(Photos by Appalachian Voices)

NC Policy Watch: Tough rules, engaged public needed to clean up coal ash

OPINION by Sarah Kellogg: This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will finally release the first-ever rule regulating the storage and disposal of coal ash, a toxic byproduct of burning coal. For years, communities and environmental groups across the country have pushed the EPA to finalize the regulations, and now, due to a court ordered mandate, the […]

IN THE TREES: "My role [is] to try to steer the [U.S.] Forest Service toward ecological restoration as the way to meet its multiple-use mandate — which includes providing timber, clean water and recreation, among other things. Photo by Pat Barcas

By the bark: Josh Kelly looks to the future of WNC’s forests

What’s the future of Western North Carolina’s public woodlands, particularly the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests? Public lands biologist Josh Kelly has worked with the Asheville-based nonprofit, WNC Alliance, since 2011, helping determine the answer. And with the U.S. Forest Service updating its plans for Pisgah and Nantahala for the first time in 20 years, the […]

Asheville chef William Dissen, owner and executive chef at The Market Place, met with legislators and presidential chef Sam Kass in support of GMO labeling in early December. Photo courtesy of Dissen

Know your GMOs: Asheville chef speaks up at Capitol Hill labeling debate

Asheville chef William Dissen, owner and executive chef at The Market Place, championed states’ rights to enforce genetically modified organism (GMO) food labeling during an activist trip to Capitol Hill earlier this December. Dissen and about two dozen other renowned chefs spoke against the DARK Act (or “Denying Americans the Right to Know”), a proposed bill […]

Amalia Rowan's 478 votes as of Dec. 8, put her in tenth place among 88 US applicants to participate in the Fjällräven Polar 2015. She must move into first place to secure her dogsledding dream. Image from Rowan's profile page

Asheville native hopes to battle water insecurity by dogsledding

Asheville native Amalia Rowan doesn’t know the first thing about dog sledding, but if her crowdsourcing plan works, she’ll be flown overseas to participate in a guided 300-kilometer expedition through Norway and Sweden next April. “I have to try new things, test myself, get dirt (or snow) under my fingernails,” reads her event application profile. Rowan’s […]

Riverbend Malt House co-owner Brent Manning, left, expanded his production from less than one ton of malt per batch to four tons while working with Sara Day Evans, right.
“Our experience with Accelerating Appalachia was definitely a positive one,” says Manning. “We learned a lot and we got tied into an amazing network of people in our area that we, frankly, had no idea were available to us.” Photo by Pat Barcas

Accelerating Appalachia helps nature-based entrepreneurs get funding

Last year, Accelerating Appalachia orchestrated the transfer of about $505,000 in investment funds toward sustainable, nature-based ventures in Western North Carolina. This year, the Asheville-based nonprofit — the region’s first social-impact business accelerator — partnered with impact investor Reinventure Capital for 2015 and recently invited businesses to submit funding applications online. Submissions for 2015 are due by […]

Photos by Taylor Taz Johnson

Visions of Tibet: Asheville photographer shares rare images of monasteries

Taylor Taz Johnson trekked through the Himalayan mountains of South Asia with Dr. Hun Lye, the founder of Asheville’s Urban Dharma Buddhist Center. They were granted unprecedented permission to photograph inside some of the most isolated religious institutions in the world, braving military interrogations along the way.

GSMNP Video fall color

Video captures Great Smoky Mountain National Park during peak fall color

The “More Than Just Parks” project aims to capture the beauty of all 50 National Parks in order to raise awareness for there value. This video marks “the culmination of two weeks exploring Great Smoky Mountains National Park,” according to the project’s website.  Brothers Will Pattiz and Jim Pattiz, founders of Sea Raven Media,  produced […]

Asheville Bioneers conclude third annual conference

As Lenoir-Rhyne University wrapped up its third annual Taste of Bioneers conference on Friday night, Nov. 21, the panel presentation “Scaling Solutions for Social Change” took center stage. Three local business leaders fueled discussions about the opportunities and the challenges Asheville-area businesses face as they seek to expand their organizations and contribute to community sustainability as […]

PRESIDENTIAL PALATE: Chef William Dissen's trip to Washington, D.C. includes an invitation to meet President Obama's chef Sam Kass.  “Who knows? Maybe the first lady will step out to speak with us!” says Dissen in anticipation. Photo courtesy of The Market Place

Asheville chef demands GMO labeling at Capitol Hill, White House

Asheville chef William Dissen, owner and executive chef at The Market Place, is one of about two dozen chefs invited to gather at Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, Dec. 2, in support of labeling food containing genetically modified organisms. Dissen and other renowned chefs, including Tom Colicchio, José Andrés, Art Smith, Andrew Zimmerman […]

MountainTrue_logo_tag

WNC environmental groups merge into MountainTrue

The historic merger of three long-standing Western North Carolina environmental groups was unanimously approved Nov. 20 by the boards and members of Environmental and Conservation Organization (ECO), the Jackson-Macon Conservation Alliance (J-MCA) and the WNC Alliance (WNCA). Julie Mayfield, co-director of WNCA, opened the proceedings by welcoming the members of all the organizations and the elected officials […]

photo by Jake Frankel

UNC Asheville 2015 Weather Calendar goes on sale

For local weather wonks, the annual Western North Carolina Weather Calendar has been a must-have for decades. The 2015 version goes on sale today, Nov. 11, and marks the 30th published by the UNC Asheville Atmospheric Sciences Department. As always, the unique 12-month calendar features an assortment of Asheville updated climatological data such as monthly […]