Joanna Macy, deep ecologist, systems theorist, Buddhist scholar, author, speaker, teacher, communing with the Earth at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, January 2017.
Supporting rural Southern women as human rights leaders to end poverty
Women uniting for change ~ Women combating sexism, racism, classism ~ Women tackling inequality
The work is guided by the belief that to truly empower women and end poverty we must build a political culture in the U.S. that promotes and protects human rights. Visit Turn South: Southern Women for Change
Air pollution enforcement actions in North Carolina were cut in half between 2011 and 2014. Penalties for violations of air pollution limits dropped by a shocking 93 percent over the same period. Major polluters have dramatically increased the toxic pollution they spew into our air, without effective response by state environmental regulators.
FIRST WEDNESDAYS 7:00 PM
Location – Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 1 Edwin Pl, Asheville, NC 28801 (corner of Charlotte & Edwin)
THIRD WEDNESDAYS 5:30 PM
Location – The Spot, 76 Biltmore Ave. Asheville, NC 28801
OUR MISSION: MountainTrue champions resilient forests, clean waters and healthy communities in Western North Carolina.
OUR VISION: MountainTrue envisions Western North Carolina with thriving communities that are connected to and help sustain a healthy natural environment. To achieve this, MountainTrue will foster and empower advocates throughout the region to be engaged in policy and project advocacy, outreach and education, and on the ground projects. MountainTrue will be known as the region’s best respected and highest impact conservation organization and will be seen as a national model.
We value the integrity of natural systems – air, land, water, and native plants and animals – and believe in protecting and restoring them for the benefit of all generations. We value mountain communities that are vibrant, livable, and respectful of their connection to and dependence on the region’s natural environment.
We value the unique environment of the Western North Carolina mountains and believe our regional perspective enhances both regional and community-based solutions to shared problems.
We value citizen and community engagement in principled advocacy and believe both sound public policy and responsible individual actions are needed to protect our natural environment.
We value collaboration and believe working with diverse constituencies is fundamental to MountainTrue’s success.
We value integrity, expertise, flexibility, accountability, and transparency in all activities and operations.
We Are MountainTrue
In January 2015, three Western North Carolina environmental and conservation nonprofits joined forces to become MountainTrue. The Environmental and Conservation Organization, based in Henderson County and founded in 1987; Jackson-Macon Conservation Alliance, based in Macon County and founded in 2000; and Western North Carolina Alliance, based in Buncombe County and founded in 1982, merged and adopted three overarching goals:
- to have a stronger influence on policy at all levels of government through increased local presence;
- to build a stronger organization and increase our geographic reach;
- and to strengthen our grassroots engagement and involve a broader spectrum of the population.
To achieve our goals, MountainTrue’s board, volunteers and professional staff focus 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 region.
MountainTrue is the home of the French Broad Riverkeeper, the primary protector and defender of the French Broad River watershed, and the Watauga Riverkeeper, the primary watchdog and spokesperson for the Elk and Watauga Rivers. MountainTrue is also the home of the Broad River Alliance, a collection of concerned citizens and organizations advocating for cleaner water, awareness and education, improved access and broadened recreational opportunities within the Broad River Basin.
Volunteer with us – MountainTrueVolunteer
OUR VISION: MountainTrue envisions Western North Carolina with thriving communities that are connected to and help sustain a healthy natural environment. To achieve this, MountainTrue will foster and empower advocates throughout the region to be engaged in policy and project advocacy, outreach and education, and on the ground projects. MountainTrue will be known as the region’s best respected and highest impact conservation organization and will be seen as a national model. http://mountaintrue.org/about-us/
Waste reduction and recycling is a major component of our work. Establishing new recycling locations and educating the public about reducing our environmental footprint is one of our core missions. We organize the H2R collections and our Volunteers bring out the muscle for these events. If you would like to volunteer or become an event sponsor, click HERE. For more information call: 828-254-1776
“To hoist with one’s own petard is to be injured by the device that you intended to use to injure others. It is also to be harmed or disadvantaged by an action of one’s own which was meant to harm someone else. (From a line in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.) She intended to murder her brother but was hoist with her own petard when she ate the poisoned food intended for him. The vandals were hoist with their own petard when they tried to make an emergency call from the pay phone they had broken.” ( This is a combined definition taken from Wikipedia and The Free Dictionary.)
The #GrabYourWallet boycott on Twitter is one example of an anti-Trump protest that appears to have had significant results. Founded last fall by Shannon Coulter and Sue Atencio, Grab Your Wallet seeks to convince companies to stop selling Trump-branded products through organized boycotts.
Last weekend, the Army Corps of Engineers announced they will halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline through Standing Rock Sioux tribal land and look for alternative routes. The decision, which came after months of protest by thousands of Native people and supporters, will at least temporarily protect the tribe’s sacred ground and clean water supply. Continue reading
Washington, DC — Today EPA identified five chemicals that will receive “expedited action” under the new Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act. The provision of the law requiring this action was a priority for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families during the legislative debate. It applies only to a small number of the chemicals that are known to be Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic (“PBT”). These chemicals pose unique threats to public health and the environment because they do not break down in the environment and they build up in the food chain, including in the human body.
