EXECUTIVE BUDGET WOULD MORE THAN QUADRUPLE CONSERVATION FUND FOR LAND PURCHASES, CONSERVATION EASEMENTS
Charleston, S.C. – December 10, 2006 – Gov. Mark Sanford announced today that his upcoming Executive Budget will add $50 million to the South Carolina Conservation Land Bank, for a total of $65 million aimed at increasing the state’s ability to preserve and set aside land.
By 2020, South Carolina’s population is expected to increase by more than 1 million people. In addition, South Carolina is already converting nearly 200 acres of timber and agricultural land to urban and suburban uses per day. The Conservation Land Bank has protected more than 134,000 acres in South Carolina since it was created, at a cost of roughly $527 per acre, through a combination of land purchases and easements.
Gov. Sanford said that augmenting the state’s conservation efforts is particularly important now, given the growth the state is expected to experience in the next decade.
“With the growth that’s going to be coming our way over the next ten years, now is the time to make sure our natural resources are protected going forward,” Gov. Sanford said. “A key part of our quality of life and our competitive advantage with respect to other states lies in preserving the way South Carolina looks and feels as a state. This additional funding would go a long way toward building upon that legacy of stewardship for generations to come.”
More land has been conserved during Gov. Sanford’s administration than in any other, and the administration has been directly involved in the conservation of a number of ecologically significant tracts, such as Bonneau Ferry, the Wee Tee tract, the Hamilton Ridge tract and the Woodbury Tract.