Dennis oakley

Open Space Institute Support Leads to Protection of Key North Carolina Mountain Summit

Image Credit: Dennis Oakley

DURHAM, NC (July 20, 2020)—A scenic mountain summit in northwestern North Carolina has been permanently protected thanks in part to a grant from the Open Space Institute (OSI). The project will enhance water quality in the New River and secure key habitat that will continue to provide a haven for sensitive plants and wildlife.

The 549-acre “Phoenix Mountain” property, protected by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and located in an area vulnerable to development of second homes, contains one of six peaks in the Amphibolite Mountain Range. The range is named for a special rock appearing in the region, which produces soils supporting 18 rare species and three federally listed plants: Spreading or Mountain Avens, Gray’s Lily, and Roan Mountain Bluet. Additionally, streams running through the property drain into the headwaters of the North Fork of the New River, the focus of widespread environmental cleanup efforts.

"OSI is gratified of the conservation of a key mountain summit within this stunningly beautiful and ancient mountain range,” said Joel Houser, OSI’s Southeast Field Coordinator. “This project will conserve habitat for wildlife not only today, but even as the future climate changes. We are proud to have supported TNC’s latest land protection victory in the region.”

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