Public Lands

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?

Everyone who loves our forests has an issue they care about that will be impacted by the new forest management plan

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 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

Water and the Draft Plan for Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests

Water and the Draft Plan for Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests

On April 28, MountainTrue’s Western Regional Director Callie Moore hosted a live webinar to explore water quality issues in the draft management plan for Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests. From protecting our cleanest streams to the effects of delayed road maintenance on our waters, here’s a quick rundown of some of the topics Callie covered.

read more
Get to Know Your (Other) Neighbors with the Asheville Tree Map

Get to Know Your (Other) Neighbors with the Asheville Tree Map

Western North Carolina is well known for our beautiful forests, but the city of Asheville has slowly been losing tree cover over the years. Thankfully, there are lots of projects underway to try to protect our precious urban trees! One such endeavor is the Asheville Tree Map, an app that allows folks to map the trees in their neighborhood and city, and monitor changes in urban tree density.

read more
Celebrate 50 Years of Earth Day with MountainTrue

Celebrate 50 Years of Earth Day with MountainTrue

As social creatures, we need to maintain our connections and find new ways to lean on each other during hard times. As creatures of nature, we need to connect with our forests, our rivers and the plants and animals we share this planet with. Today more than ever, we appreciate how important clean water and healthy forests are to our mountain communities.

read more
​It may have started with a bat in a cave, but human activity set it loose

​It may have started with a bat in a cave, but human activity set it loose

COVID-19 is new and especially contagious, but it is not unique. It is among a growing number of animal-borne viruses, bacteria, parasites and other pathogens on the rise due to the twin threats of habitat destruction and climate change. These diseases are seen as exotic and foreign, but the same conditions of habitat destruction, degradation of biodiversity and increased human-wildlife interaction are happening right here in our mountain region.

read more