Flying Through the Trees with Navitat

Flying Through the Trees with Navitat

Flying Through the Trees with Navitat


On Friday, May 26, the MountainTrue staff closed the office a little early to embark on an adventure in the trees at Navitat Canopy Adventures. As the guides led the group of MountainTrue staff through the incredible course and sent them (safely) flying from mountain top to mountain top, they also provided the staff with a thorough overview of the local ecology and conservation strategies, which we were thrilled to hear promoted by a like minded company!

MountainTrue loves partnering with local businesses and organizations who are also committed to protecting the beautiful lands of Western North Carolina. MountainTrue’s Public Lands Ecologist Bob Gale presented to the Navitat staff on non-native invasive plants, and the importance of treating them responsibly to encourage and maintain growth of North Carolina’s important native plants. Through this partnership, we were able to enhance Navitat’s already extensive knowledge base on the effects of non-native invasive plants, while Navitat gave MountainTrue staff an unforgettable experience and new perspective of the ecology of the region.  Businesses like Navitat are doing a fantastic job of educating both locals and visitors to Western North Carolina, while giving them an adventurous experience in the trees of Western North Carolina.


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 and Asheville Citizen-Times present ‘Before We Burn Again: A Panel on the Future of Wildfires in WNC’

MountainTrue and Asheville Citizen-Times present ‘Before We Burn Again: A Panel on the Future of Wildfires in WNC’

MountainTrue and Asheville Citizen-Times present ‘Before We Burn Again: A Panel on the Future of Wildfires in WNC’

Asheville, NC — MountainTrueMountainTrue and Asheville Citizen-Times team up to present “Before We Burn Again: A Panel on the Future of Wildfires in WNC” at Highland Brewing Company on Monday April 3 from 5-8 p.m. This is a free event, RSVP today: http://bit.ly/BeforeWeBurnAgain

Last year (2016), the Southeast experienced a historic wildfire season. Wildfires raged across north Georgia, eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina. Firefighters from 21 states converged on the region to combat fires that ultimately burned more than 150,000 acres. In Tennessee, the Chimney Tops 2 fire destroyed sections of the city of Gatlinburg and claimed 14 lives. In North Carolina, the fires forced evacuation and threatened homes and human development.

Sponsored by French Broad Chocolates, Highland Brewing Co. and NOC — Nantahala Outdoor Center, this special event brings together leading experts in the fields of wildfire management, fire ecology, climate change and community planning to discuss the dangers and ecological benefits of wildfire, critical issues at play in last year’s historic wildfire season and appropriate, proactive responses and strategies to manage future wildfire phenomena, mitigate threats and economic impacts, and save human lives.

What: “Before We Burn Again: A Panel on the Future of Wildfires in WNC”
Who: Presented by MountainTrue and the Asheville Citizen-Times and sponsored by French Broad Chocolates, Highland Brewing Co. and NOC — Nantahala Outdoor Center
Where: Highland Brewing Company, 12 Old Charlotte Highway, Asheville, NC 28803
When: Monday, April 3, 2017, 5-8 p.m.

For details and to RSVP: http://bit.ly/BeforeWeBurnAgain

Expert Panelists:

Dr. Steve Norman, a research ecologist with US Forest Service Southern Research Station in Asheville, will discuss how climate and drought influence forests and wildfires in the Southern Appalachians. Steve earned his Ph.D. from Penn State where he studied how fire-climate relationships functioned over centuries in California based on evidence from fire scars in tree rings. In North Carolina, his more recent research has involved tracking spring and fall phenology from satellite, understanding drought impacts to forests, documenting the seasonality of eastern fire regimes, and addressing the tradeoffs of wildland fire management.

Adam Warwick is the fire and stewardship manager for The Nature Conservancy’s Southern Blue Ridge Program in Asheville and will discuss forest and wildfire management practices. At the Nature Conservancy, Adam manages a 15-person fire crew and about 12,000 acres in western North Carolina. He is from east Tennessee and holds a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from University of Tennessee and a Master of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife from the University of Missouri. Adam has close to 15 years of experience monitoring wildlife and conserving habitats on public and private lands. Adam is an expert in using fire through controlled burning to perpetuate fire-dependent plant and animals throughout northern Florida and the Southern Appalachians.

