General Assembly guts key protections

The Blue Ridge Parkway brings millions of visitors to Mt. Mitchell, Looking Glass Falls and some of the country's most beautiful vistas. But in the last two years, the General Assembly has cut critical preservation funds in half, and questioned the future of the state’s largest conservation program—the Clean Water Fund.

At stake: breathtaking Parkway views

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway feels like a trip through a national park, just what its creators intended 75 years ago. We have state conservation efforts partially to thank for the incredible views — since 1986, the state has preserved vulnerable land for future generations.

But this legacy is at risk: Two-thirds of the land that surrounds the Parkway is vulnerable to logging, poorly-planned development and other harms. With state preservation funds run nearly dry, priceless landscapes hang in the balance.

A legacy on hold

North Carolina has a long-standing history of preserving treasured landscapes for present and future generations to use and enjoy. In 2007 and 2008, your activism and our advocacy helped win unprecedented funding increases for preservation programs, which created Grandather Mountain State Park, Chimney Rock State Park and others.

When the General Assembly slashed preservation funds last year, they put that legacy on hold. Worse, they included a special provision in the budget to prevent the state from acquiring threatened land along the Parkway.

Together, we can save the Blue Ridge Parkway

Our staff knocked on doors across the state to educate Tar Heels about what's at stake and helped convince lawmakers to remove restrictions on land conservation.

With our partners, we’ve also conducted research, showing that we’ve already preserved more than 13,000 acres along the Parkway and other scenic byways, and need to preserve another 20,000 in the next five years.

But the real key to winning this fight is you. If enough of us speak out, we can restore our open space programs in the General Assembly and in Congress and put them to work protecting our stunning Blue Ridge scenery.

 


Preservation updates

News Release | Environment America

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News Release | Environment America

Statement: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation opens applications for 'America the Beautiful Challenge' grants

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Biden administration announced on Wednesday a request for proposals for a grant program aimed at funding critical conservation and recreation projects across the country. The “America the Beautiful Challenge” grants will fund conservation and restoration projects for rivers, coasts, wetlands, grasslands and forests, among other critical ecosystems. In line with President Joe Biden’s America the Beautiful Initiative, grants will also help connect wildlife habitats through land and water corridors. A wide range of entities, including state and tribal authorities, territories, local groups and non-governmental organizations, will be eligible for the grant program, which is largely funded by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act enacted in late 2021. 

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News Release | Environment North Carolina

Groups tell Biden Administration: Let Older Trees Grow

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News Release | Environment America

Statement: Recovering America’s Wildlife Act moves country one step closer to protecting fish and wildlife

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