The recently released proposed budget from the NC House shows that conservation is a priority for the state of North Carolina. Thank you to all of the House members for your strong support in protecting and stewarding our land through conservation trust funds and more.
A few highlights:
- Increases recurring funding for NCLWF from $24.2 million up to $30 million per year. Also includes an additional $20 million in nonrecurring funds for NCLWF in FY23-24.
- Increases recurring funding for PARTF from $24.2 million up to $30 million per year. Also includes an additional $20 million in nonrecurring funds for PARTF in FY23-24.
- Provides an additional $15 million in nonrecurring funds in both years of the biennium for the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund. This is in addition to the base amount of $5 million recurring per year.
- Includes a provision to reinstate the conservation tax credit.
- $25 million in nonrecurring funds in FY23-24 for Great Trails Program.
- $8 million in nonrecurring funds in FY23-24 for the Complete the Trails Program.
- $15 million for Parks for People with Disabilities.
- $17 million in nonrecurring funds for the Saluda Grade Trail.
- Provides $3.8 million in new recurring funds that goes up to $5.1 in new recurring funds for 37 new FTEs for State Parks, as well as an additional $3.6 million in nonrecurring funds for parks operating reserves.
- $158,000 recurring for two new FTEs for the Natural Heritage Program.
Learn more about our 2023 legislative agenda and our response to the Governor’s budget.
Thank you to North Carolina’s governor and legislators for passing a budget that prioritizes land and water conservation. Funding of $48.4 million to the state’s conservation trust funds will benefit people and nature for generations.
Our state’s conservation needs are not one-and-done. The Land for Tomorrow coalition thanks our state leadership for building on the foundation of conservation funding established in 2021. By securing reoccurring funding, every generation now has a chance to have clean air and water as well as beautiful places to play.
Land and water are North Carolina’s most important economic assets. The four engines of North Carolina’s economy – agriculture, tourism, forestry and the military – depend on land and water conservation. Therefore, protecting these vital natural resources is essential to North Carolina’s bottom line – boosting spending and providing jobs.
Our state’s conservation trust funds ensure that the North Carolina Land and Water Trust Fund (NCLWF), Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF), and the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund (ADFPTF) are fully funded to be the safeguards for our state. In addition, these funds enable conservation groups to continue working with state agencies to protect North Carolina’s valuable natural resources, ensuring that both current and future generations will continue to benefit from all our state has to offer.
Thank you to the governor and our legislators for conservation funding of the following:
- Increases recurring funding for the North Carolina Land and Water Fund by $11 million, taking the total recurring funding from $13.2 million to $24.2 million.
- Increases recurring funding for the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund by $8 million, taking the total recurring funding from $16.2 million to $24.2 million.
To learn more about the impact of the conservation trust funds and see your tax dollars in action, follow Land for Tomorrow on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/L4TNC – and Twitter – https://twitter.com/land4tomorrow.
Since its creation in 1996, the NC Land & Water Fund (NCLWF) has conserved well over one-half million acres and protected or restored 3,000 miles of streams and rivers. Here are just a few examples of how they’ve helped protect land in our state.
- Orchard at Altapass
In the 1990s, the property was for sale and many people thought it would be developed for second homes. However, the new owners wanted to preserve its beauty and history. The Conservation Trust for North Carolina (CTNC) worked with the owners to protect the orchard by raising funds to purchase conservation easements, which included a grant of $180,843 from NCLWF. Together with the state, the property is now in permanent conservation easement and is still a working orchard. Learn more.
- Waccamaw River
NCLWF has awarded 10 projects, totaling over $9 million for projects in the Town of Lake Waccamaw and the Waccamaw lake and river system. This funding has matched over $11 million from local, state, federal, and private funds. Read more.
- Chestnut Mountain Nature Park
Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy made this park in Canton, NC, possible thanks to a $1.2 million award from the NC Land and Water Fund, with support from the Attorney General’s office EEG grant, CTNC, Pigeon River Fund, and more. Add this new park to your must-hike list.
- Salmon Creek – Site X
This site could hold clues to North Carolina’s oldest mystery, the lost colony of Roanoke. In 2017, NCLWF awarded a grant to the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust to assist with the purchase of 995 acres at the confluence of Salmon Creek and the Chowan River. The Salmon Creek tract is steeped in North Carolina history and could provide clues about much of our state’s past. Preliminary surveys indicate the presence of 18 different archaeological sites throughout the property. Learn more.
- New River
With funding from the NCLWF, New River Conservancy works with landowners in Alleghany, Ashe, and Watauga counters to replant and maintain stream-side environments. In Ashe County, Greater Lansing Area Development will restore over half a mile of the actively eroding streambanks of Big Horse Creek. Together, these projects will protect and enhance the trout streams and outstanding resource waters of the New River. Learn more.