The Blue Ridge Conservancy is a unique organization working to protect and preserve land all around the High Country and surrounding areas. This organization, incorporated in North Carolina, has protected around 17,000 acres of land throughout 7 counties in the state. In 2010 two different organizations, Blue Ridge Rural Land Trust and the High-Country Conservancy joined together to create the Blue Ridge Conservancy and advance in land preservation. This merger has allowed for a strengthened staff and board and the elimination of unnecessary positions and funds. The assistance by donors allows for this non-profit organization to complete their work. The Blue Ridge Conservancy works closely with the state, federal and private partners to be able to accomplish protecting these critical areas. Their mission to, “permanently protecting land and water resources with agricultural, ecological, cultural, recreational and scenic value in northeast North Carolina” has become possible throughout these partnerships. They have also collaborated with Appalachian State University to create a Student Club, who was involved in various conservation projects in our region. The Blue Ridge Conservancy promotes their mission in the region by several events they host throughout the year. This past year they held eight hikes, an Auction at The Gamekeeper, and a 5K. Throughout all their protection of land, their efforts have resulted in the creation of state natural areas such as Beech Creek Bog, Bear Paw, and Bullhead Mountain. They have continued actively meeting with landowners and visiting potential conservation lands throughout the year. In the future they hope to maintain their mission as well as gaining more support, so together we can make a difference, one acre at a time.