January 12: Hendersonville Green Drinks: 2017 Clean Energy Preview

January 12: Hendersonville Green Drinks: 2017 Clean Energy Preview

January 12: Hendersonville Green Drinks: 2017 Clean Energy Preview

Hendersonville, N.C. — On Thursday, January 12, Hendersonville Green Drinks welcomes featured speaker Ned Ryan Doyle, long time solar and sustainable community advocate, former coordinator of the Southern Energy & Environment Expo and host of ‘Our Southern Community’ radio, to speak on upcoming trends relating to solar and clean energy for WNC. Ned is currently the co-chair of the Technology Working Group of the WNC Energy Innovation Task Force.

Ned will discuss: What’s on the solar and clean energy horizon for WNC in 2017? Will changes in NC leadership offset developments on the federal level? How are things progressing with community engagement in WNC regarding Duke Energy’s Modernization Plan and the Energy Innovation Task Force, formed in 2016?

What: Hendersonville Green Drinks: 2017 Clean Energy Preview
Who: Ned Ryan Doyle, host of ‘Our Southern Community’ radio and co-chair of the Technology Working Group of the WNC Energy Innovation Task Force.
Where: Black Bear Coffee Co. 318 N. Main St. Hendersonville, NC
When: Thursday, January 12, networking at 5:30 p.m. , presentation at 6:00 p.m.

About Hendersonville Green Drinks
Hendersonville Green Drinks is presented by MountainTrue and the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy. Come to Green Drinks to learn more about current environmental issues, have relevant discussions, and meet with like-minded people. This is a monthly event and everyone is welcome. You don’t have to drink at Green Drinks, just come and listen. Black Bear Coffee offers beer, wine, coffee drinks and sodas. A limited food menu will be available.

 


Western North Carolina is blessed with more than 1.5 million acres of public land, including Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway and several state-owned parks, forests and natural areas. These public lands support the headwaters of our rivers, beautiful mountain vistas, one of the most diverse temperate forests on the planet, and a thriving economy in tourism, crafts and recreation.
During its 30-year history, WNCA (now MountainTrue) has twice prevented logging in the Asheville Watershed, first in 1990 and again in 2004. Eventually the City of Asheville placed a conservation easement over 17,356 acres of the watershed.

MountainTrue to Hold Annual Holiday Recycling Event at Jackson Park

MountainTrue to Hold Annual Holiday Recycling Event at Jackson Park

MountainTrue Annual Holiday Recycling Event Rescheduled to Saturday, Jan. 14

Give Your Christmas Trees, Lights & Holiday Cards a Second Life!

Because of last weekend’s snowstorms, MountainTrue’s annual Holiday Recycling Event at Jackson Park has been rescheduled to Saturday, January 14 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Area residents are invited to bring their Christmas trees, broken string lights and used greeting cards to be mulched and recycled.

When: Saturday, January 14 | 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Jackson Park, Ball Field #6, Hendersonville
Who: MountainTrue, City of Hendersonville, Henderson County, Henderson County Coop Extension Service of the 4-H Project, King Hardware & Rental.

Trees can be dropped off on or before January 14; lights and greeting cards should be brought on the day of January 14.

The mulcher has been provided by King Hardware & Rental and Hendersonville and Henderson County personnel will be on site to mulch the trees. Lights will be recycled by the Henderson County Coop Extension Service of the 4-H Project.

MountainTrue volunteers will be on hand to help and serve free cookies and hot apple cider.

Don’t throw your tree away! Recycle it and turn it into nutritious mulch for your garden, plants and veggies.


Western North Carolina is blessed with more than 1.5 million acres of public land, including Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway and several state-owned parks, forests and natural areas. These public lands support the headwaters of our rivers, beautiful mountain vistas, one of the most diverse temperate forests on the planet, and a thriving economy in tourism, crafts and recreation.
During its 30-year history, WNCA (now MountainTrue) has twice prevented logging in the Asheville Watershed, first in 1990 and again in 2004. Eventually the City of Asheville placed a conservation easement over 17,356 acres of the watershed.

