Montreat Cottagers’ Wilderness and Open Space Committee
The Cottagers’ Wilderness and Open Space Committee was originally formed with the goal of protecting 200 acres in McDowell County between Greybeard and Pinnacle Mountains, known as Rocky Knob. This committee helped the Montreat Cottagers Association obtain 501(c) status in order to raise the funds necessary for that purchase.
The Cottagers Association purchased the Rocky Knob property, which is protected under the Southern Appalachian Land Conservancy. The Committee holds the liability insurance policy on that property. For other conservation fundraising projects, monies raised have been passed through to or used to assist other tax-exempt organizations, as in the case of Lookout Trace. That deed is held by the Mountain Retreat Association and is under the protection of the Southern Appalachian Land Conservancy. The Committee also facilitated the purchase of the Greybeard Trail property by residents which is now a wilderness area. The Cottagers Wilderness and Open Space Committee made a donation to the Hemlock Restoration program and was also the funnel for the monies donated to the Montreat Hemlock Restoration Project. The Cottagers Wilderness and Open Space Committee donated $50,000 to the Town of Montreat’s restricted land purchase fund at the inception of the Town’s Open Space Conservation Program (OSCC). These funds are used by the OSCC to offer partial payment for particularly desirable portions of land that an individual may wish to donate to the town for conservation.
The Cottagers’ Wilderness and Open Space Committee participates in the Montreat Landcare Committee to keep open lines of communication among the various entities and ensure that they know how the Cottagers can help and to become aware of opportunities for the Cottagers to assist in the protection of wilderness spaces.