Don’t Let Congress Put Profits Over People and The Planet

Don’t Let Congress Put Profits Over People and The Planet


Don’t Let Congress Put Profits Over People and The Planet


The current Congress is hard at work. Unfortunately, instead of working in the public interest and to protect the natural resources we all depend on, many lawmakers are determined to dismantle regulations and structures that protect public and environmental health — all in the name of saving industry the cost of doing business in a responsible way.

Soon, your Representatives will be voting on H.R. 637 “Stopping EPA Overreach Act of 2017“. This bill prevents the EPA from regulating climate change-causing greenhouse gasses by stating they are not air pollutants and requires tthe EPA to analyze the net impact of regulations on employment. If the EPA were to determine that a regulation would have any negative impact on jobs, they would not be allowed to issue the regulation, even if the regulation would save human lives.

CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES NOW! Use the script below and click here to tell us you made a call!

We’ll be in touch with you about future advocacy opportunities like in-district meetings with your Congressional Representatives.

Rep. Virginia Foxx, 5th District (Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Catawba, Forsyth, Stokes, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yadkin): 202-225-2071

Rep. Mark Meadows, 11th District (Buncombe, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Swain, Transylvania): 202-225-6401

Rep. Patrick McHenry, 10th District (Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln, Polk, Rutherford, Catawba, Iredell, Buncombe): 202-225-2576

Sen. Richard Burr: 202-224-3154

Sen. Thom Tillis: 202-224-6342

**Click here if you’re not sure who represents you

WHEN YOU CALL: 

Ask for the staff person in charge of environmental issues (if there isn’t one, it’s OK, just ask their name and continue) 

Introduce yourself, make it personal (“I’m a mom, a teacher, a retiree, a business owner”) and give them your zip code, whether they ask for it or not. 

Sample script (make it your own! The more personal the better!): 

“I’m calling to ask (Representative) to oppose H.R. 637 “Stopping EPA Overreach Act of 2017. This bill explicitly prioritizes industry profits over human health, which I find unconscionable. The argument  that environmental regulations destroy jobs is downright wrong. In fact, economists have found no clear evidence that regulations have a net negative effect on jobs and have actually found that the economic value health and other benefits of protecting our air and water quality far outweigh the costs. While regulations may be a contributing factor to one industry moving, they open the door for others (it’s good to use a local example such as: In Asheville the French Broad River used to be said to be “too thick to drink and too thick to plow” because of all the water pollution from industry and agriculture. Now that the river is cleaner, it supports an array of local industry, from tourism and hospitality to world-class breweries.

Climate change is happening now. Last summer WNC experienced unprecedented wildfires and now spring is coming 6 weeks early, endangering commercial apple, peach and other crops. EPA must retain the ability to regulate greenhouse gasses to protect our communities, local economies and environment, and H.R. 637 would strip the EPA of that ability.


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.

Public Lands are Priceless, not Worthless

Public Lands are Priceless, not Worthless


Public Lands are Priceless, not Worthless

 

America’s public lands are a sacred legacy for us all, but Congress is well on its way to changing that. On Congress’ first day in session, the House approved a package of rules in House Resolution 5 that sets a zero-dollar value on federally protected lands that are transferred to states. By devaluing federal lands, Congress is paving the way to hand them over to states that cannot afford to manage these lands and will likely seek to raise funds by selling off our national treasures to developers or to mining, fracking and logging industries.

All three WNC lawmakers voted yes on this bill, now they need to hear from you that they’ve made a huge mistake: America’s public lands are priceless, not worthless, and need to be protected for all to enjoy and experience!!

Call your representatives NOW, using the script below, and click here to let us know you made that call!

Rep. Virginia Foxx, 5th District (Ashe, Catawba, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Iredell, Rowan, Watauga, Wilkes and Yadkin): 202-225-2071

Rep. Mark Meadows, 11th District (Buncombe, Henderson, Transylvania, Jackson, Macon, Clay, Cherokee, Graham, Swain, Haywood, Madison, Yancey, McDowell, Polk): 202-225-6401

Rep. Patrick McHenry, 10th District (Cleveland, Rutherford, Catawba, Lincoln, Burke, Caldwell, Mitchell, Avery): 202-225-2576

Sen. Richard Burr202-224-3154

Sen. Thom Tillis: 202-224-6342

**Click here if you’re not sure who represents you

WHEN YOU CALL:

Ask for the staff person in charge of public lands (if there isn’t one, it’s OK, just ask their name and continue)

Introduce yourself, make it personal (“I’m a mom, a teacher, a retiree, a business owner”) and give them your zip code, whether they ask for it or not.

