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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

2023 BioBlitz: Powered by iNaturalist

2023 BioBlitz: Powered by iNaturalist

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).

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MountainTrue’s Statement on the Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Plan

MountainTrue’s Statement on the Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Plan

The final Nantahala Pisgah Forest Plan will go into effect on March 20, 2023. The following is a statement from MountainTrue: On March 20, after 10 years of public input and planning, the Forest Service will adopt its new management plan for the Nantahala-Pisgah National Forests — a disappointing document that is significantly worse than the current plan and contradicts an executive order issued by President Biden that would protect and expand our nation’s old growth forests …

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Helping A Member Save the Trees of the Asheville Muni Golf Course

Helping A Member Save the Trees of the Asheville Muni Golf Course

On Saturday, December 3rd, 2022, I got an email from Nancy Casey, a MountainTrue member, about a proposal to cut 157 trees from the Asheville Municipal Golf Course. ancy Casey is a resident of the Beverly Hills neighborhood and is active with the Blue Ridge Audubon. Nancy frequently walks and birds around the golf course. She can tell you what birds to expect at various times of the year at each hole and has documented some rare species, like brown-headed nuthatch and pine siskins, using the trees on the course, and knows where the local hawks nest there.

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2023 Western North Carolina Conservation Legislative Priorities

2023 Western North Carolina Conservation Legislative Priorities

Protect Public Health – and the Jobs and Businesses that Rely on Clean Water A recent report conducted by economists at Western Carolina University commissioned by the French Broad River Partnership found the total economic impact of the French Broad River and its...

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