coxen, SAHC’s Field Ecologist, led the winter tree identification hike.

Chris Coxen, SAHC’s Field Ecologist, discussed basic tips for winter tree identification success. Examine the form of the tree — is it straight or does it dramatically bend to seek out sunlight (like a sourwood tree)? What does the bark look like? Are the twigs coming off of the main branches alternate or opposite?

Participants put the tips into practice along the hike.

Participants put the tips into practice along the hike.

One of the most important steps someone can take when identifying anything in the field, flora or fauna, is to think about the forest community in which it is located. When you consider the elevation, aspect (north or south facing slope), proximity to a stream, or soil (thin and rocky or dense and rich?), you can narrow down the possible forest communities and create a smaller pool of potential plant or animal species.

The group hiked a 3.5-mile loop along the Sanctuary, Harry Bryan and Grey Beard trails, stopping at various points to talk about tree identification and the history of the area. We hiked near the old hydroelectric dam, reviewing times past when it provided electricity to the community in the 1920’s. SAHC was fortunate to also have Bill Sanderson, a local high school teacher and ranger of Montreat, join our hike. Bill gave the hikers a behind-the-scenes tour of the dam, old reservoirs used for drinking water and general history of the town of Montreat, which was created in 1967.

Educating hikers about the impact of ginseng & galax poachers.

Hikers learn about ginseng and galax poachers.

Toward the end of the hike the group gathered at a rock outcrop near a small stream where Chris Coxen and Bill Sanderson educated the hikers about the ongoing poaching of threatened species in the area, including galax and ginseng. Ginseng is a fleshy root often used in energy supplements and herbal medications. This plant only grows in the Appalachians and in the Himalayans. Ginseng is not as plentiful and harder to find in comparison to galax.

Blog post author and SAHC's AmeriCorps PR & Outreach Associate Anna Zanetti on the trail.

Blog post author and SAHC’s AmeriCorps PR & Outreach Associate Anna Zanetti on the trail.

Galax is a small, high elevation, cool-weather plant with broad, waxy, heart-shaped leaves. It’s picked mainly for floral arrangements because the leaves hold their green color for up to several weeks after they’ve been picked. Galax poachers are hired to rummage through the woods of the Appalachian region, illegally packing duffle bags full of galax which can weigh as much as 100 pounds. Montreat has had a hard time curbing the poaching population that enters its woods. Once the galax has been picked it cannot be replanted. We hope that educating hikers about poaching problems for these unique plants will lead to better understanding and assistance in reporting illegal activity.

Overall, the 30 hikers on SAHC’s Winter Tree Identification hike not only learned how to identify the barren woody companions but also learned about the overall health of the forest and a community like Montreat that works hard to protect these features for present and future generations. Thanks to all who came out to join us!

Categories: Hikes | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Warren Wilson College students help out on our Community Farm

Student volunteers helped refine the walking trail at the farm.

Student volunteers helped refine the walking trail at the farm.

The forecast said to expect a wintry mix on the first morning in March, as a group of Warren Wilson College (WWC) students prepared to come out to volunteer at the SAHC Community Farm in Alexander, NC. With temperatures not expected to reach 40 degrees, most college students would have burrowed back under the covers and asked for a rain check.

Not these folks. Under cloudy skies, they eagerly removed invasive plants and helped finish up sections of the 1 ½  mile nature trail. The group was a mix of students from the Forestry, Landscaping, and Recycling Crews at WWC. The students at WWC work 15 hours a week for the college to help offset the cost of their room and board. In addition, they must complete 100 hours of volunteer service before graduating. This opportunity at the farm allowed them to use skill from their work crews on a project that would bring them closer to their service goals.

Volunteers also helped remove invasive plant species on the farm.

Volunteers also helped remove invasive plant species on the farm.

Midway through the morning, we were rewarded for our perseverance when the sun came out and it turned into a beautiful pre-Spring Appalachian day. Within the course of the workday, numerous jokes and stories were shared, hundreds of invasives were pulled, and almost a half-mile of trail was finished. We hope to continue work with Warren Wilson College on future projects around the Community Farm. Thank you all for your service!

Categories: Volunteer & Stewardship Activities | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Preserving Farms – And “A Way of Life”


52 acres of Watalula Farm in Leicester, NC were recently placed under agricultural conservation easement.