After The Wildfires: Climate Mitigation and Adapting to the New Normal, at the Collider

After The Wildfires: Climate Mitigation and Adapting to the New Normal, at the Collider

After The Wildfires: Climate Mitigation and Adapting to the New Normal, at the Collider



On Monday, December 19, MountainTrue’s Public Lands Field Biologist Josh Kelly and Jim Fox of the National Environmental and Modeling Analysis Center at UNC Asheville presented on the topics of climate change, drought and strategies for wildfire management at the collider. MountainTrue is working in collaboration with the Forest Service and other stakeholders to support better forest management so that future fires are less hard to control and damaging to human development.

Read the feature in the Hendersonville Times-News

Read Josh Kelly’s Op-ed in the Asheville Citizen-Times


Western North Carolina is blessed with more than 1.5 million acres of public land, including Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway and several state-owned parks, forests and natural areas. These public lands support the headwaters of our rivers, beautiful mountain vistas, one of the most diverse temperate forests on the planet, and a thriving economy in tourism, crafts and recreation.
During its 30-year history, WNCA (now MountainTrue) has twice prevented logging in the Asheville Watershed, first in 1990 and again in 2004. Eventually the City of Asheville placed a conservation easement over 17,356 acres of the watershed.

It’s time to clean up CTS!

It’s time to clean up CTS!

For years MountainTrue has worked in partnership with our community to achieve clean up of toxic pollution at the CTS of Asheville site. Now, EPA has finally developed a clean-up plan for the site, and we need your help to make sure it gets implemented as thoroughly and quickly as possible.
Join us in supporting this long-awaited plan to clean up CTS’s pollution, which has threatened the health and wellbeing of neighbors for decades!


Western North Carolina is blessed with more than 1.5 million acres of public land, including Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway and several state-owned parks, forests and natural areas. These public lands support the headwaters of our rivers, beautiful mountain vistas, one of the most diverse temperate forests on the planet, and a thriving economy in tourism, crafts and recreation.
During its 30-year history, WNCA (now MountainTrue) has twice prevented logging in the Asheville Watershed, first in 1990 and again in 2004. Eventually the City of Asheville placed a conservation easement over 17,356 acres of the watershed.

MountainTrue Raleigh Report – Roy Cooper is Governor

MountainTrue Raleigh Report – Roy Cooper is Governor

MountainTrue Raleigh Report – December 7, 2016

In this installment of MTRaleigh: We have a new Governor — what does that mean for clean air and water in North Carolina? And the General Assembly comes back next week for a quick session on disaster recovery.

Roy Cooper is Governor.

This week, Pat McCrory conceded that Roy Cooper narrowly defeated him in the general election.  

Cooper will have his work cut out for him when he takes office next month. North Carolina’s Republican-led legislature has been hostile to even the most reasonable environmental protections.  Veto-proof majorities in both the state House and Senate will likely make most of what Cooper might want Dead On Arrival – unless Cooper can use his bully pulpit to bring the legislature to a place of agreement. Cooper’s difficulties with the General Assembly will be in place at least through the 2017 legislative session. It’s looking increasingly likely that the legislature will hold special elections in November 2017 for the 28 state House and Senate districts a federal court found to be racially gerrymandered. Depending on how those elections go, Cooper could end up with  more leverage with the legislature.  But for now, he will have very little room to operate.

At the administrative level, Cooper will face the challenge of rebuilding the agency that protects our air and water.  Under McCrory, the Department of Environmental Quality established a reputation for combativeness with environmental groups, defensiveness with the media and coziness with permittees (what they called their “customers”). Lowlights of the last fours years at DEQ include promotion of fracking and offshore drilling, nuclear fuels, and removal or lack of enforcement of rules to protect water quality and enforce the clean-up of Duke Energy’s coal ash pits. We’d also note a 53% reduction in the number of DEQ water quality enforcement actions since 2009.

