Recent News

Little White Oak Mountain Matching Fund Challenge

Polk County News Journal, 4/12/17

Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC), your local land trust which protects land in Polk County and surrounding counties, extends a Matching Fund Challenge to the residents of Polk County and the surrounding region to financially support the recent $2.38 million purchase by PAC’s sister organization, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC), of the almost 1,100 acre Little White Oak Mountain tract.

Once slated for heavy development as Foster Creek Preserve, this iconic landmark in Polk County will now be permanently protected to provide watershed protection, habitat for our native plants and animals, and recreational opportunities to the community. PAC will match every dollar contributed toward the purchase of this property up to $200,000. This total of $400,000 will help reduce the outstanding loan on the tract.

In 2014, Margaret (Maggie) Miller Bennett of Tryon bequeathed to PAC a generous portion of her estate. Because Maggie and her husband, Bill, were committed to the protection of wildlife and unspoiled natural lands, PAC now honors her memory by using her bequest as the Challenge Fund for the preservation of this beautiful property for the benefit of the community.

The Little White Oak Mountain tract is a completely undeveloped, natural gem in our county. It is located off of Houston Road and Highway 108 in Columbus, contiguous to Polk County Middle School and the Polk County Recreation Complex. CMLC purchased this property with the intention of providing for recreational opportunities, for protection of plant and wildlife habitat, and for the preservation of scenic views. In addition, CMLC and PAC are working with a Hendersonville non-profit to develop the lower portion of the tract as workforce housing. All of these possibilities will potentially attract more visitors to the area and support the local economy.

For over a decade PAC has considered this property a conservation priority. Babs Strickland, Dot Moyer, Renée McDermott, other PAC Board members, and PAC staff had worked with the previous owners to protect parts of this tract with a conservation easement. During this process, both PAC and CMLC met with the owners, the American Land Fund, and their representative Jeff Reader. In 2015, because of the efforts of CMLC’s executive director, Kieran Roe, and the assistant director for programs, Rebekah Robinson, the American Land Fund agreed to sell the entire tract to the CMLC at the end of 2016. The purchase was made possible in part by a generous gift from Alice and Fred Stanback of Salisbury, NC, and a $1.86 million loan from the Conservation Trust of North Carolina.

To repay the loan, CMLC needs our community’s support to secure the purchase of this tract for the enjoyment of future generations. Please consider a tax deductible donation of any amount to the Matching Fund Challenge; every dollar received will be matched by a dollar from PAC up to $200,000. Please call 828-859-5060 for further information and payment methods.

PAC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit conservation organization (land trust) founded in 1989 to protect and conserve natural resources in the Foothills of North Carolina and the Upstate of South Carolina, with emphasis on the lands and waterways with scenic, ecologic or agricultural significance in the North Pacolet and Green River watersheds (PACs mission).  PAC works with area landowners to ensure the long-term protection of their property through voluntary conservation easements (agreements) which enable landowners to maintain ownership of their property, preserving precious natural resources (open lands, forests, wildlife habitat, scenic vistas, farmland, stream banks, etc.), and potentially obtain significant federal and local tax benefits.  PACs vision is a community living and growing in harmony with our natural resources and or goal is to provide a legacy that will endure and be valued by generations to come.  PAC works diligently to provide leadership to encourage conservation and provide education programs emphasizing native species appreciation and responsible land use practices to help – save the places you love.  To date PAC has helped protect over 8,700 acres of our area’s valuable natural resources.

~ by Steve King

Little White Oak Mountain

Little White Oak Mountain


PAC’s Hike Heads to Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Polk County News Journal, 4/12/17

Join the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) on Friday, April 14, for an approximately 5.5-mile, moderate/strenuous, out and back hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP).  PAC’s Director of Stewardship and Land Protection, Pam Torlina, will lead the hike.

From the Park entrance at Cataloochee, the hike will follow the historic Asbury Trail along the Park’s boundary with the Appalachian Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The trail is named for the Methodist Bishop, Francis Asbury.  In the 19th century, Asbury brought his traveling ministry to this area.  This trail that Asbury travelled was a known Cattalucha Indian track.  Later, after the establishment of the GSMNP, the Civilian Conservation Corps erected a fence along the Park boundary and portions of it still remain.  This portion of Asbury Trail offers beautiful winter views of the surrounding mountains and along the way hikers will enjoy emerging wildflowers and the sounds of spring.

If you are interested in attending the PAC hike at the GSMNP, please contact the PAC office to sign up by phone at 828-859-5060 or e-mail, landprotection@pacolet.org.

Hikers are asked to meet at the BI-LO in Columbus at 8:30 a.m. to check in and start the approximately 1-hour drive to the Cataloochee entrance into the GSMNP.  Hikers should be prepared to return to the area in the late-afternoon.

For your safety, do not attempt any hike beyond your ability and experience.  Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and footwear; bring a bag lunch and/or snack and plenty of water.  Please be sure to bring any personal medication that you may require.

In case of inclement weather, please contact the PAC office by 8:15 on the day of the hike, check the PAC website, www.pacolet.org, and/or the PAC Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pacoletarea.conservancy, to see if the hike will take place.

If you cannot make this hike but would like to attend future hikes, please visit PACs website, www.pacolet.org, or go to PACs Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pacoletarea.conservancy, for information on additional upcoming hikes.

~ by Pam Torlina

DSC_0812

 “PAC hikers that attended the March 31 hike at Pisgah National Forest, in no particular order: Maureen Pratt, Suzanne Engelmann, Mary Alm, Pat Strother, Roger Dehnel, Vince Castello, Charles Ducharme, Ellie Cox, Liz Dicey, Jean Shaw, and Edie Castello. (Photo by Pam Torlina)


“Polk County’s Most Wanted Plant”

American Barberry

Polk County News Journal, 4/12/17

In a joint effort to expand the knowledge and understanding of the flora and fauna of Polk County, the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) and botanist, David Campbell need your help in locating this month’s “Polk County’s Most Wanted-Plant,” the enigmatic and rarely seen shrub- American Barberry (Berberis canadensis).

In spite of its scientific name, Berberis canadensis, this plant is not to be found in Canada, but has as its center of abundance in the southern Appalachians, with some outlying populations in Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. Preferred habitats include rocky woodlands, bluffs, roadsides, and glades on mafic/circumneutral soils that are relatively high in pH.

American Barberry is a small shrub that may attain heights just slightly in excess of six feet, with leaves that are ovate, simple, alternate, and deciduous.  A notable feature is numerous thorns; each node possesses three obvious ‘spikes.’  A closely related species that sometimes escapes cultivation is Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii); Japanese Barberry usually has a single thorn opposed to American Barberry’s thorns in ‘threes.’  American Barberry has yellow flowers that are radially symmetrical, with six petals and six sepals.  In our region, flowering occurs in April.  Mature fruits are red, elliptic, and are seen in late summer to early fall.

American Barberry has never been recorded in Polk County, but does occur in nearby Rutherford and McDowell Counties.  Suitable habitat is not uncommon in Polk, and this species should plausibly occur here.  This is not a plant that ‘jumps out’ at the casual observer, and when young, or not in flower or fruit, may be easily overlooked. The flowering period is almost upon us, so keep a look-out for this rare, but likely, under-reported shrub when you are out walking the woodlands in the next few weeks.

If you feel that you have sighted this or any other Polk County’s Most Wanted species, please don’t hesitate to contact staff at the Pacolet Area Conservancy at 828-859-5060, or e-mail comments, questions, or photos to landprotection@pacolet.org.

All of the Polk County’s Most Wanted can be viewed on the PAC website, www.pacolet.org.  Click on the “conservation” tab and scroll down and click on the “Polk County’s Most Wanted” tab.

PAC has also created a “Pocket Guide” of “Polk County’s Most Wanted” that can be printed and taken in the field!  The pocket guide can be accessed on PAC’s website too.

PAC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit conservation organization (land trust) founded in 1989 to protect and conserve natural resources in the Foothills of North Carolina and the Upstate of South Carolina, with emphasis on the lands and waterways with scenic, ecologic or agricultural significance in the North Pacolet and Green River watersheds (PACs mission).  PAC works with area landowners to ensure the long-term protection of their property through voluntary conservation easements (agreements) which enable landowners to maintain ownership of their property, preserving precious natural resources (open lands, forests, wildlife habitat, scenic vistas, farmland, stream banks, etc.), and potentially obtain significant federal and local tax benefits.  PACs vision is a community living and growing in harmony with our natural resources and or goal is to provide a legacy that will endure and be valued by generations to come.  PAC works diligently to provide leadership to encourage conservation and provide education programs emphasizing native species appreciation and responsible land use practices to help – save the places you love.

~ By David Campbell

American Barberry

American Barberry (Berberis canadensis) photo by Sam Prat


PAC’s final hike of the spring series heads to Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Tryon Daily Bulletin, 4/9/17

Join the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) on Friday, April 14, for an approximately 5.5-mile, moderate/strenuous, out and back hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP).  PAC’s Director of Stewardship and Land Protection, Pam Torlina, will lead the hike.

From the Park entrance at Cataloochee, the hike will follow the historic Asbury Trail along the Park’s boundary with the Appalachian Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The trail is named for the Methodist Bishop, Francis Asbury.  In the 19th century, Asbury brought his traveling ministry to this area.  This trail that Asbury travelled was a known Cattalucha Indian track.  Later, after the establishment of the GSMNP, the Civilian Conservation Corps erected a fence along the Park boundary and portions of it still remain.  This portion of Asbury Trail offers beautiful winter views of the surrounding mountains and along the way hikers will enjoy emerging wildflowers and the sounds of spring.

If you are interested in attending the PAC hike at the GSMNP, please contact the PAC office to sign up by phone at 828-859-5060 or e-mail, landprotection@pacolet.org.

Hikers are asked to meet at the BI-LO in Columbus at 8:30 a.m. to check in and start the approximately 1-hour drive to the Cataloochee entrance into the GSMNP.  Hikers should be prepared to return to the area in the late-afternoon.

For your safety, do not attempt any hike beyond your ability and experience.  Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and footwear; bring a bag lunch and/or snack and plenty of water.  Please be sure to bring any personal medication that you may require.

In case of inclement weather, please contact the PAC office by 8:15 on the day of the hike, check the PAC website, www.pacolet.org, and/or the PAC Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pacoletarea.conservancy, to see if the hike will take place.

If you cannot make this hike but would like to attend future hikes, please visit PACs website, www.pacolet.org, or go to PACs Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pacoletarea.conservancy, for information on additional upcoming hikes.

~ article submitted by Pam Torlina

DSC_0812_1

“PAC hikers that attended the March 31 hike at Pisgah National Forest were Maureen Pratt, Suzanne Engelmann, Mary Alm, Pat Strother, Roger Dehnel, Vince Castello, Charles Ducharme, Ellie Cox, Liz Dicey, Jean Shaw, and Edie Castello. (photo submitted by Pam Torlina)


Little White Oak Mountain matching fund challenge

Tryon Daily Bulletin, 4/7/17

Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC), your local land trust which protects land in Polk County and surrounding counties, extends a Matching Fund Challenge to the residents of Polk County and the surrounding region to financially support the recent $2.38 million purchase by PAC’s sister organization, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC), of the almost 1,100 acre Little White Oak Mountain tract.

Once slated for heavy development as Foster Creek Preserve, this iconic landmark in Polk County will now be permanently protected to provide watershed protection, habitat for our native plants and animals, and recreational opportunities to the community. PAC will match every dollar contributed toward the purchase of this property up to $200,000. This total of $400,000 will help reduce the outstanding loan on the tract.

In 2014, Margaret (Maggie) Miller Bennett of Tryon bequeathed to PAC a generous portion of her estate. Because Maggie and her husband, Bill, were committed to the protection of wildlife and unspoiled natural lands, PAC now honors her memory by using her bequest as the Challenge Fund for the preservation of this beautiful property for the benefit of the community.