Over the past few years, the terms ‘local food’ and ‘farm to table’ have gained greater and greater prominence in our daily conversations. What you may not hear as frequently, however, are some of the underlying concerns for farmland conservation – namely, that local food production requires both local farmland and successful farmers, and that not all farmland is created equal. These concerns are an integral part of the story behind two recent farmland conservation projects completed by the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC).

SAHC recently created conservation easements on two tracts of important, working agricultural lands in northwestern Buncombe County totaling 88 acres. The newly protected 52-acre Watalula Farm tract in Leicester and 36-acre portion of Duckett Farm in Sandy Mush each contain prime agricultural soils.

SAHC Farmland Program Director William Hamilton explains, “Only 2% of the land mass in Western North Carolina consists of nationally recognized prime soils.  In most places, this land is also the most threatened by development, and a good bit of it has already seen a change in land use. As a land trust working in the Southern Appalachian mountains, we recognize that preserving rich bottomland must be a high priority.  It is vital that we preserve this natural resource to secure our food supply into the future.”

Anne Grier of Gaining Ground Farm, working the land they lease at Watalula Farm.
Anne Grier of Gaining Ground Farm, working the land they lease at Watalula Farm.

Watalula Farm – 52 acres
Landowner Will Jeffers purchased the farm in 2011 from the previous landowner, who had grown up in the area and  shared his desire to keep the land available for farming. An insightful young professional and graduate of Warren Wilson College, Jeffers learned that the property had come up for sale from his friends and neighboring farmers Anne and Aaron Grier of Gaining Ground Farm.

“After living in Asheville for a number of years and feeling helpless as countless farms were developed, we always dreamed of viable ways to preserve land for agricultural use,” says Jeffers. “Thanks to an open dialogue between the seller, SAHC and neighboring farmers this dream became a reality with the preservation of Watalula Farm.  We hope the story of this farm’s placement into conservation can be an example for future efforts.”

Gaining Ground Farm leases the pastures at Watalula Farm for their herd of Red Devon cattle.

Gaining Ground Farm leases the pastures at Watalula Farm for their herd of Red Devon cattle.

Jeffers leases land at Watalula to young farmers of Gaining Ground Farm and First Blossom Farm to keep the land agriculturally productive. Gaining Ground Farm leases some of the bottomland and the pastures on Watalula, producing vegetables and local beef for local tailgate markets, local restaurants, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs).

“We can produce a lot more and do better crop rotation by leasing and using the Watalula land in addition to the land we already lease as Gaining Ground Farm,” said Anne Grier. “It has been especially helpful in improving our ability to sell to local restaurants. And, with the new conservation easement on the Watalula Farm land, we have a sense of security that the land will stay available for us and for others to use for farming now and in the future.”

According to Hamilton,”This farm has been a constant agricultural contributor for the last one hundred years.  It has and is continuing to provide local jobs for the community. As needed, it has evolved to survive the changing economics of agriculture, and the new farmers will continue to seek economic viability through direct marketing of produce and meat to the local market.”

This critical 52-acre property consists of 80% important agricultural soils (including 21% “prime” – nationally significant soils). A section of Newfound Creek also flows through the farm. The tract adjoins the Snelson Farm conservation easement preserved by Buncombe County.

“This is a great farmland preservation project,” says Hamilton. “The farm has all the right components: valuable soils, a great water supply, and beautiful scenery, all located within 10 miles of downtown Asheville. There was a significant threat of development, and we are proud to be able to preserve this innovative, highly productive, sustainable, and forward-thinking family farm for the future.”

Duckett farm – 36-acre tract

The rich bottomland of the Duckett tract is currently used for winter grazing lands and hay.

The rich bottomland of the Duckett tract is currently used for winter grazing lands and hay.

This 36-acre tract is a portion of 330 acres of family farm owned by Bill & Mabel Duckett, of which 260 acres have already been protected under conservation easement with SAHC. The Duckett farm is a 4th generation family farm operation located in the remote Big Sandy Mush area of Buncombe County. 

