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In this edition of the MountainTrue Raleigh Report – It’s OVER! On Friday, legislators adjourned the short session sine die and headed back home – just in time for the Fourth of July holiday. Up until the very end of session, there were a number of important bills still up in the air. Some good things happened and some bad things didn’t. Here’s the rundown on the end of session – and our overall take on what The Honorables did and didn’t do this year.read more
rom the California drought to Missouri floods to our changing growing seasons, climate change is already affecting people around the world, in our country and here in North Carolina. To help our faith communities address the impacts of climate change and ecological crisis, the Center for Earth Ethics and Union Theological Seminary gathered faith leaders, including Director of the Creation Care Alliance Scott Hardin-Nieri, in New York City from June 6-10 for a five-day training.read more
On the evening of Tuesday, June 28 the North Carolina Senate rushed through a rewrite to H630, the state’s coal ash cleanup law. This bad coal ash bill is quickly making its way through the legislature and we expect the House to take it up as soon as today. Please call your NC Representative Immediately and ask them to NOT CONCUR with the Senate’s version of House Bill 630.read more
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
We want to thank all the people who came out for our French Broad Riverkeeper Father’s Day Cleanup. It was hot and sunny, and there were a lot of people splashing around and enjoying the river. And because of the hard work of our volunteers they were doing so in a river with less trash and debris floating in it.read more
MountainTrue is excited to announce the hiring of Gray Jernigan as regional director for the Southern Regional Office, located in Hendersonville and serving Henderson, Polk, Rutherford and Transylvania counties. Gray comes to MountainTrue from Waterkeeper Alliance, where he served in Raleigh as a staff attorney and communications coordinator. To welcome Gray to WNC, MountainTrue is hosting an open house at our Hendersonville office on July 7.read more
French Broad Chocolates is partnering with MountainTrue’s French Broad Riverkeeper and Asheville Greenworks for a special Father’s Day River clean-up. Fathers, mothers and children are all invited to come out on the water and lend a hand cleaning up the French Broad River. This day of hard work will be rewarded with French Broad’s bean-to-bar craft chocolate and followed by an afterparty on the South Slope at Catawba Brewing.read more
June 9: Hendersonville Green Drinks: Prioritization of Transportation Projects in North Carolina and Our Region
On Thursday, June 9, Hendersonville Green Drinks welcomes featured speakers Lyuba Zuyeva, Director of the French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization, and Tristan Winkler, Senior Transportation Planner with the French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization, who will discuss how transportation projects go from concept to funded project.read more
Now anyone with a smartphone can help report illegal muddy water runoff and sources of sediment pollution. Muddy Water Watch, a project of MountainTrue, the French Broad Riverkeeper and the North Carolina Waterkeepers, has teamed up with Shiny Creek, an Asheville-based enterprise-class web and mobile application development company, to create a new smartphone app that makes documenting sources of dirty water easier than ever.
With the launch of the new app, MountainTrue and the Riverkeeper have also announced the first three Muddy Water Watch trainings of the season: June 20 at the Public Library in Marshall, June 28 at Haywood Community College’s Regional High Technology Center in Waynesvill and June 29 at AB Tech in Asheville.read more
The North Carolina House of Representatives passed SB 71 on Wednesday, May 25 by a vote of 86 to 25 and sent it to the Senate. While this bill contains some good provisions, such as requiring Duke Energy to provide a permanent, clean drinking water supply for some residents living near coal ash pits, overall we believe that risks of SB 71 outweigh its benefits. We are concerned that in the process of revising the state’s coal ash laws, the legislature may provide Duke Energy with an avenue to reclassify many of its coal ash pits and substantially decrease the quality of their clean up, including the number that are required to be excavated rather than simply capped in place. The legislature’s review of SB 71 is ongoing but moving quite quickly. North Carolinians who want to have their voices heard on this important legislation should act now.read more