The Little White Oak Mountain tract is a completely undeveloped, natural gem in our county. It is located off of Houston Road and Highway 108 in Columbus, contiguous to Polk County Middle School and the Polk County Recreation Complex. CMLC purchased this property with the intention of providing for recreational opportunities, for protection of plant and wildlife habitat, and for the preservation of scenic views. In addition, CMLC and PAC are working with a Hendersonville non-profit to develop the lower portion of the tract as workforce housing. All of these possibilities will potentially attract more visitors to the area and support the local economy.

For over a decade PAC has considered this property a conservation priority. Babs Strickland, Dot Moyer, Renée McDermott, other PAC Board members, and PAC staff had worked with the previous owners to protect parts of this tract with a conservation easement. During this process, both PAC and CMLC met with the owners, the American Land Fund, and their representative Jeff Reader. In 2015, because of the efforts of CMLC’s executive director, Kieran Roe, and the assistant director for programs, Rebekah Robinson, the American Land Fund agreed to sell the entire tract to the CMLC at the end of 2016. The purchase was made possible in part by a generous gift from Alice and Fred Stanback of Salisbury, NC, and a $1.86 million loan from the Conservation Trust of North Carolina.

To repay the loan, CMLC needs our community’s support to secure the purchase of this tract for the enjoyment of future generations. Please consider a tax deductible donation of any amount to the Matching Fund Challenge; every dollar received will be matched by a dollar from PAC up to $200,000. Please call 828-859-5060 for further information and payment methods.

~ article by Steve King


Black Coffee to host Earth Day celebration April 22

Educational event to benefit Pacolet Area Conservancy with speakers, art and music

Tryon Daily Bulletin, 4/7/17

Black Coffee owner Adam Marcello is hosting an Earth Day celebration at his business at 15 S. Trade St. in Tryon on Saturday, April 22 in conjunction with the Pacolet Area Conservancy.

The event will include speakers, arts and crafts by local artists, and live music. Participants are asked to provide $5, which will benefit the Pacolet Area Conservancy.

“We didn’t see any events on Earth Day here in the area.  We’re doing it because we want to bring awareness to the issues we face every day when it comes to our environment,” Marcello emphasized.  “These issues aren’t getting a lot of focus.”

Kristen Mode, owner of Kristen’s Kreations in Saluda, is doing a potting and seeding class form 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Bands scheduled to perform starting at noon include Mercury Rising, Jamil Apostol and the Goodwills, and Turtle Power.

Marcello is one of three speakers scheduled and will host a seminar on coffee and the environment.  One of the most wasteful aspects of making coffee is boiling water, something he noted most people would not have guessed until research was done.

“It takes so much energy to boil water because we have to get it to a certain temperature,” Marcello said.  “Thousands of times a second across the world, coffee shops are boiling water for the next cup.  Growing crops, hauling the coffee on trucks and harvesting takes less energy than boiling water.”

Jonathan Gerst, hydrogeologist in Tryon, will speak on hydrogeology, which is the study of water on earth.  Joseph Burdett, an acupuncturist from Saluda, will teach the five elements of health to attendees.

“It’s going to become an annual thing for us,” Marcello explained.  “We always talk about how we can change our behavior to bring more balance between us and the environment.  We can’t stop pollution, but there are behavioral things we can do to slow it down.”

The point of a festival, according to Marcello, is to be “fun, educational and engaging.”  He added the event is not going to be “preachy” and will bring people together.

“Education is supposed to be fun, not just lectures, and this will bring people together,” Marcello said.  “I’m not someone who is a doomsday kind of person, I don’t think we’re killing the planet, but we are making it more difficult than it needs to be on the earth through our decisions.”

~ by Michael O’Hearn


Join Polk County Recreation and PAC on the Palmetto Trail April 7

Tryon Daily Bulletin, 4/4/17

Join Polk Count Recreation and the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) on Friday, April 7, for an approximately 10-mile, moderate hike along the Palmetto Trail, from Orchard Lake Campground trailhead to the Blue Wall Preserve.  The hike will follow the Palmetto Trail along the NC/SC state line and along the northern perimeter of the Greenville Watershed, down Brushy Ridge, along Hog Back Mountain Road, down Vaughns Gap and into the Blue Wall Preserve.

The Greenville Watershed is one of the most significant wilderness areas in South Carolina and a unique natural habitat for rare plants and animals.  The watershed property was acquired by the Greenville Water System in the 1950s and has been carefully protected since then.

In 1993, the Greenville Water System added further protection to the land by conveying a conservation easement to The Nature Conservancy.

Participants will enjoy the many wildflowers that should be blooming at this time and the arrival of migrating songbird returning to our area to establish territory.

Polk County Recreation has two vans and will provide a shuttle for the hike.  The shuttle can accommodate 31 passengers; therefore, pre-registration is required to guarantee a seat on the bus.  If we run out of seats, you are still encouraged to participate, but you will have to provide your own carpool and shuttle.  Please contact PAC at 828-859-5060 or email, landprotection@pacolet.org to reserve your seat.

Those interested are asked to meet at the Tryon Antique Mall and Market Place, across the street from the entrance to Lake Lanier, at 8:30 a.m. From there, we will carpool to the Blue Wall Preserve parking area (with limited parking) to load the buses and begin our journey to the trailhead at Orchard Lake Campground.

For your safety, do not attempt any hike beyond your ability and experience.  Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and footwear; bring a bag lunch and/or snack and plenty of water.  Please be sure to bring any personal medication that you may require.

In case of inclement weather, please contact the PAC office by 8:15 on the day of the hike, check the PAC website, www.pacolet.org, and/or the PAC Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pacoletarea.conservancy, to see if the hike will take place.

~ article submitted by Pam Torlina

Palmetto Trail hike

Liz Dicey, Pam Torlina, Mike Frye and Ford Smith hiking on the Palmetto Trail in 2015. (photo by Don Dicey)


PAC’s Hike Heads to Pisgah National Forest, March 31st!

Polk County News Journal and The News Leader, 3/29/17

Join the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) on Friday, March 31, for an approximately 8-mile, moderate/strenuous, loop hike in Pisgah National Forest.  PAC’s Director of Stewardship and Land Protection, Pam Torlina, will lead the hike.

From the Davidson River Campground, the hike will follow the Davidson River to the Art Loeb Trail.  The Art Loeb Trail will take a long, steady, but moderate/strenuous ascent from the river to Shut-in Ridge.  Following the Art Loeb Trail along the ridge, hikers can expect a much gentler section of trail, but it will still have its ups and downs. After several miles on the Art Loeb Trail, hikers will veer onto the Connector Trail for a steady descent back toward the river where the group will then pick up the North Slope Trail for an easy, flat walk back to the parking area.

Along the way, the group will get a chance to have a look at the English Chapel, a landmark to those entering the Forest from the Brevard area.  The original chapel was a wooden structure built in 1860.  In 1940, the present, larger chapel was built out of rocks from the Davidson River.  The English Chapel, a United Methodist Church, continues to hold service every Sunday.

If you are interested in attending the PAC hike at Pisgah National Forest, please contact the PAC office to sign up by phone at 828-859-5060 or e-mail, landprotection@pacolet.org.

Hikers are asked to meet at the BI-LO in Columbus at 8:30 a.m. to check in and start the approximately 1-hour drive to the Davidson River Campground.  Hikers should be prepared to return to the area in the mid-afternoon.

For your safety, do not attempt any hike beyond your ability and experience.  Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and footwear; bring a bag lunch and/or snack and plenty of water.  Please be sure to bring any personal medication that you may require.

In case of inclement weather, please contact the PAC office by 8:15 on the day of the hike, check the PAC website, www.pacolet.org, and/or the PAC Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pacoletarea.conservancy, to see if the hike will take place.

If you cannot make this hike but would like to attend future hikes, please visit PACs website, www.pacolet.org, or go to PACs Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pacoletarea.conservancy, for information on upcoming hikes.  The final hike of the Spring Hiking Series takes place on April 14th at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park; a 6.8-mile, moderate, out and back hike along the Asbury Trail.

 

PAC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit conservation organization (land trust) founded in 1989 to protect and conserve natural resources in the Foothills of North Carolina and the Upstate of South Carolina, with emphasis on the lands and waterways with scenic, ecologic or agricultural significance in the North Pacolet and Green River watersheds (PAC’s mission).  PAC works with area landowners to ensure the long-term protection of their property through voluntary conservation easements (agreements) which enable landowners to continue ownership of their property, preserve precious natural resources (open lands, forests, wildlife habitat, scenic vistas, farmland, stream banks, etc.), and potentially obtain significant federal and local tax benefits.  PAC works diligently to provide leadership to encourage conservation and offers education programs emphasizing responsible land use practices to help – save the places you love.

~ Pam Torlina

P1120866_lt_e

PAC hikers who attended the March 17 hike to Moonshine Falls included Libby Vatalaro, Carolyn Parker, Alan Carron, Jean Shaw, Juanita Bruce, Edith Castello, Vince Castello, Liene Kukainis, Mikus Kukainus, Vilis Kukainus, Parm Torlina, Ford Smith, Richard McHenry, Pat Strother, Melanie Coleman, Tammy Coleman, Mary Alm, Lois Torlina, and Liz Dicey. (photo by Ford Smith)


Sign Up Now for PACWalk/PACRun!

Polk County News Journal, 3/29/17

Saturday, April 8, 2017 will be a great day to enjoy the lovely spring weather and do a good deed while participating in the Pacolet Area Conservancy’s (PAC’s) 6th annual 5K PACRun and the 12th annual PACWalk for Preservation held at the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE) in Tryon, North Carolina.

Whether you run the all-natural 5K course that traverses varied terrain, entirely limited to trails and grass, or you walk the 2-mile PACWalk course that will follow a nature trail through the woods, along Blockhouse Creek, and over a pond, offering sights and sounds of spring, or if you stroll the paved interpretative trail, or even if you choose to be a “Phantom Walker” and make a donation, you will be helping PAC conserve our precious natural heritage.

And if this is not enough reason to get out and support PAC, all participants will be eligible for outstanding door prizes donated by local businesses, such as: Covington Jewelry, Mast General Store, Millstone Gallery, Open Road Coffee, Southern Delights Ice Cream, Vines, and some very generous friends of PAC.

Oh – you want more?  Then come on out for a delicious lunch under the pavilion – for all walkers and runners – and listen to the sounds of Turtle Power, a local band from Saluda. While you eat you can see who wins the great door prizes.  There are also awards in various categories for PACWalk and PACRun.

For more information and to register for PACRun and PACWalk visit the PAC website at www.pacolet.org or call the PAC office at 828-859-5060.

PAC would to thank the following business sponsors: at the Platinum Level – Ashworth Financial Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, Parsec Financial, and Walnut Creek Preserve; at the Gold Level – Duke Energy, PRO Physical Therapy, and the Tryon Daily Bulletin; at the Silver Level – Columbus Design Center, Down To Earth Garden Center, Feagan Law Firm PLLC, Hoop’s Antiques and Vintage Collectibles, Main Street Insurance Group, McFarland Funeral Chapel, Mg12, Nature’s Storehouse, New View Realty, RE/MAX, St. Luke’s Hospital, Stott Pools, Tryon Builders, and Tryon Theatre; and supporting sponsors: the host site – Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE); and Tryon Estates and ACTS Retirement-Life Community who will be providing lunch for participants.  Thank you also to the following personal sponsors: at the Gold Level – Steve and Marie King and Renée and Jim McDermott; and at the Silver Level – Carole & Chris Bartol, Don & Liz Dicey, Andy & Linda Haynes, and Vard Henry.

~ Pam Torlina


PAC’s fourth spring hike heads back to Pisgah National Forest March 31

Tryon Daily Bulletin, 3/29/17

Join the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) on Friday, March 31, for an approximately 8-mile, moderate/strenuous, loop hike in Pisgah National Forest.  PAC’s Director of Stewardship and Land Protection, Pam Torlina, will lead the hike.

From the Davidson River Campground, the hike will follow the Davidson River to the Art Loeb Trail.  The Art Loeb Trail will take a long, steady, but moderate/strenuous ascent from the river to Shut-in Ridge.  Following the Art Loeb Trail along the ridge, hikers can expect a much gentler section of trail, but it will still have its ups and downs. After several miles on the Art Loeb Trail, hikers will veer onto the Connector Trail for a steady descent back toward the river where the group will then pick up the North Slope Trail for an easy, flat walk back to the parking area.

