Save Our sandhills
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January 25, 2018
April 26, 2018
July 26, 2018
October 25, 2018


Southern Pines Civic Club
Corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Ashe Street
Southern Pines, NC


Save Our Sandhills President Joe McDonald, a direct descendant of several early Scottish settlers, has had a lifelong interest in Moore County. He will discuss interesting incidents from the Revolutionary War and Civil War that pertain to local settlers, as well as discuss an interesting theory pertaining to Southern Pines Indian villages and what happened to them. Join us. Refreshments will be served.


Dr. Douglas F. Kelly, a foremost authority on the history of Scottish Settlers in North Carolina who has been published extensively, is a native of Lumberton, NC and a current resident of Carthage.  He has a BA from UNC-Chapel Hill and a Doctorate from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.    Dr. Kelly discussed the reasons so many Scottish people had for moving from Scotland’s Highlands and Western Isles to the North Carolina coast, starting in 1739 and continuing for the next 100 years. He also described their areas of settlement and their roles in Moore County’s early history.

April 27, 2017 – THE CRISIS FACING HONEYBEES AND OTHER POLLINATORS:  What Every Citizen Needs to Know
Preston Peck is Policy Director of Toxic Free NC, a statewide nonprofit, founded in 1986, that is based in Raleigh.  Pollinators are responsible for helping 80% of the world’s flowering plants reproduce, including one-third of all agricultural crops.  They provide food both for us and for wildlife.  Yet, they are declining at an alarming rate – 44.1% last year.  Preston showed the 2016 national tour documentary Keep the Hives Alive, discussed pollinator protection efforts in NC — including bill HB 363 introduced last month in the NC legislature, and had a community discussion about what else should be done.

January 26, 2017 – Red Wolves:  Should They Have a Place in Our Ecosystem Today?
Christian Hunt, Program Associate for Defenders of Wildlife, holds a J.D. degree, and has studied environmental law, with an emphasis on climate change and the law, the Endangered Species Act, and habitat connectivity. The red wolf, which had been extirpated from North Carolina by the mid-1860’s, has been reintroduced into both the Great Smoky Mountains and the coastal area; the former attempt was unsuccessful, and the latter is still ongoing.  A great deal of controversy has been associated with this reintroduction.  The red wolves are classified as “Critically Endangered,” and the question remains as to whether they are needed to balance the longleaf forests over which they were once the region’s apex predator.

October 30, 2016 -- “Restoring Nature’s Relationships at Home”
Dr. Douglas Tallamy, nationally-known and respected speaker and author of Bringing Nature Home, explained what is needed to make our landscapes part of a functioning ecosystem that benefits wildlife and enhances our environment.  Presented by the Village of Pinehurst Greenway Wildlife Habitat Committee and Save Our Sandhills at the Pinehurst Fair Barn.  Included author “meet and greet” and book signing.

July 28, 2016 – American Indians of the Sandhills Region
Rockingham attorney Alden B. Webb, who has long had a personal interest in American Indians and has participated in archeological excavations in Richmond and Anson counties, discussed “The Significance of South Central North Carolina and the Sandhills to the Cultural Traditions of the American Indian.” 

January 28, 2016 – “Our Disappearing Amphibians”
Wake County teenager Rachel Hopkins, the 2013 Governor’s Youth Conservationist of the Year, has worked tirelessly to raise awareness for the plight of amphibians, presented a program on the current status and future projections for North Carolina’s species.  Jeff Beane, Herpetology Collections Manager for NC Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, joined her. 

October 29, 2015 – “Wetlands”
The staff from Dr. J.H. Carter III & Associates, Inc. an environmental consulting firm located in Southern Pines, shed light on how wetlands work, and their real value for all of us.  Rules and laws regarding wetlands have changed continuously over the last two decades.  Landowners, scientists, and elected officials often get frustrated for different reasons.

July 30, 2015 – “Honeybees and Pollinators:  Modern Threats:
SOS Secretary Ruth Stolting has been a beekeeper for 16 years.  She has studied honeybees, and has given talks on them to various groups.  Healthy insects are essential for the survival of many wildlife species.  Nevertheless, honeybees and other pollinators are in tremendous decline.  Not only was their importance discussed, but also theories for their die-offs, and what can be done about it.

