WNC Environmental Organizations    

 

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In Madison County. Photograph by Liza Schillo
                                 "In Madison County"  Photograph by Liza Schillo

Western North Carolina is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It is a twenty-three county region covering more than 10,000 square miles of rolling hills and valleys, cascading trout streams and towering ancient mountains. I have included this section in Liza's Reef since I live in the mountains just outside of Asheville. Home to Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi and to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Pisgah National Forest, Western North Carolina is one of the most popular tourist destinations in America and one of the most desirable places on earth to live. However, paradise is not without its problems, and the primary ones here have to do with the environment. Air pollution from coal-fired plants in the Midwest and increased auto traffic, environmental damage and pollution from developers and builders, and threats to pristine forests from the commercial logging industry are all too real.

Photograph by John FletcherFortunately there are a large number of local, state and national environmental organizations that have a presence in Western North Carolina and are involved in helping to protect and conserve the environment in this region. To help support the important work that they do, I have listed below links to their websites. Please visit them, and if you  live here in the mountains, join an organization to help in the battle. If you have never seen Western North Carolina, check out my webpage featuring the wonderful photographs of John Fletcher. 
                                                                                              

Photographs of the Western North Carolina Mountains  |
The Photography of John Fletcher
 

Western North Carolina
Environmental Organizations

 

Local Environmental Organizations

Copyright © 2000 The Canary Coalition, All Rights ReservedCanary Coalition  Sylva, NC
828-631-3447  PO Box 653, Sylva, NC 28779

A non-profit organization dedicated to restoring clean air in Western North Carolina and the southern Appalachian Region. They are a true grassroots clean air organization effectively working to reduce air pollution in the mountains of Western North Carolina.



 


Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy
Hendersonville, NC
828-697-5777, P.O. Box 2822, Hendersonville, NC 28793
The Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy is a non-profit, voluntary organization that works directly to protect the natural diversity and beauty of Western North Carolina by preserving natural lands and scenic areas. They help families meet their conservation and financial goals while preserving their lands for future generations and they provide communities and individuals with a range of conservation tools and tax-saving techniques. The Conservancy also fosters a greater understanding and appreciation of our natural heritage.

Clean Air Community Trust
Asheville, NC
828-258-1856, PO Box 2824, Asheville, NC 28802
The Clean Air Community Trust is a non-profit organization chartered by the City of Asheville and Buncombe County. Their mission is the seek and secure cleaner air for the citizens of Buncombe County and surrounding communities; protect and improve the health of the people, forests and economy of Western North Carolina through the reduction of locally generated air pollution; educate children and adults on the causes of, the health and economic costs of, and solutions for air pollution; promote activities and events that inspire citizens to make choices that will lead to clean air in WNC; and to provide resources to those engaged in air quality improvement.

Cradle of ForestryCradle of Forestry Pisgah National Forest,
Transylvania County

(828) 877-3130
US Hwy. 276, Pisgah National Forest,
The Cradle of Forestry in America is a 6,500 acre Historic Site within the Pisgah National Forest, set aside by Congress to commemorate the beginning of forestry conservation in the United States. The Forest Discovery Center commemorates conservation history with an 18 minute movie on Vanderbilt, Pinchot, Schenck and the beginning of forestry in America. Ongoing public education programs in natural history, forestry and conservation.

 ECO -Environmental & Conservation Organization
Hendersonville, NC
828-692-0385  119 3rd Avenue, Hendersonville, NC

ECO is dedicated to preserving the natural heritage of Henderson County and the mountain region through Education, Recreation, Service and Civic Action. Their guiding statement is take care of your own backyard. Seeking to think globally and act locally, they work to preserve and protect our streams and wetlands, wildlife and natural habitats, air, and trees - the environment that sustains us all.

Land-of-Sky Regional CouncilLand-of-Sky "Clean Air Campaign 
Asheville, NC
828-251-6622
25 Heritage Drive, Asheville NC 28806
The goal of the Land-of-Sky Regional Council's "Clean Air Campaign" is reduce air pollution in the French Broad River Valley through increased public awareness and participation. The Campaign focuses on making citizens more aware of our air quality problems and of what they can do to help solve these problems through reduced driving and energy conservation
.

Long Branch Environmental Education CenterLong Branch Environmental Education Center 
Leicester, NC

(828) 683-3662, P.O. Box 369 Leicester, NC 28748
The Long Branch Environmental Education Center, Inc. is a small educational institute in Buncombe County's Newfound Mountains, about 18 miles northwest of Asheville, North Carolina. Set aside in 1974 as an ecological sanctuary and land trust, it has developed into an educational center for sharing positive strategies of sustainability and local self-reliance in the areas of environmental design, organic food production, renewable energy, shelter design and construction, appropriate technology, resource conservation, recycling, wildlife protection, ecological restoration, and improved environmental quality.

