Want more outdoor adventure close to home? More natural beauty close to home? More wildlife close to home? So do we.
That's why we're concerned about a great program that protects South Carolina's natural landscapes. The South Carolina Conservation Bank could soon be eliminated — unless we all reach out to our state legislators.
Benefit to Birds
Today, more than one-third of North America’s bird species are at risk of extinction unless we take significant conservation action. The most vulnerable species include many South Carolina favorites: American Oystercatchers, Little Blue Herons, Wood Thrushes, Willets, and more.
The urgent need for birds today is to protect and restore habitat that’s vanishing due to urbanization and climate change. That’s exactly what the Conservation Bank does.
Since 2002, the Conservation Bank has helped protect nearly 300,000 acres of forests, wetlands, historic sites, farms, and urban parks. Remarkably, it's paid an average of just 17 cents on the dollar compared to fair market value.
Not only is this program a cost-effective way to protect habitat for birds and other wildlife; it also gives South Carolinians new places to enjoy the outdoors. Fifty percent of the land protected by the Conservation Bank is open for unlimited public use. Another 30 percent is open upon request to the landowner.
Which, in turn, boosts our state’s economy. Each year, consumers spend $18 billion in South Carolina on outdoor recreation. Companies like Boeing, BMW, and Michelin have chosen to invest in our state in part because of our quality of life. This program is a clear win-win for South Carolina.
Yet despite its obvious success, the Conservation Bank’s funding automatically ends on June 30, 2018. Please help keep this program alive by contacting your legislators today.
Questions? Check out these links:
Thank you so much for standing up for the birds we love!
Sharon E. Richardson is the Executive Director of Audubon South Carolina.