Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 9

mountain report

acreages Protected
in North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia

And in West Virginia, an elk herd now roams a former coal mine site.
by Cathryn McCue
BILL AND LAURA HODGE

About 2o,000 acres of wilderness in Tennessee's Cherokee National Forest are pending protection from Congress.

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2

3

4

5

north carolina

tennessee

virginia

virginia

west virginia

A partnership among
land trusts, the state
and philanthropists has
resulted in the permanent protection of the
1,076-acre Wildacres
property bordering the
Pisgah National Forest
and Blue Ridge Parkway.
Wildacres has evolved
from private ownership
in the 1920s into a nonprofit retreat center for
artists, environmentalists
and others. The deal announced in January puts
the property under two
conservation easements.
A state-held easement
protects streams and natural heritage areas, and
the Conservation Trust of
North Carolina easement
preserves forested lands,
including headwaters of
the Catawba River. foot
hillsconservancy.org

Hikers, birders, hunters and other outdoors
enthusiasts could soon
have almost 20,000
more rugged wilderness acres to explore
and enjoy. Several bills
are pending in Congress
with varying proposals
to designate lands in
the Cherokee National
Forest as wilderness, the
highest form of conservation on federal lands.
Introduced in 2010, the
proposal has broad,
bi-partisan support and
would protect 4.5 miles
of the Appalachian Trail,
nearly 15 miles of the
Benton MacKaye Trail,
cold-water streams and
critical wildlife habitat,
and contribute to the
local economy in east
Tennessee. tnwild.org

In one of his last acts as
Virginia governor, Terry
McAuliffe announced in
January a deal between
the Department of Conservation and Recreation
and Albemarle County
to open the 1,200-acre
"Biscuit Run" tract near
the growing community
of Charlottesville as a
public park. Ann Mallek,
chair of the county
Board of Supervisors,
said: "This park will be
the first of its kind in
the county's development area and will
provide urban and rural
recreational and educational opportunities."
Under the deal, 80% of
the land must remain
forested and all sensitive
natural heritage resources protected. albemarle.
org/newsroom

Newly elected Governor
Ralph Northam has
announced support for
legislation for Virginia to
join a regional program
with nine other states
(from New England to
Maryland) to reduce
greenhouse gases. Under
the program, power
plants buy "allowances"
at a certain cost per ton of
carbon pollution; the revenue is typically invested
by the state in energy
efficiency measures,
ratepayer assistance and
other programs. Started
in 2009, the program
has resulted in hundreds
fewer premature deaths
and thousands fewer
asthma attacks due to
reduced air pollution,
according to Physicians
for Social Responsibility.
psr.org

Biologists in West
Virginia are cautiously
optimistic that a small
herd of elk reintroduced a year ago may
grow into a sustainable
natural resource. Once
native to the Blue Ridge
region but hunted to
near extinction in the
19th century, Eastern
elk have been reintroduced in North Carolina,
Kentucky and Virginia.
The fledgling West
Virginia herd numbers
just 24, roaming a former surface coal mine
site that is now a state
Wildlife Management
Area. Local citizens hope
the herd will draw visitors, and one day grow
large enough to support
limited hunting.
wvdnr.gov

March/April 2018 9


http://www.albemarle.org/newsroom http://www.foothillsconservancy.org http://www.tnwild.org http://www.wvdnr.gov http://www.foothillsconservancy.org http://www.albemarle.org/newsroom http://www.psr.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018

Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 10
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 16
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 18
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 34
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 38
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 66
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - Cover4
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