Senate Bill 535, a $2M Appropriation, and Months of Negotiations Pave the Way for Historic Land to Become Western North Carolina State Park
RALEIGH, N.C. – Senator Chuck Edwards (R-Henderson) filed Senate Bill 535 in April that authorizes the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) to add a new park unit, Pisgah View State Park, to the State Parks System.
A new state park can only be created after authorization by the General Assembly. The 1,600 acres Pisgah View Ranch in Candler, N.C. has been family owned since 1790 and was opened to the public in 1941 by Ruby and Chester Cogburn. The Ranch will be restored and remain open to the public once it becomes the newest state park.
“I am enthusiastic about helping preserve this beautiful piece of history,” said Sen. Edwards. “I visited Pisgah View Ranch many times as a child, and I have enjoyed revisiting it during these contract negotiations. This park will present a remarkable economic opportunity for WNC. With its proximity to Asheville and I-40, as well as to the Pisgah and Great Smokey Mountain National Forests- this could be one of the most visited attractions in our state. We should all be thankful to Cogburn family for allowing the citizens of North Carolina to continue to enjoy this incredible property. We should also recognize the significant contribution made by the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy while they have spearheaded the negotiations alongside the NC Dept. of Parks and Recreation, and they have already raised $1M from private donors.”
S535 names the park, and permits it to receive donations of appropriated land or purchase other needed lands for Pisgah View State Park with existing funds from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF), the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, and other available sources of funding. Buncombe County currently contains no state park facilities. It is expected that land for the park would be purchased for approximately $18.2M over a span of five years with the first phase beginning after the contract closes at the end of 2019.
About the Pisgah View Ranch
Natural lands in southeastern Buncombe County and nearby Haywood County have been identified as Natural Heritage Areas significant to North Carolina. These lands contain a wide variety of landscape types from exposed cliffs on dry ridges to medic coves and alluvial and wetlands areas.
Elevations span a wide range from 2600 to 4600 feet, with varied topography providing both habitat variety and beautiful scenic views. Existing and potential trails could host hiking, camping, and horseback riding. The area is easily accessible from Asheville and other population centers.
These lands provide essential habitat for species needing large, undeveloped land areas, and offer opportunities for healthy and enjoyable outdoor recreation.