Nature Conservency buys Appalachian summit in North Carolina

The Nature Conservancy said today it has acquired the summit of one of the highest peaks in the Southern Appalachians, 5,504-foot Little Yellow Mountain in Avery and Mitchell counties.

The 466-acre acquisition adds to the protected land in the Greater Roan Highlands, a nationally significant area. The peak is a prominent part of the view from the Appalachian Trail and the Conservancy's Big Yellow Mountain Preserve.

The New York-based Open Space Institute, attracted by the area's value as a corridor for wildlife, provided a $1.2 million low-interest loan for the project. Little Yellow's hardwood forests are also valuable habitat for breeding birds and are part of the Audubon Society's Roan Mountain Important Bird Area.

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