Deerwoode Conservation



Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy partners with landowners and organizations to protect land and water resources vital to our natural heritage and quality of life. Dedicated to saving the places you love, CMLC works to permanently conserve and actively care for an ever-growing regional network of significant farm, forest, park and natural lands. Since 1994, CMLC has conserved more than 27,000 acres in Henderson, Transylvania, and surrounding counties in western North Carolina. CMLC protects all 175 acres of the Deerwoode property through a permanent conservation easement.

 Deerwoode has long been a special place. This from the journal of a young girl from Murray, KY who went to summer camp here in 1942.

“At last we reached Asheville now I could get a square meal. I was beginning to get a little hungry myself, having nothing to eat since 6AM, but no, we must push on we must get to Deerwoode.  My, this must be a wonderful place; everybody was so eager to get there. About an hour later we climbed the hill to the Big House, and then I understood—-I could see why even hunger could not stop the rush to Deerwoode for before me stretched the most beautiful scenery I had ever seen — mountains wrapped in a blue haze formed the background for the riding ring and the newly rolled tennis courts; rows of cabins from which eager girls rushed out to greet their friends overlooked another beautiful spot – the archery range. A little later (after being thoroughly fed, I went up to the lake, the Council ring and finally the chapel: then it was that I fully realized that Deerwoode was more than a camp- it was one of those “special places” that God has put on this earth where we can make friends and enjoy His handiwork and I was glad I had come to Deerwoode.”
Mary Elizabeth Roberts 1942

USDA-NRCS District Conservationist (DC) for Transylvania County.

I am Bob Twomey, retired USDA-NRCS District Conservationist (DC) for Transylvania County. I served in this capacity from July 1984 to Nov. 30, 2012, and had the opportunity to assist the Mayes Family many times on their farm and former camp property. As DC, I assisted Bill  and family on pasture/grassland management, drainage issues, stabilizing & seeding critical erosion areas, farm & forest access roads and water control best management practices (BMP’s), forest stand management, and streambank stabilization and control. We worked on pond management for the ponds on their property, stabilizing old camp facility areas, and farm management as it related to the bottomland on the farm. Later on, I assisted them in a project under the Conservation Reserve Program whereby Bill planted most of the bottomland into a conservation tree program, utilizing various hardwoods adapted to bottomland soils and terrain. The program was to place important farmlands into conserving tree cover to protect the land from river flooding erosion while benefitting various wildlife species with food and cover.

Over the years, what impressed me most about their concern for conservation was their consistency in applying BMP’s to the land to protect it and preserve it in a sound, managed condition, accomplished by the application of proven conservation measures. I did state once at an event on their farm that Deerwoode was one of the most well managed, and thus ecologically valuable, pieces of property in the county and area. That was prompted by their consistent determination to keep this property in a level of management not commonly seen on many properties. I often referred other landowners, interested in doing with their land what the Mayes had done on their land, to Bill for a discussion on how to do this and how he had proceeded. We used the Mayes property as a demonstration site for others to look at many times, so they could actually see for themselves, what managed land looks like.

The Mayes have been cooperators with the Transylvania County Soil & Water Conservation District since the 1970’s. Numerous NRCS & District employees have worked with the Mayes on this land for many years….and it shows to this day. It was a privilege to assist this family in accomplishing their long-term conservation goals.

I enjoyed working on your farm over the years, and I feel you made a real difference.

Bob Twomey


Retired County Ranger, NCFS

July 8, 2013

Dear Mr. Mayes:

It was nice to hear from you and your father this week. I have to say in my 30 years of forestry work, Bill and I sure spent a lot of time on his property on Deerwood Lane.  There was extensive planning to convert the open bottom land into a hardwood tree farm. Through this effort, we were able to accomplish river bank stability, along with improving the water quality of the ponds and lakes on the property.

During my career as Transylvania County Ranger for the NC Forest Service, the Mayes or Deerwood tract was one of the best CRP projects that I had.

Although I am retired now, feel free to contact me any time should you have questions or need any forestry advice.


Kenneth E. McJunkin

Kenneth Edward McJunkin                                                                                              Retired County Ranger, NCFS