Representative Kyle Hall has worked on conservation efforts that benefit the quality of life and economic well-being for residents in North Carolina. Land for Tomorrow asked Representative Hall a few questions about the importance of land protection in our state.
1. Where is your favorite natural/outdoor place in North Carolina and why is it important to you?
I’m blessed to have three of the best state parks in the 91st District: Hanging Rock, Pilot Mountain, and Mayo River State Parks. I regularly visit them on the weekends for outdoor recreation and to simply clear my head after hectic weeks in Raleigh.
2. What do you see are the immediate and long-term benefits of investing in land protection?
Conservation helps to improve the quality of life for our state’s future generations. It is also an economic development tool as potential new businesses and visitors are looking at states with a higher quality of life.
3. How can land protection have an overall economic impact on North Carolina’s constituents and state economy through the tourism, agricultural and farming, and military divisions?
North Carolina competes for new jobs and tourism dollars. Businesses are looking for states with reduced tax burdens and higher quality of life. Tourists are looking for states with plenty to see and do. Our state is fortunate to offer new businesses and visitors not only a competitive tax climate but also majestic mountains, thriving cities and tranquil beaches, something most other states cannot deliver. Conserving our natural assets is just one more tool in the job recruitment toolbox.
4. Why is conservation funding important to your constituents? How do you feel the investment in land can generate a direct, positive impact in your respective district?
In the 91st District, it’s easy to see a direct correlation between conservation and increased economic activity. For example, Hanging Rock and Pilot Mountain each had nearly 800,000 visitors last year. Those visitors ate at our local restaurants, made purchases at our local shops, and stayed in our campgrounds and hotels. This return on investment is huge for rural communities like mine.
5. What are your suggestions as to how community members, local and state government officials, and land conservation groups can work together to support land conservation in North Carolina?
Conservation groups should meet regularly with local elected officials, local business owners, and outdoorsmen to establish long term plans for their local areas and be cognizant that there must be local buy-in for these long-term goals.
6. What do you see as the biggest threat facing North Carolina’s land conservation efforts?
A lack of private investment and an inability to spend money wisely.
The Conservation Champion series intends to highlight North Carolina legislators dedicated to protecting our state’s natural resources and display why funding conservation projects is important for our state’s development.