All Current News, Events and Hikes

CMLC is partnering with Henderson County to seek funding to acquire 72 stunning acres of natural land in the Green River Gorge for the creation of the Bell Trail Park. To find out more about the project, attend a public hearing on Wednesday, April 20th at 9:00am in downtown Hendersonville at the Henderson County Historic Courthouse. If you would like to make your voice heard, make sure to arrive early to sign up to speak during the public comments section. For more information about the proposed Bell Trail Park, visit:


Join CMLC on Monday, April 18th for a joint hike with Pacolet Area Conservancy and Keith Viglietta’s hiking group that will take place at Walnut Creek Preserve. Hikers will take a short tour of the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center before heading out to enjoy the hiking trails at Walnut Creek Preserve. The hike will include a short snack break around 11:30 as well as stops to enjoy the many blooming wildflowers. The hike will be an easy to moderate 4-5 miles and will conclude around 1:00 pm.

Guests are asked to meet at 9:00 am at McGuinn’s (general store and gas station) on Highway 9 at the intersection of Mcguinn Road. Our final destination is not clearly accessible via GPS mapping and is surrounded by privately owned land. Help us respect local landowners and minimize lost parties; please be sure to arrive at McGuinn's by 9:00am so we are able to all head to the final meeting place together.

Families and children with accompanying adults are welcome, however no pets are allowed on this hike. Make sure to bring a lunch and/or snacks, plenty of water, and a wildflower guide and camera if you so choose. In the case of a last minute cancellation or change in weather, an update (no later than 7:30) will be posted to this news page and will show on CMLC’s website homepage as well as Facebook page. You can also call CMLC at (828) 697-5777 the morning of for an additional recording in the event of a cancellation. 

Please contact Community Outreach Associate Corinne Fretwell with any further questions. 

Make a Difference in Transylvania County on Saturday, April 16th from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm!

Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy will be joined by the BCServes group (a service organization from Brevard College) at the Deerlake Community in Brevard. 

CMLC holds a conservation easement at Deerlake and will be working alongside the students in BCServes and the neighbors in the Deerlake community to remove non-native invasive species from the easement property.

Non-native invasive species take over a land and prevent the native species from thriving. The invasives are able to do this through a variety of means, boiling down to the fact that they often have less competition in the area. With the non-native invasive species removed, natives will hopefully have room to move in and take back the natural area.

If time permits, we will also be working on the existing pollinator garden in the community--either adding to it and expanding it or by removing unwanted plants and weeds to provide the pollinator plants with the best atmosphere possible.

If you are interested in attending this weekend volunteer event, please email the CMLC Volunteer and Community Engagement Associate Ericka Berg at or call at 828-697-5777 ext 211 before Friday, April 15th.

On Friday, April 15th from 10AM-4PM, the AmeriCorps Project Conserve members will be hosting a workday to assist Ranger Amy Kinsella at Holmes Educational State Forest for National Volunteer Week

We will be working on improving and repairing the educational helicopter display, making updates and improvements to the public campground structures and lands, removing invasive species, and restoring the Holmes pollinator garden, along with any other tasks that may come up. 

This workday is being organized by AmeriCorps Project Conserve members Ericka Berg (at CMLC), Anna Alsobrook (at MountainTrue), Kate Nelson (at Asheville GreenWorks), and Katie Hargrove (at Mills River Partnership). ACPC members will be present at the workday, but community members, all host site volunteers, and staff are encouraged to attend and take part in taking care of our local educational forest. The workday will be from 10AM-2:30PM, with celebration and networking occuring from 2:30-4PM at Holmes. 

Holmes is a 235 acre state forest in Henderson County--located close to DuPont State Recreational Forest. It is a a small forest whose primary purpose is education and promotion of forest resources and sustainable forestry practices. It was opened in 1977 and named for Dr. John S. Holmes, North Carolina's first state forester. 

The forest rangers regularly hold outdoor classes for schools, other groups, and open educational activities for children and families from Spring to Fall. Included in the trail system is a self-guided interpretive system that teaches visitors about forestry through trail-side exhibits, displays, and small audio boxes. Holmes Educational State Forest is a great asset and treasure for Henderson County.

Please be sure to wear long sleeves, pants, suitable work shoes, and to dress for the weather! Workday will go on, rain or shine, but activities will be modified if there is bad weather. Also be sure to prepare for the day by bringing enough water and a picnic lunch or small snack to eat at the covered picnic shelter at Holmes. Food items will be provided for the celebration!

For more information on this event or to sign-up to volunteer with us, please contact Ericka Berg, the Volunteer and Community Engagement Associate at or by phone at 828-697-5777 ext. 211.



Lace up your running shoes and join the community on Wednesday, April 13th for a 5K prediction race! Foot Rx Running Asheville will host this fun race as a part of their $5 5K series--just $5 to enter the race. All proceeds benefit CMLC and will help us save the land you love!

This will be a prediction run--meaning that each runner will estimate his or her finish time and complete the run without a timepiece. The runner closest to his or her predicted time will be declared the winner! So come one and all--fast and slow--to run with us for conservation.

The run will take place on Wednesday, April 13th at Fletcher Community Park, located at 85 Howard Gap Rd., Fletcher NC 28732. Look for the red Foot Rx tent. Registration begins at 5:30pm and the race starts at 6:30pm

Need some new shoes or running socks? Make sure to visit Foot Rx Running Asheville for all your running/walking gear needs! Check out other upcoming $5 5K races below.

