Conservation Leadership Round Table

The Land for Tomorrow Foothills Conservation Leadership Round Table was held at the Morganton Community House on Wednesday afternoon, April 18. Foothills Conservancy hosted the event – organized by Land for Tomorrow. The goal was to share information with elected officials about supporting conservation with the theme being

 conservation = rural economic development.

FVR President Beth Heile and Parks Director Doug Knight spoke about how important the state’s Clean Water Management Trust Fund and Parks and Rec Trust Fund are to small towns based on the experience the town had with the Valdese Lakeside Park (CWMTF and PARTF) and the Downtown Splash Park (PARTF).

Lake James State Park Superintendent Nora Coffey spoke about how important the PARTF funds are to managing the state’s largest park.

The session on Community Benefits included the following speakers –

  • Tourism Impacts – Ed Phillips, Burke Tourism Development Authority
  • Fonta Flora Trail Development – Scott Carpenter, Burke Co. Community Development Dept.
  • Landowner Perspective – Jim Sitts, Landowner
  • Business Perspective – Brad Lail, Hickory City Council
  • Regional Agricultural Development -Andrew Scruggs, Cleveland Co. Cooperative Extension

The following NC Legislators were present and also spoke:

  • Honorable Andy Wells
  • Honorable Josh Dobson
  • Honorable Hugh Blackwell

The event concluded with a tour the Fonta Flora Brewery on the site of the old Whippoorwill dairy and the first farmhouse brewery in Western North Carolina, which adjoins a Clean Water Management Trust Fund project that added 40 acres to Lake James State Park and a hike of that area.

If you would like to support conservation – write to your legislators and tell them to keep giving money to our state’s trust funds or donate to Land for Tomorrow or any of the its groups.

Land for Tomorrow Steering Committee is made up of

The Conservation Fund
Conservation Trust for North Carolina
The Nature Conservancy
North Carolina Recreation and Park Association
North Carolina Wildlife Federation
Blue Ridge Forever
Audubon North Carolina
Triangle Land Conservancy
Catawba Lands Conservancy
American Rivers

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