News & Events: News

Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) has achieved prestigious accreditation renewal from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance.

“Renewing our accreditation has exponentially strengthened CMLC,” said Kieran Roe, CMLC executive director. “Every action we take or decision we make as an organization is guided by these adopted standards. The accreditation process prompts us to continually ask the question “how can we do our work even better?”

CMLC is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2014. Since 1994, the land trust has protected more than 27,000 acres of natural lands in Henderson, Transylvania, and surrounding counties. Last year alone, CMLC conserved more than 4,000 acres at 21 properties—each single year records for the land trust. Renewed accreditation is another benchmark of the organization’s recent success.

CMLC is one of only 254 land trusts from across the country that are now accredited. Accredited land trusts are authorized to display a seal indicating to the public that they meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent. The seal is a mark of distinction in land conservation.

“CMLC is one of the first land trusts to achieve renewed accreditation, a significant achievement for the land trust and significant major milestone for the accreditation program,” said Commission Executive Director Tammara Van Ryn. “Accreditation renewal, which must be completed every five years, provides the public with an assurance that accredited land trusts continue to meet exceedingly high standards for quality.”

Each land trust that achieved renewed accreditation submitted extensive documentation and underwent a rigorous review. “Through accreditation renewal land trusts are part of an important evaluation and improvement process that verifies their operations continue to be effective, strategic and in accordance with strict requirements,” said Van Ryn. “Accredited organizations have engaged citizen conservation leaders and improved systems for ensuring that their conservation work is permanent.”

According to the Land Trust Alliance, conserving land helps ensure clean air and drinking water; safe, healthy food; scenic landscapes and views; recreational places; and habitat for the diversity of life on earth. Conserving land also increases property values near greenbelts, saves tax dollars by encouraging more efficient development, and reduces the need for expensive water filtration facilities. Strong, well-managed land trusts provide local communities with effective champions and caretakers of their critical land resources, and safeguard the land through the generations.

CMLC was the first land trust in North Carolina to earn accreditation when the program initiated in 2008, and is the first to be 

About the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy

Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy partners with landowners and organizations to protect land and water resources vital to our natural heritage and quality of life. Dedicated to saving the places you love, CMLC works to permanently conserve and actively care for an ever-growing regional network of significant farm, forest, park and natural lands. Since 1994, CMLC has conserved more than 27,000 acres in Henderson, Transylvania, and surrounding counties in western North Carolina.

About the Land Trust Accreditation Commission

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., inspires excellence, promotes public trust and ensures permanence in the conservation of open lands by recognizing land trust organizations that meet rigorous quality standards and that strive for continuous improvement. The Commission, established in 2006 as an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts from around the country. More information on the accreditation program is available on the Commission’s website,

About The Land Trust Alliance

The Land Trust Alliance, of which CMLC is a member, is a national conservation group that works to save the places people love by strengthening conservation throughout America. It works to increase the pace and quality of conservation by advocating favorable tax policies, training land trusts in best practices and working to ensure the permanence of conservation in the face of continuing threats. The Alliance publishes Land Trust Standards and Practices and provides financial and administrative support to the Commission. It has established an endowment to help ensure the success of the accreditation program and keep it affordable for land trusts of all sizes to participate in accreditation. More information can be found at

Photo by Siulinski

CMLC and partners are hosting a 2½ day workshop March 5-7th at Brevard College to provide community leaders with an opportunity to explore one of the most significant issues facing our community–balancing community and economic development while preserving the natural, cultural, and historical assets that make Transylvania County distinctive.

Through case studies, presentations, exercises, and work sessions, a work plan will be developed for community discussion and implementation. The workshop fee is $30 and includes all lunches. Workshop attendance is offered to Transylvania County leaders via invitation.

Click here for more information about the workshop.

This workshop is offered in partnership with Carolina Mountain Land ConservancyThe Conservation FundBrevard CollegeCity of BrevardTown of RosmanTransylvania County, and the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service and is made possible through funding by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.


Join CMLC and community partners at the Transylvania County Library in Brevard on March 4th for a special presentation by Ed McMahon, a leading national expert on creating and sustaining livable and prosperous communities. Mr. McMahon is a noted author, attorney, and lecturer with expertise in economic development, tourism promotions, and historic preservation and has worked with communities across the country.

Attendees will learn about the economic, social and environmental benefits of protecting community character, and the value of open space and historic resources. Learn about major tools that can be used to protect community character, including education, voluntary initiatives and other non-regulatory action, as well as alternatives to conventional residential and commercial development. The session will address the challenges in preserving community character and ways to generate public support and the political will to use available tools.


Click here to download the Dollars & Sense of Protecting Community Character event flier/PDF.

Networking Social: 6:00-7:00pm

Opportunity to meet and greet local government representatives, local and regional organizations, and community members.

The Dollars and Sense of Protecting Community Character: 7:00-9:00pm

Ed McMahon, Urban Land Institute

This event will kick-off a two and a half-day workshop of Balancing Nature and Commerce in Transylvania CountyThis workshop will enable community leaders to explore the balance between community and economic development with preservation of the natural beauty and heritage that residents and visitors love.

This event is offered in partnership with Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, The Conservation Fund, Brevard CollegeCity of Brevard, Town of Rosman, Transylvania County, and the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service and is made possible through funding by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

For more information contact: Maryann Mickewicz at (828) 884-3109.

Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy partners with landowners and organizations to protect land and water resources vital to our natural heritage and quality of life. Dedicated to saving the places you love, CMLC works to permanently conserve and actively care for an ever-growing regional network of significant farm, forest, park and natural lands. Since 1994, CMLC has conserved more than 27,000 acres in Henderson, Transylvania, and surrounding counties in western North Carolina.