April 30, 2015 — “The Sandhills Game Land"
Lincoln Sadler, Technician Team Leader on the Game Land staff, shared his knowledge of the Sandhills Game Land, considered to be the last great bastion of the longleaf pine ecological system remaining in the Sandhills of North Carolina that is dedicated primarily to wildlife conservation.  Located in Moore, Richmond, and Scotland counties, the Game Land consists of approximately 63,000 acres and is managed by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.

January 29, 2015 – “Coyotes in the Sandhills” 
Dr. Colter Chitwood, along with colleagues, has been conducting extensive studies of coyotes on the Fort Bragg Military Reservation.   Coyotes can now be found in all 100 of North Carolina’s counties, and Dr. Chitwood discussed their impact in the local Sandhills area as well as North Carolina and its surrounding states.

October 30, 2014 – “Snakes of the Sandhills”
Jeff Beane, Herpetology Collections Manager for NC State Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, is currently doing research to gather basic natural history data on the southern hognose snake, northern pine snake, eastern coachwhip, and other declining Sandhills species.  With an extensive knowledge of North Carolina’s snakes, a fine sense of detail, and storytelling abilities, this was a fascinating presentation.

July 31, 2014 – “Eating Wild”
Terry Sharpe, a wildlife biologist and forester, who spent 30 years working with the NC Wildlife Commission, described the joys of reconnecting with a more natural way of life.  Considering the great outdoors to be one big dinner plate, he discussed favorites on his menu, provided guidelines on finding and preparing them, and brought samples to taste.

May 12, 2014 – Visit with NC Representative Jamie Boles
Several SOS members and members of Frackfree NC met with Rep. Boles for the purpose of encouraging rules to protect NC communities from future environmental problems with regard to fracking.

April 24, 2014 – “Herbal Medicines of Native Americans and Their Significance in the Health and Wellness of Frontier Settlers”|
Brenda Quinones, a Moore County Master Gardener Volunteer, has studied her Hispanic and Native American roots in order to reconnect with her ancestors’ healing knowledge.  The audience gained knowledge of the herbal remedies of its forefathers, but it gained knowledge of present day natural remedies for health and wellness.

March 25, 2014 – “Cautionary Tales from Communities Impacted by Fracking”
SOS, Frack Free NC, and Clean Water for NC will host Karen Feridun, Jill Wiener, and Robert Nehman, dynamic speakers who have experienced first-hand the effects of fracking in their home states of PA, NY, and IA, respectively.  They discuss how their lives were turned upside down because of fracking, and how we can best prevent fracking from coming to our state.

February 27, 2014 – Gasland part II, Josh Fox’s New Fracking Documentary
Co-sponsored by Save Our Sandhills and the Congregational Church of Pinehurst, the film covered the increasing influence of the gas industry, research on environmental contamination from methane, and the global consequences of fracking.  A member of Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, which was instrumental in passing Anson County’s fracking moratorium, discussed fracking developments in NC.

October 31, 2013 – “Cougars in North Carolina.”
SOS President Joe McDonald has collected information on the Eastern Cougar for many years.  After being hunted down relentlessly in the eastern United States, the cougar was declared extinct in 2011.  Nevertheless, numerous alleged sightings continue to mount.  Despite skepticism, physical evidence of wild, free ranging cougars in eastern states – including North Carolina – continues to emerge.

July 25, 2013 – “The Civil War Battle of Monroe’s Crossroads, Fought in the Sandhills”
SOS President Joe McDonald, born in a house on Bethesda Road near Southern Pines that was built by an ancestor during the Revolutionary War and was visited by Union troops on their way to Monroe’s Crossroads, has had a lifelong interest in local history.  McDonald described the “cast of characters,” set the scene for the battle and subsequent events, and showed how the natural Sandhills environment affected the outcome.  Monroe’s Crossroads was one of the last great battles of the Civil War, having seen some of the most intense combat of the entire war.

April 25, 2013 – “An Update on Fracking:  Where We Are Today”
James Robinson, Research and Policy Associate of the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI-USA) offered a brief overview of fracking (hydraulic fracturing), and detailed North Carolina’s shale gas basin and leasing history.  He then discussed the current law and existing bills on hydraulic fracturing:  SL2012-143 and SB76.  Next, he explained the current state of the Mining and Energy Commission’s (MEC) rule-making process, as well as the current state of the Compulsory Pooling Study Group process.  Finally, he explained how to get involved in the MEC process.

