Peeking above a pastoral setting of rolling hills, panoramic mountain views surround the Drovers Road Scenic Byway. In the western portion of the Fairview Farming Community, Camby Mountain dominates the skyline. Smith Farms Inc. partnered with SAHC to protect scenic Camby Mountain from subdivision and development. GD Smith, President of Smith Farms Inc., and his wife Janice Smith closed on a conservation easement with SAHC on the 58-acre mountainside above their farm in Fairview.
“The Smith family is doing a great thing for Fairview by protecting scenic views from the valley,” said Farmland Program Director William Hamilton. “We are so grateful to have a chance to work with them and secure the view of Camby Mountain from the byway.”
The property contains a prominent ridgeline and mountain face highly visible from Drovers Road Scenic Byway US-74A as well as from other public roadways and vantage points in the community. The portion of the tract protected by conservation easement includes the upland, forested area rising above Smith Farms.
“Protecting this ridgeline is an important part of preserving the beloved mountain landscape of Buncombe County along the federally designated scenic byway between Asheville and Chimney Rock State Park,” added Hamilton.
This project was made possible by a generous gift from Fred and Alice Stanback; funding from the Federal Scenic Byways program, Buncombe County, and the Conservation Trust for NC; and the generosity of the landowners. Altogether, SAHC has conserved approximately 1,500 acres in the Fairview area.
“The Smiths’ foresight in protecting Camby Mountain from subdivision and development is a major step in securing the scenic beauty and natural landscape in southeast Buncombe County,” said Executive Director Carl Silverstein.
Camby Mountain is near 1,830 acres of conservation easements and fee simple land held by SAHC, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, and the Nature Conservancy, including Hickory Nut Gap Farm, Flying Cloud Farm, Little Pisgah Mountain, Blue Ridge Pastures, and the Florence Preserve.
The connectivity afforded by protecting Camby Mountain at Smith Farms so near other large tracts supports diverse wildlife, including black bear and bobcat; smaller mammal species such as red fox; large birds such as wild turkey, grouse, barred owl, and red tailed hawk; small song birds and neotropical migratory birds; and a variety of species of amphibians and reptiles.