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RC2: Preserve agriculture and forestry lands.


Agriculture and timber are embedded in the history of the GroWNC region and are critical to the cultural identity and the economic health of the region in the future. There are currently over 300,000 acres of working farm and forestry lands in the study area. Many of the fertile valleys have been providing sustenance to local residents for hundreds of years. These lands contribute to the scenic views of the region and provide valuable plant and animal habitat. Farms of all sizes fuel a growing local food movement, and timber operations contribute raw materials to the craft and building industries.

Given recent trends in growth and development, it is increasingly imperative that the region finds ways to preserve traditions and build on market opportunities to ensure that farming and forestry continue to play an integral part in the economy and culture.


RC2.1: Research the costs and benefits of reducing acreage requirements for Voluntary Agricultural District and/or Present Use Value designation. Read more »
RC2.10: Develop quantifiable goals for forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs) that measure the impacts/benefits of forestry practice, including erosion, sedimentation, presence of stream management zones. Read more »
RC2.2: Allow extended-year permitting for small forest landowners. Read more »
RC2.3: Encourage and support municipalities interested in developing a funding stream generated from a local sales tax to fund farmland protection. Read more »
RC2.4: Identify eligible farms and assist with Century Farm designation through the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. Read more »
RC2.5: Research appropriate strategies to educate landowners about ways to access funding for carbon registries. Read more »
RC2.6: Establish utility service agreements between jurisdictions to limit the extension of public water and sewer infrastructure into priority agriculture areas. Read more »
RC2.7: Identify opportunities for non-timber income generation from forests, including medicinal plants, forest foods, wild harvesting, agroforestry, nursery stock, and hand-crafted artisanal products. Read more »
RC2.8: Promote opportunities for non-conventional timber harvesting. Alternative timber methods include horse logging and selective harvesting. Read more »
RC2.9: Identify candidates in the region to apply for the USDA Forest Service Community Forests Program, where financial assistance is provided to communities to sustainably manage forests for multiple public benefits. Read more »