“We are showing women how to see their land as an asset and how to make it work economically and to see that future,” explains Aimee Tomcho, a Burnsville-based conservation biologist for the National Audubon Society and leader of Western North Carolina’s ForestHer chapter.
When invasive plants reach into productive “rich coves” like Sandy Mush, they can choke out much of the region’s native biodiversity. Endangered and sought-after plants such as yellow mandarin, black cohosh and wild ginseng, as well as thousands of other species of native plants and animals, can be at risk.
Nonprofits are often judged by their overhead ratio, the percentage of their total expenses made up by administrative and fundraising costs. But as Jeanette Butterworth with WNC Nonprofit Pathways, is quick to point out, organizations need funding to spend their funds well.
As local land trusts bring thousands of acres under protection, the challenges of maintaining the health of those lands grow. And raising money for ongoing efforts to control invasive plant species, deter pests and protect water quality can be a much tougher sell than the initial push to save a beloved tract from the threat of development.
Xpress sat down with a number of recently formed local nonprofits, as well as experts in the field, to better understand the challenges these newbies face.
Nonprofits Root Cause and EcoForesters celebrated local and regional efforts to promote sustainable forest stewardship and the use of local forest products on Nov. 12. The organizations presented four awards recognizing local groups and individuals who advocate for sound forest management practices.