Along the way, the group will get a chance to have a look at the English Chapel, a landmark to those entering the Forest from the Brevard area.  The original chapel was a wooden structure built in 1860.  In 1940, the present, larger chapel was built out of rocks from the Davidson River.  The English Chapel, a United Methodist Church, continues to hold service every Sunday.

If you are interested in attending the PAC hike at Pisgah National Forest, please contact the PAC office to sign up by phone at 828-859-5060 or e-mail, landprotection@pacolet.org.

Hikers are asked to meet at the BI-LO in Columbus at 8:30 a.m. to check in and start the approximately 1-hour drive to the Davidson River Campground.  Hikers should be prepared to return to the area in the mid-afternoon.

For your safety, do not attempt any hike beyond your ability and experience.  Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and footwear; bring a bag lunch and/or snack and plenty of water.  Please be sure to bring any personal medication that you may require.

In case of inclement weather, please contact the PAC office by 8:15 on the day of the hike, check the PAC website, www.pacolet.org, and/or the PAC Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pacoletarea.conservancy, to see if the hike will take place.

If you cannot make this hike but would like to attend future hikes, please visit PACs website, www.pacolet.org, or go to PACs Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pacoletarea.conservancy, for information on upcoming hikes.  The final hike of the Spring Hiking Series takes place on April 14th at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park; a 6.8-mile, moderate, out and back hike along the Asbury Trail.

~ article submitted by Pam Torlina

P1120866_lt_e

PAC hikers who attended the March 17 hike to Moonshine Falls included Libby Vatalaro, Carolyn Parker, Alan Carron, Jean Shaw, Juanita Bruce, Edith Castello, Vince Castello, Liene Kukainis, Mikus Kukainus, Vilis Kukainus, Parm Torlina, Ford Smith, Richard McHenry, Pat Strother, Melanie Coleman, Tammy Coleman, Mary Alm, Lois Torlina, and Liz Dicey. (photo by Ford Smith)


 

Volunteers needed for Green River clean up at Alexander’s Ford

Polk County New Journal and The News Leader, 3/22/17

Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC), Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) and Polk Trails will be partnering to hold a clean up of the Green River on Thursday, March 30 and are in need of volunteers.  The clean up will last from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the section of the river by Alexander’s Ford in the eastern part of Polk County.

Volunteers are asked to meet at the parking area at Alexander’s Ford (at the area just prior to the church on Gray’s Chapel Road) before the start of the clean up.  Trash bags will be provided and a limited number of gloves will be available.  Volunteers are asked to wear clothes they don’t mind getting dirty and bring some water and a snack.

Sign up with PAC at 828-859-5060 or email landprotection@pacolet.org if you plan on attending or have any questions.  For more information or directions, visit polktrails.org/alexander-s-ford.

~ Article submitted by Seth Young


Volunteers needed for Green River clean up at Alexander’ s Ford

Tryon Daily Bulletin, 3/19/17

Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC), Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) and Polk Trails will be partnering to hold a clean up of the Green River on Thursday, March 30 and are in need of volunteers.  The clean up will last from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the section of the river by Alexander’s Ford in the eastern part of Polk County.

Volunteers are asked to meet at the parking area at Alexander’s Ford (at the area just prior to the church on Gray’s Chapel Road) before the start of the clean up.  Trash bags will be provided and a limited number of gloves will be available.  Volunteers are asked to wear clothes they don’t mind getting dirty and bring some water and a snack.

Sign up with PAC at 828-859-5060 or email landprotection@pacolet.org if you plan on attending or have any questions.  For more information or directions, visit polktrails.org/alexander-s-ford.

~ Article submitted by Seth Young


Public input meeting Monday for Little White Oak Mtn. property

Tryon Daily Bulletin, 3/17/17

A public information meeting seeking input has been scheduled for Monday, March 20 at the Polk County Public Library.

Carolina Mountain Land conservancy (CMLC) and the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) are asking local residents to come out to share their ideas and visions about the property.

A majority of the site, up to 600 acres, will potentially be future game land and about 300 acres could be added to the Polk County Recreation Complex.  The conservancies say they want to hear the public’s ideas about how the remaining 168 acres and the possible county park land could be developed in ways that will benefit the community and complement the adjacent land uses.

The meeting will be a drop-in style, from 3:30-6 p.m. Monday, March 20.  The Polk County Library is located at 1289 W. Mills St., Columbus.

CMLC purchased what was formerly known as Foster Creek Preserve, a proposed 687-unit residential development that never came to fruition.

CMLC worked closely with PAC to purchase the 1,068-acre property, with the sale closing in December 2016.

The land was purchased through a major gift from Fred and Alice Stanback, of Salisbury and a $1.86 million loan from the Conservation Trust for North Carolina.  CMLC says they want to transfer portions of the property to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission to be used as game lands with an access point from Hwy. 108 and approximately 300 acres to the Polk County Recreation Complex to add to the adjacent Polk County Recreation Complex at the county middle school property.

With other portions of the property, approximately 30-60 acres, CMLC wants to partner with the Housing Assistance Corporation, a nonprofit Hendersonville-based developer of affordable housing.

Anyone with questions or comments about the meeting can contact Linda Giltz at 828-236-2966 or lindagiltz@gmail.com.  Giltz is working under contract with CMLC to collect public input and develop a land use plan for the property.

~By Leah Justice


PAC’s Third Spring HIke heads to Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, March 17th!

Polk County News Journal, 3/15/17

Join the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) on Friday, March 17, for an approximately 5.5-mile, moderate, out and back hike at the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area.  PAC’s Director of Stewardship and Land Protection, Pam Torlina, will lead the hike.

The trail winds through a maturing, mountainous forest and offers great winter views of Table Rock.  At one point, hikers will have to crossing Matthews Creek using a cable crossing (one cable for your feet, and one cable for your hands).  This is the easiest way to cross the creek, though with the lack of rainfall, rock hopping may be possible.  The cable crossing may test your courage, but will offer a great sense of accomplishment!

Approaching the waterfall, hikers will arrive near the top of the falls and take a short, fairly steep descent to a cave behind the falls.  This offers a unique view of the waterfall.  There will also be an opportunity to hike down to the base of the falls to take in the full splendor of this hidden gem.

The waterfall was named for the illegal moonshining activity that occurred in the ‘cave’ behind the falls, and old moonshining barrels still remain behind the falls.  This waterfall plunges like a veil 40 feet over a dark granite cliff, strikes a ledge, turns 90 degrees and plunges into a pool.

If you are interested in attending the PAC hike at the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, please contact the PAC office to sign up by phone at 828-859-5060 or e-mail, landprotection@pacolet.org.

Hikers are asked to meet at the Spinx in Gowensville at 8:30 a.m. to check in and start the approximately 30-minute drive to Asbury Hills Camp.  Hikers should be prepared to return to the area in the mid-afternoon.

For your safety, do not attempt any hike beyond your ability and experience.  Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and footwear; bring a bag lunch and/or snack and plenty of water.  Please be sure to bring any personal medication that you may require.

In case of inclement weather, please contact the PAC office by 8:15 on the day of the hike, check the PAC website, www.pacolet.org, and/or the PAC Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pacoletarea.conservancy, to see if the hike will take place.

If you cannot make this hike but would like to attend future hikes, please visit PACs website, www.pacolet.org, or go to PACs Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pacoletarea.conservancy, for information on upcoming hikes.  The next hike takes place on March 31st at Pisgah National Forest; an 8-mile, moderate, loop hike along the North Slope Connector to Art Loeb Trail.

PAC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit conservation organization (land trust) founded in 1989 to protect and conserve natural resources in the Foothills of North Carolina and the Upstate of South Carolina, with emphasis on the lands and waterways with scenic, ecologic or agricultural significance in the North Pacolet and Green River watersheds (PAC’s mission).  PAC works with area landowners to ensure the long-term protection of their property through voluntary conservation easements (agreements) which enable landowners to continue ownership of their property, preserve precious natural resources (open lands, forests, wildlife habitat, scenic vistas, farmland, stream banks, etc.), and potentially obtain significant federal and local tax benefits.  PAC works diligently to provide leadership to encourage conservation and offers education programs emphasizing responsible land use practices to help – save the places you love.

~ By Pam Torlina

P1120679_e

PAC hikers on the 3/3/17 hike along the Coontree and Bennett Gap trails at Pisgah National Forest, in no particular order: Libby Vatalaro, Carolyn Parker, Suzanne Engelmann, Jean Shaw, Liz Dicey, Farley Snow, Lois Torlina, Jade Blakey, Edith Castello, Lawrence Poe, Linda Bliven, Cindy Moore, Mary Alm, Dan Easley, Tammy Coleman, Pat Strother, Alan Carron, Mark McCall, and Pam Torlina, Photo by Ford Smith.

 


Moss Magic in your Landscape

Polk County News Journal, 3/15/17

The Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) and Walnut Creek Preserve (WCP) invite the public to attend a free presentation on “Moss Magic in your Landscape,” presented by Annie Martin.  The program will be held at the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve on Saturday, March 25th, at 10:30 a.m.

Have you ever desired the year-round green appeal of mosses in your garden? Are you tired of mowing grass? What about that shady place where nothing else will grow? Native mosses are an excellent horticultural alternative.

Known as “Mossin’ Annie,” Martin provides valuable insights on how to transform your garden or lawn into a serene retreat and eco-friendly landscape showcasing the world’s oldest living land plants – mosses! Martin specializes in creating innovative moss-scapes and cultivates mosses at her Mossery in Brevard, NC. She explains how to transform your yard or convert your grass lawn into a serene, green retreat. Inspirational photographs, moss specimens for ID, and essential how-to gardening tips will help you get started on your own moss gardening projects.

Annie Martin is a nationally-recognized moss landscape designer, owner of Mountain Moss Enterprises in Pisgah Forest, NC, and the author of The Magical World of Moss Gardening (Timber Press, 2015), and she will have autographed books available for purchase after the lecture.

If you signed up for the workshop after the presentation, please remember your workshop fee and a bagged lunch!

To get to Walnut Creek Preserve’s Nature Center from the Tryon and Columbus area, take Hwy 108 E and turn left on Hwy 9 toward Lake Lure.  Follow Hwy 9 N for 5 miles and turn right onto McGuinn Road (at the Exxon Station).  Go 1 mile to the intersection with Big Level Road; turn left, go 2/10ths of a mile and take the first right onto Aden Green Road.  Follow Aden Green for 4/10ths of a mile and turn left on Wood Thrush Lane and into Walnut Creek Preserve.  Take the first left onto Conservatory Lane, which takes you to the parking area for the nature center. (GPS coordinates to the Nature Center are available at the PAC website.)

For more information or directions from another location, contact the Pacolet Area Conservancy at 828-859-5060 or e-mail landprotection@pacolet.org.  The next PAC/WCP program will be held on April 29th, when Simon Thompson, owner of Ventures Birding Tours, will present “Confessions of a Birding Tour Leader.”

For more information about Walnut Creek Preserve, visit www.walnutcreekpreserve.com.  Please note, Walnut Creek Preserve is private property and guests are only allowed on the property by invitation (a planned event or scheduled group).  Thank you.

PAC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit conservation organization (land trust) founded in 1989 to protect and conserve natural resources in the Foothills of North Carolina and the Upstate of South Carolina, with emphasis on the lands and waterways with scenic, ecologic or agricultural significance in the North Pacolet and Green River watersheds (PACs mission).  PAC works with area landowners to ensure the long-term protection of their property through voluntary conservation easements (agreements) which enable landowners to maintain ownership of their property, preserving precious natural resources (open lands, forests, wildlife habitat, scenic vistas, farmland, stream banks, etc.), and potentially obtain significant federal and local tax benefits.  PACs vision is a community living and growing in harmony with our natural resources and or goal is to provide a legacy that will endure and be valued by generations to come.  PAC works diligently to provide leadership to encourage conservation and provide education programs emphasizing native species appreciation and responsible land use practices to help – save the places you love.

