The big picture: The Box Creek Wilderness is North Carolina’s largest private Registered Natural Heritage Area. photo by Lloyd Wright, courtesy of Unique Places

Opposing lines: Owner, groups, utility disagree about placing power lines through Box Creek

Months of debate, studies and discussion about where Rutherford Electric Membership Corporation should build 2.5 miles of power lines have come to a halt: In January, REMC asked for an easement that would let the utility build power lines through Box Creek Wilderness, a 5,100-acre tract east of Asheville that straddles the county line between Rutherford and McDowell. But recently, local groups and the property owner launched a campaign against the request, including a petition, Facebook page and video.

Rutherford Electric files to build power lines through Box Creek Wilderness-attachment0

Rutherford Electric files to build power lines through Box Creek Wilderness

Months of debate, studies and discussion about where Rutherford Electric Membership Corporation should build 2.5 miles of power lines have come to a halt: In January, REMC filed a 25-page request for an easement that would let the utility build power lines through Box Creek Wilderness, a 5,100-acre forest tract that straddles the county line between Rutherford and McDowell. Local groups and the property owner have launched a campaign against it, including a petition, Facebook page and video. (Image courtesy of Unique Places to Save)

Box Creek Wilderness gets new lease on life after development plan fizzles-attachment0

Box Creek Wilderness gets new lease on life after development plan fizzles

Large areas of untrammeled nature are increasingly hard to come by in North Carolina — especially where the mountains meet the Piedmont, the state’s most urbanized and densely populated region. But every so often, wilderness gets a reprieve. So it is with the Box Creek Wilderness, a 3,300-acre link between the Blue Ridge and the South Mountains just east of Asheville.