At Conservation Trust for North Carolina, we seek to conserve land in ways that build resilient, just communities across our state. This mission is purposefully broad, allowing us to be agile and responsive to community needs.
The needs of communities have changed and evolved dramatically over our 30-year history. The pressures of development and the changing climate threaten our natural lands. Communities across the state feel the effects of increased water fall that flood their streets and homes. Our forests and wild places are impacted by the extreme weather swings that parch the land or wash away the soil. The visibility of these changes is more evident with the passing of each year.
Over the past three decades, CTNC’s success has been due to our ability to evolve with these shifts and help foster change within the conservation community. We approach this work with a healthy balance between boldness and humility. CTNC has been the incubator for cutting-edge approaches to conservation that have an impact well beyond our reach.
A History of Innovation and Collaboration
North Carolina has an amazing track record of leading on conservation issues nationally and is the envy of many states across the country.
- More than 20 land trusts have formed over the past 30+ years and collectively protected more than 450,000 acres of forests, wetlands, parks, agricultural lands, and greenways.
- Since the governor’s declaration of 1996 as “Year of the Mountains,” more than 70,000 acres have been protected by land trusts along North Carolina’s section of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
- The state codified a commitment to conservation through the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, now the North Carolina Land and Water Fund, granting more than $50 million for conservation the past year.
- The Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund provides state-sponsored grants that have totaled almost $100 million since its inception.
- The Ecosystem Enhancement Program provided new ways of supporting conservation as offsets against increased development, leading to the creation of the Division of Mitigation Services that restores and protects wetlands and waterways.
- Numerous localities – including Asheville, Waynesville, and Raleigh – have invested in direct watershed protections for drinking water and environmental health.
- Land for Tomorrow, a coalition of 26 leading conservation organizations, is united in advocating for increased state investment in conservation that provides community resilience.
What is the one element that all these above accomplishments have in common? CTNC. In all these accomplishments, CTNC has been a founding participant of the partnership that seeded the idea, ran the program at its early stage, or catalyzed the larger collaborations needed for scaling success.