Whomever Cooper picks to lead DEQ, the new Secretary will face a daunting list of internal and external challenges. Those include rebuilding the agency’s credibility, separating the ideologues hired during the McCrory years from the professionals within the DEQ ranks, restoring agency morale, navigating changes in environmental rules at the federal level and continuing to fend off  a hostile legislature. 

Special Session on Disaster Recovery

Next week, the legislature is scheduled to meet briefly – for one or two days at the most – to approve funding from the state’s so-called Rainy Day Fund to help the state recover from its recent spate of disasters, including the wildfires that occurred in our region earlier last month. Look for legislators to try to keep their recovery legislation focused on state matching funds for federal FEMA assistance for agricultural losses, housing and infrastructure such as damaged roads and highways.

During the last few weeks, MountainTrue staff has talked to several legislators about including some preventive measures in the disaster package that are specifically targeted at WNC. These included funding to map potential landslides and money to evaluate and clean-up the most high-risk animal waste ponds in our region – there are more than 40  – before the next big storm pushes that waste into our rivers and streams.

The bad news is that legislators are reluctant to add anything to next week’s disaster bill that isn’t directly related to Hurricane Matthew or the fires. They fear that doing so will open the bill up to dozens of funding suggestions and bring the entire process to a grinding halt.

The good news is that there seems to be some momentum for disaster-prevention initiatives during the regular 2017 session – so look for MountainTrue to advocate for these ideas and others when legislators return to work in Raleigh in January.

That’s it for now.  We’ll send you another MTRaleigh update after the New Year, as we preview Cooper’s new executive appointments, the new legislature and the General Assembly’s first day, January 11.

(PS – MountainTrue is the only western NC environmental organization with a year-round lobbyist in Raleigh looking out for our mountains. Won’t you please consider making an end-of-the-year donation to support our state advocacy work? Click here to help – and Thanks!)


Western North Carolina is blessed with more than 1.5 million acres of public land, including Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway and several state-owned parks, forests and natural areas. These public lands support the headwaters of our rivers, beautiful mountain vistas, one of the most diverse temperate forests on the planet, and a thriving economy in tourism, crafts and recreation.
During its 30-year history, WNCA (now MountainTrue) has twice prevented logging in the Asheville Watershed, first in 1990 and again in 2004. Eventually the City of Asheville placed a conservation easement over 17,356 acres of the watershed.

No lame duck forest protection roll backs!

No lame duck forest protection roll backs!

Wildfires are on our minds as over 50,000 acres of forest have burned in Western North Carolina. This is a reminder that fire management is an essential function of the U.S. Forest Service, which will have to spend increasingly more of its budget to fight larger, more dangerous fires due to a warming and drying climate. Congressional action is needed to fix to the Forest Service budget, ensuring dedicated firefighting budget. Unfortunately, efforts underway to provide such funding in the Western United States may come with damaging—and unnecessary—strings attached: the dismantling of key environmental protections for all national forests, including our Southeastern forests. Bills that would remove important protections for Southeastern forests are primed to be added into unrelated legislation when Congress returns, post-election, for its lame duck session.

Tell your representatives that any wildfire bill should be a clean funding fix, focusing solely on wildfire suppression and prevention where needed, not broadly dismantling forest protections.

Celebrate #GivingTuesday by Giving the Gift of MountainTrue

Celebrate #GivingTuesday by Giving the Gift of MountainTrue

Celebrate #GivingTuesday by Giving the Gift of MountainTrue

Today is the day!  #GivingTuesday is the largest single giving day of the holiday season for nonprofits. Be a part of it! Join the movement and give the gift of resilient forests, clean water and health communities.

Whether you are one of those people who completed your entire holiday shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend and are looking for just one more cherry-on-the-top gifts for a special someone, or you haven’t begun to think about gifts but know it’s going to happen somehow over the next four weeks — MountainTrue can help!

You can give the gift of a MountainTrue membership.

Maybe it’s for a coworker, friend, neighbor, or family member.

