All Current News, Events and Hikes

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.



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.

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