Western North Carolina Alliance http://wnca.org Just another WordPress site Wed, 03 Jul 2013 19:13:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.2 Malaprop’s reading to benefit WNCA http://wnca.org/malaprops-reading-to-benefit-wnca/ http://wnca.org/malaprops-reading-to-benefit-wnca/#comments Mon, 01 Jul 2013 14:30:45 +0000 WNCAADMIN http://wnca.org/?p=5510 MAMpromoshotEnvironmental fiction writer Mary Alice Monroe, author of the new book, “The Summer Girls,” is generously donating 10 percent of book sales from an upcoming reading at Malaprop’s Bookstore & Cafe to the Western North Carolina Alliance.

The reading will be at 7 p.m. July 6 at the store, located at 55 Haywood St.

“The Summer Girls” is the first in book in a trilogy of “green fiction,” in which dolphins are the focal point for an environmental lesson in which they face sickness and death due to polluted waters. “The Summer Girls” was selected as one of the top 10 best summer reads by Southern Living magazine and CBS.

Monroe is a New York Times bestselling author and has written 14 novels. She is an active conservationist who serves on the boards of the South Carolina Aquarium, The Leatherback Trust and Charleston Literacy Volunteers.

She is inspired by the WNCA’s work to protect the mountains, rivers and forests of Western North Carolina.

To learn more about Monroe, visit http://www.maryalicemonroe.com/.

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June 25: President Obama to speak about the threat of climate change http://wnca.org/june-25-president-obama-to-speak-about-the-threat-of-climate-change/ http://wnca.org/june-25-president-obama-to-speak-about-the-threat-of-climate-change/#comments Mon, 24 Jun 2013 19:43:07 +0000 WNCAADMIN http://wnca.org/?p=5443 At 1:35 p.m. on Tuesday (June 25), President Obama will speak at Georgetown University on the growing threat of climate change.

He will lay out his vision of where we need to go, to do what we can to address and prepare for the serious implications of a changing climate.

Tune in at whitehouse.gov/live

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July 21: Clean Energy and Sustainability Tour of the Earthaven Ecovillage http://wnca.org/july-21-clean-energy-and-sustainability-tour-of-the-earthaven-ecovillage/ http://wnca.org/july-21-clean-energy-and-sustainability-tour-of-the-earthaven-ecovillage/#comments Wed, 19 Jun 2013 21:48:45 +0000 WNCAADMIN http://wnca.org/?p=5408 eeeJoin WNCA for a “Clean Energy & Sustainability Tour of the Earthaven Ecovillage” and experience how this community’s residents have already arrived to the clean energy future many dream of for Asheville and the steps it took to get there.

This full-day custom tour will explore Earthaven’s path toward establishing and growing a community that is completely off the grid.   Tour attendants will have an opportunity to view multiple examples of homes and community buildings that utilize different natural building methods and renewable energy systems and the ecovillage’s on site hydro-electric system that enable the community to exist off the grid.  After a sustainable community lunch in the White Owl Lodge, Earthaven specialists in renewable energy systems will present in a panel discussion to the opportunities and challenges of creating sustainable “home-grown” energy to support the needs of a whole community.

About Earthaven Ecovillage:
Celebrating their 19th year, Earthaven is an aspiring ecovillage in a mountain forest setting Gardening.near Asheville, North Carolina. Earthaven Ecovillage is dedicated to caring for people and the Earth by learning, living and demonstrating a holistic, sustainable culture.  With sixty members and space to grow to one hundred fifty, the community plans fourteen neighborhoods, each with a slightly different flavor.

All of Earthaven’s homes and businesses are off the grid. They generate power through solar energy collection and a micro-hydro system on one of their creeks. Working with Nature, they reduce their need for power by building passive solar homes on south-facing slopes to take advantage of winter’s sun.

Electricity needs are supported by one modest micro-hydropower station that serves a small centralized grid, and a much larger range of individual or shared photo-voltaic (PV) systems, from the most elementary to some extensive arrays that allow for all the basic things they depend on—lights, computers, music and films, refrigeration, washing machines, plus pumps and fans and the ability to use power tools for construction and maintenance.

