Investing in Land and Water to Secure North Carolina's Future
A new report from a North Carolina conservation coalition outlines
ambitious goals for protecting the state's land, water, and quality of life,
calling for the state to invest $812 million by the state over the next five
Carolina's Future: A Five-Year Plan for Investing in Our Land, Water and
Quality of Life," from the Land for Tomorrow coalition,
presents a vision for protecting natural lands and working landscapes to
support a healthy, prosperous, and vibrant North Carolina.
The comprehensive study tracks North Carolina's progress in
preserving 390,000 acres of forests, vistas, parks, farms, and stream buffers
since 2005, as well as the recent drastic decline in funding that puts the
state's future economic vitality and quality of life at risk.
It highlights the economic benefits of North Carolina's
conservation efforts, which support a $22 billion tourism industry, a $2.6
billion hunting and fishing industry, and a $32 billion agriculture industry. A
study by The Trust for Public Land estimated that land already protected
through the state's four conservation trust funds will deliver $3.67 billion in
economic benefits through 2020--a return of four dollars in benefits for every
"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 and Land for Tomorrow steering committee
"Securing North Carolina's Future" calls for protecting
399,000 acres and 1,750 miles of waterways over the next five years. It
sets specific acreage and funding goals for waterways and wetlands, farmland,
forests, land along scenic highways, and state parks and trails.
State government efforts, particularly the work of the
state's four conservation trust funds, serve as the foundation for North
Carolina's land conservation strategy. The trust funds provide essential
funding for land acquisition and conservation projects, often leveraging one to
two times as much funding from private, non-profit or other sources.
"Securing North Carolina's Future" is available at