GERTON, N.C. — A family has agreed to preserve a mountain in western North Carolina from development.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported the group Conserving Carolina and the Lyda family of Henderson County have agreed to protect 476 acres (192 hectares) on the Bearwallow Mountain summit.

The family has placed a conservation easement with the land trust, allowing the family to continue to graze their cattle as they have since the 1930s on the property on the Henderson-Buncombe county line.

The agreement calls for the land to be available for public hiking, as well.

A one-mile (1.6-kilometer) trail was built to the more than 4,200-foot (1280-meter) summit in 2011. A new two-mile (3.2-kilometer) trail will be built soon to connect with Little Pisgah Mountain to the east.

Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times,

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