“Bill’s 36 acres is situated right in the middle of the Sandy Mush Valley,” says Hamilton. “This parcel is especially good because 26 of the 36 acres are recognized nationally as prime soils.  Prime soils take thousands of years to form, and usually consist of a balanced combination of sand, silt, and clay.  They can be cultivated year after year and never suffer from erosion if managed well. “

Presently, the bottomland tract is used for hay and for winter grazing land for cattle; it was used for row crops in the past. Duckett practices a historic tradition of wintering cattle on bottomland in Sandy Mush valley and driving them up to summer grazing at higher elevations, including his land at Chestnut Gap, which is also protected by conservation easement with SAHC. The pastures connect to a remarkable network of protected lands in the Sandy Mush valley and the Newfound Mountains.  While the cattle are at summer pasture, the newly protected conservation easement area is planted with hay, an erosion-minimizing practice encouraged by the farm’s Buncombe County Soil and Water conservation plan.

The recently protected 36-acre conservation easement on Duckett farm land (outlined in red) lies in the heart of Sandy Mush.

The recently protected 36-acre conservation easement on Duckett farm land (outlined in red) lies in the heart of Sandy Mush.

Remarking on the recently completed conservation easement, Bill Duckett said, “I’d like to see the land stay in farm use and not be developed, and that’s what my boys wanted, too. It’s good for the area to have more open land. This program works well for someone at my age. I can’t farm like I used to, and it can serve to help me retire. That’s something all farm families have to face, eventually – a way to change over to the next generation.”

Duckett’s children are interested in continuing the farming tradition of the land, although they do not have plans to take over farming as a full-time operation. Placing the land under conservation easement is a way for the current generation to continue the traditions of the past and ensure that the farm’s rich, agriculturally important soils will not be lost in the future. 

“Most farms are passed down — they didn’t happen in one generation,” continues Duckett. “It takes more than one generation to put a farm together. It’s more a way of life than just property, not something you want to sell and see disappear. I’d also like farmers to be aware of the farmland preservation program – and the fact that there is funding available to preserve farms through the Farm Bill. It’s not something that you’ll be forced into, but it’s nice to know that it is available.”

The Duckett farm tract of 36 acres is 100% open agricultural land, and 73% of soils on it are classified as “Prime” – Nationally Significant.  26% of Duckett Bottomland Soils are classified as “Statewide Importance” – State Significant. The tract is bordered by Sandy Mush Creek, which flows into the French Broad River.

NewSAHCfarmlandconservation projectsSAHC successfully applied for Federal Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) funds to protect the prime agricultural soils on both these tracts. We also secured funding and support for the projects from partners at the local, state, and national level, including Buncombe County, the Conservation Trust for North Carolina – Farmland Forever Fund, North Carolina Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust, and the US Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service. The landowners also made generous contributions to make completion of the projects possible.

“These are both incredible successes for local farmland preservation efforts,” sums up Hamilton. “The high occurrence of prime soils and the continued use and expansion of agricultural operations on these tracts made them priorities for conservation. We are grateful to the landowners for working to preserve their lands, and to our partners for providing critical funding for these projects.”

If other farm landowners  are interested in working with SAHC to preserve their land for agricultural use, we would be happy to help with the process. Contact William Hamilton at 828.253.0095 ext. 211 or for more information.

Categories: Farmland Preservation Program | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Drought Impacts Beer Industry – WLOS News13 – Top Stories

In this broadcast clip from WLOS 13 news, Joey Justice from Highland Brewing Company, our “For Love of Beer & Mountains” partner, remarks on how our conservation work is important for production of tasty beer in local breweries — a growing and important sector of our local economy. Clean water makes good beer!

Drought Impacts Beer Industry – WLOS News13 – Top Stories.

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Music in the Forest – Protecting Bob Moog’s Big Briar Cove

Sunbeams in forest_briarcove

SAHC accepted a conservation easement on 105 acres of Bob Moog’s land at Big Briar Cove.

Musicians around the world know the name Bob Moog and respect his groundbreaking innovations in electronic instruments. However, what they may not know is that a quiet cove outside Asheville, NC provided a setting of respite and inspiration to nourish his uncanny genius.

In December, the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC) accepted a donated conservation easement on 105 acres of Bob Moog’s property in the South Turkey Creek community of Buncombe County. The quiet cove includes the former home and workshop of local music icon Bob Moog. His widow, Ileana Grams-Moog, donated the conservation easement to SAHC to protect forest habitat and clean water resources on the property.


