With more than 19.8 million visitors to state parks and recreation areas in 2020, including on North Carolina trails across our state, it’s more important than ever to support our outdoor spaces this National Trails Day! There are thousands of miles of trails in North Carolina covering every portion of the state, from urban greenways to rural pathways and everything in between, and every mile needs our protection. Whether you’re a hiker or a biker, there’s something for everyone to enjoy safely outside.
How can you support our trails this June 5?
With your support, we can celebrate and protect our state’s trail system and public lands.
Land for Tomorrow would like to thank our leaders at the national level for their support of America’s best outdoor places.
North Carolina played a central role in securing the signing of the Great American Outdoors Act. This was the biggest bipartisan bill funding our natural resources in decades. This landmark conservation legislation will spend $1.9 billion a year for five years to maintain our national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and recreation areas. It uses royalties from offshore oil and natural gas to permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund to invest in conservation, sportsmen’s access, and recreation opportunities in every county in every state in the country. This means more land to hunt, fish, hike and camp. Plus, more access points to launch a boat or take a swim in our lakes and rivers.
The North Carolina Congressional delegation was critical in getting the bill to the desk of President Donald Trump for enactment. Senators Richard Burr and Tom Tillis and Representatives Patrick McHenry and G.K. Butterfield provided crucial leadership in supporting this landmark bill, and Representatives Budd, Foxx, Murphy, Price, and Adams all supported final passage.
Now, our leaders in the North Carolina legislature have a chance to bring this spirit of protection for the great outdoors to our state. With robust funding of the NC Land and Water Fund and the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund in the 2021 budget, legislators get a chance to continue protecting our state’s natural resources and our strong outdoor recreation economy.
While 2020 saw many closures and restrictions due to the pandemic, one thing wasn’t restricted by COVID-19: the North Carolina outdoors. We saw a record number of visitors – 19.9 million in 2020 – to North Carolina State Parks as we rediscovered our state’s bounty, from mountains to coast. That was 400,000 more visitors than any other year on record. North Carolinians want these resources protected. We NEED them protected.
It’s our turn to continue this legacy of protection. Land for Tomorrow hopes to gain the support of our legislators to ensure we always have these resources to share.