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Mast General Store to Celebrate Land Trust Day with ‘Friend-Raising Event’ on Saturday, June 4

The Mast General Store celebrates Land Trust Day with the Blue Ridge Conservancy (BRC) and the New River Conservancy (NRC) on Saturday, June 4th. Recognized for 14 years at Mast Store, Land Trust Day is a friend-raising event encouraging new memberships in local land trusts, as well as an educational opportunity to learn how these groups are preserving our land heritage.

Over the last 20 years, the Blue Ridge Conservancy (BRC) has permanently protected over 18,000 acres of land across seven counties throughout northwestern North Carolina. BRC monitors 130 conservation easements, including a recent donation of 21.7 acres of farmland within the Valle Crucis Historic District.

This tract along NC Highway 194, one of our state’s Scenic Byways, was donated by John and Faye Cooper, longtime residents, conservationists and owners of Mast General Store. BRC hopes to use the land as a showpiece of sustainable agriculture and environmental stewardship with potential long-term objectives including educational workshops, agricultural demonstrations, and stream restoration on Dutch Creek and the Watauga River.

Since its inception in 1974, the New River Conservancy (NRC) has worked to protect the land critical for preserving important wildlife habitat, rare and endangered species, cornerstones of biodiversity, and working farmland along the New River and its tributaries. The NCNR works in North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia’s New River watershed and has protected over 8,222 acres of land important to the New River’s water quality, scenic and natural values. The Conservancy also secured another 235 acres in West Virginia.

To date, the NRC has restored over 93.3 miles of stream and riverbanks adding more than 2 miles this year alone.  The creation of buffers along the New River are vegetated with woody trees and shrubs in order to help prevent erosion, improve water quality, habitat and scenic beauty. These areas are important to protect the wildlife along the river and to maintain its viability as a contributor to the area’s economic wellbeing.

Representatives from the Blue Ridge Conservancy will be at the Original Mast Store and Annex in Valle Crucis and representatives from the National Committee for the New River will be at the Mast Store in Boone on Saturday, June 4th, to share with guests the activities they are undertaking to conserve the open spaces in the region. The Mast General Store will donate 20% of sales on that Saturday to the Blue Ridge Conservancy and the New River Conservancy. Visit the websites – www.blueridgeconservancy.org and www.newriverconservancy.org – for more information on current projects and membership. To learn more about Mast Store’s other land trust partners click on MastStore.com.