All Current News, Events and Hikes

Date of this Event: Sat, 09/19/2015 - 3:30pm

CMLC’s 15th Annual

Saturday September 19th, 2015 @ 3:30-7:30pm

Grand Highlands at Bearwallow Mountain Lodge

Raffle Ticket and Conservation Celebration Deadlines:  Our deadline for raffle ticket purchases online and Conservation Celebration reservations online is 11:00pm on Tuesday, September 15th.  We can accept telephone purchases through 3:00pm on Friday September 18th for both raffle tickets and reservations. Contact us at 828-697-5777.




Buy Tickets Now!
Click & select "Attend an Event" to purchase tickets!

Event Features:

Live and silent auctions: 

Click here to view the auction items.

2015 CMLC Trip Raffle Drawing - Enter to win a trip of your choice! $100 per ticket; only 150 will be sold. 

Click here to purchase trip raffle tickets.

Music by Warren Wilson Old Time Band

Food by The Corner Kitchen of Asheville

Guided pre-celebration hike around Grand Highlands

Click here for driving directions to Grand Highlands at Bearwallow Mountain Lodge.

We Need Your Help! Become a Sponsor or Donate an Auction Item for CMLC's Conservation Celebration:

Guardians of the Green Business Membership and Pledge Form

Individual Sponsorship Opportunities & Individual Sponsorship Pledge Form

Auction Donation Form

CMLC is currently evaluating Duke Energy's study corridors for the recently proposed Foothills Project transmission line that may affect conserved lands in Henderson County. Our staff and board have attended public meetings to obtain more information regarding this project. In coordination with other regional land trusts, we are working with our partners to assess Duke’s plans and formulate a response soon. Click here for more information and to make public comment on Duke Energy's proposed Foothills Project.

More than 60 silent auction items will be up for bids at CMLC's 15th annual Conservation Celebration on September 19th. Items include exciting outdoor experiences, local art, and vacation packages. Proceeds from winning bids will benefit CMLC's land conservation efforts in WNC. Preview all of the items online and plan your bidding at the Conservation Celebration!


Click here to view the 2015 Conservation Celebration Auction Items.

Date of this Event: Tue, 07/28/2015 - 10:00am

Join CMLC and the Children and Family Resource Center for Butterfly Bash in the Ironwood Arboretum behind CMLC on Tuesday, July 28th from 10 to 11:30am. This event is organized and planned by Megan Edwards, CMLC's Youth Leadership Intern for her end-of-term project. Thanks, Megan! 


The themed event will be for elementary-age children or younger and their parents, but of course, everyone is welcome! Activities during the event will include crafts, games, and lots of hands-on learning. For the grand finale, CMLC will release 2 Monarch Butterflies that have been raised in the office from eggs! 


For questions, email Megan Edwards or call the office at 828-697-5777 ext. 212.


For the past two years, Ann and Wayne B’Rells have directed a portion of the required minimum distribution from their IRAs to CMLC.  This tax-free transfer lowered their taxes because it excluded the contribution from their adjusted gross income.

IRA owners have been permitted to make tax-free transfers from their IRAs to charity since 2006, though Congress usually approves the provision one year at a time. That will most likely be the same for this year. 

Another very simple option is to name CMLC as a beneficiary of your IRA upon your death.  If you are charitably inclined, your IRA assets are the best possible assets to use to further the mission of your favorite non-profit organization.  Making CMLC a beneficiary of a portion or all of your IRA will create a charitable deduction for your estate and may save estate taxes.

Why not plan ahead to make the transfer?  Or consider making CMLC a post-mortem beneficiary of your IRA.  Contact your IRA administrator and provide them with our tax identification number (56-6449365) and address (847 Case St., Hendersonville, NC 28792).

ACT NOW to SAVE taxes and SAVE land.  Join the B’Rells and others who love the beauty and heritage of our region and wish to make its preservation a part of their estate planning and charitable giving.

