Saving a place for beauty

A recent 410-acre purchase in Avery County will protect scenic views from the Appalachian Trail, the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy says. The Asheville-based land trust, using a loan from the Conservation Fund and a private donation, bought two tracts in the scenic Roaring Creek valley for $1.9 million. Grandfather Mountain, Linville Gorge and Big Yellow Mountain can be seen from the tracts' highest reaches, and many rare plants grow there. The tracts add to more than 17,000 acres in the Highlands of Roan, on the N.C.-Tennessee line, that the conservancy has protected over three decades in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, state agencies and the Nature Conservancy. Bruce Henderson