There’s Something About the Plateau

People visit the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau for many reasons – golf, shopping, family reunions.  But once here, they come to appreciate other things even more – mountain air wafting across meadows; clear water babbling over boulders; soft breezes rustling leaves; singing, calling, chirping birds; a strutting turkey, the glimpse of a bobcat.  They take a hike, climb a mountain, raft a river, wade a creek.  They wish they could stay forever.

Enjoying the serenity of the mountains costs nothing.  But it does take a great deal of work and treasure to protect the tranquil landscapes we crave.  While the Plateau is lucky enough to be embedded in a national forest, the government manages land for a diversity of reasons, and land use in the national forest can change, based on the government’s changing priorities.   So it falls to citizens who cherish wild landscapes to protect private lands so as to enhance our lives now, and to ensure the same for our great-grandchildren and their children.  

The most effective way for individuals to protect land is to join like-minded people at non-profit land conservation organizations, such as land trusts.  Land trusts use a variety of methods to conserve and protect land. They accept gifts of property, negotiate easement agreements, and raise funds to purchase and maintain their properties.  

The Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust has been protecting land since 1909 when Highlanders bought the summit of Satulah to protect it for future generations.  Thanks to those with foresight, today we are able to enjoy the natural treasures that made so many of us fall in love with these mountains.

On Saturday, September 30, come celebrate this special place during HCLT’s annual “Satulahbration!”  Join us for a hike to the summit, followed by a Chili Cook-off at Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park.  For more information about the celebration or how to become involved with HCLT and our mission, visit or contact us at [email protected] or (828) 529-1111.  Together we can protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, and healthy habitats for all.