We purchased 70 acres on Big Yellow Mountain in the Highlands of Roan, located just 2,500 ft from the Appalachian Trail. Adjoining Pisgah National Forest, conservation lands held by the State of NC, and other SAHC-protected properties, the forested high-elevation tract is visible from the Overmountain Shelter on the AT.
“This acquisition was a high conservation priority because of the property’s location on the biologically sensitive and stunning scenic slopes of Big Yellow Mountain near the Appalachian Trail,” said Land Protection Director Michelle Pugliese. “It was the highest elevation, privately-owned unprotected tract between Grassy Ridge and Bradley Gap.”
Elevations on the property range from 4,440 feet to 5,380 feet above msl.
It contains rare beech gap forest and high elevation boulder fields with seeps and springs that form headwater tributaries of Roaring Creek. The entire property is within the state-designated Big Yellow Mountain Natural Area and the Audubon Society’s Roan Mountain Important Bird Area. Nesting Golden-winged Warblers have been identified in areas surrounding the tract.
In addition to protecting high elevation habitat and clean water sources, this acquisition helps preserve the sense of solitude for hikers and backpackers in the Roan.
“The tract is very visible from the Overmountain Shelter on the AT,” continued Pugliese. “This 2-story, red barn shelter is one of the most iconic and beloved of all the shelters along the Trail, and it would have been devastating to hikers’ experiences if homes were built on this land. Now that SAHC has purchased these acres, that will never happen.”
We are deeply grateful to Fred and Alice Stanback for making a generous contribution which made this acquisition possible.