“The natural landscape, mountain views, wildlife habitats, clean water and outdoor recreation are things we value greatly.  We are happy to support an organization that is working hard to preserve the things we love and need. We save on taxes and CMLC saves more land. That’s a win-win. ”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wayne and Ann B’Rells

Yellow Ladyslipper Volunteers

Bob Carlson and Kim Chao

Four years ago, Bob Carlson and Kim Chao moved to western North Carolina and were excited to begin the Hiking Challenge, but Bob noticed that CMLC was too understaffed to quickly update the program’s online hike log. His call to complain resulted in an ask for his help to solve the problem. So, “I put my time where my mouth was,” Carlson said. This may be an unusual beginning, but it was well within character for these two former teachers and lifetime volunteers for a variety of causes. “It’s hard for me not to stop the car and pick up a beer can along the side of the road,” Bob says. “It’s a way of life.”

In addition to maintaining the Hiking Challenge hike log, Bob and Kim also monitor a section of trail at Florence Nature Preserve, keeping it clean and safe for visitors. For these avid hikers, this hardly feels like work. “We’re out in the nature that we love,” said Carlson. “The volunteering is not an aside from what we like to do; it is what we like to do.” They are especially passionate about getting people out into nature through trails. “We both feel like we’ve lived blessed lives,” Chao said, “and this is a way of giving back.” Even with a frustrating start, Bob says that their story has a happy ending: “I’ve never regretted making that phone call.”

We are proud to present Bob Carlson and Kim Chao with our Yellow Lady Slipper Award in appreciation of their dedicated service and commitment to CMLC.


In this issue:

  • New Mountain Bogs National Wildlife Refuge Established;
  • CMLC's 15th Annual Conservation Celebration;
  • 2015 Lela McBride Award Winners, Volunteers Honored;
  • Bob Carlson and Kim Chao: Yellow Lady Slipper Volunteers. 

Date of this Event: Sat, 07/11/2015 - 10:00am

Join Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) for a hike on the first phase of the new Little Bearwallow Trail segment, a recently completed section of the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Trail loop on Saturday, July 11th, 2015.

Participants will hike on a new trail 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 on phase 2 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 worked to help introduce hikers to stunning natural features, rich biodiversity, and cultural history of the landscape around the trail. Phase 1 of the Little Bearwallow Trail opened August 27th, 2014.

In addition to conserving natural heritage in the Hickory Nut Gorge, CMLC, Conservation Trust for North Carolina (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 2.2 miles roundtrip and is rated as strenuous with 650 feet of elevation gain

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 20 hikers and is a MEMBERS-ONLY hike.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 Sarah Harden at

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.

The Choice is Yours!

Buy a Raffle Ticket, Win a Once-in-a-LifetimeTrip, and Support CMLC!

Raffle tickets are $100 each, and only 150 will be sold.  Drawing will be held September 19, 2015 at CMLC' 15th Annual Conservation Celebration.  You need not be present to win.

Choose from one of the following options:


1) A 5 day/4 night stay at Belle Mont Farm on St. Kitts Island, West Indies for 2. Enjoy an ocean view guesthouse with an infinity edge private plunge pool, cathedral ceilings, farm-style antiques, and numerous other special amenities located within a community known for its passion for sustainable living and culture.  Belle Mont Farm combines the best of a boutique luxury resort with the organic elements you would expect from a “green hotel”.  Savor the bountiful natural surroundings, the best of farm-to-table-dining, the transformative mystique of the ocean, and the magical enticement of local artists who foster the exchange of ideas through film, music, painting, and poetry.  With a diverse collection of wines from famous estates, and fresh produce gathered daily from their 400-acre organic farm, you are treated to the very finest of culinary delights. You can choose from three different dining options, including alfresco dining under the brightest canopy of stars. Activities include swimming, hiking, beach walking, rainforest adventures, golf, visiting with local artists, shopping, and restorative spa services. Also included: round trip airport transfers, all meals and adult beverages.

