All Current News, Events and Hikes

Date of this Event: Sat, 08/02/2014 - 10:00am

Join the Conservation Trust for North Carolina (CTNC) and Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) for a sneak peek of the first phase of the new Little Bearwallow Trail segment, a recently completed section of the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Trail loop.

Participants will hike on a new trail being built by CMLC with the help of the North Carolina Youth Conservation Corps (NCYCC) in Upper Hickory Nut Gorge near Chimney Rock State Park. The trail connects the public trailhead at US Highway 74A in Gerton to Little Bearwallow Falls, a cascade that plunges over a 100-foot cliff.

Phase 1 of the Little Bearwallow Trail climbs one mile from the floor of the Upper Gorge to the waterfall. Work is underway to extend the Little Bearwallow Trail to Wildcat Rock, a scenic rock outcropping that offers dramatic views of the southern Appalachians, and ultimately to the ridgeline of Little Bearwallow and Bearwallow Mountains.

NCYCC young adults—currently on-site working to extend this trail—will show off their trail construction work and help introduce participants to the stunning natural features, rich biodiversity, and cultural history of the landscape around the trail. The new segment of the Little Bearwallow Trail opens August 27th.

In addition to conserving natural heritage in the Hickory Nut Gorge, CMLC, CTNC, and partners are working to facilitate public access for outdoor recreation via the creation of a new hiking trail network. The Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Trail will one day extend 15 miles, circumnavigating the ridges of the Gorge to connect public and private protected lands including Florence Nature Preserve, Bearwallow Mountain, Wildcat Rock, Blue Ridge Pastures, & Hickory Nut Gap.

Hike distance is 3 miles roundtrip and is rated as strenuous with 700 feet of elevation gain. The hike will start at 10:00 am.

Participants are required to be in reasonable physical condition and capable of completing a three mile hike over uneven, forested terrain. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate pets on this hike. Hikers should wear sturdy walking shoes (no flip-flops), bring several layers of clothing in preparation for changing warm and cold temperatures, pack plenty of water as well as a snack/lunch to eat during the hike. Hikers who attend are required to participate in the entire duration of the hike.

Space is limited on our hikes, so please reserve your spot today by using CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form. Hike meeting locations, times, and additional details will be sent through email upon confirmation of your spot on the hike. This hike can accomodate 30 hikers. Reservations for a spot on this hike will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis using:

CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form

For questions, contact CMLC Outreach Associate Matt Kirk at matt@carolinamountain.org

CMLC conserves land and water resources to benefit the quality of life of residents and visitors in Henderson, Transylvania, and surrounding counties. Since 1994, the land trust has protected more than 27,000 acres of natural lands in our mountains.


In this issue:

  • CMLC Protects a Record 4,000 Acres in 2013;

  • Sensational but Bittersweet by CMLC Executive Director Kieran Roe;
  • New Lands Protected in Upper Hickory Nut Gorge, French Broad River Watershed;
  • 2,400 More Acres Acquired at East Fork/Headwaters State Forest;
  • Summits of Long John, Long Mountains Forever Conserved and More;
  • 2013 Annual Report, Financial Summary & Donor Listings;
  • Our Newest Yellow Lady Slipper Volunteer: Tom Davis;

  • WAC-HNG's Efforts Preserve Biodiversity

  • AmeriCorps Project Conserve: 10 Years of Service to Western North Carolina... and Counting!


Date of this Event: Sat, 07/12/2014 (All day)

Join Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy for a summer solstice celestial show atop CMLC-conserved Bearwallow Mountain on Saturday, July 12th. We'll hike to the summit in time to first watch the full moon-rise followed by sunset 30 minutes later.

At 4,232 ft. above sea level, Bearwallow Mountain stands as the highest peak in the widely-visible Bearwallow Highlands range. Straddling the Eastern Continental Divide, it makes up part of the Blue Ridge Escarpment as well as the western rim of the Hickory Nut Gorge. Crowned with a grassy meadow at its summit, the mountain features a nearly 360 degree view that encompasses some of the southern Appalachians highest peaks including Mt. Mitchell in the Black Mountains and Mt. Pisgah in the Great Balsams range. Its breathtaking vista also includes a birds-eye view of Hickory Nut Gorge, as well as downtown Hendersonville. A historic fire lookout tower occupies the summit, as do grazing cattle who call the mountaintop home.

