BOONE & VALLE CRUCIS, NC — On Saturday, June 5, the Mast Stores in Boone and Valle Crucis will welcome the Blue Ridge Conservancy (Valle Crucis stores) and the New River Conservancy (Boone store) to the stores in celebration of Land Trust Day.
Volunteers will answer questions about the organizations and will offer information about the benefits of protecting land. Mast will donate 20 percent of the day’s sales to support conservation efforts. The stores will also support Blue Ridge Conservancy and New River Conservancy through a round-up effort that will encourage customers to round-up their purchases to benefit the conservancies during June 1 – 6.
The Blue Ridge Conservancy (BRC) permanently protects northwest North Carolina’s ridgelines, water resources, and farmlands. As a private, non-profit, non-governmental organization in North Carolina, the BRC works with landowners and communities to ensure that natural resources in the Blue Ridge Mountains retain their agricultural, cultural, recreational ecological, or scenic value.
BRC has protected more than 22,000 acres in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey Counties. In addition to protecting working farmland, BRC’s efforts have resulted in the creation of state natural areas like Beech Creek Bog, Bear Paw State Natural Area, and Bullhead Mountain. The BRC continues to help Elk Knob State Park and Grandfather Mountain State Park expand their borders, and they led the way in establishing a 2,900-acre State Game Land preserve on Pond Mountain in Ashe County.
Most recently, BRC worked with Appalachian State University to complete the removal of the historic Payne Branch dam on the Middle Fork of the New River. The project will rehabilitate a portion of the river corridor, improving water quality and wildlife habitat.
The New River Conservancy (NRC) has worked for 40 years to protect the New River by ensuring that the waters that feed it are clean. The NRC protects waters, woodlands, and wildlife of the New River watershed. They are concerned with protecting the land along the river because it supports plants and animal habitats.
The New River flows through three states and many communities. The NRC has several priorities: to share and foster research, to educate and inspire people to act, and to protect and restore the river and its tributaries. Currently, NRC is concerned about the impact of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline, Coal Ashe Disposal, and Wolf Creek Frack Waste.
Land Trust Day is an important day at Mast General Store. Employees believe in the mission of BRC and the NRC and are proud to support land conservancy, clean water, and scenic beauty.
Lisa Cooper, president of Mast General Store, appreciates the important work that the BRC and NRC do in our local community. “Last year during the pandemic, we rediscovered local trails and open spaces that we may not have had time to enjoy before. Many of these locations that helped sustain our mental and physical health were the end result of partnerships formed by land trusts. We hope that Land Trust Day helps our customers understand and appreciate how these organizations impact our lives every single day.”
A land trust can help individuals, families, businesses, and communities take steps to ensure that the land is there for us, our children, and our children’s children. The impact of their work can help family farms remain productive and in the family or ensure that the habitat for a rare species of plant will remain intact.
Stop by the Mast Stores in Boone and Valle Crucis on June 5 to learn more about what the Blue Ridge Conservancy and the New River Conservancy are doing in the local area and how you can get involved. For more information about Land Trust Day, visit www.MastGeneralStore.com. Visit the Blue Ridge Conservancy at www.blueridgeconservancy.org and the New River Conservancy at www.newriverconservancy.org.