The Conservation Effort

The East Fork Headwaters Conservation Effort will protect one of the primary sources of the French Broad River. Located in southern Transylvania County, the project seeks to conserve the largest remaining privately-owned tract of land in western North Carolina.


This multi-phase, multi-year effort will benefit North Carolina’s economy and environment for generations to come. Conserving the East Fork Headwaters area will protect an abundance of natural and cultural resources.

Image Courtesy of NC Forest Service

Conservation in Context


This conservation effort is part of a landscape-scale approach to protect large, undivided forests in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. The 8,000 acre East Fork Headwaters tract will complete the missing link in a contiguous chain of nearly one million acres of protected, public lands.


The North Carolina Forest Service will own and manage the land as the newly established Headwaters State Forest. Rare mountain bogs found within the conservation project may be included within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s new Mountain Bogs National Wildlife Refuge.

Partners in Conservation

Since 2009, the following organizations have worked together in a unique private-public partnership to ensure the permanent protection of the East Fork Headwaters tract. 

  • Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy
  • The Conservation Fund
  • North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  • North Carolina Forest Service
  • US Forest Service Forest Legacy Program
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service

North Carolina Forest Service


Are you curious about the latest news with Headwaters?

Follow the link to find out!