South Carolina is blessed with an abundance of natural, agricultural and historical resources—from lush forests and farmland to waterfalls, diverse wildlife, pristine beaches and the 250-mile Edisto River. Land and water resources support the state’s economy, which relies upon food production, mining, foresting, tourism and industry. Because of South Carolina’s natural resources and economic opportunities, people are moving to our state in record numbers. As a result, increasing demands for food, water, energy, and infrastructure are posing a threat to our natural resources. In order to create a sustainable future for South Carolina, it is essential that we have a balanced approach to development and protect areas that fuel the state’s natural resource-based economy, safeguard drinking water, and ensure a high quality of life.
Photo courtesy of Upstate Forever
Land Trusts are organizations that partner with landowners to conserve and permanently protect significant conservation resources. In addition to the landowner’s benefit of preserving their land legacy, there are substantial community benefits including clean water, scenic views and wildlife habitat. Some landowners choose to open up their land for the public’s use, but this is not required for a private land conservation easement. These resources are protected using a Conservation Easement, which is a voluntary legal agreement between the landowner and the land trust to ensure the property is permanently protected for the future. Conservation easements support long-term economic sustainability by protecting our resources for agricultural jobs, outdoor tourism and quality of life that make South Carolina a desirable place to live.
Copyright Thomas C Moorer Jr.