Completing the conservation easement in December (L to R): SAHC Stewardship & Conservation Planning Director Hanni Muerdter, Ileana Grams-Moog, SAHC Land Protection Director Michelle Pugliese, SAHC Executive Director Carl Silverstein.

“Bob would have been very happy about the conservation easement at Big Briar Cove,” said Grams-Moog. “People do not often think of him as an outdoorsman, but Bob was very passionate about the outdoors and the wilderness. I know that donating this conservation easement to protect the land for the future is something he wanted.”

The property contains rare natural communities including rich cove forest, a stand of old growth forest, and a small remnant southern Appalachian bog. Ten creeks flow through the cove, including several streams that serve as headwaters of South Turkey Creek.  These pristine waters flow through the Sandy Mush Game Lands before emptying into the French Broad River.

Headwaters of South Turkey Creek originate on the Big Briar Cove tract.

Headwaters of South Turkey Creek originate on the Big Briar Cove tract.

“When he first learned about conservation easements, Bob was very interested and thought it would be a good thing to do for the cove,” Grams-Moog continued. “In his will, he directed me to preserve the environmental values of the land. I’m pleased to honor his wishes by donating the conservation easement at Big Briar Cove to the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy.”

In addition to the natural resources on the tract, the completion of this conservation easement protects scenic views in the northwest corner of the county. Rising to 3,700 feet in elevation, the property is visible from a scenic rural route and in the distance from Old Marshall Scenic Byway. As the home and work site of Moog, who is widely regarded as an early pioneer in electronic music, the property is also important for its cultural and historical context.

Bob Moog, photo courtesy of Ileana Grams-Moog.

Bob Moog, photo courtesy of Ileana Grams-Moog.

When Moog purchased the property in 1978, he was already well established in his career as an inventor and entrepreneur. He founded Big Briar, Inc. and built and sold custom electronic musical instruments under the Big Briar name until 2002, when the name was changed to Moog Music, Inc. At the workshop on the Big Briar Cove property, Moog experimented with designs for his electronic instruments and produced many instruments that were sold through his company.


Big Briar Cove

“This property is a biological gem situated near 6,000 acres that SAHC has protected in the Sandy Mush farming community,” according to SAHC Executive Director Carl Silverstein. “We’re grateful to Ileana Grams-Moog for protecting this lovely cove with its significant forest, habitat, water resources, scenic value and historic connection to Bob Moog. We are deeply proud to be able to preserve it for posterity.”

Transaction costs for this donated conservation easement project were covered in part by the ‘Money in the Ground – Mountains & Coasts’ grant program of the Conservation Trust for North Carolina.

Categories: Land Protection Updates | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hiking Into The Lost Cove

Although we are in the midst of an arctic freeze in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, we’re eagerly looking forward to the slate of outdoor adventures our outreach team has planned for this year. To whet your appetite, here’s a narrative from one of our 2013 fall hikes – a trek into the 95-acre Lost Cove tract that SAHC purchased in 2012, led by our AmeriCorps PR & Outreach associate Anna Zanetti:

Paddlers along the Nolichucky River on the edge of the Lost Cove property.

Paddlers along the Nolichucky River on the edge of the Lost Cove property.

“Lost Cove, once a self-sustaining community nestled on the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, has become a mere ghost town with the occasional company of a destination hiker.

In late November I led 22 people on a hike to the old settlement where only abandoned and crippled buildings now exist. The group hiked up to Flat Top Mountain where we peeked over the edge looking down on the Nolichucky Gorge catching a glimpse of the Lost Cove Property. During the 1940s, from this point, you would have been able to see white buildings consisting of homes, the schoolhouse and the church, but all we saw was overgrowth amongst the color changing leaves. We headed west and began to descend two miles along the old soil bed road until we came to an intersection in the trail. This intersection marks the beginning of the Lost Cove settlement and to the left marks SAHC’s property.


View from Flat Top Mountain looking down upon the Lost Cove.