~ By Pam Torlina

AnnieGardenPortraitREAL

Annie Martin, the March 25 presenter at Walnut Creek Preserve


Great Opportunity to Support PAC and Get Outdoors!

Polk County News Journal, 3/8/17

What does it take to make a great run or walk?  Whether you want to run the 5K, walk the 2-miles, or take a lovely short stroll, the 2017 PACRun and PACWalk has got you covered.  Join your friends in helping the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) protect our lovely communities by participating in the 6th annual PACRun and 12th annual PACWalk for Preservation on April 8 at the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE).

Not only will you get to support a great cause, but you will get to exercise in the attractive environment at FENCE, a nature and equestrian center whose beauty will always be there for the public to enjoy because it is protected by a conservation easement held by PAC.

The 5K PACRun course traverses varied terrain that is entirely limited to trails and grass, a true trail run that will give you a challenge.  While you are dashing down the trail, for the run or the walk, you will enjoy the charming Blockhouse Creek, see abundant Trillium in bloom, and hear the many frogs and birds in the large wetland area. PACWalk will also include a meander on the boardwalk over the wetlands, offering a chance to look for turtles, fish, wading birds and more. If strolling is more your cup of tea, then an easy 0.3-mile walk along the paved Wildwood educational trail will allow an opportunity to learn about flora and fauna along the way.  FENCE is truly a nature lover’s paradise!

All participants will be entered for a chance to win fabulous door prizes and runners may win prizes for placing in their varied levels.So join PAC for this fun, family (and pet) friendly event to and do your part to help – save the places you love.  You may even win a prize! For more information and to pick up an entry form, stop by the PAC office at 2060 Lynn Road, Suite 1, Columbus, NC  28722, visit the PAC website at, www.pacolet.org, where you can download an entry form,  or call the PAC office at 828-859-5060.  Runners can register online at https://eventsignup.org/PACRun.  Please note that there is a late fee, for runners only, if registering after March 24, 2017.

-by Carrie Knox

PACWalk_photo by Chris Bartol

Photo by Chris Bartol


PAC’s third spring hike heads to Mountain Bridge Wildness Area

Tryon Daily Bulletin, 3/12/17

Join the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) on Friday, March 17, for an approximate 5.5-mile, moderate, out and back hike at the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area.  PAC’s Director of Stewardship and Land Protection, Pam Torlina, will lead the hike.

The trail winds through a maturing, mountainous forest and offers great winter views of Table Rock.  At one point, hikers will have to crossing Matthews Creek using a cable crossing (one cable for your feet, and one cable for your hands).  This is the easiest way to cross the creek, though with the lack of rainfall, rock hopping may be possible.  The cable crossing may test your courage, but will offer a great sense of accomplishment!

Approaching the waterfall, hikers will arrive near the top of the falls and take a short, fairly steep descent to a cave behind the falls.  This offers a unique view of the waterfall.  There will also be an opportunity to hike down to the base of the falls to take in the full splendor of this hidden gem.

The waterfall was named for the illegal moonshining activity that occurred in the ‘cave’ behind the falls, and old moonshining barrels still remain behind the falls.  This waterfall plunges like a veil 40 feet over a dark granite cliff, strikes a ledge, turns 90 degrees and plunges into a pool.

If you are interested in attending the PAC hike at the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, please contact the PAC office to sign up by phone at 828-859-5060 or e-mail, landprotection@pacolet.org.

Hikers are asked to meet at the Spinx in Gowensville at 8:30 a.m. to check in and start the approximately 30-minute drive to Asbury Hills Camp.  Hikers should be prepared to return to the area in the mid-afternoon.

For your safety, do not attempt any hike beyond your ability and experience.  Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and footwear; bring a bag lunch and/or snack and plenty of water.  Please be sure to bring any personal medication that you may require.

In case of inclement weather, please contact the PAC office by 8:15 on the day of the hike, check the PAC website, www.pacolet.org, and/or the PAC Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pacoletarea.conservancy, to see if the hike will take place.

If you cannot make this hike but would like to attend future hikes, please visit PACs website, www.pacolet.org, or go to PACs Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pacoletarea.conservancy, for information on upcoming hikes.  The next hike takes place on March 31st at Pisgah National Forest; an 8-mile, moderate, loop hike along the North Slope Connector to Art Loeb Trail.

-article submitted by Pam Torlina

3-3-17_Coontree loop and Bennett Gap hike-Pisgah

PAC hikers on the March 3 hike along the Coontree and Bennett Gap trails at Pisgah National Forest, in no particular order: Libby Vatalaro, Carolyn Parker, Suzanne Engelmann, Jean Shaw, Liz Dicey, Farley Snow, Lois Torlina, Jade Blakey, Edith Castello, Lawrence Poe, Linda Bliven, Cindy Moore, Mary Alm, Dan Easley, Tammy Coleman, Pat Strother, Alan Carron, Mark McCall, and Pam Torlina.  (photo by Ford Smith)

 


 

 

PAC welcomes Dr. Newberry for presentation on endangered plants of the Piedmont

Tryon Daily Bulletin, 3/10/17

The Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) and the Landrum Library invite the public to attend a free presentation on “Endangered Plants of the Piedmont,” presented by Dr. Gillian Newberry.  The program will be held at the Landrum Library, 111 East Asbury Drive Landrum, SC, on Tuesday, March 14 at 6:00 p.m.

The presentation will include tips for the identification of some of the rarest plants in the Piedmont, why they are rare, and why we should care.  Dr. Newberry will include some notes on her research on preserving these endangered species.

She will highlight Oconee Bells (Shortia galacifolia), Dwarf-flowered Heartleaf (Hexastylis naniflora), insectiverous plants (such as sundews (Drosera spp.) and pitcher plants (Sarracenia spp.)), Bunched Arrowhead (Sagittaria fasciculate), American Chestnut (Castanea dentata), and Walking Fern (Asplenium rhizophyllum).

Gillian Newberry is a professor emeritus from University of South Carolina Upstate.  She taught botany, plant geography, zoology, plant taxonomy, and marine biology during her 34 years at USC-Upstate and set up a 16,000 specimen herbarium to aid students in plant identifications.

Dr. Newberry also established the herbarium at Walnut Creek Preserve, housed at the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center.  Her research interest include plant surveys, plant rescues, establishment of preserves for endangered plant species, and developing techniques to reduce the impact of invasive plant species.

She has worked with PAC on plant surveys numerous times over the years.  She received here PhD in botany in 1976 and was recognized as teacher of the year at USC-Upstate twice.  She was also recognized as teach of the year for the Campuses of the USC system.  Her hobbies include hiking, traveling, reading, and photography.

This program is best for adults and children who listen like adults. Families are welcome too.

For more information, contact the Pacolet Area Conservancy at 828-859-5060 or e-mail landprotection@pacolet.org.  Keep an eye on the PAC website, www.pacolet.org, for information on upcoming PAC/Landrum Library programs at the Landrum Library.  The next scheduled program will take place on April 11th when Dr. Timothy Spira will present on “Favorite Spring Wildflowers in the Blue Ridge Mountains” at 6:00 p.m.

-article submitted by Pam Torlina

Gillian Newberry

Dr. Gillian Newberry will present on rare plants of the Piedmont at the Landrum Library on Tuesday, March 14. (photo submitted by Pam Torlina)


Donations welcome to help preserve former Foster Creek development

Tryon Daily Bulletin, 3/8/17

Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC), which recently purchased the former Foster Creek Preserve property in Columbus, is asking for donations to preserve the property for the public.

CMLC sent a press release last week detailing plans as well as how the property was purchased.

“The scenic ridgeline and south facing slopes of Little White Oak Mountain, slated in the mid-2000s as the site for a 687-unit residential development north of the the Town of Columbus, known as the Foster Creek Preserve, will now be permanently protected thanks to the cooperative action of local organizations,” states the release.  “Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, working closely with the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC), purchased the 1,068-acre property in December 2016 to conserve its dramatic views, rare species, wildlife habitats and opportunities for outdoor recreation.”

The land was purchased through a major gift from Fred and Alice Stanback, of Salisbury and a $1.86 million loan from the Conservation Trust for North Carolina.

“In order to pay back the loan,” CMLC’s release said, “the conservation organizations are now pursuing several fundraising strategies to encourage public engagement and buy in. Donations are welcomed and can be made to either PAC or CMLC and earmarked for the Foster Creek Preserve project.”

CMLC says over coming years, CMLC and PAC hope to transfer portions of the property to capable management of state and local partner organizations, including the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, the Polk County Recreation Department and the Housing Assistance Corporation, which is a non-profit Hendersonville-based developer of affordable housing.

PAC targeted the tract as a conservation priority over the last decade and at one point worked with the previous owner on a plan to protect the high-elevation part of the property with a conservation easement, although the easement never came to fruition, according to CMLC.  PAC, however, maintained contact with the owners and working with CMLC, approached the American Land Fund in 2015 and the dialogue led to the offer to sell for a price below market value,

“PAC is excited to be working with CMLC to create an outcome on the Little White Oak tract that conserves its outstanding natural features while also addressing other community needs,” said PAC President Rebecca Kemp.

Part of the project is to donate approximately 300 acres of the property that abuts Polk County’s recreation complex in Mill Spring.  The additional property could provide local residents and visitors with greater recreational opportunities, including more extensive hiking and mountain biking trails.

Property adjoining Hwy. 108 that is not on steep mountain slopes is planned to be developed as workforce housing development intended to help younger families and middle-income workers, including police officers and teachers build a home.  The planned residential area is 30-60 acres, according to the release.  The homeowners would help build the homes to keep the costs more affordable, with each home anticipated to be valued at $180,000-$200,000.

Up to 600 acres of the property are planned to be added to the adjoining Green River Game Lands.  There is currently 14,000 acres of game land located in and around the Green River Gorge in southeast Henderson and western Polk counties, which is managed by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.  The land is used primarily by anglers, hunters and hikers.  CMLC says though the game land has expanded many times since its creation in 1950, this addition would be the first since 2008 and will provide a public access point from Houston Road in Columbus.

“The conservation partners hope to initiate a master planning process involving public input to determine how the long-term uses of the property can best benefit the community,” states the release.  “For instance, Polk County Middle School adjoins the County Recreation Complex and the Little White Oak property.  Planners will look for opportunities to create trails that might link the school to conserved land, and provide teachers and students with educational and recreational access.”

According to CMLC executive director Kieran Roe, “Due to the substantial change in the local real estate market that occurred after the 2008-09 recession, the extensive residential development once envisioned for the site will never come to pass.  CMLC looks forward to working with PAC and numerous other collaborators on a different, and perhaps better, long-term outcome there for the community.”

Both Columbus Town Council and the Polk County Board of Commissioners have discussed the project since it was unveiled late last year.  Some Columbus council members have expressed interest in de-annexing the Foster Creek property from Columbus town limits.  Polk County commissioners expressed interest in how the town could de-annex the property and if there is a possibility the property will be located in Polk County rather than Columbus.  Neither local government has brought up the development in recent months.

-article written by Leah Justice

Little White Oak Mountain

Foster Creek Preserve


Support PAC and get outdoors with annual PACRun, PACWalk

Tryon Daily Bulletin, 3/3/17

Whether you want to run the 5K, walk the 2-miles, or take a lovely short stroll, the 2017 PACRun and PACWalk has got you covered. Join your friends in helping the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) protect our lovely communities by participating in the 6th annual PACRun and 12th annual PACWalk for Preservation on April 8 at the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE).

The 5K PACRun course traverses varied terrain that is entirely limited to trails and grass, a true trail run that will give you a challenge.  While you are dashing down the trail, for the run or the walk, you will enjoy the charming Blockhouse Creek, see abundant Trillium in bloom, and hear the many frogs and birds in the large wetland area.

PACWalk will also include a meander on the boardwalk over the wetlands, offering a chance to look for turtles, fish, wading birds and more. If strolling is more your cup of tea, then an easy 0.3-mile walk along the paved Wildwood educational trail will allow an opportunity to learn about flora and fauna along the way.

