News & Events: News

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!


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!

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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