ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- A conservation group has bought about 250 acres of land in western North Carolina to block any development of the site.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reported (http://avlne.ws/1au5zun) the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy has bought the Plott Balsam overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Jackson County.
The Asheville conservation group said the section of the Plott Balsam Mountains once was scheduled to be developed.
The group's land protection director, Michelle Pugliese, says the organization will hold the tract and more than 250 surrounding acres and manage it as a nature preserve until it is transferred to public ownership as park land.
Pugliese says the 5,700-foot peak contains rare spruce-fir forest and two headwater tributaries that flow down its slopes.
The land is being bought for about $570,000 with private donor funds.