Forest farming can bring economic, environmen­tal benefits to WNC

While growing food and other crops beneath the forest canopy isn’t new — it’s been practiced by indigenous and traditional cultures around the world for centuries — a new focus on forest farming is highlighting the possibilities of forest-based production of non-timber crops in Western North Carolina.

Duke Energy’s planned power plant tied to fracking

Natural gas will dethrone coal as the fossil fuel generating most of WNC’s electricity when Duke Energy’s new Lake Julian plant goes online in 2020. But how does natural gas get to this area, and where does it come from? Though tracing the gas molecules to their source is tricky, Xpress found that much of the area’s gas supply comes from hydraulic fracturing, and new pipeline projects are in the works to bring more fracked gas into the region.

Rememberin­g the Great Flood of 1916

With the Great Flood’s centennial approaching, filmmaker David Weintraub has produced a documentary, Come Hell or High Water, exploring the catastrophe through descendants’ memories, historical photos and contemporary accounts. Xpress sat down with Weintraub to talk about the film, the flood’s impact on the region and the lessons to be learned.

Ashevillage’s Community Resilience Challenge tests residents’ skills, resources

“Be prepared” goes the Scouting movement’s mantra. And being able to face any challenge is often a goal of institutions. But the question is always: How? How can we be best prepared for whatever may come? The Boy Scout carries his pocketknife. Emergency services train for possible scenarios. Young people study to pass the big […]

Beyond belief: Faith communitie­s embrace environmen­tal stewardshi­p

Churches are a special type of building — funded, operated and occupied by a community of users who must balance such priorities as care for the community, evangelism, education and worship. Even as these considerations remain crucial, many faith communities are also increasingly aware of ethical and faith-based imperatives to reduce the environmental impact of their operations. As Asheville’s […]

Future shock: Designing climate-resilient buildings

An upcoming conference gives Asheville a lead role in efforts to integrate the latest climate science into the hands-on practices of architects, builders and others. “Climate Resilient Design in the Southeast,” happening Friday, Nov. 6, at the U.S. Cellular Center, brings together an impressive array of acclaimed scientists and other professionals. They’ll discuss climate-resilient building […]

High tension wires: Duke Energy and Henderson County residents at odds over proposed transmissi­on lines

Power giant Duke Energy’s proposal for a 45-mile transmission line through Western North Carolina, part of the company’s multifaceted Western Carolinas Modernization project to upgrade and integrate the mountains with a larger regional power grid, is meeting staunch opposition from residents since the company announced its intentions in mid-July.

Green building thriving in WNC despite legislativ­e threats

Amid a hostile legislative climate in Raleigh, innovative, sustainable design and construction are flourishing in Western North Carolina. The WNC Green Building Council was founded in 2001. Since then — and despite an unstable housing market — local interest has grown steadily, says Maggie Leslie.

Conservati­on in WNC — where we’re going, where we’ve been

From the Get It! Guide: Long before the age of Internet lists and online travel magazines, people came to Asheville and Western North Carolina for the intrinsic natural beauty. In fact, the beauty of our environment is what many say makes this place so special. But are we protecting what we have? What initiatives are underway to help ensure that the region remains a respite and a haven for generations to come?

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