Conserving land safeguards human health.
Land conservation provides positive benefits to all North Carolina families, every single day. These benefits don’t last for a day, or a month, or even a year. They last forever.
North Carolina has 3000 miles of streams (that’s roughly Wilmington to Los Angeles) that aren’t fishable or swimmable. Protecting forests and meadows along rivers and creeks prevents polluted runoff and sediment from contaminating waterways, helping to ensure clean drinking water supplies downstream.
North Carolina loses more family farms each year than almost any other state. Preserving working farms and creating urban community gardens ensures a plentiful supply of fresh local foods that we all need to be healthy.
There’s plenty of dirty air in our state; we see the haze when we’re in the mountains and we smell the pollution in our cities. More and more kids are stricken with asthma because of it. Preserving healthy forests helps cleanse the air.
Obesity is an epidemic in North Carolina, especially among children. Conservation provides parks, trails and greenways for families to get outside, get active, and stay healthy.
Our lives have gotten crazy. We all have too much to do and not enough time to do it. Spending time in nature, perhaps at a Blue Ridge Parkway trail or overlook, calms, restores, and inspires us. Kids in particular need hiking, paddling, and peace and quiet – a respite from electronics – to develop both mentally and physically.
What is more basic than our need for safe drinking water, healthy food, clean air, and open spaces to shed a few pounds and renew the soul? Conservation makes it all happen!
Conserving land boosts the economy.
North Carolina’s two largest industries, agriculture and tourism, absolutely depend on healthy natural resources. Agriculture, including forestry, contributes over $78 billion per year to the state economy, and employs 120,000 people. Tourism is a $18 billion industry, and the Blue Ridge Parkway alone attracts 14 million visitors per year and generates over $1 billion in economic activity. North Carolina’s beautiful natural areas are also a strong draw to companies seeking a high quality of life for their employees.
Conserving land protects wildlife.
Almost one in five plant and animal species in North Carolina are either threatened or endangered. Rapid residential and commercial development has destroyed vast swaths of natural areas. Before the 2008 recession hit, North Carolina was losing 100,000 acres of farms and forests to development each year (an area equal to Winston-Salem and High Point combined). Conservation of lands ensures healthy habitat and migration.