CA Announcement











September 30, 2013

Contact:  Ben Colvin, Wild South, (828) 258-2667


Local Non-Profit awarded Conservation Alliance grant for Wilderness in Tennessee


ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Wild South has been awarded a $25,000 grant from The Conservation Alliance to designate 19,558 acres of the Cherokee National Forest as Wilderness through the Tennessee Wild Campaign. This campaign permanently protects the majestic landscapes of east Tennessee including wild whitewater, lush forests, misty waterfalls, and winding trails.  Wilderness will benefit the region in a variety of ways, from providing clean and reliable drinking water and unique recreational opportunities, to preserving some of the most valuable green space in the state for future generations.

“The Cherokee National Forest is a unique and remarkably picturesque place and there is no more important conservation goal than to lift up and protect the very best of these public lands,” said Pat Byington, Tennessee Wild Coordinator at Wild South. “This award supports recreation, clean water, the regional economy and some of the planet’s most biologically rich forests.”

“We are proud to be recognized by the Conservation Alliance. This national award will help to bring attention to a local campaign and the important efforts in the east to protect wild places”, noted Ben Colvin, Development Director at Wild South.

The Conservation Alliance was founded in 1989 to engage businesses to fund and partner with organizations to protect wild places for their habitat and recreation values. Alliance funding has helped save more than 42 million acres of wildlands; protect 2,748 miles of rivers; stop or remove 25 dams; designate five marine reserves; and purchase nine climbing areas.

Community business and nonprofit partnerships make up the backbone of many conservation efforts in the region.  Some of Wild South’s partners that are members of the Conservation Alliance include Outdoor Sports Marketing, Eagles Nest Outfitters, Rock Creek Outfitters and the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance.

About Wild South

Wild South inspires people to enjoy, value, and protect the wild character and natural legacy of the South. The Asheville-based non-profit has helped protect half a million acres and numerous species since its inception in 1992. With its efforts rooted in the science and practice of conservation biology wild South blends knowledge and advocacy to sustain ecosystems and the health of the region’s communities.

Wild South gives the public a voice in the management of public lands while engaging volunteers in stewardship of wild places and wild things. Wild South’s team consists of eight staff members, an active 14-member board of directors and more than 15,000 supporters and volunteers. More information is available at