Maintaining trails in Western North Carolina’s mountain forests poses tough choices between recreation and sustainability.
Climate change and extreme weather events disrupt habitat areas and food sources in NC mountain forests, while human infrastructure blocks natural migration paths and creates dangers near roadways for large animal species.
Researchers seek to understand risks climate change poses for the Blue Ridge woodlands of Western North Carolina while many residents experience the disruption of extreme weather.
Uncertainty is a fact of life at nonprofits, especially with regard to funding. But local organizations are increasingly attuned to another uncertainty: how to prepare for the consequences that climate change will have on their work.
Landfills tend to fall in the “out of sight, out of mind” category — unless you’re living next to one. But Buncombe County’s recent move to prepare additional landfill space for both construction and municipal debris is a reminder that such facilities have a finite life.
At the recommendation of the county board’s Environment & Energy Stewardship Subcommittee, which includes board Chair Brownie Newman along with Commissioners Parker Sloan and Terri Wells, members will vote on whether to commit to conserving 20% of Buncombe’s total acreage by 2030.
About 35 acres of the nearly 450-acre tract — purchased by the nonprofit Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy in 2020 and recently transferred to the town of Canton — are now open, including the Berm Park mountain bike skills course and a mixed-use hiking/biking trail.
One referendum would authorize $30 million in borrowing for conservation projects while a second referendum would authorize $40 million in bonds for affordable housing efforts.
For survivors of Tropical Storm Fred, sustainability in recovery is more than environmental. Local governments, property owners and residents are also focusing on economic, community and cultural resilience.
After more than two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Asheville was due for a spring cleaning. City government, along with area nonprofits, kicked off the first of four community cleanup efforts downtown April 18.
The late freeze in spring 2021 caused millions of dollars in damages throughout the region, as well as price hikes and supply chain issues for many local farmers and distributors. How worried should they be about WNC’s tumultuous weather?
Elizabeth Nesbitt, a junior at Western Carolina University and president of the school’s Student Environmental Health Association, speaks with Xpress about reducing waste, encouraging others to take concrete actions to help the environment and setting personal priorities.
Elias Goldstein is a senior at Warren Wilson College and co-leads the school’s Community Oriented Regeneration Efforts work crew. Here, he speaks with Xpress about his college’s sustainability shortcomings, the need for activists to avoid burnout and the importance of combatting systemic racism.
During an April 19 briefing, the county Board of Commissioners heard a presentation by the nonprofit Trust for Public Land about the feasibility of issuing $70 million in bonds for housing and land conservation, which in this case would require approval through referendums of Buncombe voters.
Critics of the rule change dispute that the bear population is growing uncontrollably. And they particularly oppose one of the hunting methods: using dogs to chase a bear to corner the animal, or chase it up a tree, and then it is shot.
Drake Elder Bruner, a senior at Brevard College, speaks with Xpress about food waste, gardening and building community.
A study conducted by MountainTrue found an average of 19 microplastic particles — pieces smaller than 5 millimeters, formed by the breakdown of larger plastics — per liter of water in local river systems. Exposure to microplastics has been tied to allergic reactions and other health impacts in humans, as well as negative effects on fish.
The Asheville-based author discusses the book he’s been working toward his entire career.
A recently completed study, commissioned by the French Broad River Partnership in 2019 and led by economist Steve Ha of Western Carolina University, sets the total economic value of the French Broad and its tributaries at $3.8 billion per year. By comparison, the Blue Ridge Parkway that also runs through Asheville creates about $1.3 billion in economic output per year.
Xpress speaks with Cora Wingate, a junior at Warren Wilson College, about her environmental efforts and how they differ from previous generations.
Xpress speaks with Tyler Pesce, a junior at Mars Hill University and president of the school’s Environmental Action Club, about her her role with EAC and the ways she stays motivated to combat climate change.