All Current News, Events and Hikes


Learn about Hemlock Restoration and CMLC! We now have a page dedicated to hemlock restoration and the biological control of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. Read about what hemlock restoration entails and how CMLC is involved in this important effort. You can find the page here or by clicking the "Hemlock Restoration" page listed under the "Landowner Resources" button within the navigation bar at the top of this page. 

Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy and Mills River Partnership have been chosen as non-profit partners with Sierra Nevada for the USA Cycling National Cyclo-Cross Championship coming to the Antler Hill Village on the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina in January.

As a partner, CMLC and MRP are responsible for volunteer recruitment at this event from Wednesday, January 6th to Sunday, January 10th, and we need your help to fill these positions! Volunteer shifts will be four hours long from 10am-2pm and 2pm-6pm Wednesday through Sunday. Right now, the only day that is full is Friday, January 8th. These volunteer positions will include beer pouring, ID checking, and money taking--specific tasks will be assigned the day of. Volunteers must be over 21 years of age.  

This is an amazing opportunity for CMLC and MRP and we hope you will come out and have some fun! As a non-profit partner, CMLC and MRP are receiving a portion of the beer sale proceeds, and we will also be able to have an informational booth at the event. This will not only act as a great fundraiser for us, it will be a chance to improve our outreach into the community.

Volunteers need not be CMLC members, and please feel free to bring your friends and family members to volunteer with you for this event! It will be a great time filled with a lot of action.

Contact for more details or to volunteer at this event. Please include the desired shift date and time, your name, email, and a phone number you can be reached at during the event for all potential volunteers. 

For general information on Cyclo-Cross as a sport, please see USA Cycling's website at





Join CMLC for the Holidays!

Volunteer for the Holiday Drop-In

CMLC is hosting its annual Holiday Drop-In for supporters, members, and volunteers on Tuesday, December 15th and we need volunteers to make the event a success! The Drop-In will be held at the Silver Fox Gallery in downtown Hendersonville from 4:30-6:30PM. 

Every year, the Drop-In just gets better and better, and we hope that this year is no different! To ensure the event goes off without a hitch, we are seeking anywhere between 12-20 volunteers to hold 1.5 hour shifts (or longer, if you'd like!). 

Volunteers are needed to help set-up and monitor the food bar during the event, to pour beer and wine, to greet guests as they arrive, and to help with clean-up immediately following the event. Please consider volunteering with us for this Drop-In--it'll be a lot of fun!

Additionally, if you're not able to help during the event, you can take part in Cooking for Conservation. CMLC is asking for volunteers to join in the holiday festivities by preparing an appetizer, finger food, or dessert or by bringing their favorite bottle of wine to share! RSVP to bring something by Tuesday, December 1st so we can ensure we have enough food for the event. Staff and AmeriCorps members will also be participating, and we are excited to share our holiday traditions with you!

For more details about the Holiday Drop-In volunteer opportunities or to RSVP to help, please contact Ericka Berg, the Volunteer and Community Engagement Associate at or by phone at 697-5777 ext. 211, or if you're in the CMLC office, just give her a holler!

Click here or on the cover above to read the full volume

In this issue:

  • Leaving a Legacy of the Land: Honoring the Life of Ruth Jones
  • Welcome New AmeriCorps Project Conserve & Board of Trustee Memebers
  • Yellow Lady Slipper Volunteer Award: Howard McDonald 
  • Get Involved with CMLC: Calendar of Events

Alexanders Ford, a naturally and culturally significant site in Polk County, was forever protected by a CMLC conservation easement in 2011. It was purchased by Polk County and opened to the public as the Bradley Nature Preserve at Alexander's Ford, a park for visitors to enjoy biological treasures and timeless history. The property hosts almost two miles of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, the route followed by a Patriot militia during the Revolutionary War en route to the Battle at Kings Mountain. The militia defeated the British a few days after marching through the property and camping on site at the banks of the Green River. Thomas Jefferson later referred to the battle as the "turning point of the American Revolution."

