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

    Development of natural areas in the United States, coupled with expected changes in climate, have increased the importance of migration corridors that connect protected natural areas. Large, connected wild lands reduce the isolation of animal and plant populations and allow for migration and movement that can help preserve populations of wild species and enhance genetic and ecosystem diversity. 

  • Sarah Graddy

    An analysis of more than 8,700 low-producing natural gas wells in two counties in the San Juan Basin, San Juan and Rio Arriba, determined that BLM’s rule will have little to no negative impact on these marginal wells.

    The results of the study indicate that the new rule—which aims to reduce waste from venting, flaring and leaks from oil and gas operations on public and tribal lands—will actually increase overall production and royalties paid to support vital services in the state of New Mexico.

  • Michael Reinemer

    The measure would permanently authorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, protect two wilderness areas in New Mexico and address water supply and river restoration efforts in the Yakima Basin in Washington state.