From Mount Mitchell to Jockey’s Ridge, North Carolina is home to some of the best state parks in the country. Our state parks are where we go to hike, camp, swim and picnic, and we should do everything we can to protect them.

Our best places left vulnerable

Unfortunately, our state parks are falling into disrepair, and are even threatened with closure due to funding cuts. Funding for our state parks has been reduced by 80 percent since 2007, and in 2013 the dedicated revenue stream was eliminated entirely. In 2012, the state considered closing all the state parks for the winter in an effort to save money.

For the first time in history, state leaders are even considering charging entrance fees, which could limit access to our state parks.

That’s why Environment North Carolina is working to show our elected leaders the massive public support for restoring funding to keep our state parks open and protected for all to enjoy.

A 100 year-old legacy

Next year, North Carolina’s state parks will celebrate their 100th birthday. And with more than 14 million visits to our parks every year, we know that the public supports protecting them. Yet, the number of grants awarded to our state parks shrunk from 47 in 2012 to just 14 in 2013.

Year after year, funding for our parks is cut, and if we do nothing, our parks will fall further into disrepair and some may need to close. We can’t stand by and let the funding that maintains our parks and keeps them open dwindle. In order to make that happen, we need people all across the state to speak out in support of our state parks.

Together we can win

We’re knocking on doors across the state, shining a spotlight in the media, and mobilizing local elected officials and small businesses to show support for protecting our parks. But the real key to winning this fight is you.

Preservation updates

News Release | Environment North Carolina

Congressional Budget Helps the Blue Ridge Parkway, Restores Parks Funding

Raleigh, NC-This week, U.S. House and Senate appropriators set funding levels for agencies like the National Park Service and finalized a comprehensive budget agreement.

Environment North Carolina’s Liz Kazal offered the following statement:

 

“I applaud U.S. House and Senate appropriators for their work on a budget that does much to protect North Carolina’s wild places and our water and air.

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News Release | Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

Budget Cuts Threaten Future of Blue Ridge Parkway

Asheville– As Congress deliberates on the federal budget, a new Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center analysis, entitled Death by a Thousand Cuts, exposes the challenges facing the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Smokies and other national parks and forests as a result of mounting funding cuts to the National Park Service.

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News Release | Environment North Carolina

Environment North Carolina to General Assembly: Restore Conservation Funds

Raleigh, NC – Today Environment North Carolina released a list of the top ten reasons the Blue Ridge Parkway and surrounding lands deserve protection from overdevelopment, logging, and other harms, and called on the General Assembly to restore conservation funds designed to protect the scenic biway.

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News Release | Environment North Carolina

Two dozen businesses and conservation groups call on President Obama to protect the Blue Ridge Parkway

Raleigh-- Today Environment North Carolina and 23 other businesses and environmental advocacy groups called on President Obama to protect the Blue Ridge Parkway from overdevelopment and pollution by fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund.  Read the letter.

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News Release | Environment North Carolina

General Assembly Fails on Environment

Raleigh, NC—102 legislators earned a failing grade on Environment North Carolina’s annual legislative scorecard—a testament to the damage the General Assembly inflicted on the state’s air, water, and open spaces in their summer 2012 session. 

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