Published Dec 24, 2012
We have good news to report from our friends at the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC).
SAHC finalized the purchase of 260 acres within sight of the Appalachian Trail and the Rhododendron Gardens overlook on Roan Mountain. This parcel -- in the middle of the Yellow Mountain State Natural Area -- is adjacent to the December 2011 Spear Top Mountain acquisition of 225 similarly glorious acres.
SAHC's valiant effort to combine these parcels protects the summit and three sides of the mountain.
Laura Mitchell, the lady who formerly owned the property, said: "This area is so special and precious, with beautiful waterfalls and many rare plants and mushrooms. It just needs to stay natural. I wanted to make sure it will always be protected, and working with SAHC, I knew it would be."
The Yellow Mountain State Natural Area was created in 2008. Since then, combining and protecting these two priceless sections has been a high priority for SAHC.
The SAHC website says, "The newly purchased tract holds thriving rich cove and northern hardwood forests, extending to 4800 feet in elevation along the upper reaches of Spear Tops Mountain's western slopes. The headwaters of Justice Creek originate on the property, and tributaries of the North Toe River, a beloved trout stream, flow through it."
Laura Mitchell also said, "My goal was always to be able to leave it in its natural state. SAHC's purchase of the property makes it a win-win situation, and I'm just tickled to death."
Generous gifts to SAHC from Jacqui Michel and Miles Hayes, from Columbia, South Carolina -- in addition to other bequests -- made the transaction possible.
We are grateful for everyone who helped provide this gift for those who love the Appalachian Trail and its environs.
Founded in 1974 as a non-profit organization, SAHC works to conserve the unique plant and animal habitat, clean water, local farmland and scenic beauty of the mountains of North Carolina and east Tennessee. They achieve this through healthy relationships with landowners and public agencies; owning and managing land; and, by working with communities to accomplish mutually beneficial conservation objectives.
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Published Feb 24, 2012.