In response, Andy Igrejas, the director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, a broad coalition of health, environmental, labor and business organizations, issued the following statement:
“EPA’s announcement today is very important. It signals what will soon be the first concrete public health and environmental improvements under the new Lautenberg Act. Each of these chemicals persist in the environment and build up in the food chain, including in the human body, making them a priority public health threat. They are treated differently under the law. EPA goes straight to the question of how to eliminate exposure.
“We fought to have this provision applied to a broader group of chemicals, but the chemical industry resisted. Nevertheless, expedited action even against these five chemicals will be a win for public health. We plan to stay engaged with the agency to help it identify all the sources of exposure that must be eliminated.”
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Recently we got great news on two efforts MountainTrue has been leading the way on for years: coal ash and the I-26 connector. The Department of Environmental Quality announced that all of Duke Energy’s coal ash in Western North Carolina will be cleaned up and moved away from our Broad and French Broad Rivers. Additionally, the NC Department of Transportation chose our preferred final plan for the I-26 expansion through Asheville–the one that minimizes impacts to the environment and neighborhoods.
Three hundred years ago, the southern Appalachians were home to the sovereign Cherokee Nation. Over fifty towns and settlements were connected by a well-worn system of foot trails, some of which later became wagon roads turnpiked by Cherokee turnpike companies. This Indian trail system, which climaxed around 1800, was the blueprint for the basic circuitry of the region’s modern road and interstate system.
Stagnant European economies and the discovery of new natural resources sparked competitive world markets that led to wars between nations to procure land, gold, furs and slaves from North America. By the 1700’s, the British, French and Spanish were fighting for control of the modern Southeast. Continue reading
“Pardon me, officer.”
“Yes, young man? What can I do for you?”
“Well, sir, it seems that I have come into possession of a few hundred thousand dollars claimed by First National Bank. Now, I’m not admitting that I took it from them yesterday, when all those alarms were going off. I don’t want them or the public at large to know I ever had any money that they allege is theirs, and I’m certainly not going to give them any of this money I happen to have in the trunk of my car. And of course I don’t want you to use the fact that I’m telling you all this in any investigation against me. However, I want to assure you that I’m not robbing any banks now and I promise that I definitely won’t be robbing any banks in the future, and I’d like for you and me to agree to let bygones be bygones.”
“I see. Yes, it all seems to be in keeping with the law enforcement principles of the NC Senate, so I think we can consider it a deal.”
This isn’t The Onion. We’re just trying to apply the polluter protection principles of “Environmental Self-Audit Privilege and Limited Immunity” to categories of lawbreaking beyond pollution.
Welcome to North Carolina as envisioned in the State Senate’s version of HB 765, the latest in a foul line of its “Regulatory Reform Acts” but rapidly becoming better known as the Polluter Protection Act. The remarkably-easy-to-parody “self-audit privilege” is just one of a host of provisions designed to rip up the tracks of water and air pollution control in our state. This bad act passed the Senate last week on a nearly party-line vote and goes to the House. Environmental quality advocates will be spending much of this week lobbying the House to reject the bill when the legislature returns from its week-long break next week.
Among the other problems in the bill:
- It severely limits state protections for isolated wetlands and intermittent streams, both of which can be critical to protecting clean water in other streams and rivers across the state.
- It attempts to chill private individuals from contesting state projects or permits for polluting activities, by requiring courts to force them to pay the state’s attorney fees if they lose the challenge. (Such awards of “attorney’s fees” are normally considered by the court in its discretion and granted only when the claims filed were frivolous.)
- It further tilts the field in favor of applicants for air pollution permits by mandating that a permit issued by the state will go into effect even when it is challenged in court by a private party who would be injured by it. (It’s almost unheard of for a court to order a permitted plant or operation to shut down after it’s up and running.)
- It would require the state’s air quality protection agency to shut down about half of the air quality permitting stations now in operation. (And unfortunately, what we don’t know that we’re breathing in our air can indeed still hurt us. Plus, such willful blind spots in our monitoring network makes effective regulation that much more difficult.)
More than citizen conservation advocates have panned the Polluter Protection Act. Editorialists around the state have called for the House to kill this mutated version of HB 765. Here’s one sample editorial.
Every woman in this story is confoundingly non-descript. Short hair, often grey. Conservative dress. Unmarried; soft-spoken. Most are well into their seventies, and all will tell you that their way of life is dying out. They will also tell you, with surprising conviction, that the world is in peril.
They are Roman Catholic sisters, from a variety of orders—Dominican, Mercy, Passionist—but don’t think Whoopie Goldberg or a young Sally Field. While many of their aged peers are living out their days in quiet convents, these women are digging gardens and offsetting carbon. They’re as well-versed in solar and geothermal technology as they are in the Gospels of Luke and John, and some wear Carhartts and work boots like they’re habits. At the heart of the women’s action is a belief that the changing climate and world demand a new kind of vocation – that Ave Marias won’t cut it anymore, but maybe clean energy will. Continue reading
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