NC Land & Water Fund Successes!

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.

Conservation Trust Funds Bring Success

Spring is a great time to get outside and enjoy the beauty of the North Carolina outdoors. Here are a few great places to visit thanks to grants North Carolina conservation trust funds.

Mainspring Conservation Trust
  • You can’t go wrong with a springtime hike in the mountains! Visitors can take advantage of the most extensive trail system found on any Mainspring property. The Tessentee Bottomland Preserve is a stop on the NC Birding Trail with the preserve’s bird list at 129 species and butterfly list at 56 species and counting.

    VISIT: 2249 Hickory Knoll Road, Franklin, NC 28734

    Learn more about this beautiful slice of North Carolina history.

  • Spring means getting ready to dip our paddles in North Carolina’s waterways! Have you checked out the Deep River Paddle Trail and the Haw River Natural Area? Both of these areas greatly benefitted from the conservation trust funds.

    Learn more about these two natural beauties:

  • Asutsi means “bridge” in the Cherokee language. This short, easy trail (0.4 miles) offers a good family hike with a stream to splash in and rocks to clamber.

    VISIT: The Asutsi trailhead is on U.S. 221, 0.6 miles south of the U.S. 221 intersection with Holloway Mountain Road.

    The Conservation Trust for North Carolina recently closed on the Florence Boyd Home/Asutsi Trailhead Property thanks to funding from the NC Land and Water Fund and support from Fred and Alice Stanback. This protection will help keep this trail accessible for generations to come. Read more about the area.

Success Thanks to ADFPTF

The Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund (ADFPTF) supports the farming, forestry and horticulture communities within the agriculture industry by supporting the purchase of agricultural conservation easements, funding conservation agreements and more.

Here are just some of the success stories thanks to ADFPTF grants over the years:

Needs & Successes of the Conservation Trust Funds

Across North Carolina, conservation trust funds and Land for Tomorrow coalition members are working to protect our state’s lands.

  • The Nature Conservancy and the Army have worked together over the past two decades to protect more than 23,000 acres near Fort Bragg. Learn how this work is preserving one of the world’s most significant habitats: the longleaf pine forest. Find out more about how this effort is providing public lands for all to enjoy.
  • Outstanding scenery and outdoor recreation are key to Western North Carolina’s economy. That’s why the North Carolina General Assembly created Pisgah View Ranch State Park in Buncombe County. Learn how this work preserves an iconic view while driving the economy.
  • Providing game lands that are accessible to all parts of North Carolina are important. Learn why the permanent protection of the Tuckertown Game Lands in Davidson and Montgomery counties is vital to our state.

Click on the images below to download the full stories.





Protecting North Carolina’s Fall Splendor

Cooler temperatures mean North Carolinians can finally get outside and safely enjoy the glory of this fall leafing season.

Each of the following locations are protected and open to visitors thanks to the hard work of local organizations and North Carolina’s conservation trust funds – the N.C. Land and Water Fund (NCLWF), Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) and/or the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund (ADFPTF). The conservation trust funds help ensure that we all have access to clean air, clean water and spectacular places to recreate and relax.

Plan your next socially distanced fall hike at one of these splendid getaways:







Carteret County News-Times: Thank you Rep. McElraft

A letter to the Carteret County News editor praising Representative McElraft’s leadership to fund the conservation trust funds.


Thanks to the support of North Carolina Rep. Pat McElraft, family farms in eastern North Carolina will be preserved, military bases will be protected from encroaching development and North Carolinians will have more opportunities for outdoor recreational activities in the future.

The recently passed budget includes $22.7 million in additional money for the state’s conservation trust funds, including an additional $14.7 million for preserving working farms near military bases. Not only will this help protect our natural resources but will aid in the further development of our state’s economy.

As chair of the House Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources Appropriations Committee, Rep. McElraft has been a strong supporter of funding for parks and recreation projects. She has been an advocate for restoring dedicated funding for the conservation trust funds and coastal storm damage mitigation funds. She has demonstrated her commitment to protecting our agricultural heritage and natural resources to make North Carolina a great place to live, work and visit.

In backing efforts to benefit North Carolinians, Rep. McElraft continues to show her dedication to the people of our state. We must continue to promote and develop our outdoor recreation and tourism industries, protect our military bases and increase our efforts to conserve water and land if we hope to uphold a North Carolina that future generations can be proud to call home. I believe Rep. McElraft will continue to be a key leader on these issues and thank her for her efforts.