Dr. Katie Greenberg, research ecologist with the USFS Southern Research Station at Bent Creek Experimental Forest, will discuss how fire affects wildlife and habitats in hardwood forests.  Katie’s research focuses on how natural or anthropogenic disturbances such fire, regeneration harvests, or windstorms affect forests, wildlife communities, and their food resources such as native fruits and acorns. Katie holds a Master of Science in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Tennessee, and a PhD in Wildlife Ecology and a minor in Plant Ecology, from the University of Florida.  She has co-edited books on early successional habitats, and natural disturbances in hardwood forests.

Joan Walker is the campaigns director with MountainTrue and will discuss appropriate actions that communities, businesses and individuals can take to lower risks and exposure to wildfire. Joan earned her Master’s Degree in Geography with a focus on urban and regional planning from Appalachian State University. She is a contributing author to “Planning for a New Energy and Climate Future,” an American Planning Association report which focused on integrating climate change and energy issues into planning practice. Joan has worked as a building codes consultant and clean energy advocate with the NC Sustainable Energy Association and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and served as an energy fellow with UNC Asheville. Joan also currently serves on the Buncombe County Planning Board where she strives to incorporate sustainability and social equity into local planning policy.

Our Sponsors:

French Broad Chocolates, Asheville-based makers of sustainable bean-to-bakery chocolate, will provide hot chocolate and a dessert bar featuring their Highland Mocha Stout Cupcakes — a collaboration with Highland Brewing Company — and more. Additional food, beer and beverages will be available for purchase from Highland Brewing Company. Attendees will also have the opportunity to win two (2) Adventure Passes from Nantahala Outdoor Center valued at $79.99 each. The Nantahala Adventure Pass is hands-down the best value for a full day of outdoor fun. Combine four of NOC’s most popular activities — guided whitewater rafting on the crystal clear Nantahala river, Fontana Lake kayak and stand up paddleboards rentals, the Zip Line Adventure Park and mountain biking.

General admission is a suggested minimum donation of $10.

MountainTrue members get free admission.

For details and to RSVP: http://bit.ly/BeforeWeBurnAgain


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: Mitigating Climate Change and Adapting to the New Normal

After the Wildfires: Mitigating Climate Change and Adapting to the New Normal

After the Wildfires: Mitigating Climate Change and Adapting to the New Normal

Jim Fox, Director of UNC Asheville’s National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center, and Josh Kelly, Public Lands Field Biologist at MountainTrue, will discuss how climate change is impacting Western North Carolina at the Climate Collider on Monday, December 19 at 4 p.m..

In the wake of a historic wildfire season that has burned more than 150,000 acres throughout the Southeast, forced residents from their homes and cost the lives of 14 people in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, the two speakers will address how climate change is affecting our region as well as strategies for mitigation and better management of our forests to reduce the threat of wildfires to human development. After their presentations, speakers will take questions from the crowd.

What: After the Wildfires: Mitigating Climate Change and Adapting to the New Normal
Who: Jim Fox, Director of UNC Asheville’s National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center, and Josh Kelly, Public Lands Field Biologist at MountainTrue.
Where: Collider 1 Haywood St., Suite 401 (4th Floor Wells Fargo Building) Asheville, NC
When: Monday, December 19 at 4 p.m. to 6 p.m..
RSVP TO ATTEND: http://action.mountaintrue.org/page/s/after-the-fires

About Jim Fox
James (Jim) Fox is the Director for UNC Asheville’s National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC). In that position, he serves as the team leader and principal investigator for several major collaborations, including the USDA Forest Service’s Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center (EFETAC), NOAA’s Climate Program Office and National Centers for Environmental Information, the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies, and state, county, municipal, and regional governments in the southeastern United States. NEMAC uses visualizations, geographic information systems (GIS), web tools, and decision support tools to address key societal resilience issues that include climate change adaptation, forest health, flood mitigation, water resources, and future land use planning.

About Josh Kelly
Josh Kelly is MountainTrue’s Public Lands Field Biologist. He leads the organization’s work on the Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest Management Plan Revision, monitors logging and development issues on public land, and provides site-specific, scientific information to promote ecological restoration and better management practices. Prior to joining MountainTrue, Josh worked for the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition, where he focused on identifying remnant old-growth forests on public land, and at WildLaw, where he worked to promote ecological restoration as the new paradigm of National Forest management. Josh has helped the Forest Service conduct rare plant surveys, save hemlocks from hemlock woolly adelgid, and design restoration projects, including the Grandfather Restoration Project.


