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 or Josh Kelly at

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

Public And Scientists Document Diversity Of Bluff Mountain During Bioblitz

Public And Scientists Document Diversity Of Bluff Mountain During Bioblitz

On June 4 and 5, MountainTrue Staff and 43 volunteers documented the astonishing diversity of Bluff Mountain in Madison County, NC. Bluff Mountain has long been an iconic place to local residents who have hunted and gathered food and medicinal herbs on its slopes for generations. Our bioblitz confirmed Bluff’s special character and documented over 400 species, including over 270 vascular plants, a dozen mosses and liverworts, more than 30 birds, over 40 lichen, five mammals, six amphibians, and more than 50 invertebrate animals in just two days!

read more

Conservation and Recreation Coalition Announces Recommendations for Nantahala-Pisgah National Forests

A coalition of conservation and recreation organizations recommends more trails and better public access as well as backcountry and wild areas for the Nantahala-Pisgah National Forests, according to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) developed by the coalition. The coalition is submitting the MOU to the U.S. Forest Service as part of the ongoing forest plan revision process for the Nantahala-Pisgah National Forests.

read more

U.S.F.S. proposes opening most of Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest to logging

12/13/2014: “WNC’s National Forests at crossroads” — Editorial by Public Lands Field Biologist Josh Kelly in the Asheville Citizen-Times. (May require login). Press Release from the Southern Environmental Law Center For Release: Nov. 12, 2014 Contact: Kathleen Sullivan, SELC, 919-945-7106 or Forest Service proposes massive logging program in an area bigger than the Great Smoky […]

read more