We walked quietly under the dark clouds that came rushing in, covering the sun. Searching around the group examined the free standing stone chimneys and the decaying structures. Every few feet we would see old deteriorating cans, rusty car parts and we even found a wood-burning stove. We all navigated around on and off trail as if we were investigating an ancient civilization. Everyone was dispersed when a hiker called out, “Come up here, I found their cemetery.” We all rushed together to the top of a hill off of the trail to find a small gated graveyard with tombstones and some flowers. We knelt down reading the literature engraved in the stones — some had poems or just the family name, in places the letters were a little off and the p’s and d’s were backwards. On top of the hill we had a brief snack, but we were too engaged to turn around at that point. As a group we decided to push forward and hike down to the Nolichucky Gorge to see the train tracks and where the train platform once existed.


The group hiking down to the edge of the property.

The group hiked about 1.5 miles descending through bolder fields with moss and lichen in every nook and cranny. It was like a sea of rocks flowing and rising within the tress. This section of the trail is by far my favorite because of its natural beauty. We reached the edge of our property looking upon the Nolichucky River and the train tracks nestled between the surrounding mountains. We all dispersed around the edge of the property to explore. Then we reconvened around an abandoned campsite,  all quiet and ready to eat our lunch. As I was getting settled the ground began to shake and we all stood up to see a train coming around the bend along the river. The graffiti covered railroad carts rushed by caring black coal and other cargo.


The train coming around the bend along the Nolichucky River.

After the train was gone a fellow hiker said aloud, “These people had to hike 1.5 miles down here for goods and then proceeded to hike back up the steep and rocky trail with extra weight on their backs.”  This reminded everyone that Appalachian folk were and still are resilient people who don’t back down from a challenge. We packed up our belongings and I handed out trash bags and gloves to anyone willing to pickup and pack out the garbage from the abandoned campsite. Buddy Tignor, President of SAHC’s Board of Trustees, single-handedly packed out around 30 pounds of empty propane cans and debris.

The train was long gone and we were finishing packing up when it began to rain. We didn’t think much about it until the rain became worse, eventually turning into hail. We all looked at each other and understood that it was time to begin the trek up and out the gorge. The hail stinging our bare skin was not our only concern —  the slippery unsure footing made me nervous. A total of 45 minutes later and 1.5 miles up the steep terrain the rain and hail had stopped, giving us the opportunity to catch our breath.

The hike back was severely strenuous especially with the added weight from the trash we had picked up below. That morning we began the hike at 10:00 am and did not make it back to Flat Top Mountain till 5:00 pm. To say the least we were all exhausted, but we had formed an undeniable bond and gained a deeper appreciation for all the settlers who chose to call the Lost Cove their home.”

Group photo within the Lost Cove settlement.

Group photo within the Lost Cove settlement.

The next Lost Cove Hike will be held on April 26, 2014. Due to the increased popularity of this guided hike, we will open registration to SAHC members from March 1st through the 31st, followed by open registration for the general public after March 31. Please email for more info or to register.

Categories: Hikes | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Continued Hickory Nut Gap Protection – 62 acres

turtleon HNGByway

This new conservation easement protects habitat adjacent to the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy’s Florence Preserve.

In mid-December, SAHC protected another tract at Hickory Nut Gap. This new conservation easement preserves 62 acres adjacent to the Florence Nature Preserve and close to the Drovers Road Scenic Byway.  The property will remain privately owned, with permanent protection against future development.

“You may recall SAHC reporting on the three properties we protected at Hickory Nut Gap in December 2013, which totaled 173 acres spanning both sides of the Drovers Road Scenic Byway,” said Michelle Pugliese, SAHC’s Land Protection Director. “This year we were able to expand the protection in the Gap by ensuring that the headwaters and tributaries of Ashworth Creek, and the intact forested views from the Drovers Road Scenic Byway, will remain pristine forever.”

Headwater streams of Ashworth Creek originate on the tract.

Headwater streams of Ashworth Creek originate on the tract.

Five tributaries of Ashworth Creek flow through the conservation easement property, three of which are headwater streams originating on its wooded slopes.  The southern portion of the property also lies within the Audubon Society Chimney Rock-Hickory Nut Gorge Important Bird Area and provides wildlife habitat.