January 31, 2013 –”The Walthour-Moss Foundation – An Environmental Treasure”
Dominick Pagnotta, Secretary for the Walthour-Moss Foundation Board of Directors, explained why the 4,052 acres of longleaf pine forest that comprise the Walthour-Moss foundation lands are such a unique entity for all those in the Sandhills.  His talk included information on the early settlement of the Southern Pines area, with its foray into timbering and naval stores; the Boyd family’s interest in preservation and country sport; the Moss family’s interest in philanthropy; and the Foundation’s legacy of preservation and support of community.

January 15, 2013 – Movie “Last Call at the Oasis”
Save Our Sandhills joined with four other leading community organizations in presenting this movie:  Central Park NC, Sandhills Area Land Trust, Sandhills Farm to Table Cooperative, and Sustainable Sandhills.  Featuring activist Erin Brockovich and numerous experts, the movie explained why the world is facing a global water crisis, defects in the current system, and how to deal with the problems.

October 25, 2012 – Forum on Moore County’s Land Use Plan
Forum:  “Revising the Moore County Land Use Plan – A Vision for Moore County’s Future.”  Panelists Pat Corso, Executive Director, Partners in Progress and attorney Marsh Smith responded to “What should the county look like in the next two or three decades?”  Each panelist brought different visionary ideas to this forum.

July 26, 2012 – Plan Before You Pave
Ellen Marcus, the candidate running against current Moore County Commissioner Nick Picerno, discussed her campaign platform from the standpoint of natural resource related issues that include the county land use plan update, development ordinances, and the county water and sewer plan.  No local governmental body has a greater power to determine the fate of our forests, streams, and wildlife than the Board of Commissioners, and Marcus believes that Moore County has reached an important crossroads in planning for its future.

June 5, 2012 – Frack-Free Lobby Day in Raleigh
Several SOS members participated in the Frack-Free Lobby Day in Raleigh, where over 200 grassroots citizens from multiple organizations throughout North Carolina marched to the NC legislature.  Our members met with Representative Jamie Boles and Senator Harris Blake to express SOS’s opposition to fracking and to reiterate points from SOS’s resolution. To see pictures from the event, click here and here.

April 26, 2012 – Moore County Environmental Issues:  Past, Present, and Future
Moore County Commissioner Nick Picerno addressed topics such as the Pine Forest zoning process, the new Unified Development Ordinance, the county Transportation Plan, water options, and fracking.  Questions were welcomed on these and other topics.  Dialogue with our elected officials is crucial.  While we depend on the world for sustenance and welfare, attitudes toward the environment have become more polarized in recent years.  Therefore, mutual understanding at the local level is crucial to the fate of our forests, streams, and wildlife.

January 26, 2012 – About the Green Growth Toolbox
Brenda Johnson discussed the NC Wildlife Resources Commission program “Green Growth Toolbox,” a nature-friendly way of developing communities.  This program partners with other nonprofits, local government planners and decision makers in order to support healthy ecosystems and a high quality of life.

November 10, 2011 – A First-Hand Look At Fracking.
Carol French and Carolyn Knapp, landowners in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale area and founders of PA Landowners’ Group for Awareness and Solutions, provided firsthand experience with fracking.  Hope Taylor, Executive Director of Clean Water for NC, provided background information.

October 27, 2011 – Natural Gas and Fracking in NC.
Jim Dougherty – Executive Director of the Regional Land Use Advisory Commission (RLUAC).  He described the harmful impacts of light pollution on the environment and illustrated measures that both governments and individuals can take to help reverse this growing problem.

July 28, 2011 - A Panel on Natural Gas and Fracking withour Legislators.
SOS followed-up the recent screening of the movie GASLAND with an open question-and-answer panel discussion that featured Senator Harris Blake, Representative Jamie Boles, and Representative Michael Stone explaining their positions on North Carolina’s bills.  Other experts, including an attorney from Southern Environmental Law Center, a mineral rights coordinator from Rural Advancement Foundation International, and an attorney and extension specialist in the Agriculture and Resource Economics Department at NCSU helped provide a balanced discussion and insight into related issues regarding drilling, the leasing of mineral rights, and environmental impacts.  To see a photo, click here.

May 21, 2011 - Spring Field Trip to Fort Bragg
Beth Evans, a Certified Wildlife Biologist on Fort Bragg, gave a discussion on the status of the endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers; several young chicks were banded during the field trip. Bruce Sorrie, biologist for the NC Natural Heritage Program, also led a walk among native plants at a nearby location. To view some of the photographs taken on the trip, click here.