Or maybe it’s for you. Now is the time to step up yourself and not just follow MountainTrue and our efforts, but to jump in and become a member.

Members increase MountainTrue’s ability to respond to critical threats to our rivers, mountains and communities and keep WNC a beautiful place to live, work and play. MountainTrue members also have the opportunity to hike with experts, volunteer to monitor streams and remove invasives from our forests, and maintain our amazing Paddle Trail along the French Broad River.

Have fun with us, learn more about the incredible natural treasures of our region, AND BE A PART OF A MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN OUR COMMUNITY — give the gift of MountainTrue today!


Western North Carolina is blessed with more than 1.5 million acres of public land, including Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway and several state-owned parks, forests and natural areas. These public lands support the headwaters of our rivers, beautiful mountain vistas, one of the most diverse temperate forests on the planet, and a thriving economy in tourism, crafts and recreation.
During its 30-year history, WNCA (now MountainTrue) has twice prevented logging in the Asheville Watershed, first in 1990 and again in 2004. Eventually the City of Asheville placed a conservation easement over 17,356 acres of the watershed.

The day after The Day

The day after The Day


The day after The Day


If you are like the rest of us here at MountainTrue, you woke up this morning with serious questions about the future – both in Western North Carolina and across the country and the world.

There’s plenty to be concerned about.

For starters, at a time when the natural world – and the scientific literature – is signaling a dangerous acceleration of climate change’s impact, our next president will be a pro-“clean coal” climate-science skeptic who doesn’t have an “Environment” section in his election platform and whose energy policy is, essentially, “Drill, Baby Drill.”

President Obama’s most important domestic climate change policy – the Clean Power Plan (CPP) and its limits on coal-fired power plants – is in serious jeopardy. Regardless of how the Supreme Court settles the upcoming CPP case, Trump’s EPA Administrator has the authority to shut down the program altogether. That is a path he or she will likely undertake, either at President Trump’s direction or by law passed by the Republican-controlled Congress.

U.S. compliance with the world’s agreements on climate is also in question, let alone any new initiatives or American leadership on the issue. And then there are President Trump’s Supreme Court nominees, who could usher in a generation of court decisions hostile to environmental regulation.

What’s to be done? We won’t pretend to have any simple answers, but the election results suggest that we will be playing defense for years to come.

We do know, however, that millions of people in this country – and thousands in our communities here in WNC – continue to believe that building a safe, prosperous future for our kids and our grandkids requires that we preserve and protect the natural resources we depend on.  We are even more deeply committed to that work and hope that you will join us in our efforts.

The NC Governor’s Race

If there is a bright spot about Election Day, it has to be the apparent defeat of Governor Pat McCrory.  Assuming Roy Cooper’s win is confirmed byrecount, his victory in a state that also supported Trump is a measure of just how wildly – and widely – unpopular McCrory has become. Many will view – correctly – Cooper’s victory as a referendum on HB2, and McCrory’s handling of the law. But our new Governor would be well-advised to recall that his predecessor’s handling of the state’s coal ash crisis, his appointment of ideologues to head important environmental agencies and his minions’ willingness to play politics with the safety of North Carolinians’ drinking water all played a part in the McCrory defeat. North Carolina voters want their government to protect the air we breathe and the water we drink. Politicians ignore that basic political reality at their own risk.

Governor Cooper will have his hands full meeting those goals. Both the state House and Senate return with veto-proof majorities, giving the Governor-elect very little leverage to shape or stop anti-environment legislation.

New Faces in Western North Carolina

Western North Carolina will have a number of new representatives in the General Assembly next year. Deanna Ballard was elected to represent Senate District 45, which was held by Senator Dan Soucek until he resigned in April. This district covers Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell and Watauga counties. MountainTrue members have had two productive meetings with Sen. Ballard, and we have found her to be open to our concerns and respectful of our positions. We look forward to continuing to work with her.

