Public Lands

There are over 2 million acres of National Forests throughout Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee. From its founding, MountainTrue has stayed committed to the protection of our public lands and forests by helping to shape the Nantahala-Pisgah National Forests Plan and advocating for our national, state, county and city parks.

Forest Management Plan

MountainTrue works to help shape the National Forest Service’s Forest Plan for the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests. MountainTrue and its members advocate for conservation and sustainable public access through our participation in coalitions such as the Conservation & Recreation Coalition and the Nantahala-Pisgah Partnership.


Want to know more about the Forests Plan?

The Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests are getting a new management plan that will set the course of the forests for the next 20 years. Find out more about the plan and keep up to date on the future of WNC national forests.

Learn More

Forest Task Force

The Forest Task Force is MountainTrue’s on-the-ground forest volunteer core making sure that the management of the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests is sustainable and right for the biodiverse ecosystems and various communities that share the forests. The Forest Task Force is made up of MountainTrue scientific staff, interested community members and staff from partner organizations who all have an interest in public lands management. Through this group, MountainTrue offers comments and concerns to the Forest Service when appropriate, but also assists the Forest Service with expertise and hands on work in helping to implement the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests Management Plan goals and objectives.

The Forest Task Force meets periodically to review various projects carried out as part of the U.S. Forest Service management of the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forest lands. These projects may include timbering, prescribed burning, forest restoration, forest road and trail construction/reconstruction, stream restoration and invasive species control. They also review projects involving infrastructure including state highway construction, power lines, and radio towers. For more information about the task force and to get involved, contact Bob Gale at bob@mountaintrue.org or Josh Kelly at josh@mountaintrue.org.


Annual Bioblitz

MountainTrue conducts an annual bioblitz every year in an area of our WNC public lands. A bioblitz is a biological inventory of an ecosystem in order to record all the living species within a particular area. MountainTrue staff, scientists, wildlife experts, naturalists and community volunteers gather together and explore a selected area to catalogue living species and learn more about our unique mountain ecosystems.

Our first bioblitz was conducted in 2016 on Bluff Mountain. Read more!



Public Lands News


Villains Invade the Non-native Invasives at Richmond Hill Park!

Villains Invade the Non-native Invasives at Richmond Hill Park!

In my position as Ecologist & Public Lands Director, I’m accustomed to high school, college, and even business groups contacting us to volunteer for any service projects we might have in restoring the areas of the natural environment. But in July, one J.J. Holt called and offered help from his group of folks scattered across North Carolina who call themselves the Bearded Villains. “We all have beards,” JJ said. “And our mission is to offer our services to any organization needing help with physical labor on outdoor projects.”

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Carolyn Finney, Author of Black Faces, White Spaces to Speak at UNC Asheville Sept. 29

Carolyn Finney, Author of Black Faces, White Spaces to Speak at UNC Asheville Sept. 29

Developing cultural competency within the discussion of public lands and conservation is an important aspect for promoting the use and care of public lands among all populations. MountainTrue values collaboration among diverse constituencies to achieve more effective success in protecting our public lands and forests. Carolyn Finney brings a unique voice to this dialogue, and considers factors that contribute to how individuals build a relationship with their environment.

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Join us for Pisgah Pride Day on September 24!

Join us for Pisgah Pride Day on September 24!

MountainTrue is proud to be an official partner of the The Pisgah Conservancy’s first annual Pisgah Pride Day! Pride Day, on September 24, falls on National Public Lands Day, and is a broad volunteer opportunity for community members to contribute to the success of the Pisgah. The name of the event stems from The Pisgah Conservancy’s desire to instill pride in the maintenance of the Pisgah, and to encourage all members to a part in enjoying the forest.

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