Since its founding in 1997, Blue Ridge Conservancy (BRC) has permanently protected over 21,000 acres in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey Counties in North Carolina. In addition to protecting working farmland, BRC's efforts have resulted in the creation of state natural areas like Beech Creek Bog, Bear Paw and Bullhead Mountain. BRC continues to help Elk Knob State Park and Grandfather Mountain State Park expand their borders and led the way in establishing a 2,900-acre State Game Land preserve on Pond Mountain in Ashe County. BRC is also working to construct the Middle Fork Greenway, which will connect the towns of Boone and Blowing Rock via a 6.5-mile paved path for walking, jogging and cycling. BRC's mission is to partner with landowners and local communities to permanently protect natural resources with agricultural, cultural, recreational, ecological and scenic value in northwest North Carolina.