All participants will be entered for a chance to win fabulous door prizes and runners may win prizes for placing in their varied levels.

Join PAC for this fun, family (and pet) friendly event to and do your part to help – save the places you love.

For more information and to pick up an entry form, stop by the PAC office at 2060 Lynn Road, Suite 1, Columbus, NC  28722, visit the PAC website at, www.pacolet.org, where you can download an entry form,  or call the PAC office at 828-859-5060.

Runners can register online at https://eventsignup.org/PACRun.  Please note that there is a late fee, for runners only, if registering after March 24, 2017.

-article written by Carrie KnoxPACWalk_photo by Chris Bartol2016 PACWalkers (photo by Chris Bartol)


Tryon Daily Bulletin, 3/1/17

PACWalk_Run


Tryon Daily Bulletin, 2/28/17

Almanac


Polk County’s Most Wanted — Plant

Tryon Daily Bulletin, 2/28/17

In a joint effort to expand the knowledge and understanding of the flora and fauna of Polk County, the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) and botanist, David Campbell need your help in locating this month’s “Polk County’s Most Wanted-Plant,” the enigmatic Virginia Stickseed, (Hackelia virginiana).

Virginia Stickseed belongs to the Borage, or Forget-Me-Not, family of flowering plants.  It is an herbaceous biennial or perennial with simple, oblanceolate, and alternate leaves reaching approximately one to three feet in height.  At the time of flowering, basal leaves are usually absent.  Small white flowers occur in a loose raceme-like panicle, typically between June-August, but sometimes later. The Cherokee utilized this plant to treat cancer, and to help prevent memory loss.

Preferred habitats are rich forests and woodlands over mafic soils that are basic or circumneutral in pH.  Virginia Stickseed is a rare plant in North Carolina, with a spotty distribution that is mainly centered in the mountains, but with some piedmont localities also known.  This species has been previously recorded in Polk County, but not for several decades. Suitable habitat is common in our region, so rediscovery of Hackelia in Polk is a very real possibility.  Study the accompanying picture carefully, or look online for photos, and keep your eyes open for this elusive denizen of our wild areas.  Although not a showy species, much remains to be learned about the distribution of Virginia Stickseed in North Carolina.

As always, if you feel that you have sighted this or any other Polk County’s Most Wanted species, please don’t hesitate to contact staff at the Pacolet Area Conservancy at 828-859-5060, or e-mail comments, questions, or photos to landprotection@pacolet.org.

All of the Polk County’s Most Wanted can be viewed on the PAC website, www.pacolet.org.  Click on the “conservation” tab and scroll down and click on the “Polk County’s Most Wanted” tab.

PAC has also created a “Pocket Guide” of “Polk County’s Most Wanted” that can be printed and taken in the field!  The pocket guide can be accessed on PAC’s website too.

PAC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit conservation organization (land trust) founded in 1989 to protect and conserve natural resources in the Foothills of North Carolina and the Upstate of South Carolina, with emphasis on the lands and waterways with scenic, ecologic or agricultural significance in the North Pacolet and Green River watersheds (PACs mission).  PAC works with area landowners to ensure the long-term protection of their property through voluntary conservation easements (agreements) which enable landowners to maintain ownership of their property, preserving precious natural resources (open lands, forests, wildlife habitat, scenic vistas, farmland, stream banks, etc.), and potentially obtain significant federal and local tax benefits.  PACs vision is a community living and growing in harmony with our natural resources and or goal is to provide a legacy that will endure and be valued by generations to come.  PAC works diligently to provide leadership to encourage conservation and provide education programs emphasizing native species appreciation and responsible land use practices to help – save the places you love.

-article written by David Campbell

virginiana stickseed-flowersVirginia Stickseed (Hackelia virginiana) flowers. (photo by Peter Dziuk)

virginiana stickseed-whole plantVirginia Stickseed (Hackelia virginiana) – the whole plant. (photo by Peter Dziuk)


PAC’s second spring hike heads to Pisgah National Forest, March 3

Tryon Daily Bulletin, 2/26/17 

Join the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) on Friday, March 3, for an approximately 6.5-mile, moderate/strenuous, lollipop hike at Pisgah National Forest.  PAC’s Director of Stewardship and Land Protection, Pam Torlina, will lead the hike.

Hikers will venture to the Coontree Picnic Area in Pisgah National Forest to begin the hike on Coontree Loop Trail.  The trail will lead hikers along Coontree Creek for part of the ascent of Coontree Mountain.  Near the top of the mountain, the group will veer onto the Bennet Gap Trail to hike along the ridgeline and just below the peak of Coontree Mountain.  Passing the peak of the mountain, participants will enjoy beautiful winter views of the surrounding mountains.  After stopping to enjoy a nice lunch, the group will back track, rejoin Coontree Loop Trail, and complete the loop, heading down Coontree Gap, and returning to the picnic/parking area.  This is a moderate hike with some strenuous sections.

If you are interested in attending the PAC hike at Pisgah National Forest, please contact the PAC office to sign up by phone at 828-859-5060 or e-mail, landprotection@pacolet.org.

Hikers are asked to meet at the BI-LO in Columbus at 8:30 a.m. to check in and start the approximately 1-hour drive to Pisgah National Forest.  Hikers should be prepared to return to the area in the mid-afternoon.

For your safety, do not attempt any hike beyond your ability and experience.  Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and footwear; bring a bag lunch and/or snack and plenty of water.  Please be sure to bring any personal medication that you may require.

In case of inclement weather, please contact the PAC office by 8:15 on the day of the hike, check the PAC website, www.pacolet.org, and/or the PAC Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pacoletarea.conservancy, to see if the hike will take place.

If you cannot make this hike but would like to attend future hikes, please visit PACs website, www.pacolet.org, or go to PACs Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pacoletarea.conservancy, for information on upcoming hikes.  The next hike takes place on March 17th at the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area; a 5.6-mile, moderate, out and back hike to Moonshine Falls.

-article submitted by Pam Torlina

DSC_0582_1

PAC hikers who participated in the Feb. 17 hike at DuPont State Forest, in no particular order: Ford Smith, Dan Easley, David Stoeckel, Roger Dehnel, Larry Poe, Helen Davis, Alan Carron, Richard Goodman, Vince Castello, Edith Castello, Alan Cameron, Tammy Coleman, William Coleman, Mary Alm, Michelle Keyes, Cindy Moore, Pat Strother, Siegfried Forster, Carolyn Parker, Libby Vatalaro, Gloria Underwood, Marla Cassida, Suzanne Engelman, and Jean Shaw (photo by Pam Torlina)


“Moss Magic in your Landscape,” March 25

Tryon Daily Bulletin,  2/23/17

Annie Martin, nationally-recognized moss landscape designer and author of The Magical World of Moss Gardening (Timber Press, 2015), introduces the joys and environmental benefits of gardening with eco-friendly mosses. The Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) and Walnut Creek Preserve (WCP) invite the public to attend this free lecture, “Moss Magic in your Landscape,” on Saturday, March 25 at 10:30 am at the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at WCP.

After the presentation, Annie will be offering a Hands-On Moss Dish Garden Workshop.  The workshop is $20 per person. Limited space is available and pre-registration, by March 13, is required.

Have you ever desired the year-round green appeal of mosses in your garden? Are you tired of mowing grass? What about that shady place where nothing else will grow? Native mosses are an excellent horticultural alternative.

Known as “Mossin’ Annie,” Martin provides valuable insights on how to transform your garden or lawn into a serene retreat and eco-friendly landscape showcasing the world’s oldest living land plants – mosses!

Martin specializes in creating innovative moss-scapes and cultivates mosses at her Mossery in Brevard, NC. She explains how to transform your yard or convert your grass lawn into a serene, green retreat. Inspirational photographs, moss specimens for ID, and essential how-to gardening tips will help you get started on your own moss gardening projects.

Mossin’ Annie’s passion is contagious and audiences across the country delight in her informative and entertaining programs. To begin your moss journey, join PAC and WCP for this free presentation and register for the fun and informative workshop after the presentation where participants will make their own moss dish gardens to take home.

Martin is the owner of Mountain Moss Enterprises in Pisgah Forest, NC and Timber Press author of The Magical World of Moss Gardening. Autographed books will be available for purchase after the lecture and workshop.

Martin has been featured in newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, Our State magazine, Carolina Home and Garden magazine and many more.

To register for workshop or to obtain more information, contact PAC at 828-859-5060 or email, landprotection@pacolet.org.  For more about Martin’s Mossy endeavors or to buy mosses for yourself, visit www.mountainmoss.com.

-article submitted by Pam Torlina

AnnieGardenPortraitREAL

Annie Martin (Photo submitted by Annie Martin, mountainmoss.com)


McDermott named to Second Wind Hall of Fame 

Tryon Daily Bulletin, 2/23/17

Renée McDermott has been named to the Second Wind Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC).  Rebecca Kemp, President of the Board of Directors of PAC, presented the award at the PAC volunteer recognition party, which was hosted by Betsy and Dee Miner at their lovely home on Sunday, February 12.  The award reads in part, “In recognition of a useful and productive life, continuing beyond retirement, while others paused to rest, this dedicated person caught a ‘second wind’ and began a new career of service to the community and to mankind.”

McDermott has certainly fulfilled that criterion. She has worked on behalf of the Pacolet Area Conservancy for years, serving as chair of the Land Committee, Vice President of the Board of Directors, and twice as President of the Board.  She has been an invaluable resource regarding the development and writing of conservation agreements between PAC and people who desire to protect their land. She has always been ready to help when called upon when her expertise and skill were needed in service of conservation.

Additionally, she has served as a member of the board of the Polk County Community Foundation and has served on both its Distribution and Education Committees.  She has served on the Polk County Land Use Planning Commission, Groundwater Sustainability Project, and the Ridgetop and Mountain Preservation Group.  She is a Master Gardener volunteer, as well.

In 2008 she was elected a Polk County Commissioner.  During her tenure she served on the Department of Social Services Board, the Region C Aging Advisory Board, the Home and Community Care Block Grant Committee, and the Unified Development Ordinance Committee.

McDermott grew up in Florida and received her Bachelor’s degree in English and journalism at the University of South Florida, where she later received a Master’s degree in math and science education. She taught math and science as well as English and journalism at the middle and high school level before deciding to pursue a law degree. She graduated magna cum laude from the Indiana University – Bloomington School of Law. She practiced environmental law in Indianapolis, Indiana for 25 years, during which time she also served as county attorney for 5 years.

In 1999 Renée McDermott and her husband Jim moved from Indiana to Tryon, where they live with their dog Caitlin on a beautiful property protected by a conservation agreement with PAC. The Pacolet Area Conservancy is proud to present her as a Second Wind Hall of Fame member.

Article submitted by Carole Bartol

DSC_0521

Rebecca Kemp, left, president of the board of directors of PAC, presents the Second Wind Hall of Fame award to Renee McDermott. (photo by Steve Bardos)


Native Orchids of the Southern Appalachian Mountains subject of PAC talk

Tryon Daily Bulletin, 2/19/17

The Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) and the Landrum Library invite the public to attend a free presentation on “Native Orchids of the Southern Appalachian Mountains,” presented by Jim Fowler.  The program will be held at the Landrum Library, 111 East Asbury Drive Landrum, SC, on Thursday, February 23 at 6:30 p.m.

The Southern Appalachian Mountains region is recognized as one of the most floristically diverse areas in North America.  Its rich forests and wet, boggy meadows provide the perfect environment for dozens of species of our colorful and mysterious native orchids. Stretching from West Virginia to northern Alabama, the rolling hillsides are host to orchid flowers from March to November.

Many of our native orchid species are quite small, and some of them would not be recognized as orchid species except by a trained naturalist. Learning to identify a few of the more common species will add richness to any hike in the woods.

While there are only three of our native orchid species that keep their green leaves through the winter, many of those that lose their leaves in the fall will leave their characteristic seed capsules behind for identification. If you know where to look, it is surprisingly easy to find many of the more common orchid species even on roadside margins within easy reach for photography and study.  Come join Jim for an in-depth look into the jewels of Southern Appalachian flora.

