Celebrate Earth Day with MountainTrue

Celebrate Earth Day with MountainTrue

WNCAADMIN

As you may have heard, the NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced recently that it will order a full cleanup of every coal ash pit in the state! This is truly one of the biggest environmental victories of our era. As if that wasn’t enough, last week Duke Energy announced that it has indefinitely postponed the construction of a 190-megawatt gas-fired peaker plant on Lake Julian, removing it from its list of future projects.

For six years, MountainTrue members kept the pressure on Duke Energy and the state Department of Environmental Quality to clean up the coal ash mess and to move beyond fossil fuels toward more efficiency and renewable energy. You are part of that legacy. Your support held Duke Energy accountable. These victories are an important reminder that your activism can change the course of history.

When you stand with MountainTrue, you fight for our environment. Will you stand alongside MountainTrue this Earth Day?

Whether you’re taking action in the field, making conscious decisions in your daily life that lead to a sustainable future, or making contributions that invest in a lasting impact, we celebrate you for being part of a community that is making a difference this Earth Day.

By donating to MountainTrue, you safeguard public lands, advocate for the common good in the halls of government, protect our waterways, and help build a sustainable future in the face of climate change.

In honor of Earth Day, act locally by making a contribution to MountainTrue today. With your donation, you will be helping to fight for future successes like these.

Thank you for being part of MountainTrue and making this work possible.


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.

Enter to Win a Liquidlogic Remix XP 10 Kayak

Enter to Win a Liquidlogic Remix XP 10 Kayak

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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.

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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.

The Emerald Ash Borer – A Novel Threat

The Emerald Ash Borer – A Novel Threat

WNCAADMIN

The emerald ash borer (EAB) – a voracious metallic-green beetle – is quickly eating its way across North America, killing our ash forests along the way.

The pest came across the ocean from Asia, transported in wooden packing materials.While many species in our forests were foreign to EAB, our ash trees provided a taste of home. The adults quickly began to feed on the leaves of these trees and lay their eggs between layers of bark to protect them. Back in Asia, parasitic wasps would occasionally prey on their larvae, but there are no wasps that hunt them here in North America. Given the abundant food source and lack of predators, the insect thrived.

The emerald ash borer is now eating its way through Pisgah National Forest, so MountainTrue and The Pisgah Conservancy have teamed up on a project to treat and save 100 ash trees this spring, 2019 … before it’s too late. Find out more and how you can lend a hand.

Help Save an Ash Tree in Pisgah

These beetles are a half-inch long and have a metallic green color. They were first discovered in the United States in 2002, and since then, they have killed millions of ash trees and threaten millions more. The damage they can cause in just a few years has alarmed scientists and land managers.

When the larvae hatch under the bark of an ash tree, they feed on important vascular tissue, creating swirling tunnels called galleries. Eventually, the tree becomes unable to transport nutrients and water from roots to branches, and it dies. Once the trees in one area have been killed, the insect moves on to new territory.

Ash borers can only fly a few miles each year, but they often hitch rides on firewood or other products. This has allowed them to spread more quickly despite the various quarantines and restrictions that are in place around moving wood products across state and county borders. The Emerald Ash Borer was first found on the Tennessee side of Smoky Mountains National Park in 2013 and is now found throughout North Carolina, it’s spread having been assisted by people moving firewood.

When the Ash Borer has attacked a tree, you may find D-shaped holes in the bark made when the matured larvae exit the tree. Unfortunately, by the time these holes are visible, the tree is usually too damaged to be saved. Instead, we look for signs of early damage, such as dying branches, trees that are losing leaves early in the year, and other signs of poor health that are indicators of an infestation.

By treating them early, we can protect them throughout the infestation period, approximately 5-7 years. Once the beetle has exhausted its supply of untreated food, it moves on. Our plan is to then use the seeds of the trees that we have treated to reestablish our native ash tree stands for the enjoyment of future generations.

Learn more and help MountainTrue and The Pisgah Conservancy defend our ash trees against the Emerald Ash Borer, at mountaintrue.org/savepisgahsashes.

If you have observed signs of the emerald ash borer, please send a location and description of the tree(s) to newpest@ncagr.gov or your local county ranger for verification. For more information, visit the NC Forest Service FAQ.


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.

The Emerald Ash Borer – A Novel Threat

The Emerald Ash Borer – A Novel Threat

WNCAADMIN

The emerald ash borer – the voracious metallic-green beetle you see in the photo above – is quickly eating its way across North America, killing our ash forests along the way.