CMLC acquired a conservation easement on 81 acres at the summit of Bearwallow in 2009, forever protecting it from mountaintop development. An additional 85 acres were placed into a conservation easement on Bearwallow Mountain's ridgeline in 2012. CMLC is working toward the total conservation of more than 480 acres at Bearwallow Mountain.

Total hiking distance is 2.0 miles. This hike is rated strenuous with a total elevation gain of 537 feet. Attendance is free and open to the public. We will begin our hike at 7:30 pm. Moonrise will be at 8:52 pm and sunset will be at 8:47 pm. We will return to the trail head by 9:30 pm. Please note: because of the nature of this hike, plan to pack a flashlight and additional clothes, blanket/sleeping bag to stay warm while on the summit.

Participants are required to be in good physical condition and capable to hike over uneven, forested terrain. Hikers should wear sturdy walking shoes (no flip-flops), bring several layers of clothing in preparation for cold temperatures, pack plenty of water as well as a snack to eat during the hike. Hikers who attend are required to participate in the entire duration of the hike. 

This hike is open to the public as well as CMLC members. Space is limited on our hikes, so please reserve your spot by using CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form. Hike meeting locations and additional details will be sent out to participants via e-mail 1-2 days prior to the hike. Reservations for a spot on this hike will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis using:

CMLC's Online Outing Sign-Up Form

For questions, contact CMLC Trails & Outreach Associate Matt Kirk at matt@carolinamountain.org. Please allow one full business day for a response to Sign-Ups and inquiries. In the event of inclement weather, please call our office at (828) 697-5777 as we may have to cancel the outing.

Photos of our hike, by our hikers:

 


CMLC is seeking applicants for a full-time Donor Relations Manager and a part-time Administrative Coordinator. Full job descriptions and application details are available at the links below.

Administrative Coordinator

Donor Relations Manager

 


Have you ever wondered what a land conservancy does, or if your property would be eligible for a conservation easement? This is the story of one family, their small farm in the mountains of western North Carolina, and how the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy helped them protect it for the future. 
 
Shot and edited by Will and Deni McIntyre, macfoto.com
Music written and performed by Jon Hinthorne

CMLC has a legal and fiduciary obligation to uphold the terms of the conservation easements we accept and to defend the conservation values that our easements were created to protect. On rare occasions defense of a conservation easement may require litigation in the court system. CMLC is currently engaged in litigation to defend the conservation values of a conservation easement at Hidden Valley Farm in Flat Rock. 

At this stage, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) believes that the Hidden Valley Farm conservation easement violation is a matter for the Courts to decide.  CMLC would prefer not to make a public statement, but must respond to correct misinformation in the public arena.

The question at issue is whether the conservation easement on the Hidden Valley Farm permits the land disturbance and construction sought by the landowner.  It is CMLC’s position that the conservation easement does NOT permit the disturbance or construction that occurred on the property, regardless of who may later use the facilities built there.

CMLC is a local nonprofit land trust whose mission is to protect natural resources in western North Carolina for the benefit of the public.  Among the important conservation values that we work to protect for the public are plant and animal habitat, water quality, scenic views, productive farm soils, and access to parks and trails. 

CMLC works with landowners on a voluntary basis and tailors each conservation easement it accepts to meet the conservation goals of the landowners and to protect the conservation values of the property.  We hold numerous conservation easements on horse farms and other properties that permit horses and horse-back riding, including eight summer camps and retreat centers.  We are strong supporters of farmland preservation and equestrian use of land.  The conservation easement at Hidden Valley Farm was designed to protect agricultural soils on the property, water quality, and the scenic views from the Historic Flat Rock Scenic Byway.

CMLC has a legal and fiduciary obligation to uphold the terms of the conservation easements we accept.  There would be legal ramifications for CMLC, including threats to its existence as a nonprofit organization, if it did not take seriously and uphold its responsibilities to defend the conservation easements it owns.

The IRS permits landowners to take a federal income tax deduction for the gift of a conservation easement.  North Carolina requires that local tax assessors take the reduction in property value due to a conservation easement into account when assessing ad valorem taxes on properties. In all of these ways, the public has invested in conservation of easement-protected properties.  CMLC is acting on behalf of the public to defend natural resources and investment of tax dollars when defending the terms of conservation easements.

The current tenant on the property entered into her lease in October 2013, several months after the dispute between the landowner and CMLC began, and after most if not all of the damage to date had occurred. 


