Don't forget to put these important dates on your calendar!
Help elect CMLC's Bearwallow Beast 5K Trail Run as one of the best runs in western NC for the third time in four years! Vote the Bearwallow Beast 5K as "Foot Race" and Bearwallow Mountain as best "Hike with a View," each in the "Outdoors" section of the poll. Also vote Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy as best "Non-profit" and "Local Environmental Group." Make your voice hear and vote--hurry, voting ends soon!
To vote click here!
Lela McBride was a community leader and conservationist that enabled the completion of Henderson County’s first Natural Heritage Inventory. She subsequently created the Henderson County Natural Heritage Trust, which grew to become CMLC in 1994. The Lela McBride Award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to land conservation and stewardship in the region. Former winners include CMLC founding fathers John Humphrey and Rep. Chuck McGrady, Congressman Charles Taylor, and NC Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler.
Beginning nearly a decade ago, John Myers and Jane Lawson have partnered with CMLC on multiple conservation projects that have been a catalyst for a growing network of land protection and public hiking trails in the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge. The couple first conserved 35 acres of their property adjacent to the Hickory Nut-Forest Eco-Community in Gerton via conservation easement in 2006.
Myers and Lawson worked with CMLC again in 2011 with the sale of 31 acres of their property with frontage on Gerton Highway (US 74A) for the establishment of a new public trailhead to CMLC’s Florence Nature Preserve. The Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Trailhead is now a Henderson County park. It is the primary jumping off point for the developing trail network in the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge. In an effort to both protect the land and ensure public access to the area’s trails, Myers and Lawson generously accepted well less than its market value.
In 2013, Myers and Lawson partnered with CMLC once more to permanently conserve the 103-acre Wildcat Rock tract on the north slopes of Little Bearwallow Mountain. Protection of the tract not only safeguards dramatic cliff faces, a 100-foot waterfall, and a plethora of biodiversity, it made possible the construction of the Little Bearwallow Trail, a new public footpath that will connect the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Trailhead to the popular summit of Bearwallow Mountain. To again further conservation and trails in the region, Myers and Lawson sold the tract to CMLC for nearly half of its market value.
While Myers and Lawson directly have protected 169 acres of mountain lands in Henderson County, their impact has stretched far beyond their own property holdings. Their enthusiasm for the importance of preserving the region’s natural heritage spread to neighboring landowners who followed suit in conserving their own properties with CMLC. Persuasion from Myers and Lawson led the Barnwell family to conserve 170 acres atop Bearwallow Mountain and the Brock family to protect 25 acres at the Chimney View tract. Both tracts are adjacent to the conserved Wildcat Rock property, expanding a contiguous corridor of protected lands in the Gorge.
While Myers and Lawson can be personally associated with 364 acres conserved in the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge—with the protection of up to 300 more acres at Bearwallow Mountain still in progress—it may be their wider vision to connect these treasured lands by public foot trails that will endure as their most impactful legacy. Myers and Lawson are the visionaries for the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Trail, a 15-mile continuous footpath that will circumnavigate the Upper Gorge and community of Gerton. The hiking circuit will link protected lands conserved by CMLC—including Bearwallow Mountain, Wildcat Rock, and Florence Nature Preserve—as well as those protected by the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. One day, the trail network may connect conserved lands in the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge to Chimney Rock State Park and Lake Lure.
For their enduring commitment to the conservation of the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge and their innovative vision to connect its forever-protected natural treasures by public trails, CMLC is proud to present the 2015 Lela McBride Award to John Myers and Jane Lawson.
HENDERSONVILLE, NC—Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) announced John Myers and Jane Lawson, of Gerton, as winners of the organization’s prestigious 2015 Lela McBride Award. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to land conservation and stewardship in the region.
The award was given out at CMLC’s Annual Meeting at Camp Tekoa in Hendersonville on Sunday, April 12. Bestowed annually, Myers and Lawson are the 21st recipients of the award. Former winners include Rep. Chuck McGrady, Congressman Charles Taylor, and NC Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler.
Beginning nearly a decade ago, t have partnered with CMLC on multiple conservation projects that have been a catalyst for a growing network of land protection and public hiking trails in the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge. The couple has directly protected 169 acres of their own land in Henderson County are are the visionaries of the region’s budding trail network.
Lela McBride, the award’s namesake, was a community leader and conservationist that enabled the completion of Henderson County’s first Natural Heritage Inventory. She subsequently created the Henderson County Natural Heritage Trust, which grew to become CMLC.
CMLC also recognized Representative Chuck McGrady and his wife Jean for their two decades of commitment to CMLC’s conservation efforts. McGrady was one of CMLC’s early board presidents. He played an instrumental role in the organization’s involvement in the conservation of DuPont State Recreational Forest.
Also honored at the meeting were 23 community volunteers for donating at least 70 hours of volunteer service to the land trust in 2014. CMLC recognized John Humphrey, David Brown, Diana Richards, Al and Barb Pung, Mike Knoerr, Genien Carlson, Bill Imhof, Fred Weed, Jerry McAninch, Wes Burlingame, Patrick Horan, Connie Backlund, Amos Dawson, Chris McDonnell, Bob Lindsey, Skip Sheldon, Jim Neal, Mary Beth Hayes, Brenda Hillyer, Tom Weaver, Mickey Kilpatrick, and Tom Davis.
Volunteers donated a total of 5,743 hours in 2014 which made it possible for CMLC to conserve more than 1,000 acres of land last year.
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 28,000 acres of natural lands in western North Carolina. For more information, visit www.carolinamountain.org.
Members, volunteers, and friends of CMLC! Join us for our 20th Anniversary Annual Meeting and Volunteer Recognition Event on Sunday, April 12th from 2:00-4:30pm.
The meeting will be held in the dining hall of Camp Tekoa in Hendersonville, NC and will include the following:
For more information, please contact CMLC Volunteer Program Associate Caroline Ketcham at email@example.com, or call the office at 828-697-5777.
Grab a beer for a good cause! Join Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy for Makin’-a-Difference Monday at Oskar Blues Brewery's taproom in Brevard on Monday, March 16th starting at 5:00PM. For every purchase you make of your favorite Oskar Blues brew, they’ll donate 10% of the proceeds to CMLC's land conservation efforts. Don’t miss this chance to help Oskar Blues support your favorite local land trust!
Click to view photos from the Holiday Drop-In
Meet new people and connect with the community while increasing CMLC's public visibility when you sign up to volunteer with our new Outreach Corps! We are seeking enthusiastic volunteers to represent CMLC at tabling events, fairs, and other happenings in the community. Volunteers will transport and set up posters and other materials, and will introduce people to CMLC's mission and work. This exciting new opportunity can accomodate a variety of schedules.
If you're passionate about the work we do and enjoy sharing your passion with others, consider joining our Outreach Corps! Contact our Volunteer Program Associate, Caroline Ketcham, for more information and to sign up.
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