The pest came across the ocean from Asia, transported in wooden packing materials. While many species in our forests were foreign to the borer, our ash trees provided a taste of home. The adults quickly began to feed on the leaves of these trees and lay their eggs between layers of bark to protect them. Back in Asia, parasitic wasps would occasionally prey on their larvae, but there are no wasps that hunt them here in North America. Given the abundant food source and lack of predators, the insect thrived.

The emerald ash borer is now eating its way through Pisgah National Forest, so MountainTrue and The Pisgah Conservancy have teamed up on a project to treat and save 100 ash trees this spring … before it’s too late. Find out more and how you can lend a hand.

These beetles are a half-inch long and have a metallic green color. They were first discovered in the United States in 2002, and since then, they have killed hundreds of thousands of ash trees and threaten millions more. The damage they can cause in just a few years has alarmed scientists and land managers.

Save Pisgah's Ashes

Help us reach our goal of saving 100 ash trees in Pisgah National Forest before it’s too late.

When the larvae hatch under the bark of an ash tree, they feed on important vascular tissue, creating swirling tunnels called galleries. Eventually, the tree becomes unable to transport nutrients and water from roots to branches, and it dies. Once the trees in one area have been killed, the insect moves on to new territory.

Ash borers can only fly a few miles each year, but they often hitch rides on firewood or other products. This has allowed them to spread more quickly despite the various quarantines and restrictions that are in place around moving wood products across state and county borders. The Emerald Ash Borer was first found on the Tennessee side of Great Smoky Mountain National Park in 2013, and is now found throughout North Carolina – its spread having been assisted by people moving firewood. 

When the Ash Borer has attacked a tree, you may find D-shaped holes in the bark made when the matured larvae exit the tree. Unfortunately, by the time these holes are visible, the tree is usually too damaged to be saved. Instead, we look for signs of early damage, such as dying branches, trees that are losing leaves early in the year and other signs of poor health that are indicators of an infestation.

By treating them early, we can protect them throughout the infestation period, approximately 5-7 years. Once the beetle has exhausted its supply of untreated food, it moves on. Our plan is to then use the seeds of the trees that we have treated to reestablish our native ash tree stands for the enjoyment of future generations.

Learn more and help MountainTrue and The Pisgah Conservancy defend our ash trees against the emerald ash borer.

If you have observed signs of the emerald ash borer, please send a location and description of the tree(s) to newpest@ncagr.gov or your local county ranger for verification. For more information, visit the NC Forest Service FAQ page at: https://www.ncforestservice.gov/forest_health/fh_eabfaq.htm


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.

Help Keep Our Public Lands Clean During the Shutdown

Help Keep Our Public Lands Clean During the Shutdown

WNCAADMIN

In response to the government shutdown, MountainTrue is encouraging volunteers to help monitor and maintain clean facilities and empty trash bins in our region’s parks and forests. Here is a list of places likely to need volunteer cleanup help:

Pisgah National Forest

  • Bent Creek
  • Davidson River Corridor
  • Sunburst
  • North Mills River
  • South Toe River Corridor
  • Roan Mountain at Carvers Gap
  • Murray Branch Rec Area
  • Max Patch
  • Wilson Creek Corridor
  • Kistler Hwy Corridor
  • Curtis Creek

Nantahala National Forest

  • Picnic Areas and Boat Launches on the Nantahala River
  • Standing Indian
  • Tsali Campground
  • Jackrabbit Campground
  • White Sides Mountain
  • White Water Falls
  • Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest

Smoky Mountains National Park
(no bathrooms are open in the park except at Newfound Gap and Cade Cove which are currently being maintained, though that could change at any tme)

  • All Major Access Points – esp. Hwy 441 on the Cherokee side and around the Oconaluftee Visitor Center
  • Deep Creek
  • Oconaluftee
  • Smokemont
  • Cataloochee
  • Big Creek
  • Cosby

Please note the weather forecast for the weekend. Roads may be closed by law enforcement due to icy conditions, but the road closure information system is not being updated during the shutdown.

Contact Susan Bean at 828-258-8737 x216 or at susan@mountaintrue.org with status updates or questions.


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.

Happy New Years! We’ve got big plans for 2019

Happy New Years! We’ve got big plans for 2019

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A big thank you to everyone who has donated to MountainTrue in 2018. If you haven’t given yet, will you consider making a year-end gift to support the work of MountainTrue? MountainTrue is a membership organization and we depend on the support and generosity of supporters like you. Click here to contribute today!

Together, we have achieved a legacy of success by putting an end to the practice of clearcutting in Pisgah and Nantahala national forests, helping pass the Clean Smokestacks Act to reduce air pollution from power plants, and securing the retirement of Asheville’s coal-fired power plant.