A second micro-hydro station is planned for one other suitable location on our property. earthaven-hydroelectric-sm
As their PV systems evolve, they are learning how to make the best use of what is available that is affordable and the least harmful to the environment. They continue to aspire to developing systems that can serve users for an entire cloudy week without fossil fuel backup, perhaps through a more extensive community-wide power grid, and to creating our own gaseous fuels as the byproducts of other natural processes.

When Earthaven Ecovillage was first established, the founding community members created a  permaculture-based site plan for developing their mountain forest property. The members identified sacred sites; land to remain forested; areas for gardening, farming, and orchards; locations for ponds and hydro-power stations; locations for roads, paths, and common community buildings; and locations for residential neighborhoods.

The community members agreed to build homes only on slopes and save flat bottom land for agriculture; retain as much water on the land as possible through roof water catchments, swales, and ponds; regenerate our soil with layers of organic biomass; protect the area’s sacred sites; and not build on ridge tops. See “Maps of Earthaven.

All these differences work well for them because they consciously choose to use and need less.

Earthaven Ecovillage Clean Energy Tour Schedule

  • Opening           10am – Noon

Energy 101: Overview of energy consumption, understanding your energy footprint, & the pros and cons of being off the  grid at Earthaven Ecovillage and what it could look like in other communities.

Tour of Off Grid Homes – Look at 2-3 homes and see how residential off grid systems work

  • Lunch:             12:30 – 2:00PM

“Where Does Our Food Come From?” – Tricia Baehr, resident chef will give an overview about the meal and why eating local and organic is important.  All meals are handcrafted with locally grown, in-season, organic, GMO-free ingredients.  Meat is also locally grown and contains no hormones or antibiotics.

  • Panel Discussion:             2:15 – 3:45PM

Earthaven’s Sustainable Energy Systems – a discussion focusing on energy conservation and sustainability through a look at food production, water harvesting/resourcing, off-grid energy, & community resource sharing.  Would include what we’ve learned about what doesn’t work and why…Group will have an opportunity to ask questions and participate in a dialogue with residents of Earthaven Ecovillage.

  • Closing:             3:45 – 4:00PM

Chris Farmer - EarthavenAbout Earthaven Ecovillage Clean Energy Tour Host Chris Farmer:

Chris is a longtime Earthaven Ecovillage member that specializes in Ecological Economics, Community, Farming, Off-Grid & Regenerative Systems.

When Chris was 20 years old, he realized that he had never eaten a single thing that he knew where it came from. At 22, he helped start an organic vegetable farm outside of Olympia, WA. Journeying home to the Carolinas to be closer to family, he moved to Earthaven Ecovillage. Since his arrival to Earthaven in 1997, Chris has cleared his own farm field, designed and built passive solar homes using the wood from the trees he has killed (including his own Microhut), held leadership positions, raised turkeys, grown vegetables, co-founded the Forestry Cooperative, designed and installed multiple off-grid energy systems, and a few other things. His newest excitement is dabbling in small-scale biochar production and wood gasification at Gateway Farm.

We hope you can join us for this exciting event!

EarthavenEcoRSVP & Cost:

Cost: $10 (If you cannot pay the $10 tour fee please e-mail coordinator Rachel Moore for pay-what-you-can option)

RSVP: E-mail or call WNCA Education & Outings Coordinator Rachel Moore


(828) 258-8737 x 201

Co-Sponsored by the WENOCA Chapter of the Sierra Club!



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Pisgah Rivers & Waterfalls Bike Trip http://wnca.org/pisgah-national-forests-rivers-waterfalls-bike-trip/ http://wnca.org/pisgah-national-forests-rivers-waterfalls-bike-trip/#comments Fri, 14 Jun 2013 17:54:16 +0000 WNCAADMIN http://wnca.org/?p=5390 Join the Western North Carolina Alliance on our 2013 Summer Cycle and Camping trip! 

Beginning cyclists are welcome as we explore Pisgah National Forest while camping under the stars at North Mills River and Davidson River Campgrounds. Join our Ecologist Bob Gale as we explore the Pink Beds hiking trails that uncover rare mountain bogs, crystal clear brooks, wildlife meadows, and scenic fern-filled woods.


From Friday, August 2nd to Sunday, August 4th we will cycle and camp in the beautiful landscapes of Pisgah National Forest!


Friday, Aug. 2: Drive to the North Mills River Campground on the edge of Pisgah National Forest.  The North Mills River area boasts mile-high peaks, cascading waterfalls and slopes densely forested with hardwoods. The group camping area is adjacent to the beautiful, shallow waters of the Mills River.