Chuck Edwards was elected to represent Senate District 48, which includes southern Buncombe, Henderson and Transylvania counties. This seat was previously held by Senator Tom Apodaca. Edwards had a very friendly meeting with a group of MountainTrue members during the summer. He told us that he sees no conflict in being a Republican and caring about the environment. He pledged to be a legislator with the same approach to environmental policy as Rep. Chuck McGrady.

Kevin Corbin and Cody Henson were also elected to represent our area in the House of Representatives. Corbin will represent House District 120, which includes Cherokee, Clay, Graham and Macon counties, while Henson will cover District 113, including Henderson, Polk and Transylvania counties. MountainTrue members have already met with both Corbin and Henson, and we will continue to build these relationships and educate them about environmental concerns and opportunities.

Among the WNC legislative races involving incumbents, Democratic Rep. John Ager defeated his GOP opponent, Frank Moretz, to return to the legislature for a second term. Two-term GOP incumbent Rep. Michele Presnell held off a tough challenge from Democrat Rhonda Schandevel and GOP Senator Jim Davis will return to the legislature for a fourth term after defeating challenger Democrat Jane Hipps.

Of course, a whole host of WNC legislators has been re-elected to serve in Raleigh. These include Republican representatives Josh Dobson, Chuck McGrady, and GOP Senator Ralph Hise. Among WNC Democrats, Reps. Brian Turner and Susan Fisher return to the General Assembly, along with Senator Terry Van Duyn.

At the time of this writing, Republican challenger Mike Clampitt of Bryson City apparently unseated Democratic Rep. Joe Sam Queen –who represents Jackson, Haywood and Swain counties. Look for Queen to request a recount on the race, which Clampitt won by a few hundred votes.

What’s Next?

With the election now passed, attention in Raleigh will turn to preparations for a special session on Hurricane Matthew recovery – probably next month – and the 2017 session, which begins January 11.

Here at MountainTrue, we are preparing for both sessions – look for another update soon about our plans for the General Assembly and how you can help ensure our elected officials do the right thing by our mountain communities.

Sign Up for the MountainTrue Raleigh Report

Interested in getting the latest inside info about the NC legislature and the WNC delegation, as well as legislative alerts and updates about WNC issues? Click here to subscribe.

Most of the information in these alerts will NOT be available in other MountainTrue publications, so if you’re a WNC political junkie or policy wonk, these emails are for you.


Western North Carolina is blessed with more than 1.5 million acres of public land, including Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway and several state-owned parks, forests and natural areas. These public lands support the headwaters of our rivers, beautiful mountain vistas, one of the most diverse temperate forests on the planet, and a thriving economy in tourism, crafts and recreation.
During its 30-year history, WNCA (now MountainTrue) has twice prevented logging in the Asheville Watershed, first in 1990 and again in 2004. Eventually the City of Asheville placed a conservation easement over 17,356 acres of the watershed.

2016 MoutainTrue Awards Recipients Announced

2016 MoutainTrue Awards Recipients Announced


MoutainTrue Awards Recipients Announced

From left to right: Jack Dalton of Hot Springs Mountain Club, which was named Partner of the Year; Jane Laping, one of our Volunteers of the Year; Brownie Newman, Elected Official of the Year; Neill Yelverton, Leesa Sluder, Peter Krull, Kerry Keihn and Catherine Campbell of Krull & Company–named Green Business of the Year; Doreen Blue, our other Volunteer of the Year; and Will Harlan, recipient of The Esther Cunningham Award. Download high resolution image.

Asheville, NC — MountainTrue announced the winners of the MountainTrue Awards, which were at the organization’s Fall Gathering held at New Belgium Brewing Company in Asheville on October 26. Award honorees are recognized for their hard work and dedication to protecting our forests, mountains, rivers and streams, and to promoting clean energy and sustainability. The 2016 MountainTrue Award winners are:

The Esther Cunningham Award | Honoree: Will Harlan of Barnardsville
MountainTrue presents this award in the name of Esther Cunningham, a Macon County resident whose concern for the environment prompted her to found the Western North Carolina Alliance (now part of MountainTrue). The award is presented to a MountainTrue member who has demonstrated outstanding community service in conserving our natural resources.

