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.

  • Anastasia Greene

    “Secretary Jewell is on the right track. The plan to pursue cancellation of this oil and gas lease sets the stage for getting rid of the remaining leases in the Badger-Two Medicine region,” said Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society. “This is not only an ecologically invaluable link between Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area, it’s a sacred place for the Blackfeet Nation and a stronghold for the Blackfeet culture.

  • Michael Reinemer

    “In this season of Thanksgiving, we are grateful to have a bipartisan group of Senators at the grown-ups’ table showing real leadership by advancing legislation to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, in S. 556,” said Alan Rowsome, Senior Director of Government Relations for Lands at The Wilderness Society.  “That contrasts with Rep.

  • Michael Reinemer

    Today federal legislation to protect and enhance the Yakima River basin’s fisheries, ecosystem and water supply was passed by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.