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.

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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.

No matter the election results, you can make a difference!

We know it’s easy to be discouraged during this contentious election season. No matter what the outcome of local, state, and federal elected positions are, you can make a direct impact on local government by serving on a local board and commission.

Our elected leaders take direction from dozens of community advisory boards specializing in a wide-range of topics. These volunteer positions are appointed, not elected, are open to all and require a minimal time commitment each month. Check out and apply for the following positions in your community and know that MountainTrue is here to help you every step of the way! Check out our website for more information and tips and to find listings in your community. Here are some current openings in Asheville and Buncombe County!

City of Asheville (Deadline to apply is November 2. Apply here or call 259-5601)

  • Recreation Board:The Board advises City Council on various matters pertaining to the operation of park facilities and recreation programs within the City of Asheville, to make policy recommendations to City Council, and to carry out duties as may be assigned to them by City Council.
  • Soil Erosion/Stormwater review committee: The Committee hears appeals from the Stormwater Administrator. You would directly impact the work MountainTrue does fighting sedimentation and other threats to our local waterways!

Buncombe County (Deadline to apply is October 31. Apply here or call 828-250-4105)

  • Historic Resources Commission: Administers the City and County programs of local historic districts and properties, reviews changes to buildings designated historic.

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.

Mavis Staples to Perform in Asheville at Benefit for MountainTrue

Mavis Staples to Perform in Asheville at Benefit for MountainTrue


Mavis Staples to Perform in Asheville at Benefit for MountainTrue

November 13 with Lyric at the Orange Peel
Funds help protect and improve the French Broad River

Asheville, N.C. — MountainTrue, Prestige Subaru and the Matt & Molly Team present Mavis Staples live in Asheville, a benefit for the French Broad Riverkeeper. The concert takes place at The Orange Peel on November 13. Tickets are on sale now at The Orange Peels box office and on their website, theorangepeel.net.

 

Proceeds from the concert support the work of the French Broad Riverkeeper, a program of MountainTrue and the primary protector and defender of the French Broad River watershed. Asheville-based artist Lyric will perform with her band as the opening act and will also perform a special acoustic set at a VIP event at PULP (The Orange Peel’s lower level private club) before the show.

What: MountainTrue, Prestige Subaru and the Matt & Molly Team present Mavis Staples with Lyric at The Orange Peel, a benefit concert for the French Broad River.

Where: The Orange Peel, 101 Biltmore Ave., Asheville, NC 28801

When: November 13, 2016, doors open at 7 p.m. VIP Event from 5 to 7 p.m.

Cost: $35, $55 VIP without seats, $65 VIP with reserved seats. Tickets on sale at The Orange Peels box office and on their website, theorangepeel.net.

MEDIA KIT: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/iu9v5bczf8bowh4/AAC-ChGtd1vKlwTZT865E5lea?dl=0

The concert is presented by MountainTrue, Prestige Subaru and the Matt & Molly Team/Keller Williams Realty, and generously sponsored by 98.1 The River, Davis & Whitlock Environmental Law, Mountain Xpress, French Broad Outfitters, The Orange Peel, Rob Lamme & Associates Government Relations and Policy Planning, and Symmetry Financial Group.

Mavis Staples is living, breathing history. She is an alchemist of American music, having continuously crossed genre lines like no musician since Ray Charles. Weaving herself into the very fabric of gospel, soul, folk, pop, R&B, blues, rock, and hip hop over the last 60 years, this iconic singer has seen and sung through so many changes, always rising up to meet every road.

Now in her seventh decade, with the release of her new album Livin’ on a High Note (ANTI-), she is only gaining momentum. Produced by M. Ward with songs by Neko Case, Justin Vernon, Nick Cave, Ben Harper, Tune-Yards, Aloe Blacc and others, the album serves as a summation and furtherance of her illustrious career.

Since her first recording at age 13 in 1954, Mavis Staples has learned from, worked with, and schooled countless legends, and has brought her own timeless talent to every performance. From the Delta-inflected gospel sound she helped create in the 1950s with her father, Pops, and her brother and sisters as The Staple Singers, to the freedom songs of the Civil Rights era, to pop radio stardom during the Stax era with hits “I’ll Take You There” and “Respect Yourself,” to The Last Waltz, to serving as muse to both Bob Dylan and Prince at the peak of their careers, to 21st century collaborations with Van Morrison, Billy Preston, Zac Brown, Ry Cooder, Chuck D. and Willie Nelson, to her GRAMMY®-winning partnership with fellow Chicagoan Jeff Tweedy, the one constant has been Mavis and her singular voice. She has embraced her evolution, absorbing new sounds and ideas, rising to meet the challenges of longevity and bringing her message of hope and positivity to new listeners, song after song, show after show.