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.

Field Trip: Ecology of Southern Appalachia

Field Trip: Ecology of Southern Appalachia

Field Trip: Ecology of Southern Appalachia

On October 7th, our Public Lands Director Bob Gale led a group of about 15 Osher Lifelong Learning students on a field trip exploring the forest community types in the Southern Appalachia. As Bob pointed out different examples of trees and brush species found along the Blue Ridge Parkway, students learned the types of trees and other species that make up specific forest communities, including Acidic Cove communities, Montane Oak-Hickory communities and more!

Each fall, MountainTrue presents a course at the University of North Carolina Asheville Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). OLLI exists to promote lifelong learning for seniors, as well as leadership, community service, and research. Participants in OLLI can take courses in a wide array of topics, including music, language, community topics, yoga, history and science.

MountainTrue’s course is titled the Ecology of the Southern Appalachia, and it incorporates expertise from MountainTrue staff and well-qualified partners. The course explores the uniqueness of the southern Appalachians Mountains, the oldest and most bio-diverse mountains in the world.  Each week, an instructor presents a new topic including geology, hydrology, energy use, biology, and human ecology our region. In addition to the classroom presentations, students are invited to attend two field trips that highlight further a topic discussed in class. This year, with over 50 students enrolled, MountainTrue has enjoyed the lively discussion and immense participation of the students!

Some highlights from the field trips so far include the expert species identification by Bob Gale, examples of improper sediment runoff from construction sites taught by French Broad Riverkeeper Hartwell Carson, and a thorough overview of the geology in the region by MountainTrue member Steve Yurkovich.



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.

French Broad Ranks 11th in Outside’s Best Trips of 2016

French Broad Ranks 11th in Outside’s Best Trips of 2016

French Broad Ranks 11th in Outside’s Best Trips of 2016

 


Outside magazine has released its annual list of the Best Trips of 2016 and the French Broad River is ranked #11 … in the world. The magazine states that these vanguard destinations are the favorites of its editors and writers. Western North Carolina’s French Broad River gets accolades for its access to some of the world’s best craft breweries and access to the amazing camping available along the French Broad Paddle Trail — a collaborative project of MountainTrue and Riverlink.

“The beauty of traveling by canoe is that you can carry a lot of beer. There’s probably no better place in the country to test out this theory than the mild 45-mile stretch of the French Broad that flows past the Southern outposts of three of America’s most cherished craft breweries.”

2016 French Broad Riverkeeper Paddle Trip – Reservations Now Open!

July 12-15, join us for a four-day float.

Now is the time to start planning your French Broad River adventure! Every year, MountainTrue and our French Broad Riverkeeper take participants on a guided trip down the French Broad River, camping out along the French Broad River Paddle Trail℠ — a recreational watercraft trail created and operated by MountainTrue and Riverlink (proudly sponsored by Oskar Blues Brewery). Leave the shuttle and logistics to us and enjoy the river’s beauty from the water!

We take care of all the logistics and camp sites so you can enjoy this beautiful river with some of the top craft breweries in the entire world along the way. We’ll put in at Hap Simpson River Park and take out in time to hit Oskar Blues.  We’ll float down to Sierra Nevada from there, and then hit New Belgium once we get into Asheville.  It’s our very own Brew Paddle. We’ll also highlight the work of the Riverkeeper program and take water samples, but we’ll be sure to leave enough time for cornhole and s’mores at the campsites.  For reservations and more info, click here.


2016 French Broad Riverkeeper Paddle

Get your paddle on and enjoy some of the best beer in the world.

Reserve Now!

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.

9/17: Mt. Hardy – Wolf Mountain Day Hike

9/17: Mt. Hardy – Wolf Mountain Day Hike

Join MountainTrue, the Asheville History Center and NC Botanical Society founder Dan Pittillo on this day hike along the Bartram Trail to discover the natural world as William Bartram might have done: through identification of plants and observation. You’ll learn more about Bartram himself and the impact of early Naturalists on contemporary ecology. The trip departs from Asheville History Center, 283 Victoria Road at 9 a.m. and will return at 5 p.m.

$35 members; $50 non-members – Transportation, snacks and water provided; participants should pack a lunch.

Reservations are required. To save your spot, email smh@wnchistory.org or call 828-253-9231.

*Please note: Moderate walking of one mile or less on uneven surfaces is a requirement of this trip.


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.