Friday, October 7, 2022

Play

Following a settlement with tribes, SD phases In voting-access reforms; older voters: formidable factor in Maine gubernatorial race; walking: a simple way to boost heart health.

Play

Biden makes a major move on marijuana laws; the U.S. and its allies begin exercises amid North Korean threats; and Generation Z says it's paying close attention to the 2022 midterms.

Play

Rural residents are more vulnerable to a winter wave of COVID-19, branding could be key for rural communities attracting newcomers, and the Lummi Nation's totem pole made it from Washington state to D.C.

Pandemic Drives Demand to Expand NC State Parks, Natural Areas

Play

Friday, February 12, 2021   

RALEIGH, N.C. - The state has received more than 100 applications for conservation projects this year, an increase environmental groups say was driven by the spike in public demand for access to trails, parks and natural areas during the pandemic.

North Carolina State Director for The Conservation Fund Bill Holman said proposals also include projects to protect and restore floodplains, which can buffer communities from flooding, and stream restoration efforts to protect drinking water.

He added that last year, more North Carolinians spent time outdoors than ever before.

"In 2020, almost 20 million people visited North Carolina State Parks," said Holman. "That's a record."

Holman points out the more than $76 million in requested funding far surpasses the $13 million available from the North Carolina Land and Water Fund.

Holman noted that before the 2008 recession, the state spent around $150 million on conservation projects, but that amount has decreased steadily in the past decade. He said he hopes state lawmakers funnel more money into the fund, which has bipartisan support.

Fred Annand - director of conservation resources with The Nature Conservancy in North Carolina - said climate change has added another layer of urgency to the state's conservation efforts.

"As we see sea-level rise having an impact on our shorelines," said Annand, "as we see natural areas slowly disappearing, and the importance of - again, connectivity - of giving wildlife an avenue to seek a higher gradient."

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 crisis has presented challenges for those working to preserve and protect natural areas. Annand said it's uncertain how the pandemic will affect long-term conservation goals.

"Trying to meet with landowners safely and to negotiate transactions, and to determine where matching funds will come from as well," said Annand, "that certainly has impacted our work."

In addition to reducing air and water pollution and improving soil quality, research shows protecting land also has economic benefits. One Harvard study found land conservation modestly increases employment rates, likely by creating new jobs in tourism and recreation industries.

Disclosure: The Nature Conservancy in North Carolina contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species & Wildlife, Energy Policy, Environment. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
In a recent lawsuit, a federal judge found nearly 10 examples in which the State of South Dakota had made it difficult for Native Americans to register to vote. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This election season, South Dakota is starting to implement voting-access reforms in light of a recent settlement with Native American tribes…


Social Issues

Between rising inflation and the ups and downs of the stock market, it isn't surprising that folks are concerned about their own financial situation…

Social Issues

The U.S. Postal Service is hiring 28,000 seasonal employees ahead of the surge in end-of-year holiday letters and packages for facilities in Michigan …


The average monthly Social Security benefit in August was $1,546. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The roughly 2.4 million Ohioans who rely on Social Security income are expected to get a big boost in benefits, but advocates for the program are …

Social Issues

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and her challenger, former Republican Gov. Paul LePage, both are courting votes from Maine's largest contingency -- …

According to a 2021 study by the American Heart Association, people who take at least 7,000 steps a day have a 50% to 70% lower risk of dying than those who take fewer daily steps. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Even for Virginians who think they're too busy to exercise, experts say there's one surefire way to squeeze in a modest workout: walking. Although …

Social Issues

Groups challenging the criminal consequences for failing to pay rent in Arkansas say they'll take another run at it, perhaps as a class-action …

Social Issues

Wisconsin is one of 33 states allowing Social Security benefits to be extended to teachers. As the future of the program is debated, a retired …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021