Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Blue Ridge Mountains coalition preserves over 50,000 acres

A coalition of land trusts says it will actually exceed its five-year goal of protecting 50,000 acres of the Blue Ridge Mountains by the end of the year. The coalition of nine different land trusts, Blue Ridge Forever, says it will exceed the goal by around 8,000 acres when land transactions are completed this year, Bruce Henderson of the Charlotte Observer reports. "The Southern Appalachians, which include the Blue Ridge chain, have the most biologically rich temperate forests in North America," Henderson writes. "Hundreds of species are found nowhere else."

"North Carolina is a state with vast natural resources and we must not take those assets for granted," Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton said in announcing the protected land totals. "Not only do these assets enrich our lives, they are also a key component of our state’s economy." The coalition "protected 70 working farms during the campaign, bringing the total number of farms the land trusts have preserved to 125," Henderson writes. "Funding totals are incomplete, but $110 million in public money has been used to date, followed by $32 million from individuals." (Read more)

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