April 28, 2011 – Movie-The Unforeseen
For more information click here.

March 26, 2011– SOS at the Palustris Festival.
SOS presented numerous activities throughout the day at the Southern Pines Civic Club. To view pictures from the event, click here.

January 27, 2011 – Speaker on Endangered and Rare Flora and Fauna on Fort Bragg and Camp Mackall.
Beth Evans – For more information, click here.

October 28, 2010 – Executive Director of Sandhills Area Land Trust
Candace Williams – For more information, click here.

September 9, 2010 – Presentation of “An Ode to Longleaf”
SOS presented its power point at the Seven Lakes Garden Club.

September 8, 2010 – Presentation of “An Ode to Longleaf”
SOS presented its power point at the Garden Club of the Sandhills.

July 29, 2010 – Speaker on "Fort Bragg's Commitment to Conservation and Wildlife Management"
Alan Schultz – For more information, click here.

June 22, 2010 – Greenway Wildlife Habitat Committee Summer Camp
SOS presented its PowerPoint "An Ode to Longleaf" prior to a discovery walk at Weymouth Woods. Twelve students ages 9 through 11 plus camp counselors enjoyed the activities.

April 29, 2010 – Speaker on "What the New Wildlife Friendly Development Certification Program Is All About"
Vann Stancil – For more information, click here.

April 21, 2010 – Sandhills Community College GREEN SUMMIT
SOS had a table display explaining its purpose and showing its PowerPoint presentation "An Ode to Longleaf" via laptop computer.

January 28, 2010 – Speaker on “Insects and Habitats That Are Of Special Conservation Concern In The North Carolina Sandhills"
Dr. Stephen Hall– For more information, click here.

October 29, 2009 – Speaker on “More people, same land . . . What are we going to do?
Craven Hudson – For more information, click here.

October 18, 2009 – Presentation of “An Ode to Longleaf”
SOS presented its power point at West End Presbyterian Church as part of the church’s series on “Faith and the Environment.”  This took place at 6 PM at the church’s Crawford Center.

October 6, 2009 – Presentation of “An Ode to Longleaf”
SOS presented its power point at the Whispering Pines Garden Club.

October 3, 2009 – Presentation “An Ode to Longleaf”
SOS presented its power point at the Pinehurst Greenway Wildlife Habitat Workshop.  This event took place at Pinehurst Village Hall from 10:30 AM until 12 noon.

October, 2009 - Southern Pines Candidates Forum
SOS supplied some of the questions that were fielded by candidates.

July 30, 2009 – Speaker on Water Regulation in North Carolina
Bill Holman– For more information, click here.

May 20, 2009 – Presentation “An Ode to Longleaf”
SOS presented its power point to the Moore County Senior Enrichment Center.

May 19, 2009 – Presentation “An Ode to Longleaf”
SOS presented its power point celebrating the longleaf and encouraging ways in which to help safeguard our unique ecosystem at the Sustainable Sandhills Community Action Team meeting held at Sandhills Community College.

April 21, 2009 – Sandhills Community College GREEN SUMMIT
SOS had a display table explaining its purpose and showing its power point presentation “An Ode to Longleaf” via laptop computer.

Green Summit 1   Green Summit 2

April 11, 2009 – Sustainable Sandhills Urban Farm Tour
SOS partnered with Sustainable Sandhills on this event.  We had a display table at two sites on the tour.  One included information about SOS and showed the power point presentation “An Ode to Longleaf” via laptop computer.  Both sites included bluebird displays, explaining how to create bluebird trails and illustrating how to help bluebirds with bluebird houses, feeders, mealworm cultures, and information on the NC Bluebird Society.

Urban Farm Tour Display
Urban Farm Tour Display 2

December, 2007 – Southern Pines Council meetings
The Steering committee and other members attended.  Some spoke on water issues concerning the planned Pine Needles PUD.

October, 2007 – Southern Pines Candidates Forum
SOS supplied some of the questions to be fielded by candidates

Who We Are How We Work News Room Speakers Activities Membership

An Ode To Longleaf
Purple Pitcher Plant
Contact Information

Joe McDonald

Vice President
Acting Treasurer
Robert Stolting

Ruth Stolting


Save Our Sandhills, Inc.
P.O. Box 893
Pinehurst, NC 28370-0893


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