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Sometimes, change is for the good.

Dave Curphey’s story is a dime a dozen. Fed up with the urban sprawl that ruined his small town in Florida, devouring a landscape once dominated with orchards in just 10 short years, he packed his bags and moved to the mountains of Western North Carolina. His favorite line to locals: “You should have shot me at the border when you still had the chance.”

Speaking out

More than 300 people attended a public hearing on Land For Tomorrow in Asheville last week, overwhelming the expectations of those conducting the hearing. Some people drove for nearly two hours to come voice their support for the initiative.

Self-preservation

Land For Tomorrow is a statewide initiative launched last year to set aside $1 billion for land conservation over the next five years.

The Francis Mill Preservation Society in Haywood County is gearing up for a major campaign to replace the metal wheel on the grist mill.

Landowners in Jackson County are in the process of protecting 154 acres on Cowee Mountain from future development by placing the property in a conservation easement with the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee.

A new initiative is now underway to encourage landowners to keep the Upper Pigeon River Valley in the Bethel community of Haywood County rural.

Not too long ago there occurred an unlikely meeting of the minds. Sylva developer John Beckman and Whittier farmer William Shelton sat down in the back of Sylva’s Spring Street Café with maps and blueprints to talk about the issue of disappearing farmland in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

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