State Funds Help Protect Local Land
North Carolina's land and water conservation trust funds provided more than $1.8 million for projects in Moore County in 2007, according to the annual Green Book report released by Land for Tomorrow.
The majority of the $1.8 million went to the Eastwood Plant Conservation Preserve.
Since 1992, one or more of the state's four environmental trust funds, the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund, Natural Heritage Trust Fund, and Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, have spent $7.9 million in Moore County to help conserve land and water.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the N.C. General Assembly created the trust funds to protect water quality, farms and wildlife, and to create and expand parks. They are funded through a combination of appropriations, personalized license plate sales and portions of the deed transfer tax. Though some key conservation projects have gained support, the money allocated hasn't been enough to keep up with the needs of the state.
Land for Tomorrow's annual Green Book details projects the trust funds supported in 2007. Last year, the trust funds received more than 400 applications from local governments, state agencies and conservation nonprofits totaling $281.7 million, but were able to provide funding of only $172 million.
"As one of the most rapidly developing states in the nation, the General Assembly must ensure our state's streams, forests and farms are protected from development," said Reid Wilson of Land for Tomorrow's Executive Committee.
Land for Tomorrow is asking the General Assembly to provide $200 million per year for five years to preserve and protect the state's land, water and special places before they are irreversibly lost.
North Carolina has pushed past New Jersey to become the tenth most populous state. More than 300,000 acres of forests, farms, stream banks, wildlife habitats and wetlands have been developed since 2005. North Carolina continues to lead the nation in the loss of family farms, and the number of miles that do not meet clean water standards has increased to 3,300, the group said in a news release.
"By protecting our land and water, we are investing in clean air, safe and plentiful drinking water, new parks for North Carolina families, and a strong economy," Wilson said. "If we don't act now, we may not recognize our state in 20 years."
Visit http://www.landfortomorrow.org/page485.html to view a copy of this year's Green Book. A list of conservation projects in Moore County from the Green Book is attached.
Land for Tomorrow has a commitment to preserve and protect North Carolina's land, water and historic places. The goal is to increase public awareness for the need to protect additional lands that are critical to the economic well-being and quality of life in North Carolina.
Land for Tomorrow seeks to help the state reach its declared goal of conserving a million acres, and ensure that critical land will be available to provide clean air and drinking water, strengthen our communities, promote job growth and enhance the quality of life for generations to come.
For additional information about Land for Tomorrow, visit www.landfortomorrow.org.
More like this story