We will eat dinner around the campfire and prepare for our first cycling route the next day.


Saturday, Aug. 3: Pack up camp and bike down the beautiful Forest Road 1206 to the Pink Beds valley in the South Fork of the Mills River (12 miles).  Here we will have lunch and meet WNCA ecologist Bob Gale to lead the group on a guided hike through this unique mountain bog area where he will highlight rare and endangered plant communities of the Pink Beds.Looking Glass Falls

After lunch we will continue our bike journey further down the road following Avery Creek and passing by cascading waterfalls to the Davidson River Campground (8 miles).

Very little traffic travels these roads, perfect for cycling!

Once we arrive at the campground we can relax by the river until taking the short path into Brevard for dinner that night.

After dinner in Brevard we will make a trip to the Brevard Brewing Company.

Sunday, August 4th: After camping out again under the stars, we will head out from the campground by bike alongside the scenic river, stopping by the Pink Beds again along the way.

This moderate ride will be about 20 miles round-trip and includes an uphill section during the last part of the day.  The ride will be complete by 4 p.m. for those who need to drive home.

greenix-us-forest-service-power-purchaseThe WNCA August Bike Trip on National Forest System Lands is authorized under Special Use Permit by the Pisgah National Forest.


  • Skill Level: Beginner road cycling experience required, but you do not need to be an expert or in top shape. We will leave no one behind!
  • Equipment: Must be able to bring your own bike and camping equipment.  If you do not have camping gear, please let us know and we may be able to bring some for you.
  • Cost: $50 for WNCA members/$60 for non-members ($25/$30 for one day of riding) – cost includes:
    • 2 nights camping
    • all meals except dinner in Brevard
    • educational guides
    • WNCA membership for non-members
  • Registration: Please register with Rachel Moore at Rachel@wnca.org or 828-258-8737, ext. 201
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June 5: “WNC Mountain Treasures: The Future of our National Forests” http://wnca.org/june-5-wnc-mountain-treasures-the-future-of-our-national-forests/ http://wnca.org/june-5-wnc-mountain-treasures-the-future-of-our-national-forests/#comments Mon, 03 Jun 2013 17:38:03 +0000 WNCAADMIN http://wnca.org/?p=5363 pisgahwaterfallWNCA, Asheville Green Drinks and Sierra Club will present, “WNC Mountain Treasures: the Future of our National Forests,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday (June 5) at the Unitarian Church, 1 Edwin Place.

Presenter Jill Gottesman of The Wilderness Society will discuss the current revision plans of the U.S. Forest Service for management of our forests, and the nearly one-third of a million acres in WNC for which we’d like better protection.

The North Carolina’s Mountain Treasures are 41 areas within our Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests that stand out with special conservation and recreation values. The United States Forest Service has begun to revise the management plan for our public forests in Western North Carolina, so we now have an important opportunity to gain better protection for these valuable places. This campaign promotes the Mountain Treasure areas within the new forest plan as The Wilderness Society, our partners, and a growing collaboration of groups are working towards a management plan for Nantahala and Pisgah that reflects today’s diverse needs, uses, and values of our National Forests.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, email judymattox@sbcglobal.net or call (828) 683-2176.

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June 15: Invasives workshop at Lemon Gap http://wnca.org/june-15-invasives-workshop-at-lemon-gap/ http://wnca.org/june-15-invasives-workshop-at-lemon-gap/#comments Thu, 30 May 2013 17:38:40 +0000 WNCAADMIN http://wnca.org/?p=5335 The Southern Appalachian Cooperative Weed Management Partnership (SACWMP) will host a volunteer workshop on June 15, 2013 at Lemon Gap along the Appalachian Trail.

japanesespireaParticipants will learn about invasive exotic plants, how they affect our natural heritage, and what they can do to stop them. Our focus will be on Japanese spiraea (Spiraea japonica), an Asian shrub originally introduced for its landscape value that has since invaded our native ecosystems.

For more information, please contact Owen Carson by emailing him at owen@equinoxenvironmental.com.

The Western North Carolina Alliance is a SACWMP partner. SACWMP works cooperatively to protect and restore the significant natural heritage of the Southern Appalachians by preventing, detecting, and controlling invasive exotic plants.

