Save the Blue Ridge Parkway
Lawmakers have removed a special budget provision that limited land acquisition along the parkway. That’s progress. But we’ve still got an uphill battle to restore the state’s proud legacy of preserving the Parkway and our natural heritage.
General Assembly guts key protections
The Blue Ridge Parkway brings millions of visitors to Mt. Mitchell, Looking Glass Falls and some of the country's most beautiful vistas. But in the last two years, the General Assembly has cut critical preservation funds in half, and questioned the future of the state’s largest conservation program—the Clean Water Fund.
At stake: breathtaking Parkway views
Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway feels like a trip through a national park, just what its creators intended 75 years ago. We have state conservation efforts partially to thank for the incredible views — since 1986, the state has preserved vulnerable land for future generations.
But this legacy is at risk: Two-thirds of the land that surrounds the Parkway is vulnerable to logging, poorly-planned development and other harms. With state preservation funds run nearly dry, priceless landscapes hang in the balance.
A legacy on hold
North Carolina has a long-standing history of preserving treasured landscapes for present and future generations to use and enjoy. In 2007 and 2008, your activism and our advocacy helped win unprecedented funding increases for preservation programs, which created Grandather Mountain State Park, Chimney Rock State Park and others.
When the General Assembly slashed preservation funds last year, they put that legacy on hold. Worse, they included a special provision in the budget to prevent the state from acquiring threatened land along the Parkway.
Together, we can save the Blue Ridge Parkway
Our staff knocked on doors across the state to educate Tar Heels about what's at stake and helped convince lawmakers to remove restrictions on land conservation.
With our partners, we’ve also conducted research, showing that we’ve already preserved more than 13,000 acres along the Parkway and other scenic byways, and need to preserve another 20,000 in the next five years.
But the real key to winning this fight is you. If enough of us speak out, we can restore our open space programs in the General Assembly and in Congress and put them to work protecting our stunning Blue Ridge scenery.
- In the last two years, the General Assembly has slashed preservation funds by more than half.
- The parkway draws more than 14 million visitors each year, generating upwards of $300 million for the local economy.
- Two-thirds of the land surrounding the Blue Ridge Parkway lacks long-term protections.
- If enough of us speak out, we can restore our open space programs — and put those funds to work protecting our stunning Blue Ridge scenery.