Western North Carolina

Western North Carolina is home to a large portion of the Southern Appalachians and some of the wildest forests in the east.

Many of the forests in western North Carolina are free from roads that fragment habitat for plants and wildlife. They also are home to more than 2,000 kinds of plant and 700 kinds of animals.

The Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest occupy much of western North Carolina — covering over one million acres. These are the only two national forests in the state, and are within a days’ drive of more than one-third of the nation’s population.

Why Western North Carolina

The forests of Western North Carolina are a national treasure — attracting millions of visitors each year and helping to provide clean drinking water to local communities. Yet, they face many threats.

Work We Are Doing

Only 68,000 acres in the Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest are permanently protected. We're working to protect other portions of these vulnerable forests from logging and other pressures through our North Carolina Mountain Treasures Campaign.

Our Partners

With help from local partners, we’re able to do much more for the western North Carolina forests of the Greater Smokies region.
 

  • Michael Reinemer
    The Wilderness Society today praised Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) for introducing important legislation that would conserve more than 58,000 acres of public lands in Colorado’s Eagle and Summit Counties including approximately 40,000 acres of wilderness and more than 18,000 acres as special management areas.  
     
  • Michael Reinemer
    To mark the 50th year since the signing of the Wilderness Act in 1964, the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment and The Wilderness Society will host a conference on September 4 and 5 at the University of Colorado Law School in Boulder. “Celebrating the Great Law: The Wilderness Act at 50” will feature prominent authors, professors, historians, activists and Colorado’s poet laureate.  
     
  • cate tanenbaum

    Wilderness Society applauds House for moving beyond ‘gridlock’ but says new amendments lead legislation astray

    The Wilderness Society today praised the House Natural Resources Comamittee for advancing Wilderness designations for Washington state and Nevada but worries House legislation departs too significantly from more locally supported counterpart bills in the Senate.