There are over 1.6 million acres of national forests in Western North Carolina. From its founding, MountainTrue has stayed committed to the protection of our public lands and forests by helping to shape the Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest Management 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.
Why Does This Matter?
Forest Keeper Volunteers
MountainTrue’s volunteer base of Forest Keepers works to keep WNC forests and public lands protected and healthy. The Forest Keepers’ work begins at the intersection of environmental science and environmental stewardship. This group collaborates with other non-profits in North Carolina to promote active stewardship in protecting, managing and maintaining the forest of Southern Appalachia. Forest Keeper volunteers work in conjunction with North Carolina Forest Service, Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, Hemlock Restoration Initiative, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and the City of Asheville Parks and Recreation Department as the eyes, ears and helping hands of the forest.
The Forest Keepers protect, manage, and maintain the health of our Southern Appalachian forests through volunteer workdays, hosting skills workshops and giving science presentations. Forest Keepers have the opportunity to work within our forests and network with other people in Western North Carolina who are dedicated to forest protection and ecosystem vitality. This dedicated group of volunteers does hands on work through projects like hemlock restoration workdays, Richmond Hill Park non-native invasive removal, Sandy Bottom wetlands restoration, OM Sanctuary restoration and our annual bioblitz. For more information about the Forest Keeper Volunteers and to get involved, contact Bob Gale at email@example.com or Josh Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
Over the rivers and through the woods inPisgah and Nantahala National ForestsA brief chat with these amazing MountainTrue team members working hard to protect our region's beloved national forests:Ecologist and Public Lands DirectorWestern Regional DirectorPublic...
Pictured above: MountainTrue's AmeriCorps Forest Keeper, Ellianna McLaughlin, stands at the base of a large ash tree in Pisgah National Forest. From April to June 2022, MountainTrue’s Public Lands team re-treated hundreds of ash trees in Pisgah and Nantahala...
Every year, MountainTrue hosts a BioBlitz event where we gather experts, enthusiasts and lifelong learners together to document every living organism we can find in a given area. To add to the fun, this year we are hosting a tri-county smackdown-style competition between Jackson, Watauga, and Transylvania counties! We think these are the most biodiverse counties in the MountainTrue Service Area. Help us crown the champion! Scores will be tallied by county and by individual, with prizes and bragging rights in store for winners (note: you must sign up using the form below to be eligible to win).
MountainTrue has published a brand new guide to help you replace harmful non-native invasive plant species with native alternatives that benefit wild birds, hummingbirds, butterflies, and other wildlife. This beautifully designed and durable guide conveniently folds up to fit in your wallet — perfect for your next visit to the garden center or nursery.
MountainTrue is Objecting to the Revised Forest Plan for the Nantahala-Pisgah National Forests. These are our Reasons.
The U.S. Forest Service released its Revised Forest Plan in late January. Since then, MountainTrue’s Public Lands Field Biologist, Josh Kelly, and Western Regional Director, Callie Moore, have been hard at work crafting our organizational response to the 2000+ paged plan. While there are some bright spots in the Forest Service’s Revised Plan, they are far outweighed by its shortcomings, which can be characterized by the agency’s arbitrary decision-making and prioritization of timber harvest at the expense of old-growth forests, Natural Heritage Areas, and water quality.