Full stories on recent updates available on our Blog
At the very end of December 2012, SAHC purchased a 601-acre tract at Grassy Ridge in Avery County, NC, adjacent to the Pisgah National Forest and near the Appalachian Trail in the Highlands of Roan. This incredible tract borders one of the highest ridges of the Southern Appalachians, and has been one of SAHC’s top conservation priorities for four decades because of its size and location within a large network of high elevation protected lands. The property forms a high elevation corridor, linking National Forest lands on the north end with lands owned by the State of North Carolina in the Yellow Mounain State Natural Area to the south. This is truly a crown jewel of the Roan Highlands. Read more.
In mid-December 2012, SAHC purchased a
95-acre portion of historic “Lost Cove” in the remote and rugged Nolichucky Gorge, an inholding in the Pisgah National Forest. Nestled near the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, the secluded Lost Cove is a ghost town with a colorful history of self-sufficient families, railroad crews, timber, and moonshine.
“ ‘Lost Cove’ is a phrase every Unicoi County kid hears pretty early in his/her life. It has long fired our imaginations, made us curious about our mountain surroundings and our history and inspired many of us to dig deeper into - and ultimately care more about - our Appalachian heritage,” according to David Ramsey, SAHC trustee. “To me, this effort is one more example of the amazing and extremely important conservation work of the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy.”Read more.
This lovely 63-acre cove is located in Madison County, on the ridgeline that is the border with Buncombe County. It lies near other properties that we have protected in a relatively unfragmented corridor between the Black Mountains and the Tennessee line. The tract is a north-facing rich cove with large hardwood trees, and headwaters originating on the property flow into Terry Fork, a tributary of Ivy Creek that meets the French Broad River just south of Marshall.Landowners Hershella Smith and Jay Gleason donated the full value of the conservation easement and all transaction costs to make this project possible. Read More.
In December 2012, SAHC completed bargain sale conservation easements on two adjoining tracts at Blue Ridge Pastures, totaling 120 acres. The property is situated on the Eastern Continental Divide, adjacent to Strawberry Gap and Ferguson Knob, with an upper elevation of 3,740 feet. The tracts are adjacent to a network of protected land in Hickory Nut Gorge, including SAHC’s Hickory Nut Gap Forest conservation easement and the Florence Preserve. The Blue Ridge Pastures project also adjoins property protected by another SAHC conservation easement project completed in December – the Hickory Nut Gap Scenic Byways project. Portions of the Blue Ridge Pastures are visible from Little Pisgah Mountain, Bearwallow Mountain, the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Drover’s Road Scenic Byway. Read More.
We love the tranquil drive through Fairview along the Drover’s Road Scenic Byway. At the crest of Hickory Nut Gap, the sight of Sherrill’s Inn overlooking this scenic route recalls the 1800s, when the Flying Cloud stagecoach carried mail and passengers from Rutherfordton to Asheville, and herd drovers stopped here to rest before journeying on through the gorge. Recognizing the historic and natural treasures of this area, we successfully protected 173 acres along the Drovers Road Scenic Byway (US 74A) in December 2012, through conservation easements on three adjoining parcels. These conservation easements ensure that the land will be preserved forever, securing important views, habitat, and water resources right on the Eastern Continental Divide. Read More.
We recently purchased 260 acres visible from the Appalachian Trail and from the overlook at the Rhododendron Gardens on Roan Mountain. Located in the middle of the Yellow Mountain State Natural Area, the parcel adjoins the 225-acre Spear Top Mountain property that we acquired in December 2011. Together, these adjoining conservation projects protect the summit and three sides of the mountain! The newly purchased tract holds thriving rich cove and northern hardwood forests, extending to 4800 feet in elevation along the upper reaches of Spear Tops Mountain’s western slopes. The headwaters of Justice Creek originate on the property, and tributaries of the North Toe River, a beloved trout stream, flow through it. Read More
In early December 2012, we closed on three adjoining projects in the lush Fairview valley, securing 28 acres of prime farming bottom land for agricultural use in the future. The parcels lie alongside the Drovers’ Road Scenic Byway, below a twisting ascent up the Hickory Nut Gap. Together, these projects help ensure the protection of the scenic quality of this rural landscape, as well as the availability of rare prime soils for present and future farmers. Read More
89 acres, known as the Whichard property, at the southern end of the Yellow Mountain State Natural Area in the Highlands of Roan. Read More
225- acre Spear Tops tract in the Yellow Mountain State Natural Area, rising to 4,900 ft. at the summit. Read More
474-acre Little Pisgah Mountain conservation easement projects, protecting an iconic backdrop for the rural Fairview farming community. These new conservation easements combine with neighboring easements and other preserves to bring the total amount of land protected on Little Pisgah Mountain to more than 1,400 acres. Read More
192-acres at Elk Fork, rising to an elevation of 5,163 feet at the summit of High Knob, to help preserve unbroken views of conspicuous peaks in the Black Mountains. Read More
90 acres on Snowball Mountain, adjoining the publicly accessible Snowball Mountain Trail near the Craggy Gardens picnic area and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Read More
114-acre conservation easement at Jim's Branch in the Swannanoa Mountains, protecting unbroken views from the Blue Ridge Parkway and tributaries that flow into Christian Creek and the Swannanoa River. Read More
248 acres at Robinson Rough in the Sandy Mush Community, to protect headwaters of a major tributary of Sandy Mush Creek and safeguard the mountain from development. Read More
88-acre donated tract connects the Sandy Mush Game Lands on two different sides, bridging the gap between major portions of the state-owned game lands. Read More
112 acre-conservation easmeent at The Plateau secures a critical gap between the Pisgah & Cherokee National Forests. Read More
492 acres of land purchased at Laurel Ridge, adjacent to the Asheville watershed and just 19 miles outside the city of Asheville. Read More
210 acres along the North Toe River, protected by conservtion easement and holds two miles of trout waters in the shadow of the Roan Massif.
14-acre buffer at Buck Mountain along the Appalachian Trail. Read More
35-acre Wesser Bald adjacent to the Appalachian Trail in Macon County, NC; transferred to the US Forest Service. Read More
207-acre tract on Little Yellow Mountain in Mitchell and Avery counties, previously slated for development. Read More
37- acre conservation easement in Swannanoa, less than a mile from the Blue Ridge Parkway and adjacent to the Asheville Watershed and Pisgah National Forest. Read More
864 acres protected at the Long Branch Environmental Education Center in Sandy Mush protected by conservation easement. Read More
199 acres at Burleson Bald in the Yellow Mountain State Natural Area Read More.