Head to AMB Tonight to Meet Your Riverkeeper, Get to Know the ‘MountainTrue’ Organization

Published Thursday, March 3, 2016 at 11:00 am

By Jessica Isaacs | [email protected]

Have plans for March 3? Grab a cold one at Appalachian Mountain Brewery and get to know MountainTrue, the High Country’s newest partner in environmental conservation.

MountainTrue: Andy Hayslip collects water samples at Valle Crucis Community Park.

Andy Hayslip collects water samples at Valle Crucis Community Park.

Three western North Carolina nonprofits joined forces back in January of last year to form MountainTrue, which operates from its headquarters in Asheville and satellite offices in Hendersonville, Franklin and now Boone.


The organization focuses on four primary sets of issues that have a major impact on the lives of people in the area: sensible land use and sustainable transportation, restoring public forests and protecting public lands, protecting water quality and running clean energy.

Andy Hayslip, who comes to Boone from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and a background in town and city planning, was recently hired to serve as both MountainTrue’s High Country Regional Director and as the Watauga Riverkeeper.

“My heart’s been in the High Country for a long time, and my body’s just finally caught up. We wanted to move up to Boone and represent the High Country because we have this mantra: western North Carolina will be stronger if we all stand together,” Hayslip said. “Our area has its own set of issues that are separate from other parts of the state, and we have a deep connection to our mountains and rivers. Our communities are inextricably connected to these environments.”

Now wearing two hats, Hayslip works from his new office in the Greenhouse building in downtown Boone. He looks forward to continuing work with other conservation groups in the community, building relationships with local businesses, working alongside volunteers in the High Country and promoting the organization’s many citizen science programs that are in the works.

Thursday’s kick-off event at AMB will serve as a great opportunity for you to meet Hayslip and learn a little more about MountainTrue.

Andy Hayslip is pictured in the MountainTrue office in downtown Boone. Photo by Jessica Isaacs.

Andy Hayslip is pictured in the MountainTrue office in downtown Boone. Photo by Jessica Isaacs.

“This is event will announce to Boone, Blowing Rock and the High Country in general that we’re here and we’re working to protect the environment here. A lot of folks haven’t heard about the merger and don’t know what we’re doing, and that’s especially the case up here,” Hayslip said. “We wanted to extend our presence in the High Country and let folks know that we’re working to protect our natural resources and we want their help.”

Official event sponsors include AMB and Appalachia Cookie Company, which will also be on hand with something sweet to pair with your favorite brews.

“We need their support to try and get our message out there and connect with the citizens, residents and tourists of the High Country. They’re just fantastic folks because they’re concerned about sustainability,” said Hayslip. “Gosh, AMB has ‘sustainability’ written right on the can, and David Holloman at Appalachia Cookie Company has been great at supporting nonprofits in the community, as well.”

AMB has also committed to dedicating proceeds from its Pints for Nonprofits program exclusively to MountainTrue for the month of March.

Funded almost entirely through contributions, the nonprofit relies heavily on volunteer work and generous donations from the communities it serves.MountainTrue

Kick-Off Event

Ready to get involved?

The kick-off event begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday at AMB.

The fun will include music by Andy Ferrell, the unveiling of a tasty new seasonal cookie from ACC and a chance to purchase a limited-edition poster featuring an illustration of Linville Falls created by Asheville’s Open Door Design Studio.

Questions about MountainTrue? Stop by his office in downtown Boone or give Hayslip a call at 828-719-7624 and check out mountaintrue.org.

Stay tuned for news from HCPress.com on MountainTrue’s upcoming citizen science projects and programs you can join.

More About MountainTrue:

MountainTrue fosters and empowers communities throughout the region and engages in policy and project advocacy, outreach and education, and on the ground projects. To achieve our goals, MountainTrue focuses on a core set of issues across 23 counties of Western North Carolina: sensible land use, restoring public forests, protecting water quality and promoting clean energy – all of which have a high impact on the environmental health and long-term prosperity of our residents. MountainTrue is the home of the the Watauga Riverkeeper, the primary watchdog and spokesperson for the Elk and Watauga Rivers, and French Broad Riverkeeper, the primary protector and defender of the French Broad River watershed. For more information: http://mountaintrue.org



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