About Lyric
With an enlightened mixture of pop, soul, funk and bowties, Lyric awakens an undiscovered spirit within their audience.  Lyric; lead singer, guitarist, and lyricist plays a funky rhythm guitar with sizzling leads accompanied by her soul gripping lead vocals. Her father, Dave Matthews, has roots in 70’s funk style slap bass and holds down the foundation with a playful flare on funk. Mike Berlin locks down the beat on drums, with influences from his hometown of South Baton Rouge, New Orleans.

About MountainTrue
All proceeds from the show will go to Mountrue’s work to protect the French Broad River.  MountainTrue fosters and empowers communities throughout the region and engages in policy and project advocacy, outreach and education, and on the ground projects. To achieve our goals, MountainTrue focuses on a core set of issues across 23 counties of Western North Carolina: sensible land use, restoring public forests, protecting water quality and promoting clean energy – all of which have a high impact on the environmental health and long-term prosperity of our residents. MountainTrue is the home of the Watauga Riverkeeper, the primary watchdog and spokesperson for the Elk and Watauga Rivers; the French Broad Riverkeeper, the primary protector and defender of the French Broad River watershed; and Broad River Alliance, a Waterkeeper Affiliate working to promote fishable, swimmable, drinkable waters in the Broad River Basin. For more information: mountaintrue.org


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.

Henderson County Big Sweep Hauls 4,400 Lbs of Trash from Local Rivers and Streams

Henderson County Big Sweep Hauls 4,400 Lbs of Trash from Local Rivers and Streams

The Henderson County Big Sweep 2016 was a huge success!

On Saturday, September 10, volunteers banded together to sweep Henderson County of as much garbage as possible! Nine teams of volunteers were formed including Mills River Partnership, Friends of Wash Cree, Trinity Presbyterian Church, Rotary Club, Cub Scout Troop 603, Mud Creek, East Hendersonville High School, Sierra Nevada and more!

This year’s haul far exceeded last year’s success. The 2016 Henderson County Big Sweep recruited 63 volunteers who served a total of 169 hours! We swept 11 miles of local rivers, picked up 24 tires, 81 bags of trash for a grand total of approximately 4,400 pounds of trash and recycling. What a successful event!

MountainTrue wants to thank all of the volunteers who gave so much of their time and made this event possible! An important part of calling a region home is taking the time to care for it, and the rivers in Henderson County are better off with 4,400 fewer pounds of garbage floating in them.

Be on the look out for next year’s event and join in on the fun!

Help Restore Richmond Hill Park with MountainTrue

Help Restore Richmond Hill Park with MountainTrue


Help Restore Richmond Hill Park with MountainTrue

Asheville, NC — Are you interested in helping to restore native plants to Asheville’s largest forested park? Take part in one of MountainTrue’s Invasive Plant Removal Days at Richmond Hill Park. The park is home to many special native plant and animal species, and with your help we can help them thrive.

 

Who: MountainTrue Invasive Removal Program

What: Richmond Hill Invasive Plant Removal Days

When: October 8, 2016, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: 280 Richmond Hill Dr, Asheville, NC 28806 United States

Sign up here.

Volunteers help stop the spread of harmful non-native invasive species and return native species to this unique park. The invasive plants we’ll be treating are Oriental bittersweet, privet, multiflora rose and Japanese stiltgrass, among others.  As a result of this treatment, habitat for spring ephemeral wildflowers such as trillium, Jack-in-the-pulpit, mayapple and other species of rich soils will be restored.

Restoring natives is vital in helping to preserve biodiversity and it also benefits birds and other wildlife by providing habitat, nectar for pollinators and fruit and nuts.  Richmond Hill Park is a very special place in Asheville close to the French Broad River that needs your help!

MountainTrue’s Richmond Hill Invasive Plant Removal Days take place on the second Saturday of every month except for January and February.

 

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.


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.