Sherwood Forest is a 60 year-old residential community located in Cedar Mountain, North Carolina. Cedar Mountain is an unincorporated area located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, at an elevation of 2,700 feet, in Transylvania County, eight miles south of Brevard, NC. This rural, mountain community is distinguished by its close proximity to DuPont State Forest and Jones Gap State Natural Area, and beyond that, to the Greenville (SC) Watershed, Table Rock State Park, and the Jocassee Wildlife Management Area and Gorges State Park.
Once home to Cherokee tribes, the area also has a rich history of art, music and dance contributed by those who settled in the area beginning in the1700s. The Cedar Mountain area has also been ranked “Regionally Significant” by the NC Natural Heritage Program, which identifies areas which contain rare species, unique natural communities, important animal assemblages, or other ecological features.
Begun in 1957 as a thousand-acre residential community, Sherwood Forest registered as a wildlife sanctuary with the Florida Audubon Society in 1962. Years later, the homeowner’s association joined Audubon International’s Cooperative Sanctuary program, and remains a committed member of this organization, instituting policies and practices which protect and enhance the forest environment, through conservation and wildlife enhancement programs. The certification requires long-range planning for wildlife and habitat management, resource conservation, waste management and outreach/education. The community’s uniqueness derives from the community’s commitment to enjoying and protecting the natural environment of the mountain ecosystem, and maintaining a sustainable balance between nature and the human presence.
A 2009 ecological study identified 26 species of rare and watch-list species of plants and animals within the borders of Sherwood Forest. This relatively small area contains seven state-listed rare natural communities, and is ranked “Regionally Significant” by the NC Natural Heritage Program.
More than 300 acres of pristine forest are set aside as green areas for the enjoyment of the entire community. Hiking trails crisscross the green area, taking walkers to mountain summits and long range vistas, grottos and caves, streams and waterfalls, and even several vintage Prohibition-era still sites. More than ten acres of environmentally-sensitive land have been permanently conserved under an easement agreement with Conserving Carolina and are reviewed for compliance annually.
The position of Sherwood Forest and Cedar Mountain is important relative to other conserved and protected lands. It connects a chain of more than 300,000 acres that provide wildlife corridors for indigenous animals such as deer, fox, bears, coyotes and bobcats.