Jim Fowler is an independent botanist, photographer, and author.  He will have copies of his book, Wild Orchids of South Carolina: A Popular Natural History, available for purchase for those that are interested.

This program is best for adults and children who listen like adults. Families are welcome too.

This program is made possible thanks to a Free Community Events grant from the Polk County Community Foundation (PCCF).

For more information, contact the Pacolet Area Conservancy at 828-859-5060 or e-mail landprotection@pacolet.org.  Keep an eye on the PAC website, www.pacolet.org, for information on upcoming PAC/Landrum Library programs at the Landrum Library.  The next scheduled program will take place on March 14th when Dr. Gillian Newberry will present on “Endangered Plants of the Piedmont” at 6 p.m.

article submitted by Pam Torlina

Pink Lady SlipperPink Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium acaule), a native and showy orchid. (photo by Ben Geer Keys)


Tryon Daily Bulletin, 2/17/17

Feb-WCP


North Carolina’s Red Wolves

Polk County News Journal & the News Leader/Upstate Newspapers, 2/15/17  

The Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) and Walnut Creek Preserve (WCP) invite the public to attend a free presentation on “North Carolina’s Red Wolves: An Imperiled Future,” presented by Christian Hunt with Defenders of Wildlife.  The program will be held at the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve on Saturday, February 18th, at 10:30 a.m.

The Red Wolf (Canis rufus) is a smaller and a more slender cousin of the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus).  It is gray-black, with a reddish cast that gives it the color for which it is named.  Historically, Red Wolves ranged throughout the southeastern U.S., from Pennsylvania to Florida, and as far west as Texas.  Almost hunted to the brink of extinction, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rounded up fewer than 20 Red Wolves to be bred in captivity in 1980.  As of 2007, approximately 207 captive Red Wolves reside at 38 captive breeding facilities across the United States; however, fewer than 45 Red Wolves currently live in the wild.  Today, wild populations roam more than 1.7 million acres throughout northeastern North Carolina.  Christian will be discussing the history, biology, threats, political atmosphere, and benefits that the Red Wolf brings to our ecosystem.

To get to Walnut Creek Preserve’s Nature Center from the Tryon and Columbus area, take Hwy 108 E and turn left on Hwy 9 toward Lake Lure.  Follow Hwy 9 N for 5 miles and turn right onto McGuinn Road (at the Exxon Station).  Go 1 mile to the intersection with Big Level Road; turn left, go 2/10ths of a mile and take the first right onto Aden Green Road.  Follow Aden Green for 4/10ths of a mile and turn left on Wood Thrush Lane and into Walnut Creek Preserve.  Take the first left onto Conservatory Lane, which takes you to the parking area for the nature center. (GPS coordinates to the Nature Center are available at the PAC website.)

For more information or directions from another location, contact the Pacolet Area Conservancy at 828-859-5060 or e-mail landprotection@pacolet.org.  The next PAC/WCP program will be held on March 25th, Annie Martin, popularly known as “Mossin’ Annie,” will present “Moss Magic in your Landscape.” There is an optional invitation to attend a moss gardening workshop afterward, but registration is mandatory.  Please sign up today, if you’re interested!

For more information about Walnut Creek Preserve, visit www.walnutcreekpreserve.com.  Please note, Walnut Creek Preserve is private property and guests are only allowed on the property by invitation (a planned event or scheduled group). Thank you.

PAC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit conservation organization (land trust) founded in 1989 to protect and conserve natural resources in the Foothills of North Carolina and the Upstate of South Carolina, with emphasis on the lands and waterways with scenic, ecologic or agricultural significance in the North Pacolet and Green River watersheds (PAC’s mission).  PAC works with area landowners to ensure the long-term protection of their property through voluntary conservation easements (agreements) which enable landowners to continue ownership of their property, preserve precious natural resources (open lands, forests, wildlife habitat, scenic vistas, farmland, stream banks, etc.), and potentially obtain significant federal and local tax benefits.  PAC works diligently to provide leadership to encourage conservation and offers education programs emphasizing responsible land use practices to help – save the places you love.

by Pam Torlina

4237167628_5fc4c49713The Red Wolf (Canis rufus)


Join PAC for the First Hike of the Spring Hiking Series, February 17th!

Polk County News Journal, 2/15/17

HikerJoin the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) on Friday, February 17, for an approximately 7-mile, easy, loop hike at DuPont State Forest.  PAC’s Director of Stewardship and Land Protection, Pam Torlina, will lead the hike.

Hikers will venture to the Guion Farm area of DuPont State Forest, off of Sky Valley Road.  The trail will lead hikers along old roadbeds, through a managed pine forest, and past Thomas Cemetery, named for the family that lived near the site in the 19th century.  Hikers will take a short jaunt to view Wintergreen Falls, and then return to the main loop, making their way back to the parking area.

If you are interested in attending the PAC hike at DuPont State Forest, please contact the PAC office to sign up by phone at 828-859-5060 or e-mail, landprotection@pacolet.org.


Polk County News Journal

2/15/17

PACWalk


Orchids of the Southern Appalachian Mountains” Thursday, February 23rd at Landrum Library

Polk County News Journal, 2/15/17

library-logojims-avatar

We hope you can join us for the first program of 2017 at the Landrum Library on Thursday, February 23rd at 6:30 p.m., as Jim Fowler, presents The Southern Appalachian Mountains region is recognized as one of the most floristically diverse areas in North America.  Its rich forests and wet, boggy meadows provide the perfect environment for dozens of species of our colorful and mysterious native orchids.  Stretching from West Virginia to northern Alabama, the rolling hillsides are host to orchid flowers from March to November.

Many of our native orchid species are quite small, and some of them would not be recognized as orchid species except by a trained naturalist.  Learning to identify a few of the more common species will add richness to any hike in the woods.

While there are only three of our native orchid species that keep their green leaves through the winter, many of those that lose their leaves in the fall will leave their characteristic seed capsules behind for identification. If you know where to look, it is surprisingly easy to find many of the more common orchid species even on roadside margins within easy reach for photography and study.

Come join us for an in-depth look into the jewels of Southern Appalachian flora.

This program is made possible thanks to a Free Community Events grant from the Polk County Community Foundation (PCCF).


Saluda Lifestyles (online)

2/14/17

Events & Hikes by Pacolet Area Conservancy

PAC’s First Hike of the Spring Hiking Series, February 17

IMG_4855Join the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) on Friday, February 17, for an approximately 7-mile, easy, loop hike at DuPont State Forest.  PAC’s Director of Stewardship and Land Protection, Pam Torlina, will lead the hike.

Hikers will venture to the Guion Farm area of DuPont State Forest, off of Sky Valley Road.  The trail will lead hikers along old roadbeds, through a managed pine forest, and past Thomas Cemetery, named for the family that lived near the site in the 19th century.  Hikers will take a short jaunt to view Wintergreen Falls, and then return to the main loop, making their way back to the parking area.

If you are interested in attending the PAC hike at DuPont State Forest, please contact the PAC office to sign up by phone at 828-859-5060 or e-mail, landprotection@pacolet.org.

Hikers are asked to meet at the BI-LO in Columbus at 8:30 a.m. to check in and start the approximately 45-minute drive to DuPont State Forest.  Hikers should be prepared to return to the area in the mid-afternoon.

For your safety, do not attempt any hike beyond your ability and experience.  Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and footwear; bring a bag lunch and/or snack and plenty of water.  Please be sure to bring any personal medication that you may require.

In case of inclement weather, please contact the PAC office by 8:15 on the day of the hike, check the PAC website, www.pacolet.org, and/or the PAC Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pacoletarea.conservancy, to see if the hike will take place.

If you cannot make this hike but would like to attend future hikes, please visit PACs website, www.pacolet.org, or go to PACs Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pacoletarea.conservancy, for information on upcoming hikes.  The next hike takes place on March 3rd at Pisgah National Forest, on the Coontree loop and Bennett Gap trails.

PAC/WCP Program on “North Carolina’s Red Wolves,” February 18

4237167628_5fc4c49713The Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) and Walnut Creek Preserve (WCP) invite the public to attend a free presentation on “North Carolina’s Red Wolves: An Imperiled Future,” presented by Christian Hunt with Defenders of Wildlife.  The program will be held at the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve on Saturday, February 18th, at 10:30 a.m.

The Red Wolf (Canis rufus) is a smaller and a more slender cousin of the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus).  It is gray-black, with a reddish cast that gives it the color for which it is named.  Historically, Red Wolves ranged throughout the southeastern U.S., from Pennsylvania to Florida, and as far west as Texas.  Almost hunted to the brink of extinction, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rounded up fewer than 20 Red Wolves to be bred in captivity in 1980.  As of 2007, approximately 207 captive Red Wolves reside at 38 captive breeding facilities across the United States; however, fewer than 45 Red Wolves currently live in the wild.  Today, wild populations roam more than 1.7 million acres throughout northeastern North Carolina.  Christian will be discussing the history, biology, threats, political atmosphere, and benefits that the Red Wolf brings to our ecosystem.

To get to Walnut Creek Preserve’s Nature Center from the Tryon and Columbus area, take Hwy 108 E and turn left on Hwy 9 toward Lake Lure.  Follow Hwy 9 N for 5 miles and turn right onto McGuinn Road (at the Exxon Station).  Go 1 mile to the intersection with Big Level Road; turn left, go 2/10ths of a mile and take the first right onto Aden Green Road.  Follow Aden Green for 4/10ths of a mile and turn left on Wood Thrush Lane and into Walnut Creek Preserve.  Take the first left onto Conservatory Lane, which takes you to the parking area for the nature center. (GPS coordinates to the Nature Center are available at the PAC website.)

For more information or directions from another location, contact the Pacolet Area Conservancy at 828-859-5060 or e-mail landprotection@pacolet.org.

The next PAC/WCP program will be held on March 25th, Annie Martin, popularly known as “Mossin’ Annie,” will present “Moss Magic in your Landscape.” There is an optional invitation to attend a moss gardening workshop afterward, but registration is mandatory.  Please sign up today, if you’re interested!

For more information about Walnut Creek Preserve, visit www.walnutcreekpreserve.com.

Preserve is private property and guests are only allowed on the property by invitation (a planned event or scheduled group).


PAC’s first Hike of the Spring Hiking Series, February 17th!

Tryon Daily Bulletin, 2/12/17

Join the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) on Friday, February 17, for an approximately 7-mile, easy, loop hike at DuPont State Forest.  PAC’s Director of Stewardship and Land Protection, Pam Torlina, will lead the hike.

Hikers will venture to the Guion Farm area of DuPont State Forest, off of Sky Valley Road.  The trail will lead hikers along old roadbeds, through a managed pine forest, and past Thomas Cemetery, named for the family that lived near the site in the 19th century.  Hikers will take a short jaunt to view Wintergreen Falls, and then return to the main loop, making their way back to the parking area.

If you are interested in attending the PAC hike at DuPont State Forest, please contact the PAC office to sign up by phone at 828-859-5060 or e-mail, landprotection@pacolet.org.

Hikers are asked to meet at the BI-LO in Columbus at 8:30 a.m. to check in and start the approximately 45-minute drive to DuPont State Forest.  Hikers should be prepared to return to the area in the mid-afternoon.

For your safety, do not attempt any hike beyond your ability and experience.  Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and footwear; bring a bag lunch and/or snack and plenty of water.  Please be sure to bring any personal medication that you may require.

In case of inclement weather, please contact the PAC office by 8:15 on the day of the hike, check the PAC website, www.pacolet.org, and/or the PAC Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pacoletarea.conservancy, to see if the hike will take place.

