Tell Congress to Take AmeriCorps Off the Chopping Block

Tell Congress to Take AmeriCorps Off the Chopping Block

Tell Congress to Take AmeriCorps Off the Chopping Block

Meet Laura McPherson, Mary Kate Dodge and Jack Henderson, MountainTrue’s hardworking and dedicated AmeriCorps.

 

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Mary Kate Dodge (L) and Laura McPherson (R)

Laura McPherson is our Forest Keeper. She combats non-native invasive plant species and restores native plant habitats by coordinating and leading volunteer work days and invasive species educational programs. Mary Kate Dodge is our Outings and Outreach Coordinator; she helps organize our educational events and helps us raise awareness about the work we do protecting Western North Carolina’s environment. Jack Henderson is our Water Quality Administrator and runs our river cleanups and water testing and monitoring programs.

Their work is critical to our mission.

Each year, AmeriCorps Project Conserve places more than three dozen dedicated members with local environmental nonprofits. Since its inception, 268 members have served 455,600 hours, increasing community understanding of conservation and the environment and creating sustainable improvements to at-risk ecosystems in our communities.

Jack Henderson (center) with a group of volunteers after a river cleanup.

Jack Henderson (center) with a group of volunteers after a river cleanup.

The federal agency that supports the AmeriCorps service program — The Corporation for National & Community Service — is at risk! It is one of 18 agencies that are recommended for elimination in the White House’s recent budget proposal.

Please take a moment to call your Congress members and let them know that AmeriCorps is making a difference in our community.

NC Senator Richard Burr (202) 224-3154
NC Senator Thom Tillis (202) 224-6342
NC Representative Mark Meadows (202) 225-6401
NC Representative Patrick McHenry (202) 225-2576
Click here to find your Senator: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/senators_cfm.cfm
Click here to find your Representative: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.