Join CMLC on Saturday, December 12th @ 10:00am for a members-only hike through the Bradley Nature Preserve at Alexander's Ford along the original path marched by the Overmountain Men in 1780. During the hike, hear stories and history as we take a leisurely out-and-back hike to the Green River. Total hiking distance is 2.5 miles. Hiking time will be approximately three hours; this does not include travel time to the hike itself. 

This hike is rated easy to moderate and has a total elevation change of 200 feet over its distance of 2.5 miles. Participants are required to be in reasonable physical condition and capable of completing a two and a half mile hike over uneven, forested terrain. Children of all ages are welcome on this hike. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate dogs at this time. Hikers should wear sturdy walking shoes (no flip-flops), bring several layers of clothing in preparation for changing warm and cold temperatures, pack plenty of water as well as a snack to eat during the hike. Note that this hike has no restroom facilities.

Space is limited on our hikes, so please reserve your spot today by using CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form. Additional information will be sent upon confirmation of your spot on the hike within 1-3 business days after requesting a spot. Reservations for a spot on this hike will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis using:

CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form

If you are not a CMLC member, but would still like to hike with us on this hike, we would love to have your support so we may continue to save the places you love. Support CMLC through an annual membership here

For questions, contact CMLC Community Outreach Associate Corinne Fretwell at corinne@carolinamountain.orgIn the event of inclement weather, please call our office at (828) 697-5777 to learn about a hike cancellation.

Join us Wednesday, December 9th in welcoming NPS Ranger Margo Blewett to the CMLC Speaker Series. Blewett will present on the Overmountain Victory Trail, a 330-mile historical trail that crosses through Virginia, Tennessee, North, and South Carolina. The presentation will take place from 6:00-7:30 pm at Henderson County Public Library in Hendersonville. This event is free and open to the public

The Overmountain Victory Trail was used by a group of patriot militia, now called the Overmountain Men, in the Revolutionary War. The trail was used reach the pivotal Battle of Kings Mountain in 1870. Blewett will speak about the history of the trail, its creation as part of the National Trails System, and sites along the trail. The presentation will also include photos from the two-week reenactment of the March of the Overmountain Men that occurs annually. 

CMLC will also be hosting a Historical Hike at Alexander's Ford, a section of the trail, also led by Blewett. The hike will be the following Saturday, December 12th. Sign up now to reserve your spot on this members-only hike. Not a member? Support CMLC with an annual membership for you and your household. 

Sign up to receive our bi-weekly e-newsletter The Holler and stay up-to-date on CMLC news and events!

For questions, contact CMLC Community Outreach Associate Corinne Fretwell at or call at (828) 697-5777 ext. 211

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 28,000 acres of natural lands in our mountains. 

By Beth De Bona
Times-News Staff Writer

Published: Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 12:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 9:01 a.m.

Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy has been awarded $100,000 in grant monies from Duke Energy for its Sitton Creek Protection and Restoration project in the Mills River watershed.

CMLC was one of 13 nonprofit organizations in North and South Carolina to receive portions of the $1 million earmarked for 2015 from Duke Energy's Water Resources Fund. The recipients were announced Wednesday by Duke Energy.

“We're excited to receive the Duke Energy grant for our Sitton Creek project,” said Kieran Roe, executive director of CMLC. “The grant will help protect and restore the quality of the Mills River watershed, a source of drinking water serving hundreds of thousands of users in Henderson and Buncombe counties in North Carolina.”

This is the first grant CMLC has received from Duke Energy, which established the fund in September 2014 with eight seed grants; 15 inaugural grants were distributed in March.

CMLC's project is based along the Sitton Creek tributary, located north of the North Mills River. The project is designed to protect water quality and will additionally expand public access to the area by adding 178 acres to Pisgah National Forest.

Roe said the added acreage is a key component to the project, as it will connect an outparcel of forest to the main body of the National Forest.

The project also includes planning for protection of about 150 additional acres, comprising acreage on each side of Sitton Creek that would be placed under conservation easements.

