Preserve Communities: Where conservation is a way of life

Dozens of communities in Western North Carolina serve themselves up as Nature Preserves. They may put a small parcel of land—10% or less, typically—in conservation and then tout their commitment to responsible development. Preserve Communities is different. They are wholly committed to true conservation at both of their communities: The Preserve at Little Pine (LP) and French Broad Crossing (FBC). Over half the land in Little Pine and one-third of the land in French Broad Crossing is held in trust by Southeast Regional Land Conservancy.

“I was born in Marshall, North Carolina. These mountains mean something to me. They’re a part of me. My vision for Preserve Communities is to protect this one-of-a-kind setting in Western North Carolina for individuals who cherish this land as much as I do—and who want to safeguard these mountains, streams, and valleys to ensure a living legacy for our children’s children.”

– Jack Fisher, Founder & Developer

Indeed, there’s no place quite like the mountains of Western North Carolina. These are ancient hills, a timeless sanctuary for pristine natural beauty. Amid the rolling majesty of the Blue Ridge Mountains lies a vast storehouse of old growth forests, ancient river systems, fresh-water ponds, sun-drenched pastures, and a treasure trove of indigenous flora and fauna. The vision for Preserve Communities has always been to balance preservation with community in such a way that people can enjoy nature’s abundance while also preserving it for future generations.

Communities founded on conservation

From the moment Jack Fisher bought 435 acres at Little Pine in 1999 he was committed to conservation. He wanted to leave a minimal footprint, with an emphasis on low-density. He placed the first parcel of land in conservation in 2001. French Broad Crossing followed shortly thereafter, in 2004. Since that time, both Little Pine and French Broad Crossing have been dedicated to land preservation. Nearly one third of the latter’s 750+ acres have been placed in a conservation easement, and nearly 1,500 acres of the 2,000 acres at Little Pine, as well. “The goal from day one,” says David Brannon, Master Planner, RLA, ASLA, at Preserve Communities, “has been to safeguard this incredible piece of land that we have been entrusted with—not just for our current members, but for their children’s children.” The way the system works is simple. Once Preserve Communities places a parcel in conservation, in this case held in trust by Southeast Regional Conservancy, it is there permanently. As in, forever. A restriction is placed on the property “to protect its ecological or open-space values.” It is a legally binding contract that prevents certain types of development from taking place now, and in the future.

An ideal habitat: for humans and animals

The majority of the preserved land at both communities is centralized around core wildlife areas that safeguard the delicate ecosystem—that includes the land around the mighty French Broad River (third oldest river in the world and one of the few that flows north) at FBC, and the steep slopes and watershed areas at LP that are so critical to the natural habitat. “We have placed great emphasis on specific land at both properties,” says David, “as we want to protect the purity of the valuable watershed areas that are so critical to the cycle of life here. We have selected strategic locations to serve as buffer areas—again, with the goal of preserving the quality of the forest, water, and the ecosystem as a whole.” Both LP and FBC are home to a number of species of plants and animals, as well as humans. The area is blessed with healthy forests (containing ferns, oaks, pines, maples, and poplars), as well as wildlife (home to turkey, deer, bobcats, bear, hawks, and mountain trout). “Our conservation efforts ensure an undisturbed habitat for the wildlife,” David explains, “which ensures the resources remain abundant and that those resources aren’t taxed by users of the land. It also gives both communities the sense of comfort and fulfillment that we have all contributed to doing the right thing for the wildlife and the natural resources.”

Communities in harmony with Nature

By taking care of the land, we take care of ourselves. That, in essence, is at the core of the vision at Preserve Communities. They are fully engaged and committed in their effort toward conservation. Viewing the land as a gift, not as a right, but as a blessing in which the people are entrusted to maintain and steward, serves as a reminder that permeates the very fabric of life here. The community of members is comprised of many different people—from all across the country, at varying stages of life—yet everyone is knit together by a common bond: to enjoy and protect this beautiful land. “The residents benefit,” says David, “because they can partake of a rare living experience that is perfectly attuned with nature and all its many rewards—rewards that can be passed on to future generations. As for the land itself, the conservation easements ensure that it will remain in a pristine state as nature dictates.”

Learn more about Preserve Communities

To see these properties is to fall in love. The expansive views, the River, the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, the towering ridgelines, the freedom to live life on your own terms…it’s all here. It’s waiting for those who feel the pull of this mountain paradise. To find out if one of our communities is the home you’ve been longing for, please contact our Sales Office at sales@preservecommunities.com, or call us at 828-649-9424.

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