RiverLink Asheville, NC
828-225-0760  70 Woodfin Place, Asheville, NC

RiverLink is a regional non-profit spearheading the economic and environmental revitalization of the French Broad River and its tributaries as a place to work, live and play. RiverLink was born in 1987 of simultaneous efforts to address water quality concerns throughout the French Broad River basin, expand public opportunities for access and recreation, and spearhead the economic revitalization of Asheville's dilapidated riverfront district. As expressed in their mission statement, they focus on related issues that directly impact the environmental health of our region's rivers and streams and the growth and sustainability of our economy. 
 

Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project
SABP is a nonprofit regional organization dedicated to empowering citizens to appreciate, defend, and restore the native biodiversity of the Southeast. SABP seeks permanent protection for the regionís public lands and sustainable management of private lands. The group pursues its goals through public education, legal advocacy, and grassroots organizing. Battery Park Ave., Asheville, 828-258-2667.

The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy
The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy  Asheville, NC
828-253-0095 34 Wall Street, Suite 802, Asheville, NC
Founded in 1974 as a non-profit, charitable organization, the SAHC Conservancyís mission is to conserve unique plant and animal habitat, clean water, and scenic beauty of the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee for the benefit of present and future generations. The Conservancy works with individuals and local communities to identify, preserve, and manage the regionís important lands. It has helped ensure the protection of more than 21,000 acres throughout the mountain region.


Western North Carolina Green Building Council Asheville, NC
828-232-5080, PO Box 17026, Asheville, NC 28816
WNCGBC is a  non-profit organization whose mission is to promote environmentally sustainable and health conscious building practices through community education. Their main goal is to educate homeowners, builders and architects on the benefits of green building practices.

Western North Carolina Nature Center  Asheville, NC
828-298-5600   75 Gashes Creek Road, Asheville, NC
The Western North Carolina Nature Center is the premier nature center in Western North Carolina
Their  mission is to increase public awareness and understanding of all aspects of the natural environment of Western North Carolina through hands-on and sensory experiences. An outstanding 42-acre center, the Nature Center receives over 100,000 visitors a year and features indigenous wildlife and plant life native to the Southern Appalachian Mountains.

North Carolina Mountain Treasures  Sylva NC
828-587-9453 The Wilderness Society, 563 West Main Street, Suite 1, Sylva, NC 28779
Western North Carolina project of
The Wilderness Society. Focus is on the unprotected wildlands of the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests
 




State Environmental Organizations

Clean Water Management Trust Fund LogoCleanwater Management Trust Fund  Raleigh, NC
919-733-6375 Raleigh, NC Office

Created in 1996, the Clean Water Management Trust Fund makes grants to local governments, state agencies and conservation non-profits to help finance projects that specifically address water pollution problems.

Clean Water For North Carolina   Durham, NC
828-251-1219 Asheville, NC Office
Since 1984 Clean Water for North Carolina (CWFNC), formerly the Clean Water Fund of North Carolina) has worked for clean, safe communities and workplaces with hundreds of communities and thousands of North Carolinians. CWFNC is a private non-profit membership organization serving residents across the state of North Carolina.
 


[CCNC logo]Conservation Council of North Carolina  Raleigh, NC
919-839-0006  Raleigh, NC Office
The Conservation Council of NC (CCNC) is a statewide lobbying organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing North Carolina's natural environment. They accomplish this by advocating positive changes in environmental policies, educating and mobilizing citizens, taking leadership roles in initiatives to promote sound environmental management, making the environment a priority for legislators and the public and holding legislators accountable for environmental decisions.

Environment North Carolina   Raleigh, NC
(919) 833-0015
112 South Blount Street, Suite 102
Raleigh, NC 27601

Environment North Carolina is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization. Their professional staff combines independent research, practical ideas and tough-minded advocacy to overcome the opposition of powerful special interests and win real results for North Carolina's environment. Environment North Carolina draws on 30 years of success in tackling our state's top environmental problems.
 

High Country Conservancy  Boone, NC
828-264-2356 Boone, NC Office

To protect the natural resources of Appalachia by conserving land with significant ecological, cultural, recreational, or scenic value in
Watauga, Ashe and Avery Counties.

North Carolina Arboretum  Asheville, NC
828-665-2492
100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville, NC
The 434-acre Arboretum focuses on education, economic development, research, conservation, and garden demonstration with respect to landscape, architecture, and plant sciences.  The Arboretum is an inter-institutional facility of the University of N
C.
 

North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light NC IPL works with faith communities to address the causes and consequences of global climate change, and promote practical solutions, through education, outreach, and public policy advocacy. 919-828-6501

North Carolina Wildlife Federation  Raleigh, NC
919-833-1823 Raleigh, NC Office

The mission of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation is to be the leading advocate for all North Carolina wildlife and its habitat. NCWF is North Carolinaís largest wildlife enthusiast conservation group with 60 years experience, 12,000 general members, and 23 affiliated sportsmen's clubs in all regions of North Carolina.

