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About the Mountain Resources Commission

The Mountain Resources Commission (MRC) consisted of members of varied backgrounds, interests, and talents, and were appointed from residents of the mountain counties who represented a range of interests—local government, non-profit organizations, mountain Councils of Government, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, the North Carolina National Parks, the Parkways and Forests Development Council, the tourism industry, and the land trust community.

Even though the appointed members were not used to working as part of a group with such diverse perspectives, they learned from one another and discovered they were capable of accomplishing more by working together than they could apart. That commitment, that civil discourse, became vital in their effort to support positive growth throughout the region.

The MRC’s purpose was simple: to encourage healthy and equitable development while preserving the natural resources, open spaces, and farmland of the mountain region of Western North Carolina. The MRC adopted an overall mission statement to: “Take care of our natural resources to enhance and sustain quality of life and ensure the long term health of our region and our people." It was entrusted to provide recommendations to local, state, and federal legislative and administrative bodies for the protection of these natural resources.

In 2013, the passage of NC House Bill 74 eliminated the MRC, but its mission and its values remain ongoing through the continued support and collaboration of the partnerships established during the early visioning process for the WNC Vitality Index. With the contributions and vast range of perspectives and expertise from the partners who provided content, the Vitality Index continues to enable our region’s public and private decision makers to understand the many diverse qualities and current conditions—and how they interconnect—within our communities.

Through this effort, the relationships among our economic conditions, public health issues, regional traditions, and the integrity of our natural environment can be better understood, thus continuing the MRC’s original, overall mission.

For more information on the those who made this possible, please see the Acknowledgements page.