Sample script (make it your own! The more personal the better!):

“One of the things I love most about living in Western North Carolina is access to high quality, federally protected public lands. The Pisgah and Nantahala Forests, and all our public lands are a sacred legacy that need to be protected for all Americans and future generations. Representative/Senator [insert name]’s affirmative vote on House Resolution 5 endangers that legacy by paving the way to hand over control of these lands to the States.

States don’t have the funding and resources to protect and manage these lands, for example the expense of managing wildfires alone would break state budgets. Tracts of land or rights will be sold off to private developers and industry just to raise the money to manage lands. Our national parks and forests are priceless, not worthless, as the [Rep./Senator] seems to believe by voting ‘Yes’ on HR 5, and they’ve made a huge mistake that will transfer these national treasures from American taxpayers to private companies at no benefit to taxpayers.

President Trump has reiterated his campaign promise to not transfer public lands to states, he needs to keep that promise and Congress needs to stand with the American people. Keep all federal lands under federal management. Protect our natural legacy.”


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.

Feb. 9: Hendersonville Green Drinks: Green, Sustainable Brewing

Feb. 9: Hendersonville Green Drinks: Green, Sustainable Brewing

Feb. 9: Hendersonville Green Drinks: Green, Sustainable Brewing

Hendersonville, N.C. — On Thursday, February 9, Hendersonville Green Drinks welcomes Stan Cooper, Co-Manager at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., who will speak about sustainability initiatives at the Mills River brewery.

In June 2016, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. was the first production brewery in the United States to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certified, Platinum — the highest level awarded—for its Mills River, North Carolina, brewing facility.

What: Hendersonville Green Drinks: Green, Sustainable Brewing.
Who: Stan Cooper, Co-Manager at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Where: Black Bear Coffee Co. 318 N. Main St. Hendersonville, NC
When: Thursday, February 9, 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.

Mountain Xpress: Heat pumps drive rapid growth in WNC’s peak electricity demand

Mountain Xpress: Heat pumps drive rapid growth in WNC’s peak electricity demand


Mountain Xpress: Heat pumps drive rapid growth in WNC’s peak electricity demand

Did you catch this recent MountainXpress article —  “Heat pumps drive rapid growth in WNC’s peak electricity demand”? Virginia Daffron takes a look at some of the strategies that we’ll be advocating for with Duke Energy, the City of Asheville, Buncombe County and all the community partners participating in the Asheville Energy Innovation Task Force.

Through the task force, MountainTrue has joined forces with fellow community leaders and stakeholders to set an ambitious goal for Western North Carolina: to avoid or delay Duke Energy’s plans to build a new power plant to meet our region’s growing electricity demand. Together. we’re developing strategies to reduce our community’s demand through proven energy saving solutions and by fostering innovative partnerships.

We can put WNC on the path to a clean energy future and everyone has an important role to play! Click here or contact our Campaigns Director Joan Walker to learn how to get involved with the Energy Innovation Task Force.



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.

New Riverkeeper Report: Dead in the Water

New Riverkeeper Report: Dead in the Water

New Riverkeeper Report: Dead in the Water

The North Carolina Riverkeepers have released a new report: Dead in the Water: Environmental Enforcement in North Carolina. This the first comprehensive report that details the work of Riverkeepers across North Carolina.

Dead in the waterOur state has a proud history of environmental protection. However, 2016 was a year of vast devastation and increased pollution, from storms, the burgeoning hog and chicken industries, coal ash and other chemicals and abuses. Contributing to the problem were environmental officials who turned a blind eye to the problems and were slow to respond to issues. Combine this with State government that attempted to roll back protections and you have a state where Riverkeepers had to work harder than ever to protect our waters.

Read all about their work by clicking here.


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 — January 10, 2017

MountainTrue Raleigh Report — January 10, 2017

MountainTrue Raleigh Report — January 10, 2017

Happy New Year from Raleigh, where state government is rushing right into 2017

 

Just after the clock struck midnight on January 1, Roy Cooper took the oath of office and was sworn in as our state’s 75th governor. He has just begun to announce his cabinet, staff and agenda, and we will learn more in the coming weeks.

