SAHC's flagship project is protecting the Highlands of Roan in Mitchell and Avery Counties, North Carolina and in Carter County in Tennessee.
The same qualities that make the Roan and other areas of the Southern Appalachians important to conserve for the future also draw unchecked development that threatens to ruin them. Many areas in these mountains are not yet protected and are at risk of being lost forever. Because of the significance and fragility of these ecosystems, protecting them is the Conservancy's highest priority.
The Conservancy is protecting high-altitude ridges adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Haywood and Jackson Counties in North Carolina. Traditional uses of the land such as farming, hunting, and fishing are at risk of being lost forever, unless we set aside places for these activities to continue.
These mountains extend northwest of Asheville to the Appalachian Trail on the Tennessee state line, and include high grassy meadows along ridge-tops, steep forested coves and slopes and intact bottomland farms. All of these features are threatened as population expands from Asheville into this formerly remote area. The Conservancy is actively working to protect and connect tracts here, and so far has safeguarded over 1,000 acres.
This area extends north and south of the Pisgah Ridge following the Blue Ridge Parkway. In this area, The Conservancy has protected over 1,400 acres of pristine watersheds, mature forests and high-biodiversity streams.
Reaching northeast of Asheville and including the Craggy Mountains in the Pisgah National and Mount Mitchell State Parks, since the days of Elisha Mitchell and Big Tom Wilson, the Black Mountains have been the cornerstone of conservation in North Carolina.
The Conservancy has protected several special places in the mountains of East Tennessee, including a historic farm located very close to Sampson Mountain, the Unaka Mountain Wilderness area, the Appalachian Trail, and a tract on Walnut Mountain near the Appalachian Trail, contiguous with Cherokee National Forest.