Land protected at Highlands of Roan

Land conservation in the Highlands of Roan area got a boost with the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy’s purchase of 142 acres at Upper Roaring Creek Valley.

“The land has been in my family close to 100 years,” said landowner Chris Hughes. “I believed that the SAHC would be a good route for us to go, and would preserve what to me is a sacred mountain for future generations long after we all are dust. This is my heritage, it is in my very genetic code, and no one can possibly know how much this place means to me.”

The contiguous tracts in Avery County contain exceptional water resources as well as undeveloped forestland that adjoins Pisgah National Forest. Rising to an upper elevation of 4,700 feet, the forested acreage can be seen from public recreation areas such as the Appalachian Trail and the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail. About one-third of it lies within the Audubon Society’s Roan Mountain Important Bird Area.

The acquisition builds upon SAHC’s conservation work across the Roaring Creek Valley and Roan Highlands. Over the past several decades, SAHC and its partners have worked to conserve tens of thousands of acres in this area.

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