January 10, 2001

Local businessman helping preserve mountain views

By Harrison Metzger
Times-News Staff Writer
January 3, 2001

Email this story.

Boyd 'Bub' Hyder has moved to protect several acres of mountain land.
Photo by Patrick Sullivan.
EDNEYVILLE - Like old friends in an ever-changing world, the tops of Bald Top, Wethero and Bearwallow mountains rise over the apple country of eastern Henderson County.

People in the future should see basically the same view of Wethero, the middle mountain in the chain, thanks to local businessman Boyd "Bub" Hyder.

Two years ago, Hyder donated a conservation easement on 180 acres on the mountain to the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, ensuring the land will stay in its natural state. Now he has done it again, protecting another 95 acres from development.

"I'm getting a little older, and I wanted to make sure when I left here some of the things were left the way I like them," said Hyder.

The 59-year-old county native is the owner of Hyder Trucking Co. and developer of much of the real estate along Four Seasons Boulevard.

"I've developed some in town, and that's where I like to see it developed," he said.

But the conservation easement will ensure that the 275 mountain acres will remain forest, a home for animals ranging from songbirds to black bear, said Kieran Roe, executive director of the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy.

"I think it is notable that someone who is a native landowner with long ties to the community is willing to voluntarily enter into the sort of agreement that will restrict his land use, partly because he wants to see certain parts of the community stay undeveloped," Roe said Tuesday. "It's my hope he will serve as an example to other landowners who might want to consider this kind of preservation."

Conservation easements are permanent deed restrictions which limit the development potential of land while reducing its tax value. The local land conservancy can design easements to fit the needs and desires of landowners who want to hold onto their property and keep it green.

Some easements, for instance, can allow for a set number of homes to be built or allow for activities such as grazing and logging. The easement Hyder recently placed on the 95 acres ensures the land will remain in a completely natural state.

Unlike some programs that reduce the local property tax value of land used for forestry, conservation easements do not require that land be logged or managed, Roe said.

Landowners who donate an easement can take a federal income tax deduction and state income tax credit for the development value they forego, Roe said. A professional appraiser determines the amount.

The Wethero mountain land is home to two plants being monitored by the N.C. Natural Heritage program, the grotto alumroot and Carolina hemlock, Roe said. The property contains three different Southern Appalachian forest types and four areas of rock outcroppings, with elevations rising to about 3,000 feet.

"Protecting the scenic view is a strong benefit, since Wethero Mountain is visible from a good percentage of the Edneyville/Fruitland community," Roe said. "The property is also in the Clear Creek watershed, so it (the easement) is helping to protect water quality."

Hyder, who is single and has no children, said he may in the future transfer the deed to the land to a nonprofit group, possibly Boy Scout Troop 605 of Edneyville. He is also talking with friends who own significant property about the value of keeping land in its natural state.

Copyright 2001 Times-News