This newly protected tract is adjacent to the Florence Nature Preserve, a popular public recreation area for hikers that is owned by Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy.  Placing a conservation easement on the adjoining 62-acre parcel will help preserve the public’s wilderness experience on the existing trail system at the Florence Nature Preserve.  There may be an opportunity to expand the public trail system onto this property, in accordance with the regional trail planning effort for the Hickory Nut Gap area, according to Pugliese. The regional trail planning is being done in partnership with Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy and other stakeholders in the region.

Contextual Map of Hickory Nut Gap Scenic Byway and surrounding conservation lands.

Contextual Map of Hickory Nut Gap Scenic Byway and surrounding conservation lands.

“This property has been a conservation priority in the landscape due to its location adjacent to the Florence Nature Preserve as well as its visibility from and proximity to the Drovers Road Scenic Byway,” said Pugliese.

The new conservation easement was completed using private donor funds and a grant from the NC Department of Transportation Scenic Byways Land Conservation Initiative.  Scenic byways are designated routes that have been carefully selected to embody the beauty and culture of the state while providing travelers with a safe and interesting alternate route. Funds from the Land Conservation Initiative of the NC Scenic Byways program help protect the characteristics that make these routes unique.

Categories: Land Protection Updates | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

New “View from the Highlands” online!

Peruse the latest edition of the View from the Highlands online with ISSUU.

Peruse the latest edition of the View from the Highlands online with ISSUU.

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Yellow Mountain Gateway – 357 Acres Preserved!


Spear Tops mountain, rising above the winter pasture of the cattle that graze atop Yellow Mountain in the summer.

When we closed on the 357-acre Yellow Mountain Gateway tract in Avery County, we preserved more than unspoiled streams, wildlife habitat, and working lands. We opened a way for future generations to connect with the rich history of Avery County.

The Yellow Mountain Gateway is one of those rare treasured jewels — a large contiguous swath of mountain land handed down generation after generation. Rather than risk it being subdivided in the future, eight heirs of the Vance & Odom families came together to sell the tract to SAHC, ensuring that it will remain protected forever.

“The view of the two  ‘spears’ that form Spear Tops mountain as you drive south on
US Highway 19 E from Plumtree to Spear is as iconic a mountain view as you can imagine,” said landowner Risa Larsen.  “The Vance and Odom families are pleased to know that with the sale of our family farm to the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy that view will never change.  Ancestors of the family actually lived on the farm in the late 1800s, and subsequently our families have enjoyed decades of picnics and hikes on the farm.  The multiple creeks that run through the property provided a cool spot in the heat of the summer and lovely waterfalls of various heights as theyrun down to join the North Toe River.”


This impressive 100 ft. waterfall on Justice Creek, known as Cutler Falls by the Vance and Odom families, will be accessible to the public in the future, thanks to our acquisition of the Yellow Mt. Gateway.

Known as ‘Spear Farm’ by the family, the newly protected tract is situated in the center of the Yellow Mountain State Natural Area and can potentially provide public access to the state natural area in the future. The tract rises to 4700 ft on Spear Tops Mountain and also includes a lower pasture that fronts on Hwy 19 E. SAHC protected two adjoining tracts in 2011 and 2012, and this new conservation success completes our protection of the iconic Spear Tops Mountain.

The tract is crossed by a main branch of Justice Creek and several other pristine headwater tributaries in the North Toe River watershed.

The tract is crossed by a main branch of Justice Creek and several other pristine headwater tributaries in the North Toe River watershed.

The property is crossed by a main branch of Justice Creek and several smaller tributaries. The quality of clean headwater stream sources in the North Toe watershed made this tract a conservation priority for clean water.

Working agricultural lands on the recently protected tract include winter pastures for cattle herds that graze at Big Yellow Mountain in the summer. Preserving this land and allowing their winter grazing grounds to remain intact supports our commitment to management of the grassy balds in the Roan. SAHC plans to hold the tract with the intent to transfer it to North Carolina when state funds become available.

Categories: Land Protection Updates | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Share Your #GivingTuesday #UNselfie Today!

Share Your #GivingTuesday #UNselfie Today!

#GivingTuesday is coming fast! Tell us: why are you giving? Take a photo with your answer and tag it with #GivingTuesday and #unselfie! Find great tips on posting and personalizing your #UNselfie in our #UNselfie Toolkit .


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