The Max Patch region includes the Harmon Den and Hurricane Mountain roadless areas (just east of Interstate 40). Several grassy balds extend from Max Patch northward to the Bald Mountains roadless areas. Mixed forest, potential old-growth areas within the roadless areas and extensive early-succession habitats make this a diverse
site. The Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition includes the area in its Bald Mountains Conservation Region.

Conservation Issues

Reforestation, residential and commercial development on private lands.

As with most Golden-winged Warbler habitat, forest regeneration is a primary threat to the site. Housing has begun to develop in the private areas and the eventual decline of cattle grazing may allow reversion to forest over time. The United States Forest Service also actively manages the high-elevation areas with fire. More information is needed on burning schedules, extent and other factors to gauge the impacts to the birds in this Important Bird Area.

Ownership

Much of the area is included in Pisgah National Forest. The Appalachian Trail passes through the area and across Max Patch Mountain itself. The lower sections, where most of the Golden-winged Warbler population is found, is in private ownership.

Habitat

Northern hardwood forest, mixed forest, grassy balds, and early-succession agricultural areas.

Land Use

Cattle grazing, recreation, forestry, and secondhome development.

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