News & Events: News

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.

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. 

Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy welcomed 246 runners and many more festival-goers to the panoramic 4,232' summit of  Bearwallow Mountain on Sunday, May 4th for the 3rd annual Bearwallow Beast 5K and Festival.

At the finish line, racers and spectatators were greeted with 360-degree views of southern Appalachian's tallest peaks, including Mount Mitchell to the northeast and Mount Pisgah to the west. Food vendors, free live music from Brushfire Stankgrass and a complimentary beer from Southern Appalachian or Sierra Nevada breweries were available afterward.

Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, which co-hosted this year's race with Pardee Hospital, has protected 165 acres atop Bearwallow using conservation easements. The land trust also constructed a 1-mile public trail to the summit. CMLC hopes to eventually preserve more than 400 acres on the mountain. Click here for a Times-News article on this year's event. See you next year!



Top Men's 2014 Finishers:

1.) Javan Lapp- 26:47

2.) Almon Cox- 27:00

3.) Sean Brooks- 27:40 

Top Women's 2014 Finishers:

1.) Margaret Brennan- 31:00

2.) Jennifer Fisher- 32:40

3.) Sara Walker 33:33

Full results available from Lee Timing.



At their Annual Meeting Sunday, April 6 at Camp Tekoa, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) honored 17 volunteers for their contributions to the land trust in 2013. For their dedication and service donating at least 70 hours of volunteer service, CMLC recognized John Humphrey, Jim Neal, Genien Carlson, Diana Richards, Arnold “Skip” Sheldon, Amos Dawson, David Humphrey, Bill Imhof, Bob Lindsey, Lewis Blodgett, Fred Weed, Mark Tooley, Mark Robson, John Busse, Ann Hendrickson, and Patrick Horan, and Claire Dillman.

As a tribute to their 20thyear of land conservation, CMLC recognized their 10 volunteer Board Presidents with a perpetual plaque made by local artist, Amy Wald. Past and current Board Presidents include Jack Tate, Rep. Chuck McGrady, John Humphrey, Anne Valentine, Jim Neal, Bob Wald, Rick Merrill, Lynn Carnes Pitts, and Lee Mulligan. CMLC volunteers performed a number of essential duties imperative to CMLC including trail building and maintenance, conservation easement monitoring, invasive species removal, stream and habitat restoration, events capacity, office mailings, and, photography.

Altogether in 2013, volunteers donated nearly 5500 hours of time to CMLC—the most ever given to the land trust in a single year. Volunteers made it possible for CMLC to record its most successful year of land protection in its 20 year history—conserving more than 4,000 acres of land at 21 locations across western NC.For more information or to become involved with CMLC volunteer opportunities, visit

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.

Top photo: Back L to R - Jim Neal, Bill Imhof, John Humphrey, Fred Weed, Amos Dawson, Front L to R - David Humphrey, Mark Tooley, Bob Lindsay, Mark Robson and Diana Richards

Bottom photo:L to R - Rick Merrill, Chuck McGrady, Lee Mulligan, Bob Wald, Jim Neal and John Humphrey

Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) announced Sandy and Missy Schenck, of Cedar Mountain, as winners of the organization’s prestigious 2014 Lela McBride Award. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to land conservation and stewardship in the region.

The Schencks founded Green River Preserve (GRP), a non-competitive co-ed summer camp for the “bright, curious, and creative” that focuses on connecting children and nature, in the Green River Valley in 1987. For more than a quarter century, GRP’s camp programming has nurtured young people by fostering skills like perseverance, curiosity, communication, optimism, and creativity, striving to establish the next generation of conservationists and environmental stewards.

Because of the Schencks’ deep conservation ethic and their belief that learning is enhanced by the natural world, they partnered with CMLC in 2006 to enter 2,600 acres of their Green River Preserve into a permanent conservation easement. The protected tract represents the land trust’s largest easement, making up nearly 10% of all CMLC’s protected land.

The conservation easement prevents future development to ensure the preservation of the land’s natural heritage. Such protection extends wildlife corridors, preserves cherished mountain scenery and habitat for rare species, and safeguards water quality—including the headwaters of the Green River itself. The easement also created a protected buffer bordering DuPont State Recreational Forest, forming a contiguous area of more than 13,000 acres of conserved natural lands.

The Schencks’ contributions to conservation have also extended beyond the natural treasures of GRP. Sandy formerly served on the board of trustees of the Conservation Trust for North Carolina, including as its president in 2001, as well as Friends of DuPont Forest. The Schencks have served multiple other boards and committees involving environmental education and conservation, past and present.

After witnessing summer after summer the invigorating effects of the outdoors on young people at GRP, as well as the importance of passed-down stories that define a sense of place, community, and relationship to the land, the Schencks formed Muddy Sneakers: a non-profit that would work to merge active outdoor experiential learning with traditional studies in public schools in western North Carolina.

Today, Muddy Sneakers has grown to serve fifth-grade students in 18 schools across four WNC counties with the mission to awaken in children a deeply felt connection with the natural word, one that inspires curiosity, stimulates learning, and brings new life to classroom performance.

The award was given out at CMLC’s Annual Meeting at Camp Tekoa in Hendersonville on Sunday, April 6. Bestowed annually, the Schencks represent the 20threcipient of the Lela McBride Award. Former winners include Rep. Chuck McGrady, Congressman Charles Taylor, and NC Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler.

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 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 23,000 acres of natural lands in our mountains. Entering their 20thanniversary year, the land trust protected a record 4,000 acres at 21 locations across the region in 2013. For more information, visit


In this issue:

  • The power of water in WNC

  • A thank you to new Fall and Winter landowners 

  • The value of a healthy stream

  • Landslides: a slippery slope for WNC landowners

  • The art of conserving land

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