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 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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Report | Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center

Securing North Carolina's Future

North Carolina’s forests, farms, wetlands and other natural lands contribute to our health, economic prosperity and quality of life. Rapid residential and commercial development over the last several decades has resulted in the loss of millions of acres of these important lands. Recognizing the challenge, individual citizens, organizations and public officials across North Carolina have sprung into action – investing money, time and effort to protect places that matter across the state.

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News Release | Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center

Conservation advocates set five-year goals

A tight economy and cuts in state funding have slowed land and water protection efforts across North Carolina in recent years. But the state’s land trusts and conservancies have accomplished much since the founding of Land for Tomorrow in 2005 … and now they have ambitious – but achievable – goals for the coming years.

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