Chehala Andriananjason, WNC program manager at Muddy Sneakers, discusses the benefits of small group learning, taking in the natural world and the best places to hike.
From CPP: Final plan to manage Pisgah, Nantahala National Forest unveiled
The long-awaited plan to manage more than 1 million acres of national forest was released Friday by the U.S. Forest Service. The plan sets out a strategy to restore the ecological integrity of ecosystems and watersheds within Pisgah and Nantahala national forests.
Buncombe considers preemptive zoning for crypto mines
The county has not received any applications for cryptocurrency mines, according to a staff presentation provided ahead of a briefing scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 21. But commissioners are expected to weigh in on whether county zoning should be updated in anticipation of future development requests.
Green in brief: Duke Energy completes Hot Springs microgrid
The microgrid includes 2 megawatts of solar panel capacity and 4.4 MW of battery storage. Those resources are enough to power the entire town for an extended period if its connection to the main grid is disrupted.
Green in brief: Conserving Carolina to expand Bracken Mountain Preserve
On Dec. 30, the nonprofit completed the purchase of 34 acres in Brevard to expand the preserve. The new land will bolster the existing 395-acre park, owned by the city of Brevard, which connects to the Pisgah National Forest.
From CPP: The uncertain future of old-growth forests in North Carolina, part four
In part four, the last in the series, CPP reports on the objections and responses to the recent decision to harvest 26 acres that encompass an old growth patch of forest on a 3,500-foot mountaintop — the Southside Project.
From CPP: The uncertain future of old-growth forests in North Carolina, part three, the green salamanders
The recent decision to harvest 26 acres that encompass an old-growth patch of forest on a 3,500-foot mountaintop – the Southside Project – underscores what some say is the widening incongruity between the U.S. Forest Service’s mission, climate change crisis and the public’s will.
From CPP: The uncertain future of old-growth forests in North Carolina, part two
Scientists say old-growth forests are essential tools in the fight against climate change. Harvesting them releases greenhouse gasses, worsening climate impacts.
Green in brief: Asheville protects land at Mills River water plant
Backed by a $400,000 grant from the N.C. Land and Water Fund, the nonprofit Mills River Partnership is restoring roughly 14 acres of riverside near the plant. Maria Wise, the nonprofit’s executive director, says her organization will stabilize the riverbanks and replace invasive plants with native varieties.
From CPP: The uncertain future of old-growth forests in North Carolina, part one
The recent decision to harvest 26 acres that encompass an old-growth patch of forest on a 3,500-foot mountaintop — the Southside Project — underscores what some say is the widening incongruity between the U.S. Forest Service’s mission, climate change crisis and the public’s will.
Chamber of Commerce addresses water quality, development
On heels of a 2021 study that showed the power of the French Broad River as an economic driver, the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce convened a panel to discuss the importance of keeping that engine clean.
Green in brief: WNC Nature Center opens new exhibit
In partnership with the WNC Farmers Market, the Asheville zoo launches its Educational Farmers Market Garden starting Wednesday, Nov. 16. The new exhibit focuses on sustainable relationships between agriculture and nature.
Green in brief: Wildlands Network flags WNC roads for wildlife crossings
Of the 20 North Carolina sites in the new report, six are in Western North Carolina — including the nonprofit’s No. 1 site, Interstate 40’s path through the Pigeon River Gorge.
Council to take first look at “plastic reduction” ordinance
The first phase, which could be voted on as early as December, would prohibit the use of plastic bags for curbside leaf collection.
Green in brief: Woodfin Greenway & Blueway gets $5.9M TDA boost
The funding represents the final amount needed for the $30 million project, which has been under development since 2011. The money will go toward constructing 5 miles of greenway along the French Broad River and Beaverdam Creek, as well as park facilities and a wave feature for whitewater enthusiasts.
Asheville prepares Municipal Climate Action Plan
According to the city’s website, the plan, being drafted by Winston-Salem-based consultant AECOM for $95,000, “will incorporate all new additions of policies and resolutions while creating a roadmap on how to accomplish adopted goals” for sustainability and climate through 2030.
Council subsidies could bring more than 100 affordable units to Asheville
Asheville City Council unanimously approved two different approaches to support developments aimed at increasing affordable housing.
$70M for land conservation, affordable housing up to Buncombe voters
This November, Buncombe County voters will determine if the county pursues up to $70 million in bonds. If approved, $30 million would go toward land conservation and greenways, while $40 million would fund up to 3,100 affordable housing units.
Green in brief: Nonprofits plan conversion of Saluda Grade into trail
The path, running along an inactive railway, would stretch about 31 miles northwest from Inman, S.C., through Tryon and Saluda before terminating in Zirconia, about 7 miles southeast of Hendersonville. Hendersonville-based Conserving Carolina; Greenville, S.C.-based Upstate Forever; and Spartanburg, S.C.-based PAL are leading the effort.
Asheville open space updates approved
The updates, which have been controversial, are meant to encourage the construction of affordable housing by reducing and simplifying building regulations and incentivizing stormwater management.
Green in brief: Morrow Landing to offer new French Broad access near Brevard
The land, purchased by Conserving Carolina, falls roughly halfway between the current Island Ford and Hap Simpson Park access points, which are separated by nearly 10 miles of river. Morrow Landing’s placement will therefore facilitate shorter trips by less experienced river users and improve access for emergency responders.