Have You Seen Our NEW Website?


Last month we launched a fresh, new WordPress website at Appalachian.org, which now includes our blog! 

You will find our blog stories under Our Impact > “What’s New”.

Over the next few weeks, we will begin phasing this stand-alone blog at WordPress.com, and encourage you to visit us at Appalachian.org to continue getting stories about our ongoing conservation work and outdoor adventures.

You can sign up for our Monthly E-news, which will contain links to stories on our blog as well as announcements about upcoming events.

Our improved website also makes it easier to find up-to-date info on new land protection projects and upcoming events, and it’s mobile-friendly. You can send us your stories, too — look for “Share Your Passion” under Get Involved.


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Federal Legislation: Conservation Tax Incentives and the Land & Water Conservation Fund

Protection of Rocky Fork Creek was made possible by the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Photo by Ken Maness.

Protection of Rocky Fork Creek was made possible by the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Photo by Ken Maness.

In December, the US Congress passed and the president signed into law legislation making the enhanced tax incentive for conservation easement donations permanent.

First enacted as a temporary provision in 2006 (which expired in 2014), the incentive grants certain tax benefits to landowners who sign a conservation easement. In a strong bipartisan action, the House voted 318-109 and the Senate voted 65-33 to pass the bills that included the tax incentive.

Also in December, Congress passed an omnibus spending bill that included temporary, 3-year reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which had expired in September.

“Looking forward we all need to make sure that Congress understands that short-term fixes are welcome, but that our threatened natural heritage calls for a permanent solution,” said SAHC Trustee Jay Leutze. “I’m really proud that several members of our region’s Congressional delegation stood up and let leadership in both houses know how important public land is here at home.”

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Why We Give

As 2015 draws to a close, we would like to thank all of our members, supporters, volunteers, and partners for everything you do to continue protecting the land and water resources of the Southern Appalachians in Western North Carolina and East Tennessee.

This year you have enabled the protection of incredible places, like a 318-acre mountain farm that has been in the same family over 160 years and a unique high-elevation 150-acre tract in the Highlands of Roan. Thank YOU!

We also want to thank you for sharing your stories and love for these very special mountains with us. From our membership events to written notes in the mail, from e-mail messages to conversations on guided hikes, we love hearing about the connections between people and land — and the myriad reasons why you all have chosen to support SAHC. We are humbly grateful for ALL the people who have made conservation in the Southern Appalachians possible, and look forward to many more exciting projects in the coming year.

family testimonial pieceWe’d also like to extend a special ‘thank you’ to the Barnhardt family, who have been passionate supporters of SAHC for years and who graciously shared this message about why they support local land and water conservation.

“To whom much is given, much is expected.  Luke 12:48

We have tried to raise our children with this bible verse in mind. God has gifted all of us with a beautiful world, including our treasured Appalachian Highlands.  We raised our 3 children hoping to inspire a love of nature and the outdoors.  Every summer we hiked trails in the Smokies and Blue Ridge Mountains, traveled to waterfalls for swimming and sliding, and camped along mountain rivers where we went tubing, biking, fishing, and rock hopping.

Kids_max_mtnsWe also raised them to understand the importance of philanthropy, which is reflected in one of their favorite Christmas traditions. They are given an amount of money to donate to the organizations of their choosing. As they have gotten older (now 27, 25, and 20 years old), their gifts are more focused and thoughtful.  We are proud of their passion for donating to organizations they know make an important impact in our community and in our world.

When our children choose which organizations to give to every year, Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC) is always on the list. SAHC is a leader in protecting the beautiful world we’ve been gifted with and educating us on how important it is for us to care for it now for future generations. Without organizations like SAHC, all of the places where we had so much fun hiking, swimming, and camping while our children were growing up would gradually disappear. We are so happy our entire family believes in and supports an organization that is so committed to conservation.  After all, the beauty around us is a gift to appreciate and protect. That is the expectation!”

Tom and Kim Barnhardt
Jennifer, Emily and Lucas


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SAHC merchandise is now on Shopify!

blue_canning_frontCheck out our new Shopify gift shop, and help support our conservation work while you shop! Purchasing items from our gift shop helps spread awareness about our work — and we have designed a variety of find quality, locally-produced items. Check it out at: http://shop.appalachian.org/

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Fall 2015 “View from the Highlands” available online

Fall 2015 View from the Highlands

Click the cover to peruse the 2015 Fall edition of the “View from the Highlands”, the newsletter of the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy

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New “View from the Highlands”/2014 Annual Report

Peruse our latest Annual Report/newsletter online with Issuu.




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SAHC joins #GivingTuesday Movement

GivingTuesday_SAHC4Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy has joined #GivingTuesday, a national movement to encourage spending with a purpose.

Taking place Dec. 2, #GivingTuesday comes on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday to create a better world. It harnesses the power of social media, creating a national moment around giving, inspiring people to take collaborative action that improves their local communities by supporting the causes and charities most important to them.

“We are incredibly grateful for the supporters of our organization,” said Carl Silverstein, Executive Director. “Their passionate commitment to conservation provides us with the resources to continue our work, as well as leverage to obtain state and national funds for the preservation of critical mountain tracts.”

Contributions to the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy can be made at Appalachian.org or mailed to SAHC at 34 Wall Street, Suite 502, Asheville, NC 28801.

Gifts to SAHC help preserve places to recreate — such as the three critical tracts along the Appalachian Trail corridor recently preserved near Hughes Gap, Rocky Fork, and Carvers Gap. Contributions also empower the SAHC to continue our farmland preservation efforts, including the creation of a new Farmer Incubator Program at our Community Farm. Money given also funds protection of clean headwater sources for local drinking water supply, as well as habitat for rare plants and animals.

“Some of the most important and innovative work happening today in land conservation is happening at an intensely local level,” said Rob Aldrich, director of community conservation at the Land Trust Alliance, a national land conservation organization that counts SAHC among its 1,200 member land trusts. “Contributions to connect people from all walks of life to the land are what we hope this Giving Tuesday encourages.”


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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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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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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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