Make a gift today to help us continue and expand our work in 2019. Together, we will:

  • monitor timber sales on public lands and advocate for a management plan for the Pisgah-Nantahala national forests that protects our special areas,
  • push our region toward a renewable energy future by pushing Duke Energy and local governments to invest in more renewable energy infrastructure and energy efficiency programs,
  • test for water pollution and clean up our rivers,
  • restore native habitats by eradicating non-native invasive plant species,
    help our cities and towns become more climate resilient by embracing better land-use planning, and
  • advocate for better public policy at the local and county level as well as in Raleigh.

Help us to 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. Support MountainTrue today.


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.

A Message From Climate Scientist Deke Arndt

A Message From Climate Scientist Deke Arndt

WNCAADMIN

Dear Supporter,

On the tails of Hurricane Florence and one of the warmest, wettest years on record, I wanted to address my fellow members and supporters of MountainTrue and talk about the great challenges ahead. My name is Deke Arndt. I’m an Asheville-based climate scientist and a MountainTrue board director.

This fall, as study after study shows the consequences of a warming planet are accelerating, the United Nations released an alarming new report that confirms that time is running out to hold warming to manageable levels, and that the damage will be irreversible if we don’t act quickly and decisively. As Debra Roberts, one of the report’s editors, put it, “The next few years are probably the most important in our history.”

Meeting that challenge will require global cooperation and national leadership, but we also need to take action at the local level and as individuals. That’s why I’m upping my involvement in and support of MountainTrue, and I hope you will too. Volunteer, get involved, take action in our advocacy campaigns and help us grow our impact by making a contribution to MountainTrue.

MountainTrue’s members and supporters have built a legacy of climate action to be proud of. Together, we stopped timber companies from clearcutting in Pisgah and Nantahala national forests, protecting these important natural carbon sinks. You secured the closure of Asheville’s coal-fired power plant and pressured Duke Energy to invest more in energy efficiency, solar, and other renewable technologies. You won better public transit and transportation infrastructure that includes bike lanes, sidewalks, and greenways to reduce the number of fossil-fuel burning cars on our roads.

Help grow these programs to increase our impact. Join me by making a contribution to MountainTrue.

Make no mistake. Climate change is transforming our entire planet and will touch every one of us. At current emission levels, Western North Carolina is expected to be 4°F to 5°F warmer in 2050 than it was in 2000. When it’s wet, we can expect it to get wetter. This means more flooding and landslides, and more sediment in our waterways – reducing our water quality. On the other hand, dry spells, and droughts will be longer and hotter, increasing the threat of wildfires.

Climate change will also cause irreversible harm to our region’s diverse ecosystems. Higher temperatures push species uphill, from lower elevations toward cooler climates. The ones who make their homes in the spruce and fir forests at the tops of our highest mountains – like the northern saw-whet owl, northern flying squirrel, and the spruce fir moss spider – will either have to move to northern climates or will go extinct. Invasive plant species like Japanese stiltgrass, multiflora rose, and sweet autumn clematis are thriving in warming climates and outcompeting native plants. Animals evolved to adapt to local food sources, and the berries of non-native invasive plants do not provide the nutrition they need to survive. Warming waters also threaten our aquatic species – including trout.

Please join me by supporting MountainTrue. Make a donation today and help us ramp up our efforts to combat and mitigate climate change. With your help we can:

  • Protect our region’s carbon sinks by fighting for a forest management plan that protects our old-growth forests and our most special places from logging and overuse by extractive industries.
    Protect fauna, flora and native habitats by eradicating the invasive species that are benefiting from climate change.
  • Reduce our region’s carbon footprint by pushing local governments, Duke Energy, residents and businesses to invest in more energy efficiency, solar power, and renewable energy. Help us replicate the groundbreaking Blue Horizons Project throughout our region.
  • Build climate resilient communities by championing greenways, bike lanes, better public transit, and policies for growth that are climate smart.
  • Mobilize religious organizations to combat climate change by spreading the gospel of caring for God’s creation, and helping area faith communities upgrade their facilities to reduce their energy bills and carbon footprints.

MountainTrue’s ambitious and innovative campaigns are a great way for Western North Carolinians to do our part to combat climate change. Please help us rise to this historic challenge by making a donation today.

Sincerely,

 

 

Deke Arndt
Climate Scientist
MountainTrue Board Director
MountainTrue Member

P.S. To learn about how you can get involved, volunteer opportunities and our latest campaigns, visit mountaintrue.org. Or make a donation online at mountaintrue.org

Owl Photo Credit: Kent McFarland. https://flic.kr/p/6yk2fG


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.

These Owls May Not Survive Climate Change If We Don’t Do Something

These Owls May Not Survive Climate Change If We Don’t Do Something

WNCAADMIN

This little guy is the northern saw-whet owl, which makes its home in the spruce and fir forests at the tops of our highest mountains. At about the size of an American robin, the saw-whet owl is one of smallest owls in North America.