“If everything comes to pass as we hope, then this grant will allow us to protect acreage around Sitton Creek,” said Roe.

Duke Energy has committed to a $10 million, multi-year commitment for its Water Resources Fund. It aims to support nonprofits in their work to “protect and improve the environment, including waterways used year-round across the Carolinas and neighboring states,” according to a news release.

Recipients are selected by an independent body that includes five environmental experts and two Duke Energy employees. Twenty-three projects in the region are already benefiting from the fund.

“Local organizations are vital to protecting waterways across the Carolinas,” said Shawn Heath, vice president of The Duke Energy Foundation and Community Affairs. “Already, we're seeing good things happen due to this fund, including a new nature preserve that recently opened in Wake County and a streambank that was restored in Watauga County. These are projects that will have a lasting impact on the environment for decades to come.” 

Reach De Bona at or 828-694-7890 

Read about graduation and the end of last year's service term in AmeriCorps Project Conserve's Leaflet Newsletter. See where the new 2015-2016 class of AmeriCorps members are serving and learn about the Project Conserve events that are making a difference throughout western North Carolina.

You can also check out the Project Conserve 2014-2015 Impact Report, which displays the goals and exceeding results of the last AmeriCorps term. 

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.

Interested in volunteering with CMLC? Come to a Volunteer Information Session!

Join CMLC's Volunteer and Community Engagement Associate (VCEA) on Tuesday, November 17th from 5:30-6:30 PM at the CMLC office located at 847 Case Street in Hendersonville, NC.

At the session, you'll take a tour of CMLC and meet staff, AmeriCorps members, and fellow prospective volunteers in the office. You'll learn all about CMLC, our mission, and how you can get involved through a short presentation given by the VCEA.

This information session can count as a volunteer orientation for new volunteers, so you'll be ready to get started!

Contact Ericka, the VCEA at or sign up online here if you'd like to attend this or another information session!


Join Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy for a hike up to CMLC-conserved Bearwallow Mountain on Saturday, November 14th. We'll hike to the summit, rest for a snack and picture taking, then head back down the mountain. 

At 4,232 ft. above sea level, Bearwallow Mountain stands as the highest peak in the widely-visible Bearwallow Highlands range. Straddling the Eastern Continental Divide, it makes up part of the Blue Ridge Escarpment as well as the western rim of the Hickory Nut Gorge. Crowned with a grassy meadow at its summit, the mountain features a nearly 360 degree view that encompasses some of the southern Appalachians' highest peaks including Mt. Mitchell in the Black Mountains and Mt. Pisgah in the Great Balsams range. Its breathtaking vista also includes a birds-eye view of Hickory Nut Gorge, as well as downtown Hendersonville. A historic fire lookout tower occupies the summit, as do grazing cattle who call the mountaintop home.

CMLC acquired a conservation easement on 81 acres at the summit of Bearwallow in 2009, forever protecting it from mountaintop development. An additional 85 acres were placed into a conservation easement on Bearwallow Mountain's ridgeline in 2012. CMLC is working toward the total conservation of more than 480 acres at Bearwallow Mountain.

Total hiking distance is 2.0 miles. This hike is rated moderate with a total elevation gain of 537 feetThis hike is open to the public as well as CMLC members. Space is limited on our hikes, so please reserve your spot by using CMLC's Online Hike Sign-Up Form. Hike meeting locations and additional details will be sent out to participants via e-mail 1-2 days prior to the hike. Reservations for a spot on this hike will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis using:

CMLC's Online Outing Sign-Up Form


Participants are required to be in good physical condition and capable to hike over uneven, forested terrain. Hikers should wear sturdy walking shoes (no flip-flops), bring several layers of clothing in preparation for cold temperatures, pack plenty of water as well as a snack to eat during the hike. Hikers who attend are required to participate in the entire duration of the hike. 

For questions, contact CMLC Community Outreach Associate Corinne Fretwell at Please allow one full business day for a response to Sign-Ups and inquiries. In the event of inclement weather, please call our office at (828) 697-5777 as we may have to cancel the outing.

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