2015 Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year

Charles and Betty Taylor of Brevard were named the 2015 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year at the N.C. Tree Farm Program’s Annual Meeting in Cleveland. Charles began acquiring forest land at an early age and over the years, educated himself in the practical, scientific and business aspects of forestry. As a lifelong advocate for forest management and conservation, he has protected forests from development in Western North Carolina by buying them and keeping them in active forest management.

The Taylors are particularly interested in aesthetics and water quality, and are models for good stewardship with their long-term view of forest management. Most recently they set aside land to preserve the viewshed around a popular trail hike on his Waynesville tract and transferred ownership of this property to the Conservation Fund, which will hold the property until the Blue Ridge Parkway can take ownership. Charles and Betty are working with the Conservation Fund and the U.S. Park Service to create a high mountain meadow for elk habitat. They are also transferring ownership of 8,000 acres on the headwaters of the French Broad River to the State of North Carolina for what will eventually become North Carolina’s newest state forest, Headwaters State Forest.