If you cannot make this hike but would like to attend future hikes, please visit PACs website, www.pacolet.org, or go to PACs Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pacoletarea.conservancy, for information on upcoming hikes.  The next hike takes place on March 3rd at Pisgah National Forest, on the Coontree loop and Bennett Gap trails.

article submitted by Pam Torlina

IMG_4855Wintergreen Falls will be one of the sights along the Feb. 17 hike with PAC. (photo by Pam Torlina)


North Carolina’s Red Wolves subject of PAC presentation

Tryon Daily Bulletin, 2/12/17  

The Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) and Walnut Creek Preserve (WCP) invite the public to attend a free presentation on “North Carolina’s Red Wolves: An Imperiled Future,” presented by Christian Hunt with Defenders of Wildlife.  The program will be held at the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve on Saturday, February 18th, at 10:30 a.m.

The Red Wolf (Canis rufus) is a smaller and a more slender cousin of the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus).  It is gray-black, with a reddish cast that gives it the color for which it is named.  Historically, Red Wolves ranged throughout the southeastern U.S., from Pennsylvania to Florida, and as far west as Texas.  Almost hunted to the brink of extinction, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rounded up fewer than 20 Red Wolves to be bred in captivity in 1980.  As of 2007, approximately 207 captive Red Wolves reside at 38 captive breeding facilities across the United States; however, fewer than 45 Red Wolves currently live in the wild.  Today, wild populations roam more than 1.7 million acres throughout northeastern North Carolina.  Christian will be discussing the history, biology, threats, political atmosphere, and benefits that the Red Wolf brings to our ecosystem.

To get to Walnut Creek Preserve’s Nature Center from the Tryon and Columbus area, take Hwy 108 E and turn left on Hwy 9 toward Lake Lure.  Follow Hwy 9 N for 5 miles and turn right onto McGuinn Road (at the Exxon Station).  Go 1 mile to the intersection with Big Level Road; turn left, go 2/10ths of a mile and take the first right onto Aden Green Road.  Follow Aden Green for 4/10ths of a mile and turn left on Wood Thrush Lane and into Walnut Creek Preserve.  Take the first left onto Conservatory Lane, which takes you to the parking area for the nature center. (GPS coordinates to the Nature Center are available at the PAC website.)

For more information or directions from another location, contact the Pacolet Area Conservancy at 828-859-5060 or e-mail landprotection@pacolet.org.  The next PAC/WCP program will be held on March 25th, Annie Martin, popularly known as “Mossin’ Annie,” will present “Moss Magic in your Landscape.” There is an optional invitation to attend a moss gardening workshop afterward, but registration is mandatory.  Please sign up today, if you’re interested!

For more information about Walnut Creek Preserve, visit www.walnutcreekpreserve.com.  Please note, Walnut Creek Preserve is private property and guests are only allowed on the property by invitation (a planned event or scheduled group).

article submitted by Pam Torlina

4237167628_5fc4c49713The Red Wolf (Canis rufus)


Tryon Daily Bulletin, 2/10/17

Moss ad


PAC’s first Hike of the Spring Hiking Series, February 17th!

The Polk County News Journal, 2/8/17

Join the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) on Friday, February 17, for an approximately 7-mile, easy, loop hike at DuPont State Forest.  PAC’s Director of Stewardship and Land Protection, Pam Torlina, will lead the hike.

Hikers will venture to the Guion Farm area of DuPont State Forest, off of Sky Valley Road.  The trail will lead hikers along old roadbeds, through a managed pine forest, and past Thomas Cemetery, named for the family that lived near the site in the 19th century.  Hikers will take a short jaunt to view Wintergreen Falls, and then return to the main loop, making their way back to the parking area.

If you are interested in attending the PAC hike at DuPont State Forest, please contact the PAC office to sign up by phone at 828-859-5060 or e-mail, landprotection@pacolet.org.

Hikers are asked to meet at the BI-LO in Columbus at 8:30 a.m. to check in and start the approximately 45-minute drive to DuPont State Forest.  Hikers should be prepared to return to the area in the mid-afternoon.

For your safety, do not attempt any hike beyond your ability and experience.  Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and footwear; bring a bag lunch and/or snack and plenty of water.  Please be sure to bring any personal medication that you may require.

In case of inclement weather, please contact the PAC office by 8:15 on the day of the hike, check the PAC website, www.pacolet.org, and/or the PAC Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pacoletarea.conservancy, to see if the hike will take place.

If you cannot make this hike but would like to attend future hikes, please visit PACs website, www.pacolet.org, or go to PACs Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pacoletarea.conservancy, for information on upcoming hikes.  The next hike takes place on March 3rd at Pisgah National Forest, on the Coontree loop and Bennett Gap trails.

PAC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit conservation organization (land trust) founded in 1989 to protect and conserve natural resources in the Foothills of North Carolina and the Upstate of South Carolina, with emphasis on the lands and waterways with scenic, ecologic or agricultural significance in the North Pacolet and Green River watersheds (PAC’s mission).  PAC works with area landowners to ensure the long-term protection of their property through voluntary conservation easements (agreements) which enable landowners to continue ownership of their property, preserve precious natural resources (open lands, forests, wildlife habitat, scenic vistas, farmland, stream banks, etc.), and potentially obtain significant federal and local tax benefits.  PAC works diligently to provide leadership to encourage conservation and offers education programs emphasizing responsible land use practices to help – save the places you love.

by Pam Torlina

IMG_4855Wintergreen Falls, just one of the beautiful sights along the February 17th hike with PAC. (photo by Pam Torlina)


Polk County’s Most Wanted: Spreading Rockcress

Tryon Daily Bulletin, 2/5/17

The Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) and botanist, David Campbell, are working on a joint effort to expand the knowledge and understanding of the flora and fauna of Polk County.  In the spirit of the New Year (and the impending Spring season!) this month’s Polk County’s Most Wanted will focus on an early-flowering member of the Mustard family – Spreading Rockcress (Arabis patens).

For our February installment in our continuing series of ‘Polk County’s Most Wanted’ we will be looking at the enigmatic Virginia Stickseed, (Hackelia virginiana).  Belonging to the Borage, or Forget-Me-Not family of flowering plants, Virginia Stickseed is a herbaceous biennial or perennial, with simple oblanceolate and alternate leaves, reaching approximately one to three feet in height.  At the time of flowering, basal leaves are usually absent.  Small white flowers occur in a loose raceme-like panicle, typically between June-August, but sometimes later. The Cherokee utilized this plant to treat cancer, and to help prevent memory loss.

Preferred habitats are rich forests and woodlands over mafic soils that are basic or circumneutral in pH.  Virginia Stickseed is a rare plant in North Carolina, with a spotty distribution mainly centered in the mountains, but with some piedmont localities known also.  This species has been previously recorded in Polk County, but not for several decades. Suitable habitat is common in our region, so rediscovery of Hackelia in Polk is a very real possibility.  Study the accompanying pictures carefully, or look online for photos- keep your eyes open for this elusive denizen of our wild areas.  Although not a showy species, much remains to be learned about the distribution of Virgina Stickseed in North Carolina.

As always, if you feel that you have sighted this or any other PCMW species, please don’t hesitate to contact staff at the Pacolet Area Conservancy.

If you think you have located Spreading Rockcress, please take a photograph of it, and contact the Pacolet Area Conservancy at 828-859-5060, or e-mail comments, questions to landprotection@pacolet.org.

All of the Polk County’s Most Wanted can be viewed on the PAC website, www.pacolet.org.  Click on the “conservation” tab and scroll down and click on the “Polk County’s Most Wanted” tab.

PAC has also created a “Pocket Guide” of “Polk County’s Most Wanted” that can be printed and taken in the field!  The pocket guide can be accessed on PAC’s website too.

article submitted by David Campbell

spreadingrockcressSpreading Rockcress (Arabis patens) (photo submitted by Pam Torlina)


PAC Kicks off its Spring Hiking Series Friday, February 17th!

Tryon Daily Bulletin, 2/5/17

Join the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) for five Friday hikes offered to the public, free of charge, this spring.

The community is invited to enjoy the beauty of our Carolinas with PAC.  Come see what the work of many conservation organizations have done for the preservation of area natural resources and take in the beauty of the arrival of spring!

Starting February 17, PAC’s first trek will head to DuPont State Forest for an approximately 7-mile, easy, loop hike.  The trail will lead hikers along old roadbeds, through a managed pine forest and past Thomas cemetery, named for the family that lived near the site in the 19th century.  Hikers will take a short jaunt to view Wintergreen Falls, and then return to the main loop, making their way back to the parking area.

On March 3, the hike will take place in Pisgah National Forest, along the Coontree loop and Bennett Gap trails.  On this moderate, 6.6-mile hike in the shape of a lollipop, participants will enjoy terrific views of the surrounding mountains along Bennett Gap before descending and completing the journey with a walk along Coontree Creek.

On March 17, the group will head to the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area for a 5.6-mile, moderate, out and back hike along the Pinnacle Pass and Naturaland Trust trails to Moonshine Falls.

On March 31, hikers head back to Pisgah National Forest for a moderate 8-mile, loop hike starting from the Davidson River Campground.  The hike will follow the Davidson River to the North Slope trail through a dense deciduous forest, and then veer onto the Connector trail to the Art Loeb trail which follows Shut-in Ridge before heading back down to the campground and parking area.

Finally, on April 14, the group heads to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a 6.8-mile, moderate hike along Asbury Trail which straddles the boundary between the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and the Appalachian Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.

If you are interested in attending the PAC spring hikes and would like more information, please call the PAC office at 828-859-5060 or e-mail landprotection@pacolet.org.  You can also find information on PAC’s website, www.pacolet.org, and on PAC’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pacoletarea.conservancy.

PAC invites the public to participate in a “Hiking Challenge!”  Complete all five of the hikes this spring and receive a custom bumper sticker acknowledging your accomplishment!

article submitted by Pam Torlina

P1100843PAC hikers Estell Osten, Bill Coleman, and Tammy Coleman on a PAC hike in the spring of 2015. (photo submitted by Pam Torlina)


February 2017

Life in our Foothills

MeClick here to read the story featuring PAC’s Pam Torlina!


Tryon Daily Bulletin, 1/28/17

Move


Tryon Daily Bulletin, 1/19/17

Seeing with new eyes-January WCP


PAC/WCP Program “Seeing with New Eyes,” Jan. 21

Polk County News Journal & the News Leader/Upstate Newspapers, 1/18/17

The Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) and Walnut Creek Preserve (WCP) invite the public to attend a free presentation on “Seeing with New Eyes,” presented by Ben Mullinax.  The program will be held at the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve on Saturday, January 21st, at 10:30 a.m.

Ben will use photography to explore the quote by Dorothea Lange that, “A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.”  He will show participants how we can use photography to explore and find the extraordinary in the ordinary, and show examples of how changes in lighting, time of day, shadows, perspective/viewpoint makes this possible.  Ben’s hope is that the presentation will help people rethink how they view their own photography and also that it might be useful to non-photographers who will have the opportunity to learn to appreciate and practice “seeing” in a new and different way.  The presentation will include photography of nature scenes and macro-photography that reflects the points above.

To get to Walnut Creek Preserve’s Nature Center from the Tryon and Columbus area, take Hwy 108 E and turn left on Hwy 9 toward Lake Lure.  Follow Hwy 9 N for 5 miles and turn right onto McGuinn Road (at the Exxon Station).  Go 1 mile to the intersection with Big Level Road; turn left, go 2/10ths of a mile and take the first right onto Aden Green Road.  Follow Aden Green for 4/10ths of a mile and turn left on Wood Thrush Lane and into Walnut Creek Preserve.  Take the first left onto Conservatory Lane, which takes you to the parking area for the nature center. (GPS coordinates to the Nature Center are available at the PAC website.)

For more information or directions from another location, contact the Pacolet Area Conservancy at 828-859-5060 or e-mail landprotection@pacolet.org.  The next PAC/WCP program will be held on February 18th on “North Carolina’s Red Wolves: An Imperiled Future,” presented by Christian Hunt with Defenders of Wildlife.  For more information about Walnut Creek Preserve, visit www.walnutcreekpreserve.com.  Please note, Walnut Creek Preserve is private property and guests are only allowed on the property by invitation (a planned event or scheduled group).  Thank you.