Will Harlan is an award-winning writer and editor-in-chief of Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine and an elite, long distance runner uses his talents to bring attention to environmental issues. Each year, Will travels to the Copper Canyon of Mexico to work alongside the indigenous Tarahumara farmers to establish seed banks, goat herds and clean water projects. Here in WNC, he’s been a committed advocate for the conservation of public lands and wild places. Will has long advocated for the protection of the Big Ivy section of Pisgah National Forest, and was instrumental in getting a pro-Wilderness resolution adopted by unanimous vote by the Buncombe County Commissioners asking Congress to designate expanded wilderness for the Big Ivy and Craggy Mountain areas. Will also played an active role in promoting the win-win MOU put forth by a coalition of wilderness advocates, conservationist and recreation groups that supports more trails and more public access, and also protects more backcountry and more wild places.

Green Business Award | Honoree: Krull & Company – Socially Responsible Financial Services
MountainTrue presents the Green Business Award to a local Western North Carolina business that has exhibited leadership in implementing green practices, getting other businesses to make their operations more sustainable or engaging in environmental advocacy.

Krull & Company is a certified B Corporation supporting the environment through the investments they make for their clients. From alternative energy to energy efficiency, water, natural and organic food and products and technology, Krull and Company focuses on positive, next economy companies, and exclude fossil fuels and other environmental offenders from their client portfolios. Krull & Company ensures their clients money is invested in a way that honors environmental values, and use the power of shareholder advocacy to drive corporate change from the inside.  

Volunteers of the Year Award | Jane Laping of Asheville and Doreen Blue of Hendersonville
MountainTrue presents the Volunteer of the Year Award to an individual(s) who has demonstrated consistent commitment by volunteering time at events, on program work, or through other MountainTrue activities. This year, we gave out two awards to some very deserving recipients.

Doreen Blue moved to Hendersonville from Rhode Island in 2005 and immediately got involved with ECO, one of the three organizations that merged to form MountainTrue. She started by joining our hikes, then took the training for the SMIE program to do macroinvertebrate biomonitoring in local streams. She now helps coordinate that program as part of our Clean Water Team. Doreen also takes monthly water quality samples for our VWIN program to help on zero in sources of water pollution. She has worked on Henderson County Big Sweep and Earth Day celebrations, been a member of the Recycling Team for the last 5 years, and organizes MountainTrue’s annual community-wide Christmas tree recycling program in Hendersonville. Doreen is a master seamstress, and has made the costumes for our mascots, the Bag Monster and Mr. Can, to promote MountainTrue’s recycling programs in local parades and for educational events.

Jane Laping is one of the founders and a current steering team member of the Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina, and as such she empowers faith communities to be advocates for the environment. Jane leads hikes, travels to Raleigh to talk with policy makers, writes grants, testifies at public hearings and plants gardens. She is an active member of First Presbyterian Church where she has helped lead conversations about the Pope’s Encyclical on the Environment, Fossil Fuel Divestment and solar powered electric car chargers for the church parking lot.  

Partner of the Year Award | Hot Springs Mountain Club
MountainTrue presents the Partner of the Year Award to an organization that has been a staunch partner with MountainTrue on key campaigns and programs throughout the past year.

Hot Springs Mountain Club have done a lot for the community over the years, including creating the Betty Place Loop and starting the Bluff Mountain Music Festival. Last year, the club created the new 3.5 mile Bluff Mountain Loop trail. This past year the Hot Springs Mountain Club and MountainTrue partnered on a two-day Bluff Mountain Bio-Blitz to document the incredible diversity of flora and fauna on Bluff. Over 50 people, including 7 college professors participated. It was a great time and over 400 species were identified – including a lichen that had never been seen south of Canada. The Hot Springs Mountain club acted as guides, hosts, and facilitators for the event. Because of the efforts of these local citizens, there is hope that Bluff will be treated as a special place in the new Forest Plan for Pisgah National Forest. Accepting on behalf of the club was Jack Dalton.

