Conservancies Complete Protection of Little Yellow Mountain Summit

Nationally Significant Roan Mountain Massif Natural Heritage Area Protected

View of Little Yellow Mountain

Little Yellow is a lovely place in the Roan Highlands

Conservation Partnerships

The Roan Highlands are a big priority to the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy

Asheville | July 18, 2011

Just a few years ago, much of Little Yellow Mountain in Mitchell and Avery counties was slated for development. Today the summit of that 5,504-foot peak is totally protected thanks to the efforts of The Nature Conservancy and the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. The two organizations recently closed on a 210-acre tract rising to the summit from the west side of the mountain, ensuring that the entire mountain top will remain free of development. Eventually, all of the property will become part of Yellow Mountain State Natural Area allowing future generations to enjoy this amazing place.

Little Yellow Mountain is an important piece of the nationally significant Roan Mountain Massif natural heritage area, one of the most biologically diverse areas in the Southern Appalachians.  Seventy-six rare species of plants and animals are found there. The Roan contains an incredible mix of habitats – spruce-fir forest, grassy balds, high elevation rocky summits, and rich coves.

The Little Yellow Mountain summit conservation began in 2007 when SAHC purchased 430 acres.  Since then both conservancies have bought tracts on the mountain top.

“We went from zero to more than 1,300 acres of protected land in just four years," says TNC Mountains Program Director David Ray.

“This just shows what you can accomplish when you work together," says SAHC Board member Jay Leutze.  “In tough economic times, we have to marshal our forces to make conservation happen.”

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at

Contact information

Debbie Crane
Director of Communications
4705 University Drive, Suite 290
Durham, NC 27707
(919) 794-4373

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