News & Events: News

Downtown Hendersonville's Bearfootin' Public Art Walk has helped raise funding for Historic Dowtown Hendersonville and a variety of local non-profits since 2003. Twenty Bears are sponsored and decorated to reflect the theme or cause they represent to the community. After spending months in downtown Hendersonville, the Bears will be auctioned off with proceeds going to local non-profits. The Bears offer a window into the variety of good work being done by non-profits and community organizations in Henderson County. 

CMLC's Boulderbear is located in front of the Historic Courthouse. Boulderbear was created by the talented Susan Olivari and is sponsored by Hendograph Media, Chef Michael's Catering, and YouGetWeGive. The auction takes place on the steps of the old courthouse in downtown Hendersonville on Saturday, October 24th with auction sign-in and live music starting at 2:30 and the auction starting at 4:30, so set the date on your calendar! Can't be there? Online bidding and absentee bids will be accepted. Take a chance at winning Boulderbear and conserve the land you love at the same time!

Click here for more information about the Bearfootin' Public Art Walk and other Hendersonville Events.

 

 

 

 

 


Thank You All for a Beautiful, Fun, and Successful 15th Annual Conservation Celebration!

Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy donors, members, volunteers, and staff gathered together this past Saturday, September 19th to celebrate CMLC's conservation successes at Grand Highlands' Bearwallow Mountain Lodge in Hendersonville. The event included a live and silent auction of more than 80 donated gifts ranging from handcrafted wooden bowls to a complete kayak package. The night also included a raffle drawing for a trip of the winner's choice! We are thankful for such a magnificent sunny day to get together. Participants had the option to join a pre-celebration hike around Grand Highlands, returning to enjoy hors d'oeuvres and refreshments and to peruse the silent auction items. The festivities continued with an outdoor live aution, a delicious catered dinner, and local live music. Families, friends, and pets enjoyed a beautiful sunset from Bearwallow Mountain.

Since 1994, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy has conserved more than 28,000 acres of land--made possible by our incredibly dedicated donors, members, and volunteers. It is only with this community that CMLC is able to protect and steward land and water resources vital to our natural heritage and quality of life, conserving this beautiful land for generations to come.

Click here to view pictures from the above Conservation Celebration Online Web Album

 


Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy permanently protects farmland, forests, and other natural resources through fee simple acquisitions, conservation easements, and other measures.  Our organization has several conservation properties that are intersected by some of Duke Energy’s Foothills Project study corridors—properties that would be severely negatively impacted by the construction and maintenance of transmission lines across them. The State of North Carolina has invested significant public dollars in these conservation properties through the NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF), which provided grants to cover transaction costs associated with closing conservation easements and to help our organization carry out perpetual stewardship of these properties. In addition, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources has certified an income tax credit for each of the potentially impacted easement donors. As a land trust, CMLC is obligated to defend the conservation values protected by our conservation easements and we will avail ourselves of any legal remedies available to us.

Furthermore, CMLC has several conservation projects in progress, as well as knowledge of other important natural resources, that are intersected by various segments of the study corridors. As a conservation organization that works throughout the study corridor region, CMLC is concerned about adverse impacts to significant natural resources that are likely to result from the construction and maintenance of the transmission lines on any of the study corridors. 

We have met with our local Duke representatives, in person, to discuss our conservation projects and other important natural resources that may be impacted by the proposed transmission lines and to share our geographic data with their personnel.  

Click here to read CMLC’s full comments to submitted to Duke during its public comment period.


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. 

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 americorpsprojectconserve.org for more information and to apply. Contact Amy Stout with any questions at 828-697-5777 or projectconserve@carolinamountain.org

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 contact@wachng.org 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.

Video from Youtube.com


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