PAC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit conservation organization (land trust) founded in 1989 to protect and conserve natural resources in the Foothills of North Carolina and the Upstate of South Carolina, with emphasis on the lands and waterways with scenic, ecologic or agricultural significance in the North Pacolet and Green River watersheds (PACs mission).  PAC works with area landowners to ensure the long-term protection of their property through voluntary conservation easements (agreements) which enable landowners to maintain ownership of their property, preserving precious natural resources (open lands, forests, wildlife habitat, scenic vistas, farmland, stream banks, etc.), and potentially obtain significant federal and local tax benefits.  PACs vision is a community living and growing in harmony with our natural resources and or goal is to provide a legacy that will endure and be valued by generations to come.  PAC works diligently to provide leadership to encourage conservation and provide education programs emphasizing native species appreciation and responsible land use practices to help – save the places you love.

by Pam Torlina

Seeing with new eyes3Photo by Bill Mullinax


Tryon Daily Bulletin, 1/12/17

Ripple effect


Verbonic named to Second Wind Hall of Fame

Polk County News Journal & the News Leader/Upstate Newspapers, 1/11/17

Gretchen Verbonic has been named to the Second Wind Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Pacolet Area Conservancy.  On December 23, 2016, she was presented with the award, which reads, “In recognition of a useful and productive life, continuing beyond retirement, while others paused to rest, this dedicated person caught a ‘second wind’ and began a new career of service to the community and to mankind.”

Verbonic certainly embodies the philosophy of service.  After moving to the area in 2000, she has been involved with the Foothills Equestrian and Nature Center (FENCE) as a board member, finance committee member, and participant in the TROT program. She has painted sets and done stage decoration for Tryon Little Theater, has been involved with the Lake Lanier Homeowners Association, and has been a dedicated office volunteer for the Pacolet Area Conservancy.

Verbonic’s careers were in the computer and equestrian fields. Growing up in Michigan, she began riding hunters, equitation and event horses as a child, and also began dressage at an early age. Following a career in computers in Washington, D.C., she moved to Northern Virginia and took up foxhunting.  As well as competing herself, she trained horses and riders. She became a nationally known, licensed dressage judge,  which she did for over 35 years. In August of 2010, The Chronicle of the Horse published her article, “Reflections of Ye Crochety Olde Dressage Judge.”

Prior to moving to this area, Gretchen and her husband Mike lived at their historic Checkmate Farm in Hamilton, VA. They currently reside at Lake Lanier in Landrum with their pug, Dixie Belle.

by Carole Bartol

gretchen-second-wind-hall-of-fame2Carole Bartol, left, PAC board member, presents Gretchen Verbonic, right, with the Second Wind Hall of Fame award. (photo submitted by Carole Bartol)


Photography workshop to examine “Seeing with New Eyes”

Tryon Daily Bulletin, 1/10/17

The Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) and Walnut Creek Preserve (WCP) invite the public to attend a free presentation on “Seeing with New Eyes,” presented by Ben Mullinax.  The program will be held at the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve on Saturday, January 21st, at 10:30 a.m.

Ben will use photography to explore the quote by Dorothea Lange that, “A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.”  He will show participants how we can use photography to explore and find the extraordinary in the ordinary, and show examples of how changes in lighting, time of day, shadows, perspective/viewpoint makes this possible.  Ben’s hope is that the presentation will help people rethink how they view their own photography and also that it might be useful to non-photographers who will have the opportunity to learn to appreciate and practice “seeing” in a new and different way.  The presentation will include photography of nature scenes and macro-photography that reflects the points above.

To get to Walnut Creek Preserve’s Nature Center from the Tryon and Columbus area, take Hwy 108 E and turn left on Hwy 9 toward Lake Lure.  Follow Hwy 9 N for 5 miles and turn right onto McGuinn Road (at the Exxon Station).  Go 1 mile to the intersection with Big Level Road; turn left, go 2/10ths of a mile and take the first right onto Aden Green Road.  Follow Aden Green for 4/10ths of a mile and turn left on Wood Thrush Lane and into Walnut Creek Preserve.  Take the first left onto Conservatory Lane, which takes you to the parking area for the nature center. (GPS coordinates to the Nature Center are available at the PAC website.)

For more information or directions from another location, contact the Pacolet Area Conservancy at 828-859-5060 or e-mail landprotection@pacolet.org.  The next PAC/WCP program will be held on February 18th on “North Carolina’s Red Wolves: An Imperiled Future,” presented by Christian Hunt with Defenders of Wildlife.  For more information about Walnut Creek Preserve, visit www.walnutcreekpreserve.com.

article submitted by Pam Torlina

Seeing with new eyes3Photo by Bill Mullinax


Verbonic named to Second Wind Hall of Fame

Tryon Daily Bulletin, 1/6/17

Gretchen Verbonic has been named to the Second Wind Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Pacolet Area Conservancy.  On December 23, 2016, she was presented with the award, which reads, “In recognition of a useful and productive life, continuing beyond retirement, while others paused to rest, this dedicated person caught a ‘second wind’ and began a new career of service to the community and to mankind.”

Verbonic certainly embodies the philosophy of service.  After moving to the area in 2000, she has been involved with the Foothills Equestrian and Nature Center (FENCE) as a board member, finance committee member, and participant in the TROT program. She has painted sets and done stage decoration for Tryon Little Theater, has been involved with the Lake Lanier Homeowners Association, and has been a dedicated office volunteer for the Pacolet Area Conservancy.

Verbonic’s careers were in the computer and equestrian fields. Growing up in Michigan, she began riding hunters, equitation and event horses as a child, and also began dressage at an early age. Following a career in computers in Washington, D.C., she moved to Northern Virginia and took up foxhunting.  As well as competing herself, she trained horses and riders. She became a nationally known, licensed dressage judge,  which she did for over 35 years. In August of 2010, The Chronicle of the Horse published her article, “Reflections of Ye Crochety Olde Dressage Judge.”

Prior to moving to this area, Gretchen and her husband Mike lived at their historic Checkmate Farm in Hamilton, VA. They currently reside at Lake Lanier in Landrum with their pug, Dixie Belle.

article submitted by Carole Bartol

gretchen-second-wind-hall-of-fame2Carole Bartol, left, PAC board member, presents Gretchen Verbonic, right, with the Second Wind Hall of Fame award. (photo submitted by Carole Bartol)


Polk County’s Most Wanted – Animal, The Barn Owl

Polk County News Journal & the News Leader/Upstate Newspapers, 1/4/17

In a joint effort to expand the knowledge and understanding of the flora and fauna of Polk County, the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) and botanist, David Campbell need your help in locating this month’s “Polk County’s Most Wanted-Animal,” the Barn Owl (Tyto alba), a ghostly nocturnal denizen of our fields and farmlands.

The Barn Owl is a distinctive species, buff in coloration with a slightly darker back.  They have a white, heart-shaped face and stand approximately one and a half feet in height.  The Barn Owl is an unmistakable member of our avian fauna.  In flight, it often looks entirely white.  The preferred prey of the Barn Owl includes mice, voles, and other rodents.

As its common name suggests, the Barn Owl often frequents farmlands and fields.  In pre-Colombian times, this species likely nested in large, hollow trees; however, with the settlement of the land by Europeans, Barn Owls happily took up residence in silos, tobacco sheds, various outbuildings, and of course, in barns.  When present, Barn Owls can be difficult to detect, and purposeful searching may be required to find them.

An uncommon and rarely observed species, the Barn Owl has been declining in abundance for the past several decades.  Likely reasons for the decline include a loss of habitat, the destruction or decay of old barns, the switch by farmers from wooden barns with gaps or openings to fully-enclosed metal barns, and also the possible displacement or predation of the Barn Owl by Great Horned owls.

The Barn Owl occurs widely throughout North Carolina, but is not common.  To our knowledge, Polk County has never reported an occurrence of this species, but it has been observed nesting just across the state line in Spartanburg County, South Carolina.  There is a recent record of nesting in Burke County also.  Barn Owls could very well be found in Polk County, and as an easily identified species, there should be no mistake in identifying it.  The Pacolet Conservancy would be very interested in hearing from readers who may have knowledge of Barn Owls spotted in the county.

If you have information relating to this species, please contact PAC at 828-859-5060, or e-mail comments, questions, or photos to, landprotection@pacolet.org.

All of the Polk County’s Most Wanted can be viewed on the PAC website, www.pacolet.org.  Click on the “conservation” tab and scroll down and click on the “Polk County’s Most Wanted” tab.

PAC has also created a “Pocket Guide” of “Polk County’s Most Wanted” that can be printed and taken in the field!  The pocket guide can be accessed on PAC’s website too.

PAC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit conservation organization (land trust) founded in 1989 to protect and conserve natural resources in the Foothills of North Carolina and the Upstate of South Carolina, with emphasis on the lands and waterways with scenic, ecologic or agricultural significance in the North Pacolet and Green River watersheds (PACs mission).  PAC works with area landowners to ensure the long-term protection of their property through voluntary conservation easements (agreements) which enable landowners to maintain ownership of their property, preserving precious natural resources (open lands, forests, wildlife habitat, scenic vistas, farmland, stream banks, etc.), and potentially obtain significant federal and local tax benefits.  PACs vision is a community living and growing in harmony with our natural resources and or goal is to provide a legacy that will endure and be valued by generations to come.  PAC works diligently to provide leadership to encourage conservation and provide education programs emphasizing native species appreciation and responsible land use practices to help – save the places you love.

by David Campbell

495px-tyto_albaThe Barn Owl (Tyto alba)


HAVE YOU SEEN ME?

Tryon Daily Bulletin, 1/3/17 – cover

495px-tyto_albaOn a regular basis, the Pacolet Area Conservancy asks for the community’s help in documenting sightings of animals.  This month, PAC is searching for the barn owl, a ghostly nocturnal denizen of our fields and farmlands.  (photo submitted by Pam Torlina)

Barn owl is Polk County’s Most Wanted – Animal – page 4

In a joint effort to expand the knowledge and understanding of the flora and fauna of Polk County, the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) and botanist, David Campbell need your help in locating this month’s “Polk County’s Most Wanted-Animal,” the Barn Owl (Tyto alba), a ghostly nocturnal denizen of our fields and farmlands.

The Barn Owl is a distinctive species, buff in coloration with a slightly darker back.  They have a white, heart-shaped face and stand approximately one and a half feet in height.  The Barn Owl is an unmistakable member of our avian fauna.  In flight, it often looks entirely white.  The preferred prey of the Barn Owl includes mice, voles, and other rodents.

As its common name suggests, the Barn Owl often frequents farmlands and fields.  In pre-Colombian times, this species likely nested in large, hollow trees; however, with the settlement of the land by Europeans, Barn Owls happily took up residence in silos, tobacco sheds, various outbuildings, and of course, in barns.  When present, Barn Owls can be difficult to detect, and purposeful searching may be required to find them.

An uncommon and rarely observed species, the Barn Owl has been declining in abundance for the past several decades.  Likely reasons for the decline include a loss of habitat, the destruction or decay of old barns, the switch by farmers from wooden barns with gaps or openings to fully-enclosed metal barns, and also the possible displacement or predation of the Barn Owl by Great Horned owls.

The Barn Owl occurs widely throughout North Carolina, but is not common.  To our knowledge, Polk County has never reported an occurrence of this species, but it has been observed nesting just across the state line in Spartanburg County, South Carolina.  There is a recent record of nesting in Burke County also.  Barn Owls could very well be found in Polk County, and as an easily identified species, there should be no mistake in identifying it.  The Pacolet Conservancy would be very interested in hearing from readers who may have knowledge of Barn Owls spotted in the county.

If you have information relating to this species, please contact PAC at 828-859-5060, or e-mail comments, questions, or photos to, landprotection@pacolet.org.

All of the Polk County’s Most Wanted can be viewed on the PAC website, www.pacolet.org.  Click on the “conservation” tab and scroll down and click on the “Polk County’s Most Wanted” tab.

PAC has also created a “Pocket Guide” of “Polk County’s Most Wanted” that can be printed and taken in the field!  The pocket guide can be accessed on PAC’s website too.

article submitted by Pam Torlina & written by David Campbell