News & Events: News

In this issue:

  • CMLC Hiking Challenge 3 is Here;

  • Join CMLC in Celebrating Our 20th Anniversary;
  • Attend the 14th Annual Conservation Celebration at CMLC-protected The Cabin Ridge;
  • Welcome New CMLC Staff and Board of Trustees.

Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy is Proud to Announce the Launch of their Speaker Series!

Starting this October, CMLC will host a monthly Speaker Series featuring various authors, speakers, presenters, and influential members of our WNC communities. The location of the events will often move from county to county in order to be more accessible to the people of WNC. Also, almost every event will be free and open to the public!

To learn more about the Speaker Series and to stay updated on CMLC, sign-up to receive our bi-monthly e-newsletter, The Holler


The first Speaker Series event will be Thursday, October 23, at the Henderson County Main Branch Library from 6:00pm to 7:30pm and will feature Jeremy B. Jones, author of Bearwallow: A Personal History of a Mountain Homeland.

Jeremy will read passages from his book and tell about his inspiration and his life here in Western North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Mountains. He will also play his banjo, hold a Q&A session, and have a book-signing after the presentation.

For questions, contact CMLC Outreach Associate Sarah Harden at or 828-697-5777 ext 211.

Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy - Fletcher Park Greenway

Watch how the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy's ongoing efforts expand greenways in Western North Carolina. As a nonprofit organization, CMLC is "actively working to promote the importance of greenways, both from a pragmatic standpoint, as well as highlighting the recreational opportunities they can create."

Video from Land of Sky Media - Eric Crews

Click the White Squirrel patch for more information on CMLC's new Hiking Challenge 3!

Check out the line-up of auction items up for grabs at CMLC's upcoming 2014 Conservation Celebration! Bid on a great selection of exciting travel experiences, local art and handmade artisan crafts, exclusive meals, and outdoor gear. Take home some great items and while supporting CMLC's mission to save the places you love! Can't attend the Conservation Celebration, or want to get in on the bidding early? To place an advance bid on this auction item, send us an email with your name, contact information, item name, and bid amount!

Click here to preview & bid on the 2014 Conservation Celebration auction items!


The Choice is Yours!

Buy a Raffle Ticket, Win a Once-in–a–Lifetime Trip and Support CMLC!

Raffle tickets are $100 each, and only 150 will be sold. Drawing will be held September 27, 2014 at CMLC's Conservation Celebration. You do not need not be present to win.

Choose from one of the following options:

1.  A Winter Wonderland at Spring Creek Ranch, WY:  Fly into Jackson Hole and enjoy  world class downhill skiing, snowboarding,  cross country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and hiking amidst the beauty of the Tetons and Yellowstone National Park.  Enjoy the area’s spectacular cuisine and the diversity of galleries and boutiques. You will be treated to a 2-BR mountain villa (accommodates 4) for 5 nights, a half-day safari for four, and two Swedish massages.  Trip reservations are subject to availability. Valid from October 1, 2014-April 1, 2015.  Blackout December 25, 2014-January 3, 2015. Tamsin & Cooke has procured this amazing vacation for us at a value of $9,800.


2.  Breathtakingviews and World-Class Pampering at the Spectacular Ventana Inn and Spa in Big Sur, CAEnjoy the incredible ocean views, beautiful natural waterfalls, the majesty of the Redwood Forest, whale watching, sea otters in their natural habitat, hiking, biking, bird watching, boating, and fishing.  Delight in the incredible local cuisine and live music.  You and your guest will be treated to a 5-night stay in a Big Sur suite, 2 dinners for 2 with wine pairings (each dinner not to exceed $250 with wine pairings), a welcome basket, a private guided hike for 2 with backpack lunch included, $100 resort credit, continental breakfast, and upgrade at time of booking if available.  Trip reservations are subject to availability.  Blackout dates may apply 


3.  Customize the trip of your choice with Tamsin Allpress of Tamsin & Cooke, LLC: Absorbing the incredible art history of Italy, zip lining through the Rainforest, golfing at Kiawah—the choice is yours up to a one time value of $3,000.  Travel to your favorite locale or to a destination on your bucket list!

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

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

Raffle Ticket and Conservation Celebration Deadlines:  Our deadline for raffle ticket purchases online and Conservation Celebration reservations online is 5:00pm on Thursday, September 25th.  We can accept telephone purchases through 3:00pm on Friday September 26th for both raffle tickets and reservations. Contact us at 828-697-5777.

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. 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 and release 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.

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,

Music written and performed by Jon Hinthorne

In this issue:

  • Forest Farming: Putting Mountain Trees to Work

  • Forest Pests of Our Eastern Woodlands

  • CMLC Hemlock Protection & Restoration Initiative

  • CMLC is Seeking Volunteers

  • Much More!

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!

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. 

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