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

    Citing some of “the most beautiful and iconic landscapes on earth” in Teton County’s backyard, the board of commissioners Tuesday morning unanimously passed a resolution that “opposes any and all efforts by the State of Wyoming to obtain the wholesale transfer of federal lands in Wyoming” to the state. In January, Sweetwater County filed a letter with the state legislature stating similar opposition to measures that would turn over federal public lands—such as parks, wilderness, and national forests—to state jurisdiction and management.

  • Tim Woody

    In spite of Royal Dutch Shell’s disastrous performance during the 2012 Arctic Ocean drilling season, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management today conditionally approved the company’s 2015 exploration plan, which provides even fewer safeguards for the Chukchi Sea and its sensitive coastline than Shell had in place three years ago. Shell also plans to bring a different rig operated by a new contractor to the Arctic Ocean in 2015, which could result in unexpected transport and drilling problems.

  • Michael Reinemer

    The Wilderness Society strongly supports bipartisan legislation, the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act of 2015 (S. 235, H.R. 167), to fix a budgetary problem called “fire borrowing.”  This is a destructive cycle in which the Forest Service is forced to take funds from other forest programs when its allotted wildfire funds are used up, essentially robbing Peter to pay Paul to put out fires in our national forests.