WNC Elected Official of the Year | Brownie Newman
MountainTrue presents this award to a city, county, state or federal elected official for either a specific conservation action of singular importance or for a strong and consistent commitment to conservation over time.

Brownie Newman has a distinguished career as an elected official in Asheville and Buncombe County and has worked tirelessly on behalf of the environment. He currently serves on the Buncombe County Commission where he led the county to adopt and begin implementation of a carbon reduction plan, led efforts to protect hemlock trees on county-owned land from the HWA, and now represents the County as co-chair of the Energy Innovation Task Force, which is aimed at reducing electricity usage in Asheville and Buncombe County

Prior to his service on the County Commission, Brownie Newman served two terms on Asheville City Council where he led a number of environmental and sustainability initiatives, including the adoption by the City of a carbon reduction/sustainability plan that continues to drive improvements every year.

About MountainTrue:
MountainTrue is Western North Carolina’s premier advocate for environmental stewardship. We are committed to keeping our mountain region a beautiful place to live, work and play. Our members protect our forests, clean up our rivers, plan vibrant and livable communities, and advocate for a sound and sustainable future for all residents of WNC.

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Western North Carolina is blessed with more than 1.5 million acres of public land, including Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway and several state-owned parks, forests and natural areas. These public lands support the headwaters of our rivers, beautiful mountain vistas, one of the most diverse temperate forests on the planet, and a thriving economy in tourism, crafts and recreation.
During its 30-year history, WNCA (now MountainTrue) has twice prevented logging in the Asheville Watershed, first in 1990 and again in 2004. Eventually the City of Asheville placed a conservation easement over 17,356 acres of the watershed.

Tell DEQ to Stop Duke’s Water Pollution at Cliffside

Tell DEQ to Stop Duke’s Water Pollution at Cliffside

Tell DEQ to Stop Duke’s Water Pollution at Cliffside

Click here to Send your letter NOW telling DEQ to withdraw the proposed Cliffside wastewater permit and amend it to adequately protect water quality in the Broad River.

It seems like the NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) just can’t get it right when it comes to getting Duke Energy fix their polluting coal ash dumps.  Time and time again we see the agency fall short of making the progress needed to protect our waterways and communities and the new draft wastewater discharge permit for the Rogers Energy Complex (a.k.a. Cliffside power plant) in Rutherford and Cleveland Counties is no different.

 

For years the coal ash dumps at Cliffside have contaminated groundwater and waterways with toxic heavy metals and constituents like arsenic, chromium, cadmium and others, threatening nearby residents and who overwhelmingly spoke out demanding a full clean up of the site in March of this year.

Instead of responding to locals’ call with definitive action and requiring Duke to stop toxic discharges to public waters, DEQ has fallen short of its duty…again. The draft wastewater permit converts existing streams into Duke’s own wastewater channels, papers over illegal discharges by attempting to permit them, fails to define limits for how much toxic heavy metals can flow into the Broad River, purports to waive water quality standards in a 12-mile mixing zone for some discharges and misses other opportunities to require Duke to clean up their mess. 

This is unacceptable. Our state should protect people, not polluters, and MountainTrue is encouraging all community members to speak out against DEQ’s proposed permit. Attend the public hearing on November 10 and submit your written comments online telling DEQ to withdraw the proposed permit and amend it to adequately protect water quality in the Broad River. Please don’t forget to share with your friends and family.


Western North Carolina is blessed with more than 1.5 million acres of public land, including Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway and several state-owned parks, forests and natural areas. These public lands support the headwaters of our rivers, beautiful mountain vistas, one of the most diverse temperate forests on the planet, and a thriving economy in tourism, crafts and recreation.
During its 30-year history, WNCA (now MountainTrue) has twice prevented logging in the Asheville Watershed, first in 1990 and again in 2004. Eventually the City of Asheville placed a conservation easement over 17,356 acres of the watershed.