This owl, and other species that live at higher elevations such as the northern flying squirrel and the spruce fir moss spider, are in danger.

That is because rising temperatures due to man-made climate change are pushing species uphill, from lower elevations toward cooler climates. But the ones who already live at our highest elevations may have to abandon our Southern mountain habitat.

Support MountainTrue’s Climate Resilience Work, Donate Today. 

As you are probably aware, the United Nations released an alarming new report concluding that man-made climate change is warming our planet faster than previously anticipated, and that if we don’t act now, the damage will be irreversible. One of the report authors, Debra Roberts, stated: “The next few years are probably the most important in our history.”

The northern saw-whet owl and its high-elevation forest friends won’t be the only ones affected by rising temperatures and shifting weather patterns. Climate change will touch everyone of Western North Carolina’s communities. At current emission levels, Western North Carolina is expected to be 4.6°F warmer in 2050 than it was in 2000. Our weather patterns are already changing, and we can expect it to get worse. Storms will be stronger and wetter, and dry spells will be longer and hotter. That means more flooding and landslides as well as more intense droughts and a greater number of wildfires.

We will also be profoundly impacted by what happens to communities living at lower elevations. Rising sea levels and increasingly destructive hurricanes and storm surges will turn many of our fellow Americans into climate refugees. Florida alone could lose more than 2.5 million residents by the end of the century. This will likely lead to incredible population pressure on our mountain towns to accommodate those seek refuge and resettlement. If mismanaged, this could lead to more sprawl and encroachment on our natural environment.

So what are we going to do about it?

Meeting the challenge outlined in the UN’s report requires global cooperation, leadership at the national level as well as innovative local programs and action on the part of individuals. That’s where MountainTrue comes in. Our members and supporters are working across Western North Carolina to confront and mitigate the threats of climate change. Please join us by supporting these crucial programs. 

MountainTrue and our members are working to:

Protect our region’s carbon sinks by monitoring every timber sale in the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests, advocating for a forest management plan that protects our old-growth forests and most special places from logging, and eradicating invasive species to protect native habitats.

Reduce our region’s carbon footprint by pressuring local governments, Duke Energy, residents, and businesses to invest in energy efficiency, solar power, and other sources of renewable, clean energy. MountainTrue is pushing Asheville City Council and Buncombe County to fund their commitments to renewables, and we’re working to replicate the groundbreaking Blue Horizons initiative in Henderson County and throughout our region.

Mobilize faith-based organizations to combat climate change. Our Creation Care Alliance program is spreading the gospel of caring for God’s creation and helping faith groups upgrade their facilities to reduce their energy bills and their carbon footprints.

Kick our region’s dependence on fossil fuels by championing greenways, bike lanes and public transit. We are also encouraging local leaders to adopt policies for growth that encourage livable density and discourage construction in areas that are vulnerable to landslides and wildfires.

Build a rapid response-team for climate disasters. Our Riverkeepers traveled to Houston after Hurricane Harvey and to the Cape Fear River Basin after Hurricane Florence to assess environmental risks and damage from chemical leaks and coal-ash spills. The experience they gained there will help us protect our communities from the next big flood.

MountainTrue’s innovative programs are a great way for Western North Carolinians to do our part to combat climate change. Help us rise to this historic challenge by contributing today.

Photo Credit: Kent McFarland. Link:https://www.flickr.com/photos/vtebird/3647623056


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.

Green Riverkeeper Documents Massive Sediment Pollution from World Equestrian Games

Green Riverkeeper Documents Massive Sediment Pollution from World Equestrian Games

WNCAADMIN

As the World Equestrian Games kicked off, our Green Riverkeeper, Gray Jernigan, travelled to White Oak Creek to sample water for turbidity and sediment levels and found evidence of massive water quality violations at the Tryon International Equestrian Center.

Upstream from the Wold Equestrian Center, Gray’s turbidity meter read a relatively clean 13.3 NTU or Nephelometric Turbidity Units – the measure of the concentration of suspended sediment in liquid. The North Carolina sediment standard for water quality is 50 NTU.

Downstream from the Center, Gray’s turbidity meter maxed out at 999 NTU!

This is irresponsible development and illegal pollution. Sediment runoff from construction or other land-disturbing activities is required to be controlled onsite, and if it isn’t it destroys habitat, kills aquatic life and carries along bacteria such as E. coli and other pollutants. We have reported the violations to state officials. We’ll keep you updated as we find out more. To follow the Green Riverkeeper, follow him on Instagram or Facebook.


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.