Date of this Event: Sat, 06/28/2014 - 10:00am

On Saturday, June 28th, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy welcomes you to join us for the newest hike in the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge - the Trombatore Trail!

On this out-and-back journey, hikers will descend into and out of a rich cove forest on the way to the panoramic summit of Blue Ridge Pastures. the Total cumulative hiking distance is  5.0 miles. This hike is rated as strenuous in difficulty, featuring a total elevation gain of 1200 feet

Participants are required to be in reasonable physical condition and capable of completing a four mile hike over uneven, forested terrain. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate pets on this hike. Hikers should wear sturdy walking shoes (no flip-flops), bring several layers of clothing in preparation for changing warm and cold temperatures, pack plenty of water as well as a snack/lunch to eat during the hike. Hikers who attend are required to participate in the entire duration of the hike. Hikers must be age 12 and up.

Space is limited on our hikes, so please reserve your spot today by using CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form. Hike meeting locations, times, and additional details will be sent through email upon confirmation of your spot on the hike. This hike can accomodate 30 hikers. Reservations for a spot on this hike will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis using:

CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form

For questions, contact CMLC Outreach Associate Matt Kirk at matt@carolinamountain.org

CMLC conserves land and water resources to benefit the quality of life of residents and visitors in Henderson, Transylvania, and surrounding counties. Since 1994, the land trust has protected more than 27,000 acres of natural lands in our mountains.


Date of this Event: Wed, 06/18/2014 - 10:00am
Get outdoors with CMLC on Wednesday, June 18th from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm to remove non native invasive plants from The Places You Love. We will be working on CMLC's Florence Nature Preserve near Gerton, NC.
What we will be doing: We will be removing non native invasive plants by cutting with hand tools and then applying herbicide. Training will be provided on site. All protective equipment will also be provided. 
 
Sample Schedule: 
10:00 am - Meet and Carpool to site
10:15 am - Arrive at site and give introductions and safety talk 
11:00 am - Start work
12 or 1 - Take lunch break
~3:00 pm - End work. Take a hike!
 
What to bring: 
Lunch 
Water bottle 
Long pants and sleeves
Closed toe hiking shoes 
Hat (optional)
Work gloves (if you have them) 
Rain gear (just in case) 
Emergency contact information (also, just in case!)
 
To sign up for this, and other scheduled invasive species workdays please contact Kristen at Kristent@carolinamountain.org or use the link below!
 


Date of this Event: Sat, 06/14/2014 - 10:00am
Get outdoors with CMLC on Saturday, June 14th from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm to remove non native invasive plants from The Places You Love. We will be working on CMLC's Florence Nature Preserve near Gerton, NC.
What we will be doing: We will be removing non native invasive plants by cutting with hand tools and then applying herbicide. Training will be provided on site. All protective equipment will also be provided. 
 
Sample Schedule: 
10:00 am - Meet at site
10:15 am - Introductions and safety talk 
11:00 am - Start work
12 or 1 - Take lunch break
~3:00 pm - End work. Take a hike! 
 
What to bring: 
Lunch 
Water bottle 
Long pants and sleeves
Closed toe shoes hiking shoes
Hat (optional)
Work gloves (if you have them) 
Rain gear (just in case) 
Emergency contact information (also, just in case!)
 
To sign up for this, and other scheduled invasive species workdays please contact Kristen at Kristent@carolinamountain.org or use the link below!
 


Date of this Event: Fri, 06/13/2014 - 5:30pm

Landowners, Volunteers, and the General Public are invited to join CMLC this Friday for a free, one hour Invasive Species Workshop. 

Workshop will cover Invasive Species background, identification of common non native invasive plants to Western North Carolina, and treatment methods. 

When: June 13th from 5:30 pm- 6:30 pm
Where: CMLC Office, 847 Case St. Hendersonville, NC 28792

Then sign up for Saturday, June 14th workday to apply what you've learned!

All attendees will recieve a free copy of A Field Guide for Identification of Invasive Plants in Southern Forests, and the associated Management Guide published by the USDA - Forest Service.

Information will be presented by Kristen Todd, CMLC Volunteer Program Associate and co-owner of KD Ecological Services - specializing in non-native invasive plant management using chemical, mechanical, and biological control methods.

Class is limited to 15 people. Please sign up early by using the following link to VolunteerSpot.


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