IN THE BEGINNING: Reputed to be the third oldest river in the world, the French Broad has gone from a polluted industrial dumping ground to a key cog in Western North Carolina’s outdoor and tourism industries. This renaissance is a result of government, nonprofit, and individual efforts to improve water quality throughout the watershed. Photo by Mike Belleme; courtesy of Transylvania Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Development Authority

Communitie­s along Upper French Broad work to restore water quality

In this two-part series, Xpress invites you on a guided a trip down the river as we examine the work of various communities to write the next chapter in the French Broad’s history, beginning with Transylvania and Henderson counties.

KISS ME: Bradley Johnston has worked with cows all his life, so it makes sense that the Mills River farmer feels as comfortable clowning around with the herd as he does with his human friends. Photo by Kendra Topalian

Bradley Johnston brings boutique dairy farming to Mills River

Mills River native Bradley Johnston has worked with cows all his life, but his newest venture — Mills River Creamery — is a departure from the high-volume wholesale dairy trade he used to practice. Johnston’s small herd of Jersey cows eat non-GMO feed and produce a type of milk that many find easier to digest than the usual supermarket fare.

Photo courtesy of Brother Wolf Animal Rescue

Impacts from Brother Wolf’s moratorium on animal intakes expected to reach beyond Buncombe

Brother Wolf Animal Rescue‘s unexpected moratorium on animal intakes has raised a number of questions among people in the Asheville animal rescue community. Brother Wolf president and founder Denise Bitz recently announced plans to close the Joyce B. Cambron Adoption Center in Asheville and open a pet and farm animal sanctuary in Leicester in its place. […]

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Brighter pastures in Leicester? Brother Wolf’s move triggers controvers­y

The president of Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, Denise Bitz, yesterday accused a former member of the nonprofit’s board and one-time foster parent of the year of fomenting “a local cesspool on a social media.”  The comment was one of many contentious exchanges taking place this week on Facebook following Brother Wolf’s announcement it will be closing […]