RALEIGH, NC--The rate of farmland loss in North Carolina slowed over a five-year period even as the number of farms continued to fall, a review of the federal Census of Agriculture shows.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture conducts an agricultural census every five years and released preliminary results of the 2012 survey today.

North Carolina had 2,700 fewer farms in 2012 than it did in 2007. The state’s 50,210 farms occupy 8.41 million acres of land. In 2007, there were 52,913 farms on 8.47 million acres.

The 62,560-acre drop is significantly less than the amount the state lost over the previous five years. From 2002 to 2007, the decrease was 600,000 acres.

State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said a few factors may have slowed the loss of farmland. “The recession reduced the demand for land for residential and commercial development,” he said. “But starting in 2005, the state also established the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund to help counties and conservation groups protect working farms and forests, and this program has been beneficial.

“Even so, the loss of 2,700 farms is troubling at a time when worldwide demand for food continues to grow. We also know that North Carolina is gaining about 100,000 people a year, which will only increase the pressure on farmland. We clearly have to step up our conservation efforts. It’s a priority I will work on with the General Assembly this year.”

Other census findings:

The average size of a North Carolina farm is 168 acres, eight more than in 2007.

The average age of N.C. farmers jumped 3 percent to 58.9. Nationally, the average age is 58.3.

Between 2007 and 2012, the market value of N.C. agricultural products sold increased 22 percent to $12.6 billion. The per-farm average value of sales grew by 28 percent to $250,089.

Seventy-eight percent of N.C. farms have been in operation 10 years or more.

The USDA will release additional census data in the spring.

In 1996, John P. Humphrey became CMLC's first-ever CMLC conservation landowners when he generously donated a conservation easement on his 180-acre Mills River farm. Since then Humphrey has served on CMLC's Board of Trustees, twice as its Board President, donated thousands of volunteer hours, and guided our organization with his passion and wisdom. For these reasons and more, John was featured as the WLOS Person of the Week in January 2014. Click below to watch John on TV.

"A Henderson County man once took a gamble that could have cost him his property and his legacy for his children. Because our Person of the Week took that gamble, a huge part of Chimney Rock State Park is now preserved for all us to enjoy. His name is John Humphrey and he has set a tone for conservation that will make a difference for generations to come..." -WLOS-13 Transcript

In this issue:

  • All Roads Lead to Conservation: Protecting Western NC's Scenic Byways;

  • Coming Soon: New Parks at Youngs Mountain, Rhodo Lake;

  • New Lands Protected at Deerfields, Hyder Pasture;

  • Goats in the Gorge: Beating Kudzu One Bite at a Time;

  • Our Newest Yellow Lady Slipper Volunteer: Bill Imhof;

  • New AmeriCorps Project Conserve Members

Happy Holidays from Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy!

CMLC wishes you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thank you for all that you help us accomplish to save the places you love in our western NC mountains.

In this issue:

  • On the Right Path: How Trails Make Conservation Tangible to All;

  • New Headwaters State Forest Protects 2,000+ Acres

  • New Trustees Join CMLC Board;

  • 13th Annual Conservation Celebration;

  • Our Newest Yellow Lady Slipper Volunteer: Mark Robson;

  • CMLC Hiking Challenge 2.0;

  • Summits Society Gala

Thank you for your interest in the Ruth Jones Farm in Cedar Mountain, NC. The sale or lease of the property serves the goal of Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) to provide farmers with access to affordable farmland.

The Ruth Jones Farm was generously donated to CMLC by the will of the late Ruth Jones who lived almost her entire life on the farm. CMLC is seeking proposals for persons and organizations who want to use the farm to produce agricultural and/or forest products in a way that prudently manages the natural resources of the farm. 

CMLC is welcoming applications that keep the farm in production subject to our conservation restrictions.

Click here to learn more about CMLC's Ruth Jones Farm and read the entire Request For Proposal.

REI Asheville was honored as the 2013 Corporate Conservation Partner of the Year, one of several awards bestowed annually by North Carolina’s 24 local land trusts to businesses, 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, outdoor recreation, and North Carolina’s unique natural heritage. REI Asheville was nominated for the award by Hendersonville’s Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy. The awards were announced at the annual North Carolina Land Trust Assembly in Raleigh.

Commitment to environmental stewardship is at the core of REI’s corporate philosophy.  Whether it is partnering with nonprofits to protect the outdoors and promote outdoor recreation, or mobilizing thousands of volunteers annually to help protect natural places, REI passionately strives to conserve lands and environmental resources.

REI Asheville has been an exemplary partner to many conservation organizations in the North Carolina mountains. Since the store’s opening in 2008, REI Asheville’s outstanding generosity has included countless in-kind donations to organizations and funding of volunteer stewardship programs throughout the region.  In 2010, REI made a $10,000 grant to Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy to promote trail-building efforts in Hickory Nut Gorge. In addition, REI awarded a total of $25,000 in 2012 to four conservation organizations in the region.

“REI Asheville has been an outstanding supporter of conservation throughout western North Carolina since the store opened in 2008.  Their generous support of Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy and other conservation organizations has included grants to support volunteer stewardship programs, sponsorship of our annual trail race and other events, and donations of outdoor gear for fundraising events and for our volunteers.  We are thrilled to see REI Asheville receive the 2013 North Carolina Land Trust Corporate Conservation Partner Award,” said Kieran Roe, Executive Director of Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy.

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 nearly 23,000 acres of natural lands in our mountains. For more information, visit

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