The 2012 meeting in Asheville will feature a unique conservation tour that will highlight several different programs.
We will leave the Doubletree Hotel at 9 a.m. and drive to the North Mills River Recreation Area where we will see an in-holding in the surrounding national forest that was recently secured by the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy with the aid of funds from TU's Coldwater Lands Conservancy Fund. Several southeastern states contributed to Southeast Land Protection Program arm of the CLCF to help purchase the land. It is on schedule to be purchased by the Forest Service in 2013, and TU's funds will be returned to the CLCF for future use. We will also see some in-stream structures built with assistance of TU volunteers.
Our next site will be the Davidson River and after a stream-side lunch, we'll visit the famous fish hatchery stretch of the river where lunker trout reside. This is the most heavily fished section on the Davidson and through the efforts of the Pisgah Chapter of TU, fencing and hardened access points were constructed to control access and reduce bank erosion. You'll also see frustrated fly fisherman being toyed with by large trout.
From the hatchery we will drive to the Blue Ridge Parkway where we will stop at an overlook above Graveyard Fields. You'll see the watershed of the Yellowstone Prong of the Pigeon River, a stream that hosts a healthy population of brook trout. We'll hear about the efforts to preserve extant populations of the native southeastern strain of the eastern brook trout, and successes in restoring populations to their native habitats.
Our last stop will be Lake Logan, home of North Carolina Council’s trout camp for youth. The camp director will share with us the role of the camp in educating youth in TU's mission while having fun fishing.
We'll return to the hotel by late afternoon.