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Attorney General Josh Stein Announces Nearly $500,000 Environmental Grants for Western NC

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today joined area environmental organizations for a grant award ceremony at Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy to announce $482,000 in grants for the western North Carolina region.

Awards include:

Buncombe County

Conserving Carolina will receive $200,000 to conserve 247 acres at the top of the Broad River Watershed, including 12,500 linear feet of headwater stream and 3.5 acres of wetland that feeds North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality trout water.

“As Attorney General, my job is to protect North Carolinians – including the air we breathe and the water we drink. This project will improve the quality of water for generations of residents to come,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I am pleased to continue to support Conserving Carolina’s efforts.”

“This generous award from EEG will help conserve a critical tract in the upper Broad River watershed and support the establishment of a technical education campus for high school students from across the region who are interested in pursuing careers in natural resource and environmental fields,” said Kieran Roe, Executive Director of Conserving Carolina.

Haywood County

Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy will receive $150,000 to acquire 448 acres and nine miles of stream in the French Broad River watershed. The land will be transferred to the Town of Canton to be used as a natural resource protective public park.

“Preserving this land will allow generations to come to enjoy all the beauty and adventure nature provides,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I am proud to support this effort to maintain land for Haywood County.”

“This grant award is an important piece of funding towards the purchase and permanent conservation of this property,” said Carl Silverstein, SAHC’s executive director. “The N.C. Dept. of Justice Environmental Enhancement Grant program provides funding for projects that help improve and protect North Carolina’s natural resources, and we are thrilled that this SAHC’s project was selected as one of this year’s grant recipients.”

Burke County

Foothills Conservancy will receive $100,000 to acquire 651 acres of undeveloped forest and agricultural lands, including more than three miles of stream in Canoe Creek watershed to be used for a public park and forest.

“Foothills Conservancy will use these funds to preserve land in Burke County – ensuring that North Carolinians have access to recreation, education, and agriculture,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I am pleased to support this effort to enhance and strengthen the area’s natural beauty.”

Alleghany County

With its grant award of $32,000 Blue Ridge Conservancy will purchase and conserve 46 acres to be added to the Sparta Wetland Mitigation Site. Doing so will protect the low elevation seep, swamp forest-bog complex, the federally endangered bog turtle, 8.5 acres of high quality wetland, and more than 4,500 linear feet of stream.

“Thanks to this grant award, the Sparta Wetland will be completely preserved and protected,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Doing so will maintain and improve water quality for generations to come. I am proud to support this effort.

“Southern Appalachian Bogs are extremely rare and remain a conservation priority for Blue Ridge Conservancy,” said Blue Ridge Conservancy Executive Director Charlie Brady. “EEG’s support enables BRC to purchase the remainder of the Sparta Wetland, permanently protecting this significant resource. EEG’s investment in land conservation will help maintain the High Country’s excellent water quality for drinking water, recreation, and aquatic life.

About the EEG Program

These funds are distributed through the Environmental Enhancement Grant (EEG) program, which began after an agreement between the Attorney General’s Office and Smithfield Foods in 2000. Under that agreement, Smithfield provides the state $2 million each year to fund environmental projects across the state

Due to ongoing litigation, this year’s is the first grant cycle since 2016. In this round of grants, Attorney General Stein will distribute more than $3.5 million to 27 grantees.

Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484


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