Outdoors

Conservation group calls for NC to double amount of protected land

Posted May 14, 2012

— A conservation group urged North Carolina lawmakers to restore funding for protecting undeveloped natural areas and to nearly double the amount of land that the state has preserved in the past seven years.

Land for Tomorrow, a coalition of various environmental, agriculture, wildlife, business and local government groups, called Monday for protecting nearly 400,000 acres and 1,750 miles of waterways across the state over the next five years.

"When major employers bring their business and jobs to North Carolina, they often cite our clean water, quality of life and abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation," said Reid Wilson, executive director of the Conservation Trust for North Carolina.

These goals "will help our state maintain that reputation over the next five years, while also sustaining the tourism and agriculture industries as vital economic drivers," Wilson continued.

The group set specific goals for preserving sections of wetlands, farmland, forests, land along scenic highways, and state parks and trails.

Land for Tomorrow representatives said that protecting that land from development would benefit the public by providing clean air and drinking water, fresh food and recreational areas and bolstering the state's tourism, hunting, fishing and agricultural industries.

The group asked lawmakers to try to find more funding for conservation even in troubled economic times. Last year, state funding for the Clean Water Trust was cut by 75 percent, while the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund took a 15 percent loss, and portions of funding for the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund and Natural Heritage Trust Fund were diverted to the state's General Fund.

"We understand the funding concerns, but the need for conservation remains critical, and the opportunities for economical land and water protection have only grown," said Elizabeth Ouzts, state director of Environment North Carolina.

"Once we protect a place, it's safeguarded forever," she continued. "That's why we are looking at the big picture and setting long-term goals that can be achieved if conservation groups and the state continue to work together."

19 Comments

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  • yankee1 May 14, 2012

    To what end ?? Remember this well libs, the day will come when your beloved Government takes YOURS! At that point I guarantee you, you will be whining up a storm and hitting every corrupt lawyers office you can to right the wrong! It never ends with you people until you feel the same sting you wish on all those who have worked hard to earn what they have! Better get with it because mor4e and more people are figuring it out and will soon to shutting all of your little groups of redistibutors and obstructionists down!!

  • nufsaid May 14, 2012

    I fully support the right of this conservation group to raise money from willing donors to purchase land and do whatever they wish with it.

  • warbirdlover May 14, 2012

    Yeah lets cut down every tree in NC and build Mini-Malls and subdivisions. I hope My tax money goes for saving our planet. Better than all the Tax Money thats going to be wasted, defending the Unconsitutional Marriage Amendment in the courts.

  • Tcheuchter May 14, 2012

    ""No. It's prevented from being used to provide the best possible return for the current landowner. And more taxation down the road to continue to 'safeguard' the land 'forever'..."

    The land will be there for hundreds of thousands of years whilst the present owner will be forgotten in a few decades. We borrow the land we do not really own it. Some land owners fail to understand that and need to prevented from letting their lack of scruples ruin it for decades, perhaps effectively forever.
    And I would much rather pay taxes to protect land than pay taxes to clean it up after some pig has raped it.

  • Tcheuchter May 14, 2012

    "Liberals want more power and control, they drain the economy and everyone's wallets with one idiotic cause after another, until there is nothing left."

    What talk show did you get that line from? The USA has had taxes from the start and surprise it still here. Taxes are now at historically low level so the line that taxes are holding the economy back is patently false.

  • Tcheuchter May 14, 2012

    "Shut down half of the government and entitlement programs and the remaining government will have some money to buy your precious land."

    LOL lets not pretend that the GOP have any intention of protecting anything other than the ability of the rich to get richer and to heck with the mess they leave behind for those that cannot flee the results.

  • ICTrue May 14, 2012

    ""It's interesting how the words 'conservation' and 'conservative' come from the same root, but have become oxymorons to each other."

    Yeah, it really is sad that Conservatives have fallen so far, and become such a pathetic representation of what they are supposed to be."
    LikeABadPenny

    What does this have to do with conservatives? Liberals want more power and control, they drain the economy and everyone's wallets with one idiotic cause after another, until there is nothing left.Then when they want something, they whine like a bunch of spoiled little brats if they don't get what they want.

    Shut down half of the government and entitlement programs and the remaining government will have some money to buy your precious land.

  • piene2 May 14, 2012

    "What OTHER freedoms do these so-called conservation groups want to take away no contest"

    Whatever else it takes to protect what little unspoiled land there still is.

  • no contest May 14, 2012

    nighttrain2010 - Great comment. And yes, LikeABadPenny, Government IS way too big and costly already!

    This so-called conservation group should be called a freedom restriction group. Like the EPA, Dept. of Energy and unions they need to be de-funded to the point of very limited power.

    What OTHER freedoms do these so-called conservation groups want to take away from legal citizens and land owners?

  • wayneboyd May 14, 2012

    I'd like to see the new legislature cut all funding for Enviornmental North Carolina and then Ms. Outzs could get a real taxpayer job and find out how we can have the nerve to post comments like this.

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