One of Tamsin’s fellow travel professionals visited Belle Mont Farm recently and her experience there was wonderful.  She wrote, “Although I love the places that I visit, I rarely come back with an immediate longing to return, but this trip really left a longing to go back…soon!  It was Belle Mont Farm and the people that work there, the whole idea of a “sustainable” organic farm nestled in a lush rainforest surrounded by luxurious accommodations that was so appealing…It has magnificent views of the ocean and the beautiful land. Because of its high position on the mountainside, the Caribbean breezes are magnificent…Lastly, the food was amazing! The culinary experience is like no other, absolutely incredible.”


2) A 4 day/3 night stay at Triple Creek Ranch for 2.   Relax and recharge at this all-inclusive luxury ranch resort near Missoula, Montana, located in the high country of the Montana Rockies.  Triple Creek Ranch has won numerous awards including Travel & Leisure’s Readers’ Choice Award for #1 Hotel in the World in 2014 and Conde Nast’s Readers’ Choice Award for Excellence in 2015.  This unforgettable retreat merges unmatched natural beauty with plush comfort and exceptional service.  From the beautiful main lodge and the world-class restaurant and wine cellar, to the deluxe private guest cabins, hot tubs and fireplaces, Triple Creek Ranch provides an experience you will never forget.  Activities include horseback riding, fly fishing, tennis, swimming, hiking, nature safari, and much more.  You can arrange for an extended stay through Tamsin Allpress at Tamsin & Cooke, subject to availability.


3) Customize the trip of your choice with travel expert Tamsin Allpress of Tamsin & Cooke, LLC. Last year’s trip raffle winner decided to use the raffle prize to fulfill a lifelong dream to take his family to Scotland.  He told Tamsin that without this prize, he may never have been able to do it.  “I can’t tell you how grateful we are for all your help and how excited we are about making the trip.” The raffle prize is a $3,000 credit toward the trip of your choice.  Please see terms and conditions below.



Purchase online (below) or by calling 828-697-5777. 

Buy Tickets

After clicking above, select "Attend an Event" to purchase Trip Raffle Tickets

Drawing will be held at CMLC's Conservation Celebration. You need not be present to win.

Terms and conditions for the Raffle:  The winner must travel within applicable dates for the prize location within a year of the drawing, but if the winner cannot go within that period of time, the package may be given away at the winner’s discretion. Black-out dates and holiday restrictions may apply.  Reselling the winning trip is not permitted.  The winner will receive a credit of $3,000 to be used with Tamsin & Cooke, LLC for a single trip.  There is no cash value to the prize, whether in part or whole value.  Some additional costs could apply and will be the responsibility of the winner.  The winner may add to the package and customize the trip in any way.  Fine amenities and preferences will be coordinated only through Tamsin Allpress at Tamsin & Cooke, LLC.  The package does not include travel insurance, and neither CMLC nor Tamsin & Cooke, LLC will be held responsible for any personal damages, claims, thefts, injuries, trip disruptions or disappointments.  We encourage the winner to purchase travel insurance independently. By purchasing a raffle ticket, I hereby acknowledge that I have read the foregoing and confirm my intent to participate in CMLC’s Trip Raffle.  I hereby waive andrelease CMLC, its employees, agents and directors, and Tamsin & Cooke, LLC from any and all claims for damages, liabilities, and losses which accrue to me as a result of my participation.

AmeriCorps Project Conserve seeks dedicated individuals to fill 32 full-time positions serving conservation needs of western North Carolina. The program places service members with one of 17 host organizations working to protect the unique natural resources of the southern Blue Ridge Mountains. Each member will serve 1700 hours during an 11 month term, from September 2015 through July 2016. Activities include volunteer engagement, conservation education, creation/improvement of public trails, lands and rivers, disaster services and capacity building.

Application Deadline has been extended to June 19, 2015.

We are also pleased to announce that we have one NEW position with Organic Growers School. Please go to for more information and to apply. Contact Amy Stout with any questions at 828-697-5777 or

AmeriCorps Project Conserve is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.  Reasonable accommodations will be provided to individuals with known physical / mental disabilities.

Please download the current version of Internet Explorer. IE 6 is no longer supported.