News & Events: News

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.

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. 

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.

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. – North Carolina’s 24 local land trusts bestowed their annual awards on deserving winners during a lunch celebration at the land trusts’ annual meeting at the Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville on May 15th. The NC Land Trust awards are given annually to businesses, nonprofits, governments, and individuals who lead efforts to protect the state’s streams and lakes, forests, farms, parkland and wildlife habitat, thereby protecting clean drinking water and air quality, local food, and outdoor recreation.

Five years ago, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) began pursuing a complement to our budding conservation efforts in the Hickory Nut Gorge: the development of an extensive hiking trail network that would provide public access to visitors seeking to enjoy these natural treasures as well as connectivity to enable them to traverse the ridges, hollows, and forests that link them together. This trail network—which has now reached nearly 10 miles in length—enables nature seekers of all abilities and interests the opportunity to enjoy our conserved lands, and ultimately make the connection between the importance of natural resource protection and public access and recreation. CMLC quickly discovered that public trails quickly increased the immediate relevancy and the direct tangibility of land conservation.

This trail network—and its incalculable benefit on land conservation in our region—would not be possible without the tireless efforts and dedicated service of the Carolina Mountain Club (CMC). Simply put, the CMC has put these trails on-the-ground. Since our initial partnership with the CMC on the Bearwallow Mountain Trail in 2010, to the completion of the Trombatore Trail linking conserved lands of CMLC and SAHC in 2013, to the extension of the Little Bearwallow Trail in 2015, the CMC has created—from scratch—the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Trail and brought its planned 15-mile length to 66% completion. And they’re still just getting started.

To do this, the volunteers from the CMC donated an astonishing 5,563 hours to Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy. That is the equivalent of one volunteer building trail eight hours a day, every day, for nearly two straight years. And while their donated hours are impressive, the demanding nature of their selfless work is even more impressive. Volunteers endure extreme temperatures and challenging weather conditions all while carrying heavy tools in particularly rugged and steep terrain. Their work is mentally daunting, sometimes often dangerous, and always physically taxing. Bugs, snakes, poison ivy, falling rocks, dirt and mud, sweltering humidity to frozen ground, and long arduous hikes to the work sites—no obstacle is too much for the CMC in their pursuit of building trail to enable others—for generations to come—to enjoy our natural heritage and cherished conserved lands.

The CMC has defined selfless devotion to facilitating the enjoyment of our natural heritage among the community. Land conservation is more known, appreciated, and directly “touched” thanks to the immense involvement of the CMC in the Hickory Nut Gorge. And thanks to their hard work, the stage is set for much more of it to come.

For their incomparable, selfless contribution of time, effort, and energy to CMLC’s Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Trail network—as well as their ongoing steadfast stewardship to the trails they have created—the NC Land Trust Council and CMLC are honored to recognize the Carolina Mountain Club as the 2015 Community Conservation Partner of the Year.

Why Use Goats?

Using livestock to control non-native invasive plants is an ecologically friendly technique. Using no machinery, and little to no herbicide, animals can browse a variety of vegetation, including woody plants, to control and rid that site of non-native invasive plants. Goats in particular are excellent browsers in the gorge. Their small body size, agility at navigating steep terrain, and their large appetite make them good candidates for the job. Goats will browse above eye level, de-foliating trees as well as ground cover vegetation. They also aerate and fertilize the soil.

Because of all of the benefits of goat herbivory and the growing need for this type of control, the Weed Action Coalition of the Hickory Nut Gorge (WAC-HNG) facilitated the start of a new goat business in the Hickory Nut Gorge – KD Ecological Services, run by CMLC’s own David and Kristen Lee. This unique partnership allows WAC-HNG to facilitate projects in the gorge using the goats, by renting goats out to landowners to help control invasive plants on their own land. As the popularity of the goats has picked up recently, WAC-HNG has created an “Adopt a Goat” program to allow community members to support the goats off-season, and contribute to future projects. 


Adopt A Goat

On average, $365 will support one goat for one year - just $1 per day.

Adopt A Goat

  • Yearly
  • Monthly
  • One Time

Click to view WAC-HNG's Adopt A Goat page.

Say 'Hello' to Some of our Goats!

Anna Lee                               Jasper



Bonnie                                   Jill


Cassidy                                  Max


Daisy                                     Clyde


Goats provided by KD Ecological Services.

If you have questions about WAC-HNG, how you can help fight invasives, or are interested in adopting a goat, please contact WAC-HNG at or 828-625-9983 ext. 506.

Mills River Watershed - The River Connects us

Learn more about the Mills River Watershed, and the work that the nonprofit, Mills River Partnership, is doing to collaborate with organizations and individuals to improve the water quality in the Mills River.

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