Here’s an update about the plan to run a powerline through the Box Creek Wilderness in Rutherford and McDowell counties. Thanks to the great folks involved in this fight. If you would like to join in and support this fight, or if you have any questions, email Elly Wells.
We’ve had a great start to the fall with a booth at the Rutherford Hilltop Festival on October 4, and the Mountain Glory Festival in Marion on October 11. We met lots of new friends and had more than 240 people sign our petition to save Box Creek between the two events.
Our total number of Save Box Creek petition signatures is now at 1,802! Whether you signed the petition online or at a festival booth, we appreciate your support and ongoing interest in the future of Box Creek Wilderness.
New Policy for Speaking at REMC Annual Meeting
Several of you have asked us about speaking (on topics ranging from the Box Creek Wilderness issue to alternate energy to capital credit payments) at this Saturday’s October 25, 2014 REMC Annual Member Meeting; some of you have then contacted REMC directly to inquire about speaking.
Last year at the 2013 meeting, two people asked to speak at the meeting and permission was granted and they spoke; time limit was three minutes.
Based on information supporters have shared with us, REMC has apparently changed its policy for the 2014 Annual Member Meeting in the following ways:
- REMC requires that you send them a written request to speak at the meeting two weeks in advance (Saturday Oct. 11 for this year’s Oct. 25 meeting);
- REMC requests that the written request to speak outline your proposed remarks so that the General Manager may obtain information related to your remarks before the meeting;
- Remarks should be limited to topics of general interest to REMC or its members that relate to the business of REMC;
- REMC’s General Manager has the discretion to approve or decline your submitted remarks;
- If REMC’s General Manager allows you to speak in his discretion, you will be allowed no more than three minutes to speak; and
- If more than 10 members request to speak, REMC will limit the number of speakers.
- REMC has not published this new policy on its website yet, so details would need to be confirmed by REMC.
November 8: Autumn Hike in Box Creek
We’re excited to announce another oppportunity to hike in Box Creek Wilderness. Saturday, November 8, 2014 — hikers will meet at 9:45AM on Box Creek Road to begin the hike at 10:00AM sharp. The hike will be about three miles round-trip, with a stop at the top of Rockey Face Mountain.
If you are interested in attending this hike, please email us with the number of people in your party and their names. Hike spaces are limited, so please let us know as soon as possible if you would like to sign up to attend. More detailed directions and information will be provided to those who sign up for the hike.
About the Hike
Our hike will be led by conservation biologist Kevin Caldwell of Mountains-to-Sea Ecological. It will go through the heart of Box Creek Wilderness, allowing participants to look at rare forest types including alluvial forests, dry basic oak-hickory forests and piedmont basic glades. Topics such as rare species, unusual plants, watersheds, geology, rocks, natural communities, and restoration ecology will be discussed. The hike will take a rest break top of Rockey Face, with broad sweeping views. No dogs please.
The hike is strenuous and may involve some hiking off-trail.
If you would like to join this hike, or if you have any questions, email Elly Wells, Box Creek Wilderness Communications or call (828) 258-3387.]
Box Creek Wilderness Case
Last month, September 2014, the Court of Appeals affirmed in part the October 2013 case dismissal decision by the Rutherford County Superior Court with respect to the condemnation of the portion of Box Creek Wilderness in McDowell County. The Court of Appeals concluded that the condemnation of the Box Creek Wilderness property located in McDowell County could not go forward in the Box Creek Wilderness case, but that the Rutherford County portion could go forward.
On October 8, 2014, attorneys representing Box Creek Wilderness landowner Tim Sweeney filed a petition with the Court of Appeals to reconsider that decision based on legal errors, arguing that the condemnation of all of Box Creek Wilderness, including that portion in Rutherford County, should be dismissed. As of today October 15, 2014, the Court of Appeals has not ruled on the petition. In addition, the second lawsuit REMC filed to condemn additional property of Tim’s in the Copperleaf Tract, is still pending in Superior Court.
Tim’s offer to donate property he owns for an alternate right of way for the transmission line, which would keep the new line from bisecting this Natural Heritage Area in McDowell and Rutherford, still stands.
Rights of Members to Information for Non-profit Corporations in NC
In a separate case regarding the disclosure of information to members of non-profit corporations in North Carolina like REMC — In August 2014, the Rutherford County Superior Court ruled that Rutherford Electric Membership Corporation is governed by the North Carolina Non-profit Act, which includes laws that protect members of non-profit corporations and provides all members of such corporations access to information about the corporation including board meeting minutes, financial reports, the member list, and other information typically afforded to members of a non-profit corporation.
The court recognized that this information is needed by members in order for them to meaningfully participate in member activities, such as annual member meetings and the nomination of directors. REMC has appealed that decision to the North Carolina Court of Appeals.