New poll shows bipartisan support for land and water conservation across North Carolina

Press release from The Nature Conservancy North Carolina Chapter:

A poll commissioned by Land for Tomorrow shows that North Carolinians from Manteo to Murphy support land and water conservation. Seventy-three percent of those polled said they would support funding at the $100 million level for the state’s three publicly funded conservation trust funds. The poll was released today as part of Land for Tomorrow’s annual lobby day at the North Carolina General Assembly.

House Appropriations Chairman Chuck McGrady (R – Henderson) said the poll underlines the bipartisan support for conservation funding. “Land and water conservation is one place where Republicans and Democrats – rural, urban, and suburban – can agree. It provides major economic and health benefits as well as protecting North Carolina’s unique natural heritage.”

Senate Appropriations Chairman Harry Brown (R – Onslow) said the legislature has recognized the importance of supporting the state’s conservation trust funds. “These trust funds help protect military installations from encroachment, provide public access for hunting and fishing, and protect family farms across the state. We’ve worked hard in the past couple of years to increase support for the state’s conservation trust funds, and we hope to continue to build on that support in this session.”

North Carolina’s Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler said the funding is particularly important to agriculture. “We appreciate the General Assembly’s efforts to increase funding for the state’s conservation trust funds,” said Troxler. “We look forward to working with them and other partners to maximize our opportunity to conserve family farms to secure our long-term food supply. In addition, the conservation of farms and forests around military bases and training areas helps ensure that our nation’s armed forces can accomplish their mission.”

Seventy-three percent of registered voters said they support restoring funding to the pre-recession level of $100 million for the state’s three conservation trust funds to conserve forests, working farms, parks and historic sites, as well as preventing polluted runoff from contaminating rivers, lakes, creeks and groundwater.

That support was strong across party lines and in different areas of the state:
Majorities of all political parties are supportive:
73% Overall
62% Republicans
73% Independents
83 % Democrats

Land for Tomorrow Poll/page 2

There is solid support across North Carolina:
73% Overall
69% East
74% Piedmont
86% Mountains

Support is strong in cities, suburbs, small towns & rural areas:
73% Overall
74% Cities
69% Suburbs
74% Small Town/Rural

The state has three publicly funded conservation trust funds: Clean Water Management Trust Fund, Parks and Recreation Trust Fund and the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund. Land for Tomorrow is a statewide coalition that works to increase support for these trust funds. The phone poll was conducted by the bipartisan polling team of Public Opinion Strategies (Republican) and FM3 (Democrat) March 3 through 5. It has a margin of error of four percent. More details from the poll are available at

About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. His writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, the Miracle Monocle, Juked and elsewhere. His debut novel, The Wind Under the Door, is now available.

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