Thursday, January 31, 2013

Conservation as a constitutional right

Taking a new tack on conservation, the North Carolina Wildlife Federation and eight other sporting groups are telling budget-minded state legislators it's a constitutional requirement.

"North Carolina's sporting community looks forward to working with the new General Assembly to uphold the state constitution by preserving our state's natural assets," the groups say in a full-page ad in Wednesday's News & Observer.

The Charlotte-based Federation, which paid for the ad, quotes a 1971 legislative addition to the constitution that says it's a state function to "acquire and preserve park, recreational and scenic areas, (and) to control and limit the pollution of our air and water."

Legislators beginning the year's session this week will get copies of the ad and a resolution from the Wildlife Federation urging them to increase funding for the beleaguered Clean Water Management Trust Fund, which has been North Carolina's biggest source of conservation grants. Legislators last year slashed its funding to $10.7 million, 90 percent below its historic high, and made it a non-recurring budget item.

The Fund has helped create hundreds of thousands of state gamelands, said Federation CEO Tim Gestwicki, boosting a state hunting and fishing industry worth $3.3 billion a year in revenue.

"Many of the legislators are new, so we wanted to take this opportunity to let them know just how important land and water conservation is," Gestwicki said. "They are going to face some tough decisions, but this isn't one of them."



Anonymous said...

I am eager to see what the new General Assembly will do this session when it comes to environmental issues. We have such a beautiful state and that is the reason I moved here and the reason I stay here. We
need to make sure that we invest in our natural heritage and that should include appropriate funding for clean water trusts funds and other investments such as incentives for clean energy sources and protecting more wetlands on our coast. Great article and a great idea to remind our legislators what their job is. Let’s see if they listen.

Melanie said...

Hi Bruce,

I wanted to send you a quick note because I read what you wrote about water conservation here (

I just finished helping to create an infographic about how much fresh water goes into things we do and consume. The idea is to bring a little extra awareness to what our every day impact is.

Some of the information was pretty surprising! I had no idea just how much water is needed to produce some of the foods I eat...

Anyway, after reading what you wrote, I thought you might like to use the infographic on Earth & Energy.

It's totally free to use, of course. If you do use it, please link back to the original source so anyone else that would like to use it can too.

The infographic is here in the original post link:


~ Mel

Melanie Palmero, Loch Ness Water Gardens
Tel: (864) 538-0022 | Mobile: (404) 384-7268 |