We all love the mountains but how do we keep them from being abused, polluted, or controlled by outside wealthy landowners and second homeowners? How do we conserve and preserve our beautiful North Carolina mountains so that they remain a public good for all to enjoy and/or healthy parcel of private property? This course will present multiple perspectives on the technical, social. And philosophical issues relating to land conservation and preservation with an emphasis on Western North Carolina. We will explore competing interests and conceptions regarding conservation, shifting cultural conceptions of nature, Land Trusts/Conservancies, and their role in the conservation community, as well as the legal and technical materials necessary for the construction of easements, baselines, assessing conservation values, and basic skills involving GIS for conservation. This course will be conducted through a combination of class discussions, brief films, academic, popular, and classic readings, class visits from professionals in the NC conservation community, and a library research assignment, and an interview assignment. Student research assignments will consist of evaluating a specific, targeted parcel of land for potential conservation and presenting their research and plans to the class.