We primarily focus along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.) corridor, USDA National Forest lands, National Park Service units, and along state roads and highways where invasive exotic plants and natural areas of high conservation significance occur. The collaborative management effort overcomes jurisdictional boundaries and the resource burden of individual agencies and organizations while establishing common goals and facilitating cooperation and shared environmental stewardship.

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Book your spot now for the 2013 Save the French Broad Float http://wnca.org/2013-save-the-french-broad-float/ http://wnca.org/2013-save-the-french-broad-float/#comments Wed, 29 May 2013 16:22:46 +0000 WNCAADMIN http://wnca.org/?p=4161 index_3Save the French Broad Float dates are now official!

Join WNCA June 15-23 for a fun-filled float down the beautiful French Broad River.

Get a guided tour of the French Broad River Paddle Trail. This is an incredible trip that will sell out, so book your spot today!

Registration information and other details HERE.

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Help shape the future of WNCA! Steering Committee members sought http://wnca.org/help-shape-the-future-of-wnca-steering-committee-members-sought/ http://wnca.org/help-shape-the-future-of-wnca-steering-committee-members-sought/#comments Wed, 29 May 2013 15:42:55 +0000 WNCAADMIN http://wnca.org/?p=5331 STFB group pic 2012
Would you or someone you know like to be considered for a leadership position at the only grassroots environmental advocacy group focused solely on conserving Western North Carolina’s natural heritage?

The Western North Carolina Alliance is looking for candidates to fill three positions on its Steering Committee, the governing body of the organization.

Steering Committee members ensure that the Alliance continues to be well managed and remains fiscally sound. Members also support the Alliance by raising money, bringing contacts to the organization and acting as ambassadors to the community.


The Steering Committee is seeking candidates who: 

  • Bring geographic and racial diversity
  • Are well networked in the community
  • Are strategic thinkers
  • Have skills and experience that will benefit WNCA especially in legal, accounting/finance, education, communications, and fundraising
  • Will commit the necessary time (i.e. attend bi-monthly meetings, serve on subcommittees and attend WNCA events)

Nomination Guidelines:

  • Nominations must be submitted to WNCA Co-Director Bob Wagner at Bobw@WNCA.org by June 14.
  • In your nomination, please include the person’s name, contact information (email, phone), county they live in, and one to two paragraphs describing why you are nominating this person.
  • It is not necessary to contact the person prior to submitting their nomination. The Board Development Committee will follow up with you and the nominee.
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Bacteria Monitoring in the French Broad watershed http://wnca.org/bacteria-monitoring-in-fb-watershed/ http://wnca.org/bacteria-monitoring-in-fb-watershed/#comments Tue, 28 May 2013 19:57:10 +0000 WNCA http://wnca.org/site/?p=521 Join the French Broad Riverkeeper as we sample water in the French Broad watershed for bacterial pollution.

When: Wednesdays at noon

Where: Meet at Westfeldt Park (280 and Old Fanning Bridge Rd., near the AVL airport)

Why: To monitor and cleanup sources of bacteria impairment in our local waterways.

Who: Anyone, no experience necessary, training will be provided the day of the sampling

Because the river is used so frequently for swimming and recreation we want to identify and then eliminate sources of bacterial impairment. Samples will be collected from Buncombe and Henderson counties in an effort to hone in on any pollution hot spots.  Click for more information about bacterial monitoring.

Volunteers that are interested to participate should contact the French Broad Riverkeeper at Hartwell@WNCA.org or 828-258-8737.

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Vote for WNCA as the ‘Best of WNC’! http://wnca.org/vote-for-wnca-as-the-best-of-wnc/ http://wnca.org/vote-for-wnca-as-the-best-of-wnc/#comments Mon, 13 May 2013 17:27:55 +0000 WNCAADMIN http://wnca.org/?p=5274 BestofWNC2013_VoteForUs_250x250

It’s time to vote for WNCA in the 2013 Mountain Xpress Best of WNC reader survey!

Last year, the community’s votes garnered us Top 3 finishes in the categories of “Activist Group” and “Environmental Group.” You can also vote for us as “Best Non-Profit.”

Help make us #1 in 2013!

You only have to vote for 25 categories and the poll is easier to use than ever. You can skip around from section to section, and even save your ballot and come back.

Polls close on Wednesday, June 5.  Don’t wait! VOTE NOW!

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