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.

Join our campaign, and urge your leaders to save the Blue Ridge, by clicking here.


Preservation updates

News Release | Environment North Carolina

Congressional Budget Helps the Blue Ridge Parkway, Restores Parks Funding

Raleigh, NC-This week, U.S. House and Senate appropriators set funding levels for agencies like the National Park Service and finalized a comprehensive budget agreement.

Environment North Carolina’s Liz Kazal offered the following statement:

 

“I applaud U.S. House and Senate appropriators for their work on a budget that does much to protect North Carolina’s wild places and our water and air.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

Budget Cuts Threaten Future of Blue Ridge Parkway

Asheville– As Congress deliberates on the federal budget, a new Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center analysis, entitled Death by a Thousand Cuts, exposes the challenges facing the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Smokies and other national parks and forests as a result of mounting funding cuts to the National Park Service.

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Report | Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

Death By a Thousand Cuts

Our National Parks have been called America’s best idea, and represent the rugged and resilient spirit of our natural heritage.  From our first encounter with wildlife, or first night sleeping under the stars, to our first time climbing to the precipice of some of the world’s tallest mountains, this country’s national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and waterways are where some of our most cherished memories are formed.

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News Release | Environment North Carolina

Environment North Carolina to General Assembly: Restore Conservation Funds

Raleigh, NC – Today Environment North Carolina released a list of the top ten reasons the Blue Ridge Parkway and surrounding lands deserve protection from overdevelopment, logging, and other harms, and called on the General Assembly to restore conservation funds designed to protect the scenic biway.

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News Release | Environment North Carolina

Two dozen businesses and conservation groups call on President Obama to protect the Blue Ridge Parkway

Raleigh-- Today Environment North Carolina and 23 other businesses and environmental advocacy groups called on President Obama to protect the Blue Ridge Parkway from overdevelopment and pollution by fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund.  Read the letter.

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