Jane Rouse, Morehead City

Originally published on November 17, 2018.

Jacksonville Daily News: Senator Brown’s efforts not unnoticed

A letter to the Jacksonville Daily News editor praising Senator Brown’s leadership to fund the conservation trust funds.

To the editor:

With the recent adoption of the state budget, legislators have made a renewed commitment to our citizens that they are willing to protect our state’s natural resources and scenic beauty, while promoting rural economic development. Senator Harry Brown, a longtime champion for conservation, has worked tirelessly to protect our state’s military bases, water resources and farms and to provide resources for state and local park projects.

His support for an additional $22.7 million in the budget for the state’s three conservation trust funds will help protect working family farms and forest near military bases and promote rural economic development through expanded outdoor recreational opportunities. Under the leadership of Senator Brown, North Carolinians can have peace of mind knowing their favorite streams, rivers, and lakes will be protected.

Senator Brown wants our children and our children’s children to have the same beautiful North Carolina landscapes to admire as we do today, while also strengthening rural economies. Thanks to his efforts, outdoor recreation opportunities, military bases, farms and clean water will be here for generations of North Carolinians to come.

Billy Sewell, Jacksonville

Originally published on July 10, 2018

Times-News: Ross, Gunn help protect NC natural resources

A letter to the Times-News editor praising Representative Ross and Senator Gunn on their leadership to fund the conservation trust funds.

North Carolina lawmakers are fighting to preserve the qualities that make our state one of the top places to live, work and visit. The recently passed state budget will allocate an additional $22.7 million to North Carolina’s conservation trust funds, which help protect our state’s land and water resources and provide funding for parks and recreation projects, like the Mountain-to Sea Trail. The budget also includes significant increases to preserve working family farms in the Piedmont. Alamance County state Rep. Stephen Ross and Sen. Rick Gunn were strong voices in making this additional funding a reality.

Ross has demonstrated his commitment to protecting North Carolina’s tourism and agriculture industries in his role as chair of the House Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources Appropriation Subcommittee. He has also been a strong advocate for restoring dedicated revenue sources for the trust funds. Gunn has consistently supported conservation efforts throughout his years in the Senate and has been a champion for the outdoor recreation industry, helping create an outdoor industry recruitment position in the NC Economic Development Partnership. Serving as Co-Chairman of the Committee for Senate Appropriations on Agriculture, Natural and Economic Resources, Gunn has supported land and water conservation time and time again to enhance our state’s economy and quality of life. By stewarding our state’s natural resources, legislators like Ross and Gunn are ensuring North Carolina will continue to be a great place to raise our families and expand recreational opportunities for all our citizens. I appreciate their leadership on conservation and hope they will continue these efforts to benefit future generations of North Carolinians.

Billy Sewell, Jacksonville

Originally published on July 4, 2018.

Preserving The Lindale Farm

The Lindley family has operated their 182-acre dairy farm in Chatham County since the late 1800s.

Neill Lindley, the fifth generation of farmers in the family, still owns and runs the farm today. Lindley took over his family’s farm with his wife Cori in 1982 after graduating from NC State University. In 2009, along with help from his father Darryle and son Neill Jr., the Lindleys began to transition away from traditional practices, making their farm organic and sustainable.

Part of that process involved signing their land into a conservation easement with the Triangle Land Conservancy (TLC). The easement allows the Lindleys to continue farming, and it protects their land from future development.

“We definitely try to work with landowners that use sustainable practices,” said Leigh Ann Hammerbacher, the associate director of conservation and stewardship at TLC.

TLC holds conservation easements on nearly 700 acres of farmland in the Silk Hope area of Chatham County. The American Farmland Trust estimates that 40 acres of the nation’s farmland is lost to development every hour. In Durham, Orange and Wake counties, on average one of every five acres of farmland has been lost to development over the past 20 years. These easements play an important role in protecting farmland from that development, and they are also important in helping provide farmers with much-needed funding.

Hammerbacher said the Lindley family invested the funding they received back into the Lindale Farm, aiding in the transition to more sustainable practices. Now that the farm is fully organic, she said the Lindleys are doing very well.

“This farm is one of the most successful farms in the area,” said Hammerbacher. “And they definitely believe that switching to the organic market, particularly in the dairy industry, has brought them more stability.”

The Lindale Farm is a part of Organic Valley, the nation’s largest organic farmer cooperative. Farmers sell their products locally in all 50 states, and even export to 25 countries worldwide.

Read more stories from the 2017 Conservation Yearbook here.