New DEQ Head Named

One of Cooper’s  first announcement was his pick for the new secretary of DEQ – Michael Regan. Regan is a longtime environmental advocate, who is a veteran of both the Environmental Defense Fund and the EPA.

While at EDF, he worked on a legal challenge and eventual settlement with Duke Energy that required the utility to retire its oldest and dirtiest coal-fired power plants. He also believes that a clean environment and clean energy are drivers for economic development, including in poor and rural areas.

Regan said his first goal as secretary is to get the advice of those who serve in DEQ. He also pledged to improve transparency and work with stakeholders to help solve environmental problems.

Regan is a native of eastern North Carolina and a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University and George Washington University.

Under a new law, Regan’s nomination must be confirmed by the state Senate.

Legislative Outlook

Cooper will soon be joined in Raleigh by members of the 2017 General Assembly. Legislators return on January 11th for what is expected to be a short organizational meeting to officially elect Senate and House leaders.

Lawmakers are expected to recess for two weeks to allow committees to be appointed so that the real work of the 2017 legislature can begin on January 25.  Our state does not set constitutional limits on the length of the session, so how long the 2017 General Assembly will be at its work is anyone’s guess. It will certainly continue at least until July 1, the beginning of the state’s fiscal year.

Lawmakers are coming off three December special sessions – one on disaster relief, another to change Cooper and other statewide elected officials’ authority and a third on HB2. While the disaster session went largely as expected, the two other sessions were extremely controversial. The first session passed a wide-ranging elections bill that made appellate court races partisan and merged lobbying, ethics and elections oversight into one agency. In that same session, lawmakers limited Governor Cooper’s ability to hire and fire appointees for his administration and moved a good bit of education policy-making power from the State Board of Education to the new superintendent of public instruction.  WRAL has a good summary of what happened in the special session. Pretty much everything that passed during this session is now being challenged in court. A week later, legislators returned to Raleigh, argued, finagled and voted but ultimately couldn’t pass a repeal of HB2, the controversial legislation concerning LGBTQ civil rights.

DEQ Shenanigans

Of course, no MountainTrue Raleigh report would be complete without some news from the state’s Department of Environmental Quality. Shortly before Cooper took office, GOP-appointed DEQ Secretary van der Vaart demoted himself in order to avoid dismissal as a political appointee when Cooper took office. He will return to a position in the air quality division as a section chief, where he worked for 20 years before being promoted by former Governor Pat McCrory.  

What’s Next?

It’s hard to imagine that the acrimony and partisanship on display during much of 2016 in Raleigh won’t continue in the new year. Much hinges on what the courts decide on the changes to the Governor’s powers, HB2 and court-mandated redistricting.

Here at MountainTrue, we’ll continue to talk to legislators from both parties about clean water, clean air and making North Carolina’s future a sustainable one. We will keep you posted as issues develop and hope you will join us in our advocacy efforts.

 


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.

Creation Care Alliance of WNC Kicks off ‘100 Days of Creation Care Actions’ on Inauguration Day

Creation Care Alliance of WNC Kicks off ‘100 Days of Creation Care Actions’ on Inauguration Day

Creation Care Alliance of WNC Kicks off ‘100 Days of Creation Care Actions’ on Inauguration Day

Asheville — The Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina (CCAWNC), a program of MountainTrue, will mark the beginning of the first 100 days of President Donald J. Trump’s administration with a gathering of music, ritual, commitments and refreshments on January 20 from 5-7 p.m. at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Asheville.

What: Creation Care Alliance of WNC’s “100 Days of Creation Care Actions” Kick-off Event
When: Friday, January 20th from 5-7 pm
Where: Lenoir-Rhyne University, 36 Montford Ave, Asheville

Attendees will observe the sunset together and contemplate our hopes and fears as our nation changes direction under a new administration with its own set of priorities. This event is the kickoff of CCAWNC’s “100 Days of Creation,” during which local people and communities of faith will take part in 100 experiences, events, prayers, advocacy actions in support of God’s creation from January 20 to April 29.

The Creation Care Alliance and MountainTrue are offering many volunteer and social opportunities during this time, and we will promote the events and efforts of other organizations. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to submit experiences, events, prayers, advocacy letters/calls, and actions through our online form. People can can also share events and stories publicly on the 100 Days of Creation Facebook group page here.

 

 


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.

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.