Neighbors build a national coalition to create the Craggy Wilderness and National Scenic Area

Four years ago, a small group of farmers, teachers, and carpenters sat around a wobbly table in their community center and spitballed ideas about how to save the old-growth forest that surrounded their valley. Logging threatened the forest, and that evening, they all committed to protecting it. That pact ignited a national movement to create the Craggy Wilderness and National Scenic Area. It aims to permanently safeguard 16,000 acres of old-growth forests, pristine streams, world-class trails, and panoramic vistas in the Appalachian Mountains, only 15 miles from downtown Asheville, N.C.

Part of Pisgah National Forest, Craggy is one of the oldest and most biologically diverse forests in the country. It shelters dozens of rare and endangered species. Hollywood blockbusters have been filmed in Craggy’s enchanted forests, including The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans. Waterfalls thunder down its rugged slopes. 

The grassroots gathering in the community center has quickly grown into a national coalition that includes hundreds of organizations and businesses—and thousands of members. The coalition has built overwhelming public, scientific, and political support for the Craggy Wilderness and National Scenic Area.  The Forest Service has received thousands of comments endorsing permanent protections for Craggy. Young leaders have organized rallies, speaking with quivering voices to protect the forest. City council and county commissioners have passed unanimous bipartisan resolutions supporting the Craggy Wilderness and National Scenic Area.

Now, the coalition is working with Congress to introduce the Craggy Mountain Wilderness and National Scenic Area Act to permanently protect Craggy’s old-growth forests, trails, waterfalls, and scenic vistas. 

The United States only has 10 national scenic areas. Craggy could become the country’s eleventh. Congress may consider a Craggy bill by the end of the year. 

“This is Craggy’s big moment,” says Hannah Furgiuele, one of the original organizers. “This is a rare and unique opportunity to permanently protect one of the wildest and most ancient forests in the East.” 

Ways to help:

Sign the Petition – Help move it forward!

Submit a Public Comment – Make sure the Forest Service Listens!

Spread the word! – Share on Social Media!

Buy Chocolate! – Use iheartcraggy on your CBD Alchemy purchase and 50% of your purchase goes to Big Ivey to support the Craggy Gardens National Scenic Area project!

Contact Will Harlan at or 828-230-6818. Learn more at

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Protect one of the country’s wildest and most ancient forests.

Create the Craggy Wilderness and National Scenic Area

Help Raise Money for the project, sign the petition,

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