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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Western North Carolina Public Lands Council - WNC Public Lands Council

Western North Carolina Public Lands Council

Winding Mountain Road

About the Western North Carolina Public Lands Council

Enabling Legislation

Since its creation in 1947, the Council has been actively involved in the protection of scenic and recreational resources in western North Carolina. Initially operating under the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the Council consists of seven members appointed by the Governor. In the early 1990s, oversight for Council activities was realigned to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Enabling_Legislation_143B.pdf

Council Duties and Responsibilities

  • The establishment of appropriate public access and facilities in the portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park lying in North Carolina
  • The completion and enhancement of the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina
  • Advise/confer on management of the Nantahala and Pisgah national forests
  • The establishment of other recreational areas in that part of North Carolina immediately affected by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway or the Pisgah or Nantahala national forests
  • Advise/confer with various individuals, organizations or agencies interested in development within the area

Council Accomplishments

  • Helped secure support for Gorges State Park
  • Secured the Great Smoky Mountain National Park’s vanity license plate that has generated more than $1 million in revenue for Great Smoky Mountains National Park (as of 2007)
  • Closely monitored the North Shore Road resolution, advocating for cash settlement. Wrote first letter of settlement recommendation in 1997
  • Established a position on the roadless issue
  • Supported Land For Tomorrow bond issue
  • Laid groundwork for multi-state Air Quality Summit in 2000, which helped pass the N.C. Clean Smokestacks Act
  • Encouraged education to increase awareness about climate change
  • Established positive interaction with Tennessee on common issues
  • Addressed land conservation issues

Goals and Objectives

  1. The Council's goals and objectives are reviewed annually and provide guidance to achieve their mission and align with NCDENR's priorities.

  2.  

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