Southeast Regional
Environmental Organizations

Appalachian Voices Boone, NC
828-251-9500 Asheville, NC Office

Their mission is to empower people to defend the Appalachian mountain's  rich natural and cultural heritage by providing them with tools and strategies for successful grassroots campaigns. Their four guiding principles are Conservation, Integrity, Empowerment and Community.
 

Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League  Glendale Springs, NC
336-928-2691 Glendale Springs, NC Office

The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League is a regional, community-based, non-profit environmental organization. Their founding principles are earth stewardship, environmental democracy, social justice, and community empowerment. Working in rural and disadvantaged areas, BREDL puts into practice at a grassroots level the ideals of love of community and love of neighbor.

Dogwood Alliance Asheville, NC
828-251-2525, P.O. Box 7645 Asheville, NC 28802

Dogwood Alliance is a growing regional network, comprised of 70 grassroots organizations in 17 states and concerned citizens from across the nation. They share a mission of protecting Southern forests and communities by engendering broad-based, diverse support for ending unsustainable industrial forest practices.

 




Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway   Roanoke, VA
800-228-7275  Arden, NC Office

The mission of the Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway is to help preserve, protect and promote the outstanding natural beauty, ecological vitality, and cultural distinctiveness of the Blue Ridge Parkway and its surrounding scenic landscape, thereby preserving this national treasure for future generations.

Southern Alliance For Clean Energy  Knoxville, TN
828-254-6776  Asheville, NC Office
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes responsible energy choices that solve global warming problems and ensure clean, safe and healthy communities throughout the Southeast.  SACE has programs throughout the southeastern United States, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. 

SELCSouthern Environmental Law Center
Chapel Hill, NC  919-967-1450
For the past 20 years, the Southern Environmental Law Center has used the full power of the law to conserve clean water, healthy air, wild lands, and livable communities throughout the Southeast. As one of the biggest, most powerful environmental organizations headquartered in the South, SELC is able to work simultaneously in all three branches of government, and in all of our six focus states, to comprehensively address the most urgent problems facing our region.

Wild South
Asheville, NC
828-258-2667   Battery Park Avenue, Asheville, NC

Wild South is a non-profit regional organization dedicated to empowering citizens to appreciate, defend, and restore the native biodiversity of the Southeast. Wild South seeks permanent protection for the region's public lands and sustainable management of private lands. The group pursues its goals through public education, legal advocacy, and grassroots organizing.

National Environmental Organizations

American Lands Alliance  Washington, DC
828-251-9500 Asheville, NC Office
American Landsí programs are designed to protect and restore functioning ecosystems and address the underlying threats to them. Their programs rely on science-based solutions. American Landsí staff has expertise in federal and non-federal forest lands, fire ecology, grasslands, sustainable forestry, and endangered species issues, and works to develop proactive policies in each area. Their long-term wild lands protection strategy focuses on the following five areas: Public lands protection, public lands restoration, interior appropriations and legislation, and non-federal forestlands.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy  Harpers Ferry, WV 
828-254-3708 U.S. Forest Service, Asheville, NC Office
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is a volunteer-based, private nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of the 2,175-mile Appalachian National Scenic Trail, a 250,000-acre greenway extending from Maine to Georgia. Their mission is to ensure that future generations will enjoy the clean air and water, scenic vistas, wildlife and opportunities for simple recreation and renewal along the entire Trail corridor.

GoldfinchElisha Mitchell Audubon Society  New York, NY
828-891-9896  Asheville, NC Chapter
Their mission is to promote an awareness and appreciation of nature, to preserve and protect wildlife and natural ecosystems, and to encourage responsible environmental stewardship.
 


 

Environmental Defense  New York, NY
919-821-7793 Raleigh, NC Chapter

Environmental Defense is a leading national non-profit organization representing more than 400,000 members. Since 1967, they have linked science, economics and law to create innovative, equitable and cost-effective solutions to society's more urgent environmental problems. Their mission is to protect the environmental rights of all people, including future generations. Among these rights are clean air, clean water, healthy food and flourishing ecosystems.

National Forest Protection Alliance  Missoula, MT
828-285-8855 Asheville, NC Office

The mission of the National Forest Protection Alliance is to end the industrial exploitation of all federal public lands, starting with commercial logging. They believe public lands should be managed to provide clean air and water, wilderness, wildlife habitat, and compatible recreation for the public - not subsidized lumber for the timber industry.
 

Sierra Club    San Francisco, CA
828-225-0760 Asheville, NC Chapter

The Sierra Club's membership is more than 750,000, and inspired by nature, they work together to protect communities and the planet. The Club is  one of the largest, oldest and most influential grassroots environmental organizations in the world.

The Nature Conservancy  Arlington, VA
919-403-8558 Durham, NC Chapter

The Nature Conservancy is a leading international, nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the diversity of life on Earth. Their is to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.