The Bearwallow Mountain Trail will be reopened Sunday, April 10th after being closed due to weather damage. Thank you to everyone who helped us protect this special trail by using the gravel road to reach the summit while the trail was closed. 

Thank you for your patience and for respecting and protecting this special place!

Join CMLC for our March Speaker Series presentation--Climate Change and Conservation--featuring Dr. Sam Pearsall, Climate Change Specialist. The event will be held from 6-7:30 pm at the Transylvania County Library in Brevard on Wednesday, March 16th.

The presentation, Climate Change and Conservation, will cover everything from the basic science of climate change to future scenarios and what effects we will see in the natural and human systems on the planet. Dr. Pearsall will speak about what we as conservationiss can expect from climate change as well as address what we may be able to do about climate change. 

Dr. Sam Pearsall retired to the Raleigh area in 2013 following four years as a senior scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund and 30 years with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Natural Hertiage Programs in North Carolina, Tennessee, Hawai'i, Western Samoa, and other regions in the South Pacific. During his time at The Nature Conservancy, Dr. Pearsall established TNC's first climate change adaptation program at Alligator River Refuge in eastern NC. In his retirement, Dr. Pearsall is focusing on maintenance of ecological flows in rivers and streams and meeting the challenges of climate change.

We are very excited to be hosting Dr. Pearsall and hope you will come out to join us for what is sure to be an engaging and informative presentation!


Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) is seeking applications from eligible Brevard High School seniors for the Ruth Jones Memorial Scholarship.

The Ruth Jones Scholarship was established in 2015 by CMLC in honor of life-long Transylvania County resident and Brevard High School graduate Ruth Elaine Jones.

Jones passed away in June 2011, leaving us suddenly—and far too early—at the age of 56. Ruth will be missed, but her legacy—and embodiment of her values—will forever live on. Bequeathing her estate to CMLC, the local land trust ensured the permanent protection of the rural character and natural beauty of her Cedar Mountain farm via a conservation easement in 2014.

“Ruth devoted her life to her church, her community, her friends, and her parents, never asking for or expecting anything in return,” said Brevard resident Mark Tooley, Ruth’s friend. “She always had a smile on her face.”

CMLC also created the Ruth Jones Scholarship in dedication to her love of the outdoors, her appreciation of the natural world, and her career in giving to her community and helping to educate others.

The purpose of the scholarship is to provide financial assistance to selected individuals attending an accredited university, college, or technical college, who wish to pursue a four-year degree in health or environmental sciences, including but not limited to: biology, environmental science, health education, pre-medicine, nursing, agriculture, forestry, natural resource conservation, or wildlife science.

The award shall emphasize academic achievement but will also include participation in extra-curricular activities and community service that exemplify Ruth’s service to others.  Applicants must also show a demonstrated desire to continue educational pursuits in one of the fields listed above.

The Ruth Jones scholarships awarded through this program are intended to benefit bona fide residents of Transylvania County and graduates of Brevard High School.

The scholarship award may be used only at an accredited institution of higher learning. The monetary value of a scholarship given to a student attending college shall be a one-time award of $1,500.

Application deadline for the 2016 scholarship cycle is Friday, March 11.

To apply, contact Jenita Pace, Guidance Counselor, in-person at Brevard High School or by calling 828-885-7330.

CMLC has protected more than 30,000 acres of lands that you love—and need—along the Blue Ridge Escarpment, French Broad River Valley, Hickory Nut Gorge, and beyond since its inception in 1994. 

The Spring edition of The Leaflet includes recaps of recent Project Conserve programming--the Appalachian Culture Peer Training, MLK Day of Service, and the Life After AmeriCorps Member Retreat. You can also check out upcoming events on the Project Conserve calendar as well as see the incredible progress this year's AmeriCorps Project Conserve members have made on this term's project goals!

AmeriCorps Project Conserve is a national service program in which members come from across the nation to dedicate themselves to serving Western North Carolina for an 11 month service term. Project Conserve was founded in 2004 as an initiative of Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) to respond to the growing conservation needs in western North Carolina. The program focuses on collaboration with nonprofit organizations, community groups, and local governments to provide service throughout the region. Find out more by visiting the Project Conserve website.

Join CMLC for our January Speaker Series presentation—Protecting Sustainability in a Changing World: Threats to Ecosystem Services in Appalachia—featuring Lars Pomara, USFS Research Ecologist. The event will be held from 6 to 7:30 pm at the Transylvania County Library in Brevard on Tuesday, January 26th.

The Appalachian region encompasses a rich diversity of forests, streams, and other natural resources that provide important benefits to millions of people. Clean water, outdoor recreation and tourism, fish and wildlife conservation, forest products, and climate change mitigation are just a few of these ecosystem services. Our region is also the scene of rapid environmental change driven by urbanization, energy resource development, climate change, as well as a growing population. These drivers of change can compromise the sustainability of ecosystem services over the long term.


Scientists at the US Forest Service’s Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center are collaborating with the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative to assess the sustainability of the region’s highly valued ecosystem services and their vulnerability to the rapid environmental changes the region is undergoing. Lars Pomara, a leader of the research team, will discuss the goals of this work and its relevance to conservation and natural resource management across the Appalachian region. This event is FREE and open to the public.


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