Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy
A public-private partnership comprised of two conservation trusts, area residents and the Ecosystem Enhancement Program permanently protected from development more than 2,600 acres in Buncombe and Madison counties. The property is less than 20 miles from downtown Asheville in Leicester Township, where population increased by 37 percent from 1990 to 2000, significantly higher than the statewide rate of 21 percent.
To qualify as high quality preservation sites, each parcel was approved for acquisition by an interagency committee comprised of staff from conservation organizations and regulatory agencies. These preservation sites add to existing conserved lands, contain critical habitats and rare or endangered species, protect outstanding resource waters and water-supply watersheds, or are significant natural areas.
The N.C. Ecosystem Enhancement Program's mission is to restore and protect North Carolina’s natural resources for future generations while supporting responsible economic development.
EEP utilizes receipts from its programs to restore streams and wetlands where the need is greatest by working with state and local partners, including willing landowners. The N.C. Department of Transportation and other developers voluntarily use EEP to move projects forward in a timely and affordable manner.